How often have you had a minor ache or discomfort and assumed that two Alleve, or a Motrin would be okay to take? These are NSAIDS; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They are not as safe as you may think, however, and this is the problem.
NSAIDs are available over the counter without a prescription and the consumer has been led to believe that they are safe. They act as an anti-inflammatory agent to help with the aches and pains of shoveling show, working too hard at the gym, or other minor aches from trauma. Some of these are powerful analgesics and will kill pain in about 30 minutes. But what about the long-term damage from these presumed harmless drugs?
First of all, what organ has to deal with the drug to clear it out of your body? The liver, and possibly the kidney. By taking too much of these NSAIDs on a regular basis they begin to tax the kidney’s ability to clear them out causing the cells of your kidney to become damaged making the renal cells susceptible to infection.
Other cells in the body that are adversely affected by NSAIDs are connective tissue cells. These are the structural components of joints, ligaments, muscles, and organs. Your pain and feelings of discomfort may have been masked, but the repair process of your tissues has been halted. The body recognizes the possible toxic invader in your system and is thrown off its primary duty to repair and build.
Nature has provided us with a bounty of herbs and foods that are powerful analgesics as well as tissue builders. With herbs, it is more effective to have two or more herbs together into a synergy or compound of compatible signatures. Other vitamins may enhance the effectiveness of the herb, and homeopathic remedies help deliver the compounds from the herbs into the cell for more quick relief.
For instance, Cayenne Pepper has many properties and qualities in its signature. It will suppress Substance P that is a neurotransmitter that sends signals of pain to the brain. Joint pains especially respond well to Cayenne Pepper. Low back pain, frozen shoulder, or leg cramps respond well to a regular dose of Cayenne over several days or weeks. These conditions are usually chronic in nature requiring long-term use of cayenne with no adverse side-effects. Just be sure that you have food in your stomach or you may experience the burning effect usually associated with capsicum. In recent years, the component that helps reduce pain found in cayenne, capsaicin has been added to ointments as a pain reliever with good results when massaged into the painful area.
The Indian spice turmeric is a wonderful pain reliever. I like it especially for the connective tissue healing benefits it gives in addition to killing the pain. Turmeric does not get degraded if it is heated, and can be added to a hot beverage or taken in capsules.
Enzymes that help us digest proteins can help prevent or alleviate muscle aches and pains. For the athlete that works hard one day, or the gardener that works too many hours in the flower garden, or the yoga student who does one too many handstands, the proteolytic enzymes are a life saver. These enzymes are found in compounds that are available from your health practitioners such as your Naprapath, Chiropractor, Nutritionist or Naturopath. They are trypsin, chymotrypsin and produced by the pancreas.
When the tissues are damaged the body’s natural defense is to first create an influx of fluids that bring healing nutrients to the damaged tissues. The inflammation is a natural response and should not be interrupted. On the other hand, the inflammation may be too much for the tissue to be beneficial and should be dealt with before the swelling gets too extreme. Quercetin and Bromelain are substances with natural anti-inflammatory qualities. Another herb that is specific for inflammation is known as Stinging Nettles. It has been found to be more effective than Pau d’Arco for other inflammatory disorders such as benign prostate hyperplasia or sinus drainage.
Stinging Nettles stops the production of histamine from the mast cells. Histamine is normally released from mast cells as a result of trauma or stress. Mast cells are in low numbers in our bloodstream until stress or trauma signals the erythrocytes to become mast cells and they increase their numbers. Mast cells produce histamine and inflammation results. Massaging tissues that have been damaged will also reduce the conversion of mast cells, another therapeutic of massage. Whether you are experiencing the stress of daily living, or have recently experienced a physical trauma, massage or manual therapies are highly beneficial and necessary in quick recovery.
There is a compound that is naturally made in the liver that has been found to help pain and aches that most Fibromyalgia sufferers experience. This compound is SAMe. It is made in a metabolic pathway of the liver associated with digestion we call Phase II. However, about 20% of the population lacks a specific enzyme in our metabolism of folic acid; our liver cannot produce SAMe. In recent years there have been some amazing scientific advancements in the breakdown of Folic acid in the lab to a more biologically available form known as “L-5 prime tetrahydrofolate” or L-5’-tetrahydrofolate, L-5-THF for short. By supplementing just 500 micrograms (mcg) per day the liver can now make SAMe making it more affordable. SAMe is also beneficial for depression, gives the patient more energy to exercise, and a better sense of well-being.
Aromatherapy has been used for centuries for health and traded as a commodity for wealth. Frankincense was found in urns in the Pyramids of Giza that was several thousand years old and just as potent as the day it was first diffused. Thyme and Sage are two plants that lend themselves to anti-inflammatory properties as well as killing germs. The therapeutic properties of essential oils have been gaining respect in recent years and using these herbs and their essential oils can protect your immune system and prevent or eliminate infection from opportunistic microbes. They can be added to food as flavor or a few drops of therapeutic oil can be placed in a capsule and taken internally. Black Pepper added to Thyme or Sage will add a wonderful flavor to grilled vegetables and the piperine in Black Pepper has been researched for cancer fighting properties.
This remedy has been called a Magic Potion by patients because of its amazing healing qualities. I especially like recommending this easy remedy to children who are experiencing leg pains because their bones are aching. This is caused because their bones are growing faster than their muscles can keep up and the bones ache from the muscles pulling against them. We call these conditions Growing Pains. Oshgood Schlatters disease is when the patellar ligament is pulling on the tibialis bone in front on the shin, and Seavers disease is when the Achilles tendon is being pulled away from the calcareous bone in the heel. After drinking this hot milk remedy, the patient will sleep quietly and awake out of pain. The Maple Syrup added to the milk makes it taste sweet, but the liver needs the sugar for energy to detoxify and processes the maple syrup very easily. Cinnamon is a common spice that adds flavor, calms the nerves and helps the respiratory system. Ginger also kills pain and adds to the overall flavor.
By the way, heated milk is an excellent natural source of Tryptophan, the hormone that calms down nerves that are under stress. The vanilla also calms the nerves besides adding a wonderful flavor to the potion. Take your evening beverage with your daily dose of 5 mcg of L-5-THF for a good night’s sleep.
Magic Potion Recipe
- 1 cup of heated milk
- 1 tsp of maple syrup
- two drops of vanilla flavoring
- dash of turmeric
- dash of cinnamon, to taste
- dash of ginger, optional
A relative of mine lacks a certain neurotransmitter in her brain and she has trouble getting to sleep at night. Her physician prescribed a sleeping pill. I recommended that she try the drink at night and compare the difference. She also asked me why I use maple syrup instead of honey to sweeten the milk, and I explained the role that maple syrup has for the liver. She tried it and it worked for her. She experimented after a few nights by trying to go to bed without drinking the heated milk drink and could not fall asleep. She got up around 2:00 a.m. and made her hot milk drink and slept well the remainder of the night. In one night she was able to discontinue the prescribed medicine without loss of sleep and no side effects. She began to call the hot milk drink the Magic Potion and I have adopted the name as well.
Green vegetables contain lots of vitamins that will help with sore muscles. Vitamins C and vitamin A, as well as Calcium that helps muscles relax. I recommend a big salad with plenty of dark leafy salad greens following a strenuous workout, and occasionally after that wonderful deep-tissue massage, to avoid the “delayed onset muscle soreness” caused by lactic acid build-up. Recently, I read an article that stated that DOMS was not an actual condition and could not be helped. That is unfortunate because lactic acid build-up is a very real condition that results when the oxygen debt exceeds the lactic acid production when muscle cells do not have enough oxygen to work. Muscles that lack mitochondria have no way to process the excess lactic acid into energy. Exercise will increase the number of mitochondria and soreness may be experienced when beginning a new exercise. Green vegetables are also loaded with chlorophyll that helps deliver oxygen to the tissues quickly.
There are several homeopathic remedies that I find helpful for alleviating the symptoms of stress and trauma. One ointment that is readily available at your health food store is called TRAUMEEL. It contains a particular homeopathic remedy known as arnica that “motivates the blood” which is another way of getting oxygen into the tissues and promoting blood circulation delivering life-giving nutrients to damaged tissues. Some homeopathic surgeons recommend a series of homeopathic remedies to patients who are about to undergo surgery. They help prepare the tissues for the eventual stress they will experience and reduce swelling and healing time afterward. Dr. Charles Clement from France is one such physician. The remedies are made available to patients at their local pharmacy with instructions for their use. There are veterinarians in the US who also use these remedies when their little animal patients who undergo surgeries.
Oral remedies such as Traumed or Arnitraum are also beneficial in situations involving stress. Bach flower remedies such as Rescue Remedy can be taken orally or applied topically. These are all available at your local health food store.
Breathing also helps deliver oxygen back into the bloodstream, but the muscles also need to be relaxed for this to occur. After every yoga class, we experience a period of relaxation. During relaxation we lay down flat in Shavasana the Sanskrit word for Corpse Pose. Concentration is on the breath and totally relaxing the muscles that have worked so hard during the practice. It is the favorite pose of every yoga student!
I share these easy simple remedies for pain because I am concerned that too many people are relying on an OTC drug just because it is easy and quick. Natural remedies can be just as easy, but with better results; building and repairing tissue and assisting the liver in its role as a cleansing organ.
I recommend that you get manual therapy and take immediate action to prevent muscle soreness after a trauma rather than waiting for a day or two. Typically, patients have been told to apply ice to the injured area and not get a massage for two days. This is bad advice and has resulted in patients who have muscles that are sore, spasming and take longer to heal. As long as there are no broken bones or abrasions, it is very safe to have a massage, Naprapathy, CranioSacral or other gentle forms of manual therapy immediately following an accident, upset or other trauma. This is due to the therapeutic effect of massage at reducing inflammation before it gets out of hand. Whiplash patients can recover within two weeks of an accident if they get immediate attention.
Nowadays one of the most convenient ways to get stress relief could be using an anti-depressant to provide instant relief from anxiety, depression or might help to cope with it. Peep into Zenapin Review which might help you cope with all stress-related issues.
Simultaneously, please use caution when taking supplements and get advice from your physician or health practitioner before beginning any medications.
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