Happy New Year!
I hope that your Christmas Day was exactly as you had hoped for, as was mine. Now is the time for inner reflection and examination. Winter is the season where all of nature goes inward, preparing for the coming of spring. We look to the coming of the New Year as an opportunity for rebirth and growth. Our failings and lessons of the last year are long dead and must be released to make room for the new.
One of my most important resolutions that I have thought of and meditated on to date is the resolution to become more flexible in the approaching New Year. More flexible in thought, more flexible in my own beliefs, and more flexible in body. As far as the body is concerned, there are a number of supplements which can help with the tendons and joints and are relatively inexpensive and time tested:
Glucosamine is naturally present in the shells of shellfish, animal bones and bone marrow. It is also present in some fungi, such as Aspergillus Niger. Glucosamine has been shown in clinical trials and studies to be effective at easing discomfort in those suffering from joint pain and promoting healthy cartilage. In ongoing trials, Glucosamine is showing great promise for its ability to promote joint health while remaining a safe and effective natural supplement that is better for the body than NSAIDS such as ibuprofen and aspirin.
Note: If you are allergic to shellfish, consult a doctor first regarding use of Glucosamine.
Chondroitin is a molecule chain that occurs naturally in the body. It is a major component of cartilage – the tough, connective tissue that cushions the joints. Chondroitin helps to keep cartilage healthy by absorbing fluid (particularly water) into the connective tissue. It may also block enzymes that break down cartilage, and it provides the building blocks for the body to produce new cartilage. A number of scientific studies suggest that Chondroitin may be an effective treatment for Osteoarthritis.
MSM or Methylsulfonylmethane
Methylsulfonylmethane is a relatively new dietary supplement form of sulphur that is found in our living tissues. MSM supports healthy connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, and muscle. MSM is a naturally-occurring nutrient found in our diet through the sulphur cycle. Ocean plankton release sulphur compounds which rise into the ozone where ultra-violet light breaks it down into MSM and DMSO. DMSO, dimethyl sulphoxide, is a precursor to MSM. MSM and DMSO return to the surface of the earth in rain. Plants concentrate MSM and return it to the earth and the sea. Evaporation into the air results in their return to the earth.
MSM has a unique action on body tissues by decreasing the pressure inside the cellular wall. In removing fluids and toxins, sulphur positively affects the cell membrane. Sulphur is in the hair, skin, and nails as many amino acids – the building blocks of protein – have sulphur as a component. MSM is currently used for joint problems, as it supports healthy muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Jin Gu Jia Wan (Chinese herbal formula)
Throughout the ages Tai Chi practitioners have used Jin Gu Jia Wan to improve flexibility, and minimize injuries. Jin Gu Jia Wan replenishes the synovial fluids that lubricate the joints, nourish the ligaments and tendons, and facilitate the smooth flow of vital energy (Chi) to the lower extremities.
Guggul, also known as Commiphora mukul and Indian Bedellium, is a very effective herbal medicine that not only promotes a healthier muscle-skeletal system but also helps balance cholesterol.
Shallaki is used in arthritic problems like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, joint pains, and skeletal muscle pain. Shallaki is also known to have anti-cancer properties as well.
One of my favourites, Turmeric has been effectively used for well over 2500 years to help heal and relieve many conditions. A ‘super spice,’ turmeric is long known for its anti-inflammatory properties and proving beneficial in the treatment of many different health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.
- It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.
- When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of existing prostate cancer.
- Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.
- May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.
- Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.
- Is a natural liver detoxifier.
- May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloidal plaque build-up in the brain.
- May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.
- It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but without the side effects.
- Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.
- Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.
- May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.
- Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.
- Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Boosts the effects of chemo-therapy drug Paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.
- Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.
- Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.
- Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumours.
- Speeds up wound healing and assist in remodelling of damaged skin.
- May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.
A favourite ‘almost vegetarian’ recipe of mine with Turmeric
Start off the New Year right with this tasty snack you can serve to your friends and family while giving them the gift of Turmeric and all its qualities!
- 6 cups oyster crackers
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dill
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Place crackers in a large mixing bowl.
- In a small sauce pan boil chicken bouillon in water.
- Add other ingredients to pan and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour about 1/4 of the liquid over the crackers.
- Repeat steps 4 and 5 until crackers are evenly coated.
- Place oyster crackers in a microwave safe bowl.
- Cook in microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- Remove and stir.
- Cook in microwave for another 3 minutes.
- Allow to sit and cool for 5 minutes before serving and enjoy!
Happy New Year to all of our readers, and all of our new readers to come! May this New Year bring you peace and fulfillment which you may then spread to the world.