Bad giants & healthy alternatives

Before I start writing anything, I just want to point out that any of the treatments/aids/remedies etc that I have found are for informative purposes.  It’s sometimes sad that one has to re-iterate such things, but I am not a medical practitioner, I am just someone who suffers chronic pain working my way down what seems like a long winding path to find things that might help me in some way, so please don’t stop doing what the doctor ordered and take as gospel that what works for me will for you, or in fact what doesn’t work for me,  won’t work for you because it might.

With all things however, treatments, whether complimentary or alternative might ‘suit’ someone and not another, it’s all down to the person who is seeking and also down to the therapist.  You can have 10 therapists performing the same therapy but they all feel different.

So, if someone helps ‘me’ I will say that, it doesn’t necessarily mean it will help you, but in my mind’s eye all information is good and you never know it ‘might’ tip the balance one way or another.

I have now had 3 zero balancing sessions, which I will cover in another post.

During this session my spleen ‘area’ came up as very painful and has done each time.

Cinnamon, turmeric & ginger
Cinnamon, turmeric & ginger

The therapist recommended me a concoction of herbs to mix together, to put one teaspoon of this in a mug of boiled water, stir, then leave to settle, then drink, twice a day.

The mixture was as follows:

Equal measures of

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
The spicy concoction
The spicy concoction

I am to have 1 teaspoon of them mixed in tea, twice a day.  I have indeed tried this now, I admit with some hesitation.  It smells quite nice.  The taste is slightly warm/tingly on the tongue, I havn’t finished the whole cup yet, it’s not something you would down in one go let’s put it that way.  As for effects that will have to be on another post.

Though the therapist talked about the benefits of the spices, it made me want to do a little research on them, and this is what I found.

Ginger

It is a herb, used as a spice; interestingly it is part of the zingiberaceae family as are cardamom, turmeric and galangal, turmeric being one of the other spices used in this tea.

Warming ginger
Warming ginger

Ginger is said to help with:

  • Treats loss of appetite
  • Anti inflammatory due to it having compound called gingerols
  • Immune boosting
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Flatulence, stomach upset, colic, morning sickness
  • Some finds helps with upper respiratory tract infection, i.e. bronchitis
  • Menstrual cramps
  • Arthritis
  • Muscle pain
  • Some use topically to treat burns
  • Ginger contains a chemical that is used as an ingredient in antacid, laxative & anti gas medications
  • Reduction in the inflammation markers in the colon, click link for info as proved by this study
  • Muscle pain caused by exercise reduced by as much as 25% , click link for info
  • Nausea caused by chemotherapy, click link for info
  • Ovarian cancer, click link for info
  • Asthma symptoms, click link for info
  • Liver damage caused by acetaminophen (Tylenol), click link for info
  • High blood pressure, click link for info
  • Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), click link for info
  • Migraines, click link for info

There are some precautions as with anything to be regarded with ginger, click here

Turmeric

Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has long been used for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties in both Chinese and Indian systems of medicine.

Turmeric
Turmeric

Turmeric is said to help with:

  • A strong anti-inflammatory
  • Flatulence
  • Jaundice
  • Menstrual difficulties
  • Bloody urine
  • Haemorrhage
  • Toothache
  • Bruises
  • Chest pain
  • Colic
  • It has been tested for its benefits on bowel disease, such as chrons
  • It has also been tested for relief for rheumatoid arthritis
  • There are tests for its effectiveness for cystic fibrosis sufferers
  • There are also tests to survey its effectiveness in cancer prevention
  • It improves liver function
  • Cardiovascular protection by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol in the body.
  • Protection against Alzheimers
  • A strong anti-oxidant
  • Cleanses one skin

Good websites to look at:

Organic India

The world’s healthiest foods

Body+soul

Mother Nature Network

You will find possible side effects & warnings listed here on WebMD

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the branches of wild tress that belong to the genus “Cinnamomum”.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon

There are two types of cinnamon

  • Cinnamomum verum (Ceylon cinnamon), most commonly used in the Western world.
  • Cinnamomum aromaticum(Cassia cinnamon or Chinese cinnamon), which originates from southern China, is typically less expensive than Ceylon cinnamon.

Cinnamon is said to help with:

  • Treating muscle spasms, for info click here
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Colds
  • Loss of appetite
  • IBS
  • Stomach bug/flu
  • Arthritis/Osteoporosis
  • Alertness, memory & cognitive development
  • ED (erectile dysfunction)
  • It may lower blood sugar levels in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, click here for info
  • Fungal infections, click here for info
  • Alzheimer’s disease, click here for info
  • HIV, click here for info
  • Multiple sclerosis, click here for info
  • Lower the negative effects of high fat meals, click here for info
  • Natural food preserve
  • Contains fiber, calcium, iron and manganese in small amounts
  • Yeast infections

Useful websites are:

Care2

Cinnamon Vogue

The world’s healthiest foods

You will find possible side effects listed on WebMD

So as you can see it is literally like a shopping list of possible benefits.  I think as long as you are aware of any side effects and interactions it is worth a try, what does one have to lose.

The quality of the spice obviously also makes a difference, the purer the better & organic.

I now go back to my spleen and try to relate why these specific spices would help in that area, apart from the areas of benefit I have already found through writing this article.

The only way I can find out why she recommended this for my spleen is to learn a little about my spleen, or the spleen.  So if you are interested carry on reading please.

What is the spleen?

The spleen
The spleen

It is an abdominal organ involved in the production and removal of blood cells, therefore forming part of the immune system.

It is similar in structure to a large lymph node and acts primarily as a blood filter.  The spleen removes old red blood cells and holds a reserve of blood which can be useful for hemorrhagic shock and it also recycles iron.

It also synthesizes antibodies in its white pulp and removes antibodies by way of blood and lymph node circulation.

I can clearly see now where the 3 spices mentioned replicate the benefits that the spleen provides and in turn I imagine would help the spleen.

The spices also hold a whole wealth of other benefits that to me personally are of interest so I am quite keen to continue with this concoction even though my tongue is getting warmer as we speak and see what if any benefits I might get.

I did however have an interesting conversation with two people, namely the therapist who used to be a pharmacist and a great friend who happens to work within the NHS who deals in approval and management of research and clinical trials (including trials being run by Pharmaceutical Companies).

It was mentioned that it has been proven that certain spices i.e. turmeric have been proven to be more effective in giving anti inflammatory effects than for example ibuprofen.  When I questioned this, I was told that the drug companies that produce i.e. ibuprofen are well aware of the spice benefits but it is not ‘within their interest financially’ to promote such a thing, that far more money is to be made out of promoting drugs to the public.

I am not saying that there are no benefits in drugs whatsoever, but I also know that certain drugs cause other symptoms which then end up being problems to the consumer.

For instance my cousin has taken ibuprofen for on and off back pain for quite some time.  She has suffered stomach problems and after a CT scan and camera down her throat she has gastritis caused by the drugs.

The specialist told her that no one should take Ibuprofen long term.  Of course this started to worry me.  Why?  Because I went to my local GP just a few weeks ago to ask about this very same thing.  The fact I am swollen, uncomfortable etc and asked as to the long term safety of taking these drugs.  I was told that it was fine; this was after he looked up the effects on the screen.

So as you can imagine, now having the information on the spices above, I am even keener to try them and see how it works for me.  I am not just going to stop taking my daily medication.  However having gone from never ever touching a pill to carrying what feels like a trunk around with me daily full of varying shapes and colours of drugs I would like to reduce or eventually come off them.

However, yes, I am scared, very scared, but I know I need to try and at least face these demons.

Going back to my interesting conversation on Pharmaceutical Companies, which I might mention are now big big business within the UK where I live.

It was also said that it was common knowledge that during the testing of various drugs which the Pharmaceutical Companies have to do in order to get their product out on the general market, if a study comes up with a negative report, they are tucked away not to be reported.

Most shockingly I was also told, the Companies take out patents on their drugs, suing the ass of anyone who tries to make the same drug under a different name.

Why does this matter, I hear you ask perhaps?

It does matter, because imagine 3rd world countries, who cannot afford these drugs, yet might have the opportunity to make the same drug under a different name in their country, they are not allowed, yet they cannot afford necessary medication from the Pharmaceutical Giants!!

Is that morally right?

There is a book written, called Bad Pharma on the antics of the Pharmaceutical Companies if you have enjoyed any of this you might like to take a read, the details are: Bad Pharma by Ben Goldcare @ amazon.co.uk

Zero balancing to come later, watch this space!

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