Posts tagged: natural remedies

Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame

Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame In Scientific Trial
Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photos © eyewave, psdesign1 – fotolia.com (under license)

Millions of people take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to treat their arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. There is a need to increase awareness of available natural remedies that are possibly safer, at least as effective, easily accessible, and inexpensive. For one, despite decades of research and thousands of preclinical studies indicating the therapeutic value of turmeric, not many people are aware that the common kitchen spice can serve as a valuable alternative for a number of health conditions. [1]

Turmeric For Osteoarthritis

A recent human study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine clinically confirms the medicinal value of turmeric. Results showed that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract can reduce inflammation in patients who suffer from knee osteoarthritis. [2]

The study was conducted by randomly dividing patients into two groups. One group was assigned to take 25 mg of diclofenac sodium three times a day for four weeks. The other group was asked to take 30 mg of the turmeric extract (curcumonoid) three times daily for the same period of time. Researchers compared the effectivity of curcuminoid extract to that of the drug diclofenac sodium in reducing the secretion of the inflammatory cycloxygenase-2 enzyme by the synovial fluid’s monocytes. [2]

An egg yolk-like liquid, synovial fluid is found within the synovial joints’ cavities. It reduces friction between the articular cartilages during movement. People who suffer from knee osteoarthritis are known to have increased secretion of the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme in their synovial fluid. [2]

Results of the study show that the turmeric’s curcuminoid extract and the NSAID drug diclofenac sodium are both capable of significantly decreasing the secretion of COX-2 enzymes. The two alternatives displayed nearly identical potency. The exact results were as follows:

In curcuminoid group the average scores were 1.84±0.37 and 1.15±0.28 respectively (p<0.001). In diclofenac group the average scores were 1.79±0.38 and 1.12±0.27 respectively (p<0.001). In curcuminoid group the decreasing score of cycloxygenase-2 secretion was 0.70±0.51 while in diclofenac group was 0.67±0.45. There was no significant difference in decreasing the score of cycloxygenase enzyme secretion between both treatment groups (p=0.89). [3]

A Safer Alternative

The study published in the Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine is not the first to confirm turmeric’s efficacy. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2010 revealed that 2,000 mg of turmeric extract works as effectively as 800 mg of ibuprofen in treating symptoms of inflammation and pain. There are hundreds more of studies that confirm the COX-2 reducing and anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric. What makes the more recent study stand out is what it reveals about the safety of choosing turmeric over pharmaceutical anti-inflammatory drugs, which have been linked to adverse health effects, including seizure, miscarriage, and mortality. [1]

One way to compare the relative toxicity of turmeric’s curcumin and the NSAID diclofenac sodium is by considering their Material Safety Data Sheets, which reveal detailed information on their toxicity. Results reveal that there are considerably higher chances of experiencing adverse health effects from diclofenac sodium compared to turmeric. Considering that there are 100 adverse health effects linked to the NSAID drug – and 600 beneficial effects linked to turmeric, this is not a hard choice to make in terms of risk-benefit analysis. [1]

Here’s our video on the health benefits of turmeric:

References:

[1] GreenMedInfo. Turmeric Extract Puts Drugs For Knee Osteoarthritis To Shame. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/turmeric-extract-puts-drugs-knee-osteoarthritis-shame

[2] Acta Medica Indonesiana – The Indonesian Journal of Internal Medicine. Ability of Curcuminoid Compared to Diclofenac Sodium in Reducing the Secretion of Cycloxygenase-2 Enzyme by Synovial Fluid’s Monocytes of Patients with Osteoarthritis. http://www.inaactamedica.org/archives/2012/22745140.pdf

[3] National Center for Biotechnology Information. Ability of curcuminoid compared to diclofenac sodium in reducing the secretion of cycloxygenase-2 enzyme by synovial fluid’s monocytes of patients with osteoarthritis. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22745140

Health Benefits Of Herbs And Spices

Health Benefits Of Herbs And Spices
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com

Here are 7 of the world’s best known herbs and spices, with a few of their noted health benefits according to scientific research:

Cinnamon: Cinnamon can lower blood sugar levels by imitating insulin function and increasing glucose transport into the cells. It can also be used for the treatment of insulin resistance. [1]

Garlic: Allicin is the major active ingredient in garlic that exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties. A study has shown that garlic extract can inhibit fungal infection due to aspergillosis. [2]

Paprika: Paprika has many health beneficial compounds including vitamin A, capsicin, and carotenoid antioxidants that can improve cholesterol level, eye health, and blood sugar levels. The anti-inflammatory effect of paprika is due to capsaicin that binds to receptors on nerve cells to reduce inflammation. [3]

Ginger: Garlic has been used historically to treat motion sickness. A study has reported that ginger effectively reduces nausea, tachygastric activity, and the release of vasopressin, thus preventing and treating motion sickness. [4]

Turmeric: Curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric has an anti-cancer effect. It can kill cancer cells and prevent their growth. [5] It can protect against breast cancer, bowel cancer, and skin cancer.

Oregano: Oregano has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that are mainly attributed to its main active ingredients, carvacrol, and thymol. Various studies have reported the antibacterial effects of oregano against gram-positive bacteria. [6]

Rosemary: Rosemary may provide benefit in the fight against obesity, liver diseases, gastritis, cholesterolemia, bronchial asthma, edemas and even memory loss. These health benefits are attributed to polyphenolic compounds such as rosmarinic and carnosic acid. [7]

Learn More: List of over 200 herbs with full health information: https://www.herbs-info.com/list-of-herbs.html

References:

[1] Jarvill-Taylor, K.J., R.A. Anderson, and D.J. Graves, A hydroxychalcone derived from cinnamon functions as a mimetic for insulin in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. J Am Coll Nutr, 2001. 20(4): p. 327-36. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11506060/

[2] Pai, S.T. and M.W. Platt, Antifungal effects of Allium sativum (garlic) extract against the Aspergillus species involved in otomycosis. Lett Appl Microbiol, 1995. 20(1): p. 14-8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7765862/

[3] Hayman, M. and P.C.A. Kam, Capsaicin: A review of its pharmacology and clinical applications. Current Anaesthesia & Critical Care, 2008. 19(5): p. 338-343. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0953711208000756

[4] Lien, H.C., et al., Effects of ginger on motion sickness and gastric slow-wave dysrhythmias induced by circular vection. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol, 2003. 284(3): p. G481-9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12576305/

[5] Tomeh, M.A., R. Hadianamrei, and X. Zhao, A Review of Curcumin and Its Derivatives as Anticancer Agents. Int J Mol Sci, 2019. 20(5).
6. Saeed, S. and P. Tariq, Antibacterial activity of oregano (Origanum vulgare Linn.) against gram positive bacteria. Pak J Pharm Sci, 2009. 22(4): p. 421-4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30818786/

[6] Saeed, S. and P. Tariq, Antibacterial activity of oregano (Origanum vulgare Linn.) against gram positive bacteria. Pak J Pharm Sci, 2009. 22(4): p. 421-4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19783523/

[7] Loussouarn, M., et al., Carnosic Acid and Carnosol, Two Major Antioxidants of Rosemary, Act through Different Mechanisms. Plant Physiol, 2017. 175(3): p. 1381-1394. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664485/

Four Anti-Inflammatory Spices

Four Anti-Inflammatory Spices
Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com

Cloves: Cloves have antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. The key active ingredient present in cloves is eugenol, which hasantiviral, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. A study has found that cloves inhibit the production of many pro-inflammatory biomarkers, thus helping in infection and chronic inflammation. [1] The study also showed the anti-inflammatory activity of eugenol in human fibroblast and pulp cells.

Turmeric: Turmeric is a spice belonging to the ginger family, that has been used in traditional Indian medicine to treat anorexia, cough, diabetic wounds, arthritis and much more. Turmeric paste is a popular home remedy to treat inflammation and wounds. The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are due to curcumin, the active ingredient found in turmeric. A review of multiple studies has found that curcumin has anti-inflammatory properties and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma has been associated with curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects. [2]

Ginger: Ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds gingerol, shogaol, and zingerone, that function in the same way as anti-inflammatory drugs such as COX-2 inhibitors/NSAIDs. These compounds inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body, thus stopping the inflammation process. A study has found the effectiveness of ginger in the treatment and prevention of allergic reactions [3], thus could be a good remedy for allergic diseases.

Rosemary: Rosemary leaves are used to flavor food and as a folk medicine as antispasmodic, analgesic, and antirheumatic. Rosemary has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are attributed to polyphenolic compounds like cineol, camphene, bornyl acetate, rosmarinic acid, and carnosic acid. A study has shown the anti-inflammatory properties of rosemary in an animal model. [4]

Learn More:

Cloves: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/study-confirms-clove-oil-works-just-as-well-as-orajel-for-dental-pain-relief/

Turmeric: https://www.herbs-info.com/turmeric.html

Ginger: https://www.herbs-info.com/ginger.html

Rosemary: https://herbshealthhappiness.com/rosemary

References:

[1] Han, X. and T.L. Parker, Anti-inflammatory activity of clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) essential oil in human dermal fibroblasts. Pharm Biol, 2017. 55(1): p. 1619-1622. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28407719/

[2] Jacob, A., et al., Mechanism of the Anti-inflammatory Effect of Curcumin: PPAR-gamma Activation. PPAR Res, 2007. 2007: p. 89369. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18274631/

[3] Chen, B.H., et al., Antiallergic potential on RBL-2H3 cells of some phenolic constituents of Zingiber officinale (ginger). J Nat Prod, 2009. 72(5): p. 950-3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19271742/

[4] Takaki, I., et al., Anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects of Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oil in experimental animal models. J Med Food, 2008. 11(4): p. 741-6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19053868/