Posted in health, natural medicine

Turmeric and Ginger

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For those who have been following me since day 1, I have talked about endometriosis a couple of times in the blog. A topic so personal and is never easy for me to open up. After my laparoscopy which was both a diagnostic procedure and an excision, I was told that I have endometriosis 😦

Since then I have been in endless hunt for herbal medicines, homeopathic and natural supplements. Supplement meaning not to replace any prescribed medicine or therapy.

Two distinct ingredients came up – turmeric and ginger.

Interestingly, both have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, ranging from migraines to chronic inflammation and fatigue.

Turmeric & Ginger – Healthline

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From an article by PubMed, turmeric is a plant in the ginger family. Native to Southeast Asia primarily in India. Historically, turmeric was used in Ayurveda and other traditional Indian medical systems, as well as Eastern Asian medical systems such as traditional Chinese medicine. In India, it was traditionally used for disorders of the skin, upper respiratory tract, joints, and digestive system.

It is believed that turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, promoted to be a dietary supplement for various conditions listed below;

  • arthritis
  • chronic inflammation
  • digestive disorders
  • respiratory infections
  • allergies
  • liver disease
  • depression

and even with corona virus, we have heard turmeric’s benefits resurfacing and becoming popular.

The use of natural or alternative medicines has increased rapidly over the years. Here in Cebu particularly, we have a variety of herbal supplements in the local market. Mostly in capsule or tea formula. I have taken quite a few but in my opinion, simple ingredients from our pantry like turmeric and ginger is the most underrated, cheap and readily available ingredients we can start consuming for better health.

Ginger contains many bioactive nutrients from its pungent and spicy property. The primary pungent ingredient that is believed to exert a variety of remarkable pharmacological and physiological activities.

Like turmeric, ginger has several health benefits as follows;

  • immune booster
  • against respiratory tract infections
  • relief from nausea & vomiting
  • antioxidant
  • anti-cancer
  • anti-inflammatory
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Posted in health, health & fitness

Vitamin C & Health

Vitamin C, or technically L-ascorbic acid, is an essential water soluble vitamin known to exhibit antioxidant properties.

It is the most famous of all vitamins and was discovered in 1932 when scurvy killed 2 million sailors between year 1500-1800. Unlike most animals, humans are unable to synthesize vitamin C so it is considered to be an essential nutrient.

Roles of Vitamin C

  • protects cells and keep them healthy
  • biosynthesis of collagen, l-carnitine and certain neurotransmitters
  • involves in protein metabolism
  • wound healing
  • powerful antioxidant
  • promotes iron absorption

Benefits

  • boosts immunity
  • neutralize free radicals
  • help manage high blood pressure
  • lower risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, cardiovascular diseases, chronic diseases
  • reduced risk of gastric cancer and other cancers
  • may reduce blood uric acid levels and help prevent gout attacks
  • prevents cataract
  • protects memory and thinking
  • prevents plaque formation

Deficiency

  • bone pain
  • fatigue
  • lethargy
  • easy bruising
  • anemia
  • scurvy
  • gum disease
  • mood changes
  • general malaise

Humans depend on external or dietary sources of vitamin C to cover requirements. The following is the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C.

AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
0–6 months40 mg*40 mg*
7–12 months50 mg*50 mg*
1–3 years15 mg15 mg
4–8 years25 mg25 mg
9–13 years45 mg45 mg
14–18 years75 mg65 mg80 mg115 mg
19+ years90 mg75 mg85 mg120 mg
SmokersIndividuals who smoke require 35 mg/day
more vitamin C than nonsmokers.
https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Due to its function as an antioxidant and its role in immune function, vitamin C has been promoted as a means to help prevent and/or treat numerous health conditions. Supplements are most common in the form of ascorbic acid. which has equivalent bioavailability to that of naturally occurring ascorbic acid in foods, such as orange juice and broccoli. Other forms of vitamin C supplements include sodium ascorbate; calcium ascorbate; other mineral ascorbates; ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids.

You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need by eating a well balanced diet. But due to lifestyle and busy schedule and vitamin c being water soluble meaning heat sensitive -you may not meet the daily requirement and opt for supplements. Please keep in mind the dosage and talk to a health professional for further advice.

Continue reading “Vitamin C & Health”
Posted in health, health & fitness, natural medicine, women’s health

herbal supplements for Endometriosis

As promised, the following are the supplements I’ve been taking to alleviate symptoms and perhaps improve health. They’re either recommended or result of extensive research. Endo-sufferers may acquire some benefits from taking one of these supplements.

Ashwagandha (withania somniferia)

– may rhyme to that of black panther’s beloved homeland. It is an Indian herb and known to be a potent Ayurvedic medicine with many healthy benefits. Read previous post – The anti-stress Adaptogens

ashwagandha-plant_1024x

– Used for more than 2500 years, it is known as the “strength of the stallion” because it is traditionally used to strengthen the immune system and also referred to as the Indian Ginseng. I take this in capsule form since it is more practical than consuming it as food.

Cranberry

– became my instant favorite fruit/supplement. And here’s why; helps improve immune function, decreased blood pressure, high in vitamins C, A and K, prevent cancer, lower risk of Urinary Tract Infection aaand half a cup contains only 25 calories. I usually add it in baking oatmeal cookies or drink store-bought organic cranberry juice. Also a great healthy snack as trail mix – combine with nuts like almonds, pistachios or hazelnuts, oats and other dried fruits.

food healthy red fruits
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite Pexels.com

Chasteberry (vitex agnus-cactus)

– This herb provides a precise indication which is to ease Endometriosis symptoms. A Mediterranean and Central Asia native, this tiny berry (as small as peppercorns) alleviates PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome) symptoms, increase lactation, and treat menstrual symptoms while balancing hormones. It’s said, that effect will take months to be noticeable.

chaste-berry
herbal health

 – perhaps, a separate post is needed for the advantages of taking chasteberry/vitex.

Evening primrose Oil

– from the seed of primrose hence the name, used by pregnant women to prevent high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), shorten labor and prevent late deliveries. It is also used for PMS, breast pain, and most importantly endometriosis.

Image result for evening primrose oil
aloha.com

– Essential fatty acids are necessary in bodily functions but our bodies can’t produce them. Evening primrose oil contains “essential fatty acids” which is the building block for cell membranes and other hormones. Essential fatty acids also seem to help decrease inflammation related to conditions such as arthritis and eczema.

Raspberry

– I discovered this in tea bags from a local herb store while buying other supplements I mentioned above. This tastes so good and has many health benefits, too. It boosts fertility in women, aids the immune system, protects the heart, supports faster metabolism (ooh, I like!) and regulates hormones.

white ceramic cup on white saucer
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– the tea is made from dried raspberry leaves and has a bunch of vitamins and antioxidants, including vitamins B, C, & E, potassium, iron and magnesium. So this tea, aside from its health benefits on women is also good for men and their cardiovascular health. Like peppermint, this tea is beneficial for those suffering from cold, flu, psoriasis, eczema, acne, obesity, indigestion and constipation.

Spirulina

– yes, one of my favourites in the list and will also make a separate detailed post on this. Alongside chlorella, is the most talked about superfoods because of its powerful nutrition-packed profile. Believed to boost the immune system and detoxes heavy metals (especially arsenic), prevents cancer, reduces bad cholesterol and lowers blood pressure.

 spirulinabackground

Taking these supplements may require more validation by research and studies, but it has proven to be helpful in my case. There’s no harm in trying, in fact nature is the best physician. We might as well believe in these herbs God has blessed us, to help us and ease our sufferings.

 

“nature itself, is the best physician.”

– hippocrates

 

 

Sources/Further readings;

https://draxe.com/ashwagandha-benefits/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/269142.php

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/chasteberry

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-1006/evening-primrose-oil

https://aloha.com/magazine/articles/5-benefits-of-evening-primrose-oil

 

 

 

 

Posted in health, health & fitness, women’s health

My Endometriosis Story: Post Op

God decided to do certain things in a certain way,

and why He did this is a secret known only to Him.

– Paulo Coelho

Pre – operation, I would have diarrhea and extreme lower back pain every menstrual period. The reason for this was explained later on by the laparoscopy procedure done to me. They found out that my posterior uterus adhered to the intestines already. And you could imagine the monthly agony I went through, I felt like dying every time. Area/s affected by endometriosis will most likely manifest symptoms of pain & discomfort yet some cases I read are asymptomatic (oh lucky them!)

To simplify its definition – Our womb (uterus) is where a baby grows when pregnant. Endometriosis is a disease in which the kind of tissue that grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus.

Our womb (uterus) is where a baby grows when pregnant.

Endometriosis is a disease in which the kind of tissue that grows inside the uterus grows outside the uterus.

The procedure provided a great relief but it was short-lived. For new findings of cysts, adenomyosis and enlargement of uterus were seen recently as bleeding becomes heavy again. I regret relying on the temporary relief of surgery. I thought that was it and oblivious of what could have been a chance for me to be healthy-er.

Many studies showed that unhealthy diet, chemicals and environmental pollution, lifestyle and mostly stress, compounded over time are the culprits behind our afflictions. Though there is no clear explanation for the cause of this illness, I believe that I’m guilty on the “work-related” stress, environmental factors and unhealthy eating which brought me to this present state of health.

it’s not too late…

There’s hope.

About a month ago, I become a member of Endometriosis Philippines Group, and it’s heartwarming to belong to a group that knows exactly what you’re going through, to have an advocacy and bring awareness to this disease.

Next post I will share the medicines, supplements, homeopathic medicines and vitamins I took or currently taking, which provided relief or just a waste of money. Of course, my body’s reaction can be entirely different from yours.

herbal supplements for Endometriosis

Still hoping to help other Endo-sufferers.

Thanks for your time.

mitch.e

 

Learn more:

My Endometriosis Story: Journey through Pain 

What is Endometriosis, signs and symptoms (UCLA-ObGyn)

Endometriosis- Symptoms and Causes by Mayo Clinic

16 Endometriosis Symptoms www.medicinenet.com

Our group – Endometriosis Philippines Discussion Group