Posts Tagged inflammation

Cannabis as Medicine: Not a Panacea but still Valuable

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Photo credit: ___ariel___

There are some very passionate supporters of weed out there.  It can cure cancer and relieve pain while freeing your mind.  You could be lead to believe that it is a cure all for nearly everything.  Its understandable that people are passionate about the topic when they do have very good and valid points in the face of a government that just doesn’t seem to get it.  The voice of support has to become louder and more impactful as the frustration mounts.  Believe me, the government gets it, but lobby groups have more power over rational discussion in American politics.  And cannabis certainly has a place in medicine, it just may not quite live up to the hyperbole…but it might.  We should have had a better idea of its medicinal value years ago, had those efforts not been hampered by the legal status of cannabis over the last century.  In this article, I’ll explore what the peer reviewed science currently has to say about the plant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hype and Potential Behind the Therapeutic Promises of Curcumin: From Alzheimer’s to Cystic Fibrosis

turmeric

Turmeric root contains biologically active curcumin.

Turmeric is a root belonging to the ginger family, and like ginger, is used prominently in oriental cuisines.  Owing its yellow color to a compound called curcumin, the root is probably best known as the spice used in curries.  Like its ginger cousin, turmeric has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.  I’m not entirely sure how we know the timeline or how much truth is in that statement.  Nonetheless, I will parrot that as truth since we as humans often have this immutable faith in the supposed medicinal value of things we pull out of the ground.  As it turns out, there does appear to be some real potential medical applications, not with turmeric itself, but with curcumin.  Some of the claims are hype, some of them show a lot of promise with a little more research, and there may actually be some benefit in taking curcumin now.

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High Fructose Corn Syrup is Not Special in the Sugar Debate

high fructose corn syrup label

“I don’t have the time, desire or the need to check every label to see if it contains this one little ingredient.”

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become the latest target in the war against the obesity epidemic.  The very fact that it exists because it is a highly processed corn product makes it ripe for sensationalized headlines like “5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You.”  The name of the product itself makes it sound ominous.  So what is the truth?  Will HFCS kill you and, perhaps, more importantly, is it really anymore dangerous than the thing that it commonly replaces, table sugar?  The short answer is, no.  It is almost exactly the same as regular sugar and is no more harmful than sugar when consumed in amounts that are within or below the recommended dietary guidelines.

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Does Local Honey Help Relieve Seasonal Allergies?

honey-3I know that its that time of year again when I walk outside and immediately start sneezing.  Spring is here in full force and so are my allergies.  Like most seasonal allergy sufferers, I take nasal spray corticosteroids and antihistamine tablets in order to remain in a somewhat functional state.  Honey is a popular natural and alternative remedy for allergies.  Its supposed to provide immunity against allergy causing pollens because the honey itself contains pollen.  Its thought that locally collected honey that is untreated and not pasteurized works best because it contains local pollen as well as enzymes from the bees that aren’t destroyed or lost by heating and filtering.   I’ve experimented with honey myself in an attempt to relieve my symptoms, from raw honey to royal jelly with no luck.  I’m still curious to see what the science has to say about the use of honey to treat allergies even though it doesn’t seem to work for me.

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Ginger May Relieve Arthritis Pain and Inflammation

ginger

Ginger root is one of my new favorite things.

Last year I began having pain in my wrists and fingers making it difficult to use my hands, not only because of the pain but also because the joints would lock up and limit the amount of movement I had with them.  Initially, I thought it was just wear and tear over the years from the gym and playing sports growing up.  Then it started happening in my toes and feet and eventually around my ribs and chest cavity.  Some days I would feel completely fine, while other days I found it difficult to move and could only take shallow breathes due to the pain in my chest when my lungs expanded.  It was getting in the way and making it hard to be productive. Read the rest of this entry »

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