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Let food be your medicine

 

 

 A-Z of health issues

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Natural relief from pain and inflammation

Pain and inflammation is the body's natural response to make a person aware there is an adverse condition developing that needs immediate attention and should not be ignored. Dulling pain by the use of pain medications without resolving the underlying root cause can lead to more serious damage. The diet is particularly important as many foods contain compounds that are either inflammatory or anti-inflammatory.

There are many seemingly healthy foods that can cause an inflammatory response in some people. This could be due to food allergies, genetics, a sedentary lifestyle or over indulgence of certain other foods.

Foods that can cause pain and inflammation

  • Alcohol can cause joint pain and inflammation and attacks the nerve endings in the body. Beer is high in purine that the body converts to uric acid, which can cause inflammation. Also, beer is made with gluten, so it is best to avoid it when suffering from joint pain.

  • Aspartame, a nutrient free artificial sweetener triggers an inflammatory response. Check labels of all foods as it can be added to any type of processed foods and drinks and even savoury products.

  • Eggs, especially the yolks, contain arachidonic acid that leads to the production of prostaglandins which trigger inflammation in the body. They also contain saturated fats.

  • Dairy products: Saturated fats in full-fat dairy products like milk, butter and cheese can trigger adipose or fat-tissue inflammation, which in turn increases pain. The high level of protein casein in dairy products also triggers inflammation and pain.

  • Meat: Processed meat and red meat contain nitrites, purines and saturated fats that can increase inflammation and pain in the body. Red meat-derived glycan promotes the development of systemic inflammation and cancer progression. Avoid bacon, ham and sausages especially salami etc. Avoid duck, goose, lamb and pork as they are high in saturated fats. Consume more oily fish instead to benefit from the omega-3 fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory.

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is a flavour-enhancing food additive with preservative properties most commonly found in packaged foods like potato chips, frozen snacks, frozen dinners, canned and frozen Chinese foods, salad dressings and soups. MSG can trigger inflammation and pain in the body, including the joints. Avoid premade and processed foods as much as possible.

  • Refined grains: Refined grains and flour are high-glycaemic index foods that trigger the production of advanced glycation end-products that stimulate inflammation. Choose whole grains and brown rice and avoid wheat which contains gluten that may cause pain and inflammation in some people. Amaranth, quinoa, oat, coconut and rice flours are excellent alternatives.

  • Salt: Refined salt contains additives and chemicals such as ferrocyanide and aluminosilicate to make it free-flowing and this can affect fluid levels in the body. It is also void of the minerals that existed in the salt before it was processed. Minerals are stripped out of table salt to achieve high profits in industries that require these minerals. Himalayan pink salt crystals have these minerals required to avoid inflammation and pain and do not contain the plastic that has now been found in sea salt.

  • Sugar: High amounts of sugar increase the level of AGEs in the body that cause inflammation. In addition, sugar triggers the release of inflammatory agents called cytokines in the body.

  • Whey protein products can promote inflammation and joint pain due to the gluten and casein found in them.

Omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids

Although omega-6 fatty acids reduce bone loss associated with osteoporosis, help to improve psoriasis and eczema and lower serum cholesterol levels, omega-6 (linoleic acid) is inflammatory whilst omega-3 (linolenic acid) is anti-inflammatory. It has been reported that the human body ideally needs a balance of 3 or 4:1 of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. However, the western diet is predominantly rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp seed is the only natural food that provides this perfect balance. Flaxseeds, almonds, corn oil, soybean, walnuts and olive oil do not contain this correct balance and can lead to an unhealthy imbalance if consumed daily.

Highest sources of linoleic acid in alphabetical order

  • Amaranth

  • Black seeds

  • Brazil nuts

  • Buckwheat

  • Eggs

  • Chia seeds

  • Coconut and coconut oil

  • Corn oil

  • Cottonseed oil

  • Evening primrose oil

  • Grape seed oil

  • Maqui berries

  • Pecans

  • Pine nuts

  • Poppy seed oil

  • Poultry

  • Safflower oil

  • Salicornia oil

  • Sesame seeds and oil

  • Soya bean oil and other products

  • Spirulina

  • Sunflower oil

  • Whole grains

The way to counteract this and reduce pain and inflammation in the body is to consume more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Take extra fish oil to alleviate joint pain as it also contains vitamin D which is helpful to joint pain.

Highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids in milligrams per 100 grams

  • Krill oil 36000 mg

  • Chia seeds 17552 mg

  • Caviar (fish eggs) 6789 mg

  • Cloves (ground) 4279 mg

  • Oregano (dried) 4180 mg

  • Marjoram (dried) 3230 mg

  • Tarragon (dried) 2955 mg

  • Mackerel 2670 mg

  • Herring 2365 mg

  • Salmon (wild) 2018 mg

  • Lamb 1610 mg

  • Basil (dried) 1509 mg

  • Sardines 1480 mg

  • Anchovies 1478 mg

  • Trout 1068 mg

  • Pecans, sea bass 986 mg

  • Pine nuts 787 mg

  • Bell peppers (green) 770 mg

  • Oysters 740 mg

  • Radish seeds sprouted 722 mg

  • Purslane 400 mg

  • Basil (fresh leaves) 316 mg

  • Rabbit 220 mg

  • Kidney beans 194 mg

  • Wakame seaweed 188 mg

  • Alfalfa sprouts 175 mg

  • Brussel sprouts 173 mg

  • Rocket 170 mg

  • Cauliflower 167 mg

  • Spinach 138 mg

  • Broccoli 129 mg

  • Raspberries 126 mg

  • Lettuce 113 mg

  • Blueberries 94 mg

  • Summer squash 82 mg

  • Strawberries 65 mg

  • Milk 75 mg

  • Eggs 74 mg

  • Chinese cabbage (pak choy) 55 mg

  • Parsnips 49 mg

Components that cause allergies in some people leading to pain and inflammation

It is wise to try an elimination diet of the potential food allergens listed below to see if there is any improvement in pain and inflammation. This can be a long process as it can take just a few days or, in some cases, up to three months to see any improvement.

  • A1 casein protein in cow's milk and dairy products.

  • Artificial food additives and flavours

  • Benzoates are widely used food preservatives, with an E number of E211.

  • FODMAPS: carbohydrate intolerance

  • Glycoalkaloids and steroid alkaloids: Aubergine, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes belong to the nightshade (Solanaceae) family that contain inflammation inducing alkaloids and, although not truly nightshades, ashwaganda, blueberries, goji berries and huckleberries also share the same alkaloids. Many  who  suffer with arthritis or an arthritis related disease such as fibromyalgia, lupus, rheumatism and other musculoskeletal pain disorders, have found that consuming foods that contain glycoalkaloids worsens their pain. Some homeopathic remedies, prescriptions, over the counter medications as well as numerous processed foods contain nightshades so administration of these must be discussed with the health care provider so that they too can be eliminated.

  • Gluten in barley, rye, spelt and wheat.

  • Isothiocyanate (mustard gas) produced by cruciferous (brassica) sulphur-containing vegetables is known to trigger allergies and outbreaks of pemphigus.

  • Lactose in cow's milk and dairy products

  • Lectins in beans, dairy products (when cows are fed grains), grains, some nuts and seeds and vegetables from the nightshade family.

  • Mono-sodium glutamate (MSG) found in Chinese food, kombu, miso, soybean milk (naturally high in glutamate and often has hydrolysed vegetable protein added to it) and soy sauces.

  • Nitrites and nitrates are not dangerous, but they can react with other compounds found in food or in the body to form carcinogenic compounds called nitrosamines. These reactions are more likely to occur in the presence of protein, which is why preserved meats can be problematical. The formation of nitrosamines is less likely in the presence of vitamin C which is found in vegetables. In early life nitrate-rich foods can cause blue baby disease (methemoglobinemia). They are fine for babies over four months of age, but spinach and beetroot should be fed in moderation until the infant reaches the age of one year.

  • Phenols are used as synthetic preservatives and known to trigger allergies and outbreaks of pemphigus.

  • Pimaricin, also known as Natacyn or Natamycin, is a naturally occurring antifungal agent produced during fermentation by the Streptomyces natalensis bacteria commonly found in soil and has the E number E2325. It is used to prevent mould and fungal growths on some dairy and sausage products in some countries.

  • Salicylates found in many cosmetic products ingredients, medications and fruits and vegetables.

  • Sorbic acid and its salts, such as sorbic acid (E200), sodium sorbate (e201), potassium sorbate (e203) and calcium sorbate (e203) are antimicrobial agents often used as preservatives in food and drinks to prevent the growth of fungi, moulds and yeast in some breads, cheese and meats.

  • Sulphites (sulfites) are preservatives used in many foods, cosmetics and prescribed drugs.

  • Tannins, found in many foods, are known to trigger allergies and outbreaks of pemphigus.

  • Thiols, found in some sulphur-containing foods such as brassicas, beans, nuts and some seeds, are known to trigger allergies and outbreaks of pemphigus.

Bone and joint pain

Often, pain in the joints and bones is through previous trauma or over use but it can also be because of nutrient deficiencies in the diet. Certain medications such as 'statins' can cause debilitating pains in the bones and joints.

When bone and joint pain occurs, rest and a diet rich in the full range of nutrients, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids is essential. Gentle stretching exercises, warm baths and cold ice packs can alleviate inflammation. Taking pain killers and continuing to be active will only worsen the problem. Nutrient deficiencies especially vitamin D and calcium can cause bone density to be reduced.

Low back pain could be a tight or shortened psoas. (pronounced: So-as). The psoas is a hip flexor located deep in the abdomen attaching the femur to the pelvis and lumbar spine. The lumbosacral nerve plexus runs through it. Prolonged sitting and lack of exercise can shorten the psoas. When an individual stands after sitting for a while, the shortened psoas pulls the lumbar spine forward into increased lordosis (sway back). A stiff, achy or painful low back and sciatic pain is often a result. Light stretching exercises can help to eliminate this pain and avoiding sitting for too long can prevent it.

Boswellia (Boswellia serrata, Indian frankincense) is a tree with fragrant resin that has powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties that can rapidly alleviate pain especially that caused by osteoarthritis. In the case of people affected by arthritis, Boswellia is able to improve pain, mobility and joint flexibility after eight weeks of treatment.

Cat's claw (Uncaria tomentosa) has compounds that have been proven to have powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties and is a natural remedy that can help with joint and bone pain.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) is a rich source of nutrients like potassium, iron and vitamins A, B, C and D. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties that make it effective in dealing arthritic pain. Dandelion is believed to be effective in dealing with symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism and other chronic joint pain conditions as this herb is capable of flushing toxins that causes the joints and muscles to inflame. Also, it plays a vital role in reducing the level of uric acid in the body which results to reduced pain and stiffness in the joints and increased joint mobility and can help to relieve symptoms of gout.

Devil's claw: Found abundantly in South Africa, devil's claw has long been used by traditional societies in treating a number of arthritic symptoms. Uncaria guianensis, a species of devil's claw helps people with osteoarthritis by relieving knee pain when active and it is known to be effective at reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. The secret of devil's claw is found on its secondary root which contains harpagosides which provides anti-inflammatory effects. In a study published at Rheumatology Journal, it was revealed that the use of devil's claw extract is as effective as many kinds of anti-inflammatory drugs without the side-effects.

Find more natural remedies: Bone and Joint Disorders

Bursitis

Bursitis is the inflammation of one or more bursae (small sacs) of synovial fluid in the body. The bursae rest at the points where internal functionaries, such as muscles and tendons, slide across bone. Healthy bursae create a smooth, almost frictionless functional gliding surface making normal movement painless. When bursitis occurs, however, movement relying upon the inflamed bursa becomes difficult and painful. Movement of tendons and muscles over the inflamed bursa aggravates its inflammation, perpetuating the problem and muscles can become stiffened.

The common stinging nettle is a good remedy to prevent and relieve the symptoms of bursitis.

Cramps

Causes of cramps in the legs

  • Failure to stretch foot muscles daily.

  • Flat feet.

  • Foot problems such as sore feet.

  • Improper footwear.

  • Mineral and vitamin deficiencies

  • Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency

  • Prescribed drugs

  • A low level of sodium in the blood maybe due to sweating of diarrhoea.

Causes of cramps in other parts of the body including the feet and legs

Muscle cramps can be caused by vitamin deficiency, especially vitamin E, drugs, intense exercise,  lactic acid, dehydration or low levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium or sodium. These involuntary muscle spasms can also be caused by incorrect signals from the brain known as dystonia. It is a case of elimination to find the cause of repetitive cramps.

Polymyalgia rheumatica is an inflammatory condition that causes muscular aches, cramps, pain and stiffness. Any muscles can be affected, but it mainly affects the shoulder and thigh. It can start at any age from 50 onwards but mainly affects people over the age of 60. Women are affected more  often than men and it affects about one in 2,000 people. Relief from this condition can be gained by making sure that the adrenal glands are making sufficient steroid hormones.

 

The first step is to cut out sugar, caffeine (found in coffee, tea and cola) and nicotine to reduce the stress being placed upon the adrenals. The next step is to boost the level of steroid hormone production. Pantethine, which is manufactured in the body from vitamin B5, plus vitamin B6 is essential for the proper functioning of the adrenal glands and for the production of natural steroids, called glucocorticoids. Many of the Nature Cures for cramps below also relieve pain and inflammation and can be of great benefit when suffering from polymyalgia rheumatic.

Drugs that cause cramps

A common side effect of many prescription drugs is to cause cramps. For example, diuretics that are taken for high blood pressure or heart disorders can cause an imbalance of potassium and magnesium levels which can lead to cramps. Cholesterol is required for the body to make vitamin D and vitamin D is required for proper calcium absorption and thyroid function, therefore drugs which lower the body’s level of cholesterol can interfere with levels of vitamin D and calcium which can lead to muscle pain and cramps. Some examples of drugs that can cause cramps are:

  • Albuterol, Proventil and Ventolin (all used to treat asthma)

  • Donepezil (used for Alzheimer’s disease)

  • Furosemide (a diuretic)

  • Lovastatin (used to lower cholesterol)

  • Neostigmine (used for myasthenia gravis)

  • Raloxifene (used to prevent osteoporosis)

  • Tolcapone (used for Parkinson’s disease)

Medications which deplete or block absorption of vitamin A, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) or zinc can lead to diminished levels of a vital amino acid called taurine in the body and this can lead to muscle cramps. To find out more about these important nutrients and the highest natural food sources follow these links:

To find out the importance of each nutrient and the highest natural food sources  follow the links below:

Check that medications are not the cause of muscle cramps by asking the doctor for an alternative and see if the cramps go away. See Medications

Cramps that happen during the night have not been explained by scientists but dehydration or an imbalance of the electrolytes calcium, magnesium and potassium are a common cause. See below for natural foods containing these important minerals.

 

When to seek emergency medical attentiuon

 

In most cases there is no need for concern, however, if any of the following also applies a professional health practitioner should be seen as soon as possible:

When any of the above applies it could be a sign of appendicitis, bacterial or viral infection, heart problems, intestinal blockage, kidney malfunction, miscarriage or possibly even cancer so it should be taken seriously and not ignored. Cramps that are recurrent and localised to one muscle group may suggest nerve root disease.

 

Natural remedies for cramps, pain and inflamation

Tips to prevent cramps

  • Always do warm-up exercises before intense physical activity.

  • Avoiding acid forming foods from the nightshade family such as aubergines, bell peppers, tomatoes and white potatoes when suffering from repetitive cramps.

  • Cut out processed, refined and sugary foods and unnecessary drugs and cut down on alcohol and coffee.

  • Drink six glasses of filtered of bottled mineral water per day and always drink the last glass before going to sleep to keep the body hydrated overnight.

  • Ensure that the diet includes all colours of vegetables and fruits during the week to ensure there is adequate mineral and vitamin intake.

  • Have a full blood count test done by the health practitioner to check for any nutrient deficiencies. Ask for a print out of your blood test results to keep a personal record.

  • If suffering from stomach cramps try removing milk or wheat from the diet as this could be due to lactose or gluten intolerance.

  • Including fermented and probiotic foods in the diet such as brine pickles, kimchi, Kombucha, miso soup, sauerkraut and plain yoghurt with live cultures can help to relieve many types of cramps as it replaces the beneficial bacteria in the stomach which are responsible for manufacturing nutrients and keeping infections away.

  • Menstrual cramps are very common and can be very painful. Relief can be gained from consuming sour cherries or a 1/4 teaspoon of both nutmeg and unrefined sea salt or Himalayan pink salt crystals in a large glass of bottled mineral water.

  • Never go swimming after eating a full meal.

  • Raw juice therapy can help to prevent and relieve cramps. The best natural foods to juice are: beetroot, carrot, celery, cucumber, ginger, grapefruit, lemon, lettuce, lime, pineapple, sour apple and sour cherry.

  • If suffering from stomach cramps try removing milk or wheat from the diet as the cramping may be due to lactose or gluten intolerance.

  • Stretching and non-weight bearing exercises can help to prevent cramp.

  • Take the time to relax when eating a meal. Make sure to chew food well and do not drink liquids with meals as this dilutes the stomach acid and can lead to digestive disorders and improper breakdown of nutrients.

Nutrients that can prevent cramp, pain and inflammation

 

To find out the highest natural sources of each nutrient listed follow the blue links.

 

Actin is a cellular protein which is involved in muscular contraction, cellular movement and maintenance of cell shape and it also maintains the integrity of muscles.

 

Alanine, also known as 3-aminopropionic acid, is an amino acid that combines with histidine to help form carnosine. Alanine elevates carnosine concentration in muscles and is useful in preventing cramps for individuals participating in sports which require explosive actions.

 

Anthocyanins are as effective as ibuprofen and naproxen at suppressing the inflammation-associated enzyme known as cyclooxygenase-1 and 2.

 

Arginine is used by the body to make nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes the blood vessels which can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. Arginine also combines with another amino acid, glycine, to produce creatine which is involved in muscle contraction. A deficiency of this nutrient could lead to muscle cramps and it is especially important for children.

 

Omega-3 fatty acids help the body absorb nutrients, smooth muscle cell proliferation and can supply energy for extended periods of physical activity which can prevent muscle cramps.

 

Ornithine is a non-essential amino acid which is involve with the production of the growth hormones which are needed to build and maintain muscle, especially during intense physical training and lack of this nutrient can lead to muscle cramps.

 

Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)  helps reduce the frequency of migraine headaches.

 

Vitamin B4 (adenine) A deficiency of adenine can lead to headaches and muscle cramps.

 

Vitamin B5, (pantothenic acid) is vital for good muscle function and a lack of this vitamin can lead to ‘burning feet’ syndrome and cramps.

 

Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is vital for the balance of potassium and sodium in the body and therefore a deficiency of it in the diet can lead to cramps. It also useful for balancing hormones and can help to prevent cramps during menstruation.

 

Vitamin B7 (biotin or vitamin H) can help to prevent muscle pain and cramps when in adequate supply.

 

Vitamin B8 (inositol) acts as an analgesic for pain control. Deficiency can be caused by alcohol and coffee which block absorption of inositol. Antibiotics and many other medications and recreational drugs block B vitamins and vital co-factors like inositol from being absorbed. Stress and intense exercise uses up all nutrients (especially the B-group vitamins and their co-factors) at a much faster rate.

 

Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) A major function of vitamin B12 involves its participation in the development of nerve cells. A coating which encloses the nerves, called the myelin sheath, forms less successfully whenever B12 is deficient. Although the vitamin plays an indirect role in this process, consumption of foods rich in vitamin B12 has been shown to be effective in relieving pain and other symptoms in a variety of nervous system disorders. Low levels of vitamin B12 can result in a sore tongue, weakness, fatigue, weight loss, back pain, lethargy and apathy.

 

Vitamin B15 (pangamic acid) can reduce the build-up of lactic acid in athletes, hence, lessening muscle fatigue and cramps. Natural foods rich in this vitamin include: apricot kernels, beef blood, Brewer's yeast, brown rice, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and whole grains.

 

Vitamin B16 (dimethylamino acetic acid) can reduce lactic acid build-up in the blood during strenuous exercise or stressful events hence preventing cramps in the muscles. Natural foods that contain this vitamin include: Brewer's yeast, brown rice, buckwheat,  lamb, legumes, liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and whole grains.

 

Vitamin D (secosteroids) is required because it increases the absorption of calcium and is involved with proper thyroid gland function and a deficiency of this vitamin can cause muscle twitching and cramps. The skin can make vitamin D from sunlight but this will not take place for those who cover their skin or wear sun block or through a window. In the northern hemisphere the sun is too weak during October to April for this process to take place therefore, in all these cases, natural foods containing vitamin D should be added more often to the diet such as: aloe vera, aubergine, carp fish, cheese, cod liver oil, eel, eggs, goat's milk, halibut, hemp seeds, krill oil, oily fish, rosehips, sea bass, swordfish, trout, tuna (fresh), turbot, white bait and wild mushrooms.

 

Vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols) helps to increase manganese and zinc absorption, promotes faster healing and a reduction of scar tissue and nourishes the muscles which can help to prevent cramps.

 

Minerals that can prevent cramps, pain and inflammation

 

Only traces of many minerals are required by the body but, due to modern day intense farming techniques and food processing and refining practises, much of the mineral content is lost. Minerals are something many people do not consider as essential as protein or vitamins but they are absolutely vital for many cellular processes. Although the body can store minerals, it cannot manufacture them so consuming a wide range of different coloured natural foods can help replenish stores that may be lost. This is as important for those that are unwell or taking medications as it is for those that do strenuous exercise or sports.

 

Minerals are lost through diarrhoea, perspiration and many drugs (including alcohol) block the absorption and manufacture of the phytonutrients which help absorption of minerals or cause the body to lose minerals in the urine and this can lead to cramps, pain and inflammation. Alcohol, for instance, causes the body to expel zinc in the urine, See below for natural foods rich in zinc which can replace that which is lost.

 

It is important to have a full blood count test done by the health practitioner to check for any nutrient deficiencies if suffering from repetitive cramps.

 

NOTE: Taking supplements of vitamin C or vitamin E can cause an imbalance in minerals. It is always healthier to consume natural foods rich in the required nutrients instead and to consume foods rich in vitamin C and E at the same time such as fruit and nuts.

 

Boron is a necessary mineral in order to maintain correct levels of calcium in the body. It is also involved in the metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. Natural foods rich in boron include: almonds, apples (red), avocados, bananas, broccoli, carrots, chia seeds, chick peas, grapes (red), hemp seeds, honey, legumes, onions, oranges, pears, prunes, raisins, potatoes, parsnips, sumac, teff and walnuts.

 

Caesium, like potassium, enters cells and helps to maintain a balance of electrical charges between the inside and the outside of cells so that cells can perform tasks that depend on those electrical charges. Muscle and nerve cells require changing electrical charges in order to function properly and a lack of this mineral can lead to muscle cramps. Natural foods rich in caesium are: milk, mineral water, oily fish, shellfish and most fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and vegetables.

 

Calcium: Without adequate levels of this mineral in the diet, the contractions of the heart will become faulty, the muscles will not contract properly to make the limbs move and blood will not clot. Calcium also stimulates enzymes in the digestive process and coordinates the functions of all other minerals in the body.  Supplements are not advised as they can lead to disorders of the kidneys and bladder and kidney stones.

 

Chromium deficiency can result in glucose intolerance (diabetes) which can caused cramps in the feet and legs. This deficiency could be caused by the soil levels of chromium which has been leached out due to modern day farming techniques and the widespread consumption of refined and processed foods which are typically low in chromium.

 

Colloidal silver may help nerves regenerate and studies in Hungary found specific silver receptors on human nerve tissue.

 

Copper is linked in thyroid metabolism especially in hormone production and absorption. Copper, together with zinc improves the absorption of vitamin D, the vitamin which aids in the absorption of calcium and a lack of any of these nutrients could lead to cramps.

 

Gold is a good electrical conductor and there are many reports which state that gold increases the ability of each cell to conduct better electrical impulses which can help prevent and resolve cramps in the muscles. Colloidal gold is found in all purple coloured natural foods such as aubergine, beetroot, black grapes, grape seeds, plums and prunes.

 

Iodine is important for thyroid function and a disorder of the thyroid gland can cause cramp.

 

Lithium has an effect on the potassium and sodium balance in the body and lack of this mineral can lead to cramps.

 

Magnesium is involved in releasing energy from the diet and is involved in a good functioning nervous system and muscles and therefore a lack of this mineral can lead to muscle cramps.

 

Manganese aids in the coordination of nerve impulses and muscular actions, the metabolism of glucose and the formation of thyroxin which is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Diabetes, thyroid gland dysfunction and poor elasticity of the muscles can all be a result of a lack of manganese in the diet and all of these disorders can lead to cramps.

 

Potassium regulates bodily fluids and prevents dehydration and is important as an alkalizing agent in keeping a proper acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues. It is also essential for muscle contraction and a lack of this mineral can lead to cramps.

 

Silica has a powerful influence on the absorption of minerals required by the body and hence can prevent cramps occurring. It enhances the function of boron, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

 

Strontium can relieve bone pain, reduce fractures and improve mobility, in persons suffering from osteoporosis, and reduce cavities in teeth. It also has a a cartilage growth promoting affect which can help arthritis sufferers.

 

Sulphur is critical to many of the body's biological processes and without adequate sulphur glucose metabolism is inhibited and this can lead to metabolic syndrome, low energy levels, weight gain and muscle, nerve and skeletal disorders which causes inflammation and pain.

 

Zinc, together with copper improves the absorption of vitamin D which aids in the absorption of calcium. It also is the healing mineral which can help with cramps associated with scar tissues or trauma. Alcohol causes the expulsion of zinc so it is advisable to consume more zinc rich foods when drinking often.

Head pain and migraines

Headaches can have many causes and are often ignored and a tablet is taken to relieve them but this is not necessary. Regularly taking painkillers can cause problems for the kidneys and liver and does not resolve the problem. A little investigation could stop them completely as they are not a normal part of life as many seem to believe.

Migraine

Migraines are caused by a misfiring of the nervous system. There is an overwhelming build-up of nerve cell activity in the brain stem at the base of the brain and the effect of this spreads in a cascade to produce the migraine headache that lasts for several hours to a day or more before it gradually recedes. The misfiring can spread to other parts of the brain to produce visual distortions, pins and needles in the face and strange tastes before the headache starts. Some sufferers may recognise that they are building up to an attack days before it starts. Different sufferers have many different patterns of symptoms. Migraines can also cause nausea (feeling sick) and an increased sensitivity to light or sound.

Migraine sufferers have trigger zones, the most common ones being at the back of the head, over the eyes and over the temples. These are due to the distribution of the Occipital Nerve and the Ophthalmic Branch of the Trigeminal Nerve.

Migraine sufferers commonly experience an 'aura' between 20 minutes and one hour before the headache stage of their migraine. An aura is a warning sign that a migraine is about to happen. The main symptoms of an aura are visual problems such as blurred vision (difficulty focussing), blind spots, flashes of light, or a zigzag pattern moving from the central field of vision towards the edge. Other aura symptoms include tingling sensations (pins and needles) in the face, lips and tongue, or in the arms and legs; speech problems such as slurred speech; dizziness; a stiff neck; and, very rarely, loss of consciousness.

The main symptoms of migraine are an intense, throbbing or pounding headache often affecting the front or one side of the head, nausea (feeling sick) and vomiting (being sick), and an increased sensitivity to light and sound. The throbbing headache is often made worse by the person moving. Other symptoms of migraine might include poor concentration, feeling hot or cold, perspiration (sweating), and an increased need to pass urine. People might also experience stomach aches and diarrhoea. It is common for people to feel tired for up to two or three days after a migraine.

Headaches and migraines can be triggered by the following:

  • Alcohol because it causes dehydration and expulsion of many nutrients.

  • Allergies to foods containing certain elements.

  • Aspartame (artificial sweetener)

  • Bright lights

  • Caffeine laden beverages

  • Dehydration

  • Dental problems (for example, teeth grinding) can bring on a migraine.

  • Eye strain. Have the vision tested to ensure this is not the cause of frequent headaches.

  • Glutamic acid: Yeast products like torula yeast, brewer's yeast, yeast spreads etc contain glutamic acid which can cause headaches.

  • Heavy metals

  • High blood pressure

  • Hormonal changes: During a woman’s menstrual cycle she may be more prone to migraines.

  • Irregular meals.

  • Irregular or too little sleep.

  • Lack of food (dieting).

  • Loud noises.

  • Mineral deficiencies

  • Nutrient deficiencies

  • Parasites and worms

  • Sleeping tablets: certain tablets can cause migraines.

  • Smoking tobacco.

  • Tension in the neck or shoulders.

  • The toxins from the excrement from the worms that live in beer pipes can cause bad headaches if the publican does not clean the pipes regularly once a week at least.

  • Tannins found in many foods can cause headaches and migraines.

  • Tin deficiency can cause headaches.

  • E621 monosodium glutamate found in most processed meat products and Chinese meals can cause headaches.

If food is the cause of headaches or migraine, eliminating these from the diet then introducing one at a time can help discover triggers for migraines. Try eliminating the following reported migraine triggers  from the diet and introducing one at a time over a period of a few days.

Emotional migraine triggers

  • Anxiety

  • Anger

  • Excitement

  • Shock

  • Stress can trigger

Natural remedies for headaches and migraine

Try eliminating the above to see if this stops migraines occurring. Discovering the cause can then provide the right treatment. To alleviate headaches, rest and the consumption of natural nutritious foods that rehydrate and reduce inflammation as well as cleanse the body of toxins are the best way to recover.

  • Alfalfa is a rich source of many nutrients due its very long tap root that can get down to certain minerals other food crops cannot reach. Therefore, the sprouts of alfalfa may be of help to headache and migraine sufferers.

  • Algae and seaweed can remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body which can cause headaches. They also provide the minerals that may be missing in a diet of land-based crops.

  • Almonds; eating 10 - 12 almonds can provide the same relief as two aspirins.

  • Black seed has head pain relieving properties.

  • Coconut water can rehydrate when dehydration is the cause.

  • Himalayan pink salt crystals. Add one to two teaspoon of the pink crystals to a cup of warm water and add the juice and zest of half a lemon and one teaspoon of honey for instant migraine relief. NOTE: Do not try this remedy if suffering with high blood pressure.

  • Magnesium can be low in the diet as many land-based crops are lacking in it due to intensive farming techniques therefore, consuming algae and seaweed can help provide sufficient. Migraine sufferers are often lacking in this mineral.

  • Mustard seeds consumed on a regular basis have been found to be beneficial for reducing the frequency of migraines.

  • Passion fruit contains components which have the ability to relax the nerves and relieve headaches.

  • Psyllium husks: take one tablespoon per day with plenty of water in case digestive or colon issues are the cause of headaches or migraines. Toxins in the from fermenting foods in the intestines due to slow transit may cause problems and psyllium husks will correct the flow.

  • Pineapple juice can rehydrate when dehydration is the cause.

  • Quinoa is high in magnesium and vitamin B2 (riboflavin) which can often provide relief for migraine sufferers.

  • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): Foods rich in this, often lacking, vitamin can proved relief for migraines.

  • Water: Drink six glasses of filtered or bottled mineral water. One should be drunk just before bed so that toxins can be flushed out of the brain more easily during sleep.

Vegetables

Fruit

Herbs

Spices

Three mint leaves, 1/2 a sliced cucumber and 1/2 a lemon squeezed (all organic) in a glass of mineral water can help to relieve headaches.

Coconut oil, lavender essential oil and peppermint essential oil can relieve headaches when rubbed onto the temples and forehead. NOTE: Essential oils are not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women or children under five.

See more natural remedies for pain and inflammation below.

Nerve pain

Nerve damage and pain can result from various factors. Neuralgia and peripheral neuropathy are covered in detail with many natural remedies and solutions in the Nature Cures article: Nerves and their functions

Organ pain

Constant pain in the abdomen, chest, left arm, groin, left shoulder, kidney area, pelvic area and stomach must be investigated promptly to establish the cause. Taking pain killers and carrying on as normal is not the answer because the underlying cause could be serious and further damage or even organ failure could be the result. Appendicitis, bacterial and fungal infections, heart attacks, intestinal blockages, peritonitis, viral infections and any disorders of the bladder, gall bladder, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and spleen must be treated by a professional health practitioner immediately.

A poor unbalanced diet is often the root cause of many organ disorders therefore changing the diet to healthy organic whole foods can eliminate the risk of developing any of these conditions and having to undergo surgery or take powerful medications with serious side effects.

Peripheral neuropathy See Nervous system disorders

Toothache and gum pain

Inflamed gums are often a sign of an imbalance of the bacteria that lives in the intestines.

Alcohol and tobacco can lead to gum recession and inflammation and eventually to tooth loss.

Sugary foods and corn syrup are the biggest cause of tooth decay because sugar feeds the pathogenic bacteria in the mouth as well as the intestines.

Citrus fruit can also damage the teeth.

Fluoride is often added to toothpastes and tap water because it is believed it can prevent tooth decay by strengthening the tooth enamel. However, once ingested, fluoride compounds attack the structural integrity of the insides. Collagen, a web like network connecting the skeletal system to muscles, is torn apart by fluoride. It can be felt as joint stiffness, ligament damage and aching bones. This same mechanism leads to browning of teeth, an outcome known as dental fluorosis. Children exposed to too much fluoride up until the age of nine can develop this brown mottling of the tooth enamel.

Mouthwashes containing alcohol should be avoided as these can provide an environment in the guts that allows parasites to thrive.

Natural toothpastes, coconut oil and bicarbonate of soda used after every meal can prevent tooth damage and clean the mouth without adding toxins from chemicals that exist in most commercial toothpaste brands.

Green tea can also help cleanse the mouth of bad bacteria and provides many phytonutrients which the body needs.

See the Tooth and Gum page for more natural remedies for tooth pain..

Nature ways to reduce  cramps, pain and inflammation

Any illness that ends with “itis” is an inflammatory disease. This is a list of natural foods with anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties:

A-Z of foods with anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties

NOTE: Grapefruit can interact with certain medications. Check before consuming.

Anti-inflammatory herbs

  • Abuta is an Amazonian herb that is used as an analgesic to relieve tooth pain, rheumatism and menstrual cramps.

  • Aloe vera

  • Basil tea is good for arthritis, rheumatism and joint pain as it is analgesic and anti-inflammatory.

  • Burdock root

  • Coriander

  • Dandelion

  • Devil's claw

  • Dong quai

  • False unicorn

  • Fennel

  • Feverfew is an effective for treating migraines. It reduces inflammation, which takes pressure off the nerves and can help prevent migraines entirely.

  • Frankincense can alleviate the pain in joints rapidly with its anti inflammatory properties but may cause acid reflux. To combat this take with ginger. Ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory, but it increases stomach acid secretion, so it will help with digestion of the frankincense. Daikon radish can also assist with absorption of frankincense and is high in calcium and other nutrients beneficial to the bones.

  • Ginger tea: Crush an inch of ginger root and add it to boiling water and leave to steep for 20 minutes. This homemade tea reduces inflammation in the same amount of time as it takes an aspirin to work.

  • Consuming 250 mg of ginger root four times a day is as effective as the drugs mefenamic acid and ibuprofen for relieving pain in women associated with their menstrual cycle.

  • Ginseng has analgesic and anti-inflammatory activity similar to ibuprofen and can help those with rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Holy basil

  • Hops

  • Lavender oil

  • Linden

  • Motherwort

  • Oatstraw

  • Peppermint

  • Periwinkle

  • Rosemary

  • Scutellaria contains a compound known as baicalin that is as powerful as ibuprofen in reducing pain without the side effects.

  • Senega root

  • St. John’s wort is twice as effective as ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory pain-killer.

  • White willow bark

  • Wild lettuce has powerful analgesic properties and acts as a mild sedative.

  • Ylang ylang strengthens the nervous system and repairs any damage, reduces stress on the nerves and protects them from developing a number of nervous disorders.

See more on the A-Z of Herbs and Spices page.

NOTE: Essential oils and rosemary are not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women.

Spices with anti-inflammatory properties

How to use herbs and spices

Infusions (teas)

Infusions are a simple way of extracting the active principles of herbs through the action of hot water. The preparation of infusions is similar to way tea is prepared. This method is used to extract the volatile components of the dried or green aerial parts of herbs and plants like flowers and leaves. Infusions may use single herbs or a blend of herbs, vegetables, fruits and spices and are drunk hot or cold. Certainly this is the most common and cheap method of extracting the medicinal compounds of herbs.

Tinctures

Most of the volatile components of medicinal plants and herbs are soluble in alcohol. By immersing dried or fresh parts of plants in alcohol, the active principles are easily extracted at concentrations that exceed those that can be achieved by infusion or decoction. Highly concentrate solutions that will last for one to two years are a convenient way to store and use medicinal plants constituents.

Ideally tinctures should be made using pure ethyl alcohol distilled from cereals. However, since this product is not available to the public, good Vodka with 45-35% alcohol can be used. The extraction is fairly quick. A 50% mixture of herbs and alcohol kept in a tightly closed jar will hold a tincture ready for use at the prescribed dosage. Never use methyl alcohol, methylated spirits, isopropyl alcohol or any other kind of unknown spirit to make tinctures.

CAUTION: Many herbs and spices are powerful and can react with medications. Always check before taking at the same time as any drugs. Grapefruit also contains components that can cause problems with medications.

Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving nutrients

IMPORTANT NOTE: Supplements are not advised, unless blood tests show a deficiency, as excessive consumption of any one nutrient can cause imbalances of others and many cannot even be absorbed by the body or are not of the strengths required.. One example is vitamin B6 which can can cause abnormal heart rhythms, acne, breast enlargement and/or soreness, decreased muscle tone, drowsiness, headaches and nausea, heartburn and loss of appetite, stomach upset, ulcerative colitis and other severe allergic reactions. It is also possible that excessive amounts taken by pregnant women can cause  teratogenic effects on a growing embryo, which causes the loss of sensation and eventual neuropathy. Always consume the natural foods rich in these elements rather than supplements.

A combination of foods rich in vitamins B1, B6 and B12 has proved useful for preventing pain and reducing the amount of anti-inflammatory medications needed to control pain.

Follow the blue links below to find the highest natural food sources of each nutrient.

  • Alpha lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant which can treat peripheral nerve degeneration caused by diabetes. It is a sulphur containing fatty acid that works as an antioxidant in both water and fatty tissue, enabling it to enter all parts of the nerve cell and protect it from the damage caused by peripheral neuropathy.

  • Anthocyanins are bioflavonoids that exhibit powerful anti-inflammatory activity, and do it as well as drugs for the same purposes, without negative side effects.

  • Bromelain: Foods containing proteolytic enzymes such as bromelain (pineapple) and papain found in papaya (Carica papaya) and mountain papaya (Vasconcellea cundinamarcensis).can help heal minor injuries because they are anti-inflammatory and capable of being absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Bromelain and papain can help reduce pain and swelling and promote faster healing in people with a variety of painful conditions including back strain..

  • Cephalin: also known as kephalin or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), is an important phospholipid that makes up cell membranes and organelle membranes and is abundant in the brain, spinal cord and other nervous tissues. It is thought to play a main role in keeping the nervous system intact and healthy because of its multitude of functions and its significant contribution to neural tissues.

  • Chalcones have been found to stimulate the production of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), which is synthesised in minute amounts in the body and is essential in the development and survival of certain neurons (nerve cells) in the peripheral and central nervous system.

  • Choline helps to metabolise fats, transmit nerve impulses and preserve the myelin sheaths protecting the nerves.

  • Cysteine detoxifies the body by helping it produce glutathione. Deficiency is relatively uncommon, but may be seen in vegetarians with low intake of the plant foods containing methionine and cysteine. Low cysteine levels may reduce one's ability to prevent free radical damage and may result in impaired function of the immune system and neurodegenerative diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS), amylotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease) and Alzheimer's disease.

  • Lecithin is used to produce choline, which helps to metabolise fats, transmit nerve impulses and preserve the myelin sheaths protecting the nerves.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) fatty acids are among the most documented in nutrition research. However, a fourth key fatty acid, docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) has recently been shown to play probably the most powerful role in key health outcomes. They all provide nourishment for the nerves and have anti-inflammatory properties.

  • Vitamin B1

  • Vitamin B6 deficiency can aggravate or even cause neuropathic pain.

  • Vitamin B8 (inositol) acts as an analgesic for pain control. Deficiency can be caused by alcohol and coffee which block absorption of inositol. Antibiotics and many other medications and recreational drugs block B vitamins and vital co-factors like inositol from being absorbed. Stress and intense exercise uses up all nutrients (especially the B-group vitamins and their co-factors)

  • Vitamin B9

  • Vitamin B 12

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E: When consuming foods rich in vitamin C it is important to balance them with the equal amount of foods rich in vitamin E. This is because they have opposite effects upon certain minerals in the body. Vitamin C reduces manganese and zinc levels whilst vitamin E increases them and vitamin C increases iron levels whilst vitamin E reduces them. Therefore they must be consumed in equal amounts.

Vitamin B 12

A major function of vitamin B12 involves its participation in the development of nerve cells. A coating which encloses the nerves, called the myelin sheath, forms less successfully whenever B12 is deficient. Although the vitamin plays an indirect role in this process, consumption of foods rich in vitamin B12 has been shown to be effective in relieving pain and other symptoms in a variety of nervous system disorders.

Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams

  • Clams 98.9 μg

  • Liver 83.1 μg

  • Barley grass juice 80 μg

  • Nori seaweed 63.6 μg

  • Octopus 36 μg

  • Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg

  • Ashitaba (dried powder) 17.0 μg

  • Herring 13.7 μg

  • Tuna fish 10.9 μg

  • Crab 10.4 μg

  • Mackerel 8.7 μg

  • Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg

  • Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg

  • Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg

  • Shiitake mushrooms 4.8 μg

  • Lobster 4 μg

  • Lamb, venison 3.7 μg

  • Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg

  • Salmon 3.2 μg

  • Whey powder 2.37 μg

  • Golden chanterelle mushrooms 2 μg

  • Tuna 1.9 μg

  • Halibut 1.2 μg

  • Chicken egg 1.1 μg

  • Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg

  • Anchovies 0.9 μg

  • Ashitaba leaves 0.4 μg

NOTE: One μg is one microgram. The daily recommended amount for an averagely active adult is 2.4 μg daily.

The importance of minerals in the diet

Only traces of many minerals are required by the body but due to today's farming and food processing techniques much of the mineral content has been lost. Minerals are something many people do not consider as essential as protein or vitamins but they are absolutely vital for many cellular processes. Although the body can store minerals, it cannot manufacture them so consuming a wide range of coloured natural foods can help replenish stores that may be lost.

This is as important for those that are unwell or taking medications as it is for those that do strenuous exercise or sports. Minerals are lost through perspiration and many drugs (including alcohol) block the absorption and manufacture of the nutrients which help absorption of minerals or cause the body to lose minerals in the urine. For example alcohol causes the body to expel zinc in the urine. See Sports nutrition

  • Caesium, like potassium, enters cells and helps to maintain a balance of electrical charges between the inside and the outside of cells so that cells can perform tasks that depend on those electrical charges. Muscle and nerve cells require changing electrical charges in order to function properly.

  • Colloidal silver may help nerves regenerate and studies in Hungary found specific silver receptors on human nerve tissue.

  • Gold is a good electrical conductor and there are many reports which state that gold increases the ability of each cell to conduct better electrical impulses which is especially important for nerve cells.

  • Magnesium is involved in releasing energy from the diet and is involved in a good functioning nervous system and muscles.

  • Manganese aids in the coordination of nerve impulses and muscular actions.

  • Potassium regulates bodily fluids and prevents dehydration and is important as an alkalizing agent in keeping a proper acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues. It also helps to maintain a balance of electrical charges between the inside and the outside of cells. Muscle and nerve cells require changing electrical charges in order to function properly.

  • Silica has a powerful influence on the absorption of minerals required by the body. It enhances the function of boron, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

  • Sulphur is critical to many of the body's biological processes and without adequate sulphur glucose metabolism is inhibited and this can lead to metabolic syndrome, low energy levels, weight gain and muscle, nerve and skeletal disorders which can cause inflammation and pain.

  • Tin: Natural foods rich in tin can relieve pain and inflammation. NOTE: Tin may interact with iron and copper, particularly in the gut, and so inhibit absorption of these elements so foods containing tin should be consumed separately to foods rich in iron and copper.

  • Zinc can help alleviate pain and inflammation

See the Minerals page for highest natural sources of all the essential minerals required by the body.

 

More tips to reduce inflammation and pain

  • Avoid acid forming foods from the nightshade family which can increase painful inflammation. Foods such as aubergine, bell peppers, tomatoes and white potatoes.

  • Avoid coffee and all other drinks containing caffeine.

  • Avoid Sweeteners and E number additives contained in diet drinks and processed foods such as MSG as this can increase inflammation.

  • Consume six different colours of fruits and vegetables everyday. See Nature's Colour Codes

  • Light non weight-bearing exercise such as swimming, cycling and yoga are very useful in treating peripheral neuropathy.

  • Only consume fruit and vegetables if they are organic because of the risk of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that can increased inflammation.

  • Purchase a  powerful (minimum 900 watt) blender and start drinking raw juices through out the day. The best natural foods to juice are: beetroot, carrot, cucumber, grapefruit, lemon, lettuce, pineapple, sour apple, sour cherry and spinach.

  • Reduce meat intake and consume more oily fish and 1000 mg of krill oil daily.

  • Replace sugar with pure raw honey and sweet fruits.

  • Replace table salt with natural unrefined coarse sea salt, Himalayan pink salt crystals, algae and seaweed flakes or spices.

  • Try to reduce calorific intake and increase energy output until the body has reached its ideal weight. Excessive body fat can place pressure on nerves and cause inflammation.

Prebiotic and probiotic foods can help with digestion and colon issues and help the commensal (friendly) bacteria the reside in the intestines which in turn can help resolve many conditions causing inflammation and pain.

Prebiotic foods that fee the beneficial bacteria

  • Agave

  • Apples

  • Asparagus

  • Banana

  • Beans

  • Bran

  • Broccoli

  • Burdock root

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Celeriac

  • Chicory root

  • Cocoa (raw)

  • Coconut flesh

  • Dandelion root

  • Elecampane

  • Elephant foot yam

  • Garlic

  • Jerusalem artichoke

  • Jicama root
  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Lentils

  • Mashua

  • Mugwort

  • Oats

  • Onions

  • Parsnips

  • Peas

  • Radish

  • Rampion

  • Salsify

  • Turnip

  • Swede

  • Sweet potato

  • Whole grains

  • Yacon root

  • Yams

Probiotic foods that contain the beneficial bacteria required

  • Brine pickles (eggs, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables that have been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)

  • Kefir (fermented milk drink)

  • Kimchi (a fermented, spicy Korean side dish)

  • Kombucha (fermented black or green Asian tea)

  • Miso (a Japanese fermented seasoning made with soya beans, salt and a type of fungus called koji)

  • Sauerkraut (finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)

  • Tempeh (fermented soya beans)

  • Yoghurt (plain with live cultures)

NOTE: Grapefruit and some nutritional yeasts, especially brewer’s yeast, can interact with medications. Those who are on Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitor antidepressants (MAOIs) medication are especially at risk. See Medication dangers

Yeast products and mushrooms are also best avoided by those carrying the herpes virus as it can induce an attack.

Nature cures recipes to reduce pain and inflammation

 

This highly nutritious meals will not only reduce inflammation and pain but will also provide all the essential phytochemicals and minerals to correct the balance of nutrients in the body to aid with healing. If consumed at least once a week it will also prevent further damage and infections. Any ingredient from the anti-inflammatory food, herb and spice list may be added to this meal for additional pain relief.

Ingredients

Method

  • Lightly stir fry mushrooms, broccoli tops, garlic and spring onions in the rapeseed oil.

  • Place in a large bowl and add all other ingredients and mix well adding some olive oil if too dry.

  • Keep in the refrigerator and consume within three days.

  • Plain natural yoghurt can also be added to make a more creamy dish.

NOTE:  If suffering from diverticulitis, nuts and seeds should be avoided but steeping nuts and seeds in hot water for 30 minutes then straining and drinking as a tea provides a way to ingest their nutrients. Adding honey, herbs, spices and lemon juice to the tea can provide more essential nutrients and improve the taste.

Dessert, Breakfast or Snack

Berries (red, blue and black), sour cherries, ginger and cinnamon with plain live probiotic yoghurt.

See more nutritious recipes: Nature Cures Healthy Recipes

Blending

 

To make it easier to consume a wider range purchase a minimum 900 watt blender and puree your selection of different coloured fruit, steamed vegetables, legumes, herbs and spices in a blender as potage soups and juices. Add organic probiotic live yoghurt for a creamy effect. Blending and juicing are a way to gain high nutrition with less bulk in the daily diet. See Nature Cures Raw Juice Therapy for more information and recipes.

 

When vegetables and fruits are first chopped they should be left aside for 10 minutes for beneficial chemical reactions to take place. Then they should eaten raw or lightly steamed and consumed straight away because they begin to lose nutritional value after this. Pre-packed chopped fruit and vegetables have very little nutritional value compared to freshly prepared natural food.

 

Cleansing

 

Through stools, urine, tears and sweat the body rids itself of toxins that would otherwise build up and lead to sickness and disease. Fevers and skin eruptions are actually a natural part of the cleansing process and should not be suppressed. Cleansing allows the body to restore balance and occurs when imbalance is too great and threatens health and life. Ingesting live organic natural plant foods encourages this process. Visit Cleanse and Detoxify to find out which natural foods can help the body clean itself inside and out.

 

Sprouting

 

To gain a wide selection of essential nutrients in small portions of sprouts try growing your own in a jam jar with just a daily rinse of water. Visit the Nature Cures Sprouting page to find out how to grow beans, seeds, whole grains and legumes.

 

Teas

 

Nutrients from seeds, fresh or dried herbs, leaves and roots can be ingested easily without the bulk by making them into teas. Simply pour hot (but not quite boiling) water over them leave to steep for 20 minutes then strain and sip the juice. Try experimenting and making unusual teas by mixing different herbs, spices and adding honey or coconut juice.

External remedies to reduce pain and inflammation

Aloe vera, bicarbonate of soda, coconut oil and tea tree oil: If the feet are affected by peripheral neuropathy, any wounds or blisters must be taken care of well as infection can set in very easily. Daily soaking them in a bowl of warm water and any of these ingredients  is beneficial and will kill off any bacterial or fungal infections.

 

Camphor oil: can make the blood vessels contract and thereby reduce pressure on the nerves. The cooling and penetrating effects of camphor oil make it an anti-inflammatory and sedative agent which is very helpful in curing nearly all types of inflammation.

 

Epsom salts contain magnesium which can be absorbed by the skin if added to a warm bath.

 

Use mineral bath crystals or powdered kelp seaweed for a relaxing bath. Add some drops of tea tree oil

 

Nettles: Some studies claimed that topical application of nettle leaf onto the painful area significantly helps in reducing the intensity of pain experienced by the sufferer.

Compresses and poultices using any of the above mentioned herbs and spices can provide pain relief as can adding them to a hot bath.

Poultices and compresses

There are various types of poultices that can be used to treat a wide variety of complaints from acne, arthritis and respiratory conditions to bruises and sprains. Some people advocate the use of porridge, carrot, bread, milk, potatoes, clay, cabbage and herbal poultices and many use poultices as a home remedy for their horses' ailments. A poultice will also help ease out anything that's embedded under the skin such as wood or metal splinters and can also bring boils or abscesses to the surface and draw out bee sting poison.

A homemade poultice is made by mashing herbs, plant material or another substance with warm water or natural oils to make a paste. Pure pressed coconut oil is especially good to use. The paste can be applied directly to the skin and covered with a piece of clean cloth. If the herb used is potent such as onion, garlic, ginger, mustard, etc., it is advisable to place a layer of thin cloth between the skin and the herb. The cloth can then be covered with plastic wrap to hold in the moisture. The poultice should be changed every 3 to 4 hours or more if it dries out. Then the area should be washed with soap and dried thoroughly and left uncovered.

A compress is used the same way but usually warm liquids are applied to the cloth instead of raw cold substances. Tinctures or herbal infusions are great for compresses.

Massage therapy

Massage therapy helps relieve joint pain by improving circulation and soothing inflammation. In fact, several studies indicate that regular massage can improve pain, stiffness and range of motion in the affected joint. To massage the affected area, use warm oil like coconut, olive, mustard, castor or garlic oil and apply gentle pressure while massaging.

Apple cider vinegar and olive oil for joint pain: Massage the affected area with a mixture of one tablespoon each of apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Do this daily until the joint pain is gone.

Cayenne pepper contains a compound called capsaicin with natural analgesic or pain-relieving properties. Slightly heat one-half cup of coconut oil. Mix in two tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder. Apply it on the affected area, leave it on for 20 minutes and then rinse it off. Do this a few times a day. NOTE: Cayenne may initially cause a burning sensation. Do not apply it on open skin or wounds.

 Coconut oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil can relieve headaches when rubbed onto the temples and forehead.

NOTE: Essential oils are not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women or children under 5.

For nerve pain see Nervous system disorders

Related articles

Kratom, also known as Mitragyna speciosa, is a plant indigenous to the Thailand region and grows in Southeast Asia that has natural pain-killing and sedative abilities. See  kratomproject.org

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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