Anti-inflammatories are prescribed to address arthritis pain and stiffness. Unfortunately there is not much known about what causes arthritis or how to cure it. There does seem to be a “wear and tear” component and auto-immune component.
Everyone knows that long term anti-inflammatories like aspirin, ibuprofen, advil and prescription drugs have bad side effects. Taking these substances long term inhibit important chemicals called prostaglandins that are involved in maintaining your stomach lining and health of your blood vessels among other things. Sometimes people who take these drugs get stomach ulcers or even heart attacks.
However, it gets even worse. Anti-inflammatories make arthritis worse! Anti-inflammatories inhibit cartilage from regenerating.
If you have wear and tear arthritis and you are taking anti-inflammatories for pain, you will never heal.
Check out this study here on how bad NSAIDs are for your joints.
In human studies, NSAIDs have been shown to accelerate the radiographic progression of OA of the knee and hip. For those using NSAIDs compared to the patients who do not use them, joint replacements occur earlier and more quickly and frequently. The author notes that massive NSAID use in osteoarthritic patients since their introduction over the past forty years is one of the main causes of the rapid rise in the need for hip and knee replacements, both now and in the future.
While it is admirable for the various consensus and rheumatology organizations to educate doctors and the lay public about the necessity to limit NSAID use in OA, the author recommends that the following warning label be on each NSAID bottle:
The use of this nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication has been shown in scientific studies to accelerate the articular cartilage breakdown in osteoarthritis. Use of this product poses a significant risk in accelerating osteoarthritis joint breakdown. Anyone using this product for the pain of osteoarthritis should be under a doctor’s care and the use of this product should be with the very lowest dosage and for the shortest duration of time.
If NSAID use continues, then most likely the exponential rise in degenerative arthritis and subsequent musculoskeletal surgeries, including knee and hip replacements as well as spine surgeries, will continue to rise as well.
– See more at: http://www.journalofprolotherapy.com/index.php/the-acceleration-of-articular-cartilage-degeneration-in-osteoarthritis-by-nonsteroidal-anti-inflammatory-drugs/#sthash.96kPMmzJ.dpuf
There’s an herb called the ‘toothache plant’ or Spilanthes camellia that historically was used to numb the mouth, hence the name ‘toothache plant’.
However, this plant extract has been studied extensively for it’s blood pressure lowering, nitric oxide producing, testosterone boosting and erection strengthening powers!
One study showed it increased the hardness of a rat erection by 200%!
It’s amazing we haven’t heard more about this. PDE5 inhibitor drugs increase erections by inhibiting the PDE5 enzyme but do nothing for testosterone or libido. Toothache plant increases erections and testosterone!
In conclusion, NCD (Novel Curcumin Derivative) could enhance erectile function with more efficacy and more prolonged duration of action.
Here’s another study that says it can be effective for up to a week vs a few hours for Viagra.
You can read it here.
Results. In group 2, there was a significant progressive maintained elevation of HO activity and cGMP tissue levels
starting from the first hour in subgroups 3 and 4, whereas, the rise in HO activity and cGMP started from second
hour regarding the other rat subgroups. Sildenafil effect decreased after 3 hours. In group 3, there was a significant
maintained elevation of HO activity and cGMP tissue levels extended to 1 week as compared to controls for all rat
subgroups that received both forms of curcumin. In group 4, long-acting curcumin derivative exhibited more
significant potentiation of intracavernosal pressure as compared to control and to the pure curcumin.
Conclusion. Water-soluble long-acting curcumin derivative could mediate erectile function via upregulating cavernous
I’ve been looking for a water soluble curcumin supplement. They are hard to find, but this looks like an early one:
I absolutely love my nutribullet. For those living in isolation who have never heard of it, you can learn about it here . Nutribullet is the best way to eat superfoods. Sometimes I’ll throw my vitamin capsules in there. Pure vitamin C is a good one for this.
It’s basically a blender running at 600 Watts. A new version just came out at 900 Watts which I will get when my current one needs replacing. I use it everyday to make smoothies. I’m not really sure why it’s better than a basic $20 blender, maybe it’s the shape of the container. The marketing hype says it’s “cyclonic action” that blends the contents better than a blender, but I’m not entirely sure about that claim. Nevertheless, it works great, easy to clean and a super way to drink your vegetables with skin, seeds and fiber (unlike traditional juicers). I finder juicers ridiculously hard to clean and feel you lose all the beneficial fiber.
The nutribullet is the best way to add superfoods like cacao beans, gelatinized maca, goji berry and others to your diet. You can’t do this with a juicer. Load up the plastic container with some vegetables and your choice of superfood with some water, almond or coconut milk and you’re good to go.
I love to add fresh ginger and turmeric. You can get these at your local asian supermarket. I am thankful everyday that I live near several Patel Brothers Supermarkets where you can get many hard to find items like fresh turmeric root and other herbs. You can learn more about Patel Brothers here .
Let’s talk about cacao (chocolate beans). It’s an awesome superfood that you can add to your nutribullet for an extra anti-oxidant and nutritional punch. A great place to get a pound of the stuff is here:
These little crunchy nibs disappear in your smoothie. You can also snack on them (two travel bags are included in the purchase) or add them to salads, nut mixes and yogurt. Cacao increases nitric oxide levels in your body for blood flow and immune system benefits. The good things cacao does to your body are too numerous to mention here, but I bet if you are reading this blog you already know how good for you it is. All i’m saying is put it in your smoothie as a really easy way to add it to your daily regimen.
Sometimes I’ll make a basic smoothie with frozen strawberry, whey protein powder and the cacao nibs. It’s amazingly good!
Be careful when dosing medications and eating spices and herbs like Long Pepper. These substances can slow down the breakdown and removal of some substances increasing the amount that gets in your blood. This has the added benefit of lowering your dosage. Many people save money dosing PDE-5 inhibitors like Cialis and Viagra by taking some Long Pepper with it.
Long Pepper (Piper Longum) or “Pippali” is a spice and medicinal that has a long history of use in asia for a variety of ailments. It’s considered a powerful aphrodisiac and a tonic for the whole body, especially the digestive system.
It looks like this and you can buy them in online or in indian supermarket where they sell herbs and spices:
Did you know that if you take turmeric with Long Pepper you will absorb the active ingredient curcumin 2000% better than when taken alone?
The article states that One study found that when even 2g of curcumin was ingested, its serum levels were very low. However, when 20mg piperine was added to curcumin the bioavailability increased by 2000%. The bioavailability, serum levels and levels of absorption of curcumin all improved dramatically. Thus, if one takes turmeric, most of it is unutilized unless supplemented by addons such as black pepper.
As stated above, the ability to absorb more curcumin fromm turmeric is due to long pepper slowing down the breakdown and removal of curcumin in the body, so more is absorbed.
It’s very possible to overdose on your medication if you’re not aware of this fact. Grapefruit is another seemingly innocuous substance that can overdose your medication. Grapefruit juice also slows down the removal of some medications in your body and thereby increase the absorption rate.
On the flip side, you can increase the effectiveness of medications with Long Pepper. Especially if some of those substances are hard to absorb. Do your research and always check with your doctor first.
I found out there are many forms of turmeric. Some sources indicate there are over 70 different types of this wonderful herb used in cooking and medicine. Many people are familiar with the popular type used in most curries and other recipes. It is sometimes called “Madras.” It contains the main chemical curcumin, which is the star of this herb due to it’s anti-inflammtory, anti-bacterial and overall healing properties. There are thousands of studies of this chemical and herb that you can read about on the net.
However, I recently learned there’s another main form of this herb called “Allepey”. It’s a darker orange color and has about 6.5% curcumin vs 3.5% for Madras turmeric.
The lesson here is find out what kind of turmeric your application or recipe calls for. Allepey turmeric has a different taste and aroma since it’s much stronger than Madras turmeric.
You can buy both versions of the spice at my favorite shop in NYC, Kalustyans. This site has a good overview of the different types of turmeric.
The chinese are well known for making tonics for drinking and for applying to injuries. Anyone who has practiced chinese martial arts is familiar with ‘dit da jow’ or ‘hit medicine’. Dit da jow is usually a secret combination of herbs soaked in alcohol for several months to years and applied to injuries to speed up healing.
Taken internally, the tonics are often called ‘Spring Wine’. You can make your own chinese tonic spring wine with just a little bit of money and lots of time! I believe these home brews are much more powerful than anything you can buy in a bottle or pill at an herb shop.
I love to drink Shou Wu Chih and decided to make my own a few months ago. I bought a bottle in a chinatown herb shop and asked the owner to make up a batch of the raw herbs so I can soak them in rice wine and enjoy a fresh powerful home made batch. I had to buy 4 bottles of the highest percentage alcohol (38%) rice wine at the liquor store around the corner. When I got home, I added a bit of Rou Cong Gong, baji tian, du zhong and American Ginseng to add some kick to it. I tried a bit the other day to see how it was progressing and it was powerful! First of all, I slept like a baby after drinking a few shots. It was so strong, I had to mix some raw honey in there to make it palatable. Also, I have to say that this stuff increases nitric oxide production in the body. After a few days on this, my thinking was clearer, I easily felt 10 years younger. It makes you feel strong and powerful. So now I have a gallon of this stuff to work through! I didn’t measure my testosterone levels, but if I had to go by physical indicators, this stuff boosts testosterone levels!!
So, not stopping there, I found a great recipe for another batch here. This site has a jpg you can print out with the formula. It costs $15 in the united states to make up this batch (plus the alcohol). The owner remarked that this was a great formula and was really impressed that came in the store with it. However, I wanted to kick it up a few more notches. I added deer anter glue, korean ginseng, shou wu (fo ti) and goji berries. The blogger, happyhomemaker88 also had the same idea to add goji berries but complained they soaked up a bit of the wine.
The herbalist was impressed with my knowledge of chinese herbs and confirmed those were good additions. I wanted to do even more but was told “enough”..it was strong enough! Now I have to let this stuff soak a few months. I’ll try an early taste in 2-3 months and give a good 6 months.
Everyone knows that resveratrol has been shown to delay aging and has remarkable effects. However, I stumbled upon something very interesting. Did you know that aloe vera, the plant that you can grow in your home for almost nothing, has similar effects?
How come nobody is interested in exploring this study further? Click to see the study on Pubmed. Or here’s the abstract:
“Longevity extension in Drosophila melanogaster by feeding diet supplemented with chemicals throughout adulthood can cause harmful side effects. We tested the effect of larval diet supplementation with five different concentrations of resveratrol and one concentration of Aloe vera extract on the adult longevity of short-lived D melanogaster populations. Resveratrol and A vera extract supplementation of larval diet extended adult longevity in both the male and female flies without reducing fecundity but by efficient reactive oxygen species scavenging through increased antioxidant enzymes activity and better neuroprotection as indicated by increased locomotor activity in adult males.”
I remember years ago bringing an aloe vera plant home. We planted it outside and within a few years we had a farm of them. Too bad I wasn’t aware of it’s anti-aging free radical scavenging effects back then.
Many people know that you can put aloe vera on your skin to speed up healing of burns and cuts, but many people don’t know you can and should drink the stuff! Don’t grind up the skin, filet it and mix up the inner gel in a blender with some fresh squeezed orange juice. Or if you’re brave, drink it straight up!
I found this cool guy on the ‘net who loves his aloe and it works for him. Check him out!
Here’s a youtube clip showing a good way to prepare a refreshing and healthy drink.
I heard it helps you lose weight too!
I wrote about guinness stout and raw eggs in a previous post. Try it with fresh cinnamon and nutmeg sprinkled on top. Reading about nutmeg can be quite interesting. It reportedly contains small amounts of a hallucinogen called Myristicin. However, don’t get excited because nutmeg can make a person quite sick. However, in small amounts, it tastes and smells great.
Nutmeg is used by people who like to enhance dreaming as it is one of the reported side effects of this unique spice.
Many people are mixing cinnamon with honey for health benefits, weight loss, acne, hair growth and arthritis. A google search of “honey and cinnamon” brings up the same post about the benefits of this combination. It’s almost comical the way so many websites repost the same exact post. Cinnamon has made the news recently for its ability to reduce blood sugar and as a powerful antioxidant. However, be really careful with cinnamon. I found out there is a “real cinnamon” and then a similar substance that tastes like cinnamon called ‘Cassia’. Cassia is what most of us in America think is cinnamon. It’s not. What’s worse is that Cassia contains high amounts of Coumarin, which is toxic to our livers and kidneys. Taking too much cassia, thinking you’re doing something good for the body, can actually kill you!! It’s rat poison!
I found a site that shows a picture of the two and how to tell the difference at this link.
Cassia is dark and thick like a tree bark. It looks like one thick hollow tube. Real cinnamon looks like rolls of paper. It’s very ‘cigar’ like. Real cinnamon comes from Ceylon and is sometimes called ‘Ceylon Cinnamon’. I found out that most Mexican Cinnamon is imported from Ceylon. Saigon Cinnamon, Chinese Cinnamon and most unmarked Cinnamon in the supermarket is really Cassia–the ‘bad stuff’.
I heard onions could triple testosterone levels and found this article at the ergo log.
Tonight I tried to juice an onion. If you’re thinking of trying onion juice be prepared for an experience. I juiced some beets and carrots then threw in the onion. It took about 10 minutes for my eyes to stop tearing. The juice didn’t taste too bad because the beets are delicious and sweet. However, the after taste of the onion juice is a little hard to take. I’m not sure I can do this with any regularity.
Topical Onion juice has reportedly helped hair growth, so there must be a nitric oxide effect from the juice.
I found a great way to get raw garlic into your diet.
Garlic has been proven to increase testicular testosterone (in rats fed a high protein diet):Study can be found here.
So what’s an easy way to get your daily dose of garlic?
Garlic stuffed Olives!! They are delicious, healthy and you won’t have garlic breath!
You can get them by clicking here!
Ginger is making the rounds as a powerful testosterone booster. In addition, evidence is showing that ginger will increase the weight and size of the reproductive glands.
In this study, testosterone levels doubled by taking ginger: Ginger Doubles Testosterone Levels.
A martial arts master I knew told me that it’s very important to crush the ginger to release it’s healing potential. He believed Ginger could cure just about anything!
If you are having trouble finding good quality ginger, this powdered version from SWAD works great:
This tonic was a nice surprise. It’s a staple in most asian grocery stores and I never thought much of it. I started reading up on the amazing benefits of Royal Jelly–the food that makes a Queen Bee a Queen Bee (more details to come in a later post).
After drinking a few vials, I felt a sudden increase in energy and strength. This is good stuff–and without side effects. You can take it right before bed, it doesn’t make you jittery or nervous.
Try it before working out!
Check out this interesting study showing that royal jelly can increase testosterone and sperm production (in rabbits)
My latest food adventure is preparing a dried sea cucumber I bought in a Chinese Herb shop. Sea Cucumbers are very expensive, slightly disgusting looking, very tasty and sought after for their reputed tonic effects. They are often eaten at Chinese weddings and other special occasions in the East as a delicacy.
Sea Cucumbers can be bought already cleaned and soaked but the most common way to find them is dried. They resemble rocks or what you would imagine a petrified cucumber to look like. This picture is a dried one next to one that has soaked for one day:
Preparing them is a time consuming process. I haven’t been able to google a good procedure for preparing them. I’ve been told to boil them with ginger daily and let them soak all day, changing the water once or twice daily. After it softens a bit, slice them open to remove the innards. The sea cucumber must be scrubbed and rinsed daily.
This is another shot of the sea cucumber getting ready to be boiled with slices of ginger:
I know it looks disgusting, but after several days of soaking, boiling, and cleaning, this gelatinous and phallic culinary item will taste delicious.
I plan to saute it with some mushrooms and oyster sauce!
I found this tea at the Korean Market the other day. It’s a blend of 12 herbs from Japan called Ten-Chi Cha, translated as Heaven Earth Tea.
It looks like this:
I’m anxious to see what effects it has. It’s billed as a ‘detox’ tea and has something called “Hardy Rubber Tree” that I think may be eucommia bark.
I drank a few cups today. It has a roasted tea taste. Mild tasting. It’s good. I wouldn’t call it delicious, but it’s not disgusting like most chinese herbal teas. Very drinkable.
I’m guessing it could have a nitric oxide enhancing effect because it’s supposed to be immune enhancing and anti-bacterial.
Since it’s supposed to be a detox tea, i’m curious what effect it may have.
Read about it here.
Recently I posted about a great Chinese Tonic Patent Medicine I found called Gejie Bushing Wan.
However, you have to be aware of a big problem if you’re not careful in Chinatown. I’m finding more and more instances of knock offs and counterfeits. If you don’t check your ingredients, you’ll learn the hard way. For example, the Gejie Bushing Wan I mentioned above was about 6 bucks and had a plethora of tonic herb ingredients. I found a two dollar version that looked exactly the same, why would I think the ingredients were different? Of course, the cheaper version was missing all the active herbal ingredients.
Be careful with Shou Wu Chih too. I get a lot of hits for Shou Wu Chih on this site, so there’s alot of interest on it. However, read the ingredients!! There’s a knock off version out there that doesn’t have the full ingredients.
Someone joked that “made in China” is becoming the ultimate warning label. I hope this will not become a truth, however, I’m going to have to stop recommending Chinese herbs if problems continue with counterfeits, fakes, contamination and other problems stemming from greed and carelessness. What makes this tragic is that people turn to Chinese tonic herbs to improve their health and well being.
Good news and bad news. First the bad news. Be very careful taking chinese patent medicines from the herbal shops. Many of these supposedly “safe” herbals are contaminated with prescription drugs and worse — toxic metals like Mercury and Arsenic.
Read this good article that mentions many popular medicines and what problems were found: Patent Medicines and Contamination .
Now with that out of the way, I did find a cool one that is on the good list. It’s a “kidney nourishing” tonic made from gecko and other nitric oxide potentiating herbs. It’s called Gejie Bu Shing Wan and looks like this:
Here’s what a gecko looks like if you got it in your herbal prescription from an herbalist:
Typically you would boil one of these with your other tonic herbs in a tea or a soup. Bon Appetit!
Decided you want to try eating beef tendon regularly?
Don’t have access to an authentic chinese restaurant?
Can’t figure out how to make it?
I stumbled on a way to make it better than I’ve tasted in any Chinese restaurant in NYC. All you need is a slow cooker, a can of chicken broth (no msg), seasoning and time.
I use Swanson Chicken broth because it has no MSG and no added fat:
Open the can and put it in the slow cooker. Add 2 large beef tendons.
Season with powdered garlic,onion, etc. I used Oscar’s Oxtail Seasoning:
If you want to step it up a notch, add polygonum multiflorum, the main ingredient in Shou Wu Chih and some Goji Berry.
A word of caution..I went overboard with the chinese herbs. I tried some eucommia bark, and some other tonics and it ended up tasting pretty bad. My advice is to limit the tonic herbs to mild tasting ones like Shou Wu, which is actually tasty. Don’t ruin your beef tendon!
Let the slow cooker do it’s stuff for 8 hours or more. You’ll have the most tender, wonderful tasting beef tendon that rivals the best chinese restaurant.