By now you have heard that are many different spices and herbs out there that have many health benefits. Although, much further scientific research is needed, several studies have shown many positive health benefits as a result of using these compounds on a regular basis. Pain and weight loss are some of the areas my clients are most challenged with. Therefore; I am going to focus on a few herbs and spices that have shown positive results in these areas.
When suffering from muscle or joint pain, it is very difficult to have an effective workout. Hopefully some of these recommendations will relief some pain/stress on your muscles and joints as well as contribute to weight loss.
Check with your doctor or a licensed neural pathologist first before consuming any of these products and please follow the recommended guidelines and use with care.
Below are 6 herbs/spices that help with muscle/joint pain and weight loss, along with the reasons why I recommend them.
Turmeric, an herb that is great at fighting and possibly reversing disease. There have been thousands of published articles proving the benefits of turmeric and one of its renowned healing compounds ingredient. Curcumin is best known for its ability to control inflammation, which helps to manage pain.
Oncogene published a journal, showing the results of a study that evaluated several anti-inflammatory medicines and found that aspirin and ibuprofen are least effective, while curcumin, is among the most effective.
For lowering blood sugar and reversing insulin resistance there’s arguably no better natural treatment than adding turmeric into your diet.
In 2009, Biochemistry and Biophysical Research Communications published a study out of Auburn University that explored how taking turmeric can help reverse diabetes.
The study showed that curcumin in turmeric is literally 400 times more potent than Metformin in activating AMPK which improves insulin sensitivity which can help reverse Diabetes Type 2.
Ginseng has been used as a natural healing herb by the Chinese for centuries. Research shows that ginseng can be used to treat stress, diabetes, lower cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar levels. Stress, unregulated blood sugar, and high cholesterol are all contributors to bad health and weight gain. Ginseng also helps to boost your metabolism and keeps your energy levels high throughout the day. Drinking ginseng tea can take care of the leading causes of weight gain, resulting in weight loss. Ginseng has also been know to reduce joint pain and help with brain and lung function.
Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps reduce joint inflammations. It works best for those with arthritis. It also helps in expanding the blood vessels which increases your body heat, burning more fat. It helps with satiety, making you feel full, reducing food consumption. This spice works as a natural appetite suppressant. Ginger is a thermogenic food, supporting weight loss. It raises the temperature of the body and helps boost metabolism.
Chronic stress can cause cortisol levels to rise too high. Ginger suppresses cortisol. Adipose fat moves to the visceral area where it receives an increased blood supply that encourages tissues to produce an excess amount of cortisol. High cortisol levels may increase excess belly fat and weight gain.
Ginger, Turmeric, & Holy Basil(trinity in holistic medicine), are commonly used together and also make a great hot tea!
The secret ingredient in cayenne pepper is capsaicin. Capsaicin is what makes the pepper hot and provide it with its powerful pain-relieving properties. Cayenne pepper increases the internal temperature of the body and speeds up the metabolism, helping to melt body fat, aiding in weight loss. When you consume cayenne like a fat burner, you are also detoxing; it quickens circulation meaning that you sweat more and eliminate toxins. Ever heard of the “Master Cleanse Diet?” Many pain medications contain cayenne pepper. When applied on the skin it forces the brain to stop focusing on the joint pain and focus on the temporary pain that the application causes. These topical medications work the way ingredient and icy hot works.
Mustard seed, the signature ingredient in mustard, contains minerals that fight inflammation. Yellow American and most other basic mustards, contain vinegar. Studies show that it, too, reduces inflammation and helps to control appetite. Turmeric, the spice that gives yellow mustard its bright color, also fights inflammation. Mustard seed is known as a fat burner. Eating mustard alone is not going to make you reach your weight loss goals. But adding mustard to a diet that is already full of healthy, low calorie and low fat foods can give your systems an extra fat burning boost. I recommend spicy mustard because it heats up your body more increasing your metabolism.
Cinnamon has the ability to alter the metabolism of not only sugar, but of carbohydrates as well. Your body is better able to use your carbohydrate storage, so that they do not turn into excess fat. The consumption of cinnamon itself, also causes a metabolic boost. This boost, allowing you to burn more calories and assists with weight loss in this way.
Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Ailments such as diabetes, joint conditions and high blood pressure, medical studies have not shown proven results.
A few fairly unknown herbs and spices….
- Devil’s Claw- used for atherosclerosis, arthritis, gout, muscle pain (myalgia), back pain, tendonitis, chest pain, gastrointestinal (GI) upset or heart burn, fever, and migraine headache.
- Feverfew– used as a preventative treatment for migraines. A number of people have reported that after taking feverfew their migraine attacks have gradually become less frequent and in a few cases have stopped altogether,
- St. Johns Wart- is a common herbal remedy for treating depression. Other possible uses for this herb include treating infections, menopausal symptoms and seasonal affective disorder.According to MayoClinic.com, one traditional use for this herb includes treating weight loss, although the effectiveness remains unproven.
- Valerian Root- in addition to treating sleep disorders, it is used for muscle and joint pain. Some women use valerian for menstrual cramps and symptoms associated with menopause.
- Arnica- for an acute injury, or even post surgery, arnica is a well-known natural pain killer among athletes. Arnica oil is a potent remedy for various inflammatory and exercise-related injuries
- White Willow Bark- a common ingredient in weight loss supplements. It has pain relieving effects, treating of headaches, arthritis, back pain, gout, fever and the common cold.
As mentioned before, check with your doctor or a licensed neural pathologist first before consuming any of these products and follow the recommended guidelines and use with care. I also recommend that you research each of these in more depth so that you can see which herb or spice works best for you. Nowadays it seems like we pop an over the counter or prescription meds to feel better. We know for the most part many of these medications have severe side effects. With that said, many of us are looking for a more holistic approach for reducing pain, weight loss and diseases. Herbs and spices when taken appropriately, are natural and from the earth, and can possibly cure many of the issues we are dealing with on a daily basis.