6 Foods With Medicinal Properties For Specific Ailments
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While nourishing your microbiome with gut-healthy foods helps lay a solid foundation upon which to build good health, other foods are known to have medicinal qualities that can help you address more specific problems.
CNN and the Epoch Times recently reviewed a number of foods that have potent medicinal benefits, including the following:
1. Ginger for menstrual cramps
According to Dr. John La Puma, a practicing physician and professionally trained chef:
“Ginger probably works as well as ibuprofen for menstrual cramps. It works taken as a ginger capsule or chewed.”
A recent meta analysis5 concluded that taking 750-2,000 milligrams of ginger powder during the first four days of your menstrual cycle was an effective treatment for cramps.
2. Peppermint for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Peppermint is another food commonly used to treat cramps; in this case those associated with IBS. Dr. Gerard Mullin, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine told CNN:
“[W]hen compared to the various medical therapies for IBS, peppermint is the most effective and the least toxic.”
In fact, in a 2005 review6 of 16 trials the authors suggest peppermint oil “may be the drug of first choice in IBS patients with non-serious constipation or diarrhea to alleviate general symptoms and to improve quality of life.”
3. Hibiscus tea for hypertension
Hibiscus flowers contain anthocyanins—water-soluble pigments that give the plant its color—which can be helpful to lower your blood pressure. According to the featured article,7 “multiple studies back up the blood-pressure-lowering abilities of hibiscus, including one published in the Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences.”8
4. Turmeric for rheumatoid arthritis
Research9 shows curcumin, the active ingredient in the curry spice turmeric, possesses potent anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties.
One highly bioavailable form of curcumin was found to be more effective in alleviating rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms than the NSAID drug Voltaren. Not only that, but those who took the curcumin actually experienced the most improvement across the board, with no adverse side effects.
5. Wild-caught Alaskan salmon for inflammation
Salmon is an excellent source of healthy omega-3 fats that are important for the prevention of inflammation in your body. Omega-3 fat is also important for brain and heart health.
Avoid farmed salmon, however, as it contains far less omega-3 than wild salmon, along with a number of potentially hazardous contaminants. The two designations you want to look for are “Alaskan salmon,” and “sockeye salmon,” as Alaskan sockeye is not allowed to be farmed.
6. Shiitake mushrooms for improved immune function
Shiitake mushrooms10 contain a number of health-stimulating agents, including lentinan, which has antitumor properties.11 It also has antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and immune-boosting effects.
In one recent study, shiitake mushrooms were found to significantly improve participants’ immunity parameters, including a 60 percent increase in γδ-T cells; 100 percent increase in natural-killer T-cells; increased IgA levels (corresponding to increased immunity); reduced C-reactive protein levels (corresponding to reduced levels of inflammation); and increased levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin (IL)-10, IL-1alpha, IL-4, and tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-alpha).
It’s important to eat ONLY organically grown mushrooms, as they absorb and concentrate whatever they grow in — good or bad. Mushrooms are known to concentrate heavy metals, and air and water pollutants, which would defeat their medicinal value.
Extract from article in DrMercola.com, republished here with permission.
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