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Modern Science Confirms Ancient Chinese Remedy Provides Effective Non-Addictive Pain Relief

Modern Science Confirms Ancient Chinese Remedy Provides Effective Non-Addictive Pain Relief


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With innovations appearing in our lives seemingly every day it seems that new breakthroughs in science are the only ones we trust. With this prevalent thinking those who espouse the wisdom of the ancients are ignored and perhaps even ridiculed – right up until the point when modern science backs them up. Sometimes looking to ancient knowledge as a source and then checking with modern science can yield useful results. More than that, China has realized that such research can give it access to a very large international pharmaceutical market.

Reaffirming an Ancient Analgesic

A case illustrating this is the 2014 study published in the journal of Current Biology, which provided evidence supporting the effectiveness of at least one ancient Chinese herbal remedy whose pain relieving properties had been exploited for millennia. For over 7,000 years, various extracts of natural products, mostly plants, have served as analgesics. The remedy considered here is derived from the Corydalis yanhusuo, a flowering herbal plant that grows in Siberia, Northern China and Japan. Its pain killing properties were confirmed as effective for a number of different pain types. Positive results like these demonstrate that rather than always working on the development of new, synthetic drugs, it is still useful to look at existing medicines and develop them for modern use.

It was during this joint study between the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China and the University of California that the proof was found. At the time, 500 different compounds were tested for their ability to relieve pain, as part of the ‘herbalome’ project, which aimed to catalogue all the chemical components in plants that have healing properties.

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The Corydalis yanhusuo plant whose root is used in traditional Chinese medicine pain relief (Image: innerpath)

An Alternative Poppy

The Corydalis yanhusuo plant is a member of the poppy family, and has been used as pain reliever for most of Chinese history. In contrast to opium, a more well-known analgesic, the medicine has the huge benefit of being non-addictive, working via a compound that offers relief for acute, inflammatory, and neuropathic or chronic pain. It was found to be particularly effective on injury-induced neuropathic pain, which currently has no adequate treatment.

The compound dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB) is produced when the ground up roots of the plant are boiled in vinegar. This acts in a similar way to morphine, but does not work through the morphine receptor in the human body, instead acting on the other receptors that bind dopamine.

"Today the pharmaceutical industry struggles to find new drugs. Yet for centuries people have used herbal remedies to address myriad health conditions, including pain,” said Neuropharmacologist Oliver Civelli. “Our objective was to identify compounds in these herbal remedies that may help us discover new ways to treat health problems”.

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Opium poppies such as this one provide ingredients for the class of analgesics called opiates ( Public Domain )

Traditional Belief About Corydalis

The explanation for the effectiveness of Corydalis by traditional Chinese medicine is that the plant somehow enhances the movement of ‘qi’ through the body. It is believed that qi (also chi or ch’i) is an active element forming part of any living thing and also connects things. Qi is frequently translated to mean ‘life force’ and is the central underlying principle in traditional Chinese medicine. Problems with Chi can be responsible for causing medical problems but it can also be harnessed in order to heal. Concepts similar to qi can be found in many cultures, for example, prana in the Hindu religion, mana in Hawaiian culture, lüng in Tibetan Buddhism, ruah in Hebrew culture, and vital energy in Western philosophy.

Philosophical conceptions of qi can be found in the earliest records of Chinese philosophy (5th century BC) and in the Vedas of ancient India (circa 1500-1000BC). Historically, it is the ‘Huangdi Neijing’ (‘The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine’), written in the 2nd century BC that is credited with first establishing the pathways through which qi circulates in the human body.

Modern Potential

Whether the modern description of the way Corydalis yanhusuo functions suits your thinking or whether you are more convinced by the ancient account, ultimately the good news for pain sufferers is that both disciplines are now in agreement. The compound derived will ease your pain and you will not become physically dependent on it.

Such discoveries pave the way for more research into existing medicines that could be developed in the future and China is certainly willing to invest in what could soon prove to be a very lucrative business.


This Herb Is Strong Enough for Cancer Pain

If you suffer from chronic pain, there are three things you need from your painkiller… You want it to be natural. It has to be effective. And it should be safe to use over time.

And this powerful Chinese herb meets all of those criteria…

It relieves both inflammation and nerve pain. In fact, it’s so potent Eastern medicine practitioners use it to ease the pain caused by terminal cancer. 1 Even though it works like an opioid, it takes a slightly different path.

It does not affect your morphine receptors, which raise your risk of addiction. Instead, it binds to dopamine receptors in your brain. 2 Dopamine is your brain’s “reward system” that controls feelings of pleasure and emotional response.

Unlike opioids, your body doesn’t build a tolerance to this natural compound. This means you won’t have to keep taking more and more of it to get the same amount of relief. 3

But if you want to get your hands on some, you’ll want to move quickly. Here’s why…

Corydalis Yan Hu Suo (CY) grows in abundance in China, Japan, and Siberia. It’s the root of the Chinese poppy plant, known for its beautiful purple flower. CY contains the compound dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB). It’s what gives CY its sought-after painkilling properties. 4

Not surprisingly, Big Pharma is taking interest in the compounds in CY. If we had to guess, it won’t be long before you can’t find it in its natural form. More importantly, whatever drugs they develop from CY will be isolated, synthetic compounds. They won’t be natural, and they’re going to come with side effects.

For now, there are several ways to get CY in its natural form. You can find its root extract as a supplement in health stores and online. If you live near an Asian market that sells traditional Chinese herbs, you may be able to find it as a powder for making tea.

Our recommendation? Give it a try if you have any kind of chronic pain or inflammation. If you find it works, load up…before Big Pharma gets in the way.

In Good Health,

Angela Salerno
Publisher, INH Health Watch

References:
1 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19806782
2 http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822(13)01494-2
3 http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/5510/20140103/chinese-herb-compound-reduces-inflammatory-neuropathic-pain.htm
4 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2533192/Could-ancient-Chinese-herbal-remedy-used-treat-chronic-pain-Roots-plant-poppy-family-contain-pain-relieving-ingredient.html


Physical Activity

A lack of activity can make your joints hurt more. Avoiding movement of the affected joint can weaken the muscles around it, which creates more stress on the joint. Exercise can help improve your condition without aggravating your joints or making pain and other arthritis symptoms worse.

Benefits of exercise that are related to arthritis include:

  • Strengthening the muscles around the joints
  • Maintaining your bone strength
  • Giving you more energy
  • Helping you keep a healthy weight
  • Making it easier to sleep at night
  • Improving your balance
  • Enhancing your life quality

A 2019 review of studies evaluated the effects of exercise, physical function, quality of life as it pertained to overall health, co-comorbid conditions (coexisting diseases), and OA structural disease progression in people with OA of the knees or hips.

The report’s authors found that physical activity decreased pain, strongly improved physical function, and moderately improved health-related quality of life in people living with hip or knee OA in comparison to adults with these arthritic conditions who were less active.

The study also found that in some cases, improvements continued for up to six months following the end of an exercise program. The report’s authors concluded that people with lower extremity OA should be encouraged to engage in as much physical activity as they can, regardless of how minimal that might be.

They further suggested that any type of activity can help to gain health and arthritis-related benefits. Different types of exercise can help reduce knee pain, including low impact cardio activities, strengthening and stretching exercises, and tai chi.

Before you start exercising, you should talk to your doctor about what exercises might best fit into your treatment plan. Your doctor or physical therapist can work with you to help you find an exercise plan that is safe and works well for your unique health situation.

Low-Impact and Low Intensity Exercise

Low impact cardio exercise increases your heart rate, while minimizing the impact and stress on your joints. These types of exercise allow you to benefit from cardio exercise without hurting your joints. Low-impact cardio exercises include things like walking, biking, and elliptical training.

How low-impact exercise fits into your life is up to you. For example, you may want to walk every day for a half-hour during your lunch hour, or maybe, you want to ride your bike early in the morning for an hour, three to four times a week. Set a goal to just keep moving.

Low-intensity exercise, where your heart rate is not raised, may also be beneficial. A 2015 systemic review of studies suggests low-intensity exercise can be effective in improving physical and cognitive health in older adults. They also found improvements in flexibility, balancing, lower limb muscle strength, and depressive symptoms.

If experience unusual pain while exercising, stop doing the activity that is causing it and call your doctor.

Strengthening Exercises

Strengthening exercises are those that help build strong muscle, which you need to support and protect your joints.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, you can reduce stress on your knee joints by regularly working out the muscles around the knees. This includes exercises that work the hip muscles, glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps muscles. Examples include lifting weights, push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and working with resistance bands.

Many benefits can be gained from strengthening exercises, including increased muscle strength, a reduced risk for injuries, improved function and movement, and even a delayed onset of arthritic damage.

You shouldn’t feel any pain as you do your strengthening exercises. Talk to your doctor or a physical therapist if you find yourself experiencing pain while exercising your muscles and joints.

Stretching

Warm-up stretching exercises can help you get your body ready for strenuous activity. Stretching can also make it easier to exercise. Harvard Medical School recommends stretching exercises before and after aerobic or strength training exercises.

There are many benefits to stretching, especially for your lower extremities.

  • Improved range of motion
  • Decreased muscle tension
  • Reduced risk for muscle or soft tissue injury
  • Improved synovial fluid—the fluid found in the cavities of synovial joints

Most joints in your body are synovial joints, including the knees. All your synovial joints help you to move and they are all susceptible to arthritis.

Tai Chi

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese practice that can be best described as a graceful form of exercise. It involves gentle exercise and stretching, where each movement flows into the next to ensure that the body stays in constant motion. Studies on tai chi for managing knee arthritis suggest it can relieve knee OA symptoms.

One study reported in 2016 revealed that tai chi can be just as effective as physical therapy for managing knee OA. In this study, participants with OA took a tai chi class or went to physical therapy twice a week.

After three months, both groups were experiencing similar improvements, including improved physical function, reduced pain medication use, and improved quality of life. In addition, the people who did the tai chi seemed to have more improvements in quality of life and less depression.

The best way to learn and practice tai chi correctly is with an instructor. Look for a class at your local fitness center or ask your doctor or physical therapist for a recommendation.

You may want to watch a class first before you commit. You should also check with your doctor to see if tai chi is safe for you to do, as you would with any type of exercise program.

As you try to tackle your knee pain, don’t overlook the importance of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Attention to your diet can help you to keep your weight under control and reduce inflammation and pain.

Weight Management

Maintaining a healthy weight can be beneficial to your knee joints. This is because there is reduced stress on your knees. And according to the American College of Rheumatology and the Arthritis Foundation, losing 5% or more of your body weight can have positive effects on your knee function and treatment outcomes if you are overweight.

Another problem with being overweight is that fat creates and releases pro-inflammatory chemicals. By reducing weight, the level of inflammation in your body would be reduced.

A 2018 article published Frontiers in Medicine explained how being overweight can cause the body to activate and sustain inflammation. This type of inflammation can worsen an autoimmune disease like RA. More inflammation means more knee joint pain.

A healthy weight can also reduce your risk for a variety of serious health conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure.

In addition to reduced pain, inflammation, and reduced risk for other serious health conditions, the Arthritis Foundation reports on additional benefits to weight management.

  • Reduced disease activity: Losing weight can reduce the overall severity of the disease, especially in inflammatory arthritis.
  • Increased potential for remission: Remission, as it relates to inflammatory arthritis like RA, means little or no disease activity. The Arthritis Foundation reports on several studies showing that being overweight reduces the chance of achieving minimal disease activity or remission in people who have rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis.
  • Slowed cartilage degeneration in RA: Weight loss can significantly lower cartilage deterioration and the more weight you lose, the less effect OA will have on you. Cartilage is the tissue that cushions the joints.

Anti-Inflammatory Diet

While there is no recommended diet for OA, RA, and other types of inflammatory arthritis, an anti-inflammatory diet may reduce joint pain and inflammation caused by these conditions.

Any diet that is rich in whole foods and low in processed foods and saturated fats, is better for your overall health. A study from Michigan State University confirms that whole-food, plant-based diets could significantly improve function and pain in people with OA.

Many anti-inflammatory diets follow a whole-foods, plant-based diet structure that is free of refined and processed foods.

One example of an anti-inflammatory diet is the Mediterranean diet. This diet discourages eating processed foods and encourages a whole food diet of veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans, etc., and stresses the importance of omega-3 fatty acids found in foods like wild salmon, tuna, and anchovies.

Eating an anti-inflammatory diet has many benefits, including reducing your risk for chronic diseases, lowering blood pressure, and improving heart health. And as it pertains to your joint health, this type of diet can curb inflammation and lead to weight loss—both of which can improve your knee pain.


Common Causes of Constipation

Poor diet and not getting enough fluids on a daily basis are considered the most common causes of constipation. Let us take a look at a few of the causes to understand the issue in a better way.

Diet – A diet that is low in fiber rich foods such as vegetables, whole grains and fruits is one of the leading reasons of constipation. Also, a high protein diet rich in meat, dairy products and eggs can also lead to constipation. Processed and ready to eat meals are low in fiber and high in sugar and salt and it leads to irregular bowel movement. Constipation is more common among older people because they don’t drink enough water and other fluids along with their meals.

Excessive Use of Laxatives – Laxatives are an effective cure for constipation, but using it too often reduces the body’s own capacity to function. Excessive dependence on laxatives signals your body to depend on them and stops you from having normal bowel movements. It can also lead to diarrhea.

Lack of Exercise – The modern sedentary lifestyle with long periods of inactivity has led to constipation and problems in bowel movement in people of all age groups. Being more physically active and devoting at least 30 minutes to exercise daily can work as a natural cure for constipation.

Holding Back Bowel – Ignoring the urge to have a bowel movement can lead to constipation at a later stage. Some people are strict about having bowel movementsmovement only at home and they don’t usesue the toilets in the office of public places. But this habit can cause constipation if bowel movement is delayed too long.

Medications – Certain medications and drugs such as antacids, medicines for depression, allergies, pain killers, hypertension and diuretics can cause constipation.

Medical Conditions – Certain health issues like diabetes or blocked intestines can cause constipation. In these disorders, the muscles and nerves involved in normal bowel movement are affected.

Signs and Symptoms of Constipation

The symptoms of constipation include:

  • Infrequent bowel movement – less than 3 times a week
  • Difficulty in having bowel movement
  • Sense of incomplete bowel movement
  • Abdominal pain or swollen abdomen
  • Pain and vomiting
  • Occasional diarrhoea caused by obstruction of the colon

6 Useful Pressure Points for Constipation Relief

Stimulating these acupressure points for gas and constipation with your fingers can help relax the abdomen and promote regular bowel movement without any pain or discomfort. They also help in relieving the associated symptoms of constipation such as abdominal pain, bloating and gas.

CV6 or Conception Vessel 6 is an important constipation acupressure point for treating constipation. It is also named the Sea of Qi and this point is located exactly three finger widths below the belly button. This point should be stimulated using the fingertips gradually. The pressing should be no more than 1 inch deep. You will peel something firm with your fingers as you press. Maintain this firm pressure for 30 seconds as your breathe normally, keeping your eyes closed. This pressure point for constipation helps in relieving pain in the abdomen. It is also useful for treating irregular menstruation, hernia, impotence in men, digestive disorders and fatigue.

CV12 or Conception Vessel 12 is yet another vital acupressure point that is a solution for all types of digestive problems and provides quick constipation relief. It is known as the Center of Power and it can be found on the midline of the body, halfway between the base of the breastbone and the belly button. This constipation acupressure point should be stimulated with great care and should not be pressed for more than 2 minutes at a stretch. It should be pressed on an almost empty stomach. It is best to avoid this point if you are suffering from heart disease, cancer or hypertension. It relieves constipation along with abdominal spasms, stomach pain, indigestion, heartburn and emotional stress. It is also an effective pressure point for dysentery, jaundice, insomnia and vomiting.

St36 or Stomach 36 is one of the most beneficial acupressure points for constipation. It helps relieve stomach and intestinal disorders, promotes digestion and strengthens the whole body. This is also known as the Three Mile Point and it is situated four finger widths below the kneecap, one finger width towards the outside of the shinbone. When you reach the correct spot, you will feel flexing of a muscle as you move your foot up and down. Use your palms to briskly rub this point for one minute on both legs. It is also a useful pressure point for asthma, PMS, insomnia, depression and nervousness.

LI4 or Large Intestine 4 is by far the most famous acupressure point that is a solution for various health issues and is an important acupressure for constipation. It is called the Joining Valley point and it is located on the fleshy muscle between the index finger and the thumb. Spread your thumb and indexand in index finger apart and stimulate this point by squeezing the fleshy webbing with your fingertips for 1 minute while you take long, deep breaths. Now, switch sides and press the point on the other hand for 1 minute. It helps to relieve constipation, chronic pain, eye problems, toothache, allergies and boosts the immune system. This point is forbidden for pregnant women because stimulating this point can lead to premature contractions of the uterus.

LI or Large Intestine 11 is a functional pressure point to relieve constipation. This point is also called the Crooked pond and it is situated at the outer end of the elbow crease. Press this point firmly using your fingers for 1 minute as youyour breathe deeply. Switch hands and stimulate the point on the other arm as well. This is an effective point to relieve indigestion and constipation. This is a vital trigger point for the colon. It also aids to reduce high fever, skin diseases, diarrhea and heat stroke. It is also a local point for elbow pain and tennis elbow.

PC6 or Pericardium 6 is an effective acupressure point that is located on the medial aspect of the hand, four finger widths below the wrist, in the hollow between the tendons. This pressure point for bowel movement is also called the Inner Gate point, and it should be stimulated by pressing the point with your fingertips. Apply pressure on the point for 1 minute and then switch side and apply pressure on the other arm. In addition, it is also used to treat upset stomach, motion sickness, headache, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome, asthma, angina and chest tightness.

Apart from all the acupressure points for constipation mentioned above, there is another crucial pressure point for relief from constipation known as ST25. To Stimulate ST25 acupressure point, find SP15. It is located four finger-widths to the right of your belly button. Press on the point with your thumb or index finger and apply circular pressure for 1 to 3 minutes. Repeat on the left side.

Some of the potential downsides of acupressure

Acupressure is generally considered safe. But, if you are pregnant, some of the pressure points for constipation can be risky. Therefore, in order to reduce the risk of complications, you must consult a trained acupressure professional. You must also avoid acupressure if you are suffering from lung, kidney, or heart disease or inflamed or injured skin.
If applying acupressure points for constipation relief do not help to ease your problem, then, you must seek appropriate medical care and attention to treat the constipation.

Summing up:-

Acupressure is certainly a natural and excellent remedy for constipation. According to studies, it triggers bowel movements by promoting peristalsis and helps to increase gastric juices. It also relieves stress, which is a common cause of constipation. You can easily perform acupressure at home but try to avoid applying hard pressure. And, if you are pregnant or have a chronic disease, you must talk with a doctor before going for acupressure therapy.

1.Can acupressure relieves symptoms of constipation?

Acupressure can help to relieve some symptoms of constipation. It promotes peristalsis, the movement of your intestinal muscles. This can help to move stool through your digestive system.

2. What can I eat to relieve constipation immediately?

Consumption of certain foods can help to improve the frequency of bowel movements. Many dairy products contain microorganisms known as probiotics. These are good bacteria that may help to improve gut health and soften stools.

3. How can yoga help constipation?

Yoga helps manage your stress response. This can greatly improve the functioning of your digestive system. Secondly, yoga benefits your digestive system through twisting poses, inversions, and forward folds.

4. Who should not use acupressure?

People with high blood pressure and pregnant women should avoid going for acupressure therapy. Some of the acupressure points can cause miscarriage.


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I’ve been dealing with various medical issues for years. This course allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of my body and the various herbs and plants that I can use to support it. David’s knowledge and experience is phenomenal. I truly appreciate his honesty in presenting the material and responding to questions from course participants. I have implemented some protocols I learned in the course and have experienced noticeable benefits in a short amount of time. Thank you!
— Christiane, Ottawa, Ontario

“… David Crow follows a system that eliminates haphazard guesswork.”

The greatest benefit for me was clarity about how to use the herbs, when to use them, and absolute care for safe use. There is all kinds of information on the use of herbs for medicinal purposes, but David Crow follows a system that eliminates haphazard guesswork. There is a wealth of knowledge to put into practical use.
— Marva M. Watkins, Jeffersonville, Indiana

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David always provides deep personal transformation with his teachings. I feel his methods and approach to all subjects and especially difficult ones provides me with the information needed to tackle problems, health issues, information, and assessments, and then to share, support, and guide others in their own journeys with just a few words or suggestions. Also the intelligent depth of insight into the ability of how the plants support and heal — literally — the mind, body, and soul.
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I believe it’s a blessing that we can attend courses online in the comfort of our own homes, especially during these challenging times! David Crow is truly an amazing human being. His knowledge is so vast that I got immersed deeply in his course. It has given me so much information that it’s really a joy to get in touch with the plants and actually have a relationship with them. As David says, “They are the silent healers.” I also love it when David combines spirituality in his teachings. There is so much information and it is so well organized and explained that I plan to go over the course again to really grasp the teachings.
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This course introduced me to a lot of simple ways I can improve my life and others for whom I care. There was exceptional value in understanding how specific herbs, diet, and essential oils can be used to build the immune system, protect organs, prevent illness, and treat chronic illness. The source list for all these materials is excellent. Highly respect David Crow’s vast knowledge and ability to synthesize and organize it in a way I could easily grasp.
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Ancient Chinese Remedy Could Be 'Medicine Of The Future' For Pain Relief

A research team looked at the compound dehydrocorybulbine (DHCB), which is derived from the roots of the Corydalis yanhusuo plant, a University of California-Irvine news release reported.

The Corydalis is a "flowering herbal plant." It grows in China, Japan, and Siberia in traditional medicine it has been used to treat a number of painful conditions such as menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, and chest pain.

Tests on rodents showed the compound effectively reduced "inflammatory pain, which is associated with tissue damage and the infiltration of immune cells, and injury-induced neuropathic pain, which is caused by damage to the nervous system," the news release reported.

The team also noticed the rodents did not build up a tolerance to the substance.

"Today the pharmaceutical industry struggles to find new drugs. Yet for centuries people have used herbal remedies to address myriad health conditions, including pain. Our objective was to identify compounds in these herbal remedies that may help us discover new ways to treat health problems," Olivier Civelli, the Eric L. & Lila D. Nelson Chair in Neuropharmacology, said. "We're excited that this one shows promise as an effective pharmaceutical. It also shows a different way to understand the pain mechanism."

In recent years ancient Chinese medicine has been taken more seriously in Western culture. Joint researchers at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics in China have been working to compile a "herbalome" of all plant compounds that possess "pharmacological properties."

The researchers looked at 10 traditional Chinese medicines known as analgesics. They looked at over 500 compounds in this group, and found only DHCB in corydalis was able to produce a pain-relieving effect of the same effectiveness.

Further testing will need to be conducted on the plant's toxicity and other factors before the research can move forward.

About 50 million Americans suffer from chronic neuropathic pain the researchers hope this discovery will bring them one step closer to a non-addictive treatment.


Everything you need to know about honey

Honey is a sweet liquid made by bees using nectar from flowers. People throughout the world have hailed the health benefits of honey for thousands of years.

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Honey is available raw or pasteurized and in a variety of color grades. On average, it contains about 80% sugar. People remove honey from the hive and bottle it directly, so it may also contain trace amounts of yeast, wax, and pollen.

Some studies have found that consuming raw honey may help with seasonal allergies, and others have concluded that honey can help wounds heal. In this article, we explore the many uses of honey, including its nutritional properties and some risks to consider.

Modern science is finding evidence to support many of the historical uses of honey.

Healing wounds and burns

A 2015 review found that honey may help heal burns, and a 2017 study found that the defensin-1 protein in honey promoted wound healing.

An earlier study had found that applying medical grade honey to the site of infections had no advantage over the administration of antibiotics — and applying honey actually increased the risk of infection in people with diabetes.

It is worth noting that many products such as face creams, deodorants, and shampoos contain honey in varying amounts.

Preventing acid reflux

Honey might help ward off acid reflux. A 2017 review of honey’s health effects proposed that honey may help line the esophagus and stomach, possibly reducing the upward flow of stomach acid and undigested food. This suggestion, however, was not supported by clinical research.

The upward flow of stomach acid can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease, which can involve inflammation, acid reflux, and heartburn.

Fighting infections

A 2018 review found that Manuka honey can kill bacteria because it contains properties such as hydrogen peroxide and defensin-1 proteins. The authors concluded that Manuka honey could have greater antibacterial activity than other types of honey.

A 2016 in vitro study likewise confirmed Manuka honey’s antibacterial effects.

Relieving cold and cough symptoms

A 2012 study found that honey was more effective than a placebo at reducing children’s coughs during the night.

Two years later, another study evaluated whether a honey and milk solution could treat acute coughs in children. The authors concluded that the solution appeared to be at least as effective as two over-the-counter products marketed for this purpose.

A 2012 review highlights that in Ayurvedic medicine, honey is used to treat the following wide array of illnesses, ailments, and injuries — whether it is mixed with other remedies and consumed or applied to the skin.

Clinical trials have not confirmed many of these uses. However, a 2017 review recommended honey as a treatment for various skin ailments, citing honey’s antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Honey has been a mainstay in medicinal practices throughout the world for centuries . Practitioners of traditional Ayurvedic medicine, for example, found honey to be effective in treating wounds and various imbalances in the body.

The production of honey can have a negative environmental effect. Studies show that beekeeping can introduce large populations of honeybees into areas where they are not indigenous, and this can suppress pollination by native bee species. Further research highlights negative subsequent effects on entire ecosystems, including plant life.

Industrial beekeeping practices may also contribute to colony breakdowns and an overall decline in bee populations, according to a 2020 review. Another study published the same year emphasizes that increasing the overall bee population is critical for sustainable development.

The Western honeybee is not native to the United States, it arrived with colonists in the 17th century. Honeybees can pose a threat to the roughly 4,000 native species of bee in the country. For this reason, honeybees are not introduced in many conservation areas.

One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories , 17.2 grams (g) of sugar, and no fiber, fat, or protein. Honey has a slightly acidic average pH level of 3.9 , and research indicates that this acidity may help prevent the growth of bacteria.

It is worth noting that the exact physical properties of honey depend on the flora used to make it.

When stored in an airtight container, honey has no expiration date.

Honey’s sweetness can make it an ideal substitute for sugar, and research indicates that using honey instead of adding sugar may benefit people with diabetes.

It is crucial to note that honey qualifies as an added sugar and provides excess calories with no nutritional benefit. Having a diet high in added sugars can lead to increased body weight, which carries risks of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Honey is a form of sugar, so a person’s intake should be moderate. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that women get no more than 100 calories a day from added sugars and men no more than 150 calories a day from this source. This amounts to about 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men.

Another risk is botulism. According to research , the bacteria that causes this serious illness can contaminate honey, and approximately 20% of infant botulism cases in the U.S. stem from raw honey.

Practitioners throughout the world have used honey as a remedy for more than 5,000 years . Some clinical research shows that honey may help heal wounds and burns, fight infections, and alleviate cold and flu symptoms.

A person may also benefit from using honey as a sugar substitute, in moderation. It is important to keep in mind that healthy overall eating patterns are key in preventing illness and supporting well-being. While individual foods can have certain effects, it is important to focus on consuming a varied, balanced diet.


6. Bee Benefits Abound

The use of bee products for medicinal purposes stands out as one of the few “alternative” medicines that has its own technical term—“apitheraphy,” nicely anglicized from Latin terms that mean, literally but not very surprisingly, “healing with bees.” Apitherapists use the full array of bee products in their treatments, and they frequently mix bee products with potent herbs, concocting dietary supplements that relieve the symptoms of chronic complaints. Herbalists and homeopaths frequently treat arthritis patients with bee venom much as South American ant advocates use their devil ant toxins to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Recent research confirms that bee products promote healthy immune systems, improve circulation and decrease inflammation, making them appropriate for use with patients suffering everything from migraine headaches to erectile dysfunction.


AYURVEDIC MEDICINE AND ARTHRITIS

The term Ayurveda, a Sanskrit word, translates into knowledge (veda) of life (ayur). Inseparable from the prebiblical roots of the Hindu civilization and religion, the ancient Hindu texts of knowledge (the Vedas, including Ayurveda) and mythology (the great epics) were written in Sanskrit, the most ancient Indian language. Centuries later, these ancient texts are available, although much has been lost to the vicissitudes of time and the changes in human perception and translations. Some of the well-known ancient Ayurvedic texts are the Caraka Samhita (CS, ? bc ), 15 Sushruta Samhita (? bc ), Ashtanga Hrdaya (600 ad ), and Madhav Nidan (MN, 700 ad ). 18 The chronologic origins of Ayurveda (varies from 1000–6000 bc in the literature), especially with reference to the CS and Sushruta Samhita, are still controversial. The Artharvadeda, dated between 1000 and 1500 bc, contains several references to the Ayurvedic system. Caraka and Sushruta, the forefathers of the system, practiced and taught Ayurveda in the prebiblical era. The CS and MN were both written in verse form. The MN, based on the teachings of the CS, dealt exclusively with diagnosis and classification. The ancient Ayurvedic medicinal system was highly developed, and many have considered it to be the first medicinal system. 16 Sushruta was probably the first doctor to practice and teach surgery.

In recent times, an interest in natural remedies, including Ayurveda, has been reawakened. A recent survey 6 of 394 Indian patients suffering from chronic rheumatic disorders reported that almost 68% of patients sought relief from alternative systems (with the Ayurvedic system being the most popular) for the major duration of their illness. 6 In half of this group, Ayurveda was coprescribed with modern medicines, and only 32% of patients adhered to pure allopathy.

This author has referred to the English translations of the CS and MN. Key Ayurvedic terms are often provided in parentheses. The author has quoted, whenever relevant, the translation of the Sanskrit verse (V), sometimes with a simplified Ayurvedic explanation. Medicinal plants have been identified by their modern botanical names along with their popular Indian names.

Address reprint requests to Arvind Chopra, MD, DNB, Baba House, 765 Dastur Meher Road, Camp, Pune 411001, India, [email protected]

Center for Rheumatic Diseases, Hermes Doctor House, Bharati Hospital and BV Medical College, Inlaks-Budhrani Hospital, Pune, India


Everything you need to know about CBD oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) is an oil derived from the cannabis plant. Possible health benefits include reducing inflammation and pain. However, it is not legal in all states, and there may also be some risks.

In June 2018, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the prescription use of Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD oil, for treating two types of epilepsy. Other forms of cannabis are legal in other states.

Cannabis contains a wide range of compounds, with varying effects. Some — but not all— are useful as a treatment. Similarly, some forms — but not all — are legal in some states.

This article will look at what CBD is, how it might benefit a person’s health, how to use it, any possible risks, and its legal status in the United States.

Is CBD legal? Hemp-derived CBD products with less than 0.3% THC are legal federally but still illegal under some state laws. Cannabis-derived CBD products, on the other hand, are illegal federally but legal under some state laws. Check local legislation, especially when traveling. Also, keep in mind that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved nonprescription CBD products, which may be inaccurately labeled.

Share on Pinterest CBD oil may help manage symptoms of chronic pain.

CBD is one of many cannabinoids (compounds) in the cannabis plant. Researchers have been looking at the possible therapeutic uses of CBD.

Two of the compounds in marijuana are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD. These compounds have different effects.

Until recently, THC was the best-known compound in cannabis. It is the most active constituent, and it has a psychological effect. It creates a mind-altering “high” when a person smokes it or uses it in cooking. This is because THC breaks down when a person applies heat and introduces it into the body.

CBD, in contrast, is not psychoactive. It does not change a person’s state of mind when they use it. However, it may produce significant changes in the body, and it is showing some significant medical benefits.

Find out more about the differences between CBD and THC.

Where does CBD come from?

CBD comes from the cannabis plant. People refer to cannabis plants as either hemp or marijuana, depending on how much THC they contain.

The FDA note that hemp plants are legal under the Farm Bill, as long as they contain less than 0.3% THC.

Over the years, marijuana farmers have selectively bred their plants to contain high levels of THC and other compounds that suited their interests.

However, hemp farmers rarely modify the plant. CBD oil comes from these legal hemp plants.

How CBD works

All cannabinoids produce effects in the body by interacting with cannabinoid receptors, which form part of the endocannabinoid system .

The body produces two receptors:

CB1 receptors are present throughout the body, particularly in the brain. They co-ordinate movement, pain, emotion, mood, thinking, appetite, memories, and other functions.

CB2 receptors are more common in the immune system. They affect inflammation and pain.

THC attaches to CB1 receptors but CBD stimulates the receptors so that the body produces its own cannabinoids, known as endocannabinoids.

CBD may benefit a person’s health in various ways.

According to a 2018 study , reasons for taking CBD oil include:

  • chronic pain
  • arthritis or joint pain
  • anxiety and depression
  • sleep disorder
  • migraine
  • cluster and other headaches
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • nausea
  • cancer
  • allergies or asthma
  • epilepsy and other seizure disorders
  • multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • lung conditions
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease

There is some evidence to support some of these uses.

How does CBD help relieve pain? Learn more here.

Natural pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties

Conventional drugs can help relieve stiffness and pain, but some people see CBD as a more natural alternative.

There is growing evidence that the non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana, such as CBD, could provide a new treatment for chronic pain.

In 2018, mouse studies showed that CBD reduces inflammation by preventing the release of compounds that trigger inflammation in the body.

A 2019 study showed that CBD applied to the skin as an ointment significantly reduced inflammatory skin disease and scarring.

Quitting smoking and drug withdrawal

A 2013 pilot study found that smokers who used inhalers containing CBD smoked fewer cigarettes than usual and stopped craving nicotine. This suggests that CBD may help people quit smoking.


A 2018 study found that CBD helped reduce cravings during withdrawal from tobacco because of its relaxing effect.

Authors of a 2015 review found evidence that specific cannabinoids, such as CBD, may help people with opioid addiction disorders.

The researchers noted that CBD reduced some symptoms associated with substance use disorders. These included anxiety, mood-related symptoms, pain, and insomnia.

Research continues to support CBD’s use in managing withdrawal symptoms.

Epilepsy

After years of research into the safety and effectiveness of CBD oil for treating epilepsy, the FDA approved the use of Epidiolex, a purified form of CBD, in 2018.

They approved it for treating the following in people aged 3 years and over:

These rare forms of epilepsy involve seizures that are difficult to control with other types of medication.

Scientists are beginning to understand how CBD prevents seizures without the sedating side effects of medications used previously. Synthetic drugs are not yet available that target the endocannnabinoid system as CBD does.

Learn more here about Epidiolex (cannabidiol).

Alzheimer’s disease

Numerous studies have looked at the effect of CBD on Alzheimer’s disease.

In 2014, a rodent study showed that CBD might help people retain the ability to recognize familiar faces. People with Alzheimer’s can lose this ability.

One 2019 review found that CBD might help slow the onset and progress of Alzheimer’s disease. More research is underway to understand the dosage better. Some scientists believe a treatment involving both THC and CHD may be more effective.

Other neurological symptoms and disorders

Research suggests that CBD may also help treat complications linked to epilepsy, such as neurodegeneration, neuronal injury, and psychiatric diseases.

A 2012 study found that CBD may produce effects similar to those of certain antipsychotic drugs and that the compound may provide a safe and effective treatment for people with schizophrenia. However, further research is necessary.

Fighting cancer

Authors of a 2012 review found evidence that CBD may help prevent the spread of some types of cancer. The compound appears to suppress the growth of cancer cells and promote their destruction.

The researchers pointed out that CBD has low levels of toxicity. They called for more research into how CBD could support standard cancer treatments.

A 2020 review article discusses adding CBD to chemotherapy drugs to improve the immune system’s response to cancer treatment.

Other research has been looking at how CBD might help:

  • prevent the growth of cancer cells
  • reduce anxiety
  • improve the action of chemotherapy
  • lessen the side effects of conventional chemotherapy

Learn more here about CBD and cancer.

Anxiety disorders

Doctors have often advised people with chronic anxiety to avoid cannabis, as THC can trigger or amplify feelings of anxiousness and paranoia. CBD, on the other hand, may help reduce anxiety.

A 2019 study showed that CBD significantly reduced symptoms in mice with anxiety.

Authors of a 2015 review had previously suggested that CBD might help reduce anxiety-related behaviors in people with the following conditions:

  • PTSD
  • general anxiety disorder (GAD)
  • panic disorder
  • social anxiety disorder
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder

The authors noted that current treatments could have adverse effects, and some people stop using them for this reason. However, there is no evidence to confirm that CBD has significant adverse effects.

Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system attacks cells in the pancreas, leading to inflammation.

In 2016, researchers found evidence that CBD may ease this inflammation and protect against or delay the onset of type 1 diabetes.

In a 2018 study, CBD appeared to have neuroprotective effects on rats with diabetes, including helping preserve their memory and reducing nerve inflammation.

Acne treatment is another promising use for CBD. The condition is caused, in part, by inflammation and overworked sebaceous glands in the body.

A 2014 study found that CBD helps to lower the production of sebum that leads to acne, partly because of its anti-inflammatory effect.

Applying CBD topically may reduce inflammation in psoriasis and other inflammatory skin diseases, according to research.

CBD is becoming a more common ingredient in skin creams and ointments. However, some experts have concerns about the lack of evidence regarding its effectiveness and the lack of regulation.

The legal status of CBD in the U.S. is complex. Hemp and hemp-derived products are legal under the Farm Bill, as long as their THC content is less than 0.3%.

However, there is still some confusion over the specifics.

People should check the laws in their state and any travel destination.

It is worth remembering that the FDA have not yet approved any nonprescription products, which means people cannot be sure about what their product contains.

As with most therapies, CBD use may entail some risks. It may interact with supplements and other drugs. Most CBD products do not have FDA approval, which also means they have not undergone thorough tests.

It is not possible to know if a product:

  • is safe and effective for everyone to use
  • has the properties or contents stated on the packaging

Anyone who is using CBD – whether as a prescription drug or in other forms — should first speak to a doctor.

  • liver damage
  • interactions with other drugs and alcohol
  • changes in alertness, which can make driving dangerous
  • gastrointestinal problems and loss of appetite
  • mood changes, including irritability and irritation
  • a reduction in fertility for males

Future research may prove CBD effective in treating various conditions. For now, however, the FDA urge people not to depend on CBD as an alternative to conventional medical care.

During pregnancy

Experts believe that using marijuana during pregnancy may affect the fetal development of neurons. Regular use among teens is associated with issues concerning memory, behavior, and intelligence.

The FDA advise people not to use CBD during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.