Arthritis is a common complaint in many of the clients I service, and most are on anti-inflammatory meds, or supplements like glucosamine. According to a recent article in Bottom Line, winter 2014, there appear to be four little-known ways to reduce the pain with painkillers. These four are: 1) Green tea, rich in polyphenols-compounds that suppress the expression of a key gene involved in arthritis inflammation. The jury is still out on black tea. Drink 2 cups of hot or cold green tea daily. 2). Increase dosage of vitamins C and D. Vitamin C slows the loss of cartilage due to osteoarthritis, while diets low in vitamin D have been shown to actually speed the progression of osteoarthritis. Take 1000 mg of vitamin C (sustained release) and at least 3,000 IU’s of D. 3). Try willow bark and boswellia. Willow bark is where aspirin comes from. Boswellia has been used for centuries to reduce inflammation and maintain healthy joints. A recent study showed that taking these two herbs was as effective as taking a drug like Motrin. Take 240 mg of willow bark and 1,000 mg of boswellia per day. 4). Eat red grapes or take resveratrol. Resveratrol is a natural compound found in the skin of red grapes, and is a known Cox-2 inhibitor. Resveratrol both suppresses the Cox-2 gene and deactivates the Cox-2 enzyme. The Cox-2 enzyme produces inflammation at the site of injury or pain.

Ginger to the rescue? Some 25 million Americans suffer from asthma, and many others from COPD or less than optimal lung function. Recent research has found that ginger has the capacity to open constricted airways by simultaneously inhibiting an enzyme that helps cause airway muscles to constrict, and activating another enzyme that tends to relax the airways. The study has been published online in the January issue of the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology. Look for organic ginger root, since ginger grows in the ground and can be contaminated by pesticides. Ginger is also good for digestion and upset stomachs.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.