How to Live Naturally

Aging

Since the day we all were born the aging process began whether we liked it or not.  Some of us have aged more gracefully than others, but we all end up getting to the point where, in our own minds, we convince ourselves that life is on the downhill side.

woman touches her chin using her right hand

Photo by Anderson Cavalera 

Why do we, as humans, have a tendency to be so hard on ourselves?

As you read the opening paragraph you may be anticipating a motivational article on embracing your aging self.  You will find no such verbiage here!

Motivation is great, but my hopes are to motivate you in a completely different way.  This column is about fighting the process of aging tooth and nail with Mother Nature as our guide.  Have you ever heard the old adage, “Youth is wasted on the young”?  This thought comes to my mind a lot especially as I hop on the Elliptical when I know it will kill my knees, but this is a price I pay to try and keep the bulge away.

Turmeric

Which brings me to my first natural living product – Turmeric, this is an all natural anti-inflammation supplement, at least that is what I use it for.  As a youngster my interests were running, gymnastics, and cheer leading – all of which are horrible on knees.  The first time my knee popped out the pain was excruciating, but after it healed I was right back into my sports.  The problem was that it took longer to heal then any of us downloadrealized and when it popped out the second time, my sports career was over.  Now that age has played its part bone on bone is how my knee now operates.  Every six months the Synvisc One injection keeps me walking, but this alternative is very expensive and slightly painful.

The active ingredient in Turmeric is Curcumin and has been rumored to kill cancer cells, but to date no supporting evidence can be found on this claim, although studies continue.  If you would like to read further on this please see the article below.

This ginger like plant contains curcuminoids which is a natural anti-inflammatory and that is what attracted me to this spice.  I have only been on Turmeric for 30 days now and am pleasantly surprised as to the benefits I am seeing.  On any given day my right knee is swollen and has been for years, not enough to have it drained, but significant swelling.  About two weeks after starting Turmeric my knee stopped hurting when there was moisture in the air – amazing right?  Well it only gets better, after 30 days I have noticed the swelling in my knee has reduced so significantly that it is starting to look like a knee again.

Only time will tell if this works as good as my research tells me…

Can curcumin slow cancer growth?

At this time, there isn’t enough evidence to recommend curcumin for preventing or treating cancer, but research is ongoing.

Curcumin, a substance found in the spice turmeric, has long been used in Asian medicine to treat a variety of maladies. Now some research suggests that curcumin may help prevent or treat cancer.

Curcumin is thought to have antioxidant properties, which means it may decrease swelling and inflammation. It’s being explored as a cancer treatment in part because inflammation appears to play a role in cancer.

Laboratory and animal research suggests that curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy. Curcumin is being studied for use in many types of cancer.

Studies of curcumin in people are still in the early stages. Clinical trials are underway to investigate curcumin as a way to prevent cancer in people with precancerous conditions, as a cancer treatment, and as a remedy for signs and symptoms caused by cancer treatments.

Research is ongoing, and there isn’t enough evidence to recommend curcumin at this time. As always, talk with your doctor before using any herbal supplement. It’s unclear how curcumin may interact with medications.

  1. Kumar G, et al. Molecular mechanisms underlying chemopreventive potential of curcumin: Current challenges and future perspectives. Life Sciences. 2016;148:313.
  2. Lashinger LM, et al. Interacting inflammatory and growth factor signals underlie the obesity-cancer link. The Journal of Nutrition. 2014;144:109.
  3. 60 studies found for: curcumin and cancer. ClinicalTrials.gov. https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?term=curcumin+AND+cancer. Accessed Nov. 18, 2016.
  4. Turmeric. Natural Medicines. https://naturalmedicines.therapeuticresearch.com. Accessed Nov. 18, 2016.
  5. Ghosh S, et al. The beneficial role of curcumin on inflammation, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease: A recent update. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2015;83:111.
  6. Luthra PM, et al. Prospective of curcumin, a pleiotropic signaling molecule from Curcuma longa in the treatment of glioblastoma. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 2016;109:23.
  7. Mehanny M, et al. Exploring the use of nanocarrier systems to deliver the magical molecule: Curcumin and its derivatives. Journal of Controlled Release. 2016;225:1.
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