Nature’s Powerful Medicine and How to Incorporate Them into Your Diet- Part 2

natural medicine

Turmeric is a Powerful Anti-inflammatory and Anti-Microbial Agent

Turmeric is an ancient spice that has been popular in India and Asia since the early 2000s. It is actually part of the ginger family and has many culinary and medicinal uses. In fact, turmeric has been used for generations by Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine to combat illness. It also has been touted in Western medicine to treat ailments such as liver disease, skin problems, gastrointestinal and respiratory issues, wound healing, sprains and sore muscles.  Turmeric has been scientifically proven to counteract inflammation, fungal infections, bacteria and, best of all, cancer. The main phytonutrient found in turmeric that gives it its medicinal qualities is curcumin. According to a leading natural medicine cancer physician by the name of Dr. LaValley, curcumin is able to hit multiple molecular targets, making it effective in combating many different types of cancers.  It is non-toxic and, therefore, does not affect healthy cells in a negative way. Interestingly, there is a plethora of research available on turmeric as a natural defense method. The research shows that the curcuminoids have the ability to communicate with approximately 160 mechanisms in the body to support metabolic processes, including those responsible for brain health, cardiovascular health, tissue health and more.  In some studies, curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, was found to be therapeutic against liver disease as well. Studies conducted on rats found that curcumin has the ability to help prevent liver problems and, in some cases, has reversed liver damage. What’s more, turmeric is notably effective in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. A clinical trial is underway by scientists in the UCLA department of neurology that will determine how effective curcumin is in the prevention of Alzheimer’s, but it’s looking positive.

Turmeric also supports digestion, as it protects the stomach lining against acidic foods that would otherwise cause ulcers.

Not surprisingly, turmeric has a world of health benefits. Did you know that it also can help heal your wounds? Wound healing tends to be accelerated as turmeric soothes irritation and slows down oxidation. The reason behind this involves turmeric supporting collagen synthesis rates and increasing tissue strength. Using topical turmeric leads to a flourishing of cells around the wound. I personally have experienced the success of this process firsthand when I sustained injuries to my face that stemmed from an allergic reaction. The turmeric expedited the decrease of the inflammation around the wound and enabled it to form a scab more quickly than it would have without using turmeric.

If you would like to try using tumeric in your meal preparations, delicious recipes are endless. I use it in vegetarian bean stews, various soups and in the preparation of veggie, meat or fish dishes. I would like to share some of my favorites with you. These dishes are regular staples in my household.

Veggie Bean Stew

Mince 3 stalks of organic celery, 2 organic carrots, 2 organic zucchinis, 1 organic sweet yellow onion, 3 cloves of organic garlic and place in a slow cooker. Add ¼ cup each of your 3 favorite organic beans and ¼ cup of organic red lentils and quinoa to the cooker. Cover the ingredients with 6 cups of filtered water and 4 cups of your favorite organic tomato sauce.  Add 3 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 2 teaspoons of organic turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of organic sweet paprika. You can add a bunch of any and all of your fresh organic herbs too!

Moroccan Salmon

Saute organic garlic, organic celery, organic red and green peppers and organic carrots. Place the salmon fillets over the veggies and cover. In a separate dish, combine 1 cup homemade vegetable broth, a bit of organic olive oil, about 1 teaspoon of organic turmeric, some cumin, paprika, curry, salt and pepper. Whisk ingredients and pour over the salmon, simmer to completion. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

Turmeric Cauliflower

Blanch a head of chopped organic cauliflower, then transfer to a pan containing 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, 2 cloves of minced garlic and saute to the desired texture. Top the vegetables with a a few dashes of organic salt, pepper and turmeric powder to taste. Toss and serve hot beside your dinner. 

Here is my quick and easy wound relief salve. It is a natural topical solution that provides homeopathic relief. Try this suggestion from Mimi’s Organic Corner

Turmeric Paste

Add turmeric to coconut or jojoba oil and use topically to soothe wounds and bug bites. Various essential oils can be added to this salve for differing effects. For example, adding a few drops of frankincense oil will boost the paste’s anti-inflammatory properties, and adding lavender essential oil to the mixture will help sooth burns.

Ginger Is a Natural Antibiotic and Antibacterial and Anti-Cancer

Ginger is a member of the Zingiberaceae family and its scientific name is Zingiber Officinale. Ginger is a natural wonder that has a wealth of medicinal properties resulting from beneficial compounds contain anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer and antioxidant properties. Some of these compounds include bioactive phenolics, gingerols, paradols, shogaols and gingerones.

The use of ginger as a domestic remedy is known the world over. It has been used for centuries to bring relief to digestive issues and nausea. It also typically is used for colds, asthma, cough, swelling, loss of appetite and more.

Recent research suggests that among ginger’s medicinal properties is the power to kill cancer cells, including those that cause breast, colon, rectal, liver, lung, prostate and pancreatic as well as melanoma.  The nice thing is that it kills cancer cells while keeping the healthy cells alive.

Ginger is also effective in the reduction of inflammation. The gingerol compound gives ginger its anti-inflammatory power and truly makes this one of nature’s most powerful medicines!

It is easy to incorporate ginger into your diet with suggestions from Mimi’s Organic Corner. One of my favorite ginger recipes is ginger and cinnamon tea. This recipe also incorporates turmeric for a wealth of antioxidant and wellness power.

Ginger Cinnamon Turmeric Elixir

Chop and peel 2 fingers of organic ginger root and organic turmeric root. Boil this along with 4 organic cinnamon sticks and allow to steep for at least an hour or until the tea turns a bright red. Serve hot or cold.  I enjoy it at room temperature and typically drink this instead of water to get the health benefits daily.

Ginger Cumin Carrots

Use 1 pound of organic carrots, 6 tablespoons of organic coconut oil, 2 teaspoons of organic cumin, 2 cloves of organic chopped garlic, 1 teaspoon of organic chopped ginger and salt and pepper to taste. Heat the oil in a pan and add the cumin, salt and pepper. Then add the carrots, garlic and ginger. Sauté this veggie mixture until the carrots are at your preferred tenderness. This recipe also can be basked in the oven.

Ginger Apple and Butternut Soup

Peel and dice 4 pounds of organic butternut squash and 1 ½ pounds of organic quartered apples (preferably organic honey crisp), steam with 1 cinnamon stick until squash is tender. Add 3 sticks of organic unsalted butter, ½ teaspoon of organic peeled and grated ginger, ½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of nutmeg, 6 cups of your favorite organic coconut milk and boil. Then bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes. Finally, blend in a Vitamix or blender and return to the pot. Serve hot.

Onions Are Antimicrobial and Antibacterial

If you can get over the pungent smell that onions leave on your breath, you can benefit tremendously from incorporating onions into your diet. Onions contain sulfuric compounds, vitamin C and other phytonutrients, such as flavonoids. Also found in onions are a whole gamut of vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin A, sodium, potassium, protein, calcium and iron. These nutrients give onion the ability to interact with the body’s metabolic functions and trigger favorable responses. Onions are used in the homeopathic world to bring relief to many ailments. The chromium found in onions assists with the regulation of blood sugar as allows the body to produce more insulin.

Onions contain a potent phytonutrient known as quercetin, which acts as a powerful antioxidant. It has been widely touted to play a pivotal role in cancer prevention therapies. Quercetin also relaxes the airway muscles and possibly provides relief of asthma symptoms. This was noted by a study in the “America Journal of Physiology”.  According to the National Onion Association, onions contain phytochemicals that provide anticancer and antimicrobial properties. These compounds include disulfides, trisulfides, cepanene and vinyldithiins, all of which work with the body and increase its ability to maintain proper health.

The University of Maryland Medical Center noted that onions can reduce symptoms of bladder infections and reduce blood pressure.

The fiber content in onions aids digestion as well as keeping your bowels regular. There is a specific soluble fiber in onions that promotes good bacteria growth in the intestines and leads to overall health.

The antioxidants in onions fight against free radicals and help boost immunity against harmful agents. Onions also can be used topically to reduce inflammation. Chop some raw onions and place in a cup beside the sick one’s bedside as the onions absorb the microbes and bacteria from the surrounding environment.

Onions can be prepared in many different ways. You can enjoy then cooked or raw, in sandwiches, soups, stews, salads and more. So many wonderful recipes use onions. Here is a quick and easy one from Mimi’s Organic Corner that can accompany any main dish and is delicious over basmati rice or quinoa.

Caramelized Onions with Mushrooms and Peppers

Cover the bottom of a large saucepan with coconut oil and sauté 3 minced organic garlic cloves, 3 sliced organic onions, 3 sliced organic peppers and a 16-ounce container of your favorite style of chopped organic mushrooms. Season with Italian seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.

Quinoa Side

Cooked quinoa can be tossed with diced organic onions, diced organic garlic and diced organic red peppers. You can add organic corn, and a favorite organic bean of your choice. Season with salt and pepper to taste garnish with cilantro.

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