Natural Health Benefits of Turmeric

The Extraordinary Natural Health Benefits of Turmeric

The benefits of turmeric are numerous, as it’s widely considered one of the most powerful medicinal herbs on earth. It’s also one of the most studied herbs on the planet, as in 12,500 peer-reviewed articles, studies, and clinical trials.

Turmeric has a long history of use, especially in Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used in India for centuries for a vast array of conditions and illnesses, including as an antiseptic for burns and cuts and as a remedy for digestive distress and respiratory issues. But it’s the ability to significantly reduce inflammation that makes turmeric a superstar among herbs.

What is Turmeric?

Turmeric, or Curcuma longa, is a perennial herb in the Zingiberaceae (or ginger) family. Curcuma is native to South India and grows well in hot and humid climates. It is the rhizomes, or root system, of the plant that is most often used.

Turmeric reaches a height of around three feet. Its roots are yellowish-orange in color and have been used in Asia for thousands of years as both food and medicine. Turmeric is often used in curries in Asian cuisine. And it’s added to mustard, which is what contributes to its yellow color.

Where turmeric is grown locally, the roots are often used fresh like ginger root. The leaves are also sometimes used to wrap and cook food in. Besides Asia, turmeric is popular in the Middle East, and South Africa, where it is often added to white rice giving it a nice golden color.

The main active ingredient in turmeric and that which is responsible for its bright yellow color is called curcumin. Curcumin, along with several other active compounds, is responsible for turmeric’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antitumor, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

What are the Health Benefits of Turmeric?

When you talk about the holistic healing effects of turmeric, and specifically curcumin, you have to begin with its potent anti-inflammatory properties.

Chronic inflammation is an immune response from the body when there is no threat or injury present. It’s a condition that has been linked to numerous diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and the 80 or so autoimmune diseases that exist.

The problem with chronic inflammation is that it can exist in the body undetected for years. Then not-so-suddenly, you find yourself in a state of serious disease. Think of chronic inflammation as a foundation on which numerous diseases and conditions can build upon.

This 2004 study examined numerous anti-inflammatory compounds and found curcumin to be one of the strongest, most effective anti-inflammatory compounds on the planet.

Numerous studies on mice have found that curcumin is able to reverse mild cases of Alzheimer’s disease, as this neurological disorder is directly related to chronic inflammation.

If you’re thinking that an anti-inflammatory medication is the best course of action, just remember that a powerful herb like turmeric solves issues at the root level ― functional medicine ― while medications simply mask the symptoms.

Since cancer is one of the most studied diseases on the planet, let’s take a look at how one of the most studied medicinal herbs on the planet interacts with cancer cells.

According to the holistic health practitioner, Dr. Joseph Mercola, curcumin appears to be universally useful for all cancers.

Dr. Mercola goes on to explain how unique this is, as different types of cancer have different types of pathologies, which is why you usually see different types of natural treatments work more effectively for certain types of cancers.

However, this doesn’t appear to be the case when it comes to curcumin, as it affects multiple molecular targets, via multiple pathways. According to Dr. Mercola, “Once it gets into a cell, it affects more than 100 different molecular pathways.”

He goes on to say about the anti-cancer effects of curcumin: “Whether the curcumin molecule causes an increase in activity of a particular molecular target, or decrease/inhibition of activity, studies repeatedly show that the end result is a potent anti-cancer activity.”

Best of all, unlike modern, allopathic treatments for cancer ― chemotherapy and radiation ― healthy cells are not adversely affected, which better enables your body to fight the disease. Again, another benefit of functional medicine ― allowing the body to heal itself. Curcumin is also available in a pharmaceutical form and could be administered intravenously.

Turmeric benefits also include …

• Improved lung health
• Reduced risk of blood clotting
• Improved liver function
• Reduction in depression symptoms
• Cardiovascular protection
• Cancer prevention
• Improved skin health
• Normalization of cholesterol levels
• Rheumatoid arthritis relief
• Treatment for inflammatory bowel disease
• Cystic fibrosis treatment
• Treatment and prevention of autoimmune diseases

What are the Best Ways to Consume Turmeric?

You probably wouldn’t think you could find so many ways to incorporate turmeric into your diet. But actually, it’s quite easy. You can add turmeric to rice dishes, potatoes, sautéed vegetables, stews, meats and fish dishes and if making homemade chicken soup, it gives the broth a wonderful and natural yellow color.

Natural Health pioneer, Dr. Andrew Weil, in this video talks about some of the health benefits and uses of turmeric and even mentions how little you’ll notice a flavor difference when adding a teaspoon of this magical herb to meals. He also talks a little about ginger, since they’re in the same family of herbs. And speaking of ginger …

One issue with turmeric, and in particular curcumin, is that it’s poorly absorbed by the body. However, you can increase the rate of absorption by combining it with fresh ginger and freshly ground pepper.

Dr. Mercola recommends making a microemulsion to make it more bioavailable — Mix 1 tablespoon of raw turmeric powder with two egg yolks and 2 teaspoons of melted coconut oil. We presume that you simply eat that concoction when you’re done mixing it.

As always, start out small, and see how your body reacts. Try adding turmeric to meals in smaller amounts until you feel comfortable adding more.

Remember that turmeric is first and foremost an herb, besides being a type of functional medicine, which means you can increase the dosage as needed. If you’re feeling sick, fatigued, or are experiencing muscle or joint pain, get more turmeric into your diet and see how you respond. The holistic healing effects of this special herb may really surprise you.

If you’re looking to optimize your health and wellness, sign up below, and I’ll send you a FREE copy of my ebook ― How to have Better Health: Functional Medicine 101. It’s full of valuable tips to becoming your healthiest and happiest self.

Stay Healthy Wealthy & Wise,

Elena Klimenko, MD

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=curcumin
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15489888
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1471-4159.2007.04613.x
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/04/curcumin-turmeric-benefits.aspx
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QKzD9zVdYM

Your Role in Preventing & Reversing Autoimmune Disease

To most people feeling tired is a result of not getting enough rest. Achy joints or muscles for most will seem as a result of intensive exercises. Symptoms of abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea can easily be swept under the rug and blamed on a bad meal.

Nevertheless, the above symptoms are only temporary for most people. Getting enough rest and some time to recover, or cleaning up their diet and those people will be back to their normal condition.

However, if you’re suffering from an autoimmune disease when your body is attacking itself, these symptoms are more severe and debilitating. And they could potentially be festering into another autoimmune disease. About 25% of those with autoimmune diseases have a tendency to develop another autoimmune disease causing more complications.

The Epidemic of Autoimmune Diseases

The epidemic of autoimmune diseases is booming in the 21st century. Why is so many people’s immune system is turning on them and attacking healthy tissue? Many doctors and patients point to genetics – saying that you were bound to get it someday. However, genetic predisposition accounts for only 30-50% of autoimmune diseases, while environmental factors account for the rest, 50-70%.

Environmental factors triggering autoimmune diseases include:

• Gut health
• Toxins
• Diet
• Stress
• Infections.

Toxins, unhealthy diets, and stress are everyday factors in the world we live in. These environmental triggers set off an imbalance in your body including hormonal imbalances, gut dysbiosis, oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and neurotransmitter imbalances. These imbalances alter your defense mechanisms leading to more infections and possibly to an autoimmune disease.

Fortunately, you can manage these environmental factors. And possibly you may be able to prevent or even reverse autoimmune diseases and heal your body.

What are Autoimmune Diseases?

There is a broad spectrum of autoimmune diseases consisting of about 80 different disorders. These types of autoimmune diseases can affect any part of your body, leaving you with a variety of different symptoms. However, at the core of all autoimmune diseases, there’s a glitch in your immune system, which leads to an attack on your healthy organs and tissues.

And because of this, a symptom which all autoimmune diseases have in common is some type of inflammation. Whether it be in thyroid, in case of Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or in the gut, in case of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, or in a central nervous system (neuroinflammation) in multiple sclerosis. Wherever it is, the body is inflamed and under attack.

Our immune system is specifically wired to protect us from foreign invaders including parasites, harmful bacteria, and viruses. Due to genetic predisposition and other environmental factors, our immune system may sometimes fail to recognize these foreign invaders. This can lead to a chronic inflammation.

Let’s face it, our immune system is not like our brain or heart where you can point to an exact location or particular parts of the body. Our immune system is an intricate system working with multiple different systems to keep us safe. However, according to a fairly new research, close to 80% of these working systems are related to our gut. That is why gut health has become so important within the autoimmune disease community.

Autoimmune diseases can be tricky to diagnose because of the wide range of symptoms affecting multiple parts of the body. Autoimmune symptoms can easily be mistaken for bothersome symptoms that don’t require immediate attention. But those symptoms could just be the canary in the coal mine alerting you of a weakened immune system.

Signs of a Weak Immune System

Since autoimmune symptoms tend to be somewhat vague, the actual disease might not apparent until years later. For that reason, curing autoimmune diseases can be difficult because, by the time you develop autoimmunity, some organs may be already damaged.

So making yourself more aware of possible signs that your immune system might be developing a glitch is important for your overall health. The following are the signs of a weak immune system:
• Joint or muscle pain, muscle weakness
• Recurrent rashes or hives
• Butterfly-shaped rash across nose and cheeks
• Fatigue or insomnia
• Weight loss or weight gain
• Cold or heat intolerance
• Unexplained fever
• Hair loss
• Hyperactivity and difficulty concentrating
• Abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, or blood or mucus in stool
• Dry eyes, mouth, or skin
• Harden or thickened skin
• Numbness, pain, or color changes in fingers or toes

If you are experiencing any combination of these symptoms, talk to your alternative or integrative medicine doctor because you may have an autoimmune disease.

Most Common Autoimmune Diseases

Although there are 80 different types of autoimmune diseases, the most common autoimmune diseases include:
• Rheumatoid arthritis
• Hashimoto’s disease
• Grave’s disease
• Addison’s disease
• Systemic lupus erythematosus
• Celiac, Chron’s, ulcerative colitis
• Type 1 diabetes
• Sjogren’s syndrome
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Multiple sclerosis

If you have a family history of these diseases and multiple environmental factors, which play a role in autoimmunity chances are higher you can develop an autoimmune disease. But with some work with your doctor, you both can work on an integrative approach for your autoimmune disease.

Integrative Approach to Autoimmune Disease

Talk to your integrative medicine doctor today if you experience any of the above signs of a weak immune system. Alternative medicine treatments are essential in reversing autoimmune diseases and healing your body. Because it’s not only about genetics – environmental factors have the strongest influence on your health.

Identifying environmental triggers such as evaluating for toxins, testing gut health, recognizing stress, and evaluating your diet helps to pinpoint what has set off your autoimmune disease.

Request an appointment today with Dr. Elena Klimenko to experience her integrative approach in the healing of autoimmune diseases. This functional medicine doctor uses genetic testing, blood work, advanced stool testing, and many other advanced methods necessary to first uncover the root cause of your disorder, and then heal your body through functional and integrative medicine approaches such as IV therapy, acupuncture, homeopathy, etc. You can also call at (212) 696-4325 to make an appointment with this NYC practice.

References:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150011/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290643/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4290643/
https://www.drelenaklimenko.com/detoxification-path-to-greater-health-part-2/
https://www.drelenaklimenko.com/mysterious-symptoms-blame-biotoxins/
https://www.drelenaklimenko.com/mysterious-symptoms-blame-biotoxins/
https://www.drelenaklimenko.com/constipation-relief-part-3-dysbiosis/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/
https://www.drelenaklimenko.com/integrative-medicine-best-of-both-worlds/
https://www.drelenaklimenko.com/pellentesque-ullamcorper-tellus-sed-diam-3/
https://www.drelenaklimenko.com/acupuncture-tcm/

Integrative Medicine: The Best of Both Worlds

Integrative Medicine: The Best of Both Worlds

When it comes to medicine and treatment in the western world conventional doctors have put themselves and their patients into a bubble. Examining the body in only specific areas can cause traditional doctors to miss the big picture in the disease process.

While conventional medicine is great for treating acute care and trauma it has trouble treating and preventing chronic diseases and persistent, undiagnosed symptoms.

Treatments which work for some might not work with others and this is where integrative medicine comes in. By using non-traditional medicine and natural therapies integrative medicine is also able to incorporate state-of-the-art conventional medical treatments and therapies – the best of both worlds!

What is Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine is a healing-oriented medicine which takes into account your whole person including mind, body, spirit, and community. It includes all aspects of your lifestyle habits and is patient-focused.

With conventional medicine, also known in today’s world as Western medicine, doctors are mainly focused on certain areas of the body. This traditional type of medicine treats the signs and symptoms of disease through medication and/or surgery.

This practice of medicine focuses on the bigger picture and incorporates an alternative approach as well as a conventional approach. This broad approach of integrative medicine aims to treat the full person – not just the signs and symptoms of the disease.

It is now being recognized as a successful approach to addressing the chronic disease epidemic in our nation.

Types of Integrative Medicine

Integrative medicine uses individualized treatment plans which best suits your needs and wants. With integrative medicine, it gives you empowerment through your own decision making in your treatment and care plan.

Types of integrative medicine include:

Principles of Integrative Medicine

Andrew Weil, MD played a major role in codifying and establishing the emerging field of integrative medicine. His focus on treating and caring for the whole person integrates scientifically-validated therapies of conventional medicine with complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

The principles of integrative medicine include:

  • A strong partnership between patient and doctor through your healing process
  • The appropriate use of conventional and alternative methods to facilitate the body’s innate healing response
  • The consideration of all factors that influence health, wellness, and disease including mind, spirit and community as well as body
  • A philosophy that neither rejects conventional medicine nor accepts alternative medicine uncritically
  • Recognition that good medicine be based in good science
  • Inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms
  • The use of natural, less invasive interventions whenever possible
  • The broader concepts of promotion of health and the prevention of illness as well as the treatment of disease.

Integrative Medicine Versus Functional Medicine

Integrative medicine and functional medicine have similarities which overlap each other, but they also have distinct differences in their approach to treatment and care for the patient. Both integrative and functional medicine focus on your whole body rather than just the signs and symptoms of certain diseases.

While integrative medicine is a holistic medicine approach with patient-centered care, it does take into account conventional health care practices to diagnose and treat patients. Integrative medicine looks at your overall health including mind, body, and soul to promote healing and wellbeing.

With functional medicine, it also focuses on your overall health with the patient as its core focal point. But functional medicine incorporates a system-oriented medical approach which aims to identify the underlying root cause of a disease. For this reason, functional medicine will conduct genetic and environmental research on patients to understand the root cause of your disease. And functional medicine does not use traditional medicine therapies with its approach.

These types of approaches can help prevent and reverse many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and autoimmune diseases through non-traditional and natural treatment. Integrative medicine and functional medicine are both at the forefront of healthcare of the 21st century.

What Are the Benefits of Integrative Medicine?

Integrative medicine offers a wide-range of benefits with its approach to medical conditions. The following are some of the benefits you can experience with integrative medicine:

  • Preventing and reversing chronic diseases
  • Saving money on long-term health expenses
  • Feeling empowerment through personal autonomy of care
  • Treating the whole-self not just the signs and symptoms
  • Receiving respectable care based on your values, beliefs, and preferences
  • Having the choice between more therapeutic options

Integrative Medicine Doctors in New York

Integrative medicine dives deeper than just the surface of conventional medicine. With the healthcare crisis we are dealing with in our economy today, integrative medicine is aimed to prevent disease and illness. I do this through integrative strategies which help you foster the development of healthy lifestyle habits to use throughout your life.

It also helps my patients get back to the basics of their health through alternative therapies while also having the ability to use conventional therapy when needed.

Through integrative medicine’s mind-body-spirit community philosophy you aren’t just another number to me as with traditional doctors – your personalized care is what I value.

I have over 15 years of experience in integrative and functional medicine. My main focus is helping you achieve health and wellness while working with your personal needs, values, and beliefs. If you’re looking for an integrative medicine doctor in the New York City area request an appointment today with Dr. Elena Klimenko or call (212) 696-4325.

I have specialized experience and expertise in complex and chronic conditions include:

  • Acute illnesses
  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • ADD, ADHD
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer prevention
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Detoxification and healing
  • Metabolic syndrome, diabetes, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance
  • Digestive disorders (IBD, IBS, GERD/reflux, colitis, and gluten sensitivity)
  • Skin conditions (eczema, psoriasis, and acne)
  • Environmental and food allergies
  • Female disorders (PMS, menopause, perimenopause, infertility, PCOS)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Healthy aging, weight, and metabolism
  • Cardiovascular health (blood pressure and cholesterol)
  • Heavy metal toxicity including mercury
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Parasites and intestinal infections
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Difficulty sleeping and insomnia
  • Testosterone deficiency
  • Thyroid and adrenal disorders
  • Complex chronic diseases
Is Coconut Oil Still Good For You?

Is Coconut Oil Still Good For You?

Yes. Coconut Oil Is Still Good for You. Here Are 4 Studies That Suggest Why.

You’ve probably seen the coconut oil articles spreading around social media. With headlines like “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy” and “Coconut oil is out” it’s no wonder people are confused.

These articles were spurred by an American Heart Association (AHA) report that revisited their dietary guidelines on fat and cholesterol. Overall, they didn’t really say anything new since they’ve been incorrectly blaming saturated fats for cardiovascular disease (CVD) for decades.

But in this AHA report, they emphasized the use of polyunsaturated fats over saturated fats. And what shocked the health and wellness industry further, is that they recommended dangerous, inflammatory vegetable oils over coconut oil.

I want to take a moment and set the record straight about some of the key points in the article.

  1. Coconut oil IS high in saturated fat – One of the reasons the AHA recommended against using coconut oil is because of the high saturated fat content. Coconut oil is 82% saturated fat. As with nearly all foods, you should eat coconut oil in moderation. MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) Oil, are a component of coconut oil and are also beneficial to your health.

The report does recommend that 6 percent of your diet come saturated fats, which would be about two tablespoons of coconut oil. That’s a good amount of fat and coconut oil.

  1. Saturated fat does NOT cause cardiovascular disease, SUGAR DOES – The idea that cardiovascular disease is caused by saturated fat clogging the arteries is an incorrect concept that began in the 1950’s and has somehow stuck around. This notion causes the entire food industry to switch to “Fat- Free” and consequently increase sugar content in foods. The results are obvious — cardiovascular disease rate keeps climbing up and the rate of obesity increased dramatically since the implementation of the “Fat-Free” frenzy.

Numerous studies have proven that saturated fat does not cause cardiovascular disease. It’s inflammation that causes cardiovascular disease. And it’s time to set the record straight. Diets that are high in sugars and simple carbohydrates and low-fat cause inflammation, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.

  1. LDL cholesterol is not the only factor in cardiovascular disease risk – The reasoning the AHA had against recommending coconut oil was that it increases your LDL cholesterol, “a known cause of CVD.”

They then said that coconut oil had “no known offsetting favorable effects.” This isn’t true. Coconut oil raises your HDL cholesterol levels, which studies have shown reduces CVD risk. More importantly, your LDL to HDL ratio is a better indicator when examining your risk for CVD than LDL alone.

  1. Vegetable oils are terrible for you – Vegetable oils are inflammatory, contain pesticides, are mostly GMO, and are unstable.

Polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils are packed with omega-6 fatty acids which are inflammatory. While you do need some omega-6s, many Americans eat up to 50 times more omega-6s than they should and vegetable oils found in processed foods and fast food restaurants are one of the major culprits.

Vegetable oils are also bad for you because they break down readily under heat when cooking. Polyunsaturated fats are easily oxidized when heated meaning they will react with free radicals in the body and can cause cell membrane and DNA damage.

Now that we understand where a lot of the confusion surrounding this report came from, let’s take a look at the ways coconut oil is good for you. And remember, as with most things in life – moderation is key.

4 Studies That Suggest Coconut Oil is Good for You

Studies on coconut oil are typically relatively small and require a little interpretation and gentle extrapolation for the purpose of making your own decision on whether or not you’ll incorporate coconut oil into your diet. Overall coconut oil is a safe food that should be experimented with to find if it’s best for you.

1. Coconut oil is better than soybean oil

study on the effects of coconut oil versus soybean oil on 40 obese women found that coconut oil reduced waist circumference, while the waist circumference of those that used soybean oil slightly increased.

Both groups consumed about two tablespoons of their respective oils each day, walked 50 minutes, and followed similar low-calorie diets.

While both groups lost about two pounds, the coconut oil group had an increase in the “good” HDL cholesterol and a decrease in C-reactive protein (an inflammation marker). The soybean oil group experienced an increase in the “bad” LDL cholesterol, a decrease in HDL cholesterol, and a decrease in the C-reactive protein.

What this means for you: Try switching out any vegetable oils you use for coconut oil and note the changes. Adding coconut oil to your diet could be especially helpful if you are overweight or struggling to keep inflammation down.

2. Simply adding coconut oil to your diet (with no other changes) may increase weight loss

study of 20 overweight men and women consumed two tablespoons of coconut oil each day for four weeks without changing anything else about their diet or exercise routines. The men lost an average of 1.2 pounds and 1 inch off their waist and the women lost an average of 0.5 pounds and 1.2 inches off their waist.

While a study of twenty people isn’t large enough to determine direct cause and effect, it does suggest this is a simple and safe experiment you can try. Just watch your sugars and carbs while doing that.

What this means for you: Why not do this yourself? Try adding two tablespoons of coconut oil to your diet each day for four weeks without changing anything else and see what happens. You may find coconut oil to be beneficial to you.

3. Coconut oil is great for natural dental hygiene

Coconut pulling is an age-old Ayurvedic technique thought to help fight plaque-forming bacteria in your saliva. A study of 60 people swished with either coconut oil or chlorhexidine mouthwash and their bacteria levels were measured before and after. Both mouth rinses significantly reduced the Streptococcus mutans bacteria.

Because there was no difference between the two washes and chlorhexidine is a disinfectant – coconut oil is a great natural replacement.

What this means for you: Add coconut pulling to your dental hygiene routines for a natural method that promotes good teeth health.

4. Coconut based, high saturated fat diet may improve LDL/HDL ratios in women

A study that had 25 women compare three diets (one high in coconut oil, one low in coconut oil, and one high in polyunsaturated fats) revealed that the best of the three diets for having the healthiest LDL/HDL ratio was the high saturated fat, coconut oil diet.

What this means for you: Again, a study of 25 women is not enough to be conclusive but it does suggest that it might be a good idea for you to see how coconut oil impacts your personal health, especially if you are struggling to maintain a good LDL to HDL ratio.

The Importance of Interpreting Data for Yourself

Beyond the irresponsible and misleading arguments regarding the cause of cardiovascular disease and the strange attack on coconut oil, the AHA is recommending polyunsaturated vegetable oils, which is downright dangerous.

A big concern is that the  – American Heart Association – packs authority. And they’ve published a poorly researched, grossly misguiding report. One that’s being repeated across mainstream news outlets across the country.

It seems surprising that the AHA would recommend vegetable oils so freely when there are mountains of data to suggest that it’s bad for your health. But then at the bottom of the report, you can see that some of the funding for the AHA and the report come from The Canola Oil Council. That’s concerning.

I encourage you to take information such as the AHA reports and keep a critical eye. Our bodies are fundamentally similar but also unique in how we metabolize and respond to environmental inputs.

Determine through careful personal experimentation whether or not adding coconut oil to your diet is good for you. Listening to your body and noting reactions is one of the best ways you can make the shift from treating symptoms and illnesses to encouraging optimal health.

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you choose the right course of action to improve your nutrition. In her practice, she uses herbal and food-based supplements to help patients address the root cause of their medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

If you want more information about Functional Medicine, contact us to receive a FREE copy of  Dr. Klimenko’s E-book.

Resources:

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510
https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/oils/properties-of-coconut-oil.html
http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2017/03/31/bjsports-2016-097285
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109706013350
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3504986/
http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/gmos-and-pesticides/
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0753332202002536
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11981884/Cooking-with-vegetable-oils-releases-toxic-cancer-causing-chemicals-say-experts.html

The Four Studies

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19437058
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3226242/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27084861
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12514271
Eliminate Indigestion with Ginger

Eliminate Indigestion with Ginger

Eliminate Indigestion with Ginger

(Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is an Asian spice well-known for its sweet and zesty zing. It has been shown that ginger reduces pain and inflammation and supports metabolism and digestion. As a digestive aid, this root has been used in traditional herbal medicine to nourish and warm the digestive organs including the mouth, stomach, pancreas, and liver. Ginger stimulates the production of enzymes in all digestive pathways. It also provides support in the breakdown of starches and fatty foods. Herbalists have long used ginger as a tool to heal upset stomach, diarrhea, nausea, and morning sickness.

Modern naturopathic and functional medicine doctors often prescribe ginger to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy, cancer treatment, motion sickness, after surgery and for indigestion. Current research indicates that compounds in ginger bind to receptors in the digestive tract to help minimize sensations that create nausea and indigestion. It also facilitate digestion, reducing the time food sits in the stomach.

There are many preparations for ginger including ginger chews and lozenges, fresh or dried tea infusions, capsules, and extracts. Here is a great recipe for healthy homemade Ginger Ale, prepared with a freshly grated ginger.

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you choose the right course of action to improve your nutrition. In her practice, she uses lifestyle modification, holistic healing methods, herbal and food based supplements to address the root cause of your medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).
If you want more information about Functional Medicine, contact us to receive a FREE copy of Dr Klimenko’s E-book.  

References:

Mars, B. & Fiedler, C. Home Reference Guide to Holistic Health & Healing. (2015) p.186. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Johnson, R.L., S. Foster, Low Dog, T. and Kiefer, D. National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs: The World’s Most Effective Healing Plants. (2012) p.140; 158-160. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic.

WorldsHealthiestFoods.com “Ginger” Accessed October 4, 2016. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=72

Borrelli F, Capasso R, Aviello G, Pittler MH, Izzo AA. Effectiveness and safety of ginger in the treatment of pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Obstet Gynecol. (2005) Apr;105(4):849-56. PMID:15802416.

Hoffmann, D. Medicinal Herbalism. The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Healing Art Press 2003. Ginger root supplement reduced colon inflammation markers, University of Michigan Health System, 11 October 2011. http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/ginger-cancer-1011

 

Seeds for Good Digestion

Seeds for Good Digestion

What is Cumin?

Cumin is a seed-derived spice with a nutty-peppery flavor that packs a punch from the moment its aroma seeps into your senses. It immediately activates the salivary glands which kicks-off the digestive process. Cumin, also known as jeera in Ayurvedic medicine, is native to the eastern Mediterranean area. It is used in cuisine from many parts of the world, including Tex-Mex, Eastern, and Indian. Cumin seeds have been used in folk medicine since antiquity to promote digestion and treat flatulence, diarrhea, indigestion, bloating and gas.

What are its uses?

Medicinally, cumin is recognized as a carminative, which means that it soothes digestive irritation, such as gas, and thereby improves digestion. It is widely used by many natural medicine doctors as a tool to help patients holistically heal from their symptoms. Due to its essential oils, magnesium and sodium content, cumin can also provide relief for stomach ache and irritable bowels. Current research shows that cumin’s beneficial effects may be due to the spice’s ability to stimulate secretion of pancreatic enzymes. Which are necessary for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients from food. Adding to its nutritional potency,cumin also contains flavonoids and antioxidants, which are beneficial to overall health.

Cumin in food

It’s best to cook with whole cumin seeds that you grind with a mortar and pestle. Packaged cumin powder is more convenient but it loses its flavor faster than whole seeds. Whole seeds will stay fresh for a year, when stored in a cool and dark place, while powder should be used within six months. For enhanced flavor, roast cumin seeds before using them.

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you choose the right course of action to improve your nutrition and gastrointestinal health. In her practice, she uses herbal and food based supplements such as cumin to help patients address the root cause of their medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).
If you want more information about Functional Medicine, contact us to receive a FREE copy of Dr Klimenko’s E-book.

References:

“Curcumin v. Cumin: Not the Same” Accessed on October 4, 2016: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/curcumin-vs-cumin-10292.html

WorldsHealthiestFoods.com: Cumin. Accessed on October 4, 2016: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=91

Agah, Shahram et al. “Cumin Extract for Symptom Control in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Case Series.” Middle East Journal of Digestive Diseases 5.4 (2013): 217-222.

Heal GERD Naturally

You’ve just enjoyed a southwest burrito at your favorite restaurant. Now, you’re feeling as if someone has lit a fire in your upper abdomen and the flames are reaching up your throat. That’s acid reflux. It’s triggered when stomach acid backs up into your food pipe (the esophagus). Acid reflux (commonly called heartburn) is a painful and aggravating condition that affects about 60% of the adult population in a given year. A more persistent and serious condition, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) afflicts as many as seven million Americans.

Symptoms of GERD

A variety of symptoms accompany reflux – not everyone has them all. People with GERD typically experience symptoms from intense irritation to burning pain in the lower mid-chest or behind the breastbone. Other common symptoms are stomach ache, nighttime cough, and inflammation. Persistent reflux can erode tooth enamel, damage the lining of the esophagus, cause sore throat/laryngitis, interfere with swallowing, and increase risk for diseases of the esophagus.

You may be familiar with prescription and over-the-counter medications for reflux disease, such as proton-pump inhibitors and antacids. At best, these drugs only mask symptoms, providing short-term relief rather than getting to the root cause. From a holistic medicine perspective, possible underlying causes of GERD range from the food you eat to factors such as imbalances in stomach acid, food sensitivities, hiatal hernia, overuse of antibiotics and stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine.

To get to the root cause of GERD, a holistic physician may test for food sensitivities, evaluate your diet and lifestyle habits, and consider a number of other possible causes. Once the underlying cause has been determined, your doctor may recommend diet changes, herbal and homeopathic remedies, as well as nutritional supplements and physical therapies such as abdominal massage and stress management techniques. Your doctor will use therapies and help you make changes that will restore balance and health to your gut.

Below are a few of the supplements and lifestyle changes that can help you maintain a healthy gut and reduce your risk for heartburn and GERD.

Ginger: Treats various gastrointestinal ailments, including heartburn. It acts as an anti-inflammatory, which can reduce irritation in the esophagus.

Licorice Root: Helps increase mucus production and digestive activity, protecting the stomach and esophagus from acid. Licorice root has been known to increase blood pressure in people diagnosed with hypertension. Be sure to discuss use of this supplement with your health practitioner.

Probiotics: Helps maintain balance in the digestive system between good and harmful bacteria.

Adopt healthy habits: Exercise 30 minutes daily. Boost your diet with whole, fresh fruits and veggies, fermented foods, and organic meats. Drink 6-8 glasses of filtered water daily. Maintain a healthy body weight. Properly care for other medical conditions such as diabetes. Don’t smoke or overuse alcohol, as this can trigger and aggravate reflux.

Remember, supplements alone do not address underlying lifestyle habits and health conditions that cause GERD. It’s important to work closely with a holistic physician to understand the root cause and your best individualized treatment.

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you choose the right course of action to identify the root cause and relief your unsettled symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).
If you want more information about Functional Medicine, contact us to receive a FREE copy of Dr Klimenko’s E-book.

 

References:

Mayo Clinic Online. GERD. Accessed October 10, 2016: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/basics/definition/con-20025201

University of Maryland Complementary and Alternative Medicine Database. GERD. Accessed October 10 2016: http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease

Ginger. (2012, April). Retrieved October 10, 2016 from https://nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger

Kandil T. S., Mousa, A. A., et al., “The potential therapeutic effect of melatonin in gastro-esophageal reflux disease [Abstract].” BMC Gastroenterology (2010 January 18): 10(7). Retrieved October 7, 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20082715

Lukic, M., Segec, A., et a.l., “The impact of vitamins A, C, and E in the prevention of gastroesophageal reflux disease, Barrett’s esophagus, and esophageal adenocarcinoma [Abstract].” Collegium Anthropologicum, (2012) 36(3), 867-872. Retrieved October 7, 2016 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23213946

Patrick, L., “Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): A review of conventional and alternative treatments.” Alternative Medicine Review, 16(2), 116-133. (2011). Retrieved from http://altmedrev.com/publications/16/2/116.pdf

Photo Credit: Stockbyte/Gettyimage

Homeopathy: Finding the Cure in the Cause

How Can Homeopathy Help?

Like cures like. That’s the concept behind homeopathy, a centuries-old system that stimulates the body’s innate healing ability. In 1796, Samuel Hahnemann, M.D. observed that Cinchona Bark, a medicinal plant used by native people in South America to treat malaria, could also caused the symptoms of malaria in healthy people. After testing the theory on himself, he continued his research, establishing the “dynamic” effect of a homeopathic substance: The small amount of the disease-causing agent in the remedy stimulates the healing process and with fewer side effects.

Let’s look at the example with regular onion. You remember how you feel when you peel and chop fresh onion in the kitchen? The eyes are burning and tearing, your nose starts running and all you want to do is to get out from that kitchen to the fresh air. Now, imagine you have  seasonal allergy, hay fever, and your symptoms include burning, itchy eyes, runny nose and all those symptoms get better on the fresh air. In this case, the small quantity of onion (Allium Cepa), prepared according to homeopathic traditions will help to alleviate those symptoms.

Whether you have an acute illness, such as a cold or flu, or a chronic illness, such as chronic sinusitis or even thyroid disease, homeopathy can play an essential role in your wellness. Within the homeopathic model, as in most holistic approaches to health, illness is believed to be caused by imbalance within a person. Employing the system of “like cures like” — often along with other therapies — balance is restored; the body begins to function as it should and the symptoms of disease go away.

A homeopathic physician will conduct an extensive interview with a patient, identify potential remedies, and closely monitor a patient’s progress until the person is well. During treatment, symptoms may come and go as the body heals. While it’s a very safe therapy, it’s important to work with a practitioner who has been fully trained in order to achieve the best results possible.

Elena Klimenko, MD, is a board certified internist and certified in clinical homeopathy and functional medicine, will help you decide which homeopathic medicine is right for you. In her practice, she uses lifestyle modification and natural remedies, such as homeopathy, herbs and food based supplements  to address the root cause of your medical symptoms and guide your body towards optimal health. Call today to speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

References

  • Cody, G.W. & Hascall, H., “The History of Naturopathic Medicine: The Emergence and Evolution of an American School of Healing” in Pizzorno, J.E. & Murray, M. T. Textbook of Natural Medicine (2013). p. 37.
  • Lange, A. & Gaylord, S.A., “Homeopathy” in Pizzorno, J.E. & Murray, M. T. Textbook of Natural Medicine (2013). p. 314-32

Food & You: The Body-Mind Connection

“Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.” – Dorothy Day

There’s no doubt about it: what we eat, and how much we eat, has a direct impact on our physical health. But did you know that those same choices also influence mood, mental alertness, memory, and emotional wellbeing? Food can act as medicine, have a neutral effect, or it can be a poison to the body and mind.

When food acts as poison, it creates inflammation, which alters the body’s balance of nutrients, hormones, and neurotransmitters. This directly affects your body’s ability to manage and heal from stress or illness.

While some body-mind effects are due to naturally occurring nutrient content in food, much is due to hidden additives. Below, are four common culprits. If you’re experiencing symptoms that interfere with your quality of living, talk with your holistic health practitioner about the role these or other foods may play in your health.

Foods that Impact Body-Mind Well being Caffeine:

The most socially accepted psychoactive substance in the world, caffeine is used to boost alertness, enhance performance, and even treat apnea in premature infants. Caffeine is frequently added to other foods, so be mindful of total consumption. Too much caffeine (500-600 mg daily) interferes with sleep quality which affects energy, concentration, and memory. It can aggravate other health conditions, cause digestive disturbances, and worsen menstrual symptoms and anxiety.

Food Dye:

The brightly colored, processed and packaged foods we buy come with a rainbow of health risks. Listed on ingredient labels as “Blue 2,” or “Citrus Red,” food dye has been documented to contain cancer-causing agents (e.g., benzidine). They’re also associated with allergic reactions and hyperactivity in children. Dyes are sometimes used to enhance skin color of fruits and veggies, but not in organic produce. A number of dyes have been banned from use in foods and cosmetics around the world.

Sugars:

Increased sugar consumption (as much as 30% over the last three decades for American adults), is linked to decreased intake of essential nutrients and associated with obesity, diabetes, inflammatory disease, joint pain and even schizophrenia. Too much dietary sugar can result in blood sugar fluctuations, causing mood swings, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and increased depression. Sugars that can act as poison include High Fructose Corn Syrup, table sugar, artificial and “natural” sweeteners.

MSG:

Monosodium glutamate is a flavor enhancer common in packaged and prepared foods. Although the FDA considers MSG “generally safe,” some individuals experience a complex of physical and mental symptoms after eating MSG-containing foods. Symptoms vary but can include headache, sweating, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitations, and overstimulation of the central nervous system which can lead to alterations in sleep, mood, and immunity.

Becoming aware of your food choices, why you make them, and how you feel mentally and physically is important. It is the first step in understanding your personal body-mind food connection. Your integrative or functional medicine practitioner may ask you to keep a mind-body food journal to provide a clear picture of how your food choices affect your health.

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you choose the right course of action to improve your nutrition. In her practice, she uses lifestyle modification, herbal and food based supplements to address the root cause of your medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

Rose Hips for Wellness

Rose Hips for Wellness

There’s nothing like a rose to stimulate feelings of wellbeing. And nothing quite like rose hip – the actual fruit of a rose – to enhance health and promote wellness.

Of all the roses, the beautiful Wild Dog Rose is the type most often cultivated for their hips. Once the flower has bloomed, and all the petals have fallen off, the hip is picked and used in a range of herbal preparations. Rose hips contain a variety of antioxidants (especially Vitamin C), Vitamin A, carotenoids, and other plant compounds that are recognized for their role in preventing degenerative disease, including heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Many natural health practitioners use rose hip to treat wounds and inflammation. Rose hip oil is commonly used in cosmetics as it has the ability to revitalize skin cells. It has been used to treat scars, acne and burns. In Germany, rose hip powder (capsule) has been used to treat osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Herbalists have long used rose hip tea to ease constipation and as a supplement to treat a cold.

Rose hip pulp can be incorporated into sauces or made into a jelly. Standardized extracts are also available in capsules. Always check with your wellness practitioner before using any herbal remedy.

 

Elena Klimenko, MD, a certified functional medicine physician, will help you decide if Rose Hip is the right supplement for you. In her practice, she uses lifestyle modification and natural remedies to address the root cause of your medical symptoms. Call today to find out more about functional medicine and speak with Dr. Klimenko at 212-696- HEAL(4325).

 

 

References

  • Pyke, Magnus, and Ronald Melville. “Vitamin C in Rose Hips.” Biochemical Journal 36.3-4 (1942): 336-339. Accessed on March 28, 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1265699/
  • Iherb.com “Rose Hip” Accessed on March 28, 2016. http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-rose-hip.html
  • Mahboubi, M. “Rosa Damascena as Holy Ancient Herb with Novel Applications.” Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 6.1 (2016): 10-16. PMC. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4737971/
  • Phetcharat, L., Wongsuphasawat, K. & Winther, K. “The Effectiveness of a Standardized Rose Hip Powder, “Containing Seeds and Shells of Rosa Canina, on Cell Longevity, Skin Wrinkles, Moisture, and Elasticity.” Clinical Interventions in Aging 10 (2015), 1849-1856. PMC. Web. 28 Mar. 2016. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4655903/
  • Schwager, J.,et al. “A Novel Rose Hip Preparation with Enhanced Anti-Inflammatory and Chondroprotective Effects.” Mediators of Inflammation (2014) October. PMC. doi: 10.1155/2014/105710 Web. 28 Mar. 2016 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4211164/
  • S.N. Willich, K. Rossnagel, et al., “Rose hip herbal remedy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis – a randomised controlled trial.” Phytomedicine (2010) 17:2, 87-93. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2009.09.003 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711309002311