Cinnamon: Pain relief since 250 AD

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Cinnamon is a powerful spice that has been used around the world to flavor culinary dishes, but many patients are surprised to find it in their custom herbal prescriptions that I prescribe.

Cinnamon is an effective medicine and can be especially useful for relieving pain, and science is finally catching up and proving what the Chinese have known for 3000 years.

My clinic experience and studies indicate that cinnamon specifically helps to relieve muscle soreness, PMS pains, and aging pain symptoms, like arthritis. It also increases blood circulation and increases the body’s ability to repair itself after it’s been damaged.

There was a significant fall in muscle soreness in the cinnamon group compared to placebo.

Cinnamon is so successful at treating pain and disease because it contains protective antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and immune boosting compounds that make it one of the most beneficial spices around. Due to these protective compounds, cinnamon can reduce pain and slow the aging process, like swelling and inflammation, keeping your body in tip-top shape . These compounds are similar to antioxidants that can be found in other powerhouse foods, like red wine and dark chocolate

As an added bonus, when it comes to defending the body from illnesses, cinnamon is a natural with its anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties. The immune-enhancing abilities of cinnamon are found its essential oils.

As if cinnamon wasn’t already fantastic enough, studies indicate cinnamon may:

  • Protect brain cells from mutation and damage. 
  • Reduce levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. 
  • Lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Protect against DNA damage and cancer growth.
  • Balance the microbiome.

So the next time you're cooking, feel free to add a little more cinnamon to your dish, and don’t be surprised when you see it in the next prescription I customize just for you. 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25629927

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23653285

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25629927

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26023601

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25074885

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23662151

Evidence for Acupuncture

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Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for all physician visits in the U.S. A US News article recently explored how integrative therapies, such as acupuncture, can be extremely effective for curing pain and potentially help solve the opioid crisis, but references how challenging it can be to get physicians to prescribe acupuncture for patients.

Now the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends in an evidence-based clinical practice guideline published in Annals of Internal Medicine that physicians and patients should treat acute or chronic low back pain with therapies such as acupuncture!

The Acupuncture Evidence Project has completed a comparative literature review,  and found evidence for the effectiveness of acupuncture for 122 conditions.  Feel free to share with your physician!

Cupcake Protein Shake (GF, DF, SF, Vegan, Paleo)

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Recently, I found myself hungry but with a full patient schedule and unable to run out to grab food. My friend and Studio Blue colleague, Audra, was kind enough to offer her latest creation to me, a smoothie that she said tasted just like cake batter. At first, I was skeptical. Plenty of recipes say they taste like something delicious, but it’s often just a mediocre approximation. So, it’s not an exaggeration when I say I was blown away by how much this really did taste like cake batter!  

And there’s a SECRET INGREDIENT.

I don’t eat a lot of cupcakes, and try to keep my sweets as nutrient-dense and healthy as possible when I do. (You'll have to pry the dark chocolate out of my cold, dead hands.) When I found out this recipe has a healthy, chock full of nutrients vegetable in it, I was hooked.  

And when I say this recipe has a vegetable, I don’t mean one measly kale leaf.  This has an ENTIRE vegetable serving. And it’s beautiful.

It’s purple sweet potato!

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The purple-fleshed sweet has important antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.They are also good sources of:

·      vitamin C

·      manganese

·      copper

·      pantothenic acid

·      vitamins B1, B2, and B6

·      potassium

·      fiber

·      niacin

·      phosphorus

Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=64

 

Audra generously shared the ingredients she experimented with and this recipe is my interpretation.

The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility. Paleo? No problem? Vegan? Easy peasy.  I customized this recipe to fit my always GF and mostly DF diet.  I listed the specific ingredients I used in parenthesis but feel free to experiment with different milks, protein powders, etc.

  • 1 medium cooked purple sweet potato, skinned
  • 1 cup milk (Macadamia milk)
  • 1 5 oz container vanilla yogurt (Forager cashew yogurt)
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 8 oz bag frozen mixed dark berries (Stahlbush Island Farms)
  • 1 scoop or 30 grams vanilla protein powder (Garden of Life Organic Whey)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 T collagen hydrolysate (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth and enjoy.