|Has Achieved Nirvana|
I was at a cup or two a day of hot tea in the winter, but now I ice it and probably drink 3-4 because it tastes good. There doesn’t appear to be an upper limit and my Doc is cool with it. I haven’t seen any real studies regarding efficacy or side effects so I’m flying a bit blind. If you know of any I’d like to see them.
The Turmeric has “bio-perine” in it because Doc says you need either that or black pepper for best absorption. 1500 mg per day. Brand is “Spring Valley” for no other reason than it was on the shelf when I went to buy it. Doc said the giant bottles at Costco and Sam’s are what she uses. I know you study this stuff and if you have any thoughts I’d like to hear them.
Right now I’m thinking that this regimen is better than high doses of NSAIDS every day, which is what I was doing before and wasn’t working. Tylenol was particularly problematic because I like martinis, although they’re off the list right now. I do wonder if one day I’ll wake up to find that Chamomile tea causes cancer, but until that time I’ll keep using it because it seems to work.
I also tested low for vitamin D (again) and supplement that. It’s supposed to affect joint mobility as well.
Too many changes at once to be a proper study, I know. Placebo effect? Maybe - or even probably. If it is please don’t tell me because I have a lot of yard work to do in preparation for winter.
|Has Achieved Nirvana|
I'm not so much a user of single herbs to treat specific conditions, though I've made exceptions as for hibiscus tea. That approach is more of a Western medicine thing (take pill X for condition Y), and I'm more into Traditional Chinese Medicine, which takes into account the complex interactions of individuals to various foods, external stresses like weather, and seasonal changes.
That said....Things I watch for with all herbal supplements....
1) Quality of the source. This CR article gives a good overview of what to look for:
2) Try to find good studies that evaluate the effectiveness and possible side effects of the herbs you're considering. Often they have the same mechanism of action as a pharmaceutical and can have the same side effects, for instance on the liver or kidneys. And of course they can interact with other meds or herbs you might be taking. Those studies can be harder to find.
Red yeast rice is a good example. The active ingredient is lovastatin, which means that you're basically taking a low dose of a statin. It just happens to be naturally derived rather than manufactured.
It's good that you're working with a doctor while trying these supplements. Any effects on liver, kidney, etc. should turn up in routine blood work.
Couple of sites that may help with evaluating various herbs.
3) I think it's best to work changes into your lifestyle and diet gradually. Work up to exercise, and if you start taking herbs, start at a low dose and work your way up. Only introduce one variable at a time so you can evaluate its effects before moving on. Otherwise you'll be like "which one isn't agreeing with me?"
4) Experiment with how you take the herbs. Be aware of how you feel when you're taking them. If you start to feel off (headache, lethargy, upset stomach), consider reducing the dose or eliminating the herb. Or maybe take it with food if it upsets your empty stomach.
Also watch for changes over time. You can take things for years but down the road your needs can change and you might not react well to it.
As far as placebo effect...who cares? If you feel better and your numbers are improving, that's what''s important!
Bottom line: Pay attention to your body. It's pretty smart and if you take the time to listen it will tell you what's good (and bad) for you.
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