I take Celebrex for joint pain, but I am experiencing some side effects. My sister uses herbs and vitamins that she read about in your 24-Hour book and it helps her, but unfortunately, they did not work as well for me.
Is there any brand new information to help people with arthritis?
–K.M. Dallas, Texas
When people think of joint pain and arthritis, they think of Celebrex, one of the most popular prescription drugs of all time. For pocket change of about 250 bucks a month, you can relieve your painful, swollen joints. Most people don’t realize that Celebrex is a patented drug version that belongs to a whole class of pharmaceuticals known as “COX-2 inhibitors.” By blocking an enzyme called COX-2, or cyclooxygenase-2, the drugs squash pain and inflammation. Natural botanicals contain essential oils that also block COX-2, just like Celebrex.
Thyme is also chock full of flavonoids, such as apigenin, naringenin, luteolin and thymonin, which act as antioxidants, scooping up those nasty free radicals which can damage your cells. This pungent smelling herb, (lit as incense in ancient Greek temples) happens to be packed with minerals such as iron, manganese and bone-building calcium. Thyme is an oral deodorizer and is frequently included in natural mouthwashes so your sweetie may appreciate the ‘thyme’ to kiss with confidence!
Not all thyme is created equal, there are more than sixty different varieties. Certain types are revered as natural medicine for coughs, bronchitis and chest congestion; they work in part, because of their strong anti-microbial activity against a wide variety of bacteria and fungi.
According to a January 2010 study in the Journal of Lipid Research, Japanese researchers showed that “carvacrol,” a component of thyme oil is the major ingredient that works the magic. In fact, carvacrol works similarly to resveratrol (a compound in red wine) as well as clove, rose, eucalyptus, fennel and bergamont oils, all of which have some anti-inflammatory properties. But thyme oil is the undisputed winner, reducing COX-2 levels by a whopping 75 percent! When pure carvacrol extracts were used, COX-2 levels dropped by over 80 percent.
So how will you get more thyme into your diet? My preference is that you buy the fresh herb at your grocery store and just cook with it. There are dried forms in the spice rack too. Aim for a teaspoon each day, chopped into your salad, soup or breads. You can also buy prepared thyme tea or steep your own with one teaspoon of dried thyme to one cup of hot water and honey. Oral dietary supplements are sold at health food stores and online. Please don’t ever consume the essential oil, this is dangerous.
Did You Know?
Grapefruit and certain medications do not mix well. The combination may increase side effects of statin cholesterol drugs and blood pressure pills such as “calcium channel blockers.”
In addition to writing a syndicated column on health which reaches 20 million people each week, Suzy is the author of a number of books on natural health.
You may have seen Suzy on The Dr. OZ Show (6 different appearances), The View, The Doctors, Good Morning America Health and hundreds of morning shows. Quotes from Suzy, as well as her articles, have also appeared in major publications including Woman’s Day, Reader’s Digest, OK Magazine!, First for Women, Fitness, Natural Health and Better Homes & Garden and dozens more.
Read more from Suzy at suzyCohen.com
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