In the last couple of months, my RA has become more symptomatic, especially in the hands. I was able to lower the Prednisone 1mg after many failed attempts the last 12 months. I am not keen on upping the dose again so I started a few natural remedies.
My connection to Ayurveda
I am an American. I was born in India but brought stateside at eight months. I went to school on the East Coast then moved to the Midwest for college. While my accent, mannerisms, and ideals are very American I am also South Asian. Well, half South Asian and half Peruvian but I’ll focus on the former today. I learned about my history and my culture and one of the most important parts of it is nature and our connection with it. South Asians believe in Ayurveda, and use natural remedies to cure any number of ills.
A state of mind
It’s not just about the natural remedies but a state of mind. In order for the body to heal and remain healthy, we must be one with ourselves and align our energies.
Yoga, for example, calms the mind and in turn, reduces inflammation and pain. Acupuncture/acupressure uses needles to realign the body’s energy.
Don’t get me wrong, Indians definitely believe in modern/Western medicine but they have a strong connection with the Earth, as well.
Natural remedies: not a cure for my RA, but important in my disease management
I’m not saying that meditating and eating healthy will cure me of my RA because it won’t. I do, however, acknowledge that mental wellbeing, diet, and exercise play an important role in my disease management.
So when my South Asian family floods my inboxes with recipes and natural remedies I take a look. After all, these therapies have been passed down through generations of Indians for a reason, right? In my case (always double check with a doctor, please!) it doesn’t hurt to try them so below are the three main additions I’ve made to my diet.
My natural remedy additions
I heat 1 cup milk (any type will do), 3/4 teaspoons of turmeric, ¼ teaspoon of black pepper until boiling. I let it rest for a minute and add honey to taste.
Tumeric has long been used in Indian cooking for it’s rich, yellow color but, it has more benefits than just color! The main ingredient (curcumin) is a powerful anti-inflammatory and they say it can be used to treat a variety of inflammatory conditions. One thing to note is the body does not absorb turmeric without the aid of black pepper. Another thing to note is please, please do not take turmeric raw. I never realized there was a reason why turmeric is cooked…because it tastes AWFUL raw. The more you know, I guess!
I recently switched to raw, organic honey instead of its pasteurized counterpart. I have pretty bad pollen allergies and I heard that eating local raw honey could help combat them by introducing the same pollen into the body; sort of like a vaccine! Upon a bit more research, I learned that pasteurized honey does not have as many of the good vitamins as raw honey possesses. During the filtration process honey is heated and many of those good for you minerals get lost. Honey is a good anti-bacterial and anti-fungal which when consumed helps with inflammation!
I will be the first to admit I am a coffee drinker. If given the choice, I will side with coffee every time. However, I am also a tea lover. I especially love green tea but often opt for black. They are both high in polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants that not only protect against cell damage but also have other health benefits like lowering blood pressure.
I always brew loose leaf tea. This is more because I’m an elitest Indian and think tea bags generally don’t taste good. Turns out, we have a point! The tea leaves found in bags are generally broken up and stale. They cannot reach their full potential like loose leaves do!
Do you take alternative diet therapies? Let me know in the comments!