Safe and Natural Alternatives to NSAIDs

Safe and natural alternatives to anti-inflammatory OTC drugs

It has been nearly a month since I badly injured my elbow. The impact of falling on my arm was such that I was certain I had broken it. Thankfully x-rays showed that there wasn’t a break. However, I am still experiencing pain and discomfort from the bruising. After seeing an orthopedist today I was told that my bone is still badly bruised and I have an injury to the nerve that innervates the elbow joint and runs toward to hand. It will take an additional 2-3 months minimum for these injuries to heal. I was advised to take a popular NSAID twice a day until the bruising and nerve injury heals.

Before deciding to take any drug long term it is very important to consider the long term side effects. Even common over the counter drugs like NSAIDs have dangerous side effects when taken long term. According to this article, long term side effects of NSAIDs main affect the gastrointestinal tract including the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. The article also reports that more than half of all bleeding ulcers are caused by NSAIDs.

Considering the side effects of NSAIDs, I would prefer to take a natural inflammation reducer rather than risk internal injuries and long term damage.

As suggested in this article, I will be adding ginger and turmeric to my daily regiment until my elbow injury heals and my range of motion returns to normal. Curcumin, the active compound in turmeric is responsible for the herb’s anti-inflammatory properties as well as its characteristic yellow color. While ginger contains gingerols, compounds which have potent anti-inflammatory effects. According to ABC Science, ginger inhibits both COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes and is less likely than NSAIDs to cause gastrointestinal irritation. 

I feel so fortunate that I can obtain organic turmeric and ginger at affordable prices while my elbow heals. My favorite place for both ginger an turmeric root powder is Thrive Market. If you have never heard of Thrive Market or haven’t read my introductory post, please do so here. Thrive Market is quickly becoming my go-to online grocery shopping store to save time and money without sacrificing integrity in my family’s healthy lifestyle. 

Thrive Market is the first socially conscious online store offering the world’s best-selling natural and organic products at wholesale prices. We carry over 2,500 of the highest quality food, supplements, home, personal care, and beauty products from over 400 of the best brands on the market, all delivered straight to your door at 25-50% off retail prices. Our mission is to make health living easy, affordable, and accessible for every American family.

I love that I can grocery shop from the convenience of my home computer, buy high quality organics products that we love, and save money all at the same time. What’s not to love about that combination?

When you join the Thrive Market community you gain access to over 2500 (and rapidly growing) organic and natural  products. Your membership also helps sponsor a membership for a low income American family so that they have access to healthy, organic, and real foods that our overly obese society so desperately needs. Not sure if you are ready to join? They have a 30 day free trial membership so you can try it out and see if it is a good fit for your family.

3 Reasons to Use Mountain Rose Herbs

3 Reasons Why I Use Mountain Rose Herbs. Purveyors of organic essential oils, herbs, teas, and body care products.  AlexisMathews.com

When I first began my journey of learning about essential oils I was overwhelmed with the number of oil companies and which was the best for my family’s health. In the beginning I tried one of the large multi-level-marketing companies. If you’ve done any research into oils surely you know which company I am referring to. The company’s ethics, business practices, and claim that oils should be regularly taken internally were all huge red flags for me and I sought out a new company that produced high quality oils as well as upstanding business practices.

After considerable research I discovered Mountain Rose Herbs. I have been purchasing from MRH for nearly 2 years now and I have never been disappointed with any of their products or customer service. 

These are the top 3 reasons why I love to purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs and will continue to support their business.

1. Organic teas, herbs, essential oils, and body care products.

Buying organic is very important in every aspect of my family’s life. So when I was considering essential oils, herbs, and body care products I knew I wanted a reliable organic source that I could trust. Mountain Rose Herbs was the only high quality essential oil company that I could find that sourced their oils in native soils, was certified organic, and had amazing customer service (which I will talk about below).

The efficacy of their oils is second to none. I have not found an oil that I have been disappointed with nor doubted whether it was effective in treating the condition I was trying to heal.

2. Amazing customer service

I absolutely love companies that realize the impact and importance of amazing customer service. Solving any issue that I have with a product, shipping, etc in a professional and accommodating manner goes a very long way in making me a lifetime customer. 

MRH has always shipped my orders on time, completely, and the fragile bottles have always arrived safe and packed very well.

On the few occasions I have had to contact their customer service department, both through email and phone, I have had the pleasure of “talking” to very sweet and knowledge staff members. Emails have always had links directly to a product I was inquiring about to make it easier for me to find what I was looking for. Phone conversations have been met with a sweet, helpful, and more than accommodating customer service reps to help solve my problem. There are some companies I dread dealing with, Mountain Rose Herbs is definitely not one of those companies. I know my issue will be met with pleasantries and a quick resolution to my problem.

3. Business practice transparency.

Often times when you are purchasing from a company you never truly know where your money is going once you hand it over to the business. Obviously your purchase helps support the company and their employees but every company has non-profits they support for tax and community resource purposes. 

Mountain Rose Herbs clearly discloses on their website which companies they support as well as links to the companies so that you can research the background of those businesses. When you purchase from MRH you know where your money is going and which organizations it is supporting.

So fresh that smiles are guaranteed

Clean Eating Leads to Clean Bill of Health: One Mom’s Story

One Mom's personal story how clean eating made her children healthier including no cavities, reduced ADD and ADHD symptoms, and reduced GMOs in their lifestyle.

It all started with my youngest getting a cavity. I brushed his teeth every day and even flossed for him. It was a nightly ritual that I made sure all three of my children did before going to bed. Leo loved his apple juice, too. I knew it was full of sugar, so I would add ¾ water to ¼ juice. His cavity got so bad we had to silver cap it. Boom. Bad Mommy. I failed my kid. In fact, I failed them all, since every one of them had a new cavity (or two) each annual check-up. What was going on?!?

My middle-child is a very gifted, scholastically advanced, imaginative boy. He is constantly drawing, making monsters out of Play-Doh, or making some Lego space ship to save the galaxy. As brilliant as he is, he wasn’t doing very well in school. How could such a smart boy be struggling, you ask? He couldn’t sit still in class. His teachers year after year would tell me how very smart he is, but just couldn’t follow the rules, keep his hands to himself, and not make disruptive sounds. I spoke to a friend of mine whose son had shown similar behaviors, and she told me that when she changed his diet, his attention span improved, as well as his ability to sit still. I figured, why not try it? 

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Maple Almond Butter

Almond Butter

In my journey towards health and cleaner eating the last thing I expected was to give up peanuts and peanut butter. There are no peanut or tree nut allergies in our family. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were staples in my own childhood as well as for my older children when they were little. So why give up peanuts? They have served us all so well over the years.

The answer is simple, mold that produces a cancer causing toxin known as aflatoxin. Aspergillus and A.parasiticus are 2 strains of mold that produce alfatoxin in warm humid climates and silos. Peanuts are not the only carrier of these molds, soy beans, corn, pecans, walnuts, pistachios and even milk have been shown to carry these mold strains. Peanuts are of particular concern for a few reasons; the first of which is the sheer amount of peanuts and peanut butter that Americans consume everyday. This raises the exposure levels to aflatoxin. Second is the nutritional value of peanuts. The omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is not favorable in peanuts. There are other nuts and legumes available with a better fatty acid profile which make a better choice when snacking or preparing nut butters. Lastly, we just do no know how much exposure to aflatoxin is safe. 20 parts per billion is the current “safe” level for food inspection purposes, but is this really enough and what does long term exposure at these levels cause if anything? You should also know that “fresh” ground peanut butter from health food stores contain a higher level of aflatoxin than the “junk” food type of peanut butters such as “Jif” and “Skippy”.

So long story short, this is why i switched my family from peanut butter to organic homemade almond butter. Not just any almond butter mind you, this is pure spreadable creamy maple almond butter goodness. With a family of 9, the sheer amount of almond butter that I make every week might cause the demise of my large capacity food processor. She is holding steady for now though, thankfully.

Once you make your own almond butter at home you will never go back! It is simple and not full of the preservatives, salt, and other junk that commercial brans pour into their nut butters.

Almond Butter_3

Maple Almond Butter

Ingredients:
2 cups raw organic almonds
1T organic hemp hearts
1T organic chia seeds
2T organic golden flax seeds
6T organic grade B maple syrup
1tsp organic cinnamon
2T organic light olive oil

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 275F. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl combine all ingredients and stir well.
  • Evenly spread almond mixture on parchment lined cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 25-30min. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  • Place cooled almond mixture in a food processor. Do not use your high powered blender for this, I’ve heard of too many motors burning out after trying to break down just one batch of nut butters.
  • Process until nuts break down into a fine mixture with their own oils. You may have to stop your food processor a few times during this process to scrape down the sides and break up the nut mixture so it blends evenly.
  • Add olive oil and cinnamon. Blend until smooth and creamy.

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