I have been suffering from osteoarthritis for years. Sometimes this makes it difficult for me to get things done on the farm as I want to do, but I have found a tonic that may actually help heal the problem.
When I normally think of tonic, I am reminded of Granny on the Beverly Hillbillies and her rumatiz’ medicine. Unlike Granny’s tonic, mine has no alcohol but as the dictionary suggests, my tonic does give me a feeling of vigor and wellbeing and it is restorative and offers stimulation. However, I wouldn’t exactly call my tonic a “medicine”, but rather a natural way of getting rid of the pain that zaps my energy.
The pain that I feel is from years of abuse to my joints. I had worked in factories, food service, nursing homes, hospitals, marched in the military, and am currently doing farm work, and since I am in my sixties, I am dealing with pain in my hips, shoulders, and back. For a long time, I had been dealing with the pain using over-the-counter medications like Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Naproxen all of which are not good for the long haul. I decided to see if there wasn’t something out there that could help, not just ease the pain, but possibly even help heal the joints.
I know that there are a lot of products out there that claim to help with arthritis pain, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of time and money on products that didn’t live up to their claim so I did a little research on my own. Here’s what I found that works for me.
NOT MEDICAL ADVICE
What is it you ask? Well before I tell you that, I want to say that this is what I do, and it is not medical advice. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. All I can tell you is that it works for me, but I can’t tell you that the same would work for you as well. You need to talk to your own doctor and do your own research.
Researching the Ingredients
I had read some time back that turmeric and ginger both reduce inflammation.
Turmeric’s active ingredient, Curcumin, is touted for the ability to reduce inflammation. If a person has arthritis, gout, or muscle pain, it is recommended that a person add a little turmeric to meals. It has anti-inflammatory magic. Plus, it’s relatively cheap. A little bit goes a long way too. It takes only a quarter teaspoon for my purpose.
Ginger can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or as an oil or juice. It’s a very common ingredient in recipes. It’s sometimes added to processed foods and cosmetics. Its benefits are supported by science. It contains Gingerol. According to research, Gingerol has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects it may help reduce oxidative stress, which is the result of having an excess amount of free radicals in the body.
Research has indicated that ginger helps with the symptoms of Osteoarthritis, my problem, which is a common health problem. It involves degeneration of the joints in the body, leading to symptoms such as joint pain and stiffness.
Research has found that many people who used ginger to treat this type of arthritis saw significant reductions in pain and disability.
Apple Cider Vinegar is another ingredient that I include in my tonic. It is made by fermenting the sugar from apples. This turns them into acetic acid, which is a main active ingredient in vinegar and may be responsible for its health benefits. It contains some potassium, amino acids, and antioxidants. These benefits are science-backed. There are others, however, that are more subjective. For instance, it is said to be a natural energy booster. It also may boost the absorption of calcium thereby strengthening bones and improving health. Apple cider vinegar also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Honey- Honey is primarily composed of sugar, provides small amounts of several vitamins and minerals, and is rich in health-promoting plant compounds. Unfiltered, unprocessed raw honey is loaded with antioxidants including phenolic acids and flavonoids. Antioxidants help neutralize reactive oxygen species in the body, which can build up in cells and cause damage. This damage can contribute to osteoarthritis. I have also personally found that the locally produced honey that I get is great for reducing the allergic reaction I get from pollens in the air. (Again, this is not medical advice, it just seems to work for me.) Most importantly, honey makes the rest of the ingredients of this tonic go down.
Putting It All Together
I, of course, had researched other foods that may help with osteoarthritis pain, but I decided to include these four ingredients primarily because they are easy to procure (they are all available locally) and they are cheap. Ginger, honey, and apple cider vinegar were used in a drink called switchel that pioneers drank during the summer to quench their thirst, prevent nausea from drinking warm water, and provide electrolytes. The turmeric is an easy add and I think that it adds a complementary spicy flavor.
To make the tonic, I put about an ounce of warm water at the bottom of the glass and add a tablespoon of honey. I stir the honey until it is completely dissolved. Next, I add a quarter teaspoon of ginger and a quarter teaspoon of turmeric and a tablespoon of unfiltered raw (with the mother) apple cider vinegar to the mixture and mix it well. Then I add as much water as I feel like drinking to the mixture and drink it.
It May Not Be for Everyone, but It Works for Me
It may not taste that great at first, but it takes better each time I drink it perhaps because the positive effects are obvious. Within a couple of minutes, I begin to feel the warmth of the ginger and the turmeric and soon I feel my joints loosening. The pain I was feeling usually subsides and I can do what I need to do around the farm.
If you enjoy reading this blog and want to read more of what I write, check out my other blog: How My Spirit Sings.