Herbal Remedies for Lupus?

February 17th, 201012:22 pm @ Angela Odom


Before I get into herbal remedies I need to stress one thing, before starting any “herbal remedy”, always consult with your doctor first. Because there are so many herbal products and supplements out there, with just as many manufacturers, you won’t know what is mixed in with the herb or supplement that could affect the medications you are taking.

An example would be my failure to check the PDR (and the insert that came with my medication) for dangers if the drug is mixed with something else. I took the blood pressure medication and, since I love grapefruits, continued to eat grapefruits and drink grapefruit juice. I always noticed feeling tired and sleepy after eating the grapefruit but never knew why until one night I found myself unable to stay awake. I checked my blood pressure that night to find it in double digits, both numbers were frighteningly low.

I survived that night and the next day I checked the PDR to find I needed to stay away from grapefruits. I could have gone into a coma and died.

Again, before taking any supplement or herbal remedy, read the drug inserts provided with your medications, consult a PDR and do consult your doctor. Take the supplement or herbal remedy to your doctor if need be but do stay safe, not sorry.

Now, moving on to herbal remedies. I stumbled upon a wonderful article on “Managing Lupus with Green Tea & Other Herbs.” It’s an excellent article and I say that because it actually addresses some of what I do, specifically, green tea and curcumin.

Green Tea

First, I’ll talk about green tea. From the article:

A growing body of evidence suggests that green tea, and extracts made from it, may help at least some lupus sufferers both by reducing inflammation and by slowing the progression of the condition. Researchers know that the incidence of lupus is lower in countries where green tea is a primary beverage and a 2006 study suggests that the polyphenols in green tea may provide protection against both inflammation and cell death.

There is something about green tea that just takes me to happy land. When I drink green tea my body feels relaxed, steady, I have an overall feeling of well being. I love the stuff. Admittedly, I don’t drink enough of it during the day or week but when I do I get a wonderful feeling from it, sort of a high.

Green tea does have caffeine, actually it has more caffeine. However, the caffeine in green tea is surrounded by tannic acid compounds, which inhibit it from surging all at once into our bloodstream. Think of it as kind of time-released caffeine. The caffeine effect lasts longer than coffee or soda, it is less aggressive and it creates less agitation and nervousness. It actually feels good.

Second, if you are a smoker, ECGG (epigallocatechingallate) is one of the polyphenols in green tea, which can prevent platelets from accumulating and causing obstructions in the veins. The ability to prevent clotting can be effective in the prevention of cardiovascular anomalies such as heart attacks and strokes. ECGG also has been found to have a profound impact on stopping the formation of lung cancer in patients in Japan.

Third, green tea contains saponins which are effective in preventing fats from entering the blood stream. This helps lower cholesterol. Green tea is also used in many thermogenic formulas to help people lose weight.

Fourth, drinking green tea throughout the day has a positive impact on virtually every system in the body, including the cardiovascular; circulatory; respiratory; nervous; lymphatic; immune; urogenital; and musculoskelatal systems. Few substances can boast the broad-spectrum impact green tea has on our bodies and spirits. I believe this is why I love the stuff, when I drink it I have an overall feeling of wellness.


Again, from the article:

The two most popular anti-inflammatory herbs are ginger and tumeric. The “active” ingredient in these herbs is believed to be a chemical known as curcumin and a half-dozen clinical trials involving humans has found curcumin safe and effective at reducing inflammation.

I cook everything these days with ginger and tumeric. Actually, I have large containers of curry powder in my kitchen and I add it to everything. I will also add here Fennel because it too is an anti-inflammatory.

I attribute my love of Indian food as the reason why I had very little “lupus drama” at certain times in my life. In Chicago, on the upper north side, were clusters of Indian restaurants and one particular place called “Indian Fast Foods.” I visited the place often for quick take-out meals. This same store sold traditional Indian spices which I purchased to prepare my own meals.

It took me a little while to find something similar here in Los Angeles but I did. India Sweets & Spices is where I go now for quick fast food and to shop for traditional spices. Unfortunately, their website at http://www.indiasweetsandspices.net/ is not working so I’ll direct you to Yelp to learn more about the store. They have several locations in Los Angeles, but the store I frequent is on Huntington Drive in Duarte (208 East Huntington Drive, Duarte, CA?). It’s a great place for delicious curry dishes and my favorite dessert, Gulab Jamun.

So, with that, check out the article “Managing Lupus with Green Tea & Other Herbs.” and pour yourself up a nice, hot or cold, relaxing cup of green tea. You’ll be glad you did.

Tags:  Curcumin, Curry Powder, Green Tea, Inflammation