Iced Turmeric Lemonade Recipe

Author: Wellnessmama.com

Turmeric is a wonderful spice with many benefits. I love using it in cooking and in natural beauty recipes.

Many Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is a versatile spice that I use often and it is also a great natural remedy.

It can be used externally to improve skin, can help whiten teeth, and in poultices to sooth rashes. Internally, it supports digestion, the liver, and is high in beneficial antioxidants.

This power spice is a cornerstone of Indian cuisine and used in curry powders, mustards and more.

Doctors and naturopaths often recommend turmeric as a way to help lower inflammation in the body. Thousands of studies show its benefits in promoting heart health, mental health, reducing inflammation and ensuring balanced blood sugar.

How to Use Turmeric
I love to add turmeric to skin scrubs and other beauty recipes. I also put it in many of my homemade spice blends and add it to many recipes.

Unfortunately, many of the foods I love adding turmeric in, like soups and stews, aren’t good summer recipes. I find it harder to consume foods and drinks with turmeric in warmer months.

My favorite turmeric recipe of all time is this Turmeric Tea (also called Golden Milk). I make that warm and savory drink with coconut milk and other spices and love it in cooler months.

Turmeric Lemonade
Unfortunately, when the outside temperatures start hitting 90+ degrees, hot drinks lose some of their appeal. I’ve been experimenting with ways to use turmeric in cooler foods and drinks and come up with a few recipes we love.

This iced turmeric lemonade is a delicious summer favorite for our family as I’ve been making it often for the kids while they are playing outside. It is incredibly easy to make and tastes great!

The earthy taste of the turmeric provides gorgeous color but is mostly hidden by the tang of the lemon. Personally, I like to use liquid stevia to sweeten this, though any natural sweetener would work.

How to Make It…

Prep time
5 mins
Cook time
5 mins
Total time
10 mins

Refreshing iced turmeric lemonade combines earthy and bright turmeric with fresh lemon and natural sweetness for a delicious summer drink.
Author: Wellness Mama
Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
2 cups water
1.5 cup of ice
½ cup fresh lemon juice (or more to taste-about 2-3 lemons)
1-2 teaspoons turmeric powder
½ teaspoon stevia drops (or more to taste)- Can substitute other natural sweetener but will need to add more

Instructions
Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 60 seconds or until ice is completely blended in.
Let rest for about 30 seconds before pouring. Pour into cups to serve. I prefer to serve over more ice.
Consume immediately.

Notes
If you won't consume all of this at once, make smaller batches by cutting the recipe in half or even fourths. I prefer to use stevia to keep the sugar content down, but any natural sweetener like maple syrup or honey will work well in this recipe. You can also make this with lime juice (same amount as lemon juice) or orange juice (double the juice and reduce the water by ½ cup).

Natural Electrolyte Sports Drink Recipe

Author: wellnessmama.com

Drinking enough pure clean water is one of the most important things we can do for overall health. For times of exercise and exertion, a homemade natural sports drink recipe can also be helpful.

Here’s why:

Plain water can get boring after a while and it doesn’t contain high levels of electrolytes lost during exercise. It is helpful to add electrolytes and minerals to help rehydration after times of high-intensity exercise or lots of sweating.

Why Not Regular Sports Drinks?
Before you stop by the store for a Gatorade on the way to the game, try making your own natural version! It is easy, just as fast, and a lot healthier.

Regular sports drinks contain ingredients like:

Water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural grape flavor with other natural flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, red 40, Blue 1.

They also typically have fruit-like flavors but labels that say “contain no fruit.”

I’m all for re-hydrating, but are the monopotassium phosphate, mystery “natural flavors” and artificial dyes really necessary?

Around here, for times when more than just water is needed for hydration (softball games, triathlons, labor, etc.), we make our own version, which I prefer… never much liked Gatorade or Powerade myself anyway.

Natural Electrolyte Sports Drink Recipe
Coconut water is one of the simplest sports drink alternatives and can be used as is.

Apparently, coconut water is similar in structure to the fluid used in IV rehydration. For this reason, it was used during the Pacific War as an IV electrolyte replacement. Use it alone or add a teaspoon of fresh lime juice for flavor.

Coconut water contains more potassium than sports drinks, and more natural sources of sodium. A lot of athletes swear by it these days, and I had it on hand during my last couple of labors.

The only downside to coconut water is the price. If you want an inexpensive (yet still healthy and tasty) alternative, this recipe is the next best thing.

Natural Homemade Sports Drink Recipe
You can make this recipe a variety of ways and the ratios are the most important part. The base is any healthy liquid of choice and some good options are:

Herbal teas
Green tea
Coconut Water
Plain water
Some people like these new Bai drinks as a base as well
To turn the basic liquid into a sports drink, add some or all of these ingredients:

Salt– A high quality salt adds sodium and other minerals
Calcium or Magnesium– Adding a high quality calcium magnesium powder helps replenish minerals (I like this one)
Juice– Optional but adds sweetness and natural sugars if needed during exercise
Natural Flavors– I’m not talking about the more pleasant sounding name for the not-so-nice additive MSG. Add natural flavors in the form of fresh ginger, fresh herbs or even natural flavored stevia extracts
Electrolyte Drink Recipe: Basic Ingredients
Here’s the basic recipe and ratios I use, but you can customize to your personal taste preferences:

Natural Sports Drink Recipe
Prep time
5 mins
Total time
5 mins

Save money and avoid artificial ingredients by making your own homemade natural sports drink recipe with electrolytes. Endless options to make a flavor you love!
Author: Wellness Mama
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 4 cups
Ingredients
1 quart of liquid (options: green tea, herbal teas, coconut water, plain water, etc)
⅛-1/4 tsp high quality salt (or more if needed)
1 teaspoon calcium magnesium powder
¼ cup or more of juice (optional)- Can use grape, apple, lemon, lime, pineapple, etc
1-2 TBSP sweetener (optional)- can use honey, stevia, etc. I suggest brewing stevia leaf into the base liquid for the most natural option.

Instructions
Brew tea if using or slightly warm base liquid
Add sea salt and calcium magnesium to mix.
Add juice and sweetener if using and mix or shake well.
Cool and store in fridge until ready to use.
Will last up to four days in fridge, but I prefer to make as needed.

Notes
[As an example, my normal recipe includes 1 quart of tea (brewed with Red Raspberry Leaf, Alfalfa, Nettle and Stevia), ¼ tsp sea salt, 1 tsp calcium magnesium powder, and ¼ cup grape or apple juice]
Can make half a batch or less if needed.
 

Another easy alternative is just mixing Vitamin C powder with water and a little juice, though this can be a little acidic during high intensity exercise! 

Do We Really Need Electrolytes?
The sports drink industry is massive! I often see kids playing 4-year-old soccer sucking down bottles and packages of brightly colored sports drinks. This begs the question- do we really need electrolytes every time we exercise?

There is a tremendous difference between someone who exercises for the health benefits and an elite athlete. High level athletes burn through a lot of liquid, electrolytes, and blood sugar during their training and competitions.

As casual athletes or weekend warriors, most of the rest of us probably don’t.

In a perfect world, we would be able to obtain enough nutrients from diet alone and wouldn’t need any supplements or added drinks like this.

The question of if electrolytes and sports drinks are really needed varies by individual. In many cases, pure water may be just as good of an option. It’s certainly better than neon sports drinks with high fructose corn syrup!

What’s your favorite sports drink? Ever made your own?

Why Acupuncture Works

By Dr. Mercola

More than 3 million Americans receive acupuncture each year, and its use is increasing.1 While there are a variety of acupuncture techniques, those typically used in the U.S. incorporate traditions from China, Japan and Korea and involve penetrating your skin with a thin needle at certain points on your body.

The needle is then stimulated by hand or electrically.2 Acupuncture has been in use for thousands of years around the globe, and it has withstood the test of time because it works to safely relieve many common health complaints.

How it works has remained largely a mystery, but last year researchers revealed a biochemical reaction that may be responsible for some of acupuncture’s beneficial effects.

Scientists Reveal How Acupuncture Reduces Inflammation and Pain
An animal study looking into the effects of acupuncture on muscle inflammation revealed that manual acupuncture downregulates (or turns off) pro-inflammatory cells known as M1 macrophages. At the same time, it upregulates (or activates) anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages, thereby reducing pain and swelling.3

This is an effective strategy because M2 macrophages are a source of anti-inflammatory interleukin-10 (IL-10), a cytokine involved in immune response. It’s thought that upregulating M2 macrophages leads to an increase in IL-10, which subsequently helps relieve pain and inflammation. The Epoch Times reported:4

“Acupuncture literally flips a switch wherein initial inflammatory responses are reduced and the secondary healing responses are promoted.
M1 macrophage downregulation and M2 macrophage upregulation triggered by acupuncture was positively associated with reductions in muscle pain and inflammation.”
It’s likely that acupuncture works via a variety of mechanisms. In 2010, for instance, it was found that acupuncture activates pain-suppressing receptors and increased the concentration of the neurotransmitter adenosine in local tissues.5

Adenosine slows down your brain's activity and induces sleepiness. According to a Nature Neuroscience press release:6

“ … [T]he authors propose a model whereby the minor tissue injury caused by rotated needles triggers adenosine release, which, if close enough to pain-transmitting nerves, can lead to the suppression of local pain.”
Acupuncture Influences Your Body on Multiple Levels
With documented use dating back more than 2,500 years, acupuncture is based on the premise that there are more than 2,000 acupuncture points in the human body, which are connected by bioenergetic pathways known as meridians.

According to traditional medicine, it is through these pathways that Qi, or energy, flows, and when the pathway is blocked the disruptions can lead to imbalances and chronic disease.

Acupuncture is proven to impact a number of chronic health conditions, and it may work, in part, by stimulating your central nervous system to release natural chemicals that alter bodily systems, pain and other biological processes. Evidence suggests that acupuncture may also work by:7

Stimulating the conduction of electromagnetic signals, which may release immune system cells or pain-killing chemicals
Activation of your body’s natural opioid system, which may help reduce pain or induce sleep
Stimulation of your hypothalamus and pituitary gland, which impact numerous body systems
Change in the secretion of neurotransmitters and neurohormones, which may positively influence brain chemistry
Acupuncture May Relieve Pain From Knee Osteoarthritis
Acupuncture is often used for the treatment of chronic pain, and it may be particularly useful for pain from knee osteoarthritis.

In a study by researchers from the Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture received five times a week for four weeks significantly reduced pain and improved stiffness in patients with knee osteoarthritis.8

In this study, the improvements increased even more when acupuncture was combined with Chinese massage called Tui Na. Other research has also shown benefits, including one of the longest and largest studies on the topic to date.

More than 550 patients diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis took part in the 26-week trial. The participants were randomly assigned to receive one of three treatments: acupuncture, sham acupuncture, or self-help strategies recommended by the Arthritis Foundation (the latter served as a control group).

Significant differences in response were seen by week eight and 14, and at the end of the trial, the group receiving real acupuncture had a 40 percent decrease in pain and a nearly 40 percent improvement in function compared to baseline assessments — a 33 percent difference in improvement over the sham group.9

Acupuncture for Relief of High Blood Pressure
There is some evidence that acupuncture may help lower high blood pressure while also relieving associated anxiety, headaches, dizziness, palpitations and tinnitus.

It’s known that high blood pressure leads to elevated concentrations of inflammation-causing tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and TNF-α-stimulated endothelin (ET), peptides involved in constricting blood vessels and raising blood pressure.10,11

It’s thought that acupuncture may downregulate TNF-α and ET, thereby reducing blood pressure. In another study of patients with high blood pressure, 30 minutes of electroacupuncture (in which the needles are stimulated with electricity) a week led to slight declines in blood pressure.12

Study co-author Dr. John Longhurst, a cardiologist at the University of California, Irvine, told WebMD, "Potentially, blood pressure can be kept low with a monthly follow-up treatment.” He continued:13

“A noticeable drop in blood pressure was observed in 70 percent of the patients treated at the effective points, an average of 6 to 8 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure [the top number] and 4 mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure [the lower number].”
Acupuncture Even Works for Fibromyalgia Pain and Pain in Children
One of the most common uses for acupuncture is in treating chronic pain. One analysis of the most robust studies available concluded that acupuncture has a clear effect in reducing chronic pain, more so than standard pain treatment.14

Study participants receiving acupuncture reported an average 50 percent reduction in pain, compared to a 28 percent pain reduction for standard pain treatment without acupuncture.

Even fibromyalgia pain, which can be difficult to treat and is associated with sleep problems, fatigue and depression, may be improved.

In one study, 10 weeks of acupuncture decreased pain scores in fibromyalgia patients by an average of 41 percent, compared with 27 percent in those who received a sham procedure.15

The pain relief lasted for at least 1 year, leading researchers to conclude, “ … [T]he use of individualized acupuncture in patients with fibromyalgia is recommended.” Acupuncture also appears to be a safe and effective treatment for relieving chronic pain in children.

In a study of 55 children with chronic pain, those who received eight acupuncture sessions (each lasting about 30 minutes) reported significant reductions in pain and improved quality of life.16

Acupuncture for Depression, Cancer Patients and More
Acupuncture’s benefits extend to a myriad of other health conditions as well. Research suggests acupuncture works as well as counseling for treating depression, for instance.17 It may also improve fatigue, anxiety and depression in cancer patients in as little as eight weeks — and much more.18  

The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an extensive review and analysis of clinical trials related to acupuncture and reported the procedure has been proven effective for the following diseases:19

Adverse reactions to radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy
Allergic rhinitis (including hay fever)
Biliary colic
Depression (including depressive neurosis and depression following stroke)
Acute bacillary dysentery
Primary dysmenorrhea
Acute epigastralgia (in peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis, and gastrospasm)
Facial pain (including craniomandibular disorders)
Headache
Essential hypertension
Primary hypotension
Induction of labor
Knee pain
Leukopenia
Low back pain
Correction of malposition of fetus
Morning sickness
Nausea and vomiting
Neck pain
Pain in dentistry (including dental pain and temporomandibular dysfunction)
Periarthritis of shoulder
Postoperative pain
Renal colic
Rheumatoid arthritis
Sciatica
Sprain
Stroke
Tennis elbow

 


Additionally, acupuncture has also shown a therapeutic effect for treating the following diseases and conditions, which range from premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and addictions to whooping cough, although further research is needed:

Abdominal pain (in acute gastroenteritis or due to gastrointestinal spasm)
Acne vulgaris
Alcohol dependence and detoxification
Bell’s palsy
Bronchial asthma
Cancer pain
Cardiac neurosis
Chronic cholecystitis, with acute exacerbation
Cholelithiasis
Competition stress syndrome
Closed craniocerebral injury
Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
Earache
Epidemic hemorrhagic fever
Simple epistaxis (without generalized or local disease)
Eye pain due to subconjunctival injection
Female infertility
Facial spasm
Female urethral syndrome
Fibromyalgia and fasciitis
Gastrokinetic disturbance
Gouty arthritis
Hepatitis B virus carrier status
Herpes zoster (human (alpha) herpesvirus 3)
Hyperlipaemia
Hypo-ovarianism
Insomnia
Labor pain
Lactation deficiency
Male sexual dysfunction, non-organic
Ménière disease
Postherpetic neuralgia
Neurodermatitis
Obesity
Opium, cocaine and heroin dependence
Osteoarthritis
Pain due to endoscopic examination
Pain in thromboangiitis obliterans
Polycystic ovary syndrome (Stein-Leventhal syndrome)
Postextubation in children
Postoperative convalescence
Premenstrual syndrome
Chronic prostatitis
Pruritus
Radicular and pseudoradicular pain syndrome
Primary Raynaud syndrome
Recurrent lower urinary tract infection
Reflex sympathetic dystrophy
Traumatic retention of urine
Schizophrenia
Drug-induced Sialism
Sjögren syndrome
Sore throat (including tonsillitis)
Acute spine pain
Stiff neck
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction
Tietze syndrome
Tobacco dependence
Tourette syndrome
Chronic ulcerative colitis
Urolithiasis
Vascular dementia
Whooping cough (pertussis)


Are Certain Types of Acupuncture Better Than Others?
Similar benefits have been found for different types of acupuncture treatment. For instance, sometimes the stimulation of acupuncture points is done using electricity, lasers or acupressure (the use of pressure to stimulate acupuncture points).

The term acupuncture is often used to describe all of these modalities, as each has shown similar benefits. This means that if you like the idea of trying a natural, ancient technique like acupuncture, but don’t like the idea of having needles inserted into your body, there are needle-free alternatives, such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques, or EFT, you can try that may offer many of the same benefits.

If you decide to try out traditional acupuncture, be aware that the success of your treatment depends on the expertise of your practitioner. While there are acupuncturists that have general specialties, there are also those that specialize in different health conditions, such as pain relief, depression, infertility or neurological disorders. Choose an acupuncturist that is experienced in your area of need who will work with you to develop a plan for healing.