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Wheatgrass for aches and pains of ageing

Approaching middle-age often brings on niggling aches and pains that can spoil one’s quality of life. A little stiffness in the knees or fingers perhaps, back pain, sore neck, cramps and so on.

In this pill-popping era, analgesic drugs such as paracetamol (Panadol, Tylenol) and anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen (Brufen) and diclofenac (Voltaren) are used widely. Without doubt they can work well, but often only for a short period of time. They can also end up causing adverse side-effects that only add to one’s discomfort -  and they're best not taken for long periods.

Another oft-recommended remedy is the RICE formula - Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation – for soft tissue injuries such as muscular strains. But does this work? The most recent scientific evidence shows that applying ice to soft tissue injuries has a negative effect on the recovery process and simply shouldn't be used.

There must be a better way, and there is. Providing your doctor is satisfied these aches and pains are not of a serious nature, try applying a little wheatgrass (Cream, Superbalm or Spray) to your sore spot(s) a couple of times a day and rub it in for a minute. Because wheatgrass contains a natural anti-inflammatory called apigenin, it helps reduce the swelling and pain of injured tissues. It has also been shown to have "Substance P inhibiting effects." This is one of the chemicals that enables pain messages to be sent to the brain where pain is processed. If this process can be blocked, it can stop the pain stimulus, of some of it, reaching your brain so that you don't feel it so badly, or not at all.

I love gardening. It’s a pleasant way to work out with exhausting yourself. After an hour or so though, I start to feel it. So out comes the Superbalm. I daub a little on the sore and stiff spots, rub it in for a minute and ten minutes or so later, I’m moving freely again and there's no morning stiffness the next day.

It can work for you, too - not just for us old blokes. And there are no side effects!

Dr. Chris Reynolds. M.B.,B.S.

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