Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Cashews made my arthritis worse

About 6 weeks ago, I stopped eating cashews because I thought they might be contributing to inflammation and thus causing the arthritis that was making me think I had to give up gardening professionally.  My symptoms immediately began to ease, and I was able to stop taking cayenne to control them.  I still have sore muscles from overuse at times, but not the pain that caused me to eventually use a full teaspoon of cayenne every day, which caused other painful symptoms as it came out.
I had been eating about a half-cup of cashews nearly every day with my lunch for the last 10 years for their vitaminB17, AKA Laetrile, which supposedly wards off cancer.  It was a good excuse to eat an expensive but favorite nut that I saw listed in the sources of this vitamin.
I had occasionally been having arthritis symptoms in my hip before I changed my lunch from tomato juice with a half-teaspoon of cayenne and a yogurt, to sesame-chocolate chip oatmeal cookies and cashews, and taking orange juice, cranberry juice and cayenne (Crazy juice) first thing in the morning to ward off the arthritis with cayenne and keep bladder infections at bay with cranberry juice.  The combination of cayenne, tomato juice and yogurt was causing heartburn as I bent to my work.  Cookies and cashews worked better for my stomach, but I eventually had to give up cookies to preserve my teeth.  I started making sesame crackers instead, eventually figuring out that sesame had clearedup my sun spots.
A few years ago, I had a bout of Lyme disease from a tick bite and ended up with swollen, arthritic joints in my hands.  I cured that with oregano oil, but the arthritis remained and got worse from working with scissors and litter grabber.  I had to increase my cayenne intake to a teaspoon a day, causing its own distressing symptoms. 
After a bit of heart pain, for which I now carry nitro pills to take if necessary, I started thinking hard about what might be causing all of this inflammation.  I remembered what I’d long known, that cashews have urushiol, the irritant in poison oak and poison sumac, and that their nuts have to be roasted to be edible.  I am allergic to poison oak; perhaps some urushiol lingered in the lightly roasted nuts I was eating.  So I stopped eating them and my arthritis soon cleared up to the point that I could discontinue the cayenne, though I still need cranberry juice for my bladder.
I then searched “cashews, inflammation” and found a lot of articles saying that cashews don’t cause inflammation.  No smoke without fire; they would not need to deny it if there was not a problem with cashews and inflammation in some people.

Special October supplement
Gardening is easy if you do it naturally.  Litter is tagging, marking the territory of the disorderly.


Rycke Brown, Natural Gardener              541-955-9040              rycke@gardener.com