Reader “E” suggested that I try a combination of ‘activated’ quercetin (with bromelain) and garlic capsules to alleviate the tendonitis. (1, 2) Together the supplements have a powerful anti-inflammatory effect. He gave me the name of specific brands along with his comments. (3)
I have supplemented the activated quercetin formula with 100 mg. of calcium because I don’t like taking a magnesium supplement, even in the small dose (50 mg.) used in the preparation, without adding a calcium supplement. My understanding from reading nutrition books is that the calcium/magnesium ratio should be roughly 2:1.
Also, upon waking I take about a gram of the quercetin (two capsules of the recommended brand) instead of one capsule three times a day because I snack throughout the day, and the quercetin needs to be taken on an empty stomach. (4)
Although the quercetin – bromelain combination has stopped the pain, work at the computer (combination typing/ mousing) still causes discomfort if I do it for any more than about 15 minutes at a time, even though I am wearing a hand brace. (Discomfort, not pain, so there has definitely been healing.)
Also, I have had to learn to hold a full coffee mug with two hands and refrain from lifting/ carrying all but the lightest loads with the affected hand.
I suspect that if I put the hand in a sling and continued the quercetin treatment the condition would heal rapidly, but at this point I am unwilling to take such an extreme measure.
I did not take the cortisone shot. The specialist bailed on his appointments on the day I was to receive the shot. Because he came highly recommended by my primary care physician I will simply wait until he can fit me into his schedule -- and hope that by then the hand injury will have improved so much that I can forego the cortisone.
I am reluctant to get a cortisone shot because of the side effects and look at it as a last resort. So I am content for now to stay with the quercetin treatment, given the good results so far.
To give you a graphic idea of how much the quercetin has helped: before the treatment, I had been taking 1,800 mg./ day of Ibuprofen. It made no difference -- didn’t do a thing to relieve the pain. One gram of activated quercetin had very dramatic results within an hour or so. And without side effects.
Allergy sufferers and those with bursitis or tendonitis – or any type of inflammatory condition – might want to take note of my experience with quercetin. Note, too, the Wikipedia mention (below) of quercetin’s ability to shrink tumors.
I don’t know where all this leaves the blogging. There are posts I want to type up. Yet there is nothing like having an injury to the hand that you use the most to put a scare in you. I want the hand to get better; I want the full use of the hand back! At the same time, light typing for short periods does not seem to do any more harm than ordinary use of the hand provided I use care. And straight typing doesn’t bother the tendonitis as much as mousing. If I limit mousing I can get away with using the left hand for the mouse.
So I am going to write up at least one of the two posts I want to publish and use the left hand for the mousing I’ll need for the publishing process. After that, I will take it a day at a time.
My target for publishing the next post is Tuesday around noon.
Thanks very much to E for the advice and his good wishes, and for the other letters of support, and thanks to everyone for their patience!
I should note that at least one author (who works for a company that makes quercetin supplements) disputes that quercetin should be taken in megadoses. (5) Here’s my experience with the dosage amount:
I started with 500 mg. of quercetin and saw no improvement. It was not until I took a gram that I saw the dramatic results. But not all inflammatory conditions might require a megadose, so one has to play it by ear.
Also, at first I took the quercetin – bromelain preparation without adding the high - allicin garlic preparation that E recommended. I am not sure how much ‘boost’ the garlic gave to the quercetin/bromelain supplement but surely it’s been a help.
However, if you are taking a blood thinning medicine (e.g., aspirin therapy) you’d want to forego the garlic or at least discuss with your physician whether that high a dose of allicin is safe.
1) Wikipedia article: “Quercetin is a flavonoid that forms the "backbone" for many other flavonoids, including the citrus flavonoids rutin, hesperidin, naringin and tangeritin. Quercetin is found to be the most active of the flavonoids in studies, and many medicinal plants owe much of their activity to their high quercetin content.
Quercetin has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity because of direct inhibition of several initial processes of inflammation. For example, it inhibits both the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic/ inflammatory mediators. In addition, it exerts potent antioxidant activity and vitamin C-sparing action. […]
Quercetin also shows remarkable anti-tumor properties. A recent study in the British Journal of Cancer shows that when treated with a combination of quercetin and ultrasound at 20 KHz for 1 minute duration, skin and prostate cancers show a 90% mortality within 48 hours with no visible mortality of normal cells. Note that ultrasound also promotes topical absorption by up to 1,000 times making the use of topical quercetin and ultrasound wands an interesting proposition.
Quercetin may have positive effects in combating or helping to prevent cancer, prostatitis, heart disease, cataracts, allergies/inflammations, and respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma.
Foods rich in quercetin include apples, black & green tea, onions (higher concentrations of quercetin occur in the outermost rings), red wine, red grapes, citrus fruits, broccoli & other leafy green vegetables, cherries, and a number of berries including raspberry, bog whortleberry (158 mg/kg, fresh weight), lingonberry (74 and 146 mg/kg), cranberry (83 and 121 mg/kg), chokeberry (89 mg/kg), sweet rowan (85 mg/kg), rowanberry (63 mg/kg), sea buckthorn berry (62 mg/kg), and crowberry (53 and 56 mg/kg). A study by the University of Queensland, Australia, has also indicated the presence of quercetin in varieties of honey, including honey derived from eucalyptus and tea tree flowers. [...]
2) “Garlic has decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties and is a good source of quercetin, a natural antihistamine, making it good for colds and hay fever."
3) “Activated Quercetin (in this case, the brand matters)
Allicin Garlic (it's odorless)”
4) "Quercetin’s main disadvantage is that it is barely soluble in water, and therefore difficult for the body to absorb. Without biochemical help, its beneficial properties may be of very limited use to our bodies. There are lots of quercetin products on the market, but they won’t do much good if the quercetin is not activated for use by the body. Source Naturals combines its quercetin with bromelain, an enzyme derived from pineapple that is known to increase the body’s ability to absorb various substances. Bromelain also is known to have many of the same histamineand leukotriene-inhibiting properties as quercetin, so they enhance each others’ performance. Source Naturals ACTIVATED QUERCETIN contains vitamin C in a non-acidic form, magnesium ascorbate. Studies suggest that vitamin C has a synergistic relationship with quercetin, which improves quercetin’s use by the body. Since the acidic form of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can create mild stomach irritation, and since quercetin is best taken on an empty stomach to maximize absorption, a pH-buffered form of vitamin C such as magnesium ascorbate is preferable."
5) Disputing megadose: “Because [quercetin] is not considered an essential nutrient, there is no RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) set. However, various studies have indicated that there doesn't seem to be an issue of toxicity with quercitin [sic]. However, to err on the side of caution, we would suggest refraining from using mega-doses -- 500 mgs or above. A dosage of between 50 mgs and 150 mgs seems much more reasonable."