so I bought some nopal...

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imagardener2
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   Posted 2/2/2015 6:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Here is the original thread. I'm starting a new post due to the length of the OP's discussion.
www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=38&m=3282660

Short version: This week (today is day 3) I tried nopal water and my gut likes it. Especially makes morning UC symptoms almost disappear and it's healthy, easy to make and cheap.

It's also got great nutrition and other health benefits:
www.nutrition-and-you.com/nopales.html

My history with supplements is bad, very bad, but nopal water is a keeper for me, at the top of my "good" list because my gut tells me right away when it doesn't like something and nopal is well liked.

I had to go out of town to find nopal (very cheap at Hispanic grocery) but so glad I tried it. Wouldn't it be weird if something so simple could be the answer?

Guardian7
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   Posted 2/2/2015 6:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I will look for this when shopping in ethnic stores. Always knew there was something more to cactus plants than the painful spikes. Thanks for sharing.

Edit: Whole foods appears to have this nopal water.

Post Edited (Guardian7) : 2/2/2015 6:55:11 AM (GMT-7)


CCinPA
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   Posted 2/2/2015 8:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I've been drinking it for 2 weeks and it definitely has improved things for me. The only lingering symptom I still have is a bit of blood every 3-4 days, but that seems better too as it's a lot less blood than when I started drinking it. Stools are now always formed and generally 1-2 times a day ( was 1-4, sometimes 5 times a day when I started and stools were always soft and only semi formed). This AM I started taking Uceris again to see if I can get that last bit of blood to go away. I had a week of Uceris left from when I was on it in December. Still drinking Nopal though because I definitely think it has helped. My hope is that the Uceris will be enough along with the Nopal & Asacol to get that last bit of inflammation healed.

Guardian, that Nopal water is made from the fruits not the leaves so not sure it's the same thing. A Mexican grocery store is the only place I could find them around here. They sold them with the thorns still on them at half the price of getting the ones with the thorns all removed. I opted for the de-thorned leaves because it was still really cheap! I got 4 leaves for $2.99. That's enough for 4 pitchers of nopal water and a pitcher lasts about 3 days.

I'm impatient to get completely healed -- been in this flare since June, but am so so SO much better now! Based on what I have seen so far with the nopal water, I suspect that it alone could possibly get everything completely healed, but I am adding a week of Uceris in the hopes I can speed up the process. I plan to continue to drink the nopal for at least a few more weeks before I give up on it.

Post Edited (CCinPA) : 2/2/2015 8:58:29 AM (GMT-7)


notsosicklygirl
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   Posted 2/2/2015 8:58 AM (GMT -7)   
I was doing it for a while and i didn't notice any results but it didn't harm anything and the nopal water isn't terrible to drink. I am feeling okay lately so it's difficult to tell what helps and what doesn't. Probably not the best time to make a determination. I got 2 leaves for .50 here. I see these leaves growing at the park. I bet I could grow a plant :)
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: prednisone

quincy
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   Posted 2/2/2015 10:31 AM (GMT -7)   
Great it agrees with you!
enjoy,
h
*Heather* I give suggestions, do with them what you will.
Status: ...Asacol 3 @ 2x daily; Salofalk enema @ 3rd night (nightly/ flares, tapered/maintenance)
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~Bentylol 20mg as needed; Zantac 150mg; Pulmicort/Airomir (asthma);Effexor XR 37.5 (depression)
~vitamins/minerals/supplements; Probiotics....(RenewLife Ultimate Flora Critical Care+Primadophilus Reuteri capsules @ bedtime)
~Metamucil capsules 6 twice daily with meals; Vitamin D 4500 IU
~URSO for PBC(or PSC?) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS" worth it !!!

garylouisville
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   Posted 2/2/2015 10:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Just out of curiosity, what would a regular person buy nopal for, in terms of food? What would one do with it?
Pentasa (500mg) 2 pills X 2; VSL 1 pill X 2; Prescrip Assist Probiotic 1 pill X 2; Grape seed extract (1)400mg X 3; Vitamin D3 (1) 5,000 IU X 2; daily generic Allegra; DAO as needed due to dietary histamine intolerance

Gave me trouble: Zymactive, Renew Life Probiotic 80 billion, Florastor, high histamine foods

notsosicklygirl
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   Posted 2/2/2015 10:39 AM (GMT -7)   
www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Shrimp-and-Nopal-Cactus-Salad-234918

there are a lot of recipes actually. i was wondering the same thing when I saw it in the store. Doesn't look too appetizing. I actually like the water with nopal but the bottom of the pitcher gets really thick like goo and it's kind of gross.
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: prednisone / entyvio

brucen36
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   Posted 2/2/2015 11:03 AM (GMT -7)   
Can people post their preparation protocols for the leaves? I know the original thread had it, but I wonder if there were any modifications.

CCinPA
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   Posted 2/2/2015 11:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I didn't change anything --
1 nopal cactus pad de-thorned, cleaned and cut into pieces
Cut the pieces open and scrape loose the inner flesh.
Put the inner flesh and the skin it was scraped from in a 2 qt pitcher
Add 2 quarts water
Refrigerate overnight before drinking

The longer the nopal is in the water the thicker the water gets. By the time I am drinking the last glass it is thicker and more gel like, but still it's very drinkable. Doesn't have much taste -- sort of like cucumbers.
56 yo female diagnosed w/UC to mid transverse 1/1/13, scope 10/9/14 now UC or Crohn's colitis
Current meds: Asacol HD 2 tabs 3x/day, Rowasa 1/day, Capozide 1/day (hypertension). OTC: Loratadine 1/day, multivitamin 1/day, align type probiotic 1/day, kefir. Past: Uceris, prednisone, azathioprine- had to discontinue after 2 months due to elevated liver enzymes ALP,ALT,AS

brucen36
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   Posted 2/2/2015 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
How many glasses do you drink per day and when?

imagardener2
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   Posted 2/2/2015 12:04 PM (GMT -7)   
CCinPA said: Stools are now always formed and generally 1-2 times a day ( was 1-4, sometimes 5 times a day when I started and stools were always soft and only semi formed).

The first day I drank it I got a little worried because I had zero BM's (highly unusual) and I wondered if it was acting like a constipator (like Immodium in other words). The next day I had one total. My normal is 3 and an active day (too much caffeine) can be 5.

That trend of 1-2 has continued, so 50% reduction from past normal and stomach very quiet and happy.

CCinPA: I did not refrigerate mine and very little taste, not even cucumbers.

imagardener2
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   Posted 2/2/2015 12:08 PM (GMT -7)   
brucen36 said...
How many glasses do you drink per day and when?


You can drink as much or as little as you want I guess. I'm at less than 8 oz a day, small amounts throughout the day, not all at once. Need to make a fresh batch today, I only make 1 qt at a time (1 leaf cut up as stated) to go in my qt. jar after draining the leaves out.

imagardener2
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   Posted 2/2/2015 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
garylouisville said...
Just out of curiosity, what would a regular person buy nopal for, in terms of food? What would one do with it?


Hispanics cut it up as a green vegetable, to cook and eat the way we eat green beans. I posted the nutrition link in the first post and that article also states it is anti-inflammatory.

I saw one statement that it is a natural laxative ooh-nooo. But my gut says it's not.

CCinPA
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Date Joined Dec 2014
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   Posted 2/2/2015 12:19 PM (GMT -7)   
I have been drinking two 8 oz glasses in the AM and 1 glass in the evening
56 yo female diagnosed w/UC to mid transverse 1/1/13, scope 10/9/14 now UC or Crohn's colitis
Current meds: Asacol HD 2 tabs 3x/day, Rowasa 1/day, Capozide 1/day (hypertension). OTC: Loratadine 1/day, multivitamin 1/day, align type probiotic 1/day, kefir. Past: Uceris, prednisone, azathioprine- had to discontinue after 2 months due to elevated liver enzymes ALP,ALT,AS

notsosicklygirl
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   Posted 2/2/2015 12:43 PM (GMT -7)   
I was drinking one tall glass in the AM and one in the PM
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: prednisone / entyvio

Dreadsteel
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Total Posts : 345
   Posted 2/2/2015 2:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I need to hire a mercenary to hunt down that nopal, i am glad its helping you all.
27 Male UC pancolitis dx March 2013
Current Meds: Mesalamine 4gm Enema daily , 100mg Imuran, 4gm Pentasa, Parriet (nausea), Lacteol Forte, Centrum, FishOil, Boswellia, Aloe Vera Juice
Current Faecal calprotectin : ~150mg/kg , Top Score ! ~2800mg/kg Feb 2014

kazbern
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   Posted 2/2/2015 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   
You might be able to get it closer at hand, Dreadsteel.

The cactus fruit that native Israelis are named after (they call themselves "sabras") is the same fruit as the prickly pear that is native to Mexico and Texas. This plant was imported to Israel (I don't recall why) and does really well there.

Prickly pear cactus are the source of the nopal pad.

I'm sure you can find prickly pear fruit - not sure if you'll be able to find the pads. I imagine that finding cactus fruit imported from Israel to Egypt might be a bit of a sensitive issue, but the two countries have had treaties for a long time so you never know.
*******************
52 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day) generic Colazal (9 6 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), psyllium (2 tsp daily), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11. Scope in 8/11 found no evidence of inflammation!

imagardener2
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   Posted 2/2/2015 3:05 PM (GMT -7)   
I've been thinking about how similar the gel from nopal is to psyllium seed soaked in water. My gut hates psyllium, probably because of the seeds (my gut haaaates fiber) but likes nopal water. My first theory is that the gel coats the gut and makes everything less "touchy".

Dreadsteel: look around and I'll bet you can find cactus growing in the wild. Don't cut any by the roadside due to pollution runoff, look in fields that get no insecticide or herbicide. WEAR HEAVY GLOVES, the thorns are wicked.

Dreadsteel
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Total Posts : 345
   Posted 2/2/2015 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh wait a minute, i think we have these fruits grown locally from cactus they are called "tean shouky" [Opuntia ficus-indica]

please take a look at photos :

www.stooob.com/581342.html

and

ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D8%AA%D9%8A%D9%86_%D8%B4%D9%88%D9%83%D9%8A

could you confirm its the same plant ? i think they grow in the desert and some special gardens, i'll ask some gardening shops if so.

the cactus fruit is delicious lots of seeds and sugar though, i also drink aloe vera daily which contains a similar gel and it certainly helps me.
27 Male UC pancolitis dx March 2013
Current Meds: Mesalamine 4gm Enema daily , 100mg Imuran, 4gm Pentasa, Parriet (nausea), Lacteol Forte, Centrum, FishOil, Boswellia, Aloe Vera Juice
Current Faecal calprotectin : ~150mg/kg , Top Score ! ~2800mg/kg Feb 2014

kazbern
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Date Joined May 2010
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   Posted 2/2/2015 3:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Yep, that's it! Now you have to see if folks there cook with the pads.

We tried some prickly pear last year (I live in Texas) and there were So Many Seeds.
*******************
52 yrs old, IBD diagnosis in spring '01. Proctitis, gastritis, ileitis.
Currently taking Pentasa (3g/day) generic Colazal (9 6 pills/day), Sulfazine (1.5 g/day), Prevacid, folic acid, vit. D (2K iu), flax seed oil (2 tsp/day), psyllium (2 tsp daily), mesalamine enema as needed. Gluten free as of 5/30/11. Scope in 8/11 found no evidence of inflammation!

imagardener2
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Date Joined Jan 2010
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   Posted 2/2/2015 3:44 PM (GMT -7)   
Dreadsteel:

The pictures look similar but there are different cactuses (cacti?) and I have no idea which one I bought at the store. The red parts at the top are the "fruit" of the cactus and called "tuna" in Spanish. Tuna is not nopal (but is edible). Nopal or nopales are the green pads.

Wikipedia says: Farmed nopales are most often of the species Opuntia ficus-indica, although the pads of almost all Opuntia species are edible. and apparently there are 114 species of nopal in Mexico.

kazbern had a great idea about Israelis being familiar with edible cactus, or maybe you can find a botanist to determine which ones are Opuntia-ficus indica.

edit to add: duh-I just read that you DO have access to Opuntia ficus-indica fruits, now you just have to get the pads!!

Post Edited (imagardener2) : 2/2/2015 3:50:22 PM (GMT-7)


notsosicklygirl
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Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 2/2/2015 4:06 PM (GMT -7)   
these are what i bought at the Mexican grocery store: 1drv.ms/15glJuM

looks very similar
Co-moderator: Ulcerative Colitis
Diagnosed with Pancolitis, Laryngopharyngeal Reflux & Migraines. Battling Extreme Exhaustion.
Currently: prednisone / entyvio

DMC2011
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   Posted 2/3/2015 6:25 AM (GMT -7)   
I am going yo get on this plan. I live in so cal and can pick it! But just gonna go to store and get it. I wish we knew more about it, like does it work like slippery elm because that would be bad!
Left sided dx. 2011
Current med: Apriso 4 a day
Low dose BP med
Migraine med as nec
budesonide 9mgs
Cortenema as nec
Canasa 1 as nec
Vsl 3 packet Every couple days



Supplements: Looking into supplements now, changing plan
Diet: no lactose, low fat, no uncooked veggies, No honey or HFCS!! gluten free, no carageenan!!!

imagardener2
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   Posted 2/3/2015 6:30 AM (GMT -7)   
Nopal water has polysaccharides from what I read (I'm no scientist) so if that is a problem for your gut then beware.

I don't remember what slippery elm did for/against me, must have tried it so long ago cannot remember since in my 15 years I've tried most every supplement.

DMC2011
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Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 2504
   Posted 2/3/2015 6:33 AM (GMT -7)   
;-). Slippery elm coats the intestine so that other meds are not effective. I don't think I have a prob with polys but will have to look up examples of what they are. Thx
Left sided dx. 2011
Current med: Apriso 4 a day
Low dose BP med
Migraine med as nec
budesonide 9mgs
Cortenema as nec
Canasa 1 as nec
Vsl 3 packet Every couple days



Supplements: Looking into supplements now, changing plan
Diet: no lactose, low fat, no uncooked veggies, No honey or HFCS!! gluten free, no carageenan!!!
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