Reduce Inflammation Naturally Using Herbs and Foods
Inflammation is the root cause and primary symptom in arguably every disease in the world. Reducing inflammation naturally using herbs, foods and plant extracts has been done for thousands of years by our ancestors.
Herbal medicine is the oldest medicine on the planet and gave birth to the modern pharmaceutical industry. Unfortunately, however, treating dis-ease in today's world typically translates to a slew of prescription pills that work to cover up symptoms, not address the root cause of the problem.
As choosers of our own destiny though, we have a choice: take pills or use the power of nature to heal our bodies.
What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is an indispensable component of the body's natural immune function that produces redness, swelling, pain and heat in the afflicted area. When the body becomes compromised, enzymes called cyclooxygenase COX-1 and COX-2 convert arachidonic acid, a stored fat, into prostaglandins which produce heat and inflammation at the source of the problem.
Acute inflammation (lasting a few days) helps our body defend against pathogens, bacteria, disease, infection, skin lacerations and so much more.
Chronic inflammation (lasting weeks, months or years), however, can lead to self-destructive behavior at the cellular level and cause permanent, severe damage to organs, tissues, joints, muscles, nerves and more. An example of systematic, chronic inflammation is rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammation may seem trivial and harmless, but its truly an epidemic; consider this...
- "1 in 12 women and 1 in 24 men are dealing with full blown autoimmune mediated inflammation." (David M. Marquis, DC, Diplomat American Clinical Board of Nutrition)
- Approximately 1.6 million people are afflicted with RA in the United States.
- People with chronic inflammation are more likely to develop other health problems.
Conditions that Involve Inflammation
The following is a small list of conditions that share an intimate relationship with inflammation. There are tons of other diseases and health conditions not mentioned below that attribute to or suffer from systemic inflammation.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
Most people suffer with minor inflammatory conditions for years before noticing the devastating effects of it, at which point, it can already have caused irreversible damage.
Pharmaceutical treatment options for inflammation include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen. Both have been long known to cause serious damage to the liver, kidneys and gastrointestinal tract.
NSAIDs work by inhibiting the COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. However, these drugs produce only superficial, temporary reduction in inflammation and relief from pain; when the drug wears off, the problem still exists.
Holistic Approach to Treatment
What our ancestors understood is that the body requires a holistic approach to healing. The mind, emotions, spirit and body must be taken into consideration. Prescription drugs are rooted in isolating a single plant constituent that is though to produce a desired effect and then recreating it synthetically.
Herbal medicine uses the entire plant part with its hundreds of constituents to produce a desires effect. This approach typically prevents the negative side effects associated with modern western medicine.
Herbal Treatment to the Rescue
We must take back control of our health as individuals and as a community. When we understand that food is medicine and medicine is food, we can learn to integrate medicine into our daily routine to restore health naturally.
The following herbs have been used historically to reduce inflammation. Please do your own research before trying any of these herbs. Just because something is natural doesn't make it safe. Personal allergies, medication interactions and genes MUST be taken into consideration.
Anti-inflammatory Herbs and Foods
- White Willow Bark. The bark from the white willow tree has been used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) remedy. The tree's main active constituent that produces this effect is salicylic acid. Salicylic acid was first isolated in 1838, then developed into what we now know as aspirin in 1899. It is now being produced using synthetic ingredients which can cause severe side effects such as stomach ulcers.
- Turmeric. The active constituent in turmeric that reduces inflammation is called curcumin. Curcumin has the ability to lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation (even stronger action than hydrocortisone) and neutralize harmful free radicals.
- Green Leafy Vegetables. High in antioxidants, these superfoods can drastically reduce inflammation and are a pleasure to eat.
- Borage Seed Oil. This oil has a high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which functions as an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Borage seed oil is also rich in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid, needed for optimal health.
- Yarrow Leaf and Flower. Energetically, yarrow stimulates the flow of Qi (in Traditional Chinese Medicine) and releases stagnant blockages both physically and emotionally.
- Peppermint. Great for reducing inflammation and relieving headaches when applied topically.
- Wintergreen. A powerful pain reliever.
- Cinnamon. Stimulates circulation, generates warmth and supports the immune system..
- Blue Chamomile Essential Oil. High in Chamazulene, this oil has been used to treat arthritis and inflammatory conditions, especially in the joints.
- and the list goes on.....
Treating inflammation naturally can be as easy as going to your refrigerator or herbal garden. Trust nature, treat naturally.
*The FDA has not evaluated the above statements. This information is intended for educational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.