The inflammatory response is the defense mechanism of our body. Inflammation is caused by a complex series of chemical and cellular functions that the body develops in response to injury or entry of a foreign agent into the body.
Inflammation is mostly triggered by an injury or pathogens (e.g. virus or bacteria). Inflammation, if left untreated, can become a chronic health issue and cause continues pain. In some cases the damage caused to the body due to inflammation can be recovered. In other cases, such as in chronic inflammation (lasting more than three months), the damage is ongoing.
Two reasons why your inflammation is chronic
When facing a patient that has complaints of pain, most doctors will ask themselves, ‘what is the proper anti-inflammatory medication and pain relief pill to prescribe?' While I do not disregard the importance of pain management medication, the real question that your doctor should ask him/herself is, ‘what is the reason that you are still suffering from pain and inflammation?’
There are two reasons why you still have inflammation and pain: the first is you have not found the the factors that are irritating your body and triggering an immune response. This could be food that your body is not tolerating, environmental toxins, hormonal imbalance, etc. The second reason is because you have not received proper treatment.
Let’s say for example, that your having occasional neck or back pain or headaches and you take pain medications. Did you really treated the pain or did you just mask it? Your pain and inflammation could be caused by certain food that you are eating and your body does not like, environmental toxins that are triggering an excessive immune respond, or a previous injury that was not completely treated.
Whatever it is, finding the root cause is vital! For that reason, it is important to do a comprehensive evaluation and look for any physical, emotional, or hormonal causes. We need to change our approach to healthcare. Instead of 'popping a pill' and believing that everything will be better, we should be more active in our treatments and include active self-care (such as exercise), change in lifestyle and diet, and addition of supplements and herbs to maximize your health.
Natural Ways to Reduce Inflammation
Living in modern times carries stress in massive amounts. From the processed or manipulated food that we eat, chronic emotional or psychological stress, to environmental toxins that we are exposed to. All these are known factors that increase inflammation. Thankfully, mother nature has provided us with natural and safe ways to turn off this inflammatory process quickly, and help our bodies return to a healthier state. There are four natural ways to turn off inflammation and they are as follows:
This extravagant aromatic resin, also called Boswellia, was used extensively in incense and perfumes for centuries. It has historical importance as it has been serving in religious ceremonies across the globe as a way to please gods. Many studies found it to have anti-inflammatory powers and it is slowly getting more and more attention in the media and with natural healthcare providers.
This resin is obtained from the genus Boswellia in family Burseraceae. Dr Oliver Werz of Schiller University (Jena, Germany) successfully interpreted the mechanism of frankincense interference in inflammation. A study comparing Boswellia and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication concluded after 12 weeks, that Boswellia was more effective and safe in reducing inflammation and pain. Studies found that the anti-inflammatory activity of frankincense is due to the interaction of Boswellic acid, from Boswellia resin, with several different proteins that are part of inflammatory reactions. Most of all, it interacts with an enzyme that is responsible for the synthesis of prostaglandin E2. Boswellic acid blocks this enzyme proficiently and thus helps to reduce the inflammatory reaction.
Frankincense is believed to produce fewer adverse effects as compared to allopathic anti-inflammatory medicine. There are many Boswellia species in the world but the most popular and widely used is Boswellia Serata found in northern and central India.
Kizhakkedath R. Clinical evaluation of a formulation containing Curcuma longa and Boswellia serrata extracts in the management of knee osteoarthritis. Molecular Medicine Reports. 2013. doi:10.3892/mmr.2013.1661.
Since ancient times turmeric has found its applications in Indian Ayurveda. Modern research has approved its extensive medical benefits. Turmeric is found to be an excellent anti-inflammatory agent with enhanced antioxidant and anti-tumor properties. Since turmeric is a natural ingredient, it is not harmful to your stomach, liver, or kidneys, in comparison to Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or other anti-inflammatory medication. In most cases, it will restore your health without any side effects. Turmeric is an excellent remedy against all types of inflammation and a principal ingredient in treatment of:
Researchers have ranked cinnamon number 1 out of the 26 most widely used spices around the world. It has an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and can support micro-circulation. The medical benefits of cinnamon spice or cinnamon supplements are obtained from the Cinnamon Tree bark or its essential oils and extracts.
Researchers have isolated 7 different flavonoid compounds in cinnamon extracts that are found to be responsible for lowering the inflammation process in the body. Cinnamon is found specifically proficient in controlling the level of pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon is found effective against:
Cats Claw is a vine normally known as Una de Gato and is traditionally use in Peruvian medicine for the treatment of several health problems. It is particularly popular as an anti-inflammatory agent. It's popular medicinal applications are:
Reducing pain and inflammation of rheumatism
Promoting wound healing
Anti-tumour and anti-cancer properties
Fights viral and fungal infections.
In conclusion, the natural remedies against inflammation like cinnamon, turmeric, frankincense and cat claw are very effective and helpful. The best thing about them is that they are exceptional in relieving pain without causing any damage to other vital organs of human body. As usual, make sure that you look for the true cause of your health problem, rather than just masking the pain.