I attended a series of seminars a few years ago which focused on inflammation being the root cause of disease. I don’t think I truly understood the entire body of information the speakers were presenting…until now.
Look around you. How many people do you see who suffer from conditions which have been diagnosed as “fibromyalgia,” “rheumatoid arthritis,” athlersclerosis,” “gout,” “inflammatory bowel disease,” etc? What do all of these medical conditions have in common? INFLAMMATION. They all are inflammatory conditions. This means they are conditions in which the body’s tissues are swollen, hot to the touch many times, and painful.
Check out these stats:
-The National Institute for Health estimates 23.5 million people in the US have an autoimmune disorder (https://www.aarda.org/autoimmune-information/autoimmune-statistics/)
-The CDC estimates half of all adults have periodontal disease (inflammatory disease of the gums) (https://www.perio.org/consumer/cdc-study.htm)
-Scientists estimate 5 million Americans from the age of 18 and up have fibromyalgia (http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/fibromyalgia_ff.asp)
-52.5 million Americans are estimated to have inflammatory arthritis (http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/arthritis.htm)
-Inflammatory bowel diseases (this tag includes Chrone’s, IBS, and ulcerative colitis, etc) is estimated to affect as many as 1.4 million Americans (http://www.ccfa.org/resources/facts-about-inflammatory.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/)
The list goes on and on and on.
I know there are cases of autoimmune disorders where no known cause is ever found. That is sad, and very true. However, what would happen if we dealt with the body’s inflammatory response in a bit more natural way, when possible (hey – sometimes you just can’t, and that’s when I am thankful for modern medicine and doctors who are open-minded and truly altruistic).
What can be used?
Turmeric is an herb used in a lot of Asian cooking. You may recognize it as the yellow seasoning used in a lot of Indian dishes. It contains a chemical called curcumin which, along with other chemical constituents in turmeric, has been shown to decrease inflammation in some studies. (Please see https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/turmeric and follow the cited reseacrh from there)
Ginger has been shown to act as a COX2 inhibitor. Cyclooxygenases (1 and 2) are enzymes which perform a variety of functions in the body. Specifically, they are involved in the inflammatory response. They trigger certain hormones and such to make the body swell. NSAIDs (like naprosyn, ibuprofen, etc) are non-specific anti-inflammatories because they act against both enzymes. However, long term use has been shown to damage the lining of the stomach or the kidneys (depending on where the drug is adsorbed or broken down). You may recall the recall of certain prescriptions (Viox, Celebrex, etc) which were recalled in the late 1990’s due to side effects of heart attacks and more. These drugs were manufactured to work against the COX2 enzyme specifically. Ginger has this ability to inhibit COX2! The difference is ginger will not give someone a heart attack (to my knowledge). Here is just one fo the studies showing it’s efficacy: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3018740/
Ginger is often an ingredient in various cleanses because it relaxes the smooth muscle of the digestive tract, and helps to relieve the swelling.
I cannot say enough about this herb! I dearly love it and I am trying to grow it in a pot, here in Ohio.
There are many studies regarding it’s ability to act as an anti inflammatory, but the study I cite below it had been shown to act as an antiinflammatory in rats with collagen-induced arthritis. This is very promising. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24188460
Ashwaghanda has been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine. In my book, that counts for more than studies on lab rats. Many formulas used to combat the stresses of every day life comtain Ashwaghanda.
Yucca is often overlooked. It is a native of the Americas. Often grown as an ornamental plant, it seems to function as an acid reducer. One class I attended in Utah in the early 2000’s highlighted the saponification action displayed by the root. This bubbling reaction brought down the acidity level of the vinegar to which it was added. The proof was in the pH paper.
There are many products where yucca can be found, along with other herbs historically used to benefit those who suffer from arthritic-like pains.
While this is nowhere near the entire list of herbs which help decrease inflammation, they can be a good place to start.
Remember each person is different and different herbs work better for different people. To further narrow down what may be the most beneficial for you, schedule an appointment for a consultation with me. Together, we can get your possibilities widdled down to increase your chances for success!