Inflammation and 4 natural solutions May 30 2015
Inflammation is a part of the bodies natural immunovascular response to pathogens, dyingcells, and irritants. When cells are damaged the body’s first reaction is to increase the flow of plasma and leukocytes (white blood cells) from the blood into the damaged tissues, typically causing pain, redness, swelling and loss of function. Although uncomfortable this process is necessary as inflammation clears out dying cells and damaged tissue while initiating cell repair.
As a part of our innate immunity, acute inflammation is one of our body’s first defenses against illness. However any serious disease will cause this already uncomfortable immune response to become chronic. The pain felt by those suffering from chronic inflammation can be severe. The typical treatment is to give the patient pain medication. Unfortunately this solution is merely a band aid.
Often the increased toxicity brought on by these medications masks the actual reason for the affliction and the bodies immune system inadvertently misses the root problem. Fortunately there are a number of natural methods that anybody can use to manage their chronic inflammation without resorting to these inadequate solutions and finally find the relief they need.
A perennial plant, turmeric comes from the ginger family. Found primarily in southwest India, the rhizome (the subterranean stem of the plant) is harvested, boiled, dried and finally ground into a fine powder. The product has been used for thousands of years as a spice, a dye and especially for medicinal purposes.
The uses of turmeric are plentiful. It is known to improve digestion, promote healthy blood and liver function and can even be used to treat Alzheimer's. Within turmeric is a group of chemical compounds called curcumenoids. Curcumin in particular is the compound that acts as a wonderful anti-inflammatory.
A flowering plant found primarily in Asia, ginger's rhizome has been used widely as both a spice and medicine for millennia. Its antiinflammatory effects in particular have been known for nearly five hundred years. Experiments have revealed that ginger shares numerous pharmacological properties with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.
The specific antiinflammatory compounds are called gingerols and shogaols. These products, harvested when ginger is dried and cooked, have been shown to modulate biochemical pathways activated in chronic inflammation. Identifying the molecular targets of individual ginger constituents has allowed scientists to optimize their effects.
These remedies are only the beginning of managing chronic inflammation. Because nearly all kinds of chronic inflammation are caused by a digestive imbalance the major steps to recovery come from lifestyle changes which target the actual problems associated with it.
Haematococcus a microalgae, is unicellular species that lives in freshwater which naturally synthesizes this phytonutrient. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid that gives the algae its red pigment. Considered to be one of the strongest antiinflammatories in nature, this chemical compound can relieve the pain of inflammation without the toxic side effects of pharmaceutical medication.
Because astaxanthin is fat soluble it is carried directly to muscles, tissues and organs which are experiencing inflammation. Astaxanthin is also an antioxidant which prevents further cell damage where the inflammation is occurring.
Fatty Acids are essential fuels for the human body because, when they metabolize they yield large quantities of ATP, which transports the chemical energy within cells. However our bodies do not produce them, to get them we must consume food. Omega 3 in particular is essential for brain function and normal growth and development. Found in salmon, tuna, halibut, algae, krill, some plants and nut oils, this polyunsaturated fat is also a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Conversely omega 6 fatty acids promote inflammation. The typical American diet gives the body 1425 times the amount of omega six fatty acids as omega 3. Changing your diet to include more omega 3 fatty acids and cutting back in foods that have omega 6 (namely fried foods that use vegetable oil) can be a key factor in eliminating inflammation.