What is Inflammation?
According to Wiki, inflammation is “is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, and to initiate tissue repair.”
So inflammation is a natural process, and it is even good at times. But it becomes worrisome when it is a chronic issue, which is very common these days. Some illnesses that are common with chronic inflammation include arthritis, COPD, IBS and IBD, and auto-immune diseases. This chronic inflammation doesn’t just happen- there are triggers! Most of these triggers are due to nutritional imbalances, heavy metals, parasites, and even food intolerances.
Conventional treatment of inflammation includes (you guessed it) DRUGS, usually NSAIDS. Other than not even solving the issue, NSAIDS are known for causing liver damage, kidney failure, gut pain, ulcers, heart attacks, and even edema. NSAIDs are grossly over-used, especially because so many of them are available OTC- think Advil, Aleve, and Motrin.
So how can we treat inflammation NATURALLY?
My favorite things for soothing inflammation include:
- Aloe vera (George’s is a good brand and usually easy to find.)
- Turmeric paste- most bioavailable way to get the turmeric in! Click here for the recipe
- Tart cherry juice
- Pineapple is a very good anti-inflammatory
- Apple cider vinegar
- Cod liver oil- Cod liver oil is full of vitamin A and vitamin D, as well as Omegas, all of which play a role in inflammation. You can find more info about Cod liver oil here.
- Ginger and cloves. Maybe making a tea would be an easy way to get ginger and cloves in-a chai tea is a great way to enjoy these amazing spices. Recipe here!
- Magnesium- Mag is one of the main minerals needs to soothe inflammation. Often, when sodium and potassium are high on the HTMA (or the Na/K ratio itself is high), it means that there is inflammation going on in the body. Magnesium helps to bring down the sodium and potassium and calm down the inflammation! Read more about magnesium here.
- Heal the gut! There are several main steps involved in healing the gut but the basics are to fix stomach acid, balance the gut flora, and heal the gut lining. Without proper gut health, we cannot digest and assimilate the nutrients we get from food or supplements. With Leaky gut, we can develop food sensitivities that can set off an inflammatory response.
- Keep your liver happy! Our liver has over 500 different functions, so it plays a vital role in our overall health. Since heavy metals, pathogens, and other environmental toxins can create an inflammatory response, we need to make sure our livers are not over-burdened so they can eliminate these threats more efficiently.
Know of any other great (and natural) anti-inflammatory tips? Let us know in the comments!