Inflammation can be caused by a number of factors. Scientifically speaking, inflammation is a cascade of chemical reactions that occur in the body when there is damage caused to cells, when an irritant is present, or when the body detects an external invading agent.
What are the symptoms of acute inflammation?
The inflammation reaction is necessary and protective for the body in the short term. But acute inflammation can leave you with the following set of symptoms: pain, redness, stiffness or loss of mobility, and swelling. This is due to the fact that large amounts of red and white blood cells, lipoproteins, fluid, and other tissues in the body rush to the injury site in an attempt to repair damage and clean foreign particles, causing inflammation.
What is the problem with inflammation?
The problem with inflammation comes when it is prolonged or becomes chronic. It is meant to be a “first response” reaction that dies down allowing other healing processes to take over. When inflammation lasts longer than the initial healing phase, we start to see issues like low immunity, degenerative diseases, and possibly even diseases like cancer.
Inflammation is not something you should take lightly as it can cause serious long-term damage if left untreated. Chronic inflammation can be localized as well as systemic. Some examples of localized inflammation are arthritis in a specific joint, cirrhosis of the liver, and inflammatory bowel disease. Systematic inflammation can be seen in autoimmune diseases such as crones disease, celiac disease and in some cardiovascular diseases. Fortunately, there are many awesome natural ways to reduce inflammation in your body.
Herbs to reduce inflammation
The amount of herbs that help reduce inflammation are almost innumerable. This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some of our favorite herbs to reduce inflammation:
Turmeric is a bright orange root that contains a compound called curcumin. Curcumin works to protect the liver from cell damage by acting as an antioxidant and protects cells from free radical damage. It also reduces histamine levels in the body which helps reduce inflammation.
The ginger contains four active ingredients that are part of their potent anti – inflammatory powers that help relieve pain. The compounds gingerols, paradols, shogaols, and zingerone present in ginger all work together to reduce pain-inducing prostaglandins in the body.
Cayenne pepper reduces inflammation in the body when ingested. Cayenne, like other hot peppers, contains a compound called capsaisin, which blocks the COX-2 enzyme that contributes to the inflammation processes associated with arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
The basil is an amazing herb to help reduce inflammation. Eugenol is the compound in basil that gives it its characteristic taste and smell, as well as its properties to reduce inflammation effectively.
White willow bark
The bark of the white willow is a very special bark that contains a compound called salicin, which is similar to the compound called acetylsalicylic acid, which is commonly known as aspirin. The pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects of white willow bark are actually longer lasting than those of aspirin.
White willow also has the same blood-thinning effects that you will find in aspirin. The white willow will also work to inhibit pro-inflammatory pathways in your body.
Oregano contains polyphenols and bioflavonoids, which are compounds that help fight free radical production and damage in the body. The lower the number of free radicals acting on the cells of the body, the less inflammation in general will occur.
The garlic contains various sulfur compounds that give the properties that help reduce inflammation. These compounds are also known to help prevent cancer, reduce the risk of heart attack, and have anti-microbial properties.