Inflammation is often times considered a foe rather than a friend. However, when it is in response to an injury it is not a bad thing. In fact, it is your body's way of protecting you from causing any further damage to a body part that was injured and needs to be cared for. The common symptoms of inflammation are, redness, pain, swelling and heat. These are symptoms that the body recognizes and alerts your emergency immune team to rally and bring in oxygenated-nutrient-rich blood to repair the injury. White blood cells are also brought in to fight infection. This type of inflammation is a friend that serves to protect.
There is another form of inflammation that is not so friendly, and can be considered a foe--chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is typically caused by disease that goes unchecked. Chronic inflammation is not as readily observed as a physical injury and can sometime be present for years all the while causing internal damage. It's presence can cause a variety of health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, tumors, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.
The good news is that there are natural solutions to help combat inflammation. Firstly, if you experience inflammation due to a physical injury -- remember this -- RIP.
When I was a victim of Lyme Disease, caused by the bite of a tic. I had acute and chronic inflammation which left my joints practically immobile. I quickly learned that there were foods and herbs that could lessen my suffering. There are phytochemicals in foods and their pigments that are actually very powerful anti-inflammatories.
Bromelain, is an enzyme found in pineapples that has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be eaten fresh, juiced, or as supplements. Fresh is best.
Ginger, the herb, has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be taken fresh or dried. I like to add a little ginger (1/4 teaspoon powder) to my warmed drinking water in the morning. If I have time, I will squeeze a little juice out with a garlic press and add it to my water.
Turmeric, is known as one of the top-notch anti-inflammatory herbs. Its yellow pigment makes it one of the most potent curcumin's. It can be sprinkled on your food, or mixed into a beverage.
Rosemary contains carnosol, anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in the preparation of food. Some believe inhaling the essential oil can also help in some way.
Devil's Claw herb, (Harpagophytum procumbens) is also another very powerful anti-inflammatory. In fact, it is said to be a notch above Turmeric. I really depended on this herb to get me through my inflammation with Lyme Disease.
Cherries (tart) have red anthocyanin pigments in them that are anti-inflammatory. It is especially useful for people suffering with arthritis. This also was my go-to. 10 fresh cherries, or four ounces of juice in the morning and evening was all that was needed to alleviate my inflammation pain. Many people suffering with arthritis swear by Tart Cherry Juice or fruit.
If you decide to try these natural solutions for inflammation, and are under the care of a physician, check with your health care provider prior to making changes in your health regimen.