Photo credit: Cole Hudson
Inflammation is a hot topic of discussion in both conventional medicine and in the natural health community. Chronic inflammation is at the root of many common diseases. No matter whether you rely on conventional medical care, or use natural healing methods, healing inflammation is an important part of living a happy, healthy life.
What does inflammation really mean?
In the simplest terms, inflammation is the body’s innate natural response to an irritation or injury. Inflammation isolates the infected or injured area in order for white blood cells to clear the area. This is why there is swelling, redness, and pain: there is more blood and lymph in the area, and some of the body’s natural chemicals released in an inflammation response cause the nerve endings to be more sensitive to pain.
There are many diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Digestive diseases such as Crohn’s and diverticulitis
- Autoimmune conditions
- Celiac disease
What are some natural ways I can help heal inflammation?
The number one way to help manage inflammation naturally is through the food that you eat on a daily basis. Many people find that when they eliminate certain types of foods for a period of time (1 to 3 months), they feel better and many of their symptoms start to go away.
The biggest dietary inflammation offenders include:
- Fried foods
Some people experience inflammation when they eat foods that are in the Nightshade family:
The list of offending foods probably encompasses some of your favorites. If you have some type of chronic inflammation and your regular diet includes at least one of the groups listed above, one of the things you can do is to get tested for food allergies.
A cheaper DIY way to find out if your body is reacting to something in your diet is to select a type of food and completely eliminate it from your diet for 3 to 4 weeks. If your symptoms subside in the absence of that food, and return once you reintroduce it, you may have found a culprit.
This doesn’t mean that you can never eat an ice cream cone again, but it might mean that you only eat offending foods once every few months rather than on a daily, or even weekly basis.
Here’s your takeaway regarding diet:
It’s what you eat MOST OF THE TIME that counts.
Intense exercise that makes you sweat might help relieve inflammation for the simple reason that your body becomes metabolically very active. During exercise, you breathe deeply, providing your cells with fresh oxygen. Your heart rate increases, pumping fresh blood throughout your entire body. This means things move through your body faster, removing stagnant blood and lymph that accumulates in the body.
Can herbs and teas really help?
I asked Andrew to help me research the effect that herbs have in helping reduce inflammation. He found multiple scientific studies demonstrating that certain herbs show real promise in the fight against inflammation.
Inflammation Relief Tea contains many ingredients that help the body deal with inflammation in numerous ways.
- Tulsi, aka holy basil, was shown in a study to have anti-inflammatory action similar to aspirin, but without aspirin’s potential side effects. Separate studies showed that tulsi protects the liver and digestive tract, and has antihistamine properties that can be helpful against allergies.
- Four studies show that ginger is very effective at reducing inflammation when used regularly.
- Chamomile was shown to reduce mucous membrane inflammation. Mucous membranes line our sinuses and the entire digestive tract. This means that chamomile can be beneficial in relieving both allergy symptoms and digestive inflammation.
- Chrysanthemum was shown to have marked effects on relieving inflammation of the skin. Different research showed that this flower has a beneficial effect on the immune system.
- Lavender was shown to help both inflammation and also kill bacteria.
- Calendula is a gorgeous yellow flower that demonstrates both anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties.
In a nutshell, Inflammation Relief Tea might be supportive for individuals dealing with a wide spectrum of inflammation: arthritic, digestive inflammation, inflammatory skin issues, and allergies.
Happy Place is also on the list. If you find it surprising that a tea that’s enjoyed for uplifting your mood can also help relieve inflammation, check out the benefits of the ingredients of this tasty and uplifting tea:
- Rooibos has been researched for not only its rich supply of antioxidants, but also its anti-inflammatory benefits, especially for the skin. Many people have experienced relief of eczema when drinking tea with rooibos.
- Green tea is another well-studied plant that proves antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea is a treasure trove of health-promoting compounds. (FYI: The green tea in Happy Place has no caffeine, so you can drink it at night.)
- Lemon verbena appears to reduce inflammation and muscular damage from intense exercise. Another study showed lemon verbena’s protective effects on the colon caused from oxidative stress from colitis.
Happy Place contains many of the herbs that were mentioned earlier: calendula, chamomile, ginger, and turmeric, all of which show proven anti-inflammatory benefits. People with digestive inflammation might find Happy Place to be supportive and provide a tasty feel-good tea that helps both body and spirit.
Here are some other botanicals that help relieve inflammation.
- Sarsaparilla showed activity in relieving inflammation associated with arthritis
- He shou wu is a Chinese tonic herb that is used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve flexibility and youthfulness. A scientific study showed a different benefit, of helping reduce bone loss in mice that had their ovaries removed. I thoroughly disagree with animal testing, but am including this because of its significant implications as a potential benefit for post-menopausal women, or for women who have undergone a hysterectomy.
- Ginger is one of the main ingredients in the formula for both its anti-inflammatory benefits, and for helping improve blood flow.
- There are many studies proving the anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving benefits of turmeric. Many customers have reported significant benefits when they use turmeric either by itself or in blends.
- Ashwagandha has been tested many times, and is showing benefits in a number of ways, including reducing arthritic pain and inflammation.
- Yucca root was shown to relieve arthritis and inflammation by suppressing a protozoa in the intestines that is linked to joint inflammation. It also contains compounds that are both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Over the years, many of our customers who use herbs for arthritis and other forms of inflammation have reported remarkable results.
Do you suffer with inflammation-related health issues? If so, I would love to hear some of your stories, and find out what works for you. If you’ve tried any of the three teas in this article, we would love to hear your feedback!
Wishing you radiant health,