• Virginie, Naturopath

Inflammation and what to do about it

Is inflammation bad? No inflammation is not bad, it is a natural body process that results in the affected area turning red, puffy and hot as your immune system rushes to assess the injury and fight any pathogen that might have entered your body. A normal, healthy inflammatory response should flare up and die down again a short time later, as the healing process resolves the inflammation and the injury heals.

However what if the inflammation does not resolve itself? Chronic inflammation is a bit like if you keep poking and prodding an injured area, preventing it to heal. Sometimes chronic inflammation can be felt, like if you’ve got this chronic back pain that just don’t want to go away, sometimes it can’t be seen. For example, if there is inflammation in your gut, the only symptom may be some niggling gut issues, yet you cannot ‘see’ the problem and the longer you wait, the longer it settles and the more it will cause issues.

Chronic inflammation needs to be tackle quickly! Nobody wants to leave in pain for an extended period of time nor should you put up with it. Pills popping is not the solution as we all know. So what can we do? Chronic inflammation needs to be tackle from all sides! Yep, we’re not taking any prisoners!

1- Good quality fish oil is not the only tool that naturopaths have! We have great herbs that are gut friendly, not like ibuprofen tablets:

- Turmeric: this traditional anti-inflammatory Ayurvedic herb has a long history of use for injuries, whilst recent research demonstrates it also helps reduce the swelling and pain of arthritic conditions. You need to have a great quality product turmeric is otherwise not easily absorbable.

- Boswellia: another Ayurvedic herb, Boswellia has analgesic, antirheumatic and anti-inflammatory qualities. It can be used for all types of pain, but particularly arthritic or traumatic pain associated with inflammation.

- The herbs Devils claw and Jamaica dogwood, when combined, not only help reduce pain, but decrease spasms and improve blood flow, therefore support the healing process.

2- Get on top of your diet! Eat an anti-inflammatory diet full of vegetables and healthy fat! Choose your protein wisely and limits your carbs. But you do not have to do it in one go and you do not have to do it alone! Small incremental steps is the way to go.

3- Lose weight! Sorry I don’t like this one either but this is true. Body fat, above all in the middle is a driver of inflammation.

4- Sleep better! Not sleeping well is inflammatory for your immune system and not having enough sleep prevents your body to repair properly.

5- Your mood matters: your stress and the infamous rise in cortisol that ensues is a very important inflammatory factor. Make sure you are aware of your emotions and mood and try mindfulness or meditation to help decrease this hormone level.

6- Earth yourself!! Put your bare feet on the earth. This simple act is hugely anti-inflammatory. But don’t take my word for it. Go into the blog I made about earthing and look at the science. Earthing is there for all to take and it’s free.

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