Inflammation occurs when the body is injured. It is your body’s natural response and is needed to get the healing process underway. However because inflammation characterized by pain, redness and swelling we often want to reduce the inflammatory response in order to reduce the pain. As anti-inflammatory drugs have so many side effects many people ask what is a natural anti inflammatory?
Inflammation may be acute (in response to a new injury) or chronic (it has been there a long time). It is chronic inflammation you should be worried about as the body has got confused. The immune system can go into a spiral of inflammation, stimulating the growth of new tissue but then instead of the inflammation stopping it continues and so break down this new tissue and then it reforming again and again.
If inflammation is chronic and the actual underlying cause if the inflammation cannot be cured, as in osteoarthritis, it is imperative you ask what is a natural anti inflammatory and use it all the time for long term benefit without side effects.
What is a Natural Anti Inflammatory and How To Use Them
♦ ICE – if you have an acute inflammation such as a sprained ankle then a packet of frozen peas works well. Peas are small and mould to the contours of the body. Wrap them in a tea towel or place them on top of thin clothing and leave on for 15 minutes. Take off and repeat after a 60 minute break. Do not do more than this as you will freeze the tissues and cause a cold burn.
Ice can also be used for chronic inflammation. For osteoarthritis use it when you are in pain, not when you feel stiff and also when you know you have overdone it and are going to suffer later! The great thing about ice is that it has can be used to prevent inflammation from occurring in the first place as well as to reduce current inflammation.
♦ FOOD – many have anti-inflammatory effects and I wrote about what is a natural anti inflammatory food.
New research into what is a natural anti inflammatory has shown that tart cherries have the best anti inflammatory properties as was explained by Medical News Today
The antioxidant compounds in tart cherries, called anthocyanins, provide the fruit’s bright color and have been associated to high antioxidant capacity and reduced inflammation, at levels similar to some popular pain medications.
A daily dose of tart cherries (as cherry extract) reduced osteoarthritis pain by over 20% in most people, according to results from a study conducted by researchers at Baylor Research Institute.
♦ SUPPLEMENTS usually these are what is found in food but in a concentrated form. You must use good quality supplements that make the nutrients easily available to the body. With supplements you get what you pay for and most cheap supermarket ones usually go straight through you with little or no benefit. A couple you might consider are Omega 3, Vitamin D, SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) or Boswellia Serrata or you can get all in one.
♦ HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES have used for hundreds of year to reduce inflammation. Popular ones include arnica, bellis, mag phos, symphytum and chamomilla.
♦ NATURAL OILS AND BALMS : massage oils containing ingredients such as peppermint or ginger oil have been shown to been beneficial. They have an added benefit- massage. The actual manual stimulation of massaging the product in will help with the circulation. I explain the benefits of massage here.
When you have osteoarthritis it is not the actual degeneration that is inflamed as osteoarthritis is classified as a non- inflammatory arthritis. However you get inflammation in the muscles, tendons and ligaments around the joint because they are irritated by the poor function of the joint. As your degeneration cannot be cured the inflammation will be chronic and keep reoccurring. Therefore it is vital you use some type of anti inflammatory.
As the anti inflammatory drugs have such terrible side effects it is good you are asking what is a natural anti inflammatory as you will be using them for the long term.