Inflammation is one of the body’s first lines of defense against internal and external injury. It is also one of the body’s ways of stopping the invasion of harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Most people have come to think of inflammation as a bad thing, but the truth of the matter is that we all rely on it to ensure that we heal properly from injuries and infections.
As part of the body’s biological response to injury and harmful stimuli, inflammation takes place in three stages to ensure relief from pain and infection. The first stage, known as irritation, kicks off the healing process. It is characterized by an itchy feeling around the wound or injury. It is then followed by a suppuration stage that involves the discharge of pus around the injured area. The last stage is the granulation stage whereby new tissues are formed in the wound to complete the healing process. This three-stage healing process demonstrates the importance of inflammation in protecting wounds that would otherwise serve as an entry point for germs and bacteria. Problems can arise, however, when the immune system overreacts to harmful stimuli or when the body triggers inflammatory responses in the absence of threats or foreign invaders. When this happens, the body often damages its own cells and tissues resulting in autoimmune diseases such as arthritis.
Treatment for Inflammation
Inflammation can be treated using over-the-counter medication or with several natural remedies like Chinese herbs, as well as certain fruits and leafy vegetables. OTC medications can be effective in temporarily eliminating the pain of inflammation, but they do so by manipulating certain natural body functions and, unfortunately, without dealing with the root cause of the inflammation. In this case, recurrent treatment is often needed, creating a vicious cycle of treatment and temporary relief. This cycle introduces chemical compounds into the body that can harm the liver and digestive tract over time. To avoid all this and to try to treat the underlying cause, it may be advisable for individuals suffering from inflammation to switch to Chinese herbal remedies. Made of natural ingredients that serve to enhance and support various natural body functions, Chinese herbal remedies can help keep inflammation at bay. For the best results in fighting inflammation, Chinese herbs should be incorporated alongside a healthy diet.
Dietary Recommendations for Healing Inflammation
- Increase your fiber intake.
Fiber contains active phytonutrients that are helpful in reducing inflammation. A diet that is rich in fiber will supply you with enough of these compounds for this purpose. Fruits, vegetables and whole foods such as barley and oatmeal will supply you with enough fiber to fight inflammation.
- Consume a lot of fruits and vegetables.
Color-rich fruits and green leafy vegetables are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Try eating more fruits and vegetables–such as berries, spinach and kale–in their raw form to get the most protection against inflammation.
- Crucifiers and alliums are good for inflammation.
Crucifiers (such as broccoli and cabbage) and alliums (including garlic and onions) are full of antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. Try to make crucifiers and alliums part of your daily anti-inflammatory diet.
- Reduce your calorie intake.
Too many calories increase your chances of getting heart diseases and inflammation. You should, therefore, strive to reduce your calorie intake as much as possible. Reduce your consumption of red meat; season what red meat you do eat with herbs and spices to reduce the toxins in it.
- Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids are the best.
This includes fish and nuts. Omega-3 fatty acids help in dealing with diseases such as arthritis and cancer that are associated with inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids can also be supplemented with fish oil capsules or cod-liver oil.
- Avoid refined sugars.
Food items with refined sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup are responsible for increased inflammation in the body. They are also responsible for increased blood pressure and instances of liver disease.
- Trans fats are bad for you.
Trans fats increase the levels of C- reactive proteins that are responsible for increased inflammation. Avoid them as much as you can.
Specific Anti-Inflammatory Chinese Herbal Remedies
Diet alone will not prevent all inflammation, especially if you are already experiencing high levels of inflammation. Your body can greatly benefit from using Chinese herbal remedies to provide additional anti-inflammatory benefits.
The main compound in ginger is gingerol, which is a powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent. It limits the inflammatory-producing genes in the body thereby reducing inflammation in the body. Also check out Plum Dragon’s delicious Ginger, Orange, Peach tea for a powerful anti-inflammatory combination of Green tea, ginger, and vitamin c rich fruits!
Other than its refreshing properties, green tea is full of antioxidants that help fight inflammation in the body. Catechins that are found in tea leaves improve the anti-inflammatory property of green tea and the regular intake of such tea will help keep inflammation at bay. Plum Dragon carries specialty green teas as well that are loaded with healing benefits like: Reishi-Green Chai Training Tea and Citrus-Green Tea Blend varieties
Turmeric has been used to add spice to food for some time now. Other than its amazing flavor, there are so many incredible turmeric benefits. It can help with inflammation due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It blocks the production of inflammatory enzymes in the body that are responsible for joint pain, liver and heart disease.
African Bird Pepper or Cayenne is a spicy pepper that has been used as a Chinese herbal remedy for ages. The natural compounds in cayenne are called capsaicinoids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory agents. Add a dash of cayenne to your meal to help fight against inflammation. You can also benefit from cayenne by using a topical herbal pain-reliever such as Ho Family Dit Da Jow, Plum Dragon’s #1 best seller!
The rich rich flavor of Rou Gui or Cinnamon makes it one of the best spices for baked treats, but you can also take cinnamon for its anti-inflammatory properties. Add cinnamon to tea or coffee to fight inflammation or use it in topical applications for healthier skin.
Clove flower extracts are helpful in treating stomach complications and nausea. They have also been found to possess anti-inflammatory qualities. that help deal with inflammation of the throat and mouth. Add ground clove to baked goods or stews or apply to skin topically to garner the benefits of this powerful remedy. A powerful anti-inflammatory combination can be found in Plum Dragon’s Chai Training Tea as well, and the fall and winter are the perfect time of year for this nourishing tea!
Plum Dragon’s Bruise Juice is one of the most potent topical anti-inflammatory remedies on the market. If you are suffering from intense inflammation or swelling, give Bruise Juice a try. It is also helpful for bruising and swelling of acute injuries.
If you are suffering from the pain of arthritis, however, Ancestors Advanced Conditioning formula has proven itself time and again to be in a class by itself for it’s unique ability to help the body overcome arthritis pain.
Keeping inflammation in check is key to helping you heal quicker from injuries and avoid chronic disease. Whether you suffer from arthritis, train athletically or just want to keep your body in good shape, using natural remedies to fight inflammation should become a daily habit. The more you can incorporate healthy foods and anti-inflammatory Chinese herbs into your diet, the healthier and stronger you will feel.