Category: Illness or disabilities
Introduction and description
The classic signs of inflammation are pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function.
Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic.
There are two main types of inflammation:
- The first form of inflammation is caused by the expansion of blood vessels that occurs in tissue that has been attacked by pathogens or has been damaged physically. If the damage is external, and thus visible, the area looks ‘inflamed’ – red and swollen.
- The second is inflammation caused by the damage, which results in nervous signals and pain. These signals are there to warn the mind that the body is being attacked. By telling ‘us’ that we are being attacked, then we should adapt our behaviour accordingly, so that the repair process can take place. If we don’t heed the warning then repair takes longer or may not happen at all.
The first form of inflammation is mediated by histamine and is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. The aim is to help our immune system get its ‘troops’ to the site. There these troops fight the pathogens causing the disease and cell injury, clear out necrotic [dead] cells and tissues damaged from the original attack and initiate tissue repair.
This response is classified as an ‘acute’ response. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by “the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes (especially granulocytes) from the blood into the injured tissues”. Messages are sent back to the immune system and the autonomic system in general, so that there is a sort of feed back loop going on – 'send more troops', 'recall the troops' , 'open up the blood vessels some more so that the troops can get through', and so on.
In one of the most foolish of all pharmaceutical and medical practises we have a class of medicines called anti-histamines. As their name suggests they stop histamine from working. The blood vessels don’t expand, the troops don’t get to site and thus the pathogens get a real hold on us. The symptoms appear to go away, but the cause of the symptoms are allowed to have a field day. As pathogens, once they have entered the body, cause cancer, blindness, brain damage, and disease to just about every organ of the body, the use of anti-histamines is, shall we say, somewhat unwise.
Nervous system response
The nervous system response may be acute – occurring for only a short time and removed once the repair has been made.
But very sadly there are a whole group of illnesses caused by pathogens like heavy metals, toxins, bacteria, viruses, radiation, fungi and parasites, that because we are currently useless at spotting them and dealing with them become ‘chronic’ – long term.
The pathogens keep on attacking, the immune system does its best to fight them, but may not be helped much by us and the pain goes on and on and on.
This is one problem with the pain response, it does not turn off if the danger and damage is still there, but it can be counter productive, because sleeping is one major way in which the body heals itself – our mind turns off and the body takes over – and sleeping is very difficult if there is constant pain.
So we become very tired, the immune system loses its function and the pathogens get more of a hold.
Thus prolonged inflammation, is chronic inflammation, and it is chronic inflammation that needs some treatment, the body needs to be helped by relieving the pain for long enough to let us sleep and to thus help the immune system and the healing process.
Thus this section is of interest to anyone who is suffering from illnesses like
Although most of the illnesses on this site might result in chronic pain if not treated, including practically all Muscle diseases, Nervous system diseases and Bone and skeletal diseases, even heart disease.
What we can see is that ‘Infection’, the invasion of our body by pathogens, is handled by inflammation – an immune response coupled with a pain response.
What we thus seek to do in any treatment is to do things:
- Handle the pain in chronic cases, whilst we try to help ourselves by
- Identifying the cause.
Two prongs to the treatment.
Finding the cause
We are not well served by the medical community at the moment. Without wishing to be too critical, most causes of disease go unidentified because of our medical system and their inability to identify the causes of illness. I believe that if enough people demand that the medical profession find the cause of illnesses, instead of simply serving out drugs to suppress symptoms, then eventually we will have a medical system that actually works – heals instead of – well not heals! Until that time the steps outlined in Healing yourself might help.
Handling the pain
The medical profession hand out Pain killers and NSAIDs as well as opioid analgesics to handle the pain. But these pharmaceuticals do have their drawbacks, drawbacks you will be able to see from the sections describing them.
An alternative way is to use the chemicals in plants to help alleviate the pain. The real advantage of using plants is that firstly you can eat your way to pain relief – most of the most effective plants are food, not medicines - and secondly it is almost impossible to overdose using a plant.
The disadvantage is that they can be quite slow acting, it may take a day or so before the chemicals in plants get to work, but if you plan your diet around all these nice foods, then you have no need to be without relief once you have got going. In effect by eating you are always topping up the relief.
Furthermore, there is no dependence or addiction danger from food, the receptors on which the chemicals in food act are various and the body won’t downgrade a receptor because it spots you eating a carrot, whereas if you take opioids for even a short time, the body does downgrade the receptors and you are left dependent and having to take more to get relief.
We have used the information in Dr Duke’s phytochemical database to produce a list of foods that help Inflammation by being:
The list of foods is actually much longer and you can see the full list by going to Dr Duke, and typing in the super activity Inflammation, which will then give you a complete list.
References and further reading
All the pictures are from Dioscorides' De Materia Medica - Dioscorides advocated the use of food and plants to cure all ills and his medical text book was in successful use for well over 1,500 years.
- A combination of Scutellaria baicalensis and Acacia catechu extracts for short-term symptomatic relief of joint discomfort associated with osteoarthritis of the knee 019165
- A comparative study on hulled adlay and unhulled adlay through evaluation of their LPS-induced anti-inflammatory effects 021304
- Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin 018884
- Anti-inflammatory activity of some Saudi Arabian medicinal plants 022053
- Anti-inflammatory and membrane-stabilizing stigmastane steroids from Alchornea floribunda leaves 027925
- Anti-inflammatory Inositol Derivatives from the Whole Plant of Inula cappa 019921
- Anti-Inflammatory Property of Plantago major Leaf Extract Reduces the Inflammatory Reaction in Experimental Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Injury 021157
- Antiallergic effect of the root of Paeonia lactiflora and its constituents paeoniflorin and paeonol 019431
- Antinociceptive and antiinflammatory activities of grandisin extracted from Virola surinamensis 018283
- Antipsoriatic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic effects of an extract of red propolis 021339
- Association of tobacco exposure and reduction of radiographic progression in early rheumatoid arthritis: results from a French multicenter cohort 018142
- Bees – Lectures by Rudolf Steiner - Bee venom cure or killer - 2? 020920
- Bioactivation of Phytoestrogens: Intestinal Bacteria and Health 017888
- Cherries, fungus and bacteria 007255
- Chili peppers, migraine and pain 005752
- Chocolate and the immune response 005636
- Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical properties 018885
- Culpepper's Complete Herbal on Pennyroyal 019052
- Dairy Fats and Cardiovascular Disease: Do We Really Need to be Concerned? 028436
- Dr Duke's list of activity for the chemical Daidzein 017895
- Dr Duke's list of Ant-inflammatory activity for Rosemary 018105
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Apples 018113
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Basil 018104
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Bilberries 018126
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Black currants 018124
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Black pepper 018123
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Carrots 018100
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Celery 018099
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Dill 018108
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Figs 018116
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Ginger 018110
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Ginkgo biloba 018119
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Grapefruit 018127
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Grapes and wine 018101
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Hops 018117
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Juniper berries 018115
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Liquorice 018107
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Oregano 018118
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Red peppers 018121
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Sage 018120
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Shallots 018122
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Soybeans 018106
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Sweetcorn 018102
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Tarragon 018103
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Tea 018098
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for the Horse chestnut 018125
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Thyme 018111
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Tobacco 018128
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Tomatoes 018112
- Dr Duke's list of Anti-inflammatory activity for Yarrow 018109
- Dr Duke's list of Biological activities of Coumarin 018558
- Dr Duke's list of chemicals and activity for the Shallot 017969
- Dr Duke's list of Chemicals and their Biological Activities in Pilocarpus jaborandi 018155
- Dr Duke's list of Chemicals and their Biological Activities in Pilocarpus microphyllus 018158
- Dr Duke's list of Chemicals and their Biological Activities in: Prunella vulgaris L. (Lamiaceae) -- Heal-All, Self-Heal 018270
- Dr Duke's list of Plants with Antibursitic and Anticausalgic activity 018360
- Dr Duke's list of the Biological Activities of RUTIN 018281
- Dr Duke’s list of Chemicals and their Biological Activities in: Cucurbita pepo L. (Cucurbitaceae) -- Zucchini 027494
- Effects of dietary polyphenols on metabolic syndrome features in humans: a systematic review 021219
- Effects of Emollient Containing Bee Venom on Atopic Dermatitis: A Double-Blinded, Randomized, Base-Controlled, Multicenter Study of 136 Patients 023517
- Efficacy and Safety of White Willow Bark (Salix alba) Extracts 020510
- Evaluation of some pharmacological activities of Eugenia uniflora L 019958
- Functional components and medicinal properties of food: a review 017887
- Gammalinolenic acid-enriched diet alters cutaneous eicosanoids. 017967
- Immune protection of human milk 027431
- Immunomodulatory activity of the aqueous extract from rhizome of Smilax glabra in the later phase of adjuvant-induced arthritis in rats. 027419
- Inhibition of proinflammatory biomarkers in THP1 macrophages by polyphenols derived from chamomile, meadowsweet and willow bark 020528
- Inhibitory effect of a propolis on di-n-propyl disulfide or n-hexyl salycilate-induced skin irritation, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in mice 021340
- Mechanism of action and clinical benefits of colloidal oatmeal for dermatologic practice 021338
- Metabolomic Profile of the Genus Inula 019925
- Molecular mechanisms underlying wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties of naturally occurring biotechnologically produced phenylpropanoid glycosides 021242
- Mrs Grieve on Abscess Root 020487
- Mrs Grieve on Acacia (Gum) 020493
- Mrs Grieve on Aconite 020494
- Mrs Grieve on Alder 020504
- Mrs Grieve on Almonds 020768
- Mrs Grieve on Common bugle 021240
- Mrs Grieve on Lungwort 022957
- Nettles and plants as anti-inflammatories 006756
- Neuronal nicotinic receptors as analgesic targets: it's a winding road 018145
- Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor alpha7 subunit is an essential regulator of inflammation 018144
- Paeoniflorin ameliorates symptoms of experimental Sjogren's syndrome associated with down-regulating Cyr61 expression 019434
- Phytochemistry, pharmacology and medicinal properties of Carthamus tinctorius L. 020854
- Polyphenols and heart disease 005617
- Prevention and treatment of alopecia areata with quercetin 027899
- Reasoning for seasoning 005551
- Red meat and elderly women 006737
- Red meat risks and benefits 006736
- Rheumatoid arthritis and food 005581
- Rheumatoid arthritis and plants 006778
- Russet apples, pears, cox's pippin and anti-inflammatories 005902
- Suppressive effect of modified Simiaowan on experimental gouty arthritis - an in vivo and in vitro study 027418
- The Healing effects of Cold Water Therapy 026191
- The Healing Power of Sleep 026790
- Topical anti-inflammatory constituents of lipophilic leaf fractions of Alchornea floribunda and Alchornea cordifolia 027923
- Total glucosides of paeony inhibit the inflammatory responses of mice with allergic contact dermatitis by restoring the balanced secretion of pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokines 019435
- Turmeric and liver disease 005579
- Two Monoterpenoid Indole Alkaloids from Rauvolfia vomitoria 027917
- Willow species and aspirin: different mechanism of actions 020511