~ by Andrew Pacholyk MS, L.Ac.
There are hundreds of plants used all over the world, which are used in herbal medicine as treatments for inflammation. Below you will find a list of some of the most accessible and most reliable.
Arnica Suave is a rich blend of quartz silica, amber resin and the pain-relieving power of arnica in a special massage-in suave designed by Andrew for his practice and is a part of his new “Crystal Inspirations” product line.
Boswellia has unique anti-inflammatory action, much like the conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used by many for inflammatory conditions. Also known as Indian Frankicense, this herb is especially good for tingling nerve pain, Unlike NSAIDs, however, long-term use of boswellia does not lead to irritation or ulceration of the stomach of the herb is taken internally.
Bromelain is a plant-enzyme. Bromelain is not actually a single substance, but a group of protein-digesting enzymes found in pineapple juice and in the stem of pineapple plants. Local swelling is the releasing of histamines in a localized area causes the vasodilation and increased permeability of blood vessels. Bromelain has an anti-inflammatory effect and is a very effective treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is recommend taking 200 to 400 milligrams three times a day on an empty stomach at least ninety minutes before or three hours after eating. Discontinue use if you develop any itching or rash.
Cayenne Pepper (Capsaicin) A cream containing small amounts of Capsaicin can help relieve pain when rubbed onto muscle pain and arthritic joints, according to the results of a double blind study. It does this by depleting the nerves of a pain-mediating neurotransmitter known as substance P. Although application of capsaicin cream may initially cause a burning feeling, the burning will lessen with each application and soon disappear for most people. A cream containing 0.025?0.075% of capsaicin can be applied to the affected joints three to five times a day. Essential oil of pepper is an alternative.
Devils Claw: An analgesic and anti-inflammatory. This herb can be taken as a tea. Helpful for sore joints as it gently cleansing, purifying, detoxing, with strong anti-inflammatory properties. Dosage: one to two grams, three times daily.
Ginger: An anti-inflammatory. Ginger has been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory. Taking 6?50 grams of fresh or powdered ginger per day indicated that ginger might be helpful. Suggested Dosage: 0.5 to 1 mg of powdered ginger daily. Ginger Tea: Add one grated teaspoon of fresh ginger to a cup of hot water. Take two times daily.
Glucosamine sulfate (GS), a nutrient derived from sea shells, contains a building block needed for the repair of joint cartilage. GS has significantly reduced symptoms of osteoarthritis. All published clinical investigations on the effects of GS in people with osteoarthritis report statistically significant improvement. Most research trials use 500 mg GS taken three times per day. Benefits from GS generally become evident after three to eight weeks of treatment. Avoid if you have any allergic reactions to shell fish. Glucosamine stimulates the production of the specific elements of cartilage and protects them. It helps your body repair worn cartilage, reduce pain and improve function. Chondroitin attracts fluids into proteoglycans, the molecules dispersed through out the cartilage that give the tissue its shock-absorber quality, and protects the cartilage against breakdown. These are substances the body already produces for itself in small amounts. Glucosamine is found in almost all tissue; it has a role in the repair and maintenance of joint cartilage. Chondroitin sulfate is a major component of cartilage and is thought to inhibit the enzymes that contribute to the breakdown of cartilage.
S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe) possesses anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and tissue-healing properties that may help protect the health of joints.SAM-e is derived from methionine, an essential amino acid; it may promote cartilage formation and repair. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are usually sold together. In clinical studies, the supplements had to be taken for several weeks before providing any pain relief. Don’t forget the truly natural and proven methods for battling osteoarthritis, lose excess weight and exercise.
Licorice root: An anti-inflammatory. Long-term use can elevate blood pressure and increase potassium loss. Dosage: one-eighth to one-quarter teaspoon of a 5: 1 solid extract up to three times daily.
Turmeric: An effective anti-inflammatory. Dosage: 400 mg three times daily; take on an empty stomach and combine with 1,000 mg of bromelain
White Willow Bark: Anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. White Willow bark has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. Extracts providing 60?120 mg salicin per day are approved for people with rheumatoid arthritis. Although the analgesic actions of willow are typically slow-acting, they last longer than aspirin.
Essential Oils for Inflammation
Basil: contains several antioxidants in its volatile oils that act just like some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and Celebrex. When isolated at high enough concentrations these oils worked as well as ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin in research trials.
Camphor is a white transparent waxy crystalline solid with a strong penetrating pungent aromatic odor. As an antimicrobial substance, camphor is readily absorbed through the skin and produces a feeling of cooling similar to that of menthol and acts as slight local anesthetic. In larger quantities, it is poisonous when ingested and can cause seizures, confusion, irritability, and neuro-muscular hyperactivity. Found in our most muscular/pain recovery remedies.
Clove: this intense oil, most commonly used to relieve dental pain and infection, is also used to dissolve the eggs deposited by intestinal worms. It is delicious but overwhelming in both smell and taste. It is an antiseptic, carminative, warming, and very aromatic oil.
Eucalyptus: reduces pain, spasms and inflammation, and stimulates local blood circulation and the removal of waste products and toxins from the tissues. It is used to treat muscular aches and pains, strains, sprains, and other traumatic injuries of the muscles, ligaments and tendons. It also helps to reduce nerve inflammation and pain and is useful for the treatment of the various kinds of neuralgia such as sciatica. Eucalyptus reduces pain and inflammation due to chronic arthritic conditions. It also has a mild clearing and stimulating effect on the mind which helps to reduce fatigue.
Ginger: This rich, spicy oil so often used for nausea also helps normalize blood pressure either by raises blood pressure by restricting external blood flow, or lowers it by dilating surface blood vessels. This oil is warming and an antiseptic.
Menthol is actually a compound obtained from peppermint oil or other mint oils or made synthetically. Menthol has local anesthetic and counter-irritant qualities. It is contained in nonprescription products for short-term relief of minor sore throat and minor mouth or throat irritation. Menthol is also contained in combination products used for relief of muscle aches, sprains, and similar conditions. Menthol is often used with other ingredients such as camphor and eucalyptus for pain relief. Menthol is considered an antidote for many homeopathic remedies and should be avoided by people taking them. Found in most muscular/pain remedies.
Peppermint: acts as a muscle relaxant, particularly in the digestive tract, and it can also reduce the inflammation of nasal passages and relieve muscle pains. When massaged into the skin, peppermint oil plays an innocuous trick on the nerves: It stimulates those that produce a cool, soothing sensation and desensitizes those that pick up pain messages.
Rosemary: Studies show that this oil improves general circulation. It is particularly contra-indicated for those with a history of seizures or epilepsy. Pungent and smooth, this herb is famous in the kitchen and is a great food additive.
Tea Tree: has a wide range of topical applications and is commonly used to treat skin and respiratory infections. Surprisingly, the oil is active against all three categories of infectious organisms: bacteria, viruses and fungi. Tea tree oil is an effective treatment for many skin conditions, such as cold sores, the blisters of shingles and chicken pox, verrucae, warts, acne, large inflamed spots and nappy rash. It is also effective against fungal infections, such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and thrush, as well as dandruff–a mild form of seborrheic dermatitis.