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How to Reduce Inflammation Using Natural Alternatives

How to Reduce Inflammation Using Natural Alternatives

Approximately one in every three Australians has an inflammatory disease [1]. While most people are familiar with and capable of dealing with short-term or acute inflammation, chronic inflammation, such as rheumatoid arthritis, is a continuing problem. 

Aside from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), let’s take a look at some of the possible natural alternatives that can be used to ease inflammation.

What is inflammation?

Inflammation is a bodily response that often occurs for various reasons, including irritation, injury, infection, even stress. 

There are plenty of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs out there that can address inflammation, but prolonged use poses problems for most patients. Therefore, some would look the other way such as opting for a more natural route.

Inflammation

Top 5 natural alternatives to reduce inflammation

Omega-3 Fatty Acids


Fatty Acids

One study [2] describes Omega-3 fatty acids as capable of reducing inflammation-causing enzymes in the body. The same study described a trial where 59% of 250 patients were able to substitute Omega-3 containing fish oil in place of NSAIDs.

The beauty of Omega-3 fatty acids is the ease of how they’re acquired. These are abundant in fatty fish such as tuna or cod, which allows for an easy integration into your diet. There are capsules or supplements available that would enable Omega-3 to be taken any time or as part of a routine.

However, like many drugs or medicines, the effects of Omega-3 fatty acids will vary for each person. So, it’s important to check how much is right for you.

Cannabidiol


Discovered back in the 1940’s, Cannabidiol (CBD) is a powerful chemical derived from the cannabis plant which has been used for centuries to treat a number of conditions.

CBD is a compound that is naturally found in cannabis. The compound has been making waves in the medicinal world since the discovery of its potential health benefits.

A study from the National Library of Medicine [3] discusses how CBD can potentially treat acute and chronic pain in humans. The study illustrates CBD’s ability to interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) of the human body. 

CBD cannabidiol

For context, the ECS is responsible for regulating responses which includes appetite, mood, and the reduction of inflammation responsible for acute and chronic pain.

Similar to Omega-3 fatty acids, CBD has a varied market that offers different products as a source for a natural alternative. 

The base product comes in the form of CBD oil, which can be applied to your food or drink or taken directly by itself. CBD edibles are also becoming a renowned and frequently used method of consumption, with more products like gummies, cookies, teas, and coffees hitting the market every day.

Turmeric


turmeric

For thousands of years, turmeric has been used across the globe as a spice and medicinal herb. Curcumin is the main active ingredient found in turmeric, which has been found to have powerful medicinal properties.

Just like the other natural alternatives we’ve mentioned, turmeric is easy to apply and use in cooking.

A study published in 2007 [4] tested turmeric on animal models. The study found that curcumin was able to reduce proinflammatory cytokines significantly. Proinflammatory cytokines are proteins found in the body that are released to promote inflammatory effects.  

The study also states that the Joint United Nations and World Health Organization Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) finds and recognizes curcumin to be safe.

Lifestyle change


It may come as no surprise, but certain lifestyles can also contribute to acute and chronic pains. Often, stressors can mess up the quality of life leading to imbalances pertaining to poor sleeping and eating habits.

Likewise, lifestyles that exert unnecessary fatigue and damage to the body that lead to the cascade of imbalance should be avoided. These may include excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, or eating.

lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation

Drink water. There is a reason why school teachers and doctors always remind us to drink six to eight glasses of water a day. 

In the rigorous and often chaotic happenings of daily life, it is very easy to forget to stop and drink of water. A small lifestyle change to include enough water consumption can eliminate dehydration-related headaches and water imbalances that eventually lead to inflammation.

The Takeaway

It goes without saying that reducing inflammation, whether chronic or acute, requires a well-rounded treatment approach. 

reduce inflammation; eat well, get sleep, exercise, manage stress

Whether your choice of treatment is by conventional treatments or natural alternatives, relief from inflammation requires a balanced approach to restore your health and overall wellness. In summary, get sufficient sleep, eat well, exercise regularly, and manage your stresses. 

Endnotes:

1. WEHI. 2020. Inflammation. Available at: https://www.wehi.edu.au/research/research-fields/inflammation#:~:text=Approximately%20one%20in%20three%20Australians,triggered%20by%20ongoing%20immune%20responses.

2. Maroon, J.C. et al. 2010. Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3011108/

3. Mazanares, J. et al. 2006. Role of the cannabinoid system in pain control and therapeutic implications for the management of acute and chronic pain episodes. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18615144/

4. Hewlings, S.J. and Kalman, D. S. 2017. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Available at: https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/6/10/92/htm

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