Healing Inflammation. Naturally

Words: Dr Rajgopal Nidamboor

Inflammation is your body’s reaction, or irritation, to injury. It is more than what meets the eye. It is actually a sign that your body is healing.

There are two types of inflammation — acute [recent] and chronic [long-standing] inflammation.

When heat and swelling from a recent injury are uncomfortable, all you need is rest, ice, compression and elevation [RICE].

  • Keep your sprained ankle propped up on a pillow, under an ice pack [20 minutes on; 20 minutes off] until the swelling decreases
  • If the area of inflammation is your ankle, elevate your feet by placing them on 2-3 pillows
  • Wrap in a compression elastic bandage to support the joint/sprain area when you have to get up and walk.

To stop the swelling and let excess fluids drain, you’d try a few inflammatory herbs, for example, turmeric, ginger, and boswellia serrata [Indian frankincense]. You may add herbs, such as ginger, or cinnamon, into your food and tea too — this may help keep inflammation down, more so during the allergy season.

You may treat chronic inflammation with —

  • Omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil, or flaxseed, a natural anti-inflammatory
  • Adequate rest and exercise to help your body process out excess fluids
  • Stress management, the reason being high stress levels can release inflammatory hormones.

Consult your doctor when inflammation does not respond to simple home measures.

Healing Nerve Pain Naturally

Nerve pain is often severe; the pain may be limited to one part of the nerve, or extend along the nerve’s branches.

  • Neuritis is inflammation that can permanently damage a nerve
  • Neuralgia comes and goes; it does not damage the nerve
  • Radiculopathy is pain that radiates from an inflamed nerve
  • Neuropathy is damage to a nerve, usually caused by diabetes.

Nerve pain usually starts with nerve inflammation. It is not precisely known why a nerve becomes inflamed. Nerve pain may often follow an injury, or illness. Herpes, a viral infection, for instance, causes pain which may sometimes last for years. In certain cases of nerve pain, it is difficult to establish the cause.

Facial nerve pain is a stabbing type of twinge originating in your teeth, throat, or eyes. The cause may be inflammation of one of your cranial nerves. Trigeminal nerve pain, or neuralgia, is also called tic douloureux. It is seen frequently in the elderly. Inflammation of a cranial nerve is evidenced to trigger facial, or Bell’s, palsy.

Acupuncture and homeopathy have been found to be effective in treating nerve pain. Anti-inflammatory herbs, such as turmeric and ginger, along with an anti-inflammatory ‘diet,’ comprising of omega-3 fish oils and flaxseed can help ease nerve pain. Other herbs, which have been evidenced to be useful, are holy basil and green tea. Speak to your doctor/therapist when nerve pain persists.

Healing Difficult Maladies. Naturally

Natural, or alternative, medicine, like Ayurveda, or homeopathy, may be of help in the most perplexing inflammatory, or illness, conditions without side-effects. Here is a snapshot.

Morgellon’s disease is called ‘skin-crawling disease’ and ‘fibre disease.’ People describe the feeling ‘as if something is crawling under the skin.’ The skin may also present with itchy and painful lesions with fibres protruding from the opening of the skin. The condition is difficult to treat with conventional [allopathic] medicine.

While the patient describes a ‘sound-like’ skin parasite, no parasite has, so far, been found. Most clinicians believe that Morgellon’s is related to emotional health issues, or depression, the common cold of psychiatric illness. Others call it a ‘relative’ of Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that is spread to human beings by infected ticks. Natural medicine practitioners suggest that the practice of meditation helps to reduce stress, a likely trigger of Morgellon’s symptoms, besides expressive therapies, like painting and music therapy to help distract and relax the patient while potentially improving their sense of well-being. When symptoms match, a professional homeopath may prescribe a remedy called Secale cornutum, or any other suitable remedy, to treat the condition effectively.

Fibromyalgia often presents with inexplicable pain, fatigue, sleeplessness and digestive problems. Causes vary, but they may often include depression, trauma and also genetics. The condition is often misdiagnosed — this makes fibromyalgia a tough customer to treat. Individuals having fibromyalgia may express a sense of despair. Fibromyalgia has no specific conventional [allopathic] treatment, except for providing symptomatic relief. Yoga, meditation and walking are, on the other hand, evidenced to reduce stress and improve sleep in patients with fibromyalgia. Homeopathic clinical studies report of therapeutic success in treating the disorder, without side-effects.

Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disorder; it causes raised, red patches of skin covered with silvery scales. The condition can be itchy and painful. This may result in cracked skin, dandruff of the scalp and increased risk of infections from scratching the skin. Psoriasis is an auto-immune disease, where the cells in our body attack healthy skin cells, mistaking them for foreign bacteria, or virus. The disorder may also be hereditary. Conventional [allopathic] medicine treats psoriasis with topical applications to moisturise the affected skin patches, or use steroids which are not always effective. Worse still, they may cause serious side-effects.

Natural medicine recommends an organic diet, comprising of vegetables and fruits, including flaxseed, that assist the body in eliminating toxins and healing the intestinal tract, which is thought to be a likely trigger for psoriasis. While acupuncture is evidenced to be useful, because it helps balance the energy of the body, resulting in fewer flare-ups, Ayurveda and homeopathy have a useful clinical record in treating psoriasis — under specialist guidance and supervision.

Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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