Inflammation is a popular buzzword in the wellness industry. While inflammation tends to be seen as a negative biological response, a certain amount of healthy inflammation can actually protect our bodies against infectious agents and trauma. It is unchecked and sustained inflammation that can cause trouble. With risky and expensive drugs available for those in need of inflammation management, a natural and more affordable method may lie in the ancient herbal field of Ayurveda.
In a recent seminar, Dr. Michael Greer, a holistic practitioner from Seattle, cited some conditions that may start with unchecked inflammation including fibromyalgia, diabetes, allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, autoimmune disorders and more. In cases of chronic pain, the body is not able to regulate the inflammatory response. The result is chronic imbalance and chronic pain.
In Ayurveda, herbal treatments are used for controlling excess inflammation. Boswellia, turmeric, ashwagandha and ginger are a few key herbs often combined with an integrative approach to reduce the inflammatory response. Virender Sodhi, ND, MD has used these herbs along with exercise, yoga, meditation and nutritional upgrades with great success.
Boswellia has been recommended for all types of arthritis, acute back pain, inflammatory bowel disease and ulceritive colitis.
Turmeric is a gorgeous, golden root and a powerful antioxidant. It has been said to control inflammation, act as an anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial and liver protective. This root contributes to curry’s wonderful health properties and its fantastic rich color.
According to Virender Sodhi, various laboratory studies have demonstrated that its active principle inhibits the action of inflammatory agents, including phospholipase, lipoxygenase, cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2), leukotrienes, thromboxane, prostaglandins, nitric oxide, collagenase, elastase and others (Srimal, 1997).
Ashwagandha is a rejuvenative herb with wonderful adaptogenic properties. According to Dr. Robert Svoboda in his book Ayurveda for Women, ashwagandha rebuilds the body, mind and relieves such conditions in rheumatism, emaciation and weakness.
Ginger In a recent seminar on healthy microcirculation, Kerry Bone, co-creator of the Standard Process line Medi Herb, claims ginger is one of the industry’s most underrated herbs. It has been used for ailments including stoamch aches, migraines and joint pain. In one trial, 7 rheumatoid arthritis patients reported pain relief, increased joint mobility, decreased swelling and reduced morning stiffness from the use of ginger (Mascolo et al., 1989).
Kundalini Yogis enjoy a refreshing glass of Golden Milk to keep their bodies healthy. According to Yogi Bhajan, thought to be a spiritual leader who brought Kundalini Yoga to the US, Golden Milk is very good for the spine and helps lubricates the joints.
Golden Milk recipe by Yogi Bhajan:
- 1/8 tsp. turmeric
- ½ cup water
- 1 cup milk or almond mylk
- 1-2 tbsp. almond oil (optional)
- honey (to taste)
- Boil water and turmeric in small saucepan over medium-high heat for 8 minutes (the turmeric must be fully cooked).
- Meanwhile, bring the milk and almond oil to boiling point in a separate pan and remove from heat.
- Combine the two mixtures and add honey to taste. You could even add a tiny bit of nutmeg – delicious!
Standard Process also offers a great 10-Day Program for inflammation, including some of these key herbs in their protocol, along with dietary upgrades. Their literature sums up their motto on wellness: “Our goal is to empower your body with the necessary nutrients to support you on your journey to optimal health and vitality. Health is a choice; whole food supplements along with herbal products are a key to overall health and wellbeing.” Stop into any Peoples location today to speak to a wellness specialist about these and other ways to manage inflammation.
by Meghan Dwyer, Herbalist, Kundalini Yoga instructor and LMT student.
Dr Robert Svoboda, ‘Ayurveda for Women’
Dr Michael Greer – Pain and Inflammation Seminar – September 6-7 2014
Kerry Bone Medi-Herbs Seminar – September 25 2014
Yogi Bhajan, ‘The Aquarian Teacher’ for Golden Milk recipe