Last Modified on Jan 09, 2014
Inflammation - Causes and Treatments
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to an irritating substance or event. The body’s natural defense mechanism, inflammation occurs as the body attempts to heal itself. Inflammation also serves as the body’s biological response to attempt to remove a harmful or irritating substance that has entered the body. While inflammation is a biological defense response, inflammation alone does not indicate that infection is present in the body.
The specific cause of inflammation often defines the type and severity of symptoms present; however, inflammation often presents a range of common symptoms. Typical symptoms of inflammation include redness, a swollen or tender joint, joint pain, stiffness and loss of function. Additionally, inflammation may cause more general “flu”-like symptoms such as fever, chills, fatigue, loss of energy, headaches, loss of appetite and muscle stiffness.
Inflammation is generally caused by the release of chemicals from the body into the bloodstream or affected tissues. The release of chemicals increases or heightens the blood flow to the specific area that has been injured or infected and typically results in redness and heat in the area. Additionally, chemicals that leak into the tissues cause swelling. The entire process of reaction and healing activates the nerves and causes pain.
Home Remedies and Cures for Inflammation
No matter the cause of inflammation, the result is often discomfort and even pain. As such, remedying the issue is important to find relief. As you will read below, several home remedies can be applied to cure inflammation. Sarsaparilla and boswellia are herbs that relieve inflammation. Castor oil, chrysanthemum tea, manuka honey, desiccated liver and magnesium chloride are also effective options. Juicing organic vegetables as well as fresh cannabis leaves and consuming the juice can also relieve inflammation.
Boswellia and Sarsparilla
[YEA] 10/03/2008: Megan from USA, Illinois: "I have been taking boswellia and sarsparilla which are herbs for almost a year for inflammation. It has been very helpful which is why I feel compelled to share this with you. I suffer from inflammation and fibromyalgia like symptoms although I have never been diagnosed. I use Boswellia seretta (must contain boswellic resins) which is also known as Frankincense. I bought my own in bulk from mountain rose herbs and cap them myself because I take so much. I take 2 capsules a day about 3 times a day."
[YEA] 06/25/2007: K.C. from Portland, Oregon: "I have had gut problems for years. (I have an extra-long colon, like twice normal length.) General inflammation, sometimes burning an inch or two below my sternum ( a good remedy for that is pancreatic enzymes), a pointed ache in the gall bladder area (just below right ribs) whenever I ate anything with fat, and a pain in the left lower corner of the abdomen aftter eating. I did an all night castor oil pack and all of these symptoms have disappeared and have not come back."Replies
10/07/2011: Cmkalm from Houston, Tx replies: "What is a castor oil "pack"?"
[YEA] 10/11/2011: Van from Sunnyvale, Ca, Usa: "This simple yet delicious tea has been a life saver many times. One time I had a bad case of chemical poisioning and I had sores and welts all over my eyes, face and mouth. It happened so quick I freaked out and reached for some chrysanthemum tea. Within minutes it all calmed down and I was normal again. Generally in Asia this tea is used to bring down heat and inflamation like canker sores. Hard to believe because it's so sweet. The kind I use is the powdered kind in packets. Just mix with water. You can also use the dried flowers but I have a problem with the dried pollen."
01/04/2013: Sara from Salt Lake City, Ut: "question; are anti-oxidants also anti-inflamatory? i realize anti-oxidents get rid of free radicals, however...?"
[YEA] 08/25/2012: David from Anchorage, Ak, Usa: "I wanted to add juicing cannabis leaves to the list of remedies for inflammation."
[YEA] 01/15/2010: Nugo from Brentwood, Ny, Usa: "Vegetable juices great for inflammation!!
I've been suffering from inflammation all my life, there is no diet that make lose weight, I have noticed however that all grains: corn, chicken peas, all beans, rice, wheat, potatoes make me to gain from 4 to 6 pounds easily during the night!! My meal doesn't even weight that much! So I just don't eat them. But lately I started juicing and I have noticed big changes in my body. Hands, arms, knees, ankles are now a lot better. I can feel my bones now.
I drink a big glass of vegetable and fruit juice in the morning as a breakfast and that's all. My diet is the same so it has to be the juicing! I don't have a recipe I just put on the blender what I have in my refrigerator that day (carrots, apple, pears, strawberries, banana, any fruit and cucumber, celery, spinach and any other leaves I got. I would say I'm impressed."Replies
01/17/2010: Moi from V Ville, Ca replies: "Nugo, are you still eating beans, wheat etc.? Just wondering if you are losing weight while eating the above and juicing.
07/13/2012: Nugo from Brentwood, Ny replies: "Usually I eat starches or grains once or twice a month. My diet is very simple: Juicing in the morning (I use a good blender), meat or chicken with vegertables or salad for luch and a light dinner at night, most times just fruit, vegetables again. I indulge myself with chocolate once in a while. Take turmeric o ginger capsules often."
06/25/2013: Mary from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada replies: "Hi Nugo: I can relate to the gaining weight from normal amounts of grains and starches. I recently had a health scare which motivated me to juice. I lost 12 lbs which is huge for me as I am used to having such a hard time losing weight. The odd thing is I did not excercise. But I juiced everyday and I felt better. I recently took back oatmeal as it is my favorite but it is making me gain. Back to the same diet as you. Only beans don't affect me."
[YEA] 06/10/2011: Lu from Brisbane, Australia: "I have been getting very good results taking Manuka honey for gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining). I take it twice a day... Once before bed and again in the morning. Taking it with a piece of bread slows down absorption and keeps it in the stomach longer.
North Pole Magnets
Ted from Bangkok, Thailand: "The use of north pole magnets (using a very powerful neodymium magnets) will help reduce inflammation. South pole increases inflammation, so please take note to apply the correct one. To identify the north pole is to get a compass. If the north pointing compass points to your magnet. It means this side is north. So mark the positions accordingly. The idea is well accepted in sports area, but are not well accepted in conventional medicine. Sports people need results and the faster they heal, the faster they can compete."Replies
10/26/2009: Matt from Millbrook, Ny replies: "What we call the South pole (in the Antarctic) is actually a physical North pole, the physical South pole then being in the Arctic. So the red needle that points north is actually South seeking, therefore we want the red needle to point AWAY from a magnet to find it's north pole. A simple way to remember it is that the "northern" end on our compass is actually a north pole magnet.
A simple and informative video demonstrating this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKpviTjRT0Q
I woke up today with a very sore, stiff neck from sleeping in an awkward position. As I am writing this, I have a strong north pole ceramic magnet on my neck, and my pain has become more tolerable after maybe ten minutes.
01/20/2011: Matt from Millbrook, Ny replies: "I just realized that I made a mistake awhile back here, regarding which side of a magnet is north. PLEASE IGNORE MY LAST POST! I would like to ask Earth Clinic to please remove it if possible.
There may be some confusion as to which side is north (as was in my case), but Ted correctly stated that the compass needle that points north should point to the north pole of the magnet being tested. There is a great amount of information available on bio-magnetics, and I'd like to try to supply as much factual information as possible. That's for another time, however, and for possibly a new page on this site.
I should also note that there are many magnetic water treatment devices available that cost anywhere from $20 to over $400. You can magnetize your own water using magnets for only a couple dollars :) , But I suggest doing plenty of research before you attempt this."
11/16/2011: Udh from Chennai, India: "I am 20 years old and for the last 21/2 years I was suffering from abdominal pain around umbilicus, internal itching at a point close to umbilicus, itching in ear and it goes to anal region and urinary area. I had constipation and now it is alternating with frequent motions some time. I lost around 20kg in the last two years now it is stable but I couldn't gain weight too. My lower extremities are cold. I am getting headache and couldn't sleep properly. I have tried allopathy, homeopathy, ayurveda but I couldn't get any relief. Allopathy doctors couldn't understand the itching and telling me it is my thinking. I have undergone all tests from biochemical tests, x Ray, ultra sonogram, CT scan, gastroenteroscopy twice, colonoscopy, capsule endoscopy, biochemical markers for coeliac disease. All results are normal except for low Hb, medium sized ulcer in the first endoscopy with H. Pylori positive. After 2 months in second endoscopy no ulcer is detected but the biopsy report shows no H. Pylori this time but the final report says chronic inflammation of intestinal mucosahistopathology and the pathologist gives in d/d chronic viral infection. I am doing my third year engineering and life is hell with pain and itching
Udh from India"Replies
11/27/2011: Filiz from Fort Lauderdale, Florida replies: "Your symptoms may all be related to gluten sensitivity. I would suggest that you eliminate all gluten for 30 days and watch what happens. I would be really surprised if all your complaints did not disappear. You must do it radically though, just reducing gluten will not work. All the best."
10/27/2012: Organic Activist from Chicago, Il replies: "Sounds to me like a paraistic infection. Have them test you for this. Also, it is wise to eat properly too, only fresh foods, organic if possible. Try to stay away from any processed foods, even rice."
03/31/2013: Anonymous from Ca replies: "internal itching has to do with overloaed toxicity it could be from parasites, or a virus?, Are you on the verge of have low thyroid? How are your hormones? Do you have allergies to food fibers or chemicals? So while you figure it out, to stop all itching fast naturally high quality Vitamin C I take 10,000 mg 2-3 times a day. If you get diarrhea then lower the dose and then alkalize 2-3 daily."
06/11/2011: Rebeka from Memphis, Tn: "Inflammation:
I am deeply grateful for all of the great advice on earthclinic. You really help all of us who do not have access to good health care and for those who do not trust traditional medicine.
I have three questions.
1-where can I get the chewable dessicated liver tabs?
2-where can I get hydrated magnesium chloride in crystal or powder form?
3-what do you recommend for numb feet and legs. It feels like I am walking on gravel all the time. Also my butt is numb. It feels like something is lodged in my rectal area or like a tight feeling or pressure in the butt. I am not constipated. I have been to the doctor for blood work and exam. He put me on meloxicam-15mg once a day.
Thanks for any advice you can offer.
All the best,
EC: Hi Rebekah,
If you search "Dessicated Liver" or "Magnesium Chloride flakes" on either Amazon or Google shopping, you can see various brands that sell these products.
12/17/2011: Rein from Gatineau, Qc Canada replies: "To Rebeka from Memphis, Tn:
"3-what do you recommend for numb feet and legs. It feels like I am walking on gravel all the time. Also my butt is numb."
What helped me was Yoga, lying down on my belly while reading or computer .. , stretch a lot, find sore spots on leg for accupuncture massage points = (tiger balm)neck stretching exercises lean back , walk a lot in sun and tread-mill, walk backwards slow carefully, in bed wiggle hips a lot e g 100 times up and down, sleep without pillow, are you shoulders drawn up u tense a lot -rotate 100 x, or until tired , relaxing after exausting movements comes automatically! (consider tantric therapy or similar to get ciculation going running) or sit ly on the side, don't sit for extended periods, yah sitting in squat position (gradually) is fantastic. Experiment and watch for body responses etc. et me know..."
10/01/2010: Sylvia from Lecanto, Florida: "I have a problem I hope someone can help with. I have a swelling in my elbow from retaining fluid in the elbow due to an inflammation. Doctor drained it twice but it didn't cure the problem. Doctor does not advise draining it again. Am now wearing a pressure cuff on elbow and applying ice several times a day. This helps but still have the fluid pooling in the elbow. Love this website, found lots of answers here."Replies
10/02/2010: Bunny from Santa Ana, California replies: "Have you tried DMSO? I use 6 parts DMSO to 4 parts castor oil on sprains. It reduces swelling and inflammation very effectively. You can go as high as 7 parts DMSO, but it irritates my skin at that level."
12/31/2009: Andres from Tucson, Az: "Chronic Inflammation
Ever since I was real young I've had many inflammatory-related issues. Allergy sensitivity tests would show a reaction to most foods/elements. Now that I'm 27 my symptoms have improved through a healthier diet, but some symptoms still linger such as constipation, fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, and general dryness.
I've been looking for posts on this site for recommendations but it's hard to pinpoint causes since my symptoms cross over spectrums of autoimmune, metabolic, and intestinal disorders. Some of the remedies on this site (acv, coconut oil, etc) have very little to no results. I've spent so much of my life treating symptoms individually, but ever since I learned of my predisposition to inflammation, I feel like I'm getting closer to treating the cause. The question is, how?
It would be much appreciated if someone more knowledgeable can point me in the right direction."Replies
01/01/2010: Ravi S from Dallas, Texas, United States replies: "Looks like your symptoms are similar to mine. I am a self diagnosed Celiac. Please try strict Gluten free diet. You could add flax seed powder and rice bran for fiber. Turmeric(bulk from Indian store) in your cooking would work wonders. Honey and Black strap molasses does marvels. I am a total vegetarian since birth, by the way."
01/01/2010: Bunny from Santa Ana, California replies: "You are describing the classic symptoms of hypothyroidism. Blood tests aren't very accurate-the conventional range for normal is too broad. Track down diractions for doing a basal body temp test. If it is low you need to take care of your thyroid. Chlorine and flouride both supress thyroid function, and you will need to look into taking iodine-at least 3-6 mg. a day(it's safe to about 40mg)-as well as other supporting supplements. If it is very bad, you may need to take Armour or Naturthroid. Try to avoid synthroid. You also need to start taking HCl with pepsin and a general digestive enzyme. Any health food store has them."
02/04/2013: Kathy from Bay Shore, New York replies: "You sound like me, it does sound like thyroid. I have a high Reverse T3. I take T3 only meds."
02/20/2013: Anonymouscat from La, Ca replies: "Our ND suggested eliminating dairy from the diet may very well eliminates back pain altogether. We never eat sweets but one day we were out and had three desserts by the evening my entire lower back was inflammed with pain radiating up to my skull I was sick the entire night. Woke up drank ACV to try to eliminate the toxic effects of white flour and sugar. Went to the dr and she to do yoga back stretches and if that does not work they would order images to see if there is a herniated disc."
05/12/2013: Anonymous from La, Ca replies: "Inflammation can be caused by so many things. I had blurred vision, low back inflammation, tiredness, dizziness, etc... I had hypothyroidism I was sure... but according to two MD'S my thyroid was fine I was in the range and that was that. I saw an ND, he took one look at the test and said your thyroid is on verge of being low so let's take care of it and see how you feel. I take 10 drop HTHY thyroid drops, and Hawthorne solid extract daily. I also take 1-2 drops Lugols. Iodoral is another thing that we discussed which is comparable to that of the Japanese iodine rich diet. I believe you take 1-4 tablets daily if you take this it is good be monitored so you know where your at. I've read that the salivia test is the best test for thyroid not the blood test."
11/08/2012: Emma from Europe: "Does anybody know how much is safe to take of tumeric for inflammation. I see you can get 400mg tablets/capsules. Also would it be safe to take with medication.Thanks"Replies
11/08/2012: Suzanne from Fort Wayne, Indiana replies: "I do know turmeric works for me. I put 1/4 teaspoon in a glass with a bit of olive oil. I then grind black pepper into the mix, stir and add a bit of warm water. This I drink though I do have to add water and stir a few more time. I use olive oil because this is what we have though any liquid oil would work. The oil keeps the tumeric from upsetting your stomach and the black pepper helps your body absorb the tumeric. I started this after reading here that it reduced inflamation. My feet and heels hurt terribly after walking for health outside or on my treadmill. This works! It took a few days but it has changed my life. Turmeric is cheap even at our health food store. I take this mix once a day and am able to walk as long as I want."
11/08/2012: Ed2010 from Oakville, Canada replies: "We use turmeric very much in our cooking. For a family of 4 we will use at least 1tsp - 2 tsp of turmeric powder in daily cooking in variety of recipes.
You can take a 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp of turmeric powder daily without any issues.
I recommend you to buy food grade turmeric powder in your local indian grocery store and use. It is very much cheaper when compared to capsules in bottle.
200 gms of turmeric powder is only $2.99 here in Canada.
Good Health, Thanks"
[YEA] 08/30/2007: ann from duncan, sc: "I have been using Turmeric for my inflammation for 2 years now and swear by it. I have an autoimmune disease which causes a lot of inflammation. I take 1 tablespoon a day and it keeps my swelling way down.I am now goiter free and do not need thyroid removal surgery. If I go off of it the swelling picks back up and my goiter returns. I have taken it in capsule form or by mixing it with water and swallowing fast!"Replies
05/23/2011: Dixie Pearl from Tracy, California replies: "Hi Ann, did the turmeric on its own get the goiter to go away? thank you for posting."
[YEA] Rose from England: "I use turmeric, it works like magic for me - I have Crohn's disease, and finds it helps ease inflammation. All the anti-inflammatory pills that the doctor gave me only made me MUCH worse. Turmeric helps stop the 'loose stools'."Replies
03/08/2012: Roger from Colorado Springs, Colorado replies: "I am, in Ayurvedic lingo, pitta, even pitta imbalanced. If I take turmeric, it makes my pitta imbalance worse and I become irritable and my insomnia is aggravated and I get all kinds of other symptoms typical of pitta imbalance. For my wife, who is pitta weak, turmeric is perfect and balances her and helps her a lot."