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Understanding Inflammation

Understanding Inflammation

Friday, September 29th 2006

Inflammation is localised protective response resulting from infection, injury or destruction of tissues characterised by pain and swelling plus any number of other symptoms depending on the area affected. In a modern world we are all subject to different forms of inflammation on an ever increasing scale (due to dietary and lifestyle factors, medications, and emotional and physical stress that lead to immune dysfunction).

In addition, inflammation conditions include acute or chronic inflammatory "itis" conditions including arthritis, ulcerative colitis, headache, migraine, gout, fibromyalgia, plus irritable bowel syndrome, back pain, period pain, strains, sprains and injuries.

What do COX-2 and 5-LOX enzymes have to do with pain?

Scientific research has defined naturally occurring enzymes known as Cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2) and 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LOX) as being implicated in a number of inflammatory conditions.

Those suffering pain have previously used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that are available over the counter or on prescription. These medications work by inhibiting the formation of the COX enzymes. The problem is that most NSAIDs block both the harmful COX-2 and the helpful COX-1 enzymes. The COX-1 enzyme functions as a protective mechanism for the stomach lining. Long term inhibition of this vital COX-1 enzyme by overuse of NSAIDs can cause many gastric disorders, including stomach bleeding and ulcers.

Plants may help

Over time, researchers have discovered natural compounds in a number of different plants that can significantly support the body's response to inflammatory conditions and reduce these undesirable enzymes. These plants have been used for generations by the native peoples of various countries.

A composite of these powerful plants may help curtail the aches, pains and stress that we face every day.

Which plant extracts does Radiance D-Flam contain and what do they do?

Holy Basil Extract (Ocimum sanctum)
An Ayurvedic medicinal herb native to India, Holy Basil contains 2% natural ursolic acid, for immune support, which has proven useful in modulating COX-2 and 5-LOX enzymes.

Turmeric Extract (Curcuma longa)
Another widely used Ayurvedic herb. The active component is curcumin, which is a potent antioxidant that provides outstanding benefits against Cox-2 and 5-LOX enzymes.

Ginger Extract (Zingiber officinale)
One of the most popular and widely used herbs today. It is primarily used to detoxify the body, calm the stomach and support circulation while having a beneficial effect on COX-2 and 5-LOX enzymes.

Green Tea Extract (Camellia sinensis)
Contains many antioxidant compounds including polyphenols, which support immune system function. Research shows that the polyphenol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), is over 200 times more powerful than vitamin E!

Boswellin gum resin extract (Boswellia serrata)
This tree is native to India and it is one of the most widely-used herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. Boswellia contains boswellic acids, which support healthy circulation and work to deactivate certain chemical triggers often associated with COX-2 and 5-LOX enzymes.

Bromelain (Ananas comosus)
Bromelain is a compound extracted from pineapples that research shows has a number of beneficial effects in dealing with COX-2 and 5-LOX enzymes. Bromelain works by breaking down and removing proteins in damaged tissues.

Resveratrol (from Polygonum cusipidatum Root Extract), is one of a group of compounds produced in plants during times of environmental stress that has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. In several studies, resveratrol has been shown to inhibit the activity of COX-2, reducing production of pro-inflammatory mediators.

The formula also contains Baikal Skullcap root (Scutellaria baicalensis) (4:1 Concentrate) which has been used to treat inflammatory related disorders in China and Japan for centuries and Berberine Root extract from Tree Turmeric (Berberis aristata).

Radiance D-Flam is a synergistic blend of herbs that may reduce minor pain. This formula can be used daily for the support of vascular and general health or, occasionally, to alleviate the aches and pains associated with exertion and ageing. It contains a potent combination of antioxidants that will also contribute to heart health and proper immune system function.

Reproduced unabridged from the October - December 2006 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are all useful for Inflammation and Joint Pain:

Joint Nurse
Bee Venom with Glucosamine
Fish Oil 1500mg - Odourless
Flax Seed Oil 1000mg
Hi Strength Liquid Fish Oil
Glucosamine 1-A-Day
Joint Connection
Joint and Muscle Repair Cream
Joint Vitality
Pain Relief
MSM
HistaEze (Quercetin with Bromelain)
Reflux-free Salmon Oil
Seatone 500mg
Turmeric

Related health information can be found here:

Acid and alkaline forming foods
Anti Inflammatory
Allergies
Arthritis program
Back Pain
Colitis
Gout
MSM - bioavailable sulphur for arthritis and pain relief
Overcome joint pain & stiffness with Glucosamine
Water, the elixir of life

Related articles can be found here:

Arthritis Studies Focus on Boswellia
Gout & Inflammatory Diseases
Quercetin and Bromelain
Study Finds Natural Alternative May Ease Pain for Arthritis Sufferers
Third Generation Arthritis Treatment - Radiance Joint Connection Capsules and Creme

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

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