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Five herbs instead of Anti-inflammatories

  • Immunity
  • 22:35 reading time (ish)
  • 4291 words

Written by Simon Mills

Inflammatory processes are the key disturbances in the majority of diseases. They define any condition ending in ‘-itis’ (eg arthritis, dermatitis – aka eczema – gastritis, cystitis, colitis, bronchitis, cellulitis, pericarditis, phlebitis, meningitis). However, inflammation is also central to chronic immunological diseases like rheumatism, Crohns disease, psoriasis and lupus, and is now understood as causative in diabetes, arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, and even cancer.

The modern approach to most inflammatory disturbances is to suppress them with anti-inflammatory drugs, mostly steroids like hydrocortisone or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs). When steroidal drugs became widely available in the early 1950s, the transformation these made to the progress of arthritic, skin and other connective tissue diseases was dramatic. For decades any challenge to these drugs was dismissed. However, it then became apparent that both steroids and their non-steroidal counterparts (initially based on aspirin-like COX inhibitors and now extended to fenamate class of LOX inhibitors) were associated with a range of side-effects and diminishing benefits. There is again a demand for other approaches, especially in the case of those sufferers otherwise condemned to a lifetime of powerful and potentially dangerous drugs.

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