Injury & Inflammation supplements for recovery
So you are injured and you want to speed your recovery, or perhaps you just wish to live a healthier life, recover quicker from workouts, recover from your work, or even just function at a higher level, then this is for you.
To Begin with ‘I am not a Doctor’ I’m a witch doctor if anything, I have no medical background, just a good deal of experience dealing with natural supplements. All the advice I give is at best my own opinion normally gleaned from medical studies and or traditional uses, I do discuss a fair bit with naturopaths and spend silly amounts of time researching effects of herbs, spices and supplements.
The body of this text is meant to give in layman’s terms (as much as possible), an understanding of better supplementation for healing and general health. It is not meant to be an in-depth scientific proof of each supplement. That would be best discussed as single substances in threads of their own, due to the complex nature of most supplements and what constitutes them. I have written this as a guide for those that don’t wish to be muddled in scientific literature and bogged down by studies they have trouble understanding.
The body is a wonderful thing it can regrow veins arteries and nerves, When blood supply to the lower limbs is compromised by oedema then often a network of spider veins will appear near the surface of the skin this is the body trying to get past the problem and build new pathways to remove blood, it does it with Lymph vessels too, clog one beyond repair and the body will absorb it and replace it, and the peripheral nerves that connect our limbs and organs to the central nervous system have an astonishing ability to regenerate themselves after injury as well.
But there are things that stop this regrowth Inflammation is one of them.
As with any injury and with everyday life we need to deal with inflammation in the body, if you work out you have inflammation, if you work hard you have inflammation, if you are stressed you have inflammation, there is always inflammation in the human body. It is a natural response to the many physical and mental stresses in life, and it is initially a good thing to get blood flowing to the area carrying nutrients and taking away the waste. However we want the initial inflammation to subside so the body can continue as normal.
Chronic Inflammation blocks nutrient supply and can even serve to block blood supply, we are not talking about acute inflammation which is the bodies initial response we are talking about chronic inflammation that is long term, which leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.
The inflammatory response must be stopped when no longer needed, to prevent unnecessary “bystander” damage to tissues. Failure to do so results in chronic inflammation, and cellular destruction. Now this can happen at arterial level, tissue level and even nerve level, it can happen anywhere and you won’t be able to see it, it happens at cellular level. You can damage nerves and they will fail to heal and regrow because the inflammation is stopping them from doing so. No nutrient flow = cell destruction.
It’s not just inflammation that we need to treat though, we also need to improve circulation for without healthy blood vessels many functions of the body operate at sub-par levels if the blood can’t get there then neither can the nutrients. On top of that we have Liver function to improve as well. The liver is the body’s most important organ, functioning as a living filter to clean the system of toxins, metabolize proteins, control hormonal balance, and produce immune-boosting factors.
First order of business is to deal with the inflammation, fortunately there are some very good natural substances that help to calm down inflammation and calm the system. Also when these are mixed together they become synergistic (that means they are more powerful together than apart). Some natural substances have dual roles such as treating inflammation and healing the liver and or improving the blood vessels, sometimes these can be the same thing. Atherosclerosis (vascular disease), is now widely considered to be a low-grade inflammatory disease.
The volatile oil of turmeric has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in a variety of experimental models. Even more potent than its volatile oil is the yellow or orange pigment of turmeric, which is called Curcumin, it is the primary pharmacological agent in turmeric. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects are comparable to the potent drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone. Some people will profess just taking Curcumin, but let’s take the all the goodies in Turmeric and boost the effect. Now the problem with Turmeric is that it is not very Bio-available. It’s fortunate that nature has provided the solution in ‘Black Pepper’ (the wonder spice) freshly ground black pepper contains ‘Piperine’, it is the main alkaloid from black pepper and it has been shown to substantially increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in foods and supplements. Some studies show it increasing the bioavailability of Turmeric up to 2000%. Not only that, black pepper is a powerful anti-inflammatory in its own right.
has its own volatile oils and has a useful stimulative, and analgesic effect, Cumin improved the immune response of mice with compromised immune systems due to restraint-induced stress. These effects were marked by a reduction in elevated cortisol and adrenal gland size, an increase in the weight of the thymus and spleen, and replenishment of depleted T cells (these are a subset of white blood cells that are important for immune function). Cumin has been shown to have anti-stress and antioxidant properties in the liver which is important for metabolising nutrients. It also contains Alpha-Pinene which is an anti-inflammatory.
Studies show that cacao powder provokes increased endothelial (the inner lining of blood vessels) production of nitric oxide and has considerable potential for promoting vascular health. The Kuna Indians of Panama, who regularly consume large amounts of flavanol-rich raw cacao, are virtually free of hypertension and stroke, even though they heavily salt their food. Flavanols, from Raw Cacao are believed to keep arteries flexible, increase small vessel circulation and reduce blood pressure amongst other things. Supplementation with Raw Cacao also eases obesity-related inflammation, insulin resistance, and fatty liver.
Is synergistic with Raw Cacao. Spirulina is exceptionally rich in phycocyanobilin (PCB), which recently has been shown to act as a potent inhibitor of NADPH oxidase, this effect likely rationalizes the broad range of anti-inflammatory, cytoprotective, and anti-atherosclerotic effects Spirulina supplementation has achieved in rodent studies. In light of the central pathogenic role which NADPH oxidase-derived oxidant stress plays in a vast range of disorders, Spirulina may have remarkable potential for preserving and restoring health. Supplementation of cacao powder and Spirulina together, where the antioxidant impact of spirulina could be expected to amplify the bioactivity of the nitric oxide evoked by cacao Flavanols in inflamed endothelium (the inner lining of blood vessels).
Is a wonderful spice with many benefits, one of which is control of inflamation through gene expression, I won’t go into too much detail about this one as it is complicated to understand, suffice to say that it works to control inflammation through the immune system. Some caution needs to exercised with cinnamon though as it can be toxic in high doses (over 5 grams a day).
Possesses anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, analgesic, antipyretic, anticancer, and antitumorigenic properties. It contains a multitude of potential bioactive agents that may contribute to health promotion, including flavonoids, phenolic acids, catechins, and several phenylpropanoids.
These spices are all relatively cheap when bought from “Spice Wholesalers” these wholesalers supply restaurants with kilo or pound lots of spice, currently in Australia a kilo or two and half pounds of Turmeric or Cumin costs around twelve dollars. Raw Cacao powder retails in health food shops for 30 dollars a kilo, I buy 10 kilos from the wholesaler for 18 dollars a kilo. The Best Spirulina I’ve found is “Now Foods” from Iherb.com and the cinnamon and Allspice can be had in sufficient quantity from the supermarket spice section.
How does all this come together? In a shaker bottle with milk, pour a cup or two of milk into the shaker, grind about half a teaspoon of Black Pepper, add a couple of shakes of Cinnamon and Allspice, then a heaped teaspoon of Turmeric, a heaped teaspoon of Cumin a heaped teaspoon of Spirulina and a heaped desert spoon of Raw Cacao powder, shake it up and drink it.
There you have it a very powerful anti-inflammatory drink that will aid you in healing, and recovering from injuries and everyday stress. If you drink a post workout protein drink then this is an ideal place to add these things to and twice a day is a very effective regime.
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