Topical Herbs You Can Use To Relieve Pain From Inflammation

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A collection of herbs that you can apply topically to relieve pain from inflammatory conditions such as atopic dermatitis, eczema, acne and more

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Presentation Transcript

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Patchouli Image From Kenraiz

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Topical Herbs You Can Use To Relieve Pain From In- flammation When my son was just over a few months old he developed this patchy-looking blis- ter-like rashes. It started from his ears then spread into his face and then into his arms. It was very itchy for him and he would scratch them every chance he gets. When we took him to a dermatologist she suggested a skin test and we agreed as my son was very uncomfortable with the condition which later turned out to be atopic dermatitis. Learning the hard way that chemical is not always the way to go That skin test was painful as he had to be pricked by several needles so the doctor can know where he’s allergic to. It was heartbreaking to hear his painful cries. But we thought that was the only way we can help him heal. Unfortunately back then I had always relied on the chemical ways of healing. If I have known back then that this one topical herb would heal him I wouldnt have agreed to that skin test and all the chemi- cals the physician prescribed to us. Trial and error with herbal topical agents Not all topical herbal agents would work for your case. Like for us we have tried a few topical herbal preparations before we found one that works for our son. It’s all worth it though as these herbal alternatives are free from the chemicals that can harm our bod- ies. If you can find a local store specializing on making these topical herbs they can be affordable too. And of course there’s the option of making your own with tons of re- sources online it wont be as difficult to do so.

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1. Licorice Root Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Eczema and Psoriasis Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: Licorice root has many uses as a sweetener for candies or even as a flavoring for tobaccos. The main active compound of licorice though is called glycyrrhizic acid and most of its health benefits are attributed to it. But there are also secondary active compounds such as liquiritin and liquiritigenin which help to modulate the inflammation pathway. They work by inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-A IL-1B and IL-6. They do so by blocking the COX-2 pathway as highlighted by this study. Licorice root is usually advertised as more effective for inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. Availability: Licorice root is available in both tincture and gel preparations. The tincture preparations like this one from Amazon can be used both orally and topically. It’s harder to find pure licorice root in its gel form. You would usually find it in combination with other ingredients. In Amazon there are a few serum preparations of licorice root as well.

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2. Yarrow Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Injuries Menstrual Cramps and Arthritis Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: Yarrow is an underrated yet all-around herbal reme- dy for acute types of inflammation. According to Matthew Wood a registered herbalist yarrow works by decongesting the blood allowing for the free flow and therefore re- duction of inflammation. This herb has many compounds but its main ones are artemisia ketone camphor linalyl acetate and 18-cineole. According to this study these compounds down regulate the COX-2 pathway along with the following cy- tokines: TNF-A and IL-6. Availability: Yarrow extract is available in many forms but the most popular is the liquid extract form or tincture. As mentioned above this form can be used for both oral or topical administration. There are also some other topical forms such as oils and creams. Gel forms are also available but there are added ingredients such as hops and lemon balm.

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3. Calendula Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Injuries and Eczema Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: Now calendula is one of the herbal topical agents we used for our son’s atopic dermatitis. It did help in lessening the itchiness of his al- lergy then but it was not able to fully heal him. It also helped in minor scratches and in- sect bites as evidenced by my son’s cousin who had always used calendula cream when he was younger. The main anti-inflammatory compounds of calendula are ter- penoids. The specific terpenoids vary depending on the type of calendula plant. They work to stop inflammation by inhibiting the NF-KB pathway therefore inhibiting the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Availability: The best feature of calendula is its worldwide availability. The most com- mon form is cream which was the type we used. There are also topical preparations that are made just for a baby’s sensitive skin. For adults there are oil preparations that you can try. Other forms such as salve lotion and ointment are also available in the market.

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4. Patchouli Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Bacteria or Infections Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: Patchouli is a known essential oil because of its strong but relaxing scent. According to Dr. Sara O’Connell patchouli is effective for a number of inflammatory conditions such as aching joints or even wounds because of injuries. The main compound of patchouli is called β-patchoulene. In this study it was found that this compound inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-A IL-1B and IL-6. It can also down regulate the COX-2 pathway and NF-KB pathway. Availability: Patchouli is available mainly in the essential oil form. You can also find it in the body oil form which is suitable for those who have mild to moderate pain. For those suffering from wounds they can opt for the soap version of patchouli just to aid in the cleansing and healing of the wound externally.

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5. Orange Oil Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Skin Conditions and Bacteria Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: Do not throw out those orange peels as this is where orange oil is derived from. The active compound of orange oil is d-limonene also found in the rinds of other citrus fruits. If you remember in our previous blog post d-limonene can help in the normal peristalsis of the stomach. But aside from that it can also help in reducing inflammation by inhibiting the COX-2 pathway. In a recent study it was also found that the other compounds of orange oil namely citral linalool decanal and valencene can inhibit the growth of bacteria. Availability: It is only available in oil form though you can choose from many types. The concentrated ones are usually the more preferred types. There are also massage oil aromatherapeutic and essential oil forms that you can try out.

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6. Witch Hazel Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Skin Conditions Like Acne Eczema and Irrita- tion Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: You might be familiar with witch hazel as it is a common ingredient in many astringent preparations that you see in pharmacies. This is because witch hazel contains tannins which are natural anti-inflammatory compounds. The other compounds found in witch hazel are hamamelitannins catechols and proan- thocyanidins which also help in suppressing the inflammation pathway. Specifically they block the formation of cytokine IL-8. Availability: As mentioned above witch hazel is available mainly in astringent or toner forms. These forms are suitable for those suffering inflammation caused by acne. Other novel forms are cleansing pads and sprays. Some brands also sell witch hazel as a salve which you can use for skin irritations or minor bruises.

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7. Arnica Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Arthritic Conditions Such as Gout or Os- teoarthritis Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: Arnica is another known name when it comes to topical herbal agents. It is found as effective as ibuprofen gel in patients with os- teoarthritis. The main active compound of arnica is sesquiterpene lactones which has very potent anti-inflammatory effects. It works by inhibiting the NF-KB pathway and sup- pressing cytokine production IL-1B IL-6 and IL-12. Availability: Arnica gel is widely available in pharmacies and online stores. Boiron seems to be a popular brand in the Amazon store. Other available forms are oil cream salve and spray. But the most studied form is the gel so if you want more potency and effectiveness then opt for this type.

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8. Aloe Vera Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Arthritic Diseases and Wounds Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: The gel part of aloe vera has potent anti-inflamma- tory effects because it contains a number of compounds such as sterols aloe resins and vitamins. As such the effect of aloe vera gel is quite enhanced. The main polysac- charide called glucomannan helps in collagen synthesis and increased wound healing. The newly discovered C-glucosyl chromone could be the most potent anti-inflammato- ry compound of the herb. And finally it also has very effective oxidant scavenging ef- fects which can help in keeping the skin younger and more supple. Availability: To soothe inflamed skin aloe vera gel is your best option. You can even put it on the fridge for a more refreshing effect. You would also find aloe vera toner preparations but in combination with other ingredients like witch hazel. For skin main- tenance there are also cream preparations for this herb. Or you can opt to extract your own aloe vera from the plant that’s a cheaper yet effective option.

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9. Coconut Monolaurin Useful For Inflammation Caused By: Eczema or Other Skin Conditions Anti-Inflammatory Compound/s: So last on this post is coconut monolaurin which as the name suggests is taken from the coconut fruit. Remember when I mentioned that we have to try various herbal products before we found one that works for our son Well this is that holy grail product for us for the atopic dermatitis of our son. Monolaurin is just one of the fatty compounds of coconut. It is a strong anti-bacterial compound as it can readily break down the membranes of bacterias. As patients with atopic der- matitis are prone to bacterial infection coconut monolaurin can help in bringing back the tone of the skin and also in moisturizing it. Availability: For my son we used the gel form of coconut monolaurin. You can also opt for the traditional coconut oil preparation since that is the readily available form. There are also soaps that you can use to help treat the skin condition and inflammation whilst bathing.

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The way to natural healing is not that easy You have to take many paths many diversions in order to find that rightful herbal rem- edy for your pain. Suffering from many painful nights even if you’re just a spectator to the one with the pain like my son. Fortunately we were able to find a natural remedy for his inflammatory skin disease. It worked slowly not immediately but the improve- ments were easily seen. Now he lives a life free from atopic dermatitis. And so can you to live a life free from arthritic pain or eczema it’s possible. We’re here to help you get to that rightful herbal remedy. No matter how long the journey is we won’t stop. So for our readers out there please share any other herbal topical agent that have helped heal your inflammation. We’d be glad to hear from you

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