Inflammation - What are anti-inflammatories?

What are inflammations?

Inflammations are all local immune reactions that cause reactions such as redness, swelling, itching or feeling of warmth in connection with harmful stimuli[1].

How do they develop and what happens when an inflammation occurs?

The causes of inflammation can be different, and need only exceed a certain inhibition threshold, which is different from person to person. Radiation, mechanical stimuli (friction, injury), chemical stimuli such as acids or bases, and allergens and microorganisms such as viruses or fungi can cause inflammation. The inflammation starts from the stimulus to reduce the blood circulation for a few minutes, then follows in the affected area hyperemia, over-circulation. The permeability, permeability, of the vessels is increased by messenger substances such as histamine, whereby plasma proteins penetrate into the affected area, where they initiate phagocytosis, and provide mast cells. In phagocytosis, foreign bodies are crushed and the affected area protected from them. Inflammation can be dangerous because it also destroys healthy tissue. Especially in pulmonary fibrosis or atherosclerosis this is life threatening[2].

What can be done against inflammation?

here are environmental influences, as well as medical remedies for inflammation. There are 4 groups of drugs.

COX inhibitors are substances that inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase, which is important for the biosynthesis of inflammatory mediators. COX inhibitors also have analgesic effects, e.g. the ibuprofen or aspirin. Side effects may include gastrointestinal ulcers or kidney damage.

steroids such as Cortisone bind to the same receptors as the inflammatory mediators. Side effects include e.g. Edema.

Immunosuppressants, of which there are many different, including the glucocorticoids. Effects and side effects are substance specific.

Cytokine inhibitors that inhibit the cytokines, the signaling substances. These are mostly proteins that block the respective receptors[3].

Local cold is considered anti-inflammatory as it slows down the metabolism and lowers blood circulation. In addition, UV light is said to help fight inflammation by contributing to vitamin D synthesis. There are special and very individual cures for this[4].

Are there anti-inflammatory substances in nature?

Yes, many plants have ingredients that are anti-inflammatory. These substances are used by the plant mostly to defend against foreign bodies and microorganisms. For example, The true sage as the main ingredient possesses α-bisabolol, and real arnica sesquiterpene lactones. Tinctures and creams often contain sage or arnica, and reduce redness, itching and swelling. Menthol acts e.g. Cooling and used against airway inflammation [5].



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