Inflammation is an important response your body makes to damage, bacteria and viruses, pollutants, and other hazards. It is a necessary process, without which our wounds would never heal, and a common cold would be a deadly disease. Nevertheless, this method of healing causes us pain by releasing enzymes called Cyclooxygenase 1 (COX-1) and Cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) which create the prostaglandins and leukotrienes that inflame tissue. In chronic inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, this constant pain and discomfort can be life-altering.
COX-1 and COX-2 play other roles in the body, which is why inhibiting these enzymes with over-the-counter or even prescription NSAIDs can be extremely harmful. The side effects of these medications can range anywhere from an upset stomach to a fatal heart attack. This is because COX-1 and COX-2, while causing tissue to inflame, also benefit our bodies in crucial ways. COX-1 keeps blood platelets from coagulating in the veins, thus preventing heart attacks. COX-2 produces a coating that protects the stomach lining from being damaged by stomach acid. Manufactured NSAIDS have also been found to accelerate the degradation of connective tissues, which over time can intensify or even cause arthritis.
It is clear that discomfort from inflammation needs to be treated in a natural way, as the side effects from synthesized NSAIDS can be so severe. Luckily, the Earth has many natural resources to safely block the discomfort caused by inflammation with no dangerous side effects, and even some added benefits! Two of the best natural pain relievers are turmeric and boswellia. Turmeric has been used for thousands of years as a delicious spice and a powerful medicine. Its active component curcumin works to modulate enzymes COX-1 and COX-2 instead of completely blocking them. In addition to regulating the inflammatory response naturally, it is also loaded with antioxidants, boosts brain function, and has even been found to prevent and slow some cancer growth. Boswellia, another ancient remedy, is a resin taken from the Boswellia serrata tree. It works in a different way, inhibiting leukotrienes that cause inflamed tissue, rather than inhibiting COX-1 or COX-2. It is especially useful for managing different forms of arthritis.
A combination of these plants is a completely natural treatment for discomfort caused by the inflammatory response. Although it takes longer to begin working in the system than artificial NSAIDs, the result is just as useful and considerably better for your overall health. While manufactured NSAIDs lead to heart attacks, stomach ulcers, and a breakdown of connective tissue in the joints, turmeric and boswellia moderate the enzymes that cause discomfort without disrupting the beneficial roles they have in the body. With the added benefits natural remedies provide, they should be the first medications to try when looking to manage inflammatory discomfort.