With all the negative talk around inflammation, it may be hard to imagine that it can actually be a force of good. When your body needs to protect itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria, or heal itself after an injury, inflammation occurs as part of the body’s immune system response. Inflammation’s job is to neutralize toxins at the site of injury or illness, returning the cells to “normal.”
But, as is true for most things in life, the concept of “too much of a good thing” rings true in the case of inflammation.
From physical damage to viruses, toxic exposure, allergens, or damaged cells, inflammation crops up for numerous reasons and in diverse ways throughout the body. Prolonged, aka chronic inflammation leads to healthy cells being damaged over time. This can then lead to tissue and organ damage, internal scarring, or DNA damage, all of which can contribute to disease.
Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are ways you can reduce inflammation in the body, fast. For starters, there are simple but effective diet and lifestyle changes you can make to combat inflammatory flare-ups. Plus, promising evidence suggests that CBD can result in a reduction of inflammation throughout the body.
Understanding Whole Body Inflammation
Differentiating Acute vs. Chronic Inflammation
Understanding the difference between acute and chronic inflammation is key in deciding how best to treat it throughout the body. Acute, or short-term inflammation, is temporary, whereas chronic, or long-term inflammation, lasts for days to years. Acute inflammation begins within seconds to minutes of the body's tissue being affected and is characterized by four main symptoms: increased blood flow causes redness, heat on the skin, swelling, and pain in acute situations. Think of a bee sting or an allergic reaction as examples. Loss of function, such as with joints, your senses, or altered breathing is another indication of acute inflammation.
Chronic inflammation occurs when your immune system is activated for too long, anywhere from days, to months, or years. The issues associated with chronic inflammation not only relate to the pain and inconvenience it causes in your life but also its potential contribution to the development of many diseases.
Common Causes of Chronic Inflammation
Sometimes, the body mistakenly perceives its own cells or tissues as harmful even when they are not. This attack on your healthy cells and tissue is considered an autoimmune disorder, such as arthritis or systemic lupus. Other common causes of chronic inflammation include continuous exposure to irritants like industrial chemicals, polluted air, or repeated episodes of acute inflammation.
The Aftermath of Whole Body Chronic Inflammation
Common symptoms of chronic inflammation include fatigue, depression or anxiety, and changes in weight. It's also common to feel pain concentrated in your inflammed lower back and joints. Persistent infections can also be a sign that your body is chronically inflamed. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and last for several months or even years. Sometimes inflammation can also be “silent,” without any noticeable symptoms, making it easier to overlook.
Learning how to reduce inflammation in the body is imperative because chronic inflammation can eventually cause permanent damage to healthy cells and tissues. The result of prolonged inflammation in your body can be severely detrimental and can lead to diseases such as cancer, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and dementia.
Strategies and Tools for Reducing Inflammation in the Body
Natural Solutions for Inflammation
Integrating anti-inflammatory natural supplements and food ingredients can help reduce the cycle of inflammation in your body. Some examples include:
CBD - So, how can CBD help reduce whole-body inflammation? First, we must explain that your endocannabinoid system is made up of cannabinoid-like compounds that interact with receptors to trigger and regulate certain functions, like pain and inflammation. The chief role of the endocannabinoid system is to maintain homeostasis, meaning that it keeps and restores internal balance in your body like when you experience pain, inflammation, or stress.
CBD's interaction with the endocannabinoid system makes it a natural anti-inflammatory and helps reduce the pain and discomfort associated with inflammation. Studies have found that CBD oil can reduce inflammation even in severe inflammatory cases like multiple sclerosis by reducing the activation of pro-inflammatory white blood cells.
Fish oil - Whether you choose to get your fish oil from pills or a delicious salmon filet is entirely up to you. Regardless, fish oil contains a high amount of beneficial omega fats that trigger an increase of specific molecules that help reduce inflammation throughout the whole body.
Leafy greens - Now, you have yet one more reason to make yourself a salad using spinach, kale, arugula, chard, and similar “greens.” Not only do they contain the same omega-3 fats as we previously highlighted, but also a powerful punch of vitamins A, D, E, and K, all which deliver their own anti-inflammatory benefits to the body.
Reducing Inflammation Using Exercise and by Limiting Negative Lifestyle Contributors
Regular exercise lowers markers of systemic inflammation by assisting in controlling weight, strengthening muscles, and reducing the risk of certain diseases. The key here is that participating in moderate-intensity exercise can enhance your immune system and its anti-inflammatory properties. However, take note, overdoing it with the intensity of your exercise program can actually make inflammation worse.
Another way exercise can help reduce full-body inflammation is by keeping your weight in check, as obesity is a negative contributing factor. Similarly, consider eliminating alcohol and smoking.
Healthy Sleep and Stress Management
Remember, your body is a singular entity, not a collection of independent parts. Therefore, if you fail to regularly get a good night’s sleep, your body operates at a reduced capacity, weakening its ability to keep excess inflammation at bay. Your emotional well-being can play a role, with multiple studies connecting anxiety and increased inflammation.
While there are many strategies to improve sleep and stress management, a particular tool worth highlighting for both is CBD.
CBD interacts with the cannabinoid and serotonin receptors in the body, resulting in a reduction of anxiety and stress without the side effects of prescription medications. Aiding in the relief of stress management and sleep, CBD is noted as an effective natural alternative to using prescription medication.
Medical Solutions for More Severe Cases
When prescribed in certain doses, steroids can help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms in extreme inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and asthma. Steroids offer anti-inflammatory properties throughout the body by suppressing the immune system. This can help control conditions in which the immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissues when people suffer from an autoimmune disease.
However, the list of possible side effects from taking steroids is very long, from causing high blood pressure and fatigue to increasing the risk of bone fractures and infections. On the same note, steroids are simply masking a problem, and not getting to the root of what is causing inflammation.
For short-term inflammatory issues, Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDs, such as Advil and Aspirin can help relieve the discomfort of inflammation and pain. NSAIDs prevent an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX) from making hormone-like chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are one of the body's biggest contributors to inflammation. Although the risks of most NSAIDs are less severe than taking steroids, there are still potential mild and severe side effects that can occur.
Reduce Whole Body Inflammation with Botanika Life
Choosing CBD products that contain safe and high-quality organic ingredients allows you to feel confident that you are helping to reduce inflammation without intaking synthetic chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers. Botanika Life is well known for its high-quality products, which all include clearly labeled ingredients that are third-party lab tested.
Elite Elixir - 1500mg of CBD for Full-Body Inflammation Reduction
With 1500mg of full-spectrum CBD and organic hemp seed oil, the Elite Elixir can be used sublingually and also topically to help reduce whole-body inflammation and relieve related discomfort. As a bonus, the elixir’s CBD can help ease anxiety and stabilize your mood, whether you’re getting in the right headspace for the day or winding down for the night.
Topical Solutions for Targeted Pain Relief
From pain relief rollers with lidocaine, and menthol, to cryo massage relief, Botanika Life CBD Pain Relief solutions combine CBD with lidocaine, arnica, menthol, and natural plant-based ingredients to reduce inflammation and provide relief to specific areas. While our diverse product offering fulfills a variety of needs, common uses include relieving bad knees, reducing muscle aches post-workout, and even reducing inflammation to lessen bruising.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Botanika Life’s collection of CBD Sleep Spra with Melatonin can help you feel more relaxed, making falling and staying asleep easier. By relieving insomnia due to pain or inflammation, the natural CBD sleep spray before bed can induce a restful night’s sleep. The result? Your body feels its best the next day, well-rested enough to keep inflammation in check.
By Emily Wegener
With a unique background as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Masters Degree in Teaching and experience in Psychology, Emily spends much of her time researching and trying out new holistic healing modalities.