Inflammation: Muzzle This Silent Killer With Simple Whole Food Solutions
The enemy of your pet's health is chronic inflammation and it's at the root of most disease. Cancer, autoimmune disorders, organ failure, obesity and premature aging all have inflammation at the root of the cause. Fortunately, we have a powerful ally against inflammation residing in our organic garden. Through select foods and dietary adjustments, we can subdue this unruly beast and create a solid foundation for a healthy future. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, helping to heal damage throughout the system. And yet, this mechanism can lead to serious illness and death when left unchecked.
Poor dietary choices are the number one trigger for an exaggerated inflammatory reaction – especially CAFO meats, processed food, high-glycemic and processed carbohydrates. Poor-quality fats like those found in processed meat.
The pet world is suffering from an epidemic of both critical illness (CI) and chronic diseases (ChDs), and both groups of diseases increase from year to year, and have done so for several decades. (dating back to the 19 70's) It is strongly associated to the modern companion pet lifestyle: stress, lack of exercise, abuse vaccines & antibiotics, and the transition from natural whole food diet (unprocessed food) to processed, calorie-condensed, and heat-treated commercial pet foods.
There is a strong association between reduced intake of raw meat, unprocessed plant fibers, plant antioxidants and the increased consumption of industrially commercially produce processed pet food products especially kibble, canned meat, and starch products which all are known as potent inducers of inflammation, causing Chds.
A number of whole foods and herbs offer exceptional protection against inflammatory reactions.
Golden-hued turmeric is a great example. In laboratory tests, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are effective in mitigating skin, organ and neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and intestinal diseases.
Healthy fats are also important. As an outstanding source of omega-3 fatty acids, sardines, fish oil supplements, and wild-caught salmon, or vegetarian options like hemp seed, ginger, flaxseed and provide the building blocks for healthy inflammation levels.
Karen Lamphere, MS, CN, recommend a dash of heat. “Some of the most potent anti-inflammatory vegetables are peppers and the spices derived from them, such as cayenne pepper. All chili peppers include capsaicin, which is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.” Over and above dietary choices, reducing stress, detoxifying and exercising regularly contribute to lower inflammation levels too. In the end, sidestepping the risks of this silent killer is a straightforward daily task when armed with whole foods and healthy habits.
Here Are Some Whole Food Options That Work For Our Clinic
1. Boswellia: An anti-inflammatory remedy from the Boswellia Serrata tree that grows in India. Its boswellic acids are the source of its effectiveness. The acids improve blood flow to the joints and prevent inflammation in damaged tissue. The suggested daily dose is 225 to 375 mg.
2. Capsaicin: The active compound found within chili peppers. Capsaicin is often used topically for pain. It works by interfering with pain signals sent to the brain. It is typically available as a topical cream or gel. A recommended potency is 0.015% to 0.035% and is usually applied three to four times daily. Some individuals complain of stinging and burning upon their first few uses, however, this typically subsides with use and is not common.
3. Cat’s claw: Uncaria tomentosa, also known as una de gato, grows in South America. It is an anti-inflammatory that blocks the production of inflammation and pain producing hormones. Daily doses are typically 100 to 500 mg one to three times daily.
4. Curcumin: Curcumin is a component of the herb turmeric and is a potent painkiller that stops inflammation as well as a pain response. This substance is especially effective in treating rheumatoid arthritis. Take 150 to 300 mg of curcumin three times daily for pain and inflammation.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids: The omega 3 fatty acids are excellent anti-inflammatories that have proven beneficial for use against arthritis and other inflammatory joint and bowel conditions. Omega 3s also coat the cardiovascular system, healing the veins, arteries, and heart, which reduces cardiovascular risk. Omega 3s are particularly helpful with rheumatoid arthritis, which carries an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 fatty acids taken via fish oil are best consumed at 1,000 mg daily for proper effectiveness. Larger doses are also helpful with hemp seed oil being even more effective and containing Omega 3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. The usual 1,000mg also applies with hemp seed oil as well, however, any amount can be ingested as hemp seed oil carries zero side effects. This is not the case with fish oil which can cause allergic skin reactions in those who ingest either too much or for too long of a period of time. Naturally, we recommend hemp seed oil above all else.
6. White willow bark: The predecessor of aspirin. White Willow Bark contains salicin. Salicin converts to salicylic acid in the stomach. Being much less irritating to the stomach than the synthetic drug aspirin, White Willow Bark is a more natural and health friendly pain, inflammation and fever reducer. Use 1 to 2 dropper full of white willow bark tincture daily until pain, inflammation or fever subside. Please note that those with aspirin allergies will also experience those same allergies when using white willow bark.
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7. Devil’s Claw: Is a powerful anti-inflammatory and likely the most direct replacement for ibuprofen. However, it can be a bit powerful on the stomach just like ibuprofen and so drinking milk or some other protective substance with or prior to taking the capsules is highly recommended. It is however not nearly as hard on the stomach as ibuprofen and has none of the other side effects or long term damaging factors associated with ibuprofen – quite the opposite actually as it actually has many regenerative effects on the body. It is also highly effective and can be taken regularly without any harmful effects. Take 300- 450mg twice daily for effective pain relief.
8. Feverfew: Another powerful anti-inflammatory that also improves circulation to the joints, eyes, organs, etc while delivering effective pain relief. It has long been combined with Butterbur in a 50:50 ratio since Feverfew concentrates on the small internal tissues and fine circulation while Butterbur focuses on the muscles and larger more external tissues of the body. Take 350 – 400mg 3 times daily of Feverfew or half that amount when combining with Butterbur.
9. Butterbur: Another powerful anti-inflammatory that is taken in much smaller quantities due to it’s potency. It is also good in dealing with sinus troubles or other issues such as swelling and pain with mucous generating tissues. It has long been combined with Feverfew in a 50:50 ratio since Feverfew concentrates on the small internal tissues and fine circulation while Butterbur focuses on the muscles and larger more external tissues of the body. Take 75 – 100mg twice daily of Butterbur or half that amount when combining with Feverfew.
10. Arnica: Arnica Montana is a flower extract that has no known side effects. It is highly effective for pain relief, particularly for pain resulting from muscle damage, bruising or even arthritis. Since it is quite gentle on the system it has long been used to treat injured animals/pets for anything involving pain or inflammation. You will typically take 10C to 35C of Arnica depending on the severity of the pain or how widespread in the body.
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