What is Inflammation?
Inflammation is a natural defense of the body. This process takes place as a response to harmful pathogens or injury. There are two types of inflammation: acute and chronic. Inflammation is the general response of the innate immune system in a fight infection (pathogens, bacteria, and viruses), without which the infection will fester and the outcome will be deadly. When a pathogen strikes the body, the immune system sends an army of white blood cells, to surround and protect the area, which creates a visible redness and swelling. The five definitive signs of inflammation are redness, heat, pain, swelling, and loss of function (Latin rubor, calor, dolor, tumor, and functio laesa).
Inflammation is a consequence of injury. It plays a role in wound healing. It is a physiologic response of the body without which infection/wounds would multiply and maturate, could become lethal.
What are the types of Inflammation?
Acute inflammation is an immediate reaction of the body to stimulus such as injury (like when you cut your finger). The same process occurs during cold or acute infection. The body builds up mucus to suspend the infection to a particular site.
During acute inflammation, blood vessels dilate and the blood flow increases. Chemical mediators like cytokines are released by the damaged tissue as an emergency signal. This signal calls the immune system to horde white blood cells to the injured area. White blood cells encourage healing by suspending and killing the infection. This response causes the injured area to turn red and become swollen. In addition to cytokines, hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins are also released from the injured tissue. Prostaglandins create blood clots to mend damaged tissue. It triggers the pain and elevates the temperature of the injured part during the healing process. As the process ends, the body heals, the acute inflammation gradually sinks.
Chronic inflammation involves a progressive change of the type of cell at the site of inflammation. It involves synchronous destruction and repair of tissues from the inflammatory processes. The process occurs in response to the unwanted substances in the body, such as toxins or chemicals.
Prolonged inflammation is chronic inflammation. It can have long-term effects on the body. Chronic inflammation is also persistent and low-grade as it produces a steady, low-level of inflammation throughout the body, with a small rise in inflammatory markers found in blood or tissue. The white blood cells horde to a site have nothing to do with nowhere to go. Eventually, starts attacking the internal organs or other healthy tissues and cells. Chronic inflammation contributes to developments of disease like atherosclerosis, osteoarthritis, hay fever, etc. Diseases caused due to faulty lifestyle, deficient diet is contributors to chronic inflammation.
For example, heart disease and stroke are connected to chronic inflammation. Plaque formation inside the arteries is caused due to inflammatory cells. The cells stay for a long time in blood-forming plaques. The body perceives the plaque as an abnormal and foreign substance, so it tries to keep the plaque at one place i.e. inside the arteries. Due to this defense mechanism, the flow of blood to heart or brain is hindered and a clot formation begins which is accountable for the majority of heart attacks and most strokes.
Inflammatory markers: hsCRP test is a simple blood test that can measure C-reactive protein (CRP), which is an inflammatory marker, It is also used in arterial inflammation.
What are the causes of Inflammation?
- Foreign bodies (splinters, dirt, debris)
- Chronic diseases
- Immune reactions due to hypersensitivity
- Stress and faulty lifestyle
- Environment exposure to chemical irritants and toxins
What are the effects of Inflammation?
How effective are homeopathic medicines in treatment for inflammation?
Homeopathy is a holistic science and has been used widely in the treatment of many diseases. Inflammation is an innate process of the immune system against any foreign stimulus. The body usually recovers on its own but when the vitality is low the body requires some help to fight against infection, that’s when homeopathy comes in handy. External application: Topi Arnica tube is prepared from the flowering plant of arnica and contains 10% of Arnica tincture. Arnica is most commonly used to treat any inflammatory process due to trauma or injury. The homeopathic medicines can be given orally and the tincture is mostly used for external treatment of injuries, bruises, contusions, dislocations, hemorrhages, sprains. It is also effective in the treatment of aches and physical over-exertion. It reduces swelling and promotes local circulation. Effective in inflammatory myopathies and fibromyalgia. It is used as a pain reliever after the rupture of small blood vessels in the skin during an injury.
Active ingredients: pharmacologically active ingredients are Flavones and essential oils of the root. They are known to have an analgesic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This flower has been used since old times in conventional medicine as well as in homeopathy.
Indications: Inflammation caused by blunt trauma or injury, sore bruised muscles overstrained muscles, bruises, contusions, and sprains.
Directions for use
Dosage: The cream should be applied 2 – 3 times daily to the cleaned and dried affected areas. It should be applied by lightly massaging the skin. Avoid airtight materials in case of bandage. Daily changes of bandages are suggested.
Any contact with open wounds are to be strictly avoided.
Side effects: Infrequently, allergic skin reactions to hypersensitive patients are noted.
Contract-indications: Avoid using this product in patients hypersensitive to plants of the Arnica family.
Interactions: No interactions between Topi Arnica and other products to date.
Presentation: Schwabe’s topical Creams/ Gels in tube form of 25 g weight.