Category Archives: inflammation
One of my favorite aids to use during cold and flu season is my formula for “Super Tonic.” Super Tonic is a combination of herbs and vegetables known to have properties that include being antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, cleansing, immune-boosting and more. The beauty of Super Tonic is that it can easily be made at home by anyone. You can make a batch in the fall and it will keep well until spring. If you need more, you can whip up a new batch in no time at all, or simply add a bit of each ingredient to the existing jar and top with more organic apple cider vinegar. This formula is gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free, and is free of the top eight allergens.
There are a wide variety of ways to use Super Tonic. Some people take between a teaspoon and a tablespoon daily, while others only use it while fighting a cold or flu. People who take it while battling a virus take anywhere from one teaspoon every four hours to one tablespoon every two hours. Some people make the mixture and then use the liquid as a spiced vinegar in salads, salad dressings and more. Others use it as a meat marinade. There are obviously a wide variety of ways Super Tonic can be used, many of which fall far outside the realm of using it to boost immunity and increase wellness.
My formula for Super Tonic follows. The beauty of this formula is that it’s very forgiving. You can use more or less of every ingredient and still have great results. The only requirement is that the organic apple cider vinegar completely cover all the veggies.
Good Works Super Tonic Ingredients (All ingredients are organic)
3 inches of ginger root
3 inches of horseradish (Look for at farmer’s markets if you cannot find it in your local grocery)
1 full head of garlic, all cloves peeled
1 small red onion
2-4 cayenne peppers (other hot peppers may be substituted if needed; vary quantity to adjust taste)
1 quart of organic, apple cider vinegar with the mother
3 inches of turmeric root
3 tablespoons whole cloves
3 tablespoons Manuka honey
- Chop all ingredients into small pieces
- Place in a food processor and cover at least half way with organic apple cider vinegar
- Pulse until ingredients are uniform in size, then process for at least 60 seconds. Transfer to a quart Mason jar.
- Completely cover ingredients with organic apple cider vinegar.
- Can be used immediately, but will have stronger effects if mixture is allowed to meld 2-3 weeks.
That’s it! If the flavor of the straight Super Tonic is too strong, feel free to make a tea out of it by adding 1-2 tablespoons to a cup of hot water. People rave about its ability to slow coughing and clear stuffy heads.
Do you make your own Super Tonic? What’s your favorite way to use it?
I’m going to write a quick post about inflammation because so many myths exist about it. To do the topic of inflammation justice will require multiple posts, so I will focus on what inflammation is and bust several myths in this post. Please read Easy Ways to Avoid & Reverse Inflammation for tips on addressing inflammation. The following myths exist about inflammation:
- Inflammation is Always Bad: The truth is that inflammation is vitally important to survival. Inflammation is a protective response to cellular damage and we could not live without it. Inflammation serves to set off a cascade of healing processes that result in faster healing and which actually protect tissues … at first. If left unchecked, inflammation ultimately leads to cell death, but is essential for healing in its early stages. Inflammation is typically a response to invading bacteria, viruses or allergens; infection; irritants; toxins; trauma or injury to tissues or cells; etc. Inflammation sets off a cascade of reactions and serves to increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to cells, increase fluid levels in cells in order to dilute toxins affecting the cells, increase the permeability of vascular tissues (blood vessels) so that the body’s protective antibiotic chemicals can more easily reach the affected cells, creates a network of fibers to trap invading pathogens; and sometimes creates pain to alert the affected person their body has a problem. Each of these processes is vital for healing, and each sends a signal that needs to be responded to immediately.
- Inflammation is Always Visible and Always Causes Pain:If you slam your finger in a car door, you can obviously see the inflammation in the swelling and redness the injury produces. This is called “Acute Inflammation” and is typically a temporary reaction to an injury or irritant. However, inflammation is sometimes invisible because it is internal and widespread. Internal inflammation often does not cause pain and therefore goes unnoticed until the inflammation has progressed to the point that it begins to affect cell function. This type of inflammation is often referred to as “Systemic Inflammation” and refers to inflammation that is internal (sometimes external) and which exists in many different body systems.
- Inflammation is Always Limited to One Body Part: As stated above, inflammation can be either acute (such as when you slam your finger in a car door) or systemic, meaning it affects the entire body, inside and outside, head to toe. Systemic inflammation is present in conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and has been implicated in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease and even insulin resistance leading to Type 2 Diabetes. (For information on blood tests that can identify these types of systemic inflammation, please read my post, Blood Tests Almost Everyone Should Request.
- Diet Has Nothing to Do with Inflammation: You know me well enough by now to know my response is that this is a myth. The fact is that many foods commonly eaten in the SAD (Standard American Diet) are highly inflammatory and some people are able to control and reverse inflammation using diet alone. Please note that the top three inflammatory foods (in my opinion) are white sugar, vegetable oils (corn, soy, safflower, etc.) due to their extremely high levels of inflammatory Omega 6 fatty acids, and refined grains. The top three anti-inflammatory foods are those high in anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, etc.), dark leafy greens, and cherries. People who are sensitive to night shade vegetables (peppers, potatoes, egg plant, etc.) often find that eliminating these foods dramatically reduces pain and inflammation levels.
Do you suffer from inflammation? How do you control it? What foods and lifestyle habits do you find either increase or decrease your inflammation and pain levels? Please share!