X-Ray picture of human wrist

by Gardener

Often do I hear people say that they have an inflammation in their knee, their skin is inflamed or that CBD oil or some berries have anti-inflammatory properties. But, what does that really mean? What is inflammation?

A quick google search of the word “inflammation” shows a breadth and depth of this word that reaches way beyond berries, CBD oil, painful joints, or sore muscles for that matter.

“Inflammation (from Latin: inflammation) is part of the complex biological response of body tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants, and is a protective response involving immune cells, blood vessels, and molecular mediators. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, and initiate tissue repair.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflammation

From this intro text on Wikipedia, it seems like it is a quite complicated thing, involving different systems of the body. More than so, it is something the body does to protect. So it’s a good thing, isn’t it?

“a local response to cellular injury that is marked by capillary dilatation, leukocytic infiltration, redness, heat, and pain and that serves as a mechanism initiating the elimination of noxious agents and of damaged tissue”

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inflammation

Damn, this is even more technical, but it seems like inflammation is something good and protective. Let’s move on and see if there is something more digestible on the topic.

2 Ways To View Inflammation

A popular and accredited health web site called webmd.com writes the following in its opening paragraphs about inflammation.

“Inflammation is a process by which the body’s white blood cells and substances they produce protect us from infection with foreign organisms, such as bacteria and viruses. However, in some diseases, like arthritis, the body’s defense system — the immune system — triggers an inflammatory response when there are no foreign invaders to fight off. In these diseases, called autoimmune diseases, the body’s normally protective immune system causes damage to its own tissues. The body responds as if normal tissues are infected or somehow abnormal.”

https://www.webmd.com/arthritis/about-inflammation#1

Finally, something that most people can understand and relate to, but still nothing about berries or CBD. On the other hand, it seems to offer a broader picture than the previous examples. According to webmd.com, it is necessarily not a good thing. As it seems here, it depends on the circumstances.

This did somehow quench my thirst for gaining some clarity about the meaning of the word. It also seems to shed light on the more complicated descriptions that I first came across. However, I would still like to see if I only searched the word “inflammation”, if anything regarding berries or CBD and their claimed anti-inflammatory properties would pop-up.

The following is what livescience.com, a commercial banner cluttered website had to say about the thing

“Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system’s response to injury and infection. It is the body’s way of signaling the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue, as well as defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. Without inflammation as a physiological response, wounds would fester, and infections could become deadly. However, if the inflammatory process goes on for too long or if the inflammatory response occurs in places where it is not needed, it can become problematic. Chronic inflammation has been linked to certain diseases such as heart disease or stroke, and may also lead to autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. But a healthy diet and lifestyle can help keep inflammation under control.”

https://www.livescience.com/52344-inflammation.html

It seems like I won’t be getting my berries. But if I lower my standards a little, they do mention diet, which berries and CBD oil can be a part of, as factors to keep inflammation at bay. Additionally, livescience.com, do offer a definition that goes well together with the rest I have found.

Therefore, it seems, at least on the surface, like there is an agreement when it comes to the meaning of the word. A meaning that supports what one usually hears from people about inflammation. 

“Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system’s response to injury and infection.

So, what would the point be of knowing that or me writing about it for that matter? Well, if other things about inflammation interest you? Especially, more than my obsession with finding out if berries or CBD have anti-inflammatory powers. There are things about this thing called inflammation, that impact our lives more than one can imagine.

Allow me to give you a taste of things to come and of the impact and the depth of the subject from the following by Tony from guysandgoodhealth.com

“Inflammation in the brain may be more widely implicated in dementias than was previously thought, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. The researchers say it offers hope for potential new treatments for several types of dementia. Inflammation is usually the body’s response to injury and stress – such as the redness and swelling […]”

Read the full article via Inflammation in the brain linked to several forms of dementia–Study — Tony

Cover photo by Cara Shelton via Unsplash