Fight the Flames of Chronic Inflammation Part 2

In Part 1  we learned inflammation is the immune system’s “first response team” to a threat. Chronic inflammation is caused by a lack of the chemicals that clear away the battlefield area; thus, forcing the body to continue attacking when there is no threat. A proper lifestyle–with plenty of anti-inflammatory foods, and few pro-inflammatory habits–can prevent chronic inflammation by supporting the production of inflammation-clearing chemicals.

But, honestly, that may not be enough if you are starting late in the ballgame. Chronic inflammation is a serious problem that needs to be dealt with before it causes potentially fatal problems;  if you are coming from years of a pro-inflammatory lifestyle, you may need some extra support. Luckily, there is hope! It is found in the world of herbs. And the best part? Herbs are effective without damaging side effects that distilled and concentrated chemicals in conventional medications cause.

We will focusing on three incredible anti-inflammatory herbs today: Cordata, Danschen/Sage, and Eleutherococcus.

Cordata (or fishwort, or lizard tail, or heartleaf….don’t be scared off by the crazy names!) In China and Vietnam this is a common herb that is used in folk medicine and in everyday cooking. In the U.S., it is considered an invasive weed (hence, all the unseemly English names).

Cordata decreases levels of many pro-inflammatory chemicals that have been shown to perpetuate conditions such as psoriasis,  brain problems, arthritis, vision problems, and heightened effects of stress, when found in excess.

With some pro-inflammatory chemicals, the danger is depleting the supply with excess deployment. SOD, is one of the most powerful infection-fighting tools of the immune system; when the stock is depleted, the body is left vulnerable to huge number of diseases. Other chemicals in the body–with Vitamin C– make collagen for healthy skin and scar tissue. However, if not stopped in time, excess scar tissue can proliferate at the expense of forming youthful skin. Still more chemicals in the body cause inflammation by producing and sending white blood cells to a site where they are needed for defense. If there is no need, and they are not stopped, they will continue this process– needlessly wasting the immune system’s energy. Cordata decreases unnecessary deployment of each of these chemicals.

Cordata works well as an anti-inflammatory supplement in general, but it is specifically great for cases of chronic heart and lung inflammation that precede heart disease and lung cancer, respectively.

Danschen/Sage (tanshinone, red root sage) This not the typical Thanksgiving sage! Danschen is a very specific sage that works by “supervising” the genes to ensure an increase in the number of anti-inflammatory proteins, and a decrease in the number of pro-inflammatory proteins made when there is no threat present. It also increases circulation, allowing for pro-inflammatory chemicals to be moved away from sites where they have completed their jobs. (Note: because of increasing circulation, this is never to be used by pregnant women or women looking to become pregnant, as it may cause miscarriage.)

1,684 PubMed reports have confirmed that danschen is powerful in preventing tumor growth. (Why are we not hearing about this everywhere?) It is specifically great for treating those with pancreatitis, cancer, cardiovascular issues, cerebrovascular issues, and tissue damage caused by degenerative and traumatic conditions –as well as the associated inflammation that may linger after each!  It has significant anti-aging effects due to preventing the immune system from over-working itself at the cellular level.

Eleutherococcus (araliaceae, Siberian or Russian ginseng) If you were to be treated for cancer in Russia, you may be first treated with this highly prized and effective herb. It works on a cellular level to prevent the making of excess amounts of inflammation-causing chemicals.

In one study rats with atherosclerosis (hardening of the blood vessels and excess plaque in the blood stream, often caused by fatty and salty diets) had stunning decreases in risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s and other central nervous system diseases– as well as amazing anti-inflammatory improvements–after being given eleutherococcus for just one week.

It stimulates the production anti-arthritic chemicals. And in addition to being helpful in treating and preventing cancer, eleutherococcus is great at protecting the body from the cardiovascular effects of stress. It does well to treat and prevent coronary ischemia, PVD, and ED.

Cordata, danschen, and eleutherococcus are truly wonderful options for treating and preventing chronic inflammation–and there are many more options! Astragalus, boswellia, baical skullcap, and cat’s claw are incredible anti-inflammatory herbs.

Have you had any experience with any of these amazing herbs? Please comment and share! If you have any questions about herbs, feel free to comment or email me at


Jeanne D’Brant DC, DACBM, CTN, RH, Herbal Treatment of Inflammation, Part 2. Dynamic Chiropractic  Jul. 1, 2012;16, 22

Jung CH, Jung H, Shin YC, et al. Eleutherococcus senticosus extract attenuates LPS-induced iNOS expression through the inhibition of Akt and JNK pathways in murine macrophage. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Aug. 15, 2007;113(1):183-7.


~ by danclaps on July 12, 2012.

14 Responses to “Fight the Flames of Chronic Inflammation Part 2”

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