What is inflammation
The inflammation is caused by tissue damage and according to classical medicine is characterized by four attributes:
- calor - heat, increased temperature of the inflamed body part
- dolor - pain
- rust - redness of the inflamed body
- tumor - swelling
Damaged cells release inflammatory signaling molecules (histamine and prostaglandin) that lead to the expansion of the capillaries of the inflamed body. Histamine and prostaglandin also cause increased temperature and blood circulation (redness) of the inflamed body parts. These signal molecules also have two other effects:
- They invoke immune cells (leukocytes) into the inflamed body.
- It causes increased pain in the site of inflammation.
Biochemical nature of inflammation
The main part of the inflammation is white blood cells, mainly macrophages. The white blood cells adhere to the capillary wall and penetrate the damaged tissue. In organs where macrophages can not hold their cells (microglia). In a simple way, there are two important activities that are involved in white blood cell inflammation: (1) fighting infection and (2) communicating with other white blood cells.
Again simplified, NO synthase 2 (NOS2) , which produces disinfectants, mainly nitric oxide (NO) and oxygen radicals, is responsible for the infection. For communication, the enzyme cycloxygenase (COX) is responsible for the formation of prostaglandins and leukotrienes - immune communication molecules. The NOS2 and COX genes are controlled by a common controller called NF-κB (a transcription factor). Macrophages in inflammation, of course, solve other tasks, such as cleaning (phagocytosis of damaged cells and parts of tissue). In the lymph nodes, macrophages present the bacteria found for another immune response.
Anti-inflammatory drugs ( anti-inflammatory ) are divided into two main types: allosteric and gene-modulation . Allosteric medications include aspirin , paracetamol, ibuprofen, and similar analgesics that act directly on cyclooxygenase and thus turn off inflammatory immune communication. Genomic modulation drugs, on the other hand, act directly on the NF-κB controller, which controls the transcription of both NOS2 and COX in the cell. Genomic-modulating anti-inflammatory drugs include corticosteroids, ginseng and many other adaptogens.
When inflammation hurts
Inflammation is an effective response to injury and infection. Sometimes, however, inflammation is harmful. Malignant inflammation occurs, for example, in the case of cerebral and cardiac stroke , or alcoholic intoxication of the brain and liver . These inflammations are sterile (free of infection), and macrophages unnecessarily release reactive radicals (NO, superoxides ...) to fight infection. By inhibiting inflammation, we can greatly reduce tissue damage in both stroke and intoxication.
Another type of malignant inflammation is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is often sterile (noninfectious), for example rheumatic joint inflammation (rheumatoid arthritis) or autoimmune inflammation of other organs . However, chronic inflammation may also be infectious. Infectious chronic inflammation of viral or bacterial origin occurs when the immunity of the patient is not sufficient to complete the infection. While autoimmune inflammation is well suited to inhibit adaptogens, chronic infectious inflammation requires antibiotic therapy .
Pain in inflammation
Pain is one of the basic attributes of inflammation. Pain in inflammation serves simply to allow the damaged parts of the body to give peace. Pain relief usually means healing, so pain suppression is generally desirable. But keep in mind that pain is just a symptom. Pain should naturally disappear when the cause of inflammation is resolved.
The effect against inflammation is typical for adaptogens
Inflammation and pain associated with it is associated with most illnesses. It is no wonder, therefore, that the "panacea" has won the adaptogens that have the ability to dampen the inflammation. These include ginseng , which I am more interested in here. Its effects are scientifically proven and can be attributed to ginseng steroid glycosides - panaxosides. However, many other classical adaptogenes have greater or lesser anti-inflammatory effects. To prove that they are not superstitions or fabrications (as doctors sometimes think), I will introduce detailed gnosis for ginseng, which I leave for other adaptogens.
Why ginseng suppresses inflammation and pain
Ginseng glycosides (panaxosides) consist of a steroidal core (aglycon), to which several sugar residues are bound. Ginseng aglycon is called panaxatriol . Panaxatriol originates from panaxosides in the intestine by swallowing intestinal bacteria from the sweet sugarcane residues, leaving only a bitter aglycon which, due to its nonpolar nature, is easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Panaxatriol belongs to triterpenoids, or steroids. Some steroids are the body's own hormones, but panaxatriol belongs among phytosteroids (plant steroids) and does not naturally occur in our body. Ginseng and other vertebrates offer their phytosteroid as a drug acting on our own steroid receptors. Panaxatriol ginseng suppresses pain just like our corticosteroids. An animal, a bird, a lizard or a snake, who suffers a lot of pain for a long time in the woods, galloping and sapping some of his red berries and seeds, because the animals and the birds are lousy spitting. Panaxatriol from ginseng berries penetrates the patient's bloodstream and then (similarly to other steroids) penetrates the cell membrane directly into the nucleus where inflammation and pain stop inflammation by acting on the NF-κB transcription factor (see figure above). (This fact is proven by the Oh2004sog scientific study and many others.) The cured animal will remember the red berries well and will consume them even if they are not too sweet. The seeds will naturally get out of it, and further ginseng seedlings will grow in the remote place of the forest. (At least it was in the past.) Today, a gingerbread animal called a man comes to ginseng, instead of taking a few berries free of charge, pulling out a spade and a nice ginseng plant spraying the whole drug store, and taking the dug root into the city and exchanging it for a bunch of yuan. In a while, large sponges grow in the woods, and sick animals have to rely on less effective adaptogens, such as the Chinese leafy clown, which blooms and grows high on the tree floor and does not hold the drug store at the root.)
The effect of ginseng is a bit more complicated
If we put less emphasis on fun and more science, we will learn that ginseng contains much more medicinal substances than panaxatriol. As has been said, these substances are called panaxosides and are glycosides derived in part from panaxatriol and partly from panaxadiol , the second basic ginseng phytosteroid. Furthermore, panaxosides can be absorbed into the bloodstream even when they are not barked or bitten. One of the most abundant panaxosides in ginseng is ginsenoside Rb 1 , which is strongly anti-inflammatory. Its partially biting version is called compound K and is also strongly anti-inflammatory. The Park2005ieg study demonstrated that both inhibit NF-κB, thereby reducing the production of NO and prostaglandin E2 in activated macrophages. The effect of inflammation is also on ginsenoside Rc ( Yu2016grf ) and other panaxosides ( Kim2009grg ). Ginsenosides Rh 1 and Rh 2 according to Park1996gri and Park2003aag block the development of the allergic reaction and their anti-allergy effect is stronger than better than conventional anti-allergy. Against the inflammation, not only ginseng, but also ginseng and ginseng notoginseng ( Li1999aet , Jin2007iep ). Studies of Kim2010pfc , Yu2016grf , Shin2005egr and many others confirm the effect of ginseng on gastric inflammation (gastritis), liver inflammation (hepatitis), joint inflammation (arthritis), skin inflammation (dermatitis) and other organs. Studies on the anti-inflammatory effect of ginseng are large (more than 200) and can not all be reported.
The anti-inflammatory effect of ginseng is scientifically proven
Overall, it can be said that it is scientifically proven as much as possible that ginseng is effective against inflammation and pain . Ginseng is suitable for suppressing muscle pain after exercise and sports , for controlling inflammation of the liver in acute or chronic intoxication, for controlling inflammation in people with diabetes , for controlling inflammation of the brain in both stroke and stroke, for suppressing myocardial infarction in the same infarct as well as damping organ inflammation in autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis ). It is a pity that such a versatile medication faces mistrust, misunderstanding, and pre-colonial doubts. Similarly, there are other anti-inflammatory adaptogens.
Other adaptogens with anti-inflammatory effect
Ginseng - although an excellent medicinal plant - is not the only one among anti-inflammatory adaptogens. Anti-inflammatory adaptogens have often been so well known that they are called ginseng or are becoming part of our diet as spices. The first is the case of the vitae of snoring , which is called " Indian ginseng ". The other is a case of ginger and long-eared turmeric , which have become part of our diet as a spice, and that is why they are often consumed by those who do not even realize their healing effects . The mechanism of action of other anti-inflammatory adaptogens is often similar to ginseng. For example, vitania achieves its long-term effect by acting on NF-κB similarly to many ginsenosides ( Rasool2006irw , Grover2010ina ). The effects of ginger and turmeric against inflammation are discussed in Grzanna2005ghm , Bright2007cad and Lakhan2015zep . A very interesting anti-inflammatory adaptogen is also the Baikal Shihak ( Yoon2009aes , Dong2015bil ), whose flavonoids block the allergic reaction ( Jung2012aes , Bae2016bic , Shin2014ssb ), act against asthma ( Jang2012sii , Mabalirajan2013bra ) and soothe mast cells ( Hsieh2007bii , Shin2014pes ). Due to the correlation between inflammatory processes and cancerous growth, it is worth noting that the shihash is one of the most commonly prescribed anti-cancer herbal remedies.
The list of plants effective against inflammation does not end there. The anti-inflammatory is the Chinese Gentian , which, due to the content of phytosteroids, is called " female ginseng ", the " Ginseng for the Poor ", which offers anti-inflammatory effects at a lower price ( Xu2008tsw ), fetal arrow ( Mobasheri2012iih ), Pycnogenol Liu2016paa , Kolacek2013enp , Khan2013pmn , Fan2015par ), resveratrol from the grapevine ( Mobasheri2012iih ), the lotus sprout, the Kirilov hairline and many others. Not every anti-inflammatory plant is an adaptogen - for example, even an old anti-inflammatory agent, such as Vlachojannis2009sre, has significant side effects (stomach irritation) that have led chemists to process it to aspirin and eventually synthesize it.