Inflammation is a natural part of the healing process. Swelling and stiffness stops us from being able to move the injured part of the body as much as usual, which is the body’s way of naturally preventing any further damage.
The fact that the injured part of the body may feel warmer is due to increased blood flow to the area, which speeds up the metabolic rate of surrounding cells, helping them go into ‘repair mode’ more quickly. Placing ice on an injured part of the body actually slows down the initial part of the healing process. All of these reactions – swelling, pain, stiffness, heat etc.. – happen for a reason. Swelling and stiffness reduces movement in the area because it needs to stay still for a while in order to heal properly.
During the initial phase of an injury, the swelling and increased blood flow essentially ‘holds the area together’, while reticulin – a type of tissue which is produced to protect and hold together an area of broken fibres – is secreted quickly to hold the injured area together. Once the reticulin has been released, collagen fibres are then released to properly make the structure strong and stable again.
…. This all goes to show why over-use injuries are so common; the body needs time to heal. After all, it has to last a pretty long while….
While icing and elevating injuries is often advised – and is useful for breaking the cycle of chronic inflammation – it’s actually not a bad thing to let the body do its thing for a while to heal naturally. To help with the initial healing phase, this natural tonic is a brilliant aid in healing the body from the inside-out. It’s also perfect for drinking a couple of times a week in order to prevent injury in the first place, and to keep the immune and circulatory systems healthy.
Juice of ½ lemon and the skin (be sure to buy an un-waxed lemon for this, as the skin contains many more nutrients than the juice and pulp alone!)
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp black pepper
½ inch grated ginger
Optional tsp honey
Juice the lemon and pour the juice into a pan
Add all other ingredients including the skin of the lemon, and pour in ½ cup of hot water
Simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes
Take the Lemon skin out, and pour into a mug
Add a tsp of honey if needed to sweeten
A healthy outside starts from the inside….