Hidden chronic inflammation underlies almost all chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, rheumatism, arthritis, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s. We don’t see or feel them until our immune system is so weakened—or just so overstimulated—that they seek out our weaknesses and then start doing real damage. You can “treat chronic inflammation” with all kinds of delicious products from your kitchen. Discover my ten favourites.
Antibiotics help to get rid of harmful bacteria
Antibiotics are substances against infections in your body, which arise because bacteria have entered your body and cause damage there. We call that inflammation. If you have little resistance, it is difficult for your body to fight this infection itself. Antibiotics occur in nature, but of course the pharmaceutical industry has also made medicines from them. These can be life-saving, such as with severe pneumonia. They are prescribed by doctors for various inflammations or infections. Antibiotics do not work against viruses, only against bacteria.
Disadvantage: your intestinal flora in complete chaos
There are a number of drawbacks to using antibiotics in the form of a drug. First, bacteria can become resistant to an antibiotic (antibiotic resistance). This means that the bacteria are no longer sensitive to the antibiotic and it therefore no longer helps to fight the bacteria.
Second, antibiotics work to kill the bacteria, but they cannot distinguish between good and bad bacteria. In your gut flora, which is home to billions of bacteria, this means that both the bad and the good bacteria are killed. This means that the bad bacteria can get the upper hand. This weakens your immune system, which can lead to all kinds of nasty new problems, including a candida infection that is common in women.
Restoring your intestinal flora can take up to four years
Research shows that after a course of antibiotics it can take up to four years before the intestinal flora has recovered (click here for more information about this study) . It is therefore advisable to be cautious with the use of a pharmaceutical antibiotic and to look in your kitchen cupboard in the event of a mild infection to see if there are any natural antibiotics available. With all the drug use, we would almost forget that nature has given us many excellent medicines that we can use daily against hidden, chronic inflammation in our body.
Ever wondered why you get pickled, raw ginger with sushi? It seems that this is an old tradition to protect yourself in advance against possible food poisoning due to eating spoiled fish. There are many studies that have shown that fresh ginger acts as an antibiotic for all kinds of food poisoning such as salmonella. Ginger is also recommended if you are seasick, carsick or nauseous due to pregnancy.
Ginger stimulates the production of stomach acid and has an anti-inflammatory effect thanks to the substance gingerol. Add pieces of fresh ginger to your juices, smoothies, tea or just in hot water. I use a separate garlic press as a ginger press to add it to many different dishes.
Garlic has been used for centuries as a medicine in all kinds of cultures. Next to ginger, garlic is one of my favorites. Crushing a clove of garlic sets off a whole chemical reaction. The substance alline is then converted into allicin that is active against bacteria, fungi and viruses. It can even bind heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, making it possible to remove them from your body. Garlic acts as a prebiotic and helps you to maintain a healthy intestinal flora.
Research shows that cancer is less likely in people who regularly eat vegetables from the garlic family. It’s best to crush one or more cloves and let them rest for ten minutes before further processing. The substances can then come into contact with each other and become active. Make tea from them, eat them raw or use them in lightly cooked food.
3. Onions and shallots
When I was a child I couldn’t sleep because of a stuffy nose, my mother would put a cut onion next to my bed. I still do it and it really helps! Onions have an anti-inflammatory effect and could even combat rheumatism. Rheumatism is a form of inflammation so that makes sense. Onions also have many other healthy properties: they contain a lot of antioxidants and vitamin C.
They can lower your blood pressure and have been used in the treatment of various lung diseases such as bronchitis and asthma. They make bacteria in your mouth harmless and contribute to stronger bones and connective tissue. Use onions extensively in all kinds of dishes. Red onion and shallots are more accessible to eat raw.
4. Raw honey
Dark raw honey, which has not been heated, has powerful bacterial properties. It is used all over the world to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries. It works well on wounds on the skin, including burns and blisters, but also clears your mouth of bacteria and can stop gum disease and reduce plaque. The best honey seems to be the (expensive) Manuka honey from New Zealand. A lot of research has been done on this and it is effective in various infections and inflammations, including the troublesome Helicobacter Pylori bacterium.
5. Ceylon cinnamon
At the time of writing this article, the US National Library of Medicine contains no fewer than 116 review studies on the effects of cinnamon on our health . The best-known health benefit of cinnamon is that it helps to stabilize your blood sugar level, so that it helps to recover from type 2 diabetes. It is important to use the right kind of cinnamon. You can use it in many ways. Read more about cinnamon in this article: Cinnamon; let food be your medicine.
6. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has long been banned because the so-called saturated fat of coconut oil would raise our cholesterol levels and that would be bad for our heart and blood vessels. In addition, it would be fattening. We are now gaining new insights. First, high cholesterol is not so bad for our heart and blood vessels, which do suffer from a high intake of sugar and fast carbohydrates.
Secondly, coconut oil is a separate type of saturated fat (with medium-chain fatty acids) so that it gives energy, but does not make us fat. The lauric acid in coconut oil fights bacteria, fungi and viruses and supports your intestinal flora. You can eat it or put it on your skin. Coconut oil is fine for frying and can be heated well.
7. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper (the ground powder of hot red chili peppers) has also been used for thousands of years for its anti-inflammatory effects. We now know from research that it is indeed a natural antibiotic. The active ingredient in cayenne is capsaicin, known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Capsaicin helps to thin nasal and pharyngeal mucus so it can be drained. So good for a cold.
It also seems to work well for a throat infection caused by streptococci. Cayenne pepper increases the release of digestive juices in your stomach so that food can be better digested. In this way it contributes to a better immune system. You can mix half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper with hot water. Add some grated ginger, lemon juice and/or honey to taste and drink it as a tea.
8. Turmeric or Turmeric
Turmeric, Curcuma, Kunjit, Turmeric or Tarmeric: different names for the root of the Curcuma Longa that was valued in ancient Chinese medicine for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. It is related to the ginger. It can be used both internally and externally for rheumatic complaints, stomach, intestinal and cardiovascular diseases. Remember that cardiovascular disease is an inflammatory disease. It also has an antibacterial effect on stubborn bacteria. The active ingredient is curcumin; a powerful antioxidant. Like ginger, turmeric is extremely interesting in the prevention and fight against cancer.
It is discussed in the book Food Against Cancer by R. Beliveau and D. Gingras; two oncologists . Use turmeric along with fresh black pepper to aid absorption. Use it extensively in all kinds of dishes and sauces and regularly add a teaspoon to your vegetable smoothie.
Oregano is also called wild marjoram or marjoram. They are all related, but wild Marjoram (Oreganum vulgare) has a more powerful effect. Like other lip flower herbs (such as thyme, basil, rosemary and mint), it is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial and active against parasites. Like ginger and turmeric, it fits into the list of herbs and spices with anti-cancer properties. The essential oils in oregano contain thymol and carvacrol which have strong antifungal and antiseptic properties.
You can use it for a candida infection. It is an herb that can provide relaxation and it is a good antioxidant. Use it extensively in your kitchen alongside the other Provencal herbs. If you really want to use it therapeutically, choose therapeutic wild oregano oil with at least 70% carvacrol (not suitable for pregnant women).
Cloves I remember well from when I once had a severe toothache as a child and had to wait until the dentist had time for me. My mother gave me a clove to press firmly on the sore tooth. It is therefore a potent infection fighter in root canal treatment. The active ingredient euganol has an antiseptic effect. Like oregano, the effect is more powerful if it is made into a concentrated oil. It seems that dentists still use it, but it also works against fungi and fungal nails.
Cloves have a specific taste that you don’t want to show in all dishes. Clove powder is easier to use in soups, spicy bean dishes and even in carrot cake.
My magic potion
When I saw this list, I came up with the following magic potion: mix half a teaspoon of cinnamon with a teaspoon of honey and mix it with some water to form a paste. Add some pieces of ginger and generously pour hot or lukewarm water over it. Top it off with half a teaspoon of coconut oil. When I feel a cold coming on I drink this and put half an onion next to my computer. Most of the jitters in my nose and throat disappear like snow in the sun. What will your magic potion be?