Stress Inflammation Pain, Part 1

I had just been to a Nutrition and Health Seminar at UCLA. This seminar inspired me to briefly talk about inflammation. But before we talk about inflammation, we must talk about stress.

Stress leads to inflammation. Now when most people think of stress, they think about emotional stress. But stress that leads to inflammation is not limited to emotional stress. For instance, when you drink too much, that is placing stress on your body. When you eat too much junk food, that is putting stress on your body. When you smoke, when you binge watch TV, when you sleep only two hours, etc. All of this, creates stress upon the body. And as stated before, stress leads to inflammation.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, inflammation is viewed as a heat issue. When one has inflammation, there is swelling, redness, and heat. This unmanaged heat tends to lead to pain. Why? Your body is working over time to make things better but because you’ve been taxing your body too much, it doesn’t know how to do it properly.

Have you ever been given too much to do at work with impossible deadlines? And when you thought that you were just managing it, work gives you another to add to the load. Anger is usually the first reaction. Anger is also a heat condition. Much like an angry, overworked employee, your body reacts in a similar fashion by way of inflammation.

Did you know that 117 million adults in the US suffer from one or more chronic conditions? Did you know that hundreds of billions of dollars are spent each year to treat chronic diseases? Did you know that the majority of chronic diseases are preventable? And did you know that chronic diseases are essentially inflammation?

117 million people in the US suffer from inflammation in the body. And most suffering from inflammation could have prevented it. How could we let this happen? It’s simple. Though we as humans have evolved slowly, technology has evolved at an incalculable rate. We must get things now. Whether it’s news or food, we must get it now. Patience has become a lost virtue. And because of this, we have lost the patience for our bodies to naturally heal itself. We look to “quick fixes”. Overweight? Take a pill for that. Have pain? Take a pill for that. Insomnia? Take a pill for that. These pills, though they help relieve ailments temporarily, they will not cure. Whatever you suffer from, will come back.

Throat Soothing Tea

When you have a sore throat and/or cough, having some soothing tea is the best! Below is a recipe for Asian Pear Tea. Asian pears are great for moisturizing the lungs and throat. So if you have a cough due to a cold or a chronic dry cough, this tea will soothe it gently.

Asian Pear Tea Recipe

1 Asian Pear (any pear will do but will not hold up as well as an Asian pear)

Water

Honey

Directions: Cut up Asian pear into one inch cubes and place in a pot. Pour enough water into the pot to cover the pear. Bring water to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Ladle liquid into a mug. Mix a tablespoon of honey. Sip carefully and enjoy!

Feel free to eat the cooked pear either in your the or separately.

When You’re Sick

As some of you may have noticed, I have not posted anything for a couple of weeks. I apologize for that. I have been quite under the weather. I write this while still battling a persistent cough.

Though I am not fully recovered, I have been able to continue working without any problems. Though rest is the best medicine, not everybody has the luxury to stay home until they feel 100% better. Below is a list of things that I do when I’m sick but need to keep on working.

Sore Throat: Acupuncture has been the best and quickest remedy. If you’re able to go to an acupuncturist, do so. Sore throats will go away that same day. But if you’re unable to go to an acupuncturist, there is always loquat cough syrup. Below is the picture:

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This syrup is based on a Chinese herbal formula and can easily be purchased at any Asian market (ex. 99 Ranch Market). It soothes the throat, helps with coughing and is also an expectorant. The best part is how good it tastes. It’s also safe for children to take in low doses.

Stuffy Nose: Steam is the best way to loosen up all the mucus in the nasal passages. Remember that scene in Crocodile Dundee when Mick Dundee unknowingly made a guy do a steam for his nose when in actuality the guy was doing drugs. Well, you’re going to do the same but without the cocaine. Fill a large basin/bowl with hot steaming water and add peppermint, eucalyptus and tea tree oil. Place a towel over your head to tent in the steam. Breathe the steam in. If you feel snot coming out of your nose, go ahead and not rocket into bowl and continue steaming. This really clears up the nasal passages while killing some germs. It’s also best to have a humidifier when you’re sleeping to things moist in your nose and throat. It also helps to have a cup of hot water with eucalyptus oil so that you can smell it throughout the night.

Headache: You would usually have a headache due to a stuffy nose. So do the above remedies. If it is due to a fever, put a cool compress on the head. But make sure it is not too cold.

Fever: Again, acupuncturist is the best way to go but if you, can’t cool compress. Lavender oil dabbed behind the neck also helps to cool things down. Another great remedy is to sweat it out. Drink some ginger and honey tea, wear sweats and wrap yourself with a lot of blankets, and sleep. If you start feeling hot and sweaty, it’s working. Make sure not to unwrap yourself because you don’t want to get chilly. After the sweating has stopped and your fever has broken, make sure to keep your head and neck covered to keep your body warm and protected.

NOTE! If you have a fever, stay home. You are contagious and will spread your illness to those around you. Even if you feel that you have no choice but to work, this is not the time to go to work. You must stay home!

While you’re sick, make are to eat warm and well cooked foods. This is not the time to indulge in any salads. Try my congee recipe for an example of warm and easy to digest food.

If you have any remedies that you use, please share it in the comments.