Inflammation is the body’s response to damage of tissues. If an injury occurs the body will attempt to repair the damage by sending more blood into the area. The blood carries scar tissue-forming cells, oxygen and nutrients necessary for repair and is therefore a good thing’. Unfortunately, the increased blood flow puts pressure on the nerves, which are already injured, and therefore the inflammation is painful. In severe injuries there will be a reflex reaction of a severed artery to close off, in which case inflammation does not take place and eventually gangrene sets in.

Inflammation is controlled by the nervous system, which opens or closes blood vessels by a reflex action that may include pathways through the spinal column. The nerves are stimulated by special tissue factors that are released from damaged cells and also by chemicals released from white blood cells that are pulled into the area by the initial nervous reflex. Orthodox drugs generally work by closing down the blood vessels or blocking the chemical reactions of these tissue factors or those within the nervous system.

The orthodox world considers only the symptoms and therefore does its best to suppress inflammation. There are a myriad of lotions and potions that pronounce themselves anti-inflammatory, ranging from aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to steroids. Topical creams made from these drugs are also freely available. These treatments have their place when pain is unbearable but they are, in principle, slowing down the healing process.


Inflammation is a healing process and should not be suppressed unless out of control. The holistic principle of encouraging the process will lead to a speedier recovery in most cases. This advice must be ignored if the inflammation is of a major organ such as the brain (ie meningitis) heart or kidney. Application of ice in a flannel or cloth will relieve symptoms but will not prevent the purpose of inflammation.

Arnica creams for deep tissue inflammation, Calendula cream for skin reactions and Urtica creams for very superficial inflammation can all be used.

Reference to your preferred homeopathic manual and the selection of a remedy based on the predominant symptoms can be made, with special attention to Apis, Belladonna, Rhus toxicodendron and Urtica urens.

Persistent inflammation can be treated with high-dose vitamins and herbal remedies, but should be done under the guidance of a complementary medical practitioner.