Despite the presence of 8 cranial bones that serve to aid in the protection of the most stress-vulnerable organ in the body, the brain is no stranger to injury. Be it a mild bump on the head or a blunt trauma with or without loss of consciousness, one thing is for certain: inflammation exists. It is imperative that any one who has sustained such an injury is seen by a health professional who is able to conduct the necessary exams to ensure one’s safety.
It’s common to later experience recurrent symptoms that either mirror the time of injury or are entirely new symptoms all together. From unrelenting headaches, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and disturbed sleep, all these fall under a complex disorder known as Post-concussion syndrome. The purpose of this article is to help you build your very own tool kit that can be used in both aiding the healing process and also reduce the frequency of symptomatic episodes.
- Vegetables and Fruits: High intake of plant foods are no longer questioned when it comes to lowering the risk of chronic disease; but can it be due to it’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects? ABSOLUTELY! Plant foods contain what’s known as flavonoids and it’s these secondary metabolites that inhibit pro-inflammatory mediators in the body.
- Curcumin: the primary and highly studied compound in the spice turmeric is curcumin. Many human studies have been done with curcumin but studies revolving around its use with traumatic brain injury not so much. Animal studies have shown that curcumin reduces inflammation in the brain.
- Chinese Skullcap: As one could imagine, any kind of trauma typically leads to a certain degree of blood flow compromise. This herb aids in circulation and enhances blood flow to the brain which can ease the concussion and also promotes a quicker and more optimal recovery. As a nerve relaxant, Chinese Skullcap works wonders for headaches.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Eicosapentaenoic acid and Docosahexaenoic acid better recognized as EPA and DHA are a must have in the tool kit. Especially as your body is in the process of healing. DHA aids in building the integrity of neurons and EPA suppresses the production of prostaglandins, which serve as contributors to the inflammatory process.
- Arnica Montana: Ahhh the tool kit must have! Arnica is the FIRST homeopathic remedy that comes to mind for acute head injuries. Today even surgeons are encouraging this homeopathic remedy post-operatively to aid in the healing process. Arnica is powerful in its ability to reduce swelling and reduce the onset of new symptoms following a blunt trauma.
- Essential Oils: The presence of good quality essential oils in ones tool kit allows for increased compliance especially with children. The aroma directly influences the part of the brain that is involved in emotional, psychological and physical responses. Lavender, Frankinscence, Cedarwood, and Vetiver are only a few powerful essential oils that have been shown to increase oxygen levels in the brain by up to 28%. Studies have also revealed the use of essential oils in reduction of anxiety. Whether you utilize a few drops in a bath, or mix 2-3 drops in an ointment the possibilities are endless and their effects.