Whether you’re suffering from a twisted ankle or osteoarthritis, you probably reach for ibuprofen when inflammation strikes. But did you know that there are more natural ways to deal with this unpleasant symptom?
Read on, as we explore two of nature’s most effective anti-inflammatories-CBD and Manuka honey.
What causes inflammation?
When tissues are damaged by bacteria, toxins or trauma, the damaged cells alert your immune system by releasing chemicals including prostaglandins and histamine. As a result, your immune system sends inflammatory cells and cytokines to heal the damaged tissues or capture any pathogens.
The problem with this response is that it sometimes malfunctions and fails to switch off. When this happens, your immune system sends white blood cells to attack healthy tissues and organs, leading to chronic inflammation. And if the inflammation is severe, it can even trigger degenerative diseases such as diabetes, coronary artery disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer.
How does CBD combat inflammation?
Several scientific studies have explored CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities, including one that involved applying CBD gel to rats with arthritis. The data resulting from this research showed that topical application of cannabidiol can significantly reduce both joint swelling and pro-inflammatory biomarkers.
According to researchers, there are two reasons why CBD has such an impact on inflammation. Firstly, it reduces the effect of proteins that are produced by our immune cells. Known as cytokines, these play a key role when it comes to initiating and resolving the inflammation process. 
Secondly, CBD combats inflammation in a similar way to NSAIDS such as ibuprofen. Here’s how the process works. When your body sustains an injury, an enzyme known as Cox-2 releases compounds called prostaglandins, which play a key role in the process of inflammation. If you take ibuprofen or CBD, this enzyme becomes a lot less active, and as a result, the production of prostaglandins is inhibited. (3)
While both Cannabidiol and ibuprofen are considered to be safe, ibuprofen sometimes causes unpleasant side effects, and long-term use can lead to serious conditions including stomach ulcers and high blood pressure.  So if you’re looking for a natural alternative with fewer side effects, CBD could be the perfect option.  Why not try Manuka Pharm’s soothing Rub Ease Gel, which blends high quality CBD isolate with natural anti-inflammatories like Manuka Honey and arnica?
Is Manuka honey equally effective?
Renowned for its healing properties, Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand, by bees which pollinate the flowers of the manuka bush. Modern studies have shown that this unique honey reduces inflammation by modulating the release of cytokines and removing bacteria that stimulates the inflammatory response.  It also reduces the amount of prostaglandin produced during the inflammatory process, making it particularly beneficial for wounds, as it quickly reduces pain and swelling. 
Manuka honey has the potential to treat inflammatory gastric conditions too, thanks to its unique combination of flavonoids, phenolic acids and water-soluble vitamins. For example, one rat-based study found that the honey was able to reverse inflammation in the gastric mucosa and promote the healing of chronic gastric ulcers.  Another study showed that Manuka honey can reduce inflammation in rats with both IBS and the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis. 
We still need to do more research to find out whether Manuka honey could help with a wider range of inflammatory conditions. But if you’re worried about inflammation this winter, it’s well worth exploring Manuka Pharm’s range of honey rich gels, oils, capsules and gummies.