Inflammation can operate undercover, without obvious symptoms.

It can exist absolutely everywhere, showing up as a symptom for everything from fatigue, depression to osteoarthritis. But unlike some other symptoms, inflammation is invisible. You can suffer from it for years without even knowing! Let’s go over what inflammation is, how to recognize even its subtlest signs, and some tips and tricks to help make it go away.

What Is Inflammation?

First, let’s go over what inflammation actually is.

There are two different kinds of inflammation: the good kind and the bad kind. The good kind is actually a response from your immune system to an infection or injury.

When your immune system detects a threat to your body, it sends out antibodies, proteins, and oxygenated blood to the area of injury or infection to help heal it, and s soon as the injury is healed, the inflammation goes away.

The bad kind of inflammation is chronic inflammation. Sometimes, after the inflammation is no longer needed, it stays anyway. That leaves your body in a constant state of low-level stress and over time, that will start to damage your cells and body tissue. Chronic inflammation is the cause of many diseases.

Some people with autoimmune diseases also struggle with inflammation because their body will mistakenly attack itself. Pollution and exposure to dangerous chemicals has also been known to cause chronic inflammation, and so does smoking and eating or drinking certain foods and beverages. Some viruses cause post viral syndrome which is a chronic low grade inflammation.

Western doctors only look for inflammation in the most obvious symptoms, like:

  • The area feels warm
  • The patient is in pain
  • The skin around the affected area is red and swollen
  • The area (foot, hand, etc.) can’t function normally

But those aren’t the only signs of inflammation. In TCM and eastern medicine, we look for and treat more subtle symptoms of inflammation.

4 Subtle Signs Of Inflammation

Excess mucous

If you’re clearing your throat frequently, it could be a sign that you’re dealing with inflammation. 

Inflammation of the mucous membrane in your nose, throat, or sinuses, feel sort of like a permanent sinus infection, but even without obvious sinus infection, there can be hidden inflammation causing post nasal drip. Your only symptom may be clearing your throat ever few minutes.

 Chronic fatigue

Do you feel like no matter how much you slept the night before, you’re still always tired? Fatigue and low energy in spite of adequate rest could be inflammation. 

Inflammation sticks around even though it’s not needed, is going to use up a bunch of your energy, and there is a strong links between chronic inflammation and chronic fatigue.

Digestive problems

Symptoms like bloating, cramping, constipation, and diarrhea could be signs that there’s inflammation in your digestive system. At least some chronic inflammation starts in the gut, and that inflammation may be linked to other chronic diseases. Some people call this “leaky gut syndrome.” 


Do you feel like your brain is in a fog and that you just can’t concentrate or remember normal things? This is due to a low-level brain inflammation that literally makes it harder for you to think.

Herbs can help

Eastern herbs can treat chronic inflammation, and herbs such as Dang Shen, Huang Qi, Gan Cao, Dan Shen or Yu Jin may be used in combination.

Dietary changes

It is almost always necessary to make dietary changes, sometimes radical changes for a few months is needed, and you can work with your acupuncturist or naturopath to formulate an anti inflammatory diet. In some cases an elimination diet is needed for several months to identify trigger foods.

Anna Bäck L.Ac. Dipl.O.M.

We can help

Finding the right combination of herbs can be a daunting task, we are here to help with both selection, and sending the perfect blend of herbs in an easy to take capsule. Instead of 10-20 different supplements, we can create a herbal formula, tailored for you, in one easy capsule.

The role of medicinal mushrooms

Mushrooms are nature’s miracle, and just like Chinese medicine herbal medicine, mushrooms can help regulate a chronic reactive immune system, clear brainfog and fatigue, and balance the gut microbiome.

Medicinal mushrooms have properties that are:

  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Anti-tumor
  • Anti-viral
  • Hepatoprotective (protective of the liver)
  • Immunomodulating

Paul Stamets has spend decades providing quality research and literature on the science behind consuming medicinal mushrooms as supplements and teas, and today there is also a vast library of high quality studies documented proving the benefits of mushrooms in the use of immune support, brain health and microbiome support, all the areas that take a hit in post-viral syndromes such as longhaul covid, ME, and more. The proof is already clear, nature does it best. Medicinal mushrooms belongs to categories of herbal medicine classified as nootropic and adaptogens.

Dr Anna Bäck

The microbiome

The human body is said to consist of “more microbiome than human cells”. What is meant by this is that there are over 370 trillion viruses living in a symbiotic relationship with over 50% beneficial bacterial cells in the body, in addition to beneficial parasites and fungi. There are times when the microbiome suffers loss of beneficial bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites, and post viral infection is one such time. When the body fights a pathogenic virus, the microbiome begins to deplete its diversity and count. The body has natural reserves to replenish it microbiome’s diversity, for example the appendix supports the repopulation of beneficial gut bacteria post illness. Sometimes the body can’t restore the gut biomes diversity without help, and if we fail to replenish the healthy bacteria etc., a group of biome isolates that are NEITHER beneficial not harmful can increase in numbers in place of the beneficial gut biome. This is a leading cause of chronic imbalances and can be thought of as the “root cause” of many chronic illnesses such as chronic digestive symptoms, brainfog, and fatigue. Chronic inflammation is kept in check naturally by a healthy microbiome.

Make probiotics and prebiotics the main part of your body’s natural defense.

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