Herbs can be subtle medicine, gently but inexorably changing the body on a cellular level. Some herbs and herbal formulas are fast-acting for acute conditions, and their effects can be felt right away. But the long-term, systemic changes brought about by herbal medicine are also powerful, and depending on the herb they can happen so gradually that we take them for granted or fail to fully notice how much better we’re feeling. As I recently learned, sometimes it’s the absence of an herb in my body that makes me realize all it has been doing for me all along.
If you are not familiar with it, Zyflamend is the New Chapter company’s best-selling product for many years. The blend of 10 herbs is an extraordinary anti-inflammatory for pain relief and the oxidative consequences of stress on the body, though its benefits are more far-reaching than that.
I began taking Zyflamend as part of my daily regimen a few years ago. Just a maintenance dose of 2 capsules a day to help with digestion, allergies, and deep-seated joint/muscular inflammation. As a high-pitta gal, I am prone to inflammation in mind and body, so I also take extra capsules “as needed” for anything likely to cause flare-ups: overheating, overdoing strenuous exercise, an extra-heavy or sugary meal, etc.
When I ran out of Zyflamend early this summer and was unable to get any for several weeks, I was given the opportunity to experience just how profoundly this formula has been helping me over the years.
Physically, I noticed:
- A marked increase in recovery time after physical activity
- An increase in joint and muscle pain, especially in the knees, and the sensation of trapped heat in the joints & muscles
- An increase in lower back pain and muscle tension
- An increase in allergies and respiratory distress
- Fatigue and a decrease in the quality of sleep – not as deep or restorative, muscle stiffness upon waking
- A decrease in my tolerance for sunshine and hot weather
- A decrease in my tolerance for spicy or salty foods, delicious tastes that happen to aggravate pitta. Sensitive gums and tongue to boot!
- Both sluggishness and inflammation in the digestive tract
- An increase in tension headaches
- An onset of sciatic nerve pain
- Skin redness, eruptions, hives during times of stress
Mentally, I noticed:
- My temper was terrible! I hadn’t realized how much this anti-inflammatory formula had been helping to balance the pitta in my mind and keep me patient, non-judgmental, and cool-headed
I’m happy to say that once I was able to re-start the formula, my symptoms faded once again. I don’t usually write about a specific product, but I think my experience provides an example of how inflammation can impact our lives, and how all herbs can transform our health in ways great and small. Now that I’m free-er from the pain and irritability that crept in during my Zyflamend shortage, I can be grateful for the experience. Running out of this formula in the summer months when inflammation is at its peak was painful, but it re-affirmed my faith in the formula and in herbalism in general.