Chronic Inflammations caused by Toxins, Stress and Disease Linked to Depression

The New Scientist magazine reports that inflammations caused by stress, toxins and disease have a direct impact on mood, memory and learning.
By: East End News
Feb. 9, 2011 - PRLog -- Pain got you down? A new report published in the New Scientist links inflammations caused by exposure to toxins, stress, and disease as resulting in depression, poor memory and anxiety .

The culprit is a signaling molecule called cytokines, which are released by the immune cells in response to stress and infection. Although cytokines are too large to pass freely through the blood-brain barrier, the magazine reports, recent studies have shown that they can enter the brain through other areas. "Cytokines can interact with virtually every pathway relevant to depression," says Andrew Miller of Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

According to Miller, you don't have to be sick to experience raised cytokines levels. "There are an awful lot of people going around with chronically raised inflammatory responses, it seems likely that they will be suffering some effects."

For years, inflammations have come under scrutiny as the source of many diseases, including heart disease, cancer and arthritis, especially in mid-life when most people become more prone to inflammatory responses.

"These studies confirm what practitioners of natural medicine have suspected for thousands of years," says Sarah Richards, herbalist and founder of "There is a synergistic link between mind and disease. Disease can affect mind, but mind can also affect disease. It emphasizes the importance of treating disease as both a physical and psychical response to stress, inflammation or toxins."

Which is why, she argues, that herbal tea has played a central role in health and well being for thousands of years. "Tea does two things," she says. "It provides medicinal compounds to address the physical source of disease, but it also provides a soothing mental engagement with your health. Tea has always played this role in cultures. It activates the brain in a positive, constructive way - encouraging healing from both the mental intentionality and the physical."

Richards believes that people prone to chronic inflammations have a higher level of acidity and traditionally have body types associated with heat. "The physical environment plays a key role in whether inflammations will flourish or not. High acidity is going to encourage inflammations - whether caused by stress, obesity or disease. People who suffer from inflammations and consequently depression need to drink a tea that helps balance the body's ph levels as well as blocks the inflammatory reaction."

Her Inflama-tea can be found in the wellness section of

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Homegrown Herb and Tea is an herbal tea apothecary located in Portland, Maine and online at We serve wellness tea, Ayurvedic teas and specialty teas.
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