In a healthy immune system, the body defends itself against foreign substances or infections by sending special cells to the affected area. These cells release chemicals which destroy the infection. During this process, it is natural for an inflammation to manifest. This inflammation dies down once the harmful substance is destroyed.
When people are affected by Sarcoidosis, the inflammation does not disappear in time. Rather, the cells of the immune system cluster together and form lumps in the affected organ. Sarcoidosis most commonly affects the lungs, skin or lymph nodes (especially around the chest) though it is also found in the eyes and the liver. In serious cases, Sarcoidosis can affect the brain and heart and can lead to severe health complications. Granulomas affect how the organ affected functions. In mild cases of the disease, the granulomas clear up and disappear whereas in more severe cases, the tissues affected remain inflamed and get more scarred over time.
- Sonya R. Hardin, Cat's claw: An Amazonian vine decreases inflammation in osteoarthritis, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Volume 13, Issue 1, February 2007, Pages 25-28, ISSN 1744-3881, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2006.10.003.