Inflammation in the body is characterized by swollen, red, painful, and even warm skin. Inflammation can occur as acute or chronic inflammation. Acute inflammation occurs immediately and only lasts temporarily. If the culprit is not identified and the issue resolved, the inflammation may become chronic (long-lasting). Psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis are examples of chronic inflammation, being a result of hyperactivity of the immune system.
Herbs that Fight Inflammation
Inflammation, especially chronic inflammation, can be extremely painful and uncomfortable and will lead sufferers to seek a remedy immediately. Fortunately, there are some natural remedies found in herbs that help treat this inflammation.
There is a substance within the herb turmeric called curcurmin which is known to be effective in treating swelling and joint pain. According to some studies, the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric are very similar to the capabilities of Motrin and similar medicines that are taken to reduce inflammation. Furthermore, studies have shown that turmeric can reduce pain associated with inflammation. It is important to note that turmeric should not be consumed by pregnant or lactating women or those with gallstones or bile duct problems.
This herb has long been used throughout Asia, and especially India, to help treat pain and inflammation. Studies support this belief, showing that a majority of test subjects experience relief from pain and other inflammation-related symptoms after consuming ginger. You can simply incorporate more ginger into your diet, or opt for a ginger supplement, being sure to read the directions for proper dosage.
No, this is not the red licorice you’re probably thinking of, but rather the herb in its purest form. This herb is not only an effective anti-inflammatory, but also an effective anti-depressant and anti-fungal herb. Licorice can easily be added to meat, vegetables, tea, or pastries. Studies support the anti-inflammatory properties of licorice; however, it should be noted that licorice should not be taken in excess.
Basil is probably one of the most popular herbs and easiest to add to your diet for treatment of inflammation. Basil works in the same way as ibuprofen and similar medications in that it inhibits a particular enzyme related to inflammation.
Rosemary is rich in flavonoids and a powerful tonic, making it especially useful for use as an anti-inflammatory. Studies suggest that consuming rosemary extract can help protect cellular membranes from inflammation. While it should not be used in excess by pregnant women or those with low iron, rosemary is a great-tasting herb that is easy to incorporate into your diet to help deal with inflammation.
Garlic is great for your health for a variety of reasons, and fighting inflammation is just one of its many benefits. Garlic is so powerful it can help treat sinus infections, colds, and even hypertension. Working similarly to penicillin, garlic works by altering cytokines, which cause inflammation. You can easily incorporate garlic into your diet, or opt for odorless garlic capsules if you don’t like the smell.
If you can handle the flavor, cayenne pepper is excellent in treating inflammation. Its efficacy is in large part due to the high amounts of calcium, potassium, B complex and vitamin C, all of which assist in the reduction of inflammation. You may have heard of capsaicin before, which is the main active ingredient in cayenne; capsaicin has been shown to help reduce inflammation in the body.
8. Ceylon Cinnamon
Not only is it delicious, but cinnamon is also an effective anti-inflammatory herb. Studies support that connection between cinnamon consumption and a reduction of inflammation. Avoid taking it in high amounts, but otherwise cinnamon has very few side effects. It is easy to add to your coffee, tea, oatmeal, cereal, pastries, and more.
9. Saw Palmetto
Saw palmetto is an effective digestive aid and appetite stimulant, in addition to its abilities to boost the metabolism. Most importantly, saw palmetto is also effective in treating inflammation throughout the body, even UTIs and testicular inflammation. You can easily get saw palmetto (capsules, berries, extract) online or your local health food store.
Additional herbs that help treat inflammation on a smaller scale include ashwagandha, arnica, gotu kola, slippery elm, nutmeg, and black pepper. Whether you experience chronic inflammation or are dealing with inflammation as a temporary reaction to a stimulant, the herbs mentioned above are extremely useful in reducing your inflammation and the pain, discomfort, and other side effects that come with it.