Top 6 Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

Most people suffer from some sort of inflammation, whether it is an underlying factor for their health issues or a prominent source of pain and discomfort for them. That’s because inflammation is behind most chronic diseases, from arthritis and cancer to diabetes and heart disease. Fortunately, herbal medicine shines when it comes to addressing inflammation in the body, regardless of where it is found.

Here are some of my favorite anti-inflammatory herbs:

1. Calendula

This beautiful flowering plant is found in gardens around the world yet few people are aware they have an anti-inflammatory powerhouse at their fingertips. Researchers at the Medical Biotechnology School of Medicine at Flinders University in Australia evaluated the effects of a calendula extract on human skin cells. Their results support the German Commission E’s, the government’s expert committee on medicinal herbs, endorsement on medicinal herbs for reducing inflammation. Their study, published in the medical journal Phytotherapy Research found that calendula is an effective skin healer. Apply cooled calendula tea or creams or ointments containing the herb directly to the skin.

2. Chamomile

A study published in the Journal of Natural Products assessed the anti-inflammatory properties of Roman chamomile and found that the herb contains at least one anti-inflammatory compound and can even be beneficial in treating metabolic syndrome, a condition involving high homocysteine levels—a marker of inflammation that can increase the risk of many diseases. Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms, including: imbalanced blood sugar, cholesterol, as well as high homocysteine levels. Some of the symptoms include: abdominal fat and overweight. Drink 3 cups of chamomile tea to reap its anti-inflammatory effects.

3. Cayenne Pepper

While many people still believe the myth that cayenne aggravates inflammation, it actually turns DOWN the heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound capsaicin. According to a study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, researchers found that eating cayenne peppers is beneficial for low back pain. The herb can be used in moderate doses internally or capsaicin-based creams and ointments can be applied to painful areas of the body.

Top 6 Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

4. Frankincense Essential Oil

The herb, Boswellia serrata, or Frankincense as it is more commonly known, is a powerful anti-inflammatory, particularly in its essential oil form. A study published in the medical journal Current Pharmaceutical Design assessed the effectiveness of several natural remedies against asthma, including frankincense essential oil. The researchers reviewed numerous studies to confirm that frankincense was one of the natural remedies that exhibited several mechanisms relevant to the treatment of respiratory diseases, including effectiveness against inflammation and allergic response. Frankincense essential oil can be diluted in fractionated coconut oil or another carrier oil and applied to inflamed areas or, in the case of a high quality oil that has been FDA-approved for internal use, can be used internally to reduce inflammation. Be sure the product you choose has been approved for this purpose as most are not. Take 1 to 3 drops daily. Follow package directions and do not exceed the recommended dose. Work with a qualified natural health practitioner skilled in the use of essential oils if using them internally.

5. Ginger

You’ll want to add ginger to a lot more foods than just gingerbread to take advantage of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. That’s because research published in the medical journal Arthritis compared cortisone and ibuprofen, both drugs that are used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions, and found that ginger was superior to ibuprofen at reducing inflammatory compounds known as cytokines and was equally effective as cortisone. Unlike cortisone, however, ginger does not have the lengthy list of nasty side-effects. Ideally use fresh ginger in soups, curries, stews, stirfries and tea daily to maximize its anti-inflammatory effects.

6. Turmeric

If you’re thinking that turmeric seems to be good for just about everything, you’d be right. That’s because the curry ingredient contains a potent anti-inflammatory known as curcumin. In a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry researchers found that curcumin improved the healing of tendonitis, which involves inflammation of the tendons that help maintain our body’s structural integrity.

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Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM shares her food growing, cooking, and other food self-sufficiency adventures at FoodHouseProject.com. She is the publisher of the free e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News, founder of Scentsational Wellness, and an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Cultured Cook: Delicious Fermented Foods with Probiotics to Knock Out Inflammation, Boost Gut Health, Lose Weight & Extend Your Life. Follow her work.

 

58 comments

Kevin B
Kevin B17 days ago

thank you for posting

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Ruth S
Ruth S18 days ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S18 days ago

Thanks.

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Danuta W
Danuta W27 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Peggy B
Peggy B27 days ago

Noted

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Carole R
Carole R27 days ago

Good to know.

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Carole R
Carole R27 days ago

Good information.

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Jan S
Jan S28 days ago

Many thanks

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Shae L
Shae L28 days ago

Thanks for sharing!

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Lorraine A

thanks for sharing

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