5 Herbs That Reduce Inflammation

Updated: June 18, 2013

5 Herbs That Reduce Inflammation

We enjoy the ease of movement by which we are able to explore our surroundings. Whether it is by walking, running, dancing or jumping around, our bodies are made for freedom of mobility. We revel in the excitement of swimming at the beach and jogging across the shoreline.

Those with active lifestyles take to sports for regular exercise. However, as life would have it, sooner or later we will experience chronic inflammation which will debilitate our sense of movement and cause a great amount of inconvenience in our everyday lives.

As an immune response to injury or infection, inflammation is caused by a number of factors such as stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and exposure to environmental toxins. This manifests as tendonitis, neck and back pain, and arthritis. Inflammation is also a major risk factor for chronic diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Luckily, we can add anti-inflammatory herbs to our health regimen to help us manage the pain. It may not be as fast-acting as standard pain medication, yet these herbs significantly diminish inflammatory pain when used consistently and combined with daily exercise and relaxation techniques.

It is important to note that anti-inflammatory herbs won’t heal the root cause of inflammatory conditions by itself, despite their pain relieving effects. You should still see a physician to address the causes of chronic inflammation in your body and help guide you to optimal health.

Here are five herbs that can help reduce inflammation:

1. Cilantro

The detoxification capabilities and anti-inflammatory actions of cilantro, a medicinal herb whose seeds are known in the market as coriander, helps to alleviate symptoms of rheumatism and joint swelling. If you suffer from a chronic inflammatory disease, which can manifest itself as arthritis, heart disease, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome and fatigue, then cilantro just might be the natural solution for you.

Rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids, and active phenolic compounds, cilantro has long been used by ancient cultures to prevent indigestion and other digestive disorders.

2. Holy Basil

Basil comes in many varieties as one of the more popular herbs that is easy to grow. Holy basil comes from India and is widely revered in Hindi philosophy. The chemical compounds in holy basil decrease pain and swelling caused by inflammatory conditions while other compounds in the herb lower blood sugar in people with diabetes. Holy basil functions as an adaptogen, enhancing the body’s natural response to physical and emotional stress. Stress is usually a precursor to inflammation, so it is wise to prevent the onset of chronic stress to decrease the chances of inflammation taking place. Adaptogenic herbs do not alter mood, but they help the body function optimally during times of stress.

3. Devil’s Claw

Devil’s claw does not have an odor, but it contains substances that make it taste bitter. It is a leafy perennial with branching roots and shoots. It has secondary roots, called tubers that grow out of the main roots. The roots and tubers are used as medicine. Devil’s claw is used to fight inflammation or relieve pain in arthritis, headache, and lower back pain.

4. Guggul

Guggul is a small and thorny herb found in parts of India and Arabia. Guggul resin extracts possess a definite anti-inflammatory mechanism of action through a triterpene called myrrhanol A. Guggul helps to relieve pain and inflammation associated with joint disorders, arthritis and rheumatism. Guggulsterone has been found to potently inhibit the activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB), a critical regulator of inflammatory responses. This inhibition of NF-kappaB activation is a probable cause of the anti-inflammatory effect of guggulsterone.

5. Chickweed

Chickweed is a star-shaped, perennial creeping wild plant whose leaves are arranged oppositely and are elliptic in outline. Stems often root at the nodes and have hairs that occur in vertical rows. Small white flowers occur at the end of stems alone or in small clusters. The entire herb is used, both internally and externally for many remedies. Chickweed is a mild herb that is used as medicine and also eaten as food.

Chickweed is valuable for treating fevers, blood toxicity and inflammation. Chickweed’s mucilage content, known as a demulcent, acts to heal stomach ulcers, inflamed bowels, lungs and about every other inflammation both internal and external. It strengthens the tissue lining of the stomach and intestines.

It moistens phlegm and acts as an expectorant in ridding the body of phlegm from the lungs, while relieving sore throat, lowering fevers and treating stomach ulcers. Chickweed is sometimes used in baths for its soothing effect on the body.

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