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Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Herbs
Introduction to Anti-Inflammatory Herbs. Natural anti-inflammatory herbs which are good substitutes for processed pharmaceutical drugs are special types of herbal plants that have the ability to reduce swelling and inflammation. Inflammation which is a critical medical condition if not controlled or treated may result in a variety of serious chronic diseases like cancer.
Although pharmaceutical drugs are known for their healing properties, natural anti-inflammatory herbs can be used as effective substitutes with additional advantages, including the absence of side effects as observed in the manufactured drugs.
Top 10 Recommended Natural Anti-Inflammatory Herbs.
Table of Contents
Apart from being an anti-inflammatory herb, turmeric has been used for centuries in Chinese and Indian (Ayurvedic) medicine to treat various medical conditions like arthritis, liver disease and other immune disorders. Recent scientific research has been able to prove that the herbal plant contains anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial and anticancer effects, making it highly suitable for treating diabetes, allergies, Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic diseases.
Curcumin which is a potent antioxidant is an active constituent of turmeric that is responsible for reducing inflammation levels drastically. Apart from curcumin, turmeric constitutes other important anti inflammatory compounds.
Ginger has been used for centuries for pain and inflammation in order to combat fatigue and general aches, and to soothe throats and muscles. This is possible thanks to the action of shogaols, gingerols and paradols which are the essential compounds found in the herbal plant. As a group, the ginger compounds perform the same function as the conventional “non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” (NSAIDS) like Aleve, ibuprofen and Celebrex used for relieving arthritis pain. Some of the conducted clinical trials have confirmed the ginger’s effects in relieving osteoarthritic pain.
Although ginger can be easily used as food spices they can also be used as anti inflammatory herbs for joints. Caution should be exercised as poorly stored or low-quality ginger is at high risk of mycotoxin.
The health benefits, aroma and flavor of the herb are provided by its two main anti inflammatory molecules carnosol and carnosic acid. Apart from its ability to counter inflammation, sage can be used to improve memory, decrease anxiety levels and increase concentration. Both carnosol and carnosic acid have anticancer and antioxidant properties. Camphor, which is another important constituent of sage, has crucial properties that can be used to kill fungi and bacteria.
Various lab studies carried out on the rosemary herb whose scientific name is “Rosmarinus Officinalis L.” have discovered that it possess anti inflammatory effects. Apart from the evergreen shrub being used to enhance the taste of food, it can also be used in tea. Rosemary has flavonoids and rosmarinic acids that provide it with its anti inflammatory characteristics. To counter inflammation, rosemary works by inhibiting the synthesis of prostaglandins which are the proteins responsible for triggering widespread inflammation.
Although Cinnamon is famous for its ability to lower diabetes patients’ blood sugar levels through activating insulin receptors, it also has special compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are able to reduce any chances of contracting chronic disease or having cellular damage. Cinnamon can also offer protection against cancer by blocking growth factors that are associated with abnormal cell growth.
Cinnamaldehyde which is the organic compound that provides cinnamon with its flavor and odor can offer protection against heart disease and other inflammatory diseases by inhibiting NF-kappaB proteins and other genes involved in immunity, growth and cell death responses. The organic compound can also prevent the clumping of platelets.
Cayenne pepper is considered to be the most powerful ant inflammatory herb. The compound capsaicin is the one responsible for cayenne pepper’s medicinal properties and spicy taste. Due to its ability to deplete nerve cells of substance P which is a unique chemical that transmits pain signals to the brain, capsaicin is widely used in ointments and creams as a pain-relief aid.
Cayenne also contains a variety of carotenoids and flavonoids, which are antioxidants offering protection against cellular damage that is likely to lead to diseases and inflammation. Research is being carried out to determine whether the herbal plant can effectively slow or prevent the growth of cancer cells. Caution should be taken before using cayenne as one may be allergic to it. This is a possibility as it is a member of the nightshade family.
Garlic is among the most common anti inflammatory herbs being used worldwide. It is also a natural antibiotic that can be used to treat various health conditions. Garlic works as an anti inflammatory herbal remedy by altering the cytokines which are responsible for triggering inflammation. Other health benefits of garlic include treating hypertension, diabetes, common cold and reducing cholesterol levels significantly.
Eugenol which is an essential compound contained in cloves is a compound that is similar to cinnamon’s cinnamaldehyde but one that is more potent. Cloves offer protection against any inflammation associated with cancer, heart diseases and other chronic diseases affecting those taking the typical American diet.
By blocking COX-2 which is an enzyme that causes inflammation, the chemical compound is able to succeed in eliminating the medical condition. Antioxidants like flavonoids, rhamnetin and kaempferol are abundantly found in cloves. Cloves also have antifungal properties, but should be used sparingly as if used in higher levels they can prove to be quite toxic.
Holy basil, which is indigenous to India, is a herb that was used in the Ayurvedic tradition to treat various forms of inflammation. Research done on animal specimens as indicated that the herb can be used to prevent and combat inflammation, hence can be used as an effective alternative to over-the-counter painkillers. Researchers were able to determine in a 2005 study that the extract of holy basil can act as a lipoxygenase inhibitor which is an antioxidant with anti inflammatory effects.
Apart from being an anti-inflammatory herb, parsley is very rich in minerals and vitamins A, B, C and K. The herb was traditionally used to treat various medical conditions like kidney problems, digestive disorders, and painful menses among others. The abundance of nutrients in the herb makes parsley very critical in boosting the immune system. Research study indicates that combining parsley with asparagus can result in a very powerful cure against inflammatory disorders.
Manufactured medical products are often very effective in terms of treating various medical conditions. However, most of the drugs come with mild and serious side effects that can end up doing more harm than good to the patients. However, the natural anti inflammatory herbal remedies discussed above can turn out to be vital substitutes for the manufactured medicines.
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