- 13 Herbs and Spices That Will Reduce Inflammation in Your Body
- 9 Supplements for Arthritis
- Become a Member
- Make a Honor or Memorial Gift
- Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis
- How are you changing the future?
- More About Partnerships
- Anti Inflammatory Herbs For Joints – 6 Natural Pain Management Solutions
- Use Natural Pain Killers
- Stay Active
- Get Sufficient Sleep
- Stop Smoking
- Reduce Stress
- Practice Physical Self-Care
- The 13 Best-Known Anti-Inflammatory Supplements
- Edible Solutions: Top 6 Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods
- 1. LEAFY GREEN VEGGIES
- 2. BLUEBERRIES
- 3. Pineapples
- 4. Wild-caught salmon
- 5. Chia seeds and flaxseeds
- 6. Turmeric
- 6 Natural Remedies for Reducing Inflammation
- 6 Natural Supplements & Herbs to Lower Inflammation
- Natural Anti-Inflammatories
- 1) Curcumin
- 2) Boswellia
- 3) Cat’s Claw
- 4) Ginger
- 5) Bromelain
- 6) Fish Oil
13 Herbs and Spices That Will Reduce Inflammation in Your Body
Inflammation is your body’s protective response to injury or damage. It helps your natural healing and repair processes. A problem starts when your body is chronically inflamed. Many modern stressors, such as pollution, food sensitivities and carrying extra weight, can lead to chronic inflammation.
There are many different herbs and spices that can help you reduce or prevent inflammation in your body.
Chronic inflammation has been linked to a wide variety of diseases, including cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and attention deficit disorder (ADD).
You don’t have to accept inflammation as a part of modern life. There are many different herbs that can help you reduce or prevent inflammation in your body.
1. Turmeric (Curcumin)
The anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric is its yellow pigment called curcumin. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines have long used turmeric and curcumin to reduce inflammation as well as treat digestive disorders, wounds and infections.
Studies have shown that curcumin also acts as an antioxidant and may combat cancer. Fresh or powdered turmeric is excellent in curries, soups or other dishes. Fresh turmeric can be added to fresh vegetable juices. Supplements of curcumin are also available.
2. Green Tea
The preventative effects of green tea against cardiovascular disease and cancer are well established. More recent studies have shown that green tea can be an effective anti-inflammatory, particularly in the treatment of arthritis. It can also reduce inflammation of the digestive tract, potentially helping conditions Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
It’s recommended to drink 3 to 4 cups of tea daily. Green tea extract can also be found in pill form. And for those who don’t want the caffeine, decaffeinated green teas are available.
3. White Willow Bark
White willow tree bark has been used as a treatment for pain and inflammation since ancient Egyptian and Roman times. Many studies have shown that white willow bark has a comparable effect to aspirin, but with fewer side effects than aspirin.
The usual dose of white willow bark is 240 mg per day for ongoing conditions. There are also herbal blends that contain white willow bark which can be used for an acute event, such as a headache.
4. Maritime Pine Bark (Pycnogenol)
Bark from the maritime pine tree (Pinus maritima) can be processed into pycnogenol. This extract has been used for more than 2,000 years to help heal wounds, scurvy and ulcers as well as reducing vascular inflammation. It is one of the strongest antioxidants known today.
Studies have shown that pycnogenol is 50 to 100 times more potent than vitamin E in neutralizing free radicals in the body. It has also been found to reduce blood pressure and the risk of blood clots. A typical dosage is 100-200 mg daily.
5. Chili Peppers (Capsaicin)
The countless varieties of hot peppers we have today began as one small shrub (Capsicum annum), native to tropical regions of the Americas. The chemical capsaicin is what makes a pepper hot. And it’s capsaicin that’s been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect in your body.
Any type of chili pepper, such as cayenne or jalapeno, contains capsaicin. You can use chili peppers fresh or powdered in a wide variety of dishes, including desserts. Supplements containing capsaicin are often mixed with other herbs to create natural anti-inflammatory blends.
6. Frankincense (Boswellia serrata)
Boswellia is a tree variety native to India, Somalia, Ethiopia and the Arabian Peninsula. Frankincense is a resin extracted from the trees. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and pain-controlling properties. Boswellia resin is currently used to treat degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders.
One study showed that a combination of Boswellia and curcumin was more effective for treating osteoarthritis than a commonly used synthetic drug. It’s recommended to take 300-500 mg of Boswellia extract two or three times a day for ongoing inflammatory conditions.
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7. Black Pepper
This unassuming spice actually packs an anti-inflammatory punch. The distinctive flavor of black pepper comes from the chemical piperine. Even at low doses, piperine has been shown to reduce inflammation. It can inhibit the spread of cancer and has been shown to suppress the perception of pain and arthritis symptoms.
This is an antioxidant found in many plants. The highest amounts have been found in Japanese knot weed (Polygonum cuspidatum) and in the skins of red wine grapes. Resveratrol has been shown to be a strong anti-inflammatory. It also protects against DNA damage and mutations. You can find resveratrol as a common supplement in natural food stores. A typical dosage is from 50 to 500 mg per day.
9. Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa)
This herb is derived from a woody vine native to Peru. The bark of cat’s claw has traditionally been used to treat arthritis, bursitis and intestinal disorders. Studies have shown that it can reduce inflammatory responses in the body and it has a protective effect against gastrointestinal inflammation.
You can make a tea from cat’s claw from either a prepared tea or use 1000 mg of the bark to 8 ounces of water. It is also available as a dry extract in a capsule. It’s recommended to take 20 to 60 mg daily.
In one study, participants were given small amounts of various common herbs and spices for a period of 7 days. Rosemary showed one of the strongest protective effects against inflammation and oxidation.
The other top spices were turmeric, cloves and ginger. The researchers noted that the amounts given of each herb were no more than what someone would normally eat in a seasoned soup, sauce or other dish.
Clove oil can be applied directly to the gums to help with a toothache or for pain control during dental work. Cloves have been shown to reduce mouth and throat inflammation. Cloves can also be used to treat diarrhea, nausea, hernia, bad breath and as an expectorant.
The powdered or whole dried flower buds are delicious in many savory dishes as well as in desserts and hot drinks.
Research has shown that ginger has a better therapeutic effect than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat pain and inflammation. Ginger also inhibits the activation of several genes involved in an inflammatory response.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, ginger may help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting from motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy. It can also be used to reduce osteoarthritic pain and heart disease. Ginger is delicious in many savory dishes, as well as in teas, juices and desserts.
Ginger has a very long history of use in various forms of traditional/alternative medicine. It has been used to help digestion, reduce nausea and help fight the flu and common cold, to name a few. Photo credit: Shutterstock
This popular spice is made from the bark of cinnamon trees native to China, India and Southeast Asia. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, cinnamon has been shown to have antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial, anticancer and lipid-lowering properties. It has even been found to act against neurological disorders Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Cinnamon goes well in anything from breakfast grains, to soups and stews, to desserts and drinks. Any pre-made apple pie or pumpkin pie spice mixes will often have cinnamon, cloves and ginger all in one tasty blend.
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9 Supplements for Arthritis
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Anti Inflammatory Herbs For Joints – 6 Natural Pain Management Solutions
For many people, pain and issues with arthritis not only comes from an acute injury but becomes chronic, nagging at a knee or in shoulders day in and day out.
Prescription pain medicines have negative side effects and are highly addictive; even over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can have side effects stomach, kidney, and heart problems when used long term.
So what is the best way to treat pain quickly with anti-inflammatory herbs for joints, safely, and continuously?
Use Natural Pain Killers
Herbs turmeric (Curcuma longa) and Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) are highly effective, widely available, and safe natural pain relievers for dealing with joint pain. They are excellent remedies to help treat pain, whether acute or chronic. A compound in turmeric, curcumin, helps inhibit inflammatory COX-2 and 5-LOX enzymes that play a role in causing pain.
You get some curcumin when you eat turmeric, the yellow spice that is a distinctive flavor in Indian cuisine, but the concentration of curcumin in the whole turmeric is relatively low. To get a more effective pain treatment, you can take a curcumin extract, such as Curamin. Black pepper also increases the absorption of curcumin.
You can obtain this benefit by taking some black pepper with your curcumin supplement, or by combining black pepper and turmeric for a lower therapeutic dose when you cook. Since curcumin is fat-soluble, use some healthy fats when cooking. For example, you could saute your spices and vegetables in coconut oil and prepare a delicious curry.
Building strength, increasing circulation, and improving mobility could all help pain if you continue to exercise regularly. If intense exercise or impact is a problem for you, try gentle forms of movement yoga, tai chi, or activity in the water, swimming or water aerobics.
Get Sufficient Sleep
Lack of sleep and pain can become a vicious cycle- you can’t sleep when you’re in pain or dealing with inflammation issues, and lack of sleep makes the pain worse. To improve sleep, avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which interfere with sleep cycles.
Get natural light first thing in the morning- this works great if you combine it with exercise, so try taking a morning walk. Turn off all electronic screens a couple of hours before bed.
There are also many supplements available that can help you get a good night’s sleep, from melatonin to valerian.
If you smoke, be aware that smoking is contributing to your pain, as well as many other health issues. Seek a support group or professional help if you need help to quit smoking.
Take a few minutes a day to perform relaxation techniques to suppress the immune system. Take 10 deep breaths, take a brief walk on your lunch break, make a cup of herbal tea, or inhale some relaxing essential oils for an aromatherapy treatment. One amazing stress reduction technique is meditation.
Guided meditations can be very helpful for beginners. Download an app on your smartphone or find free meditations online, such as these from Fragrant Heart.
Practice Physical Self-Care
Treat yourself to a massage, acupuncture, or reflexology session. You can also perform self-care at home. Try foam rolling or using a tennis or medicine ball to massage tense muscles.
Use a heating pad or alternate hot and cold packs to increase blood flow to painful areas on your body. You can massage pressure points to work on many different parts of the body. Google “acupressure” and wherever you need assistance (i.e. “acupressure for headache”) to find instructions.
These are just a few suggestions many potential solutions. Don’t resign yourself to living in pain; the staff at Peach Vitamins is always here to help if you need more advice about pain relief.
The 13 Best-Known Anti-Inflammatory Supplements
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Dietary supplements are popular complementary or alternative treatment options for people with arthritis. Supplements are not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, or treat disease but they may have certain beneficial effects.
The FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients. However, dietary supplements are regulated under a different set of regulations than conventional foods and drugs.
Dietary supplements are regulated under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA).
Certain supplements are recognized for having properties that help control inflammation. Let's consider a baker's dozen of the best-known anti-inflammatory supplements.
Boswellia is a tree that originates in India. Boswellia extract, also referred to as Indian frankincense, is derived from the gum resin of the bark of the tree. Classified as an ayurvedic herb, Boswellia is thought to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. As a supplement, it is available in pills or capsules; the usual dose is 300-400 mg three times a day.
Bromelain is a group of protein-dissolving enzymes that are found in the stem and fruit of the pineapple. Bromelain has an anti-inflammatory effect that occurs when it alters leukocyte (white blood cell) migration and activation. As a supplement, bromelain is available as tablets and capsules; the usual dose is 500-2000 mg three times a day between meals.
Cat's claw is derived from the dried root bark of a woody vine found in Amazon rainforests in Peru and other parts of South America. It is available in capsule form, tablets, liquid, and tea bags. The usual daily dose is 20-30 mg. Cat's claw is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit TNF (tumor necrosis factor), and it may stimulate the immune system.
While chondroitin is a component of human connective tissue found in bone and cartilage, in supplements, chondroitin sulfate typically is derived from bovine trachea or pork by-products.
Chondroitin is believed to reduce pain and have anti-inflammatory properties. The supplement may also improve joint function and slow progression of osteoarthritis. It is available as capsules, tablets, and powder.
Typically, 800-1200 mg is taken daily, divided into two to four doses.
Devil's claw is a perennial shrub that grows in Southern Africa. The shrub has lush foliage, red flowers, and tiny hooks that cover its fruit. It is so named because of the appearance of the hooks. Devil's claw has branching roots and shoots.
The secondary roots that grow the main roots are called tubers. It is the roots and tubers that have health benefits, such as pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, helping to lower uric acid in gout patients, and as a digestive aid.
Devil's claw is available in capsules, tincture, powder, and liquid. The usual dose is 750-1000 mg three times a day.
Fish oil supplements are derived from the oils of cold water fish, including mackerel, salmon, herring, tuna, halibut, and cod. Fish oil is a source of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).
Omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory effect by blocking cytokines and prostaglandins. Fish oil supplements are available as capsules or soft gels. The daily dose for rheumatoid arthritis is 3.
8 g EPA and 2 g DHA.
The seed of the flax plant contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Some of the fat in flaxseed oil converts to EPA and DHA, the active ingredients in the aforementioned fish oil.
Flaxseed is available as capsules, oil, ground meal, or flour. Capsules are available in 1000 to 1300 mg strength, but there is no typical dose stated.
The recommended intake of ground or milled flaxseed is around 2-3 Tablespoons per day.
Ginger is derived from the dried or fresh root of the ginger plant. It has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, similar to some NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or COX-2 inhibitors.
Ginger works by inhibiting chemicals that promote inflammation. Ginger is available in capsules, extract, powder, oils, and tea.
Up to 2 g of ginger in three divided doses per day or up to 4 cups of tea daily is recommended.
Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a type of omega 6 fatty acid that is found in certain plant seed oils, such as evening primrose oil, black currant oil, and borage oil. The body can convert GLA into anti-inflammatory chemicals. GLA is available in capsules or as oil. The usual dose is 2 to 3 g daily.
MSM, or methylsulfonylmethane, is an organic sulfur compound that is naturally found in fruits, vegetables, grains, animals, and humans. As food is processed, the MSM is destroyed, though.
As a supplement, MSM has been marketed to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. MSM comes in tablet form, capsules, liquid, powder, or topical creams.
The usual oral dose is 1000-3000 mg daily with meals.
Quercetin is a chemical that is found in various foods, including apples, onions, teas, berries, and red wine. It also is naturally occurring in some herbs.
Quercetin is recognized for having anti-inflammatory properties. It blocks pro-inflammatory chemicals, such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins. Due to insufficient research, there is no recommended or usual dose.
If you wish to try quercetin, consult your doctor.
Thunder God Vine is derived from the skinned root of a vine- plant found in Asia. The Chinese herbal remedy has been used to treat inflammation, joint pain, and overactivity of the immune system. In the U.S., studies are scarce, and no recommended daily dosage for the extract has been established.
Turmeric is a perennial, lily- shrub that grows primarily in India and Indonesia, as well as other tropical regions.
Turmeric roots, which are related to the ginger family, are dried to a yellow powder, where it is used in foods, curries, and Ayurvedic medicine. Turmeric is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties. It works by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes.
It is available as capsules or spice. The usual dose for capsules is 400-600 mg three times per day—or 1 to 3 g of powdered root per day.
There is a common misconception that supplements are safer than prescription medications. In fact, each of the 13 anti-inflammatory supplements listed has the potential for adverse effects.
You must talk to your doctor before trying dietary supplements. Your doctor will advise you about side effects and potential drug interactions.
While the potential beneficial effects are deserving of our attention—so is safe use. Talk to your doctor.
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Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Dietary supplements. Updated August 16, 2019.
Drugs.com. Frankincense, indian. Updated July 1, 2019.
Arthritis Foundation. Supplement and herb guide for arthritis foundation.
Drugs.com. Cat’s claw. Updated September 16, 2019.
Drugs.com. Chondroitin. Updated July 17, 2019.
Arthritis Foundation. Supplement and herb guide for arthritis symptoms.
Navarini L, Afeltra A, Gallo Afflitto G, Margiotta DPE. Polyunsaturated fatty acids: any role in rheumatoid arthritis? Lipids Health Dis. 2017;16(1). doi:10.1186/s12944-017-0586-3
Cleveland Clinic. Plant sources of omega-3s. Updated May 24, 2019.
Perlman AI, Rosenberger L, Ali A. Osteoarthritis. In: Integrative Medicine. Elsevier; 2018;65:639-650.e3. doi:10.1016/B978-0-323-35868-2.00065-7
Li Y, Yao J, Han C, et al. Quercetin, inflammation and immunity. Nutrients. 2016;8(3):167-. doi:10.3390/nu8030167
NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Thunder God Vine. Updated February 22, 2019.
Gupta SC, Patchva S, Aggarwal BB. Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials. AAPS J. 2012;15(1):195-218. doi:10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8
- Bertocchi M, Isani G, Medici F, et al. Anti-inflammatory activity of boswellia serrata extracts: an in-vitro study on porcine aortic endothelial cells. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2018;2018:1-9. doi:10.1155/2018/2504305
- Bost J, Maroon A, Maroon J. Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. Surg Neurol Int. 2010;1(1):80-. doi:10.4103/2152-7806.73804
- Cervo MMC, Llido LO, Barrios EB, Panlasigui LN. Effects of canned pineapple consumption on nutritional status, immunomodulation, and physical health of selected school children. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. 2014;2014:1-9. doi:10.1155/2014/861659
- Mao Q, Xu X, Cao S, et al. Bioactive compounds and bioactivities of ginger (zingiber officinale roscoe) foods. 2019;8(6):185-. doi:10.3390/foods8060185
- Mncwangi N, Chen W, Vermaak I, Viljoen AM, Gericke N. Devil's claw—a review of the ethnobotany, phytochemistry and biological activity of harpagophytum procumbens. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2012;143(3):755-771. doi:10.1016/j.jep.2012.08.013
- Zhu X, Sang L, Wu D, Rong J, Jiang L. Effectiveness and safety of glucosamine and chondroitin for the treatment of osteoarthritis: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Orthop Surg Res. 2018;13(1). doi:10.1186/s13018-018-0871-5
Edible Solutions: Top 6 Natural Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Despite having seemingly little in common, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, gastritis, depression, cancer, and asthma all share one common trait: they may be caused or worsened by inflammation.
And while inflammation can sometimes be good – when it’s helping your body fight an infection, for example – chronic inflammation can lead to long-term health problems, including the ones I just mentioned.
In fact, research has shown that inflammation is at the root of most diseases.
A sedentary lifestyle, stress, and environmental factors can all contribute to inflammation – but a poor diet is also a key factor.(1, 2)
Luckily, certain foods are natural anti-inflammatories, and eating them can help.
Where does inflammation come from?
Our immune system is activated when our body detects foreign substances, such as bacteria, viruses, pollen, or chemicals, but also certain foods white bread, fried foods, sugary drinks, and red meat. This often triggers a process described as inflammation. Temporary inflammation directed at truly threatening invaders protects our health.
However, sometimes inflammation persists and becomes a chronic condition. Chronic inflammation is associated with diseases diabetes, arthritis, depression, cancer, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s. Free radicals – highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage biologically-relevant molecules proteins, lipids, or our DNA – play a key role in the creation of inflammation.
Free radicals can be neutralized by substances in our food called antioxidants.
1. LEAFY GREEN VEGGIES
There’s a reason these powerful foods are on nearly every healthy eating list. Leafy greens are packed with antioxidants that have a positive effect on our health.
They also contain an array of vitamins, and powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoids.
The beauty of leafy greens is that there are so many! Choose from spinach, kale, Swiss chard, arugula, collard greens, and mustard greens (also known as brown mustard, Chinese mustard, Indian mustard, or leaf mustard).
Quercetin (= plant pigment) is considered a powerful antioxidant that helps fight inflammation, and it’s prominent in blueberries. In fact, blueberries are full of antioxidants.
One study found that the bright little fruit not only beat out blackberries and strawberries for having the most antioxidants, but it also had more types of antioxidants, thus providing a wide range of anti-inflammatory protection each time you eat a handful.(3)
Pineapples are another natural anti-inflammatory. They are full of bromelain(4), a digestive enzyme that helps regulate your body’s immune response, so that it doesn’t react with unnecessary inflammation.
Bromelain also contributes to heart health. The tropical fruit is chock-full of minerals and vitamins (e.g.
vitamin C), potassium, and the trace element manganese (which is involved in activating enzymes that destroy free radicals).
Good to know:
If you want to benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of pineapple, drink pineapple concentrate, which contains a much higher concentration of bromelain than a ripe pineapple.
4. Wild-caught salmon
Salmon is another great anti-inflammatory food. It is rich in the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid. The fatty acids contained in salmon can benefit your heart, skin, and brain health.
Omega-3s can provide relief from inflammation(5) and even reduce the need for anti-inflammatory meds.
5. Chia seeds and flaxseeds
These little seeds really pack a punch. Not only are they loaded with vitamins and minerals, but they’re also a healthy source of essential fatty acids ( omega-3s) – a helpful alternative source if you don’t eat meat.
Chia seeds help fight inflammation, regulate cholesterol levels, and lower blood pressure, making them excellent for your heart.
They’re also high in linoleic acid, a fatty acid that helps the body better absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Turmeric isn’t exactly a food, but it may just become your new go-to spice:
Curcumin, the yellow-orange pigment in turmeric, is said to be a strong anti-inflammatory agent. Many studies are currently testing the effect of curcumin on different types of cancer, diabetes, joint changes (osteoarthritis), and retinal damage. (6,7)
As you can see, there are many natural anti-inflammatory foods that benefit your health. Now go ahead and start incorporating more of these foods into your diet on a regular basis.
*Always make sure to consume the above foods in moderation. Our body should maintain a balance between compounds that destroy free radicals and processes that create free radicals.
6 Natural Remedies for Reducing Inflammation
Inflammation isn't all bad. In fact, inflammation is the body's natural way of protecting itself, removing harmful stimuli and beginning the healing process. However, when inflammation persists and becomes acute, it can be a serious threat to your health.
Acute inflammation manifests in the form of many disabling conditions, such as chronic gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, muscle and tissue pain, and so on. You'll know when you're experiencing acute inflammation, as pain, redness, immobility, swelling, and heat will be prevalent in your body.
While over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds Advil or generic ibuprofen can help reduce acute inflammation, you can't take those for too long without risking nasty side effects. The following natural inflammation remedies are worth incorporating into your regular health routine.
This topical anti-inflammatory reduces inflammation and pain caused by arthritis, muscle strains, back pain, and headaches. Its active natural ingredients are camphor and menthol, which are set in a paraffin base including mint and clove oils.
Rub a small amount on the affected area to reduce inflammation and relieve pain instantly. You can find Tiger Balm Ultra in the pain relief section of your local drugstore.
The arnica flower is a native North American plant that has been used for hundreds of years as a natural remedy for inflammation, muscle and joint pain, sprains, and cuts and bruises.
Unity Yoga & Teahouse in East Vancouver carries the locally and ethically wildcrafted Healing Gardens Arnica Salve for $15, a slippery rub made of arnica, olive oil, and beeswax. Apply it anywhere on your body to reduce inflammation and massage sore muscles.
Most commercially grown lavender is used for the production of lavender essential oil. Gently rubbing a small amount of lavender essential oil on your temples, neck, and lower back is an effective natural remedy for reducing inflammation.
Lavender essential oil is widely available in any natural foods or health store. You can also try your hand at making lavender tea to reduce inflammation internally.
Flaxseed oil is one of the oldest commercially produced oils due to its high concentrations of anti-inflammatory omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Flaxseed oil supplements are widely available in any drugstore, or natural foods and health store. Finlandia Pharmacy & Health Centre is an excellent place to seek out help in choosing supplements. You can also purchase a bottle of flaxseed oil at your local grocery store and use it in salad dressings to reduce inflammation.
Fish oil is one of nature’s best sources for omega fatty acids, which are essential for brain and cardiovascular health, and reducing inflammation. Gone are the days when you got your healthy fatty acids from drinking bitter cod liver oil. Now, there’s a huge range of high quality fish oil supplements that you can take daily with meals to reduce inflammation and promote overall health.
Taking a hot bath with Epsom salts is still one of the best and cheapest natural remedies for externally reducing inflammation. You can find large bags of unscented and scented Epsom salts in any drugstore. Adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil, lavender or peppermint, will add to the relaxing and healthful experience.
6 Natural Supplements & Herbs to Lower Inflammation
There are many natural ways to lower inflammation and pain in the body. Many people turn to supplements for this purpose, but which ones are backed by strong clinical evidence? Learn more here.
Many people who suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions are always looking for foods, lifestyle changes, and supplements that might help them improve their quality of life. In this post, we discuss natural substances that have produced promising results in clinical trials.
Keep in mind, however, that none of these substances have been approved by the FDA for the purpose of decreasing inflammation, and none should be used in place of a medication your doctor prescribes. If you’re interested in using any of these as a complementary strategy, talk to your doctor first to avoid adverse effects and unexpected interactions.
Curcumin is an active component of turmeric, which has been the subject of extensive research into its anti-inflammatory effects.
In a study of 89 patients with ulcerative colitis, 1 g of curcumin in addition to typical drugs (sulfasalazine or mesalamine) reduced relapse rates .
In 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 500 mg of curcumin improved tenderness, joint swelling, and other symptoms better than diclofenac sodium (50 mg) .
In 241 patients with hay fever, 500 mg of curcumin daily improved symptoms (sneezing, itching, runny nose, and congestion) after 2 months .
Curcumin is available as emulsions, tablets, capsules, powders, nanoparticles, and liposomal encapsulations.
It has limited bioavailability due to poor absorption and rapid breakdown. Combining curcumin and piperine (from black pepper) may increase curcumin’s bioavailability by as much as 2000%, which is why many supplements contain both substances [4, 5].
Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, is an extract taken from the Boswellia serrata tree. It reduces inflammation by blocking 5-lipoxygenase, similar to corticosteroids. Traditional practitioners use boswellia against chronic inflammatory conditions, and there’s some clinical evidence to back them up [6, 7].
Boswellia is most promising as an anti-inflammatory in arthritis. In a meta-analysis of 260 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 400 mg of boswellia extract reduced swelling, pain, and stiffness. Patients were also able to reduce painkiller (NSAIDs) intake and required fewer emergency treatments .
In 102 patients with Crohn’s disease, 400 mg of boswellia extract was comparable to the standard treatment for IBD (mesalazine) .
70% of patients with asthma showed improvement when taking 300 mg boswellia extract, compared to only 27% in the placebo group .
Boswellia is available as a capsule, tablet, or its bark decoction orally .
3) Cat’s Claw
Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a vine found in tropical areas of South and Central America. It is under investigation as a potential anti-inflammatory supplement, with the strongest evidence coming from studies of osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.
In a study of 45 patients with osteoarthritis, cat’s claw reduced pain with no significant side effects .
Another study of 40 patients with rheumatoid arthritis found that cat’s claw extract reduced the number of reported painful joints after 24 weeks .
It decreased inflammation and pain in rats with arthritis .
According to cell studies, its mechanism is similar to that of prednisone: it inhibits NF-kB) and blocks other inflammatory compounds (TNF-alpha and IL-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-17, and IL-4) [14, 15, 16].
Cat’s claw is available as capsules, extracts, tinctures, decoctions, and teas .
In two studies of 267 patients with osteoarthritis, ginger extract (250 and 255 mg) reduced knee pain [17, 18].
In another study of 64 patients with type 2 diabetes, ginger supplementation decreased markers of inflammation TNF-alpha and hs-CRP .
Ginger may fight inflammation by blocking:
- The production of inflammatory components (COX-1, COX-2, 5- lipoxygenase, NF-κB, prostaglandin, and leukocytes) [20, 21]
- Immune cells from arriving at the site of inflammation 
However, in a study of 75 osteoarthritic patients, 170 mg ginger extract had no benefits compared to placebo. These conflicting results are among the reasons why ginger has not been approved for this purpose, and additional research is required .
You can use fresh or ground ginger in cooking. Supplements are available as pills or tinctures .
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples. In 77 patients with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, bromelain (400 mg) improved overall symptoms, reduced stiffness, and improved physical function .
In mice with acute asthma, bromelain decreased eosinophils, leukocytes, and autoimmune response .
According to cell studies, bromelain blocks inflammatory compounds during excessive inflammation (COX-2, PGE-2, IL-1beta, INF-alpha, IL-6, and TNF-alpha) .
However, bromelain also activates these compounds in a healthy immune response, which makes is an immunomodulator .
Bromelain is available as tablets, capsules, creams, powders, and tinctures .
6) Fish Oil
DHA-rich fish oil is one of the products with the best evidence of anti-inflammatory benefits.
In a study of 42 teenagers with painful menstruation, fish oil supplements significantly reduced symptoms and the reported need for NSAIDs .
Fish oil also reduced stiffness, pain, and NSAID requirements in multiple studies of patients with rheumatoid arthritis [28, 29, 30].
DHA, an active compound of fish oil, reduced markers of inflammation in healthy men (both untrained and athletic) after exercise [31, 32].
Fish oil supplements are most commonly available as capsules.