Top herbs for inflammation
Nowadays, chronic inflammation is a serious issue. Sadly, it can cause a wide variety of debilitating diseases. Moreover, it contributes to accelerated aging. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be an issue. This is because nature has equipped us with a plethora of anti-inflammatory foods, herbs, and spices.
Preventing inflammation from occurring in the first place is one of the most effective strategies to combat it. This entails “eating the rainbow.” To get as many different hues into your diet as possible, consume a wide variety of fruits, veggies, and healthy grains. This implies that your diet will include a variety of immune- and inflammation-fighting vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals.
Yet, consuming herbs can also help the body’s natural defenses against inflammation. To be clear, a herb is a plant that contains fragrant or therapeutic characteristics. This comprises the leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruits, and seeds, which can be used fresh, dried, powdered, or processed into an extract or essential oil. Aromatics, sometimes known as spices, are herbs. Let’s examine the most efficient ones.
The bright yellow color of turmeric indicates its long history as a spice. This root has long been utilized in traditional medicine and is frequently used in cooking. Curcumin, the main component in turmeric, has substantial anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Curcumin has been found in scientific studies to decrease inflammation by blocking the function of inflammatory chemicals generated by the body. They include immunological cells including macrophages, neutrophils, and T lymphocytes. Inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis, psoriasis, and atherosclerosis are just a few of the illnesses that curcumin has been demonstrated to alleviate (the build-up of plaque in the blood vessels, which leads to strokes and heart attacks). It has also been reported to relieve inflammation caused by respiratory disorders such as Covid-19.
You might be shocked to find that inflammation is also associated with depression. Taking a curcumin pill or regularly consuming turmeric can also help to improve mood and lessen the symptoms of depression. The most common use of turmeric in food is in Indian cuisine. But it’s great in smoothies, stir-fries, and soups.
Ginger’s strong taste and several health advantages come from the plant compounds found in its root. It is a safe ingredient because it has been used in cooking for millennia all throughout the world. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects make it a popular therapeutic herb. Arthritis, a painful disorder characterized by inflammation in the joints, benefits from this as a treatment. Osteoarthritis, a painful condition brought on by the breakdown of cartilage and other joint cushions, also benefits from this treatment. Rheumatism is another disorder that affects the joints and also causes pain and inflammation in the muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Inflammation in this condition is a significant source of pain, but ginger’s natural compounds can aid. It’s crucial to remember that these are all degenerative illnesses that develop over time, so don’t expect ginger to have any instant effects. In fact, it may take up to two years for the anti-inflammatory benefits to become noticeable. You may use ginger in various dishes, steep it in tea, or even consume it raw if you dare.
Rosemary, a woody plant, is another anti-inflammatory option. In addition to reducing inflammation, it may eliminate microbial infections, eliminate cancer cells, and shield the body from the negative effects of pharmaceuticals. What does rosemary’s ability to promote sleep have to do with inflammation? The importance of having a restful night’s sleep and preventing inflammation from arising in the first place cannot be overstated.
Depression is another ailment that has been connected to inflammation because inflammation in the brain and nervous system might contribute to the development of the disorder. Because depression may promote oxidative stress and inflammation, the antidepressant properties of rosemary are all the more welcome.
The active component of rosemary is rosmarinic acid. Rosemary can help with inflammation by acting as an antioxidant. Rosemary leaves may be brewed into a tea or used in meat, poultry, seafood, or vegetables to reap the rewards of this herb. You may also make bread or savory muffins out of them. If you use the whole sprig, just remember to cut off the woody stem before serving. Due to its delightful fragrant flavor, rosemary also boosts many soups.
Sage is another woody plant that contains rosmarinic acid. Because of its anti-oxidant properties, it has the same advantages and applications as rosemary for decreasing inflammation. Sage is most effective when taken as a tea or tincture. It may also be used as an essential oil, which can be diffused into the air, added to a hot bath, or mixed with a moisturizing lotion. Sage is also great in soups, stews, stuffing, and as a herb, butter spread over fish, vegetables, and potatoes.
The herb oregano also contains rosmarinic acid. Oregano’s aroma and anti-inflammatory and pain-killing anti-oxidant qualities come from this and other plant chemicals like terpenes. Fresh oregano has four times as many antioxidants as blueberries and over forty times as many as apples. While it is not recommended to consume too much oregano due to its toxicity, the anti-inflammatory qualities of oregano, and especially oregano essential oil, are considerably more concentrated. Eating oregano has far lower anti-inflammatory properties than eating a lot of apples or blueberries.
Inflammation has been related to various illnesses, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and asthma. In this case, “prevention is better than treatment” since the use of the herbs mentioned below can help prevent inflammation in the first place. These herbs, and ginger in particular, are powerful anti-inflammatory foods, but they can’t do everything. A good diet, regular exercise, stress management, and adequate sleep are all important for warding off many illnesses.
Finally, if you are taking any medications that might interact unfavorably with herbal supplements, it is imperative that you discuss this with your doctor before beginning any herbal supplementation.
- Chronic Inflammation https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/
- Eating the Rainbow — Is It Useful and Should You Try It? https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eat-the-rainbow
- Herb https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/herb
- Anti-inflammatory Properties of Curcumin, a Major Constituent of Curcuma longa: A Review of Preclinical and Clinical Research https://www.premiumcertified.com/images/turmeric/TurmericStudy2.pdf
- The Role of Inflammation in Depression and Fatigue https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6658985/
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin in the Inflammatory Diseases: Status, Limitations and Countermeasures https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8572027/#!po=6.250002
- The amazing and mighty ginger https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92775/
- Arthritis https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/arthritis/
- Osteoarthritis https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/osteoarthritis.htm
- Rheumatic Diseases and Pain https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/communications/features/rheumatic-diseases-and-pain.html
- Therapeutic effects of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and its active constituents on nervous system disorders https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7491497/
- How sleep deprivation can cause inflammation https://www.health.harvard.edu/sleep/how-sleep-deprivation-can-cause-inflammation
- The Interplay Between Stress, Inflammation, and Emotional Attention: Relevance for Depression https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6491771/
- Sage Benefits https://www.indigo-herbs.co.uk/natural-health-guide/benefits/sage
- Oregano https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/oregano-uses-and-risks
- 9 Benefits and Uses of Oregano Oil https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-oregano-oil-benefits-and-uses
- Inflammation https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/symptoms/21660-inflammation