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Although inflammation is often painful, it’s a natural bodily response to local trauma or infection. There’s a reason that this autonomous defensive reaction is painful, though — leaving inflammation unattended can cause the affected tissues to lessen in function or entirely stop working.
Inflammation should thus be treated as quickly as possible. Methods ranging from hot and cold treatment to over-the-counter medicines exist, but not everybody is comfortable with strong temperatures contacting their skin or synthesized substances entering their bloodstreams. People thus often look to natural substances, such as supplements, to address their ailments instead.
Herbs are among the many classes of natural substances associated with anti-inflammatory properties. Although many experts claim that science has yet to establish a firm link between these substances and anti-inflammatory responses, a general consensus exists that taking these five herbs may help fight inflammation.
Best known as a deep yellow food seasoning, turmeric is a powder derived from the root of the turmeric plant. A chemical known as curcumin, which is found in turmeric, may have anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin interferes with the production of molecules called cytokines, which drive the body’s inflammatory response.
Many studies have thus linked turmeric consumption with reduced inflammation and discomfort in arthritis sufferers. In fact, more scientific evidence in support of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties exists than for any other herb.
This popular root is strongly associated with good health. Ginger has been shown to boast numerous health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. The herb’s ability to combat inflammation comes from its antioxidant properties, which may come from the compound gingerol. The National of Institutes of Health, in fact, have shown at least twice that ginger may be just as potent in fighting inflammation as painkillers are.
Green tea, despite its name, is not just a hot drink — it exists in capsule, tablet, and powder form as well. Its many forms make it easy for anybody to take, and it’s well worth doing so. In addition to its correlation with weight loss, green tea consumption can disrupt the chemical processes that lead to inflammation during arthritis and in people with metabolic disorders.
Because cinnamon is high in antioxidants, consuming it drives the body’s production of anti-inflammatory proteins. Research into its effects is in its early stages as compared to scientific findings regarding turmeric, ginger, and green tea, but the first batch of discoveries is promising. However, cinnamon may not be appropriate for everybody, since it can alter blood sugar counts — not a great side effect for diabetics, for example.
It might be worth bearing the intense rush of spice that comes with eating chili peppers. A chemical in them called capsaicin has shown early links to pain and inflammation reduction. Of course, chili pepper is spicy for a reason — eating too much of it can cause stomach pain — but capsaicin has been isolated into topical preparations made to counter pain and inflammation without the potential stomach problems.
What herbs do you use to fight inflammation and pain? Let us know in the comments!