December 25, 2011
List of plants (and foods) with anti-inflammatory properties
Many hundreds of plants contain well known anti-inflammatory agents. Many herbs also possess anti-inflammatory (also known as antiphlogistic) characteristics. Herbs can be used as the sole therapy in autoimmune disease or as complementary corticosteroid-sparing therapies allowing patients to take smaller doses or shorter courses of corticosteroids. [Source]
There are many other herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties. I suspect that many plant based foods have anti-inflammatory effects whether we know it or not, which is one reason why a diet rich in fruits & vegetables is generally beneficial for health. [Source]
Nonstarchy and low-starch vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and salad greens, contain several anti-inflammatory nutrients. First, their antioxidants help neutralize free radicals, which promote inflammation. Second, greens are rich in alpha-linolenic acid, the basic building block of omega-3 fatty acids. Thirds, greens also contain small amounts of GLA, which enhances the anti-inflammatory effect of omega-3 fatty acids.
Cruciferous vegetables. These veggies, which include broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale, are also loaded with antioxidants. But they provide one other ingredient — sulfur — that the body needs to make its own high-powered antioxidants. [Source]
Greens are chock full of magnesium a nutrient that most of us are typically deficient in anyways, eating as many servings of green vegetables daily as possible will serve you well. A diet of brown rice, vegetables, lean meats, non-citrus fruits, water and green tea is the ultimate goal to work towards. [Source]
Eating such things is good, more generally: it can reduce heart disease risk, keep existing cardiac problems in check, reduce blood triglyceridesand blood pressure, and soothe tender and stiff arthritic joints. [Source]
My favorite anti-inflammatory food is BLUEBERRIES
I prescribe one cup of frozen blueberries daily to all my patients with inflammation, heart disease, or diabetes. Most people are happy to add such a delicious food in to their diet, but occasionally I will have a patient balk at the cost of eating so many blueberries each month.If you are already taking medications or other supplements, you are clearly paying quite a bit for your health already so adding a superfood in like blueberries is well worth the $30 a month. You could buy a bottle of some herbal product for that same price, or you could just enjoy eating blueberries.
Blueberries are highly anti-inflammatory and their proanthocyanin behavior is fundamentally protective to our cardiovascular system.
In my opinion there is not a more delicious, advantageous way to improve your health than by eating a cup of frozen blueberries a day.
I like to enjoy them as an evening snack, and let them sit out and thaw about 20 minutes before eating.
You can also add them to smoothies or your morning cereal.
Cooking them does not destroy their important pigments, and the freezing process actually makes these proanthocyanins more bioavailable for absorption. A rare exception to the rule that fresh is best! [Source]
A study in the April 2006 Journal of Nutrition showed that eating cherries daily can significantly reduce inflammation. Cherries are also packed with antioxidants and relatively low
on the glycemic index. Tip: Frozen cherries are available all year long and make a tasty dessert with a little yogurt or cheese. [Source]
Ginger root, another common spice, also contains a number of scientifically proven pain relieving agents. Ginger contains a protein-digesting enzyme called zingibain, which appears to relieve arthritis pain by reducing inflammation. In fact, the anti-inflammatory activity of ginger compares favorably with aspirin. Ginger root is also rich in two groups of compounds known as the shaogals and gingerols. These compounds are powerfully antioxidant, thus helping to prevent cells from premature destruction due to exposure to environmental toxins and by-products of metabolism. Even more, these compounds are potent anti-inflammatory agents, and are proven to relieve inflammation throughout the body. Given that oxidation and inflammation are part and parcel of all chronic degenerative diseases, ginger can play a key role in disease risk reduction. [Source]
Take one to two capsules (500 to 1,000 mg) twice a day with food. You can also use ginger liberally in foods or make fresh ginger tea. Here too, you will need to be patient for the benefits to show. [Source]
One of the very most effective and potent natural anti-inflammatory agents is curcumin, derived from turmeric root. Turmeric is a yellow spice native to Asia, widely enjoyed as both a food and a dye. Turmeric is the yellow in curry powder, and curcumin is a resinous compound found in turmeric root. Extensively well studied for its anti-inflammatory powers, curcumin is scientifically proven to be highly effective at relieving pain, and very safe. Like the NSAID’s, curcumin inhibits COX2. But unlike the NSAID’s, it does not do so selectively. Instead, curcumin also affects the activity of other key factors in inflammation, including NF-kappaB, PPAR Gamma transcription factors, and 5-LOX. By inhibiting the activity of all these aspects of inflammation, curcumin delivers far superior anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving activity than most drugs.[Source]
Turmeric is a great herbal remedy for inflammation, including arthritis, tendonitis & auto-immune disorders. Take 400 to 600 milligrams of turmeric extracts (available in tablets or capsules) three times per day. Whole turmeric is best. It may take two months for good effect so be patient. Oh, curry mixtures usually contain a good amount of turmeric so feel free to have lots of curried dishes if you prefer. [Source]
Curcuma longa (Turmeric): This Indian spice comes from the roots of Curcuma longa and contains diferuloyl methane (curcumin), demethoxycurcumin, and bisdemethoxycurcumin–all of which are known as curcuminoids.15 Curcumin (the lipid-soluble component in turmeric)16 has been shown to exert an anti-inflammatory activity in several clinical studies, due in part to the inhibition of COX-2 enzyme15,17-20 and iNOS.20 In particular, the inhibition of COX-2 was significant in colon cancer cells, which makes curcumin important as a colon cancer preventive agent,17,19 since the COX-2 enzyme plays a key function in the progression of this disease.21,22 The inhibition of the COX-2 enzyme is achieved by suppressing the activation of NF-kB, a eukaryotic transcription factor.18 Curcumin has also been shown to have an effect on the release of inflammatory mediators (eg, eicosanoids), which may further explain its role as an anti -inflammatory agent.23 However, the water-soluble portion of turmeric that contains turmerin does not have an anti-inflammatory effect,16 although it has been shown to have antidepressant effects that may be due to monoamine oxidase inhibition in the brain.24 According to Commission E in Germany (the German authority on evaluating herbal preparations), the recommended dose is 1.5 to 3 g of cut root daily; preparations of Curcuma longa are infusion powders, tinctures (1:5), and fluid extracts.13 The use of curcumin is contraindicated in bile duct obstruction because it enhances the secretion of bile.14
the common spice rosemary, also demonstrate powerful anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving properties. [Source]
Amazon bark cats’ claw
Devils claw is dual use: one of the better pain-relieving & anti inflammatory herbs. Devil’s claw is especially useful for arthritis. [Source]
Hops, for example, an herb used in beer brewing, contains a group of compounds called the humulones, which are being studied for their significant pain-relieving properties.
Omega-3 fatty acids
In canola, flax seed, pumpkin seed
, the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish (particularly cold water species, such as salmon), flaxseed, and leafy green vegetables. The body converts the fatty acids in these foods into more potent pro- and anti inflammatory prostaglandins. [Source]
The resin secreted by the guggul tree are found to have anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering effects comparable to commercial drugs such as ibuprofen, a type of NSAID, and clofibrate, a drug used for reducing serum cholesterol, in some studies. It may also be useful in relieving pains due to fibromyalgia and rheumatism.
Guggul can be found in their raw forms as gums and resins, and in powder, capsules and tablets. As with any other medicinal herb, consult a knowledgeable herbalist or physician before self-medicating. [Source]
Holy basil oil
Holy basil oil is found to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and other medicinal properties that are effective against arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol, peptic ulcers as well as chemotherapy and radiation poisoning.[Source]
neem oil is used in Ayurvedic medicine to calm inflammatory skin conditions, joint pains and muscle aches. Extracts of neem leaves and seeds have also demonstrated anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-diabetic and anti-viral properties in various studies.
All parts of this amazing tree can be used. Neem shoots and flowers are eaten as vegetables in India, while the leaves are added to foods as a spice to impart a unique bitter flavor. Neem oil can also be applied topically to treat skin irritations, and sprayed on plants to control pests.[Source]
the sweet root of this plant is commonly used to make candies. Healing-wise, the strong anti-inflammatory compounds found in licorice root have been found to be effective against coughs, colds, mouth ulcers, peptic ulcers and even chronic hepatitis infection.
Licorice is available as chopped roots, which can be brewed as tea, and also in powder and capsule forms.[Source]
Licorice root is an effective, natural anti-inflammatory herb root. Note that long-term use can raise blood pressure and lead to potassium loss. Dose is one-eighth to one-quarter teaspoon of extract up to three times daily. [Source]
Glycyrrhiza glabra (Licorice): The roots of Glycyrrhiza glabra contain glycyrrhizin, a compound with anti-inflammatory activity.29 The aglycone, b-glycyrrhetinic acid, may cause this action of glycyrrhizin.29 Glycyrrhizic acid, another major constituent in licorice, also has anti-inflammatory activity.30 Glycyrrhizin, in addition to having anti-inflammatory actions, may act also as a chemoprotective agent against tumors.31 The dose of licorice is 5 to 15 g daily of cut or powdered roots and should contain 200 to 600 mg of glycyrrhizin.13 Licorice use is contraindicated in patients with high blood pressure, cardiac diseases, or liver cirrhosis.14
having powerful anti-inflammatory properties, is specific for treating arthritic and rheumatic conditions
Eye problems: A combination of root powder of Ashwagandha, fruit powder of amalaki and cardamom with sugar or honey taken daily ensures visual acuity. It can be taken to preserve or promote eyesight. [Source]
Arnica is one of those herbs that are only used externally. Its also one of the few herbs to have gained official recognition from the medical establishment. The UK authorities recently granted a license to the manufacturers of Arnica Gel, which is used on bruises and sprains. [Source]
Arnica is a widely used herbal remedy for inflammation in addition to a salve for bruises & sprains. Use as directed. [Source]
Arnica montana (Arnica): This herb is commonly used for treating bruises and swelling, although several clinical trials cast doubt on its efficacy.34-36 The presence of sesquiterpene lactones, such as helenalin and dihydrohelenalin, in arnica provides this herb with anti-inflammatory properties.37 This is attributed to inhibition of the activation of transcription factors NF-kB and NF-AT.38 Helenalin, the most active lactone, exerts its anti-inflammatory effect by inhibiting the activation of transcription factor NF-kB, which is responsible for the transcription of genes involved in encoding mediators for the inflammatory process.37,39 Helenalin was also found to possess some cytotoxic effects against small cell carcinoma of the lung and colorectal cancer cells in cell culture studies.40 The recommended doses are 2 g of herb/100 mL for the aqueous infusion, one part herb and five parts fatty oil for the oil, and for the ointment, not more than 15% of oil.13 Sesquiterpene lactones may cause contact or allergic dermatitis when applied externally.14 The internal use of arnica is not recommended due to its toxicity on major organs such as the kidneys and the liver.14
Some people think of it as a weed, whereas it reminds others of a childhood spent outside playing in the grass. For herbologists though, Dandelion is a powerful remedy that has been registered as a drug in Canada. [Source]
Dong Quai is another star of Chinese traditional medicine. True to the principles of Oriental herbology, it has a balancing effect on the entire body and is more of a holistic remedy for the female body than a specific cure. [Source]
Goldenseal was originally used by Native Americans for skin disorders, digestive complaints and even as a cancer remedy. In more modern times, Goldenseal has gained in popularity and has been used for wound healing and many types of infection, as well as a powerful anti-fungal agent. [Source]
Gotu Kola is a staple of Indian Ayurvedic medicine, where it taken as a tea during meditation practices to increase psychic sensitivity and achieve a higher state of spiritual being. It is also a tremendous natural source of vitamins and minerals, and a useful anti-inflammatory. [Source]
Although raspberries are consumed throughout the world, raspberry leaf is one of those herbal remedies that not many people have heard of. That's probably because it has a very narrow focus – 90% of the time it is used by pregnant women. [Source]
It does have other benefits though – as an anti-inflammatory and for ailments including stomach upsets and throat infections.
Similar in its effects to Maitake, the Reishi mushroom is a powerful immune system booster that has been used to treat cancer and relieve the symptoms of chemotherapy. Its Chinese name, ‘lingzhi’, literally translates to ‘herb of immortality’. Unlike Maitake however, it also has beneficial effects on blood pressure, cholesterol and respiratory conditions. The best thing about Reishi though, is that it has no known side effects! [Source]
See my blog post.
is a good natural anti inflammatory remedy especially for conditions like fibromyalgia. The dosage is two capsules twice a day or follow the product label.[Source]
is an anti-inflammatory enzyme. Bromelain is found in pineapple so eat lots of fresh pineapple. You can also buy pleasant tasting, chewable bromelain tablets. [Source]
contains an enzyme that has anti inflammatory effects. Here too you can simply chew on good tasting tablets several times daily. [Source]
St. John's wort
is better known for its antidepressant effect but also an herbal remedy for inflammation. Follow label directions. [Source]
White willow bark
is also anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving. Use supplement as directed. [Source]
Salix alba (White Willow): The role of salicylates in inflammation and pain management is well documented in medicine.2 The bark of this plant contains salicin.32 Following oral administration of salicin, it was found in serum mainly in the form of salicylic acid.33 After an oral dose (240 mg) was given to healthy volunteers, the Tmax was less than two hours and Cmax was 1.2 mg/L, respectively.33 Salicylic acid is eliminated in urine as salicyluric acid.33 A daily dose equivalent to 60 to 120 mg of salicin is recommended by the German Commission E.13 Willow use can trigger an allergic response in individuals sensitive to willow or to aspirin.14
Matricaria recutita (German Chamomile): The dried flowers of this plant are commonly used for their sedative and spasmolytic properties.7 In addition, chamomile possesses anti-inflammatory activities.8 Matricaria contains several flavones (ie, polyphenolic pigments of some plants),9 namely, apigenin,7,10 luteolin, and matricine.8 When applied topically, the flavonoids were found to penetrate intact skin deeply to exert an anti-inflammatory effect.10 Evidence suggests that apigenin may generally inhibit cytokine-induced gene expression.11 Matricine does not have anti-inflammatory activity. However, chamazulene, a transformation product of matricine, was found to possess anti-inflammatory properties.8 Compared to a hydrocortisone 1% cream, the anti-inflammatory effect of a chamomile cream was weaker.12 The recommended dose of Matricaria recutita flowers is 3 g three times daily; Matricaria is available as an infusion, a fluid extract, and a tincture (1:5).13 Allergic hypersensitivity to this herb may occur in rare cases, and the herb can irritate the eyes if applied near them.14
distillate of Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel)
Echinacoside in Echinacea species (echinacea), a caffeoyl derivative, is thought to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity in these species.
Ananas comosus (pineapple) contains bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory effects.
More natural anti inflammatory herbs & spices
* Black Pepper