The 7 Best Herbs and Supplements
That Help Fight Inflammation
Inflammation is a common health issue that affects a lot of people in different ways. Inflammation is actually a healthy response to physical trauma, but more often than not, it’s an unnecessary or over-response caused by illnesses or poor eating habits. Inflammation is only supposed to be a temporary response, but several people suffer from illnesses that cause chronic inflammation. Here are seven herbs and supplements that help reduce chronic inflammation.
Ginger comes from the root of the ginger plant, and it’s most commonly used for stomach issues, especially nausea. Ginger is also beneficial for pain relief, particularly pain caused by inflammation. Research has shown that taking ginger (either from supplements or as a food source) can help reduce pain from diseases like osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of arthritis. Osteoarthritis is when cartilage breaks down (particularly in the joints) due to normal wear and tear.
Turmeric is another well-known herb, but it’s actually the curcumin compound that is found in turmeric that has anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is especially beneficial in reducing inflammation associated with diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome). When used in food and cooking, combine both turmeric and black pepper, as black pepper helps your body to better absorb the curcumin in turmeric.
Garlic is another herb well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains allicin, which is its anti-inflammatory agent that may also help to strengthen the immune system, warding off other illnesses in the process. On the other hand, people suffering from autoimmune diseases, such as lupus may need to be more mindful of their garlic intake. Lupus is characterized by an overactive immune system, and the allicin in garlic may make lupus symptoms worse.
#4: Green Tea
Green tea has several health benefits, including being a weight loss aid, increasing focus and alertness, cancer prevention, and also fight inflammation. Green tea contains a compound known as EGCG (epigallocatechin-3 gallate) that gives it both its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Just keep in mind that all forms of green tea contain caffeine (unless otherwise noted), so it will give the same effects as drinking a cup of coffee or caffeinated soda.
#5: Fish Oil
Fish oil is a popular supplement known best for its brain and heart benefits. Also known as Omega-3 or DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), it also has anti-inflammatory properties. Fish oil is naturally found in fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna, but there are also OTC (over-the-counter) supplements available.
#6: Vitamin C
Vitamin C is probably best known for its antioxidant properties and boosting the immune system, as many people take this supplement to help ward off colds. It also helps aid in fighting inflammation since it helps boost the immune system, which is responsible for inflammation responses. Vegetables and citrus fruits are all great natural sources of vitamin C, but it’s also possible (and generally safe) to consume it through supplements as well.
#7: Vitamin D
Vitamin D is probably more associated with bone health, but it plays a big role in fighting inflammation too. Several studies have shown that women taking vitamin D supplements have less inflammation during their menstrual cycles. Vitamin D and calcium are frequently found together in several foods (especially dairy products) because vitamin D helps with calcium absorption.
This vitamin-mineral combination is especially beneficial for senior citizens, who are more prone to both inflammatory and bone-loss related illnesses. Getting a sufficient amount of both helps reduce the risk of developing these illnesses, which will give them an increased quality of life. We hear too many stories of elders suffering from falls in nursing homes and in their own homes. Stronger bones and less inflammation coupled with a healthy and active lifestyle can decrease the incidences of elder falls.
It’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor before taking any supplements, even if you don’t have any health concerns. Also, remember that the best way to consume these nutrients is through food sources, unless stated otherwise by your doctor.