Many herbal remedies may have anti-inflammatory properties. However, the evidence to support most of these claims is lacking. Inflammation is the body’s main defense mechanism against infection, injury, and other forms of damage.
However, the inflammation itself can be detrimental in some cases. For example, many conditions can cause inflammation to remain elevated, leading to tissue damage.
There are a range of anti-inflammatory medications to help control inflammation in the body. However, they often have side effects and may not always be effective.
What Herbs Help Reduce Inflammation?
The natural compounds that are present in certain herbal remedies also have the potential to be anti-inflammatory. However, there is much less research in this area.
Turmeric typically comes in the form of a yellow powder from the root of the turmeric plant. It contains a chemical called curcumin, which can have anti-inflammatory properties. Several studies have shown that turmeric can help reduce inflammation and discomfort in people with arthritis.
It works by limiting the production of molecules called cytokines, which cause inflammation. Researchers continue to investigate how curcumin affects inflammation in a variety of other conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease. Curcumin has the strongest evidence base for its anti-inflammatory effects compared to other herbal remedies. Turmeric is available in the form of capsules, tablets, teas, pastes, and extracts. Methods for taking turmeric will vary depending on the intended use.
Ginger, or Zingiber officinale, is a tropical plant that has always had a place in traditional medicines. Ginger may have anti-inflammatory properties. There is evidence showing that many of the constituents of ginger can limit the production of cytokines and the activity of cyclooxygenase enzymes, which promote inflammation.
Research has found that ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties could be helpful in treating a number of conditions, including arthritis and pain. Ginger can be fresh or a dried root. It can also come in the form of tablets, capsules, and teas.
Green tea comes from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. Research has linked it to a variety of health benefits, like helping you lose weight. Green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that may underlie some of these specific health benefits.
For example, there is evidence to suggest that a component in green tea might disrupt the processes that cause inflammation in arthritis. Other studies have found that green tea can have a positive effect on inflammation in people with metabolic disorders. Researchers suggest that it can drive these anti-inflammatory effects. Green tea typically comes as a hot or cold beverage. It is also possible to buy capsules, tablets and creams that contain green tea. Many other herbal remedies can also have anti-inflammatory properties. Examples include:
- White willow bark
However, there is not much research available on these remedies. Without this research, it is not possible to say for sure if these anti-inflammatory effects exist or if they are effective treatment options for people with inflammatory conditions.
While there is a larger evidence base for the remedies in this article, research in this area is still in the early stages. For example, scientists have conducted many studies on the anti-inflammatory benefits of turmeric. However, the quality of these studies is not high enough to support the claim that turmeric can effectively reduce inflammation in humans. It is also important to remember that studies in this area tend to use highly concentrated forms of these herbal remedies.
In some cases, certain compounds are isolated. An example of this is curcumin from turmeric. This means that the effects may differ when taking different forms of the remedy.