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Video: Natural Anti-inflammatories: 10 Examples That Work
Whether natural or chemical, the anti-inflammatory aims to fight inflammation, a normal immune process, which can be cutaneous, digestive, articular or intestinal. In case of such, our body sends us an alarming and painful signal. But rather than opting for chemical remedies (corticosteroids or non-steroid drugs), which don't always cure, there are several natural and diverse anti-inflammatories to consider. Here are 10 that have largely proven their effectiveness over the centuries.
List of the best natural anti-inflammatories to always have on hand
Before you know if you have any of these natural remedies at home, it's important to pay close attention to the causes and symptoms of inflammation. And as you have understood, the latter can affect several parts of your body: skin, muscles, liver, stomach, intestine, etc. But regardless of the inflamed area, the symptoms are usually similar. In most cases, they result in the appearance of redness, pain (often disabling) and edema. In short, inflammation is a normal reaction of the immune system, usually occurring when the body tries to attack itself.
Contrary to popular belief, inflammation is not due to health problems. The reaction to a mosquito or bee bite is considered to be inflammation. The same when practicing a sport without warming up! We then undergo stiffness, micro-shocks which damage the muscle fibers after a significant and unusual physical effort. The result ? Swollen and sore muscles. In this case, taking anti-inflammatory drugs is inevitable.
Taken by self-medication without medical advice, anti-inflammatory drugs are not at all beneficial for the body. They generally fall into two categories: non-steroids and steroids, also called corticosteroids. And unlike natural remedies, they don't cure inflammation. They only decrease their duration and intensity. By relieving pain and discomfort, they can cause unwanted side effects, even making the situation worse. The relevant example, we saw during the covid-19 pandemic. The condition of the patients, who took Ibuprofen to relieve symptoms of the virus, worsened. This nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug reduced immunity, while allowing the infection to progress. That is why, we must bet on natural remedies.
Now that you know the causes and symptoms of inflammation, let's find out how to relieve it in a natural and safe way!
Nothing like the benefits of turmeric for the treatment of infections and inflammations. Hence its miraculous effect? Turmeric is indeed very rich in curcumin - a substance known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. However, it wants to be poorly absorbed by the bloodstream. This is why it is advisable to consume turmeric in combination with black pepper, whose natural substance (piperine) improves its absorption. These anti-inflammatory properties are also very useful for the treatment of scars caused by acne. Turmeric is usually given as a dietary supplement in capsule form. However, you can consume it as a hot drink. How? 'Or' What ? Our recipe for golden milk!
Ingredients for 4 cups:
- 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
- 10 cm of fresh, washed and grated turmeric root (or alternatively 1 teaspoon of dried turmeric)
- 2 - 3 cm of fresh ginger root (with skin) washed and grated
- 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 - 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
- 1 tbsp pure maple or honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir and serve!
Natural anti-inflammatory drugs: ginger
Just like turmeric, ginger, and in particular the powdered one, is known for its overall anti-inflammatory action on the body. A plant whose roots are used to make a spice, ginger helps the body get rid of retained impurities. It owes its health benefits to its main substance, called "gingerol". Consumed in powder, fresh, capsule form, tea or refreshing water, ginger is generally used to treat joint inflammations (arthritis, osteoarthritis) and certain inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis, pancreatitis, colon and ovarian cancer., diabetes, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular and muscle problems. However, it should not be abused!
The easiest way to consume ginger is of course ginger tea. To prepare the latter, grate a teaspoonful of fresh ginger in a small bowl, put water to boil, transfer the grated ginger to a tea cup and steep for about 5 min. If the ginger crumbs have fallen into the cup, filter the infusion and add a little honey before tasting.
One of the most popular drinks in the world is also a great natural anti-inflammatory. Yes, you guessed it right! This is green tea. Produced from the Camelia sinensis plant, green tea has long been famous for its anti-oxidant effects and, for some time, for its strong anti-inflammatory properties in relieving pain related to diseases such as arthritis, osteoarthritis and certain types of cancer. You can consume it directly as an infusion (3-4 cups per day) or as a food supplement, depending on your preferences. However, please keep in mind that green tea tends to inhibit the absorption of iron and thus may cause iron deficiency.
White willow or natural aspirin
A natural remedy used since the dawn of time, white willow offers a thousand and one health benefits and contributed to the invention of aspirin, known for its side effects on the digestive system. And because of these, white willow is widely exploited for the treatment of inflammatory syndromes. To fight against problems such as painful joints, neuralgia or lumbago, it is necessary to infuse a few grams of bark in boiling water for a few minutes and drink it several times a day.
Basil, a digestive anti-inflammatory par excellence
We all love basil, especially in pesto! But did you know that it is beneficial for digestive health too. Along with its substances, it has the potential to block the mediators of inflammation. This is why basil oil is prescribed for gastritis. How to use it? Mix a drop of basil oil with 4 drops of other vegetable oil and massage the stomach after each meal. Another variation is to pour a drop under the tongue just before going to dinner. However, it is not recommended for pregnant women and children.
Aloe vera, a natural skin anti-inflammatory
The multiple benefits of aloe vera are no secret. In addition to relieving skin inflammation, it fights against joint inflammation (sprains, tendonitis) and digestive tract. In the event of a burn, its cooling effect quickly heals the pain. It takes care of irritated skin or prone to psoriasis, eczema or herpes. How to make the most of it? Take a tablespoon of aloe juice, pure or diluted in water, every morning for 2-3 weeks to treat digestive problems. In case of skin, muscle or joint inflammation, apply a little aloe vera gel by massaging the affected area.
Natural anti-inflammatory drugs: cat's claw
Still called “Peruvian creeper”, cat's claw is very rich in polyphenols, alkaloids and sterols, hence its overall anti-inflammatory effect! Fighting against arthritis, osteoarthritis, bursitis and intestinal inflammation, Peruvian creeper can be consumed as a tea or as a dietary supplement. For tea lovers, infuse about 1000 g of cat's claw in 250 ml of boiling water.
An aromatic plant that is cultivated in its own kitchen, rosemary has been used medicinally in several regions of the world. Known for its diuretic effect, it decreases and relieves muscle, joint and digestive inflammation. To get the most out of it, it's best to use it as an infusion by getting some rosemary leaves that you let steep in boiling water. Consume the tea several times a day. If, on the other hand, you are not too keen on infusions, you can use rosemary oil directly on your skin or by inhaling it.
Like rosemary, nettle has long been used in medicine for its anti-inflammatory action. Very present in Europe, it is very rich in substances preventing the harmful effect of cytokines, generally stimulating inflammation. This is why, among the best known virtues of nettle, we find its effect against joint pain, gastric pain and those in cases of rheumatism. As an infusion, in the form of capsules or skin tincture, it can be used in several ways. Moreover, nettle tea is very beneficial for acne-prone skin.
Natural anti-inflammatory agents - blackcurrant leaves
Blackcurrant and, in particular, its leaves did not demonstrate its natural anti-inflammatory effects until the beginning of the 17th century. First used for their diuretic action, blackcurrant leaves ended up revealing their effectiveness against rheumatism. And after having been the subject of several studies, blackcurrant has proven to us that it has hormones belonging to the cortisone family. As a result, the plant causes the human body to produce hormones with anti-inflammatory properties on its own. So if you have rheumatic pain, prepare yourself an infusion from dried blackcurrant leaves in boiling water.