The foods you put in your body have the biggest impact on your overall health. What you eat can either benefit the body or plague your organs and systems. The body cannot easily digest everything, which is why a high percentage of people experience digestive disorders. On the other hand, certain foods benefit the body and even combat chronic inflammation, which can result from waste accumulation in the digestive track.
What Are Anti-Inflammatory Herbs & Spices?
Inflammation is a natural bodily response during healing or an infection. When too much inflammation exists in the body, you experience chronic inflammation. Too much inflammation can increase the risk of chronic illnesses like cancer and diabetes. This is where anti-inflammatory herbs and spices come into play. Many studies continue to monitor molecules in food that lower inflammatory markers in the body. Inflammatory markers indicate that inflammation is present in the body, so an herb that lowers these markers is very beneficial. Let’s explore the most beneficial anti-inflammatory herbs and spices below.
Used in historical Asian medicinal practices, ginseng exhibits various active compounds that benefit the body. There are two primary ginseng varieties: American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng). According to studies, Asian ginseng is more potent and beneficial, with powerful ginsenosides, which help reduce inflammatory markers. One analysis of nine studies looked at 420 patients with elevated CRP levels, an inflammatory marker in the blood. Participants who took 300-4,000 milligrams (mg) of ginseng per day for four weeks were able to effectively lower CRP levels. Other studies found that ginseng can reduce other inflammatory markers like NF-kB, a chemical messenger the promotes inflammation, and IL-6 and TNF-a, other inflammatory markers.
You know for a fact that this had to be on the list for herbs and spices that fight inflammation. Turmeric contains more than 300 active compounds, but the active one that helps to reduce inflammation is curcumin. Researchers conducted studies on curcumin and found that it has the ability to limit cytokine production, which causes inflammation. It can benefit people with arthritis or other conditions like inflammatory bowel disease. Taking curcmin consistently can help reduce high-sensitivity C-reactive protein and IL-6, which are common inflammatory markers. Make sure to take curcumin with black pepper because that increases the absorption by 2,000%.
Native to Peru, cat’s claw is a woody vine that has been used in traditional medicinal practices. Historically, peopled used cat’s claw to help reduce symptoms of bursitis, intestinal disorders, and arthritis. Many studies found that it exhibits the power to protect against gastrointestinal inflammation. It’s possible to brew cat’s claw bark into a tea, but make sure to use at least 1,000 mg of bark per eight ounces of water. If you decide to take it in capsule form, opt for doses that are between 20-60 mg.
Cardamom is a popular spice in Southeast Asian cuisine, and the flavor is spicy, sweet, and complex. One eight-week study monitored 80 people with prediabetes. The group that took three grams of cardamom during the study experienced a significant reduction in inflammatory markers hs-CRP, MDA, and IL-6. Another study found that people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease benefitted from taking three grams of cardamom daily. The results indicated that cardamom was able to lower IL-6, TNF-a, and hs-CRP inflammatory markers.
This beautiful fragrant herb is common in various culinary applications, but it also exhibits potent medicinal properties. Scientists believe that the polyphenols in rosemary give it the ability to help reduce inflammation. Rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid are the primary polyphenols that can reduce pain and stiffness in people with arthritis. Several test-tube studies found that rosmarinic acid was able to reduce inflammatory markers that contribute to osteoarthritis, asthma, gum diseases, and atopic dermatitis.
As we mentioned earlier, black pepper helps to increase turmeric’s bioavailability, which aids the body’s absorption of curcumin. Black pepper is unassuming because it’s so common, but it has anti-inflammatory properties. Piperine is the compound in black pepper that scientists study because it has the ability to suppress the perception of pain. This can be beneficial for people with arthritis. When it comes to research on black pepper, research in humans is limited. Most animal studies, however, find that piperine has the ability to reduce joint swelling, redness from seasonal allergies, and respiratory inflammation.
Cinnamon comes in two types: cassia cinnamon, which is widely available, and Ceylon cinnamon, which people refer to as “true” cinnamon. The latter seems to possess the ability to help lower CRP and MDA inflammatory markers. An analysis of 12 studies found that taking 1,500-4,000 mg of cinnamon daily for 10-110 days reduced those markers. Cinnamon also helps to elevate the body’s antioxidant levels, which assists with inflammation reduction. Cassia cinnamon can also help reduce a variety of inflammatory markers, including MDA and CRP. The reduction of CRP was especially notable in a study in which participants either had type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.