4 Spices that Reduce Inflammation
Relief for chronic pain and stiffness may come from your kitchen cabinet even more than your medicine cabinet. That’s because research has shown some herbs and spices have easing, anti-inflammatory properties.
Chronic pain is reflected in many debilitating illnesses, including back soreness, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and osteoarthritis, and it is often due to persistent inflammation.
Many plants have properties to help treat these conditions without the use of drugs. Here are four natural herbs and spices you can try to help ease pain symptoms.
1. Ginger – This medicinal herb has been traditionally used to treat nausea and motion sickness, but researchers have also found that it can help suppress an inflammatory response because of bioactive compounds it contains called gingerols.
A widely reported study from the University of Miami found that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who consumed ginger were able to reduce the amount of pain and stiffness by a significant amount compared to patients receiving a placebo.
Ginger is a spicy and aromatic herb, so consider adding a few slices to dress up fruit and vegetable dishes, or use the spice in your meal.
2. Turmeric – The anti-inflammatory power in this spice comes from a component called curcumin, which also gives turmeric its deep yellow color. Curcumin is part of the ginger family, and has many of the same pain-relieving properties. A recent Mayo Clinic study found that people who took a specific turmeric extract for eight weeks experienced pain relief and improved motor function.
The spice from India is commonly added to curies, stir-fries and even egg salad. In order to fully realize the benefits of this anti-inflammatory herb, you can also use a curcumin supplement.
3. Rosemary – This evergreen herb is thought to help decrease the symptoms of asthma. Specifically, studies have shown that rosemary reduces the inflammation in airways induced by dust mite allergens that aggravate asthma. Researchers have also found that rosemary helps increase blood flow to the brain, which improves concentration and memory.
Rosemary has a bold flavor that helps dress up main dishes, so you can add it as a spice to your meals.
4. Cloves – Eugenol, the primary component of clove’s volatile oils, functions as an anti-inflammatory substance. In animal studies, the addition of clove extract to diets already high in anti-inflammatory components (like cod liver oil, with its high omega-3 fatty acid content) brings significant added benefits, and in some studies, further reduces inflammatory symptoms by another 15-30%. Clove also contains a variety of flavonoids, including kaempferol and rhamnetin, which also contribute to clove’s anti-inflammatory (and antioxidant) properties. It’s well known that cloves is full of healthy antioxidants to help increase heart health and fight cancer, but researchers have also discovered that cloves has anti-inflammatory properties that are useful in treating chronic pain conditions.
The components of clove thought to help ease pain are best released in hot water that’s been steeped with a tea bag for at least two to three minutes. Consider adding a small clove to a ginger and turmeric tea to boost its pain-relieving properties.
The herbs in your kitchen can do more than just add flavor to your food, they can help you feel healthier. Fight chronic pain by keeping these four natural spices in stock. All these spices are available at Infusions KW.