10 Plants for Fighting Inflammation
by Nicole Carter, MEd CHES
Inflammation is your body’s response to injury or injury. When something threatens your body’s structure (injury) or chemistry (allergy) the response is increased inflammation to protect itself. It can be acute (sudden and short lived) or chronic (long lasting). It also happens when the body cannot recognize its own cells or mistakes particles for dangerous invaders and creates an immune response or inflammation to protect against mistaken invaders. We call this autoimmune disorder.
Constantly being in an inflamed state is dangerous to your body because once cells are inflamed consistently, they can become damaged and can be replicated into more damaged cells. Also chronic inflammation can happen in the joints, skin, intestines and other organs. Inflammation is considered by many health practitioners to be the pre-cursor to most diseases!
How do we get rid of it? For injuries its natural for healing, but managing it with ice or anti-inflammatory plants can be helpful. For chronic cases such as autoimmune or allergies, there needs to be a whole body approach such as an elimination diet, detox program and especially the inclusion of anti-inflammatory herbs and plant materials, especially the volatile oils (essential oils) from these plants. It is critical to find the source causing the inflammation and eliminate or repair it. Addressing inflammation alone as a symptom will only help to a degree so it is important to find out what the cause is. That being said, we know there are many natural plant remedies that are extremely helpful for inflammation. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Curcumin – The famed turmeric root has multiple uses, fighting inflammation is its most powerful.
- Rhodiola – Excellent for adrenal health as well, use daily to improve stamina and reduce inflammation.
- Chamomile – Known more for its relaxing affect, this herb is high in quercitin, which is great for reducing inflammation response.
- Frankincense – relieves pain, shrinks inflamed tissues,
- Garlic – Contains the anti-inflammatory (and stinky) allicin, and helps to keep blood pressure in balance.
- Cannabis – I recommend the CBD only unless you’re dealing with Cancer treatments. Is helpful for overall inflammation and especially good for skin, and digestive system inflammation.
- Ginger root – works like garlic, helpful for pain due it its gingerol content, used in Indonesian traditional medicine as a painkiller for arthritis.
- Burdock Root – clears the blood of impurities that may cause in chronic inflammation, especially those that are skin related (acne, eczema, psoriasis and gout)
- Nettle leaf – Excellent for seasonal allergies that cause inflammation in the respiratory system, for joints and for inflammation of the skin for BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia).
- Tea Plant (especially green and white) All varieties of the camellia sinensis plant have high levels of catechin polyphenols that can be very helpful for varying degrees of inflammation.
For more about Herbal alternatives, foods that heal and other questions regarding holistic health, visit www.healthywithnicole.com for more information on her health coaching services.