Herbs are often forgotten when people think about health-promoting foods. This is a shame because they are so beneficial to our health. Each herb has its own beneficial qualities, and these work synergistically with other herbs and foods to allow the body to maintain optimal health. There are a few herbs that are especially beneficial to those with conditions such as Gout, runner’s knee, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, back pain, or Arthritis.
Herbs tend to have a cumulative effect on your body so the benefits of adding them to your diet can be slow to recognize. Meaning that they need to build up a little bit before you will see benefits. Some herbs can easily be added into your everyday cooking and they provide amazing benefits, while others are better used as a supplement. Following are just a few examples of exceptional herbs for dealing with pain and inflammation.
Garlic is a well-known bulb that has been used for ages for its health promoting qualities. Garlic is an anti-inflammatory and can help reduce inflammation, as well as pain. It is best eaten raw in pesto sauce, homemade dressings, or other things. This is because the beneficial active ingredients in garlic are destroyed after it has been cooked. You can also make a garlic-infused oil to use topically in order to help with pain like those with Runner’s Knee or back pain might experience.
A popular remedy for those with arthritis is to mix a little warm water with honey and cinnamon. People report reduced pain when they consume this drink. Cinnamon helps to reduce pain because of its prostaglandin-inhibiting effect.
Turmeric is a new popular herb that has gained popularity in treating inflammation and pain. It is an excellent anti-inflammatory herb and can easily be added to foods. Adding a little black pepper will boost turmeric’s health promoting effects.
Cat’s Claw is a vine and was traditionally used in Peruvian herbal medicine. It is an anti-inflammatory and can help with conditions like Gout, Arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. It is best to get Cat’s Claw from a health food store so that you ensure that you have the best source. Some people love using it in the form of a tincture because of how easy it is to use.
Ginger contains compounds called gingerols that are extremely anti-inflammatory. It is also a free-radical scavenger that is able to remove inflammation-causing cells. It is easy to incorporate ginger into your diet by adding it to stir-fry’s or adding a slice to your cup of herbal tea. Also, have you heard of a drink called a switchel? It is an old-fashioned drink that used to be called “haymaker’s punch”; it is made with fresh ginger, has many health benefits, and is one more way that you can more fresh ginger in your diet!
The bark of a white willow contains a chemical called salicin, which is similar to acetylsalicylic acid that is found in aspirin. Willow bark can be purchased from an herbal supply store and can be made into a tea or you can take it in pill form. You can also find topical lotions, like Real Time Pain Relief, that include this as an ingredient in their pain-relieving lotion.
Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that grows well indoors in most conditions, as long as it gets adequate sunlight. You can cut a leaf off of the bottom of the plant and filet it, like you would a fish, and remove the gel from the inside. This gel can be applied to the skin topically and does an excellent job of relieving pain and inflammation.
Arnica is a herb, and extractions from its flowers and roots have been formulated into creams that can be applied topically to the skin to reduce inflammation, reduce bruising, and help to relieve pain. It can be applied a few times per day to the affected area. One study found that arnica applied topically can be just as effective at relieving pain as drugs like ibuprofen.
Chamomile can be used both topically and internally to help relieve pain and inflammation. It can also be very calming. You can steep chamomile to make a nice tea, or steep yourself in a chamomile infused bath at the end of the day. Add some lavender for an extra calming effect. There are also topical lotions and creams that can be used topically to relieve pain and inflammation at the site. These are excellent to use if you suffer from back pain or other pain.
High-quality herbs can be a powerhouse helper in the quest to achieve optimal health. They are easy to add to your everyday cooking and baking. Some of the herbs listed above could be combined into a cream or salve to apply topically for pain relief. Or you could steep a combination of some of the herbs listed above to make a lovely tea.
Keep in mind that sometimes it can take a little while to see their benefits in real life. But stick with them and you will be glad you did! With the okay from your doctor, give some of the herbs listed above a try! Your body will thank you.
- Healthy Herbs by Linda Woolven and Ted Snider
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- The Herbalists Way by Nancy and Michael Phillips
- Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung