7 Best Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

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7 Best Anti-Inflammatory Herbs
7 Best Anti-Inflammatory Herbs. Graphic © herbshealthhappiness.com. Photo © AdobeStock 48314543 (under license)

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury or illness, usually accompanied by fever and pain or tenderness. However, too much inflammation can also be dangerous to health – especially if affects certain areas like the airways or blood vessels. In fact, even low-level systemic inflammation found in the older population can be associated with the development and progression of chronic diseases like heart and liver disease. [1]

If you want to avoid the negative effects of prolonged inflammation in the body, take note of these seven herbs that scientific studies have indicated have the potential to fight inflammation.

1 – Carissa Carandas

The fruit-bearing plant Carissa carandas has been used for its medicinal properties in treating various conditions, such as diarrhea, fever, and mouth ulcers. It’s rich in steroids, terpenes, tannins, flavonoids, and other substances that can help fight inflammation. Based on the results of a 2014 study, the dried fruit of the Carissa carandas plant can be taken as a food supplement to help fight inflammation. [2]

2 – Rosemary

Rosemary is one of the many herbs that have antibacterial and antioxidant properties (because of its phytochemicals such as rosmarinic acid). Hand-in-hand with those properties, rosemary is also a potent anti-inflammatory agent. A 2007 study on the effects of rosemary showed that the extracts from the herb could be used to relieve inflammation, and even prevent the formation of tumors. [3]

3 – Black Garlic

Garlic has been proven time and time again to be food for the body – usually by improving cardiac health. But what kind of garlic? A study on aged black garlic revealed its potent anti-inflammatory effects, inhibiting activation of inflammation-causing substances in the body and decreasing their levels in the body. [4]

4 – Senna

Senna is popularly known for its laxative properties, used in conditions that affect that gastrointestinal tract like constipation. In traditional Mexican folk medicine, Senna – called saalche – is used to heal wounds and skin infections, manage irregular menstruation, and fight inflammation. Susunaga-Notario, et. al. (2014) discovered that the chloroform extract of the Senna villosa plant was most potent in reducing ear edema and inflammation. [5]

5 – Pepper

The oil from the fruits of the African pepper have been long used as flavoring for soup, but it has also showed promising chemopreventive, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties in a study by Woguem, et. al. in 2014. The hot pepper oil is turning out to be a real all-arounder. [6]

6 – Mushrooms

A favorite addition to soup, stir fry, and pasta has shown very potent anti-inflammatory activity when kept in their raw forms. A study by Gunawardena in 2014 revealed that White Button, Honey Brown, Shiitake, Enoki, and Oyster mushrooms were all promising on the anti-inflammatory front, inhibiting nitric oxide production, but whose properties were lost during heating and cooking. [7]

7 – Turmeric

Curcumin is a potent substance found in Turmeric, able to inhibit the production of tumor necrosis factors and interleukins responsible for systemic inflammation found in cases of sepsis. Five active curcumin compounds were studied in 2014 by Zhang, et. al., revealing the ability of curcumin to fight acute inflammatory diseases. [8]


[1] Pawelec, G., Goldeck, D. & Derhovannessian, E. (2014). Inflammation, aging and chronic disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24762450

[2] Anupama, N., Madhumitha, G. & Rajesh, K. (2014). Role of Dried Fruits of Carissa carandas as Anti-Inflammatory Agents and the Analysis of Phytochemical Constituents by GC-MS. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4022248/

[3] Peng, C., et. al. (2007). Supercritical Fluid Extracts of Rosemary Leaves Exhibit Potent Anti-Inflammation and Anti-Tumor Effects. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1271/bbb.70199

[4] Kim, M., et. al. (2014). aged black garlic exerts anti-inflammatory effects by decreasing no and proinflammatory cytokine production with less cytoxicity in LPS-stimulated raw 264.7 macrophages and LPS-induced septicemia mice. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25238199

[5] Susunaga-Notario, A., et. al. (2014). Bioassay-Guided Chemical Study of the Anti-Inflammatory Effect of Senna villosa (Miller) H.S. Irwin & Barneby (Leguminosae) in TPA-Induced Ear Edema. http://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/19/7/10261/htm

[6] Woguem, V., et. al. (2014). Volatile oil from striped African pepper (Xylopia parviflora, Annonaceae) possesses notable chemopreventive, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial potential. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24295693

[7] Gunawardena, D., et. al. (2014). Anti-inflammatory effects of five commercially available mushroom species determined in lipopolysaccharide and interferon-γ activated murine macrophages. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24262531

[8] Zhang, Y., et. al. (2014). Discovery and evaluation of asymmetrical monocarbonyl analogs of curcumin as anti-inflammatory agents. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24741294

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1 Comment

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