These 10 Natural Remedies Are Considered Valuable For Inflammation

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These 10 Natural Remedies Are Considered Valuable For InflammationInfographic © Image sources: see foot of page

Inflammation is a natural reaction of the body to tissue damage and disease and is often a sign that the body is fighting a health issue. While acute inflammation is a signal that the immune system is working as it should, chronic inflammation – or inflammation that persists beyond six months – causes irreversible damage to different organs and is the root cause of several chronic diseases like asthma and arthritis, and even serious conditions like heart disease and lupus. [1][2]

#1 – Tropical Rose Mallow

Known by its scientific name Hibiscus vitifolius, the Tropical Rose Mallow plant has been researched as early as 1978 because of its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Focus has been placed on a substance isolated from the plant called Gossypin that shows promise in battling different inflammatory conditions.

– One of the earliest studies was published in 1978 and found that gossypin was able to reduce edema and inflammation found in cases of arthritis. Although less potent than the drug of choice (pheoylbutazone), it was significantly safer and had no toxic side effects. [3]

– A recent study published in 2013 supported the earlier discovery of tropical rose mallow’s anti-inflammatory capabilities, specifically in cases of neurologic disease. Brain tissue damage by ischemia (loss of oxygenated blood flow) is typically caused by inflammation – inflammation that gossypin (extracted from the tropical rose mallow plant) was able to reduce by inhibiting inflammatory mediators in the immune system. [4]

#2 – Holy Basil

Given the name holy basil because of its religious and medicinal use in Indian Ayurvedic tradition, this herb has been extensively studied throughout the years – showing how its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are able to manage a variety of diseases.

– Research done by Baliga, et. al. in 2016 revealed that holy basil is able to manage the common cold, bronchitis, skin infections, ear problems, heart disease, rheumatism, and arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Because of this, holy basil was effective in protecting tissues from radiation damage (in radiotherapy). [5]

– Similarly, Shimizu, et. al. in 2014 found that the anti-inflammatory properties of holy basil was able to reduce the inflammatory damage caused by pancreatic cancer cells, suggesting a potential role in chemotherapy. [6]

#3 – Turmeric

Turmeric is more than just a widely-used herb – time and time again research has found its anti-inflammatory properties significant enough to treat different chronic inflammatory diseases.

– One of the most important ways to fight heart and kidney disease is to control hypertension by avoiding salt (sodium) – instead, use herbs to flavor your food instead. On top of that, a new study has found that turmeric targets heart disease directly by mediating the inflammatory response in the arteries (which leads to atherosclerosis) without any damage to the liver (which is usually the case with statin therapy). [7]

– Turmeric has also been found to find against cancer cells in cases of leukemia by inciting cell death at the genetic level. Curcuma causes DNA breakage in the leukemia cancer cells, causing the cell death. Its anti-inflammatory properties also inhibit the proliferation of the cancer cells and the damage they cause to healthy tissue. [8]

– Curcumin, a substance in Turmeric, also shows promise in the management of degenerative eye conditions like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Wang, et .al. in 2013 conducted a series of clinical trials on the effects of curcumin on degenerative inflammatory eye problems and found that the substance was able to inhibit inflammation and preserve vision and general eye health. [9]

#4 – Nutmeg

In a study in 2011 by Piaru, et. al., nutmeg was found to have anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. This plays a role in the management of inflammatory diseases, where angiogenesis (or the development of new blood vessels) causes inflammation and damage to surrounding tissues. This is typically seen in cases of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. [10][11]

#5 – Guggul

Another plant popular in Ayurvedic medicine is guggul, known scientifically as Commiphora wightii. Traditionally, it is known for strong anti-inflammatory properties – used to manage conditions like arthritis, rheumatism, gout, and lipid metabolism problems. Different studies have supported guggul’s anti-inflammatory capabilities – one showing how it is able to reduce inflammation in granulomas and another showing how it is more effective than ibuprofen in terms of anti-inflammatory activity. [12]

– A study in 2003 found that guggul was able to reduce inflammation in osteoarthritis of the knees – alleviating pain and improving mobility in affected test subjects. [13]

#6 – Rosemary

– Rosemary is more than just a dried herb used for flavoring dishes. It has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects, seen in a study by Peng, et. al. in 2007. The study focused on rosemary extracts and its bioactivities – antioxidant, antitumor, anti-HIV, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties made the extract able to fight against tumor growth and proliferation – all without the toxic effects found in traditional chemotherapy. [14]

#7 – Garlic

– Garlic is a favorite “heart-healthy” food – and with good reason! The reason why garlic is good for your heart is because of anti-inflammatory properties. Heart conditions like atherosclerosis are caused by inflammation of the heart and vascular tissue, causing a build-up of inflammatory cells that block the circulation and delivery of blood. Garlic mediates this inflammation, protecting the heart and the vessels the lead to and from it. [15]

– Garlic’s anti-inflammatory property can also be used to manage inflammation in the nervous system. A study in 2014 found that the anti-neuroinflammatory ability of garlic suggests a promising future in the management of neurodegenerative diseases caused by inflammation (like Alzheimer’s Disease). [16][17]

– A substance isolated from garlic showed promising anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, specifically targeting gastric inflammation. The 2014 study that focused on this garlic extract found that it was gastroprotective, fighting against inflammation caused by drug-induced damage to gastric tissues. [18]

#8 – Ginger

Ginger ale and ginger tea are popular gastric-soothing choices for people with easily irritable stomachs. But how exactly does that work? Gastric irritation from food or medicine often leads to inflammation of the delicate lining of the stomach – hence stomach ache and/or cramps. Gingerol, a substance from the ginger root, has significant analgesic and anti-inflammatory ability that is able to soothe an upset stomach and relieve pain and discomfort. [19]

#9 – Cinnamon

The anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon was seen in a recent study published just last year in 2015. While older studies have found the same significant anti-inflammatory ability in cinnamon, the 2015 study by Gunawardena, et. al. focused on how cinnamon will be able to play a big role in the management of chronic inflammation in age-related diseases. The study found that cinnamon compounds could target specific tissues (which means it could target specific inflammatory diseases), with cinnamon being the most potent anti-inflammatory food out of 115 items they included in a previous study. [20]

#10 – Black Pepper

– This spice may be an odd choice in the management of inflammation but a study in 2010 has found that black pepper, in particular, has strong modulatory effects on the immune system. It is able to mediate the inflammatory response in the body, correlating with an ability to prevent carcinogenesis of cells. [21]

– A study in 2014 also found that black pepper, both pure and extracts from the spice, had both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties – with hexane and methanol extracts lasting longer and being more potent than pure black pepper (piperine compound). [22]

– According to Ying, et. al. in 2013, black pepper is also able to reduce inflammation in cases of osteoarthritis – an ability used extensively in Traditional Chinese Medicine. By regulating the over-production of inflammatory markers by the immune system, the symptoms of osteoarthritis are effectively controlled. [23]

– Another study conducted in 2015 found that black pepper (and long pepper) could also manage inflammatory bowel disease by reducing and preventing colonic inflammation. [24]


[1] National Institutes of Health. Immune response.

[2] Mayo Clinic. Lupus.

[3] Parmar, N. (1978). Anti-inflammatory activity of gossypin of bioflavonoid isolated from Hibiscus vitifolius Linn.;year=1978;volume=10;issue=4;spage=277;epage=293;aulast=parmar;type=0

[4] Chandrashekar, V., et. al. (2013). Neuroprotective activity of gossypin from Hibiscus vitifolius against global cerebral ischemia model in rats.

[5] Baliga, M., et. al. (2016). Radio protective effects of the Ayurvedic medicinal plant Ocimum sanctum Linn. (Holy Basil): A memoir.;year=2016;volume=12;issue=1;spage=20;epage=27;aulast=Baliga

[6] Shimizu, T., et. al. (2013). Holy Basil Leaf Extract Decreases Tumorigenicity and Metastasis of Aggressive Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells in vitro and in vivo: Potential Role in Therapy.

[7] Charoenwanthanang, P., et. al. (2011). Effects of Curcuma comosa on the expression of atherosclerosis-related cytokine genes in rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet.

[8] Jariyawat, S., et. al. (2011). Induction of apoptosis in murine leukemia by diarylheptanoids from Curcuma comosa Roxb.

[9] Wang, L., et. al. (2013). Curcumin, a potential therapeutic candidate for retinal diseases.

[10] Piaru, S., et. al. (2012). Antioxidant and antiangiogenic activities of the essential oils of
Myristica fragrans and Morinda citrifolia.

[11] National Institutes of Health. Inflammation and the Microcirculation, Chapter 6: Angiogenesis.

[12] Sarup, P., Bala, S. & Kamboj, S. (2015). Pharmacology and Phytochemistry of Oleo-Gum Resin of Commiphora wightii (Guggulu).

[13] Singh, B., et. al. (2003). effectiveness of Commiphora mukul for osteoarthritis of the knee: an outcomes study.

[14] Peng, C., et. al. (2007). Supercritical Fluid Extracts of Rosemary Leaves Exhibit Potent Anti-Inflammation and Anti-Tumor Effects.

[15] Gorinstein, S., et. al. (2007). The atherosclerotic heart disease and protecting properties of garlic: contemporary data.

[16] Ho, S. & Su, M. (2014). the Anti-Neuroinflammatory Capacity of Raw and Steamed Garlic as Well as Five Organosulfur Compounds.

[17] Heppner, F. (2015). Immune attack: the role of inflammation in Alzheimer disease.

[18] Choi, Y., et. al. (2014). Protective effects of garlic extract, PMK-S005, against nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-induced acute gastric damage in rats.

[19] Young, H., et. al. (2004). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of [6]-gingerol.

[20] Gunawardena, D., et. al. (2015). Anti-inflammatory activity of cinnamon (C. zeylanicum and C. cassia) extracts – identification of E-cinnamaldehyde and o-methoxy cinnamaldehyde as the most potent bioactive compounds.

[21] Majdalawieh, A. & Carr, R. (2010). In vitro investigation of the potential immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities of black pepper (Piper nigrum) and cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum).

[22] Tasleem, F., et. al. (2014). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of Piper nigrum L..

[23] Ying, X., et. al. (2013). inhibits IL-β induced expression of inflammatory mediators in human osteoarthritis chondrocyte.

[24] Hu, D., et. al. (2015). The protective effect of piperine on dextran sulfate sodium induced inflammatory bowel disease and its relation with pregnane X receptor activation.

Infographic info sources:

Turmeric –
Holy Basil –
Nutmeg –
Guggul –
Tropical Rose Mallow –
Black Pepper –
Garlic –
Ginger –
Rosemary –
Cinnamon –

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