Five Natural Remedies to Reduce Inflammation

By  Carey Rossi

Guest Writer for Wake Up World

Inflammation — what does the word mean to you? For most people, it’s a swollen cut or the swelling that occurs with pain or injury. And while, yes, these outward signs indicate inflammation, this same action happens deep inside the body.  This natural process takes place when the body’s normal protective mechanisms are lacking or even over-acting.

In some, inflammation is chronic because their bodies are exposed to stress: internal, such as eating a high-fat diet or smoking; and external, such as difficult relationships or life events, like a divorce or death of a loved one. Research has shown that  chronic inflammation is linked to a wide range of health problems  including arthritis, allergies, cancer, diabetes and heart disease, among others. Luckily, there are many natural remedies for inflammation that effectively work to provide natural inflammation relief.

1. Açai Berry

All hail,  antioxidants  and the Amazon berry that has an abundance of them —  açai  (pronounced: ahh-sa-ee). According to a study published in the  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Açai-rich juice may reduce levels of inflammation markers linked to conditions such as heart disease by protecting cells from oxidative damage.

“Given the high content of certain specific polyphenols in the juice blend, the increased antioxidant protection [in the body] after consumption of the juice blend, and the anti-inflammatory capacity  in vitro, further research is warranted to evaluate whether juice blend consumption may provide reversal of risk markers in subjects with conditions such as arthritis,  obesity, chronic viral diseases, cardiovascular disease and compromised cognitive function, as well as other conditions associated with chronic inflammation,” wrote lead author Gitte Jensen from Holger NIS Inc., a contract research laboratory.

Other research has indicated that the açai berry contains a  wide array of inflammation-fighting antioxidant compounds  and has great potential to be used as a natural inflammation remedy.

2. Flax Seed  Oil

A tiny super seed chock full of essential  omega-3 fatty acids  can give inflammation a one-two punch. The omega-3s its oil contains can help the body reduce C-reactive protein, a marker that is present in the body when inflammation is present. According to a study published in  Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, healthy  post-menopausal  women who ate low-fat muffins enriched with  flax seeds  for six weeks saw a 15% reduction C-reactive protein. Flax seeds also contain lignans, which may  protect against breast cancer  in  post-menopausal  women.

Flax seeds and flax seed oil have  many health benefits, and as this research indicates, they may serve as an effective remedy to naturally decrease inflammation.

3.  Quercetin

What do red grapes, broccoli and  green tea  have in common? They all contain  quercetin, a natural antioxidant that has been shown to have  powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Recently, Chinese researchers reported in the November 2008 issue of  Molecular Biology Reports  that quercetin negatively alters intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1)—one of the important pro-inflammatory factors—especially in the early phase of inflammation.

As more and more research reveals, quercetin has great potential to serve as a natural anti-inflammatory, and may also boost immunity.

4. Zinc

Many people take  zinc  to  fight off a cold or virus, and now research shows that zinc may also be a natural inflammation remedy. Popping zinc regularly can help reduce inflammation and has also been shown to fight infections in older people. Researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit, tested whether zinc supplementation decreases oxidative stress. They found that consuming 25 mg three times a day for three months decreased TNF-alpha, a cytokine that amplifies inflammation. (Bao B, et al.  Transl Res. 2008 Aug;152(2):67-80. Epub 2008 Jul 11.)

5.  Fish Oil

It  shouldn’t  surprise you that more research has emerged touting this omega-3-rich super supplement’s natural  anti-inflammatory powers. The latest comes from the United Kingdom. Researchers found that taking 3.5 g of fish oil daily for six weeks may activate anti-inflammatory and lipid modulating mechanisms believed to impede the early onset of coronary heart disease. (de Roos B et al.  Proteomics. 2008 May;8(10):1965-74.)

Fish oil is well known for its ability to  improve cardiovascular health  and to fight inflammation naturally. Research has shown that it may even be a viable  alternative to NSAIDS for back pain  and  for the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arhritis.

Keep in mind that while supplements can help tame inflammation in your body, you can make lifestyle choices to prevent it from occurring in the first place. Stay away from trans fats in your diet. Exercise on a regular basis (but don’t over do it since that can cause inflammation!) and keep stress at bay by adopting mindful activities, such as yoga, tai chi or meditation.

The bottom line is, chronic inflammation has been recognized as perhaps the cheif culprit in many diseases which can dramatically affect the quality of your life as you age. Do what it takes to keep inflammation to a minimum with proven natural anti-inflammatory supplements such as açai berry, flax seed oil, quercetin, zinc and fish oil, and by making anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle choices.

About the Author

Carey Rossi is a writer and editor with 10 years of experience covering all aspects of nutrition and fitness. She was the editor-in-chief of  Better Nutrition, a shopping magazine for natural living, and the founding editor of  Muscle & Fitness Hers. In addition, her work has appeared in  Muscle & Fitness, Looking Good Now, Healthy Family, Vegetarian Times  and  Natural Health. She is the author of  No More Diets Ever, Lose Weight the Natural Way.

This article was republished with permission from  Live in the Now, one of the fastest growing natural health newsletters. Visit  LiveInTheNow.com  to browse their complete library of articles, or join the nearly 60,000 readers subscribed to  their Newsletter.

 


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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Wake Up World or its staff.

  • http://earthinginstitute.net/ Jim

    You should make it ‘Six Natural Remedies’ and add earthing/grounding.

    • http://Website JennyG

      You should make it seven Natural Remedies, Curcumin
      Is the tops for inflammation anywhere in the body

  • http://Website Lauren

    No inflammation article is complete without the mention of Turmeric. It’s an amazing anti-inflammatory as well as anti cancer and a gazillion other things.

    Fish oil is good, but make sure you know who makes it and what is in it. Many supplements contain questionable ingredients.