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Best Anti Inflammatory Herbs

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Herbs For Inflammation

Best Anti-Inflammatory Herbs

What If I told you there exists a pharmacopeia of herbs and herbal formulas that can be used to control inflammation? Would you believe me If I told you that the side-effects associated with these herbs is practically non-existent?

Nowadays it is so easy to get caught up with pharmaceutical trends. Although beneficial to a degree, many physicians over-advocate the use of NSAIDS, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NSAIDS help in blocking the formation of prostaglandins; your body’s naturally produced “inflammation” chemicals that serve several important functions. Prostaglandin’s support your body’s blood clotting function, help protect your stomach lining, and control fever. Prostaglandins, although sometimes labeled “trouble makers” are absolutely necessary to your body’s proper function. Let’s take a look at several herbal compounds that help in controlling inflammation.

The Best Anti-Inflammatory Herbs That Control Inflammation

Boswellia (Indian Frankincense)

Boswellia, also known as Indian Frankincense is an Ayurvedic herb that has anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat arthritis, asthmatic problems and digestive issues. Boswellia has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to treat inflammatory conditions.

Therapeutic Uses:

  • Inflammation of joints
  • arthritis
  • asthma
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Artemisia Annua (Sweet Wormwood)


Artemisia has fern-like leaves, bright yellow flowers, and a camphor-like scent. The leaves and stems are used when making an extraction.Various studies have suggested that Artemisia may be useful in the treatment of autoimmune diseases by inhibiting proliferation of inflammatory T cells.

Therapeutic uses:

  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Organ transplantation rejection
  • Arthritis


Unicaria Tomentosa (Cats Claw)

Unicaria, commonly known as cat’s claw, is a high climbing woody vine that grows in the amazon regions of Columbia, Peru, Ecuador and other South American countries. The active constitutes of Cat’s claw are Oxidole alkaloids. These alkaloids have been documented with immune stimulating, anti-leukemia, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Therapeutic uses:

• Immune stimulant

• Bowel cleanser and anti-inflammatory

• Chrone's, colitis, diverticulitis, IBS

• All kinds of arthritis, pains, strains, and injuries

• Stomach ulcers

Urtica Urens (Stinging nettle)

Nettles thrive in damp shaded soil, however they can grow almost anywhere.  The best thing about nettles is botanical versatility. Nettles may be used therapeutically in three ways, as a leaf or fruit taken internally, as a leaf topically(for arthritis), or as a root for symptoms like BPH & hair loss.

Stinging nettle contains anti-inflammatory compounds like cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase inhibitors as well as substances that affect the secretion of cytokines.

Therapeutic uses:

  • Arthritis, rheumatism & other inflammatory conditions (leaf/topical)
  • Allergies & rhinitis(leaf)
  • Hypertension(leaf)


Ulmus Fulva (Slippery Elm)

The name slippery elm fits this gloppy herb perfectly. It has a pacifying influence on the nervous system and may act as a somniferic.


Therapeutic uses include:

  • Dry spasmodic cough
  • Gastritis, colitis, Enteritis
  • Diarrhea, IBS
  • Arthritis


Aloe (Lilacaceae)

Commonly known for its healing effects on skin wounds and burns, aloe vera’s inherit enzymes are linked to blocking pain and inflammation.

Therapeutic uses:

Externals wounds such as:

  • Burns, Sunburn, Cuts
  • Bruises
  • Post surgery & dermabrasion

Internals uses such as:

  • Gastritis
  • IBD
  • Peptic Ulcer
  • Cystitis
  • Short-term constipation


It is very important when purchasing Aloe Vera to avoid processed gel products, “Aloe Vera Extract”, or “Aloe Vera Solids”.


Arnica Montana

The taste and smell of the Arnica plant is light and flowery. The fresh whole plant or flower heads are used.

Therapeutic uses:

Arnica is commonly sold as a cream to be used on traumatic injury where there is bruising and inflammation.

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Rheumatism
  • Post-surgery

Arnica is also the primary ingredient of the extremely popular proprietary blend , Penetrex® that utilizes many of the aforementioned herbs to treat inflammation.

Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice)

Licorice is one of the most widely used herbs with a significant history in western, ayurvedic and chinese traditions. It was used extensively by the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

Therapeutic uses:


  • Hepatisis
  • Bronchial asthma, allergies
  • Chronic Gastritis
  • Hypotension
  • Rheumatism, Arthritis or other chronic inflammatory conditions

Tanacetum Parthenium (Feverfew)

Feverfew is bitter, aromatic and slightly sweet. Ancient Egyptians and Greeks used feverfew as a valuable herbal remedy primarily for anti-inflammatory, migraines, and to regulate normal body functions.

Therapeutic Uses:

Feverfew derives from the latin febrifugia, meaning fever reducing. It has been used for centuries to reduce fever, treat headaches, arthritis and digestive problems.

  • Applied locally for pain and swelling.
  • Skin conditions- calm red and irritated skin.

Hypericum Perforatum(St. Johns Wart) 

The flowers, leaves & stems of this plant are all utilized. Its active ingredients come from the essential oil, a red glycoside by the name of hypercine, and a polyphenolic flavonoid derivative.

Therapeutic uses:

  • Inhibits viral infections such as H.I.V. and herpes
  • Good for anxiety, depression, and nervous tension
  • Treats nerve pain and injury
  • Treats diseases specifically affecting the spine when used topically
  • Relieves inflammation, redness, and swelling. 

This article is not intended to serve as a proper medical diagnosis.  The author encourages you to talk with your primary care physician if you have any health concerns.

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Brendan Zachar is a Licensed Acupuncture Physician practicing in Miami,FL.

Diet Blog|Miami Acupuncture


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Guest Tuesday, 16 September 2014
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