Inflammation is your body’s protective response to injury or damage. It helps your natural healing and repair processes. A problem starts when your body is chronically inflamed. Many modern stressors, such as pollution, food sensitivities and carrying extra weight, can lead to chronic inflammation.
Many herbs possess healing properties which when used appropriately are useful in the treatment of diseases caused by chronic inflammation in the body
Natural Anti Inflammation Herbs
Guggul is classically used as a detoxifying herb in Ayurveda. The resin secreted by the guggul tree are found to have anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering effects comparable to commercial drugs such as ibuprofen, a type of NSAID, and clofibrate, a drug used for reducing serum cholesterol, in some studies. It may also be useful in relieving pains due to fibromyalgia and rheumatism.
Guggul can be found in their raw forms as gums and resins, and in powder, capsules and tablets. As with any other medicinal herb, consult a knowledgeable herbalist or physician before self-medicating.
Also called Indian frankincense or Salai, Boswellia is traditionally used to treat arthritis, respiratory problems, and digestive symptoms. Modern studies have now supported these uses with the identification of active anti-inflammatory compounds in Boswellia called boswellic acids. These acids were found to deter the formation of enzymes that can lead to inflammatory disorders such as bronchial asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
A type of basil native to India, holy basil or tulsi not only plays an important role in Ayurveda, it is also revered by worshipers as a symbol of a deity. Traditionally, this herb is used in cooking and also as a medicine to treat cold, flu and sore throat. Holy basil oil is found to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and other medicinal properties that are effective against arthritis, diabetes, high cholesterol, peptic ulcers as well as chemotherapy and radiation poisoning.
Dried or grounded holy basil leaves can be found in specialty stores as well as on the Internet. Zyflamend, a popular anti-inflammatory herbal formula in the US, also contains holy basil in its unique blend. In places where holy basil is not available, sweet basil can also be used.
Known as the ‘Divine Tree’ in India, neem oil is used in Ayurvedic medicine to calm inflammatory skin conditions, joint pains and muscle aches. Extracts of neem leaves and seeds have also demonstrated anti-fungal, antibacterial, anti-diabetic and anti-viral properties in various studies.
All parts of this amazing tree can be used. Neem shoots and flowers are eaten as vegetables in India, while the leaves are added to foods as a spice to impart a unique bitter flavor. Neem oil can also be applied topically to treat skin irritations, and sprayed on plants to control pests.
Well known for healing wounds and soothing skin burns, aloe vera‘s anti-inflammatory properties work internally as well. When ingested, aloe cools inflammation in the digestive tract such as in the case of peptic ulcers, and it may also be beneficial for other inflammatory conditions. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, aloe vera is prescribed when there is excessive heat in the liver.
Aloe vera gel can be consumed internally, or used topically to treat burns and other skin irritations such as acne and psoriasis. The juice obtained from the gel is also a popular detoxification beverage.
The anti-inflammatory agent in turmeric is its yellow pigment called curcumin. Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines have long used turmeric and curcumin to reduce inflammation as well as treat digestive disorders, wounds and infections.
Studies have shown that curcumin also acts as an antioxidant and may combat cancer. Fresh or powdered turmeric is excellent in curries, soups or other dishes.
Research has shown that ginger has a better therapeutic effect than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to treat pain and inflammation. Ginger also inhibits the activation of several genes involved in an inflammatory response. Ginger may help prevent or treat nausea and vomiting from motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy. It can also be used to reduce osteoarthritic pain and heart disease. Ginger is delicious in many savory dishes, as well as in teas, juices and desserts.
Also known as liquorice, the sweet root of this plant is commonly used to make candies. Healing-wise, the strong anti-inflammatory compounds found in licorice root have been found to be effective against coughs, colds, mouth ulcers, peptic ulcers, and even chronic hepatitis infection.
Ayurvedic oils for Muscular, Back and Joint Pain
There are many oils made from natural ingredients that help in treating inflammation and muscle pain.
Mahanarayan Oil – is a popular traditional Ayurvedic oil for back pain. Owing to its rejuvenating and analgesic qualities, when massaged directly on the skin it helps to soothe sore muscles and tendons. This oil helps to detoxify the deep layers of the skin and muscles. Mahanarayan oil also improves blood circulation and loosen tight muscles. Massage daily on the entire body for 3 to 6 months. Mahanarayan Oil for back pain is a very famous herbal oil used in Ayurvedic treatment of arthritis, paralysis, and eye diseases
Ashwagandha Oil – nourishes the bones, muscles, and tissues. Muscle pain is linked to Vata dosha in the body and this is an excellent oil for reducing Vata disorders such as nerve or muscle pain. It has relaxing properties that ease pain and also reduces muscle spasm.
Vata Samana Thailam – prepared by the mixture of garlic, sathapushpa, sesame and neem oil base massaging with this oil helps in reducing muscular and back pain. When the muscles are overworked, they start to ache. Through this oil massage, it warms the skin and the underlying muscles. Regular massage has shown improvements in reducing pain and stiffness. It is a good Ayurvedic massage oil for back pain or Ayurvedic thailam for back pain.
Karpooradi Oil – with a major ingredient, tree camphor, it is called a magic healer. It is used to relieve muscular pain, joint pain, joint stiffness, and rheumatoid complaints. Warm the oil slightly and rub on the affected area to ease numbness and improve blood circulation.
Murivenna – prepared in coconut oil it possesses anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It soothes pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Application of murivenna every day over the torso from side to side is said to increase metabolism as well.
Dhanwantharam Oil – used for several health conditions including arthritis, spondylitis and nervous disorders it relieves numb muscles and blocks caused in the body. A regular massage also improves blood circulation along with helping the skin in getting rid of toxins.
Kottamchukkadi Thailam – very useful combination of herbs processed in sesame oil. It is used in arthritis, spondylosis, myalgia, and sciatica. It has proven to be very efficient in the treatment of arthritic ailments like pain, swelling, stiffness and limited mobility in the joints.