Inflammation. It's something that will most likely affect many of us at various stages in our lives.
Herbalists have known for a long time that herbs can soothe inflammation. And for years now, science has shown that chronic inflammation is an underlying cause of many diseases, such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, endometriosis, cancer, skin rashes, pain, and several digestive issues.
Why is chronic inflammation such a massive problem in the Western world? The thing is, it shouldn't be! Addressing chronic inflammation isn’t a mystery!
We have the tools and knowledge to address chronic inflammation. But, what makes it complicated is that there is no one simple solution for chronic inflammation. It’s an issue with many root causes, and what may cause chronic inflammation in one person may not be what’s causing chronic inflammation in another.
And another roadblock to addressing chronic inflammation is that herbs still remain a missing piece of the puzzle for many people. There are several herbs with anti-inflammatory properties. All, powerful enough to soothe systematic and chronic inflammation; many of which you may have sitting in your pantry; such as; turmeric, green tea, cinnamon, rosemary, garlic, thyme and ginger.
But I want to focus on a few that you may not know about.
Borage Seed Oil - Borago officinalis
Borage seed oil is made from the seeds of the borage plants. It's rich in essential fatty acids that can regulate the body’s immune system and fight joint inflammation.
Borage seed oil contains very high levels of two types of polyunsaturated omega-6 essential fatty acids, 20–26% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and linolenic acid (LA, which your body converts to GLA).
GLA is an essential fatty acid that’s important for maintaining a joint’s cell structure and function. Your body converts it into hormone-like substances called prostaglandins, which regulate your immune system and fight joint inflammation. GLA might also suppress inflammatory responses by directly acting on some inflammatory cells.
Hawthorne - Crataegus
For years, people have used the Hawthorn plant as an herbal remedy for various ailments. In fact, it is one of the key parts of Chinese medicine!
Hawthorn berries and leaves are loaded with polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that are found in plants. These antioxidants aid in fighting off damaging free radicals in the body and promote a general sense of wellbeing. They also have been shown to reduce symptoms relating to inflammation, including asthma, heart problems and even certain cancers.
A flavonoid-rich, nutritive tonic, hawthorn enhances cardiovascular health by decreasing inflammation, opening coronary vessels, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening the function and integrity of cardiovascular tissue.
In addition to reducing inflammation, Hawthorn extract also helps to support healthy digestion. The berries contain fiber, which can help to reduce constipation while acting as a beneficial prebiotic.
Willow Bark - Salix alba
Not only a beautiful tree, willow can also be used as a natural remedy for pain. Willow bark extract has been used for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic. Investigation into Willow Bark as medicine lead to the development of Asprin – one of the best-selling painkillers of all time. Willow Bark has significant anti-inflammatory properties and reduces various markers of inflammation.
Willow Bark’s ability to reduce inflammation is because of its salicin content. Once inside the body, salicin is metabolised into salicylic acid, just like aspirin does. It provides relief from pain, fever, and inflammation, without the stomach upset that chemical aspirin causes.
Have you used herbs to combat inflammation? What was your experience in doing so? Feel free to comment below.