How Anti-Inflammatory Herbs Work
Herbs work in varying ways to reduce inflammation yet cleverly they are able to discern, with the result that they rarely if ever, reduce necessary inflammation e.g. important and useful temporary responses that cushion and protect an injury.
Herbalists draw from a range of anti-inflammatory plant biochemistries according to how they interact with the body’s particular needs and chemical mediators involved.
Flavanoid Rich Plants are Good
The reds, yellows, purples and dark pinks hues in nature all show us that they’re rich in flavonoids and thus anti-inflammatory. There is also a particular sub-group called anthocyanins which are all the purple colours which have the strongest anti-inflammatory effects. Those that spring to mind are elderberry, red cabbage, blackcurrant, hawthorn, blueberry, and so on. So for instance not only is elderberry tincture an excellent antiviral it is also a top anti-inflammatory. [Ask for PumpBeet Capsule and Superfood Plus samples]
Essential Oil Rich Plants
All the essential rich oil plants are anti-inflammatory but some more than others. One is the very famous turmeric root, but we don’t often think this yellow (flavonoid) rhizome has essential oils but it does. Other choices can be rosemary, chamomile and yarrow. Yarrow is very anti-inflammatory and you can use its essential oil on its own, however, as a common weed, the whole plant is so quick and easy to access and make up as a tea. (It contains azulene like chamomile in fact). Chamomile and lavender flower essential oils are well known and their purple and yellow colouring assure us they contain flavonoids too.
Saponins are Useful
There are soap-like substances in plants that often have hormone and adrenal supportive effects that are innately anti-inflammatory. Of the many to choose from marigold petals (Triterpenoid saponins) are anti-inflammatory and they work on a multitude of levels (not least their yellow/orange flavonoids). But other plants in this category are sarsaparilla, wild yam and liquorice.
Natural Aspirin Plants
These of course are the pre-cursor to aspirin and still work very effectively. Willow is perhaps the most widely known but meadowsweet, cramp bark and silver birch leaves are all in this group.
Demulcent, Mucilaginous Plants
These soothe, coat, protect and seal. They tell the body to reduce inflammatory responses by providing them for the body. Classics are marigold (again), aloe vera, arrowroot and marshmallow. All have slippery coating biochemistry that cools and creates local healing, allowing self-repair and easement of pain and inflammation. (Ask for samples of GutRest Powder).
Antihistamine Plants and Quercetin
Histamine is produced when allergies arise. Antihistamine plants can stop and reduce histamine so that plants which can deflect, control and pre-empt these are invaluable. These are nettle leaves and plantain leaves. Plants rich in Quercetin (a flavonoid plant pigment) found in grapes, berries, kale and the herb ginkgo are also useful.
Blood Cleansing and Detoxing Plants are Anti-inflammatory
Antioxidants and the plant chemistry that makes them so, are key to reducing inflammation. Burdock is one such plant (also contains quercetin) that will quickly remove toxins, increase circulation, act as a natural diuretic and much more. Its classic partner dandelion is another powerhouse of inflammatory deterrents. Both the root and leaf are used enabling quick clearance of the bloodstream, allowing the liver and bile to work better and the urinary system to flow more efficiently. All support the reduction of clogging inflammatory toxins. (Ask for samples of PolliTox Capsules).
Sarsaparilla mentioned earlier is also in this category as a classic blood cleanser.
Resinous Plants-Their Oily Resins
This final category of plants contains ginger and frankincense (Boswellia) which are hugely anti-inflammatory.
The Protocols to Reduce Inflammation
This will always involve discarding toxins and pollutants from the body. These can be ingested unwittingly, as with allergies, or known and chosen allergens e.g. sugar, undesirable carbs and bad fats! So cleansing, detoxing and possibly losing weight are vital routines to carry out several times a year, and or, on a gentle daily basis.
Re-thinking your diet will be a big step to enable less inflammatory situations occurring. Losing a bit of weight will of course help enormously especially as body fat holds on to toxins. Eating more fresh fruit and veg and especially cabbage family (Cruciferae) greens will help. This will also have an added effect of helping balance blood sugar levels. [Poor blood sugar levels will really impact inflammatory responses]. Many who have Diabetes type 2 really find that just by making simple dietary changes, much can be changed. With blood sugar balance in mind, be sure to regularly include bitter and sour foods. Watercress, olives, lemons etc. Our ‘Lemon and Artichoke’ formula (free samples just ask) can help you to get going on the path of bitters and incorporate them easily into your life.
What we can Source for Ourselves
It’s always good to be able to access nature (for those who can and in clean unpolluted places where wild foraging is legal) and treat ourselves for free. So from all the plants I’ve listed so far, these will be common enough to find;-
Silver birch leaves
Yarrow flowers and leaves
Meadowsweet flowers and leaves
Dandelion leaf and root
Simple tea infusions can be ideal, with the berried plants and roots needing slightly more complex preparations.
From our Garden
Teas from rosemary, lavender, olive leaf and marigold are more than possible?
Detoxing and Cleansing a Priority
Flushing and clearing out our modern toxins (whenever they may have accumulated from) is as I said a quick and vital way to reduce inflammation. At Herbs Hands Healing we’ve been banging this drum for 40 years and have our bowel, liver and kidney cleanses as standard, to spearhead helping our bloodstreams, livers and eliminatory channels release better. Vist our Cleansing Advice Page whilst our PolliTox Capsules (ask for samples) give a quick, everyday aid to cleansing the bloodstream, moving the liver and generally combating inflammation. You‘ll now recognise the formula and begin to see why the herbs are in there…..(All wild certified) nettle leaf, dandelion root and leaf, burdock root, rosemary leaf and chicory.
Turmeric is a Favourite
Turmeric is a truly wonderful plant but it’s not the only anti-inflammatory plant! It’s just that many studies have been undertaken on it and it’s become a real ‘go to’ favourite. Hopefully, all the other choices I’ve mentioned will help to give you more options.