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Ten powerful anti-inflammatory herbs

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Ginger and Turmeric


In last week’s edition of The Guardian Newspaper, we had a brief study of inflammation and I promised to present at least ten anti-inflammatory herbs today. To understand further the workings of these herbs, I would like to refresh our memory concerning the symptoms of inflammation. These symptoms include pain, swelling, warmth, redness and restriction of movement.

To be successful in the management of inflammation with herbs, every attempt has to be made to identify and use herbs that not only deal with inflammation per se, but also those herbs that can take care of individual symptoms. In other words, in dealing with inflammation, we will have to use herbs that can eliminate the pain, reduce the swelling and improve the mobility of the area affected by the inflammation. Furthermore, herbs that deal directly with this condition and those that boost the function of the immune system to help it fight inflammation should be employed. Present day understanding of human health, has helped us in learning that the benefits received from these herbs can be more powerful than our ancient ancestors even realized.

If you have ever wanted to reclaim your health and support your natural ability to fight inflammation, here’s a list of some of the best inflammation-fighting herbs and supplements that you can buy and use and how to use them support better health at any age.

1. Curcumin
Curcumin is that “miracle compound” found in the golden-colored root turmeric (curcuma longa). Thousands of studies have shown this compound to be endowed with extensive anti-inflammatory abilities and most notably is its effect on arthritis and osteoarthritis.
It is generally not recommended to consume more than 7.5 grams of curcumin in three or four divided doses daily. If you are using raw turmeric, this can be difficult to calculate. You will have to figure out how much curcumin is in your turmeric, and this can vary based on the way that it is processed and grown.
Curcumin is about 10 times more potent and effective when it is consumed with black pepper. There is a compound called piperine found in Black pepper that combines effectively with curcumin.

2. Black pepper
Curcumin as we now know is much more potent when taken with black pepper, but the benefits are amplified when you recognize that black pepper carries its own anti-inflammatory benefits. Piperine, the compound responsible for making pepper hot, is known to help ease symptoms of various forms of arthritis on its own.
Dosages are typically measured by their ability to improve the absorption of other compounds like curcumin, and for this, it is generally believed that you need about 20 mg of the active component, piperine. This is probably a similar dosage that is needed to provide some degree of inflammation relief on its own, as well.

3. Ginger
Aside from being a fantastic addition to a wide range of meals, ginger packs a lot of health benefits. Beyond inflammation, it can improve metabolism and help fight oxidative damage. The best way to consume ginger is, of course, to eat the raw root, though it is widely available in powder and supplement form, as well.
Research suggests that the compounds gingerol and zingerone found in ginger are primarily responsible for the root’s ability to fight inflammation. They have been linked to reductions in many forms of inflammation, from colitis to kidney damage to diabetes and cancer.

Research suggests that 2 to 3 grams of powdered ginger per day may be the safe effective dose to support the body’s anti-inflammatory response. It is not recommended to take more than four grams of fresh ginger a day because this might cause heartburn or digestive issues.

4. Spirulina
Spirulina is a blue-green algae and potent antioxidant with a range of powerful anti-inflammatory and cleansing abilities. In one study on diabetic subjects, participants given eight grams of spirulina daily showed decreases in malondialdehyde (MDA). MDA is a compound produced by our body that reflects the ability of your immune system to respond to inflammation. Higher levels indicate more inflammation and lower levels indicate less.

Since a lot of the beneficial effects of spirulina are caused by c-phycocyanin, and spirulina is about 20% c-phycocyanin, we can calculate doses that way. Daily doses of spirulina range between one to eight grams daily. Effects can be registered at doses as little as 2.5 grams a day but shouldn’t exceed more than 12 grams.


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