When it comes to anti-inflammatory agents, in most cases, aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other OTC NSAIDs will come to mind first. Aside from synthetic drugs, some herbs can help reduce inflammation as they have antibacterial effect too. In fact, some herbs can do a better job in offering natural pain relief. And here is a list of top anti-inflammatory herbs and spices.
1. Isatis root. Isatis root mainly treats pharyngitis, acute tonsillitis, influenza, mumps, acute infectious hepatitis, and the like. It is able to inhibit influenza virus, Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, bacillus enteritidis, etc.
2. St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort can help vein and nerve recovery when swelling occurs due to physical injury.
3. Houttuynia. Houttuynia mainly treats pneumonia, lung abscess, urinary tract infection, diarrhea, mastitis, nephritis, cellulitis, otitis media, snake bites, boils, etc. Besides of inhibiting influenza virus, it can help relieve pain, stop bleeding, suppress a cough, induce urination, etc.
4. Arnica. Arnica is commonly used to treat fractures and cuts. It is available in the forms of tea, tincture or essential oils.
5. Honeysuckle. Honeysuckle mainly treats respiratory tract infection, pneumonia, lung abscess, acute appendicitis, leptospirosis, bacillary dysentery, boils, carbuncle, erysipelas, cervical erosion, etc.
6. Witch hazel. Witch hazel can eliminate swelling caused by cuts and wounds. And it is often used to reduce swelling around the eyes by contracting blood vessels.
7. Coptis root. Coptis root can be used to treat acute bacillary dysentery, acute colitis, acute conjunctivitis, mouth sores, boils, carbuncles, spitting blood, diabetes, burns, etc. In addition, it still inhibits influenza virus, kills leptospira and trichomonad, lowers blood pressure, and treats abnormal heart rhythms.
8. Red pepper. Red pepper is another common anti-inflammatory herb. It can help the body recover faster since it promotes blood circulation.
9. Skullcap. Skullcap is often used in the treatment of acute and chronic hepatitis, dysentery, acute and chronic enteritis, boils, carbuncles, burns, and upper respiratory infections and in the prevention of scarlet fever. At the same time, it is also antipyretic, sedative, antihypertensive, diuretic, and cholagogic.
10. Garlic. Garlic can help the body get rid of the infection faster. It can be taken orally or applied externally in the forms of oils and tinctures.
11. Dandelion. Experiments have shown that dandelion decoction has broad spectrum antimicrobial activity and obvious bactericidal effect. So, it is highly effective in the treatment of acute tonsillitis, conjunctivitis, urinary tract infections, mastitis, bronchitis, gastritis, and so on. And its effect will be better when it is eaten raw.
12. Tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has similar but milder effect of garlic. The difference between them is the former is for external use only. And when combined with red pepper, it has more potent anti-inflammatory properties since increased blood circulation also helps reduce inflammation.
13. Purslane. Purslane salad or decoction has therapeutic effects for acute enteritis, edema of mastitis and nephritis, bleeding hemorrhoids, etc. It is worth mentioning that taking large doses of fresh purslane juice works pretty well for bacillary dysentery.
14. Frankincense. Frankincense is an herb that can ease fibromyalgia. Usually taking two capsules of it a day can quickly reduce the infection.
15. Hawthorn berries. Pharmacological studies have shown that hawthorn berry inhibits Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. And regular consumption of haws can prevent these bacteria inducing infectious diseases in the digestive tract, and respiratory tract and other organs.
16. Devil’s claw. Devil’s claw is an age-old remedy for arthritis since it reduces swelling and pain. White willow bark has a similar effect. They are also good analgesic, anti-inflammatory herbs too.
17. Woad leaf. The indications of woad leaf include influenza, acute infectious hepatitis, bacillary dysentery, acute gastroenteritis, acute pneumonia, erysipelas, jaundice, mouth sores and so on. It kills a variety of Shigella and meningococcus.
18. Licorice. Licorice is one of well-known anti-inflammatory herbs. But this herb should be used with caution because long-term use of it may lead to hypertension.
19. Forsythia. Forsythia is a common herb used for erysipelas, rash, ulcers, carbuncle, scrofula, dribbling of urine, etc. In addition, it inhibits Salmonella Typhi bacteria and other bacteria.
20. Ginger. Ginger is another herb with anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as a condiment to add flavor to the dishes. Besides, drinking ginger tea is another good option.
21. Artemisia capillaris. Artemisia capillaris clears heat and dampness. It treats jaundice, dysuria, pruritus, boils, scabies, etc.
22. Andrographis paniculata. Andrographis paniculata treats acute dysentery, gastroenteritis, epidemic cerebrospinal meningitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, whooping cough, etc.
23. Bupleurum root. Bupleurum root is anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, sedative, antihypertensive, and antitussive. Its indications include respiratory infections, malaria, hepatitis, cholecystitis, rectal prolapse, etc.