12 Natural Remedies for Inflammation
Inflammation is a serious problem. Whether you are dealing with an inflamed joint causing you great pain, swelling, and loss of motion or with chronic whole-body inflammation, the same thing is true: it’s bad news for your health and wellbeing.
Chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.
While there are plenty of over-the-counter or even prescription anti-inflammatories, they come with many worrisome side effects. But there’s good news: for most people, committing to some diet and lifestyle changes can actually calm the inflammation without the need for medication.
To do just that, I’m bringing you our ultimate guide to natural remedies for inflammation. Below you will find my top 12 ways you can reduce your inflammation without a medication.
12 Most Effective Natural Inflammation Remedies
1. Take Celadrin/Get Enough Omega-3s
The proper ratio of omega-6 fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids is essential for avoiding chronic inflammation. Unfortunately, our western diet is filled with omega-6s (found a lot in processed foods and fast foods) and a low amount of omega-3s (found in healthy foods like fatty fish and seeds).
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Taking the proper blend of fatty acids can help reverse this problem and set your body on track. The Celadrin fatty acids supplement can do just that.
You also need to consume plenty of omega-3s in your diet. Top choices include:
- Alaskan Salmon
- Atlantic Mackerel
- Chia seeds
- Albacore Tuna
- Hemp seeds
- Egg yolks
2. Boost Your Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for warding off chronic inflammation. The scariest part, however, is that most Americans are deficient in this vitamin. It’s time to up our D.
The best way to get your fill of vitamin D is to go outside in the sunshine, so your body can produce its own D. If you fully protect yourself from the sun, you won’t be able to make the vitamin D you need. At the same time, if you stay exposed to the sun too long, you could end up with a burn and a higher risk of skin cancer.
The best bet is to spend a few minutes outside each day without sunscreen. If you are going to stay out longer than a few minutes, you should, of course, cover up.
You can also benefit from supplementing your vitamin D, but make sure you are doing it right. You should be taking D3, not D2. The D2 supplement is not as well absorbed by the body.
3. Eat and Supplement Turmeric Curcumin
Turmeric is one of the best anti-inflammatory spices in this world, and it’s all thanks to one of its unique compounds: curcumin. This antioxidant actually lowers two different inflammatory enzymes in the body. It’s been shown to improve osteoarthritis, uveitis, and neurodegenerative disease, among other inflammatory disorders.
You can get the concentrated power of curcumin in the form of a supplement (my favorite way to ensure I’m getting it daily), but you can also add turmeric to your meals and drinks.
One of my favorites is golden milk, which is essentially a warm turmeric latte. Learn how to make it here:
If you’d rather eat it, here’s my favorite hummus recipe from Minimalist Baker. It’s chock full of healthy ingredients including our favorite anti-inflammatory spice.
4. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Throughout this article, we have talked about certain food groups to concentrate on (like the omega-3s and turmeric!). But an overall anti-inflammatory diet is crucial. It’s very simple. Here’s how it works:
- Eat more anti-inflammatory foods: These include fish, veggies, fruits, leafy greens, beans, nuts, and seeds
- Eat fewer inflammatory foods: These include sugar, processed foods, fast foods, trans fats, and alcohol
The overall goal is to eat “real” food and not packaged food. As you can see, you will be getting a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids – as well as plenty of fiber. It’s a great diet model for anyone.
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If you are going to drink alcohol, keep it to a glass of red wine. And if you are going to indulge in a little sweet treat, try a little dark chocolate. Both of these are significantly less inflammatory than other options.
- 13 of the Best Natural Anti Inflammatory Foods
- The Top 10 Anti-Inflammatory Drinks
- 10 Natural Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices
5. Try a Boswellia Supplement and Essential Oil
Boswellia extract – also called Indian frankincense – can boost your immune system and interfere with the inflammation process. It’s also fabulous for joint pain, so it’s a perfect option for those with inflamed joints.
The best way to take it is through a concentrated Boswellia extract, but you can also try some frankincense essential oil. Either dilute it with a carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba) and rub it on your aching joints or diffuse it in the room.
6. Get the Right Amount of Sleep
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that having too little sleep can lead to chronic inflammation. After all, sleep is the time where your body rests and heals itself for the next day. You need to take steps to ensure at least 7 to 8 hours a night. This can include:
- Taking an all-natural sleep aid with ingredients like melatonin, magnesium, zinc, and valerian root. Eu Natural’s Serenity Sleep Aid is a great choice.
- Creating a sleep schedule and sticking to it – even on the weekends.
- Taking the screens out of your bedroom and bringing black out curtains and a sound machine into the bedroom.
- Learning relaxation techniques like guided imagery or deep breathing.
On the other hand, you may be surprised to hear that getting too much sleep is associated with inflammation as well. Harvard recommends between 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep each night, if you think you’ll start sleeping longer, make sure to set your alarm for an earlier wakeup call.
7. Lose Weight
Weight gain and inflammation are an evil cycle. Gaining weight can cause inflammation and inflammation can cause weight gain. The upside to this cycle is when you start dealing with one of these issues, the other tends to follow.
Luckily, an anti-inflammatory diet is right on track for losing weight.
But be careful: any sort of crash diet where you lose a ton of weight at once can actually increase your body’s inflammation. Be sure to keep it slow and steady.
Exercise and inflammation are interesting things. When you’re exercising, you may actually increase inflammation momentarily. This is because you are creating little micro-tears in your muscles.
But over the long-term, living an active life with regular exercise actually decreases your overall, chronic inflammation. Plus, it can help you keep off the weight.
If you have joint inflammation, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about what activities are safe for your joint’s healing process. But if you are trying to get rid of full body inflammation, start that exercise right away.
9. Focus on Gut Health
We already know that our immune systems control inflammation, but what many of us may not realize is our immune systems reside mostly in our guts. The problem with this fact is so many people have problems with their guts (often referred to as leaky gut). This happens for many reasons:
- Taking antibiotics, which throw off our gut balance of good and bad bacteria
- Having a digestive disorder (like IBD, celiac, or Crohn’s disease)
- Eating a poor diet
- Ingesting too many toxins from tap water or household products
- Dealing with chronic stress
- And more
Focusing on a healthy gut is one of the best ways to deal with inflammation. There are lots of ways you can do just that:
- Take a probiotic supplement: These replenish your body with all those healthy bacteria
- Eat fermented foods: The fermentation of certain foods can provide probiotics as well
- Eat a variety of produce: Different types of fruits and veggies offer different gut benefits – when you only eat the same 4 or 5 veggies on rotation, you are missing out on the diverse benefits produce has to offer
10. Get Allergy Testing
You may lead the ultimate anti-inflammatory lifestyle and do everything just right, but if you have an underlying food allergy or sensitivity, it may not matter all that much. When you repeatedly eat foods you are allergic to/sensitive to, your body responds with its protective instinct: inflammation.
This one is pretty simple to deal with. Get IgG allergy testing (also referred to as food sensitivity testing) done by your doctor and then avoid any food that comes back positive. Common food allergens are:
11. Get More Boron & Trace Minerals
Boron is a mineral that doesn’t get nearly enough attention. Not only does supplementing your diet with boron help you lower inflammation, but it also helps you better absorb magnesium – something else that will improve inflammation!
Other trace minerals like selenium, manganese, zinc, and copper play a valuable role in keeping your body healthy and limiting inflammation.
12. Try Hot/Cold Therapy
Most of these natural remedies for inflammation focus on dealing with inflammation from the inside out. But there’s no reason we shouldn’t come at it from the other way too.
Hot and cold therapies are wonderful non-medicated ways to find relief from inflammation when that inflammation is visible (keep in mind, just because a joint isn’t inflamed does not mean you don’t have systemic inflammation in your body somewhere else!)
Alternate between hot therapy (heating pads/warm showers or baths) and cold therapy (ice packs or ice baths).
Reducing Your Inflammation Naturally
What our ultimate guide to natural inflammation remedies should show you is there are so many different things you can do to support your body.
With your supplement and some lifestyle changes, you should be able to enjoy a non-inflamed body without a prescription medication.