Fighting inflammation is a big topic in the health world today, but it doesn't necessarily require complex cures. In fact, there are plenty of old-fashioned remedies to help reduce inflammation that just might work for you. (In the event of more serious injury or inflammation issues, however, don't hesitate to visit your doctor for a thorough check-up.)
The word inflammation gets thrown around a lot today, but what exactly does it mean? For the most part, inflammation describes the body's natural response to guard itself against harm, as explained in Harvard Health Publishing. It's a necessary function. The red, swollen area that appears when you bang an elbow on the table is a form of inflammation, and it's the result of white blood cells protecting the area, as further explained in Harvard Health Publishing.
So if inflammation is a natural function, then why is there such a push against it? It can still be uncomfortable or even painful. For instance, dealing with sore muscles after a tough workout is a form of inflammation, according to Fitness Magazine. Whether you're dealing with sore muscles, a mild injury, or some other form of bodily inflammation, it's understandable if you want to make that discomfort go away. And as it turns out, there are plenty of simple, old-fashioned remedies that can soothe inflammation pretty well. Hey, sometimes it's difficult to improve on the effectiveness of an ice pack.
1. Fermented Foods
Stock up on pickles and sauerkraut. Because they can provide your digestive tract with a whole array of probiotics, fermented foods may help ward off inflammation inside the body, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
2. Epsom Salts
You've probably seen Epsom salts at a drugstore or spa. Used for hundreds of years as a way to soothe aches and pains, Epsom salts break down into magnesium and sulfate when poured into water, according to WebMD. The idea is that these compounds can be used as a remedy for everything from sore muscles to Fibromyalgia, although more research is needed to fully back up these claims, as further explained in WebMD. Whatever the case, soaking in a warm bath with Epsom salts is certainly a relaxing way to deal with potential symptoms of inflammation.
3. Cold Therapy
Sometimes a simple ice pack is a great tool for recovery. Cold treatments do help reduce inflammation by decreasing blood flow to an injured area, according to Medical News Today. It's a time-tested cure.
It's almost impossible to look at inflammatory remedies without mentioning this particular spice. "Turmeric has been used in India for thousands of years as a medicinal herb," says LA-based naturopath Dr. Saman Faramarzi. As it turns out, turmeric contains curcumin, which has anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, according to Foods. If you want to give this spice a try, then making turmeric milk (AKA golden milk) at home is a simple introduction, according to Elite Daily.
Consider the fungi. A whole variety of compounds that may help relieve inflammation are found in mushrooms, according to Healthline. In particular, mushrooms contain the antioxidant ergothioneine, which may help inhibit inflammation, according to Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry.
6. Milk Thistle
This herb may also have some soothing properties. Milk thistle contains silymarin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredient, according to WebMD. How exactly it responds to the human body is still being studied, however.
7. Green Tea
Well, it wouldn't be a true health post without mentioning green tea. As it turns out, green tea is a good source of polyphenols, which have strong anti-inflammatory properties, according to the Arthritis Foundation. Although more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between these chemical compounds and inflammation, it looks like tea is a fantastic drink for your health. Whether you enjoy a hot cup of matcha or try out any of these other treatments, there are plenty of folk remedies for inflammation that may have real benefits.