Anti-inflammatory diet, foods, supplements, herbs and natural substances as alternatives to medications
August 16 2019 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

The term anti inflammatory refers to something that reduces, or is against, inflammation. Many vague aches and pains in the body, and many types of diseases are caused by excessive inflammation within tissues and organs. The types of foods and drinks we consume has an influence on the state of inflammation in our bodies.

A higher dietary inflammatory index is associated with a higher risk of developing depression.

Anti inflammatory diet and food, what we eat makes a difference
A diet that reduces inflammation consists mostly of vegetables and fish. Vegetables and fruits have polyphenols and many other plant substances that have a benefit. Vegetables are better in this regard since they have much less sugar than fruits. In my opinion, the foods that cause the least inflammation and are the most anti-inflammatory are fish such as halibut, sardines, salmon, and all kinds of vegetables. Foods that cause inflammation are sugar, simple carbohydrates, and certain fatty acids and oils especially hydrogenated oils. To reduce inflammation avoid junk foods such as donuts, pastry, cookies, cakes, and sugared drinks.

Evidence suggests a link between the inflammatory potential of diet and risk of cancer. The more foods eaten that have a high inflammatory potential, the higher the risk for future cancer formation.

Natural anti inflammatory herbs, supplements - herbal anti inflammatory products
There are countless herbs and natural supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties. I have listed only a few here and with time I will add more. Many of these can be purchased online and you can learn more about them but clicking on the provided links.

Alpha lipoic acid
Vitamin C and flavonoids have anti-inflammatory effects and are associated with improved endothelial function.
Basil herb
Boswellia serrata often used for joint pain.
Cat's claw herb

Curcumin spice is a strong an anti-inflammatory supplement, it is found in the spice turmeric.
CMO stands for cetyl myristoleate and is often used for joint health.
Fish oils can help shift prostaglandins to less inflammatory types. Similar supplements include krill oil and flax seed oil. Brain Behav Immun. 2012. Omega-3 supplementation lowers inflammation in healthy middle-aged and older adults: a randomized controlled trial.
Garlic is potent.
Ginger is potent, too.
Green tea
Onions contain a good amount of quercetin.
Pine bark extract should be considered.
Pomegranate fruit and extract. Food Funct. 2012. Anti-inflammatory effects of pomegranate (Punica granatum) husk ellagitannins in Caco-2 cells, an in vitro model of human intestine.
Propolis made by bees.
Silymarin is a derivative from the milk thistle plant that has been used for centuries to treat liver ailments.
Catuaba from the Amazon forest is also used as a sexual stimulant
Resveratol is found in grape skin.
Serrapeptase is an enzyme available over the counter and online stores.
Zyflamend is a blend of several potent herbs.
Frankincense is an herb that has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent.
Indigo plant is used in Chinese medicine.

Antioxidants and antiinflammatory dietary supplements for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Altern Ther Health Med. 2010.
A literature search was conducted using MEDLINE (1996 through 2009), EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, and Natural Standard, with bibliographic review of relevant articles. Cited studies from before our search range were included if they represented the only published human data available. Search words included "antioxidant," "antiinflammatory," "cat's claw," "ginger," "fish oil," "omega-3," "turmeric," "vitamin E," "vitamin C," "Baikal skullcap," "barberry," "Chinese goldthread," "green tea," "Indian holy basil," "hu zhang," "oregano," and "rosemary." Three studies support cat's claw alone or in combination for OA, and two studies support omega-3 fatty acids for the treatment of RA. We cannot recommend use of vitamin E alone; vitamins A, C, and E in combination; ginger; turmeric; or Zyflamend (New Chapter, Brattleboro, Vermont) for the treatment of OA or RA or omega-3 fatty acids for OA. Whether any of these supplements can be effectively and safely recommended to reduce nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug or steroid usage is unclear and requires more high-quality research.

Inflammation. 2014. Anti-inflammatory Effects of Baicalin, Baicalein, and Wogonin In Vitro and In Vivo. Here, three structurally related polyphenols found in the Chinese herb Huang Qui, namely baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin, were examined for its effects on inflammatory responses by monitoring the effects of baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated vascular inflammatory responses. Results suggest that baicalin, baicalein, and wogonin posses anti-inflammatory functions by inhibiting hyperpermeability, expression of CAMs, and adhesion and migration of leukocytes, thereby endorsing its usefulness as a therapy for vascular inflammatory diseases.

Does MSM cream work as an anti inflammatory cream?
   I have not seen studies evaluating MSM as a cream.

Can you please advise how can i reduce the CRP, sed rates and TNF naturally.
   Any changes that you make to your diet, the addition of certain herbs and spices, lifestyle changes and moderate exercise and deep sleep, will help reduce the levels of inflammation markers in the blood.

There is persuasive epidemiological and experimental evidence that dietary polyphenols have anti-inflammatory activity. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have long been used to combat inflammation. Recently, cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors have been developed and recommended for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). However, two COX inhibitors have been withdrawn from the market due to unexpected side effects. Because conventional therapeutic and surgical approaches have not been able to fully control the incidence and outcome of many inflammatory diseases, there is an urgent need to find safer compounds and to develop mechanism-based approaches for the management of these diseases. Polyphenols are found in many dietary plant products, including fruits, vegetables, beverages, herbs, and spices. Several of these compounds have been found to inhibit the inflammation process as well as tumorigenesis in experimental animals; they can also exhibit potent biological properties. In addition, epidemiological studies have indicated that populations who consume foods rich in specific polyphenols have lower incidences of inflammatory disease. Polyphenols have diverse biological effects, however, this review will focus on some of the pivotal molecular targets that directly affect the inflammation process.

This study investigated the effect of the anti-inflammatory nutraceuticals garlic extract-aged, alpha lipoic acid (ALA), niacin, and nicotinamide (NA) in a murine dietary-induced model of BBB blood brain barrier dysfunction. The AI nutraceutical agents garlic aged extract, ALA, niacin, or NA are potent inhibitors of dietary fat-induced disturbances of BBB induced by systemic inflammations. J Neuroinflammation. 2013. Nutraceutical agents with anti-inflammatory properties prevent dietary saturated-fat induced disturbances in blood-brain barrier function in wild-type mice.

Topical Herbal Antiinflammatory substances
Topical anti-inflammatory activity of some Asian medicinal plants used in dermatological disorders.
Fitoterapia. 2001.
The topical anti-inflammatory activity of extracts from Cassia angustifolia, Rheum palmatum, Coptis chinensis, Phellodendron amurense and Scutellaria baicalensis, plants used in traditional East Asian medicine against different skin disorders, inhibited the edema induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate, in both single or multiple application, oxazolone, and arachidonic acid. None of the extracts inhibited in vitro the activity of phospholipase A(2) PLA2 from Naja naja.

Anti inflammatory drug and medication
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also called NSAIDs) are used to relieve some symptoms caused by arthritis (rheumatism), such as inflammation, swelling, stiffness, and joint pain. Many types of over the counter anti inflammatory medicines are available including ibuprofen and aspirin. Powerful medicines that have anti inflamatory properties are the anti inflammatory steroids such as cortisol. Surprisingly, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen also cause erectile dysfunction. Regardless of the reason for taking them, painkillers classified as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) apparently increase the likelihood that middle-aged and elderly men will develop erection difficulties.

Anti inflammatory drug and meds for tendon Injuries
Anti-inflammatory painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen may not be effective in many cases of tendon injury. Pain relievers known collectively as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, are often used to treat sore muscles and joints because the body's inflammatory reaction to injury contributes to pain. However, there is no reason to believe that NSAIDs heal tendon injuries known as tendinopathy. Tendinopathy is a general term for disorders of the tendons, bands of fibrous tissue that connect muscle to bone. The Achilles tendon, tendons in the shoulder and the patellar tendon in the kneecap are commonly affected areas. While the initial injury that leads to these tendon problems may involve inflammation in the first several days, there is no evidence of ongoing inflammation in chronic tendinopathy. Nor is there evidence that NSAIDs are an effective therapy after the acute injury is over. In the absence of an overt inflammatory process, there is no reason to use of NSAIDs in chronic tendinopathy. NSAIDs may bring some pain relief from tendinopathy, they may, in the long run, hinder the healing process.  Lab research suggests, that while NSAIDs decrease certain inflammatory chemicals, they may increase the production of substances called leukotrienes that could actually further damage the tendon. Doctors also often use injections of cortisone, an anti-inflammatory drug. But cortisone has the same issues as NSAIDs, and there is evidence that the injections can make tendons more vulnerable to rupture. Source: Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, 2006.

I was taking a product called Reumo Rx that worked for me. Here are the ingredients in ReumoRx. Have you heard of them? Each Serving contains: Glucosamine 250mg Proprietary Herbal Blend: 175 mg Guazuma Ulmifolia, Quercus Ilex (oak bark), Gaultheria Procumbens, Psacalium Peltatum, Calluna Vulgaris, Salix Alba, Shark Cartilage 50mg.

In researching natural anti-inflammatory substances I've learned that beta-caryophyllene is a powerful anti-inflammatory substance, found in minute amounts in a number of foods such as cloves, basil, and celery. But in order to get enough beta-caryophyllene to have a therapeutic effect on my severe, crippling arthritis condition, apparently I'd need to consume unrealistically large quantities of those foods. Beta-caryophyllene is also found in Cannabis sativa, but I don't know any way of getting the anti-inflammatory effect of medical marijuana without the psychoactive effect and I dont want to be stoned all the time. I've been taking cat's claw, fish oil, turmeric, glucosamine, chondroitin, SAM-e and MSM for years, and I can't tell if they have any effect because I'm still suffering a great deal. I'm reluctant to take my prescription anti-inflammatories on a daily basis because the known side-effects are liver damage, kidney damage, and death, and they cost a fortune besides. I did an internet search for suppliers of beta-caryophyllene extract, hoping to experiment with using it as a dietary supplement, and can't find anything.