Make Home Remedies for Inflammation

Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Robbi, Lynn, Anonymous and 2 others

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Arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis and sciatic arthritis are inflammatory conditions that cause pain, swelling, redness and discomfort in the joints. While it is possible to relieve the pain and discomfort of these conditions with over the counter and prescription anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin or celecoxib, they're not always 100 percent effective. If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, have a history of peptic ulcers, or suffer from kidney, heart or liver problems, you might not be able to take some of these medications, but you don't have to suffer. There are many proven home remedies you can try to calm your body's inflammation and reduce pain, swelling and stiffness. These range from healthy foods to teas and compresses that naturally reduce inflammation in your body.

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Anti-Inflammatory Foods

One of the easiest ways to reduce and prevent pain from inflammation is to adjust your diet. What you put into your body plays a big role in how you feel, and research has shown that there are certain foods that can actually reduce the body's inflammatory responses because of their high antioxidant and omega acid content. Try to incorporate as many of these as possible into your diet as a long term switch, and you'll not only experience less pain – you'll have more energy, as well.

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  1. 1
    Olive oil.
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    Olive oil is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats as well as oleocanthal, which helps block inflammatory pathways in a similar manner as ibuprofen. Substitute pure olive oil in place of butter or other oils when cooking, and add extra virgin oil to salads, dips and sauces for even more benefits since it contains a higher concentration of oleocanthal. If you don't like the flavor of olive oil, try expeller-pressed organic canola oil.
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  2. 2
    Seafood.
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    Halibut, tuna, snapper, cod, lake trout, Pacific oysters, salmon, sardines, anchovies and bass are not only rich in protein, they also contain omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation in the body and relieve joint pain and stiffness. Replace your protein with omega 3-rich fish two or three times a week. If you don't like fish, you can take a high quality fish oil supplement or eat omega-3 fortified eggs to get the benefits of omega fatty acids.
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  3. 3
    Fruits.
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    Between meals or even for dessert, snack on fruits such as apples, cherries, pineapples, apricots, oranges, tangerines, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cantaloupe. They contain powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals in the body and calm or reduce your body's inflammatory response.
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  4. 4
    Vegetables.
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    Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and Brussels sprouts contains tons of antioxidants that improve your body's overall health. Eggplant, sweet potatoes and peppers are especially good for reducing inflammation in the body.
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  5. 5
    Nuts and seeds.
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    Walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are all rich in omega fatty acids that limit inflammation in the body. Try replacing chips and other unhealthy snacks with handfuls of these crunchy and satisfying nuts and seeds for better health.
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  6. 6
    Garlic and spices.
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    Learn to use garlic, ginger and turmeric in your cooking. Not only will these give your food a boost of flavor, they'll also limit pain and swelling due to inflammation.
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  7. 7
    Herbs.
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    Herbs such as parsley, rosemary, mint, thyme, basil and oregano are all good sources of antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation in your body.
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  8. 8
    Green tea.
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    This seemingly understated drink contains powerful antioxidants known as ECGC that greatly reduce inflammation and limit the break-down of cartilage in the body, resulting in healthier joints for a longer period of time. Drink it daily either hot or cold. If you're not a fan of green tea, try giving it a flavor boost with honey, lemon, strawberries or oranges.
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  9. 9
    Chocolate.
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    Sweets aren't completely off limits. Enjoy small amounts of chocolate – preferably with a 70 percent cocoa content – on a daily basis to take care of your sweets cravings and reduce inflammation in your body.
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  10. 10
    Water.
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    Don't underestimate the power of water when it comes to your health. In addition to green tea, make sure you're consuming plenty of fresh, clean water every single day. If you're not a fan of plain water, try sparkling water with fruit slices or very diluted fruit juices.
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Inflammatory Foods to Avoid

While there are a lot of foods you should include in your diet to reduce inflammation, there are plenty that you should avoid as much as possible. These foods in particular increase inflammation in your body, leading to more pain, swelling and stiffness. Many of these can also encourage weight gain and the development of some cancers and heart disease.

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  1. 1
    Refined carbohydrates.
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    Refined carbohydrates in foods such as bread, crackers, cookies, cakes, white rice and french fries are all essentially the same as consuming sugar in our bodies. They cause our bodies to produce advanced glycation end products (AGE) which cause inflammation. Try to reduce your portion sizes or replace them with whole grain or high-fiber versions.
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  2. 2
    Trans fat.
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    Trans fats commonly found in baked goods, processed foods, fast food and some margarine brands can lead to inflammatory responses in the body.
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  3. 3
    Dairy products.
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    Yogurt and kefir are good dairy choices when eaten in moderation, but try to limit your intake of milk, cheese and ice cream, since these can lead to inflammatory responses in the body.
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  4. 4
    Alcohol.
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    Alcohol is a major source of inflammation in the body, and it can even increase the risk of cancer, according to studies
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  5. 5
    Red and processed meat.
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    While grass-fed red meat is healthy in moderation, feedlot-raised meat and other processed meats contain compounds that trigger inflammation in the body. Reduce your consumption or replace with lean poultry, fish and seafood.
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Ginger and Turmeric Tea

Two of the most commonly mentioned cures for inflammation in traditional medicine are fresh ginger root and turmeric. Here is a basic recipe for tea that combines ginger or turmeric. Both turmeric (Curcuma longa) and ginger (Zingiber officinale) are both aromatic rhizomes which are popularly used to flavor food in different Asian cuisines.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 inches of finely sliced fresh ginger and turmeric root, or 4 teaspoons ground turmeric and ground ginger
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Honey or organic brown sugar
  • Lemon grass stalk, orange slices and cinnamon sticks (optional)
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Procedure:

  1. 1
    Boil 4 cups of water in a saucepan.
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  2. 2
    Clean the rhizomes very well.
    Wipe the skin with a paper towel to make sure you remove all of the soil that may have clung to the roots.
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  3. 3
    Cut the clean roots in fine strips.
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  4. 4
    When the water is boiling, add the ginger and turmeric and close the lid of your saucepan.
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  5. 5
    In a few seconds, the water will boil again.
    Allow it to boil for about 30 seconds, making sure it doesn't boil over.
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  6. 6
    Lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
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  7. 7
    Cool completely.
    Strain into a glass jar.
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  8. 8
    Drink 1 cup three times a day or more often if desired.
    Sweeten to taste with honey or organic brown sugar. You can also take a lemongrass stick (if you choose to use one), and crush about two inches of the white part with a knife. Use it as a swizzle stick to stir your tea and add a pop of lemon flavor. If you don't have lemongrass, try adding a slice of orange to your tea and stir it with a cinnamon stick.
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Pineapple Tea

Pineapple contains the enzyme bromelain which has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to eating pineapple and drinking pineapple juice, try making this pineapple tea to fight the pain and swelling caused by inflammatory conditions. This recipe makes use of the pineapple peel, which is usually thrown away. The next time you buy some pineapple, try this recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • Peel of 1 large pineapple or 2 small ones
  • 10 cups water
  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 2 inches)
  • Honey to taste

Procedure:

  1. 1
    Wash the pineapple peel very well, using a kitchen brush to clean all crevices.
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  2. 2
    Boil water in a medium sized saucepan.
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  3. 3
    Cut the pineapple peel into 2-inch squares.
    When the water is boiling, add the pineapple peel and the cinnamon stick.
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  4. 4
    Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 20 minutes or until the peel is soft.
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  5. 5
    Cool the mixture, and strain the liquid into a pitcher.
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  6. 6
    Sweeten with honey if desired.
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  7. 7
    Drink two cups a day for a week or longer.
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Warning

  • Wear gloves when handling the pineapple peel since it can irritate the skin.

Turmeric Compress

The practice of making a compress to place over an inflamed area is one that is mentioned in many accounts of traditional medicine. By now, you might be aware that turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory properties when ingested, but did you know it also works to reduce pain and swelling externally? Try this easy-to-make compress to relieve joint pain and swelling.

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Ingredients:

  • Turmeric powder
  • Ginger and/or cayenne pepper powder (optional)
  • Water
  • Gauze
  • Elastic bandage
  • Medical tape

Procedure:

  1. 1
    In a small bowl, mix enough turmeric with water to form a thick paste.
    Add a small pinch of ginger or cayenne powder for additional pain relief.
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  2. 2
    Take two strips of gauze (each large enough to cover the inflamed area), and spread the paste on one strip.
    Cover it with the other strip of gauze.
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  3. 3
    Clean the inflamed area and dry it completely.
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  4. 4
    Place the filled strips on top of the inflamed area.
    Use medical tape to secure the gauze to your skin.
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  5. 5
    Cover the affected area with an elastic bandage to make sure the compress is held in place on the inflamed area.
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  6. 6
    Change the compress once a day.
    Continue treatment for five days.
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Warning

  • Wear gloves and an apron when preparing the compress to prevent stains from the turmeric.

Capsaicin Cream

While it might seem counterintuitive to apply hot pepper cream onto your swollen or painful joints, the capsaicin in hot peppers actually block the pain signals from reaching the brain. It's a common active ingredient in over-the-counter arthritis cream, but you can easily make it yourself. Just make sure to wear gloves and avoid touching your eyes when making or applying the cream.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons cayenne pepper powder
  • 1 cup of almond, grapeseed, olive or jojoba oil
  • 1/2 cup grated beeswax or 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • Double boiler
  • Glass jar with lid

Procedure:

  1. 1
    Combine the pepper powder with the oil in a double boiler over medium heat and stir well.
    Let it heat for 5 to 10 minutes.
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  2. 2
    Add the beeswax or coconut oil to the mixture and stir until it's completely melted and blended.
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  3. 3
    Cool the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, then whisk it for a few minutes.
    Place it back in the refrigerator for another 10 minutes then whisk it again until it's creamy.
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  4. 4
    Pour it into a jar and keep it covered with the lid.
    Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 1 1/2 weeks and apply it to affected areas as often as needed.
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Warning

  • Avoid applying capsaicin cream to sensitive skin. If the cream burns your skin, you can neutralize the heat by applying milk, sour cream, yogurt or cooking oil to the area and wiping it off with a soft, damp cloth.
  • Don't bathe ate least 1 hour before or after applying the cream to your skin. Warm water can increase the burning sensation on your skin.
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Epsom Salt Bath

One of the quickest ways get arthritis relief is through an Epsom salt bath. This time-tested technique works wonders to loosen up the joints and muscles because of the warm water and the addition of Epsom salts, which are actually magnesium sulfate crystals. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath helps boost your magnesium levels for better bone health. Add about 2 cups of Epsom salt to a tub filled with warm water and soak in it for at least 15 minutes to get the best results.

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Warning

  • Consult with your physician before switching to a completely natural approach if you're currently prescribed medication for the treatment of inflammation.

What Causes Inflammation?

Inflammation is the immune system's response to eliminate harmful substances from the body and begin the healing process. This is a natural and necessary occurrence to eliminate bacteria, viruses and other dangerous substances, but in some cases, the immune system overreacts and begins to attack its own tissue. This occurs because the body releases white blood cells and increases blood flow to areas of infection or injury to attack any foreign invaders. When some of these fluids leak into the surrounding tissue and lead to swelling, nerve pain and possible damage to the cartilage.

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Facts About Arthritis

Arthritis is a common symptom of inflammation in the body. Signs of arthritis include redness, heat, swelling, pain and stiffness in the joints. Other side effects caused by inflammation include fatigue, headache, nausea, fever, chills, lost appetite and stiff joints, according to WebMD. In addition to medications such as NSAIDs and corticosteroids, natural remedies, physical therapy and reducing stress on the joints through the use of canes and braces can be a big help to relive the pain and discomfort associated with inflammatory joint conditions, as well as slow down their progression.

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Why You Should Avoid NSAIDs to Reduce Inflammation

NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen, celexocib, aspirin, naproxen and diflunisal are commonly taken to treat the pain, swelling and fever caused by inflammation, there are many cases where they shouldn't be. People who are breastfeeding or pregnant, have kidney or liver problems, chronic lung conditions, heart disease, peptic ulcer, acid reflux, Crohn's disease, blood thinners or nasal polyps, and those who consume more than 7 alcohol drinks in a week or twice per day shouldn't take NSAIDs. Studies show that long-term use or overuse of NSAIDs can put people at risk of potentially dangerous side effects and complications.

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  • Increased blood pressure
  • Upset stomach and increased risk of stomach, esophageal or small intestinal bleeding
  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage or failure
  • Increased risk of stroke in people with a stroke history
  • Increased risk of heart attack in people with heart disease

Why You Should Avoid Steroids to Reduce Inflammation

Corticosteroids such as prednisone or dexamethasone are often prescribed to treat inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, but they also come with the potential of serious side effects when taken for long periods of time. Steroids work by lowering your immune system's defenses and inflammatory response. In many cases, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or those who have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart, liver or kidney disease or eye problems shouldn't take steroids. Listed below are the potential side effects and complications of long-term steroid use.
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  • Increased risk of infection and some cancers (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma)
  • Mood swings and depression
  • Fluid retention
  • High blood sugar
  • Osteoporosis and increased risk of bone fractures
  • Slow wound healing
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Thinning skin and stretch marks
  • Weight gain (especially in the face and abdomen)
  • Cataracts and glaucoma
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Physical Health

Recent edits by: Shelley, Anonymous, Lynn

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