The holidays should be a time of joy – the sights, the smells and the many tastes. But pain can stop you from fully enjoying all the season has to offer. According to experts, these anti-inflammatory herbs and spices may help you find pain relief. So, as you go about your holiday shopping and cooking, be sure to add these to your list!
- Sage – Perfect in poultry dishes and stuffing, this anti-inflammatory herb has been used for centuries and contains flavonoids that help to reduce swelling.
- Ginger – Ginger’s been used for thousands of years to help with a variety of ailments from stomach aches to heart conditions. This anti-inflammatory add-in is excellent in a variety of foods from holiday cookies to ginger tea.
- Cayenne – Cayenne is thought to act as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. Capsaicin, the oily compound in cayenne and its peppery cousins, is the active ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter creams, ointments, and patches for arthritis and muscle pain. Use it in your next big batch of chili.
- Cinnamon – Like many other spices, cinnamon has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s actually one of the most powerful healing spices, shown to help reduce heartburn and other painful conditions. Cinnamon is the perfect holiday spice.
- Cloves – Cloves contain an anti-inflammatory chemical called eugenol. In recent studies, this chemical inhibited COX-2, a protein that spurs inflammation (the same protein that so-called COX-2 inhibitor drugs such as Celebrex quash). Cloves also ranked very high in antioxidant properties in one study. The combination of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties provides health benefits, from boosting protection from heart disease to helping stave off cancer, as well as slowing the cartilage and bone damage caused by arthritis.
- Turmeric – Studies have linked turmeric to reduced inflammation in a number of conditions, including psoriasis. The chemical responsible for turmeric’s golden color, called curcumin also helps reduce inflammation.