LIFESTYLE NEWS - Here’s how herbs and spices you may already have in your kitchen can prevent and alleviate inflammation.
The preventative effects of green tea against heart disease and cancer are well researched. Recent studies have shown that green tea can effectively treat inflammation, especially in the treatment of arthritis. It can also reduce inflammation of the digestive tract, aiding sufferers of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Recommendation: 3 to 4 cups of green tea per day.
Green tea is also found in pill form and decaffeinated green teas are available.
Here’s how to grow your own: https://www.thespruceeats.com/growing-tea-at-home-766090
Capsaicin (a chemical) is what makes a pepper hot. It is this very chemical that has an anti-inflammatory effect on the human body. Any type of chilli pepper contains capsaicin.
Recommendation: Fresh or powdered in a variety of dishes, even desserts. Some supplements may also contain capsaicin.
Here’s how to grow your own: https://www.thompson-morgan.com/how-to-grow-chilli-peppers
Black pepper’s distinctive flavour comes from piperine (a chemical). Low doses of piperine can reduce inflammation. It can slow down the spread of cancer and suppresses the perception of pain and arthritis symptoms.
Recommendation: Black pepper works well in Greek salads and curries.
Here’s how to grow your own: http://balconygardenweb.com/how-to-grow-black-pepper-plant-growing-peppercorn/
The bark of cat’s claw has traditionally been used to treat arthritis and bursitis. It can also reduce inflammation in the body and it has a protective effect against gastrointestinal inflammation.
Recommendation: You can make tea from cat’s claw by buying a prepared tea or mixing the bark with water. It is also available in powder form in a capsule.
Here’s how to grow your own: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/vines/cats-claw-vine/cats-claw-plant-care.htm
Research has shown that ginger has a therapeutic effect and is therefore effective in treating inflammation as well as pain. Ginger has additional benefits such as preventing or treating nausea and vomiting as a result of motion sickness, pregnancy and chemotherapy. It may also reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis and heart disease.
Recommendation: Ginger may be used in savoury dishes, desserts, teas and juices.
Here’s how to grow your own: https://www.wikihow.com/Grow-a-Ginger-Plant
In addition to being anti-inflammatory, cinnamon has been shown to have antioxidant, antidiabetic, antimicrobial and anticancer properties. It has also been found to act against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Recommendation: Soups, ‘potjiekos’, desserts and drinks. Desserts such as apple pie and pumpkin pie usually contain cinnamon.
Here’s how to grow your own: https://www.herbazest.com/herb-garden/growing-cinnamon
Chinese medicines traditionally use turmeric to reduce inflammation and treat digestive disorders, wounds and infections and may even combat cancer.
Recommendation: Fresh or powdered turmeric works well in curries and soups. Fresh turmeric can be added to vegetable purées. Supplements are available at pharmacies.
Here’s how to grow your own: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/gardening/a20706465/how-to-grow-turmeric/
Frankincense is a resin extracted from trees and combats inflammation, arthritis and pain. It is primarily used to treat degenerative and inflammatory joint disorders.
Recommendation: 300-500 mg Boswellia extract, two or three times daily.
Here’s how to grow your own: https://www.exoticgardening.com/boswellia-sacra/
Cloves reduce mouth and throat inflammation and the oil can be applied directly to the gums to relieve toothache. Cloves can be used to treat diarrhoea, nausea, a hernia, or even bad breath.
Recommendation: Powdered or whole dried flower buds can be used in savoury dishes or even in desserts and hot drinks, as it is similar to cinnamon.
Here’s how to grow your own: http://balconygardenweb.com/how-to-grow-cloves-cultivation-and-growing-cloves/
Japanese knot weed/red grapes
Resveratrol is most commonly found in Japanese knot weed or red grapes and has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It protects against DNA damage and mutations.
Recommendation: Resveratrol is commonly found in health food stores in the form of a supplement.
Here’s how to grow your own: https://www.almanac.com/plant/grapes