16 Ways to Reduce Inflammation Naturally

Inflammation, while a natural defence mechanism, can lead to health problems when it becomes chronic. Here are some conditions associated with chronic inflammation:

What about short-term inflammation? Like an inflamed joint or injury? Tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, hey anything with “itis” in it, refers to inflammation. So, how do we reduce it?

Here are 16 natural ways to reduce inflammation:

  1. Reduce your intake of refined cane sugar. The white stuff is pro-inflammatory. These days there are many simple ways to substitute sugar. Swap it out for your favorite: There’s stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, xylitol, rice malt syrup & more. All natural sweeteners and all much lower GI than cane sugar. Whole fruit is OK in moderation (2 serves daily). If you find yourself craving a sweet treat, and fruit won’t cut it, a small amount of dark chocolate is a good choice. Also keep in mind that it is long term daily habits that matter most. The occasional indulgence is not worth feeling guilty about.

2. Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates; the white flours, pastries, potatoes, white bread. Swap out for lower GI carbs such as brown rice, wild rice, steel-cut oats, quinoa or buckwheat. There are many pastas available these days made out of quinoa or buckwheat. This will also help to balance your blood sugar and insulin levels.

3. Reduce your intake of saturated & trans fats. Deep fried food, highly processed foods, packets of chips, red meat, butter.

4. Reduce your alcohol intake. Even a little bit. It all helps.

5. Stop smoking. Even a reduction will help.

Now, before you accuse me of taking away all your fun. Here’s some delicious anti-inflammatory foods .. and also, maybe food wasn’t meant to be all about fun & pleasure? Maybe there are better ways to gain pleasure? Just a thought.

fresh fruit and vegies

6. Have more oily fish; salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, sprats, cod, trout, anchovies, fish roe, tuna, swordfish, striped bass and eel. 2-3 times per week. Or a good fish oil/ Omega 3 supplement.

7. Have more red/ purple fruit and vegetables. Red cabbage, red grapes, beetroot, tomatoes, berries etc are all high in quercetin which reduces inflammation.

8. Have turmeric root regularly. Turmeric is in yellow curries, you can have turmeric latte’s, smoothies or drink tea made from turmeric root. Curcumin is the component of turmeric which is highly anti-inflammatory. Best combined with black pepper for improved absorption.

9. Fresh pineapple contains bromelain which is also anti-inflammatory. Especially for our airways. The congestion of sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma can be eased by bromelain.

10. Olive Oil, especially extra virgin, is high in healthy monosaturated fats and antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties. Olive oil contains compounds that can protect the heart, reverse inflammation, enhance insulin sensitivity, and improve arthritis symptoms. Olive oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can be safely consumed by anyone

introduction to Chinese medicine

11. Add more herbs to your cooking or try herbal teas. Plants such as turmeric, ginger, black pepper, garlic, cardamom, cinnamon, green tea, coriander seeds, rosemary, chamomile, lemon balm, licorice root, oregano, parsley and fenugreek. Holy Basil or Tulsi Tea, sage and spearmint. All have anti-inflammatory properties.

12. Drink more water

13. Get enough sleep and manage stress levels

14. Exercise 5 days per week

15. See a herbalist for stronger anti-inflammatory plant medicine. There are hundreds of strong anti-inflammatory herbs on the plant. It just takes knowledge to use them safely and effectively. Plants like Boswellia, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Calendula, Echinacea, Passion Flower, Rhodiola, St John’s Wort, Ginseng. All have a long history of anti-inflammatory use.

16. Try Acupuncture. Acupuncture indeed exerts strong anti-inflammatory effects in multiple biological systems, namely, the immune, digestive, respiratory, nervous, locomotory, circulatory, endocrine, and genitourinary systems.3

Written by;

Dr. Elaine Hickman in clinic

Dr Elaine Hickman

B.H.Sc.TCM (Acupuncture), Cert.Cl.Ac. (Beijing)

Elaine has trained and worked in various settings, both in Australia and China.  She has over 23 years experience in treating many health problems.  Elaine loves to provide a health care experience for people that is respectful, effective, empowering and enjoyable.  Elaine has particular expertise in Women’s Health, Children’s Health, Family Medicine and Wellness promotion. She brings extra understanding and knowledge to the table having been through infertility herself.

Elaine has mentored many students & graduates. She is a Mum, lives in the High Country and loves growing food & medicinal plants.

Click here to book a nutritional, herbal, acupuncture or online consult with Elaine or her Associates:

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Kavoussi B, Ross BE. The neuroimmune basis of anti-inflammatory acupuncture. Integr Cancer Ther. 2007 Sep;6(3):251-7. doi: 10.1177/1534735407305892. PMID: 17761638.

1 https://www.msn.com/en-au/health/symptoms/in-Inflammation/in-inflammation

15 Oily Fish High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Nutrition Advance

3 Li N, Guo Y, Gong Y, Zhang Y, Fan W, Yao K, Chen Z, Dou B, Lin X, Chen B, Chen Z, Xu Z, Lyu Z. The Anti-Inflammatory Actions and Mechanisms of Acupuncture from Acupoint to Target Organs via Neuro-Immune Regulation. J Inflamm Res. 2021 Dec 21;14:7191-7224. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S341581. PMID: 34992414; PMCID: PMC8710088.

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