If you’re prone to headaches, sore muscles, or swelling, it’s not always easy to detect when or why it started.
This means we often grab aspirin or antihistamines from the store for a quick fix.
Yet while anti-inflammatory medications can provide instant relief, these synthetic products pose grave long-term issues by increasing the risk of heart, kidney and stomach problems.
So, what are you meant to do in a no-win situation?
The answer is surprisingly straightforward and one that doesn’t involve a doctor or meds, but natural plants and herbs instead.
By turning to Mother Nature, she has a treasure chest of goodies that dramatically reduce inflammation as well as eliminate future side effects.
To start easy, have a scavenge in your kitchen cupboard for the black pepper.
Otherwise known as the ‘king of spices,’ black pepper boasts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits thanks to its active ingredient piperine which can get to work on any painful areas.
In addition to this, studies also suggest it improves cholesterol levels, blood sugar control, and brain and gut health! So, you might want to twist the mill a few extra times tonight.
Next up, it’s Geri Halliwell’s namesake, ginger spice. You may’ve heard the old wives’ tale that honey and ginger can cure a cold, and there is a truth to it.
For something so small, ginger is a heavyweight, with evidence showing that it reduces inflammation in conditions such as arthritis, gut disease, and stomach ulcers.
If it sounds good but you loathe the taste, you can hide it by increasing the acidity in your ginger receipes, for example by adding apple juice or lemon and lime flavours.
For something a little gentler, savour the sweet and spice of cinnamon. Sprinkle a delicious dose into your smoothies, porridge or home cooking and sit back as it gets to work reducing inflammation due to its abilities to help the body fight infection and repair tissue damage.
You may have also heard us toot our cayenne pepper horn recently.
This gem is a weekly shop must-have thanks to its otherworldly healing properties.
The cayenne pepper wizardry is known to support the immune system by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, aiding digestive health, and even minimising your risk of cancer.
Turmeric is another brilliant spice that can, err, spice up your life.
While it can be somewhat potent in taste, you can disguise the strength in spag bols or chilis to get the benefits of improving heart health and preventing against Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
If you’re keen to go au natural although still prefer a quick fix, there are over-the-counter products that have been plucked from herbs and plants then extracted into pill form.
Top picks include Bromelain (an enzyme from the stem of pineapples), Devil’s Claw (a fruit native to South Africa) and Boswellia (Indian frankincense), all of which you can find in health stores.
When you consider that we rub aloe vera on stinging nettle rashes, that the chamomile flower is used for anxiety relief, and lavender can treat insomnia, it’s not too much of a leap to remember that the plant world is our very own magic kingdom just waiting to be used.