Inflammation, which is characterized by redness, tenderness and swelling, can be caused by a number of things, including injury and overworking an area of the body. Though it is uncomfortable, it is a normal part of the healing process. While there are many drugs on the market that reduce inflammation, there are also a number of natural remedies for inflammation that can help relieve symptoms.
The most effective of the natural remedies for inflammation is to improve circulation. Regular exercise is an effective way to increase circulation. In addition, exercise raises the endorphin levels in the body, which also lessens the effects of inflammation. This remedy is only appropriate as a preventative for inflammation, however. Areas that are currently inflamed should be rested until the symptoms dissipate.
Hot and cold hydrotherapy can also be used to increase circulation. In order to implement this treatment, a person gets in the shower with the water at a comfortable temperature and gets completely wet. The person then slowly adjusts the water temperature until it is as hot as he or she can stand it. Then, again slowly, the water temperature is lowered until it is as cold as the person can tolerate. Repeating this process several times in each direction will help the circulation to improve.
Another way to decrease inflammation is to add more omega-3 fatty acid to the diet. This type of fatty acid is a natural anti-inflammatory, whereas the more common omega-6 fatty acid, found in many common oils, promotes inflammation. Omega-3 can be found in some species of fish, some eggs, leafy greens and flax seeds or can be taken as a dietary supplement. Taking omega-3 as one of the remedies for inflammation takes a while because omega-3 must build up in the body.
There are also a number of herbs that can be used to as remedies for inflammation. Arnica, which can be taken as a pill or rubbed on as a salve is particularly effective at treating inflammation in existing injuries. White willow bark can also be used as an anti-inflammatory as well as a pain reliever.
Some herbs can be taken to lessen the effects of inflammation before it happens. Turmeric, ginger, and bromelain can be taken regularly as dietary supplements. The effects of these herbs can take from a few days to a few months to manifest, so they are not ideal for treating an existing episode of inflammation, though they can be started as a treatment for a chronic condition, such as arthritis.