Inflammation is a natural process by which the body uses white blood cells to protect us from infections and other foreign organisms like bacteria or viruses.
However, in some cases the body gets it wrong, triggering a misdirected inflammatory response when there is nothing to fight! Arthritis is one of these cases, alongside a number of other autoimmune diseases. (Learn more about fighting arthritis pain here.)
Sometimes inflammation shows itself as joint pain or stiffness, swelling and redness, or even loss of joint function.
Inflammation is often directly affected by what we eat and drink. Some foods in particular – processed sugars, dairy, fried foods, vegetable oils, refined flour, gluten in store-bought breads, alcohol, saturated fats and grain-fed meats – are common culprits of which you should steer clear.
On the reverse, there are a number of foods that can actually reduce inflammation, as well as pro-inflammatory conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Some of these include fresh vegetables (surprise, surprise), legumes like beans and lentils, mushrooms and herbal teas.
Here are the anti-inflammatory teas that you should be adding to your diet!
10 Teas That Calm Inflammation
1) Ginger Root Tea
Ginger tea is not just for queasy stomachs. In fact, ginger has been shown to reduce inflammation and chronic knee pain in people with arthritis. To make tea out of ginger root, thinly slice it and then steep in hot water for 10-12 minutes. Note: Skip this one if you’re currently on blood-thinning meds.
2) Green Tea
Green tea is an excellent remedy for inflammation. It’s a fantastic antioxidant, can lower levels of bad cholesterol, prevents cardiovascular disease and even has anti-cancer properties! This super tea will be an excellent addition to your anti-inflammatory routine.
3) Turmeric Tea
Every day, it seems, new health benefits related to turmeric are discovered. It’s a wonderful spice that is often used for pain relief and to reduce inflammation. The active ingredient in turmeric is a “naturally-occurring chemical called ‘curcumin,’ which is a powerful antioxidant that lowers the levels of the enzymes responsible for causing inflammation.”
Just steep 1/4 teaspoon or so with 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger in boiling water for 10-15 minutes to get its benefit.
4) Rose Hip Tea
The little reddish ball found at the stem of rose plants is a concentrated source of vitamin C. It’s also full of phytochemicals and galactolipids that have anti-inflammatory properties which particularly benefit this with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Check your local health food store for a rose hip and hibiscus blend for a fruity option.
5) Willow Bark Tea
This ancient Chinese remedy is chemically similar to aspirin and has been used as an herbal pain relief remedy for centuries. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and full of flavanoids, this tea will surely help reduce your pain in no time. Note: Avoid this if you are pregnant, under the age of 16, on blood-thinning medications or beta blockers, or are currently taking a form of methotrexate.