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The Surprising Anti-Inflammatory Benefits From Spices

By Stephen R. Farris

If you've ever had an injury you know how painful it can be, no matter what it is. Inflammation is our body's natural response, basically to let us know we're injured, and how serious the injury is. Inflammation can cause redness, swelling, pain and/or heating of the area that is injured. It can be worse for folks suffering from arthritis, and in some cases, the inflamed area could become chronic inflammation. Usually this occurs from an infection, allergy or autoimmune reactions.

In most cases, inflammation can be relieved by taking medication, or using the ice/heat method depending on how severe it may be. However -- besides ice/heat -- certain foods can help reduce inflammation in the body, and you might be surprised by a few that are used to season foods and add flavors to dishes. It's spices!

Chances are you may have some of these spices -- turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, and cayenne pepper -- in your cabinet, pantry or on your kitchen counter.


Turmeric dates back to ancient times and has been used for treating certain conditions from wounds, infections to liver disease to name a few. Turmeric is used in many Indian dishes.

Black Pepper

Black Pepper is commonly seen on dining tables at restaurants and in just about every home kitchen known to mankind, usually next to a shaker of salt. Not only is it used to enhance flavor in foods, it also holds many anti-inflammatory properties, including antibacterial and as an antioxidant.


Ginger is a great spice to use if you have an upset stomach, or suffering from a headache to name some of its medicinal uses. Usually, folks who have a tummy ache might keep a bottle of ginger ale on hand just for that purpose, to help ease discomfort. Don't forget, it's also great for cooking, especially in desserts.


Cinnamon is commonly used in baking, particularly cakes, pies and cookies. It's even used in beverages as well. Besides cooking, cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling.


What isn't garlic good in? Garlic is used in so many delicious dishes, I'd have to make an entire web page just to list them all. Garlic has been used for centuries in medicinal purposes, mainly because it helps ease arthritis symptoms.

Cayenne Pepper

Want to bring on a little heat and flavor to your food dishes, then cayenne pepper can do just that. Cayenne pepper is another ancient spice that has been used in both cooking and medicine. It's known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help ease digestion. As many of you know, it can open up your sinuses as well.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Sugar Hill, Ga.

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