Inflammation in the body is responsible for pain, disease, and discomfort, and could be a catalyst for a variety of serious health conditions. The best natural ways to treat inflammation include diet improvements, exercise, stress reduction, and essential oils. Keeping inflammation at bay improves your overall health and leads to a healthier, more active life. Many of the things you can do to reduce inflammation improves your health in other ways, so by making the positive changes, you are creating a significant difference in your life. There are five essential oils that play an important role in reducing inflammation. These oils work in the same way as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), but lack the nasty side effects and life-time commitment to an expensive medication.
Thyme is often used in cooking, but can also be used externally. It is considered the most potent of the anti-inflammatory oils and has been shown to reduce levels of COX-2 enzymes, but up to 75%. The active ingredient in thyme is carvacrol. When used in isolation, carvacrol reduced COX-2 enzymes by more than 80%.
Clove is also popular in cooking, especially in Mexican and Asian cuisines. Clove is considered a warming agent in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic traditions. It helps with indigestion, nausea, flatulence, and vomiting, and has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Eucalyptus has a bright, fresh smell. It is one of the most popular essential oils and is often used to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and flu. It also has antiseptic properties and is great for cleaning spaces following an illness. Eucalyptus works well externally as an anti-inflammatory oil and can be rubbed on the feet at night to reduce congestion in the nose and chest.
Bergamont is a fruit oil, similar to lemon. It is used in Ear Grey tea, providing the fresh, invigorating aroma and flavor. It is known for relieving fatigue and emotional distress. Bergamont can be taken internally or added to warm bath to add a refreshing scent.
Fennel oil comes from a vegetable and has a mild, anise or licorice flavor. Fennel seeds can be brewed in tea to reduce gas and bloating. Anethole is the active ingredient in fennel responsible for reducing inflammation and researchers believe it can play a role in reducing a person’s risk of cancer.