Anti-inflammatory literally means something that reduces inflammation. Inflammation is the body's response to harm from damage, irritants and pathogens.
Inflammation is how the body tries to protect itself and initiate healing. The most common symptoms of inflammation are pain, heat & swelling, redness and sometimes loss of function.
Approximately half of pain relief drugs (analgesics) are anti-inflammatory, and they work by trying to reduce pain by reducing inflammation. (Opioids make up most of the other half and they work by blocking pain signals in the central nervous system.)
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) work by preventing prostaglandins from being produced, and prostaglandins create inflammation so blocking these prevents inflammation and therefore the pain associated with it.
The Anti-Inflammatory Diet, also known as the Wellness Diet, is a way of improving overall health and reducing your susceptibility to diseases thought to be caused by chronic inflammation. The diet consists of consuming fresh food and limiting your intake of processed and fast food. No food groups should be eliminated from your diet; the aim should be to include variety as well as lots of fruit and vegetables. Weight loss is not the aim of the diet, although this does sometimes occur as a result.
Below are some herbs and other natural substances that can also help to reduce inflammation.