(Natural News) Researchers discovered a common medicinal plant from Brazil that could be used as a potentially potent anti-inflammatory agent. This Brazilian plant is called Struthanthus vulgaris, which is the most common medicinal mistletoe plant in Brazil. It is used in folk medicine as an anti-inflammatory agent and for cleaning skin wounds.
The researchers, who were from Vila Velha University and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, looked at the anti-inflammatory activity of the ethanol leaf extract of S. vulgaris in lab and animal trials. For the lab trial, they evaluated the anti-inflammatory activity of the plant’s leaf extract on lipopolysaccharide/interferon gamma-stimulated macrophages based on their ability to inhibit nitric oxide production and tumor necrosis factor-alpha.
They found that S. vulgaris ethanol leaf extract significantly reduced the production of nitric oxide and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in macrophages. In addition, the S. vulgaris ethanol leaf extract was found to be safe as it did not cause any toxic effect.
The researchers also examined the anti-inflammatory activity of S. vulgaris ethanol leaf extract in mice models. Treatment with S. vulgaris ethanol leaf extract significantly suppressed the influx of leukocytes, mainly neutrophils, protein exudation, nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin 1 concentrations in the carrageenan-induced inflammation air pouch.
Taken together, these results suggested that S. vulgaris ethanol leaf extract has strong anti-inflammatory properties. The researchers suggested that this medicinal plant could be used to treat inflammatory diseases. They published their findings in the journal Planta Medica.
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Fighting inflammation with diet
Inflammation occurs when the immune system recognizes foreign substances in the body, such as invading microbe, plant pollen, or chemical. Intermittent bouts of inflammation directed at threatening invaders prevent diseases. However, sometimes inflammation persists for prolonged periods, even when you are not threatened by a foreign invader. As a result, inflammation does more harm than good. Chronic inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases, including, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, diabetes, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. (Related: Science confirms: Inflammation is the underlying cause of almost ALL disease – Here are some natural ways to avoid it.)
By following an anti-inflammatory diet, you can fight off chronic inflammation for good. Choosing the right anti-inflammatory foods may lower the risk of chronic inflammation and disease. An anti-inflammatory diet should include the following foods:
- Fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, sardines, and tuna.
- Fruits such as blueberries, cherries, oranges, and strawberries.
- Green leafy vegetables such as collards, kale, and spinach.
- Nuts such as almonds and walnuts.
- Olive oil.
Certain fruits and vegetables, such as apples, blueberries, and leafy greens, are naturally high in antioxidants and polyphenols which fight off oxidative stress in the body that contributes to inflammation within the body. Studies have also shown that nuts could reduce markers of inflammation and lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. You can also add coffee to your anti-inflammatory diet. This is because it contains polyphenols and anti-inflammatory compounds that may protect against inflammation. The Mediterranean diet is an eating plan that closely follows the principles of anti-inflammatory eating. This type of diet focuses on consuming plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, healthy oils like olive oil, nuts, and whole grains.
You can also further lower inflammation by avoiding or limiting your intake of foods that cause inflammation. These include:
- French fries and other fried foods.
- Margarine, shortening, and lard.
- Processed meat like hot dogs and sausages.
- Red meat such as burgers and steaks.
- Refined carbohydrates such as pastries and white bread.
- Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.
These foods have been linked to an increased risk for chronic diseases, including heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. These have also been associated with excess inflammation. Additionally, unhealthy foods contribute to weight gain, which is a risk factor for inflammation.
Learn more on how to fight inflammation naturally at NaturalMedicine.news.