Herbs and spices that help with inflammation include turmeric, garlic, ginger, Indian red chili, fenugreek, and black pepper, among others. Each one works a little differently depending on its active compounds. For example, ginger contains gingerols which are anti-inflammatory by nature – helping to lower the enzymes in your body that break down healthy tissues. If you could only choose one spice, go with turmeric. Turmeric is the most researched spice when it comes to joint pain and inflammation. According to a large body of evidence, it is the most potent one, as well.
Introduction: What is Inflammation?
You’ll often see the word “inflammation” being thrown around nowadays, but what does it mean exactly?
To understand how certain Indian spices can help with inflammation, it helps to know more about how inflammation works in your body and the biological processes behind it.
To put it simply, inflammation is a protective response of the body to infection, injury, or some other type of insult. Inflammation can be classified as acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Acute inflammation is characterized by a rapid onset and short duration. Chronic inflammation lasts for months or years and may be characterized by slow progression and persistent symptoms.
Inflammation is an important part of your immune system’s response to injury and infection. It helps protect your body from harm by removing bacteria, viruses, damaged cells, and other harmful substances from the site of injury or infection. But chronic inflammation can also be detrimental to your body.
Chronic inflammation is the root of many diseases and can lead to a myriad of health concerns. One of the most common symptoms of chronic inflammation is joint pain and loss of flexibility. Most people only realize they suffer from chronic inflammation when joint pain sets in – but this is often too late. The inflammation has been rampant in the body for years already.
Now onto the good news: health experts show us it is possible to halt inflammation, or even reverse its damaging effects with certain lifestyle modifications. This includes eating healthy foods such as farm-raised animal products, vegetables, whole grains, fruit, beans, and nuts. These nutrients help to reduce the risk of chronic inflammation.
There are also some Indian spices that are well-known for their ability to fight inflammation, which is what we will look more into today.
Turmeric is a plant with a long history of use in Indian cooking. It has been used as a medicinal herb in India for centuries and is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. It comes as no surprise then, that turmeric is the most researched and potent Indian spice for inflammation and joint pain out of all the items on this list.
Turmeric is one of the most common spices in Indian cuisine, and it can be found in everything from curries to chutneys. As we said, it is also one of the most researched herbs out there, with over 6,000 published studies on its health benefits.
But why is turmeric so effective for inflammation, you ask?
The answer lies in the active ingredient of the spice – curcumin.
Curcumin is the active compound of turmeric that has been shown to reduce inflammation as well as other symptoms like pain and stiffness associated with arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other inflammatory conditions. So powerful is curcumin that it has been compared to some pharmaceutical drugs. 
- Can you take turmeric with MSM?
- Turmeric vs Curcumin
- Curcumin vs Quercetin
- Turmeric Tolerance
- How can turmeric be used for weight loss
Cumin is a spice that has been used for centuries in Indian cuisine. It is also used as a natural remedy for pain relief.
It works by reducing inflammation, which is the main cause of pain. Cumin has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce swelling and stiffness in joints. This can be especially helpful for people with arthritis or those who have undergone surgery and are recovering from it.
This spice also contains antioxidants that are good for the immune system and can help to prevent unhealthy cells from developing.
Cardamom is a spice that is used in many Indian dishes. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help relieve pain. 
Cardamom is one of the most vital ingredients in Indian cooking. It is used to add flavor and aroma to a variety of dishes, but it also has many health benefits. Cardamom can help with indigestion, heartburn, and gas as well as provide relief for arthritis and joint pain.
The health benefits of cardamom are not limited to just the culinary world. Traditionally, cardamom has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy for various ailments like inflammation, indigestion, heartburn, gas, arthritis, and joint pain.
Ginger is another highly effective spice that can be used to treat pain. You can use it in cooking, as medicine, or as a supplement.
Ginger contains several compounds that are known for their pain-relieving properties. One of these compounds is gingerol which has been shown to reduce inflammation and provide you relief from arthritis and joint pain.
Believe it or not, garlic is a very popular Indian spice that has been used for centuries to provide relief from pain. Many of us know it as an essential ingredient in most dishes, but did you know it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory?  This is because garlic contains allicin, which is an active compound that helps fight inflammation and provides relief from pain.
Cinnamon is a spice that has been used for centuries in Indian cooking. It is also a spice that has been found to have medicinal properties.
Cinnamon bark from the cinnamon tree is often used as a spice in many different dishes, especially desserts. Cinnamon has also been found to be an effective pain reliever and helps with inflammation. This makes it an ingredient that can be added to various dishes for flavor or used as a natural remedy for pain relief.
Fenugreek is a type of Indian spice that has been used for centuries to treat various ailments. It can be used to help with joint pain, inflammation, and even stomach problems.
Fenugreek is a plant that is grown in India, Pakistan, and other countries in the Middle East. It has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb to treat various ailments such as inflammation, stomach problems and joint pain. 
As a bonus, fenugreek also has some weight-loss properties. This is why you’ll often see it being used in natural fat burner supplements.
8. Black Pepper
Black pepper is a spice that is often used in Indian cuisine. It is also used to help relieve pain. Spices like black pepper have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
The compound piperine, which gives black pepper its distinct flavor and aroma, has been found to inhibit the production of inflammatory agents in the body. This means that black pepper can be used as an alternative for those who are unable to take NSAIDs or other pain relievers that may cause stomach irritation or ulcers. Black pepper can be used as a spice in cooking, but it can also be taken internally in the form of a supplement or tea for relief from aches and pains.
9. Indian Red Chili
Indian red chili is a natural herb that has been used for centuries to treat all kinds of pain. It has been used in traditional Indian cooking as well as by herbalists in the Western world.
The active ingredients in the spice are capsaicin and dihydrocapsaicin. These compounds have long been known to produce an effect on our body that reduces pain, inflammation, and other symptoms of chronic illnesses. 
References & Literature
- Kuptniratsaikul V, Dajpratham P, Taechaarpornkul W, et al. Efficacy and safety of Curcuma domestica extracts compared with ibuprofen in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a multicenter study. Clin Interv Aging. 2014;9:451-458. Published 2014 Mar 20. doi:10.2147/CIA.S58535
- Rahman MM, Alam MN, Ulla A, et al. Cardamom powder supplementation prevents obesity, improves glucose intolerance, inflammation and oxidative stress in liver of high carbohydrate high fat diet induced obese rats. Lipids Health Dis. 2017;16(1):151. Published 2017 Aug 14. doi:10.1186/s12944-017-0539-x
- Ansary J, Forbes-Hernández TY, Gil E, et al. Potential Health Benefit of Garlic Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview. Antioxidants (Basel). 2020;9(7):619. Published 2020 Jul 15. doi:10.3390/antiox9070619
- Pundarikakshudu K, Shah DH, Panchal AH, Bhavsar GC. Anti-inflammatory activity of fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn) seed petroleum ether extract. Indian J Pharmacol. 2016;48(4):441-444. doi:10.4103/0253-7613.186195
- Shang K, Amna T, Amina M, Al-Musayeib NM, Al-Deyab SS, Hwang I. Influence of Capsaicin on Inflammatory Cytokines Induced by Lipopolysaccharide in Myoblast Cells Under In vitro Environment. Pharmacogn Mag. 2017;13(Suppl 1):S26-S32. doi:10.4103/0973-1296.203984