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Herbal Teas to Reduce Swelling

By Ana Cassis

Swelling occurs when there is inflammation in your body as a response to illness and/or infection. According to the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, inflammation is meant to provide temporary organ support, but in excess can damage and create dysfunction in the body. There are a number of herbs that, when taken as teas, are considered to have anti-inflammatory properties that will help conditions such as arthritis and rheumatism. Some examples of these herbs include meadowsweet, black haw and devil’s claw. Always consult your primary doctor when considering herbal cures if you are under any type of medical treatment.


Botanically known as Filipendula rubra, meadowsweet is also commonly referred to as queen of the meadow and is a part of the Rosaceae or rose family. It is an anti-inflammatory herb that according to botanists James Duke and Steven Foster contains an analgesic constituent called salicin, in their book "A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs." Salicin is turned into salicylic acid in the digestive tract, which is where scientists derived the semi-synthetic acetyl salicylic acid, known commercially as aspirin, explain Foster and Duke, and has its same benefits.

Meadowsweet tea is made with the flowers and leaves by pouring a cup of boiling water over two tsp. of dry meadowsweet and letting the herb steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink your meadowsweet tea three times per day to reduce swelling in any part of the body.

Black Haw

Black haw is also known botanically as Virbrnum prunifolium and is a member of the Caprifoliacea family. The root of this herb is used in folk medicine to make an anti-inflammatory tea that helps reduce swelling, especially in the female reproductive system. According to Simon Mills in his book "The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism," black haw tea benefits menopausal symptoms and helps relax the uterus, according to herbalist David Hoffmann in his book "The New Holistic Herbal."

Prepare a black haw tea by adding two tsp. of dry black haw to a cup of boiling water and letting it steep for 10 minutes. Drink thrice daily.

Devil's Claw

Devil's claw, known botanically as Harpagophytum procumbens, is part of the Pedaliaceae family. Its root is used to reduce swelling caused by arthritis, due to its high content of the glycoside harpagoside, which is known to reduce inflammation in the joints, says Hoffmann. According to the book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing" by Phyllis Balch, devil's claw also helps treat rheumatism. Balch warns against drinking devil's claw tea during pregnancy.

Make devil's claw tea by simmering 1/2 tsp. of the rhizome in a cup of water for up to 15 minutes and drink it three times per day for at least 30 days.

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