Use This Polynesian Herb as an Anti-inflammatory

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Use This Polynesian Herb as an Anti-inflammatoryHave you read anything about noni? This Polynesian fruit, “Morinda citrifolia,” is often in the health news because of its potential in battling against disease. Noni has been used in folk medicine by Polynesians for over 2,000 years. That’s a long healing history! The fruit has been used to treat a broad range of health problems from headaches, fever and gingivitis to respiratory disorders, infections, diabetes and even tuberculosis. These days, however, noni is in the spotlight for its potential ability to help in the treatment of arthritis.

Joint pain is a huge problem for those of us over the age of 50 (or even 40!). While you may not be inflicted with full-blown, joint pain in and of itself can be more than a little debilitating. There are many herbal creams on the market that are touted as joint pain cures, noni is unique in that it is a food you actually digest.

In one clinical trial, Brazilian researchers analyzed the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, painkilling and antibacterial properties of an extract made from noni leaves. Antioxidant activity was tested by observing how well the noni extract performed against lipid peroxidation — a process that happens when free radicals steal electrons from the lipids in your cell membranes, resulting in cell damage and an increased production of free radicals.

The scientists also studied noni’s effect against nitric oxide and hydroxyl radicals. Nitric oxide is a toxic compound found in your body that actually helps to control blood flow to your tissues, while hydroxyl radicals are considered to be the most damaging free radicals. In all these areas, as well as in pain reduction, the noni extract exerted beneficial effects. The researchers concluded that noni extract should be explored further for its potential use in treating painful, inflammatory conditions.

If noni extract seems a little too exotic for you or you have trouble finding it, you can also try adding this readily available fruit to your diet: avocado. Avocados contain special nutrients that help fight the inflammation that leads to arthritis. For more information on avocados and arthritis, read the article, Avocado Fruit Could Treat Arthritis.