6 Best Anti-Inflammatory Supplements in 2022 for Aches & Pains

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Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury and disease. Asthma, arthritis, heart disease, and even acute athletic injuries cause inflammation — and that’s a short list of examples! Reducing inflammation is key to managing these diseases while also easing the pain and discomfort they cause. Anti-inflammatory products can help by moderating your body’s inflammatory response on a cellular level. But with so many supplements on the market, which ones do you choose?

We dug into the research, combed the internet for reviews, and compiled this list of top anti-inflammatories. Here they are:

Best Anti-Inflammatories: Our Top Picks

Each of these supplements has something unique to offer. They are all made with quality ingredients and are highly praised by reviewers.

1. Organixx Magi-Complexx: Best for Arthritis

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Organixx Magi-Complex is a three-herb blend of turmeric, frankincense, and myrrh. This is our top pick to treat arthritis pain because of its simple yet effective ingredients. These three herbs fight inflammation directly and help increase circulation and boost energy levels. These health benefits are important for patients with arthritis and chronic inflammation.

Magi-Complexx can reduce your risk of unwanted weight gain, impaired immune system, and age-related memory loss by keeping inflammation under control. The slow-release capsules help increase absorption for maximum effectiveness.

Pros:

  • Non-GMO, vegan ingredients
  • Does not contain any fillers, synthetics, or preservatives
  • Free from common food allergens, including tree nuts and gluten
  • 3rd-party tested for purity
  • Made with triple-fermented turmeric for better absorption

Cons:

Who is it good for? Anyone with arthritis-related joint pain can benefit from taking this supplement for ongoing relief. It helps cut off joint pain at its source while preventing future consequences of chronic inflammation.

How do you use it? Take two capsules per day with a glass of water or juice. This supplement can be taken with or without food. If desired, you can also open the capsules and sprinkle the contents into a smoothie or oatmeal.

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2. Earth Echo Golden Superfood Bliss: Best Deal

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Earth Echo Golden Superfood Bliss is one of our favorites because of its superfood-rich formula. We also love how this supplement offers both mental and physical benefits.

Golden Superfood Bliss contains turmeric to fight inflammation directly. It also has black pepper to enhance absorption of turmeric, cardamom to fight exercise-induced inflammation, and Ashwagandha to reduce stress and cortisol levels. Reviewers say it helps them feel younger and more vibrant overall.

Pros:

  • Gluten-free, non-GMO, and 100% vegan
  • Keto-friendly
  • Only 25 calories per serving
  • Helps curb overeating
  • Contains 12 powerful, superfood ingredients

Cons:

Who is it good for? Earth Echo Golden Superfood Bliss is good for anyone who wants to fight inflammation at its source. This product does not just reduce inflammation directly. It also helps curb overeating, encourage better sleep, and boost your metabolism — which leads to lower levels of bodily inflammation.

How do you use it? Once a day, stir this powder into your smoothie or coffee. It can also be added to soups or oatmeal.

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3. Natural Stacks Curcumin: Best for Seniors

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Natural Stacks Curcumin is our top pick for seniors due to its supreme absorbability. In addition, the active ingredient, curcumin, is the compound in turmeric best known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

In Natural Stacks Curcumin, the curcumin is suspended in coconut oil, enhancing absorption and allowing your body to make better use of the product. Some older adults do not absorb nutrients from their food as effectively, but this supplement is designed to account for that.

The enhanced bioavailability of Natural Stacks Curcumin allows it to offer benefits, including enhanced brain health, improved metabolic function, and healthy cellular function. These effects can help seniors stay more active while moderating their joint pain.

Pros:

  • Contains only 2 ingredients: curcumin and coconut oil
  • 3rd-party tested for purity
  • Gluten-free and paleo-friendly
  • Non-GMO

Cons:

  • Not suitable for those with tree nut allergies

Who is it good for? Natural Stacks Curcumin is a good choice for aging adults who want to manage joint pain, curb systemic inflammation, and maintain overall health. Those who are sensitive to certain ingredients or prefer limited-ingredient products should consider this supplement.

How do you use it? Take two capsules per day with a glass of water. The capsules are small and easy to swallow.

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4. Pure Essence JointEssence: Best for Joint Pain

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Pure Essence JointEssence is our top choice for joint pain due to its science-backed formula. It contains NEM, or natural eggshell membrane, which supplies glucosamine and hyaluronic acid to reduce joint pain and swelling. JointEssence also contains boron, a mineral involved in enzymatic reactions associated with joint inflammation.

JointEssence is fast-acting, and many reviewers report pain relief after just one dose. It addresses the immediate inflammation and helps enhance flexibility for long-term comfort.

Pros:

  • Ingredients backed by clinical research
  • Does not contain wheat, milk, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, or shellfish
  • Backed by a 100% guarantee
  • Made in the USA
  • Tested for heavy metals

Cons:

  • Not recommended for those with egg allergies

Who is it good for? Pure Essence JointEssence is an excellent choice for anyone with ongoing joint pain due to osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or an old injury. In addition, this supplement may help keep you comfortable if you work on your feet.

How do you use it? Take two capsules per day with a glass of water. The capsules are small and easy to swallow.

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5. SkinnyFit Skinny Greens Superfood Powder: Best for Skin

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Skinny Fit Skinny Greens Superfood Powder is our top choice for healthy skin. Many common skin conditions, including acne, psoriasis, and eczema, have an inflammatory component. An anti-inflammatory supplement can help support your immune system, resulting in a clearer, healthier complexion.

This product does more than promote skin health. Its blend of 34 superfoods helps fight bloating, increase your energy levels, improve mental clarity, and reduce stress. All of these effects, in sum, help lower inflammation throughout the body.

Pros:

  • Packed with inflammation-fighting nutrients like thiamin and niacin
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids for heart health
  • Great flavor
  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • No sugar added

Cons:

  • Time-consuming to prepare and drink

Who is it good for? Skinny Greens Superfood Powder is great for anyone aiming to reduce chronic inflammation while enhancing their looks. It’s formulated to promote clear skin and to help you maintain a healthy weight.

How do you use it? Mix one scoop of the powder into a 14-ounce glass of water or your preferred beverage. Sip and enjoy once a day.

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6. Akasha Naturals Infla-Regulator: Best for Disease Prevention

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Akasha Naturals Infla-Regulator is our top choice for disease prevention, thanks to its effects on inflammation at the cellular level. Chronic inflammation can increase your risk of diseases like type II diabetes, dementia, heart disease, and certain cancers. By reducing inflammation, Infla-Regulator can help protect you from disease.

This innovative supplement contains a potent blend of anti-inflammatory herbs and extracts. EGCG from green tea helps prevent cellular damage and inflammation. Ginger, Boswellia, and turmeric target swelling in the muscles and joints.

Pros:

  • 100% vegetarian ingredients
  • Small, easy-to-swallow capsules
  • Ingredients are carefully chosen to work synergistically

Cons:

  • Capsules have a strong scent

Who is it good for? Akasha Naturals Infla-Regulator is a great choice for anyone who wants to reduce their risk of chronic disease by keeping systemic inflammation under control. Those at risk for dementia, diabetes, or heart disease should consider this supplement.

How do you use it? Simply swallow one capsule per day with a glass of water.

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How We Chose Our Top 6

There are many excellent supplements that have anti-inflammatory properties, relieve pain, and also benefit your immune system, and choosing just 6 was not easy. However, we are confident in our choices because we were thorough and consistent when selecting them. Here are the criteria we considered while compiling our list.

Ingredients: We paid close attention to the quality of the ingredients used in these supplements. We favored companies that source their ingredients ethically and use organic ingredients when possible. The supplements on this list contain natural, plant-based ingredients rather than lab-derived chemicals.

We also considered how the chosen ingredients worked together for the best anti-inflammatory effects. The best anti-inflammatories contain ingredients that enhance each other’s effects or have complementary benefits.

Dietary Suitability: Many people struggling with inflammation benefit from a gluten-free or plant-based diet. We also know many patients with inflammation struggle with food allergies. As such, we tried to choose appropriate supplements for those on restricted or allergy-friendly diets.

Testing and Research: There is a huge body of science behind the causes of inflammation, how it affects the body, and the various herbs and compounds that help fight inflammation. We chose companies that considered this research when formulating their supplements. Most of the supplements we chose were also third-party tested for purity, which assures the user they are free from heavy metals and contaminants.

We also awarded “extra points” to companies that researched and created more absorbable or bioavailable forms of common anti-inflammatory substances. If your body can absorb the supplement well, its effects are generally more pronounced. We made sure the supplements on this list had the necessary anti-inflammatory effects.

Customer Reviews: We read numerous reviews and favored supplements that customers liked overall. When reading reviews, we did not just focus on what customers had to say about the effects of supplements. We also noted when reviewers said a supplement was easy to use, had a pleasant taste, or fit into their lifestyle well.

Ease of Use: Even the best supplement won’t do much to relieve your inflammation if it’s hard to take. The supplements on this list are either capsules that you can swallow with water or powders you can mix into a drink. We stayed away from injectables and liquids, which are harder to use.

How Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Products Work

Anti-inflammatory products work via a few different biochemical pathways:

COX Inhibitors

There are two enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2, which your body releases in response to injury. These enzymes lead to swelling and inflammation. Many anti-inflammatory medications and supplements work by blocking the action of one or both of these enzymes. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is thought to be a COX inhibitor.

TNF Inhibitors

TNF, or tumor necrosis factor, is a chemical that your immune system releases to perpetuate inflammation. Patients with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis tend to have high levels of TNF.

Some anti-inflammatories work by inhibiting the action of TNF inhibitors or preventing their release in the first place. Ginger and Boswellia are thought to work in this way, offering anti-inflammatory effects.

Prostaglandin Blockers

Your body also releases hormones called prostaglandins, which trigger inflammation. Prostaglandins are thought to play a role in the development of heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others.

Omega-3 fatty acids are thought to reduce prostaglandin production. This, in turn, helps reduce inflammation and prevent the diseases that long-term inflammation and high prostaglandin levels can cause.

Antioxidant Properties

Antioxidants are compounds that grab onto free oxygen radicals. In doing so, they prevent those free oxygen radicals from instead clinging to and damaging your body’s cells. This, in turn, prevents inflammation. Ingredients like ECGC and vitamin C help fight inflammation through their antioxidant action.

Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory Products

Anti-inflammatory products are good for patients suffering from acute inflammation and those with chronic inflammatory conditions.

Someone who has suffered a musculoskeletal injury, such as a torn ligament or muscle strain, can take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to help reduce pain, speed healing, and prevent re-injury of the injured tissues. Taking these supplements can help someone with an old injury stay more active and participate in the activities they love.

Patients with chronic inflammatory conditions — like arthritis, atherosclerosis, psoriasis, or even cystic acne — can take supplements to keep their inflammation at bay. Reducing inflammation with a good supplement will often ease the other symptoms of these diseases, too.

Anti-inflammatory products may also help protect healthy adults from developing chronic inflammatory conditions. For instance, someone with a family history of arthritis may start taking an anti-inflammatory supplement early to protect their joints.

Sometimes patients with chronic inflammation can reduce their reliance on prescription drugs or pain relief medications after they begin using anti-inflammatories. However, you should never change your medication routine without first checking with a doctor.

Essential Ingredients for Anti-Inflammatories

Many natural herbs, compounds, and nutrients can reduce inflammation. The following are some of the most common and effective ingredients we came across when creating our list of top products.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a traditional Indian spice that has been used medicinally for thousands of years. It contains several active compounds known as curcuminoids. The best-known of these is curcumin, which is a potent anti-inflammatory. Black pepper helps enhance curcumin absorption, which is why many supplements contain both black pepper and turmeric.

Evidence suggests that taking turmeric can decrease your risk of heart disease, reduce cancer risk, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and fight depression. These health benefits can mostly be credited to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are specific unsaturated fatty acids found in fish oil supplements, flaxseed oil, and many nuts and seeds. Omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties and are especially good for the heart and joint health.

Many people do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids from diet alone and can benefit from taking fish oil supplements or an all-around anti-inflammatory supplement with some omega-3s.

Ginger

Ginger is a root with a distinct, spicy-sweet flavor. It’s commonly used in Chinese and other Asian cuisines, and Chinese medicine has embraced its anti-inflammatory properties for years. Ginger can soothe tired muscles, ease early arthritis pain, ease menstrual cramps, and protect against gum disease. It does so by working as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant.

CBD

CBD, or cannabidiol, is an increasingly common anti-inflammatory compound derived from hemp. It is non-psychoactive and will not make you feel high. However, it can help fight inflammation, making it a good choice for patients with joint pain, inflammatory skin conditions, certain cancers, and acute musculoskeletal injuries. You can find both oral and topical anti-inflammatory products with CBD.

Green Tea

Green tea can help reduce inflammation, but most people struggle to drink enough green tea each day to fully enjoy its benefits. Taking a supplement that contains concentrated green tea extract is much easier.

The primary active compound in green tea is called EGCG. It’s a powerful antioxidant that helps fight inflammation by preventing cellular damage from free radicals.

Boron

Boron is a trace mineral that many people don’t get quite enough of in their diet. It is important for wound healing, magnesium absorption, healthy brain activity, and balanced hormone levels. Many of these effects are related to boron’s ability to control inflammation. Patients with osteoarthritis, in particular, can benefit from taking boron supplements.

Boswellia

Boswellia is a popular herbal anti-inflammatory derived from the Boswellia serrata tree. It also goes by the name “Indian frankincense.” Boswellia is often recommended for chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma, IBS, and rheumatoid arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory benefits are thought to come from four specific acids that the herb contains.

Topical vs. Ingestible Options

Both topical and ingestible anti-inflammatory products have their place. Topical products are often a good choice if you have an acute injury, such as a tendon strain or bruise. They can be absorbed through the skin and quickly utilized in the affected, swollen tissues. Patients with arthritis may also benefit from a topical anti-inflammatory when ingestible products alone are not providing enough relief.

Generally, those looking to manage a chronic health condition, like rheumatoid arthritis or heart disease, are better off taking oral anti-inflammatory products. Many of these conditions are associated with inflammation throughout the body or with circulating levels of various enzymes and compounds. Taking oral anti-inflammatories helps ensure the active ingredients are fully absorbed into your bloodstream, where the appropriate cells can utilize them.

Oral supplements are also better for disease prevention. Taking an oral supplement ensures it can be used throughout your body to protect against various illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and diabetes.

FAQs

Is Tylenol an anti-inflammatory?

Tylenol contains the active ingredient acetaminophen, which is a pain-relieving medication. However, acetaminophen does not reduce inflammation. It instead works by blocking the action of certain chemicals that your brain releases to make you feel pain.

Because Tylenol is not an anti-inflammatory, it’s not usually recommended to treat chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis. It may mask the pain for a while, but it won’t address the inflammation behind the pain.

Do anti-inflammatories have other health benefits?

Yes, many herbs and compounds used to relieve inflammation have other health benefits and can help relieve pain due to different health conditions. For example, ginger and green tea are both high in antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight inflammation and help your body fend off bacteria, and avoid infections.

Supplements with an anti-inflammatory effect may also help slow the signs of aging. When your joints are less painful, you have an easier time staying active and getting good sleep. Physical activity and quality rest can lead to a longer life expectancy, reduced risk of disease, and better cognition as you grow older.

Finally, many supplements contain ingredients that also benefit your immune system.

Is ibuprofen an anti-inflammatory?

Yes. Ibuprofen is one of many NSAID medications or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is pretty effective at reducing both pain and inflammation by blocking the action of COX enzymes that your body releases when injured.

Ibuprofen is often recommended for the short-term treatment of inflammation related to an injury. However, taking it regularly over a long period of time can cause side effects like ulcers and an increased risk of a heart attack. Patients with chronic inflammatory conditions are generally better off taking an herbal or natural anti-inflammatory supplement.

Is Aleve an anti-inflammatory?

Yes. Aleve contains the active ingredient naproxen, which is an NSAID medication like ibuprofen. Naproxen works very similarly to ibuprofen but lasts longer in the body. You typically only need to take Aleve every 8-12 hours, whereas ibuprofen lasts 4-6 hours. Aleve is good at relieving short-term inflammation and pain due to muscular, skeletal, and soft-tissue injuries.

Like ibuprofen, Aleve can cause side effects if taken consistently over a long period of time. As such, it’s not usually the best choice for chronic inflammation or disease prevention. Anti-inflammatories such as fish oil supplements are generally a better choice long term.

What are anti-inflammatory foods?

Foods high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids tend to have anti-inflammatory benefits. Some examples of foods to eat while on an anti-inflammatory diet include:

  • Olive oil
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Tomatoes
  • Berries, such as blueberries and strawberries
  • Spinach

There are also certain foods you should avoid when on an anti-inflammatory diet. Common examples include white bread and sugar, fried foods, processed meats, and sugary drinks like soda.

Of course, you shouldn’t just rely on anti-inflammatory foods to relieve pain. Eating too many of these foods can have adverse effects on your health in the long term. Taking dietary supplements with natural anti-inflammatory agents can be a healthier option for most people.

Best Anti-Inflammatory Products: Key Takeaways

The best anti-inflammatory supplement to take really depends on your goals. Some of the supplements on our list are great for patients with arthritis, while others are more geared towards chronic disease prevention or skin health. Some also have many benefits for your immune system and include anti-inflammatory compounds.

The most important factors to consider when looking for good dietary supplements are the ingredients, how they work together, and the research involved. If you find a supplement that meets all of these standards, then chances are, it’s a healthy choice for you. Any of the 6 top supplements listed above would be a great place to start.

These natural anti-inflammatory agents can be a better option for most compared to prescription medications. However, you should always consult your healthcare professional to treat chronic diseases and pain.

Additionally, if inflammation persists after taking anti-inflammatories, consult your doctor.