Les épices, puissants anti-inflammatoires naturels - Epycure

NUTRITION Spices, powerful natural anti-inflammatories


4min reading time

Inflammation is a response of the immune system to harmful external stimuli such as pathogens (viruses, bacteria, etc.), irritating food or environmental substances, or even injuries. It helps eliminate potential invaders, deliver oxygen and nutrients to damaged tissues and initiate their repair. Ideally, the inflammation stops once the body is repaired. However, if the stimuli become too numerous or too regular, the inflammation can become chronic and end up damaging our own tissues. This gives rise to joint pain, muscle stiffness, migraines, autoimmune diseases, etc.

So in addition to adopting an anti-inflammatory diet that eliminates processed products, the best way to effectively combat chronic inflammation is to include spices in your daily life! In addition to adding a twist to your dishes, spices contain antioxidants and chemicals that disrupt inflammation signaling pathways in the body. Here are the 5 most beneficial spices :


This spice , widely used in Ayurvedic medicine, gets its vibrant color from curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory whose pain-relieving properties rival those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, or that of cortisone, but without causing gastric disorders, or without causing uncomfortable side effects (weight gain or loss of bone density in particular). But turmeric has many other benefits that act synergistically, among them:

  • It also strengthens the body's antioxidant capacity by fighting against oxidative stress caused by inflammation and responsible for aging and damage to our cells.
  • It inhibits fungal growth on the skin and mucous membranes of the body
  • It slows down the development of tumor cells
  • It has a protective action against radiation

For all these reasons, it helps to relieve a whole host of pathologies such as inflammations of joint, muscular or tendon origin, nervous inflammations (as in the case of multiple sclerosis), inflammations of the digestive mucous membranes, inflammations of the brain (observed in neurodegenerative diseases) or even skin inflammations (acne, eczema, psoriasis, etc.).

In practice ? Consume it in your curries, dahls and other exotic and comforting dishes, in the form of an infusion (try the famous “golden milk”!) or in the form of daily food supplements.


Cinnamon is well known in traditional medicine for its broad-spectrum anti-infectious properties: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal (fungus), anti-parasitic (intestinal worms, etc.) and anti-inflammatory. It is also one of the most antioxidant spices . It will be particularly useful for:

  • Protect the cardiovascular system
  • Regulate blood sugar levels (glycemia) and prevent strokes, weight gain and, in the long term, type 2 diabetes
  • Protect brain cells
  • Fight against fungal infections such as Candida Albicans
  • Fight infections and the virus
  • Relieve seasonal allergies

Concretely ? Favor Ceylon cinnamon and sprinkle a spoonful of it on your porridge or your fruit, incorporate it into your coffee for a little sweetness and indulgence, and dare to combine it with savory meals as the traditional gastronomy of the Middle East does. East. It gives a little sweetness to dishes without impacting their glycemic index.


Originally from China, ginger is a root widely used in Asian cuisine and well known for its aphrodisiac properties. But if ginger is beneficial for health, it is mainly because it contains chemical substances called sesquiterpenes which have properties:

  • anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, very beneficial for the digestive system: it relieves nausea and vomiting, stimulates emptying of the stomach and prevents gastric reflux. It is also useful in preventing gastric ulcers and is an excellent anti-spasmodic.
  • antibacterial : ginger is what we call a natural antibiotic that fights against foodborne pathogens (like salmonella), respiratory infections. It very effectively targets the viruses that cause colds, soothes sore throats, encourages the expulsion of mucus from the chest and clears the sinuses.

Our favorite winter infusion? The lemon, ginger, honey mixture ;)

Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper contains capsium, a rich source of vitamin C and flavonoids, which help the immune system fight viruses by stimulating the production of white blood cells (immune defense cells). It is also packed with beta-carotenes and antioxidants that help the body recover properly. Here are two possible uses of this spice :

  • Consumed through food, the spicy effect of chili powder increases body temperature and perspiration, thus promoting the elimination of pathogens. It also stimulates the release of endorphins (pleasure hormone), which reduces the sensation of pain.
  • When applied locally, its anti-inflammatory effect is particularly effective on muscle and joint pain since it induces a sensation of intense heat, which disrupts pain perception mechanisms.

Be careful, sensitive stomachs refrain!

Black pepper

Black pepper and its main active compound, piperine, help reduce inflammation by:

  • strengthening the immune system and helping it get rid of pathogens more quickly
  • fighting the oxidative stress caused by this inflammation and increasing the concentrations of antioxidants in the body.

It is particularly effective against oral bacteria which cause conditions such as gingivitis and dental caries, as well as to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis, according to the latest scientific studies.

Our feel-good tip? Combine it with turmeric to optimize their respective effectiveness and bioavailability!


Solène Senejko

Ingénieure Alimentation & Santé