Herbs for Costochondritis
Costochondritis is an inflammation of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone. The condition is also known as costosternal syndrome or chest wall pain. It can cause sharp, aching pain in the area where the ribs and breastbone meet. The pain may get worse when you take a deep breath, move your upper body, or press on your chest.
There are many possible causes of costochondritis, including injuries, some types of arthritis, and some viral infections. The condition is often seen in people who have had a recent upper respiratory infection, such as a cold or the flu. It may also be seen in people who overuse their chest muscles, such as weightlifters.
Costochondritis is usually treated with a combination of rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. More severe cases may require physical therapy or prescription pain medication. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary.
Herbs can be a helpful addition to conventional treatment for costochondritis. The following herbs have anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and muscle-relaxing properties that may help to ease the pain and inflammation associated with costochondritis.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is a well-known anti-inflammatory herb. It contains the compound curcumin, which has been shown to inhibit the production of inflammatory cytokines.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Ginger is another herb with potent anti-inflammatory activity. It works by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators, such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes.
Cayenne (Capsicum annuum)
Cayenne is a spice that contains the compound capsaicin. Capsaicin has been shown to reduce pain by temporarily depleting substance P, a neurochemical that transmits pain signals to the brain.
Devils claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)
Devils claw is an herb that is native to southern Africa. It has been used traditionally to treat a variety of ailments, including pain and inflammation. The herb works by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators.
Willow bark (Salix alba)
Willow bark is an herb that has been used traditionally to treat pain and inflammation. The herb contains the compound salicin, which is converted into salicylic acid in the body. Salicylic acid is the active ingredient in aspirin.