There are many natural ways to lower inflammation and pain in the body. Some of these work in similar ways to the drug prednisone, but shouldn’t be used as an alternative if your doctor prescribes prednisone.
This list is not comprehensive, but it’s a breakdown of the top natural anti-inflammatories.
Boswellia, also known as frankincense, is an extract taken from the Boswellia serrata tree. It reduces inflammation by blocking 5-lipoxygenase, similar to corticosteroids. Boswellia has been used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of disease that include chronic inflammation [1, 2].
In a meta-analysis of 260 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 400 mg of boswellia extract reduced swelling, pain, and stiffness. Patients were also able to reduce painkiller (NSAIDs) intake and required fewer emergency treatments .
70% of patients with asthma showed improvement when taking 300 mg boswellia extract, compared to only 27% in the placebo group .
Boswellia is available as a capsule, tablet, or its bark decoction orally .
Boswellia (frankincense) is a tree raisin that naturally reduces inflammation. It can help with rheumatoid arthritis, IBD, asthma, and other inflammatory conditions.
Cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a vine found in tropical areas of South and Central America.
In a study of 45 patients with osteoarthritis, cat’s claw reduced pain with no significant side effects .
It decreased inflammation and pain in rats with arthritis .
Cat’s claw is available as capsules, extracts, tinctures, decoctions, and teas .
Cat’s claw reduces inflammation in a similar way as prednisone and helps combat pain and inflammation. It’s available as capsules, tincture, or tea.
It reduces inflammation by:
It improved survival, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and disease activity in mice with ulcerative colitis .
Resveratrol cannot be obtained in therapeutic doses through foods. As a supplement, it is available in creams, tablets, capsules, and tinctures .
Resveratrol, which is abundant in grape skin and red wine, can help with a range of inflammatory conditions.
However, bromelain also activates these compounds in a healthy immune response, which makes is an immunomodulator 
In 77 patients with rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, bromelain (400 mg) improved overall symptoms, reduced stiffness, and improved physical function .
Bromelain is available as tablets, capsules, creams, powders, and tinctures .
Bromelain is an enzyme from pineapple that can silence an over-active inflammatory response, such as in asthma or arthritis.
However, in another study of 75 osteoarthritic patients, 170 mg ginger extract had no benefits compared to placebo .
The conflicting results in human studies may be due to different types of ginger extracts used, dosing, and duration of treatment.
You can use fresh or ground ginger in cooking or take a supplement (pills or tinctures) .
Ginger may help with pain and inflammation; it has mild effects but acts in a similar way as prednisone. You can use it fresh or ground in cooking or take supplements.
Curcumin is an anti-inflammatory component of turmeric that can improve a range of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases.
In a study of 89 patients with ulcerative colitis, 1 g of curcumin in addition to typical drugs (sulfasalazine or mesalamine) reduced relapse rates .
In 45 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 500 mg of curcumin improved tenderness, joint swelling, and disease activity better than diclofenac sodium (50 mg) .
It improved kidney function in23 patients with lupus and kidney inflammation .
Curcumin is available as emulsions, tablets, capsules, powders, nanoparticles, and liposomal encapsulations.
It has limited bioavailability due to poor absorption and rapid breakdown. Combining curcumin and piperine (from black pepper) can increase curcumin’s bioavailability, and many supplements contain both substances [29, 30].
Curcumin the active compound in turmeric that can improve a range of inflammatory diseases. It’s often combined with piperine.
In an animal study, EGCG blocked neutrophils from traveling to the inflamed sites, blocked the formation of new blood vessels, and stopped lung scarring. In rats with rheumatoid arthritis, green tea extract reduced levels of an inflammatory compound (PGE2) [31, 32].
Although cell studies of EGCG herald its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, the results from human studies are conflicting. The reason could be EGCG’s poor bioavailability and breakdown in the body .
EGCG is available as standardized green tea extract capsules, powders, or as green tea. To get the most EGCG out of your green tea, steep in 80°C water for 5-15 min .
EGCG from green tea may block inflammation, but our bodies can’t use it well. You can get it by drinking green tea, steeped in 80°C water for 5-15 min.
Green Tea (EGCG)
User experiences with natural anti-inflammatories are mostly positive, as they were able to relieve various inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.