The 13 Best-Known Anti-Inflammatory Supplements

People use supplements for a wide variety of reasons. Inflammation, which contributes to a host of conditions from arthritis to digestive diseases and more—is one of them.

Across the board, supplements are not as well-researched as conventional medical treatments. However, certain supplements are recognized for having properties that may help control inflammation.

Keep reading to learn about 13 of the best-known anti-inflammatory supplements. If you're considering trying one, discuss it with your healthcare provider to make sure it's a good idea for you.

Someone with multiple supplements in their hand
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Boswellia

Boswellia is a tree that is found in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and India. Boswellia extract is also referred to as Indian frankincense. It's made from the gum resin of the tree bark.

Classified as an Ayurvedic herb, Boswellia is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. It may help relieve pain.

As a supplement, it is available in:

  • Pills
  • Capsules

A common dose is 300 milligrams (mg) three times a day.

Bromelain

Bromelain is a group of protein-dissolving enzymes found in the stem and fruit of the pineapple.

Bromelain may have an anti-inflammatory effect by changing various immune responses and pathways, especially when the immune system is already stimulated.

As a supplement, bromelain is available as:

  • Tablets
  • Capsules

A common dose is 500 to 1000 mg taken daily.

Cat's Claw

Cat's claw comes from the dried root bark of a woody vine. The plant is found in the Amazon rainforest in Peru and other parts of South America.

Cat's claw is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties by blocking TNF or the tumor necrosis factor.

It is available in:

  • Capsule
  • Tablets
  • Liquid
  • Teabags

A common dose is 20 to 30 mg of root bark extract taken daily.

Chondroitin

Chondroitin is a part of human connective tissue found in bone and cartilage. In supplements, chondroitin sulfate typically is made from bovine trachea. It is also made from pork byproducts.

Chondroitin is believed to reduce pain and have anti-inflammatory properties.

The supplement may also improve joint function and slow the progression of osteoarthritis. Chondroitin is available in:

  • Capsule
  • Tablet
  • Powder forms

A dose of 800 to 1200 mg each day is common.

Devil's Claw

Devil's claw is a perennial shrub that grows in Southern Africa. It has branching roots and shoots, lush foliage, and red flowers. Its name comes from the tiny hooks that cover its fruit.

The secondary roots that grow out of the main roots are called tubers. The roots and tubers are used for pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects. They are also used as a digestive aid.

Devil's claw is available in the following forms:

  • Capsule
  • Tincture
  • Powder
  • Liquid

Daily dosage should be limited to 4.5 mg of tuber or 1 to 2.4 grams of extract.

Fish Oil

Fish oil supplements are made from the oils of cold-water fish, including:

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Halibut
  • Cod

Fish oil is a source of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA). Omega-3s have an anti-inflammatory effect by blocking cytokines and prostaglandins.

Cytokines are proteins that signal the immune system to do its job. Prostaglandins are natural chemicals in the body that are secreted when there is an injury or inflammation. Omega-3s can help if you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Fish oil supplements are available as:

  • Capsules
  • Softgels

The maximum dose for DHA and EPA is up to 3 grams daily.

Flax

The seed of the flax plant contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Some of the fat in flaxseed oil converts to EPA and DHA. These are the same active ingredients in fish oil.

Flaxseed is available as:

  • Capsules
  • Oil
  • Ground meal
  • Flour

Capsules are available in 1000 to 1300 mg doses, but there is no recommended dose.

A common intake of ground or milled flaxseed is about 2 to 3 tablespoons daily. This can be added to your food throughout the day.

Ginger

Ginger is derived from the dried or fresh root of the ginger plant. It has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties.

This is similar to some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like Advil (ibuprofen). Ginger works by blocking chemicals that cause inflammation.

Ginger is available in:

  • Capsules
  • Extract
  • Powder
  • Oils
  • Tea

People sometimes use up to 1 gram of ginger in three divided doses per day.

GLA

Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that is found in certain plant seed oils, such as:

The body can change GLA into anti-inflammatory chemicals.

GLA is available in:

  • Capsules
  • Oil

The maximum dose is up to 3 grams daily.

MSM

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) is an organic sulfur compound that is naturally found in:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Grains
  • Animals
  • Humans

However, as food is processed, the MSM is destroyed. MSM supplements are used to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.

MSM comes in:

  • Tablet
  • Capsules
  • Liquid
  • Powder
  • Topical creams

A common oral dose is 2 to 6 grams daily with meals.

Quercetin

Quercetin is a chemical that is found in various foods, including:

Quercetin is recognized for having anti-inflammatory properties. It blocks pro-inflammatory chemicals, such as leukotrienes and prostaglandins.

Due to limited research, there is no recommended or usual dose. The maximum dose is up to 1 gram daily.

Thunder God Vine

Thunder god vine comes from the skinned root of a vine-like plant found in Asia. The Chinese herbal remedy has been used to treat:

There have not been many studies on the benefits of thunder god vine done in the United States. As a result, there is no recommended daily dosage for the extract.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a perennial, lily-like shrub that mainly grows in India and Indonesia. It also grows in other tropical regions.

Turmeric roots are related to the ginger family. They are dried to a yellow powder. Then they are used in foods, curries, and Ayurvedic medicine.

Turmeric is recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties. It works by blocking inflammatory cytokines and enzymes.

It is available as:

  • Capsules
  • Spice

A common dose for capsules is 500 mg taken one to three times per day, but recommended dosages can vary widely.

Summary

If you have a condition like arthritis, anti-inflammatory supplements may help you deal with pain and inflammation. These supplements will not prevent, treat, or cure any disease, but you may experience some benefits.

A doctor can help you decide which supplement may be helpful for your particular needs.

A Word From Verywell

There is a common misconception that supplements are safer than prescription medications. However, each of the anti-inflammatory supplements listed has the potential for adverse effects and drug interactions.

Also remember that the FDA does not regulate dietary supplements in the same way they do conventional foods and drugs. If you are going to use a supplement, make sure you purchase it from a reputable retailer and select a brand that is certified for quality by a third party, such as U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP).

Be dubious of any supplement claiming to prevent, cure, or treat disease.

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13 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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