Natural Alternatives to Steroids For Inflammation

Steroid drugs like Prednisone are widely prescribed by doctors and are typically used to treat inflammation in the body. These medications can also address various symptoms from asthma, arthritis, eye problems, and immune system disorders.

And while they can be effective at treating such health problems, the benefits often come with a price. That is, side effects that include everything from headaches, nausea, restlessness, acne, weight gain, and insomnia.

Indeed, the damaging side effects of Prednisone and other steroids, in most cases, can outweigh the positive effects of long-term use. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to steroids like Prednisone that can, indeed, help relieve inflammation.

Disclaimer: If you plan on ending your Prednisone regimen, we recommend conferring with your physician. “Going turkey” after taking high doses can cause a number of side effects.

Prednisone And Other Steroid Drugs

How Does Prednisone (and Other Steroid Drugs) Work?

In short, steroids go into the body to ward off inflammation and infection. They augment the natural steroids, and over a certain period, can actually replace them with artificial steroids. Taking steroids over the long term will decrease, or remove altogether, the steroids that are created naturally.

As we’ve noted, long term use of steroids can curb infectious symptoms. On the flip side, they can mask infections so you may not notice you have the flu, pneumonia, or other illnesses until it has already damaged your body.

This, along with all the side effects noted above, is one reason you might consider a natural alternative to steroids for inflammation. That’s why, if your symptoms aren’t chronic, you might consider a safe natural alternative that improves your life without the detrimental side effects.

Safe Remedies to Treat Inflammation

Below, you’ll learn about several natural alternatives to help relieve inflammation symptoms.

Note: After you finish reading check out our store for a range of natural living accessories.

1. Turmeric

Curcumin, a property in turmeric that is a natural anti-inflammatory, is often used in natural medicine. In fact, there are a number of studies that have proved the healing impact of turmeric on diseases like Alzheimer’s and arthritis. Turmeric is a healthy option to curb inflammation while also boosting your immune system.

Remedies For Inflammation - Turmeric

Nutra-Champs offers an extra strength advanced mobility option in capsule form. Check it out here.

2. Ginger

Containing properties that block inflammatory response, ginger has been widely used in Chinese medicine to control inflammation. It’s ability to heat up the body and improve circulation can comfort aching joints – especially during the cold, winter months. For optimal relief, we recommend 500 mg, 2 to 4 times per day.

Remedies For Inflammation - Ginger

3. Diet

This isn’t a “remedy” per se. But it’s an important lifestyle change that can help with inflammation. An anti-inflammatory diet consists of eating lots of vegetables, fruits, and seafood. Adding large portions of pigmented veggies to each meal provides fiber and natural anti-inflammatory benefits. Consider foods and herbs like garlic, blueberries, green tea, and oregano.

Remedies For Inflammation - Diet

Additionally, here are a couple general pain relief solutions:  and .

Best Essential Oils For Inflammation

In addition to the natural alternatives listed above, essential oils are a great supplement to your natural anti-inflammatory regimen. There are several essential oils that contain analgesic properties – meaning, they can curb or eliminate pain. Others contain anti-rheumatic and anti-inflammatory compounds that fight a range of pain symptoms.

We recommend the following:

  • Marjoram: Containing sedative properties, marjoram helps to ease muscle spasms and pain, as well as migraines and osteoarthritis.

  • Chamomile: Comprised of anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile offers a soothing and calming sensation that can bolster joint health.

  • Rosemary: Containing pain-relieving compounds, rosemary can help with a range of symptoms, including pain in the back, muscles, and joints.

  • Eucalyptus: With a powerful scent, eucalyptus contains analgesic compounds that can relieve muscle and nerve pain. Additionally, it helps with respiratory problems, which are often the culprit of sinus migraines.

Best Essential Oils For Inflammation

67 Responses

  1. This was very helpful….Thank you…I just had major back surgery an am not doing steroids….so now I have an alternative…. Ty God for my oils

    1. Hoping not to sound ignorant, do you ingest the oils or rub them on your skin? I’m looking for an alternative to methylprednisolone in treating Polymyalgia Rheumatica. Information anyone? I’m new to this.

      1. Hi there. I have no idea what your actual condition is, so forgive me if I’m way off. But I’ve had really bad sinuses, several surgeries, constantly exhausted, no sense of taste or smell, Etc. Using one drop of oregano oil in my NeilMed Sinus Rinse, I am rid of 95% of my symptoms. So now I am also taking oregano oil softgels morning and night… so for what that’s worth. God bless you and good luck

        1. WOW!!! That’s amazing! I also have really bad Sinuses. I’ve only had 1 surgery for Polyps so far but I’m tired of not being able to SMELL! I’m going to try this in my NeilMed Rinse. Right now my Dr. has me using Budesonide in my Sinus Rinse. I’ll probably continue that and add the Oregano oil. I don’t see that it could hurt!

        2. Hi, Lincoln! Am so excited you wrote in about oregano oil. I have Lupus, ABN from steroids, fibromyalgia, HBP, Sinus, Skin problems,etc,etc, all from taking steroids for the Lupus SLE, CNS. ORDERED OREGANO OIL FROM THE VERMONT STORE AND HAVENT LOOKED BACK!!! Not a cure but a blessing. I ingest it. It’s great for infections, skin, eyes, and pain. I even rub it on my head for migraines. Very high quality oil.
          Also use tumeric and ginger in cooking and individual tea.
          Diet is critical. What’s a burger and fries? lol. McDonald’s? Fly past!
          Wishing you joy and good health!

        3. I also highly recommend Alkalol Nasal Rinse diluted with distilled water on any neti or nasal irrigation. It is amazing and has a refreshing feel. Comes with a nasal cup that also works great.

        4. Thank you all for the great suggestions. I am on steroids for the 3rd time in my life. Traveled to India on Nov 2018. Returned with major sinus problems. Getting ready to remove 2 polyps on 3/8/19. I have tried accupunture, saline rinse, Nettle eyebright, Wellness formula (like a natural antibiotic) and I feel better but some infection still. I greatly appreciate all the suggestions. I will add a tea spoon of Oregano oil in my Netti Pot. I now understand why people use steroids. It can be addictive to feel so good. I am 63 y.o in good health but feel some stiffness in the morning before streching. Well, with the steroids is like I am 20 y. o again. I am taking a small dosage for 6 days before the polyp removal. But I understand that the long term usage of steroids outweighs the benefits. Very greatful to have read this today. Thank you

          1. If you are using quality, non-diluted, correctly distilled oils like Young NOT use a teaspoon of oil…it only takes 1 drop!

      2. You could apply them to skin but If you do mix them with a carrier oil first like jojoba, fractionated coconut, olive or sweet almond oil.

      3. Hi Joanna, I too have pmr and got off pregnizone as I was taking turmeric curcumin and felt so much better. Hated pregnisone and its side effects. I stopped taking the turmeric and the symptoms came back on it of course. My sister in England had pmr and is fine now with a gluten free diet and ibuprofen as needed. The English doctors are not too quick to prescribe pregnizone. I am trying the gluten free diet to see if it helps. I am into essential oils and going to see if the recommended oils will work. My sister in law is very knowledgable in oils so checking with her for the best way to use them.
        Please contact me if I can be of any help. This pmr is very unpleasant.

        1. Hi – I’ve just been diagnosed w/PMR and refuse prednisone but haven’t been successful with an alternative yet. what did Elaine find out from her sister in law about oils. and what kind of turmeric was successful — dose and brand? Thanx!!

          1. I found glucosamine hydrochloride helped / eventually got rid of pain from old injuries – joints and all. It took over a week to notice any difference – but wow! Pain-free. I would think it would help. Apparently the body supplies its own when we are young then we slow down.

        2. Hi,
          Reading comments with regards to PMR and essential oils. Can you advise please which oils help with the pains and swollen feet. Are they available in U.K.? Thanks

      4. Hi Joanna I’ve been diagnosed with same in January , have been on an amtiimflammatory diet since January lost some weight but still have pain in my upper arms and stiffness all over , trying to self medicate with ibrufen at night but curcumim (solgar) twice a day and herbal herbal drops I got from my kinesiologist , it’s diffucult , very nearly went to the chemist this morning gir steroids but on reading g this page have decided to stick with my regime and maybe try some of the oils now, let me know how you get on

      5. you can only ingest a few…go on line to be sure..I take 2 drops in warm water either ginger…frankincense…peppermint…basil…rosemary….clove every day…they must be pure…only from doTerra I believe..good luck

        1. There are other brands just as good as Do Terra. Melaleuca brand, Young Living, etc. One brand is better prices and just as good.

      6. doTERRA essential oils can be used topically, aromatically and most of them internally, with a list of ones NOT for internal use. Each bottle is labeled for proper use, (supplement or not) ingredients and with a lot number with all the purity info you need. My name is Stella and I am a wellness advocate for doterra.
        Good luck

      7. You need your own personal blend. Essential oils, depending on which ones are used in different ways.

      8. I’m sorry no one has answered your question. Most oils are applied topically but need another oil to carry them into the blood stream. These are called carrier oils. Coconut oil, and almond oil are good carriers. You can also diffuse an oil in an oil diffuser as it’s called. 😂. Or purchase them in a form of tea. It’s a good rule of thumb to not ingest an essential oil unless it’s specified on the bottle and how to ingest it. Essential oils are concentrated in form and need to be diluted. I hope it helps. But chances are you have already figured it out.

    2. Young living essential oils are that pure that you can take them internally and apply topically!

      1. Hi Julia, I Love Young Living oils but when I purchased the Oregano the bottle said do not ingest. So I used the Vermont Store product and it has worked. I use YLO Oregano to rub on head for migraines and shoulder joints for pain. I am a lucky gal because I rarely have to mix with almond or olive oil.
        I am a “Herb Lady” and have taught many classes on bringing them into your life every day. Would love to do same with YLO. Im very interested in YLO and have used them sucessfully. Something in the way they are distilled makes most of them safe to ingest, yes? WILL EMAIL YOU SOON. THANKU!

        1. Hi Vancamp, for your information, it is ok to ingest YL oregano, but for marketing and promoting reasons, YL have 2 different labelling for their Oregano EO. If you purchase the Vitality Oregano, it will be written that you can take it as a Health supplement and that it is fine to ingest it. They are basically the same essential oils, just different labelling. All essential oils can be use aromatically, all essential oils can be used on the skin with a carrier oil and some of them can be ingested without any problem. There is a GRAS list of the essential oils that can be ingested. I always refer to it before I add oils to a capsule or ingest it in any way. I am a certified aromatherapist and we use oils in my practice regularly. If you have more question, you can email me at: Have a great day.

  2. I am undergoing chemo for Multiple Myeloma, a bone marrow cancer. It’s paired with Dexamethasone as an anti-inflammatory. The Dexa drives up my blood sugars (I’m diabetic) and is now causing vaginal yeast infections. Are there any natural alternatives?

    1. Try alpha lipoic acid, as it highly boosts glutathione (master antioxidant). ALA will lower your blood sugar, not raise it. It offers a great deal of pain relief. Try one 200mg pill a day and work up to 400mg two to three times a day. You can take right before bed and it helps you sleep! I hope and pray this helps you Victoria

    2. Also, consider looking into Chaga mushroom. Because it is a mushroom with beta-glucans this will have positive benefit on your blood sugar. I am sending good prayers and wishes your way Victoria.

    3. Victoria,
      I was just talking to a co worker about yeast infections. I use Young living Essential oils and they are Pure and the best on the market. I have a mixture of oils that I put in a gel cap and take them internally for yeast infections. And the Ningxia Red is excellent for chemo treatments. The oils are the best and all natural , I love them.

    4. I have heard some amazing personal accounts from people who had cancer. You might research goji berries and companies that make a juice from it – Without killing anything off.

  3. I’ve been taking 2.5 mg prednisone for about 3 weeks and don’t want to ask for anymore. I have lower back pain and slight osteoporosis. I have not used oils before and am curious how it works? Do I just rub some on? Do I take a turmeric pill or is there an oil? Sorry for my ignorance.

    1. You can purchase 100% essentiall oils at a health store and then dilute with olive oil or another carrier oil and then just massage onto the area that is bothering you. Many times a day is fine. You only need a few drops of the oil in a Tbsp of carrier oil, or you can make a batch in a jar of 1/4 cup carrier oil and 10-20 drops. You can look up recipes online depending on what oil you get.

      Turmeric is a supplement you can buy in pill form. Ginger as well. Good questions!!

    2. Hi Mike! I make tumeric tea & natural raw honey- no processing please. Know a beekeeper? Stuff in grocery isnt real honey. Use as much tumeric as you like but start with 1/2 teaspoon tumeric& 1 teaspoon honey or more honey if you like. I am up to 1TB:1TB. Took a little while. But if it is good for me I dont whine. I’ll eat or drink anything to be well! Bring 8- 10 ounces water to boil . Turn off burner. Add 1/2 teas. Tumeric organic spice stir with chef’s whip till disolved. Let cool on burner to perfect sipping temp. Add honey. Enjoy. I do 6-8 cups of tumeric tea every day. Also I roast garlic bulbs whole rubbed in olive oil in oven for 10 min. on 350°. You adjust time to how you like the texture of your garlic. They are sweet roasted and don’t have the aroma the sauteed or raw do. You can mash them into potates or rice, veggies and meat. I eat a bulb or two everyday. Yes, whole bulb. Ive been on steroids since 1980. So Im serious about staying healthy. I was critical when I was put on steroids. And I’m stuck on them but if you can avoid them please do so. I won’t share my horror story of steroids because now they know lower doses, less time works. In 1980 it was the more the better! Thank God you all have it better now. God Bless!

      1. Thanks for info, I just had a bout of sciatica, due to my ankylosing spondylitis I have. Was given prednisone by ER.
        Always looking for a healthy alternative. The prednisone doesn’t help, and I hate it…..turmeric tea it will be!

  4. You use a carrier oil like coconut or almond. Maybe 5ml and 3 drops maybe more you will have to see. People do ingest oils but I wouldn’t with out the assistance of an aromatherapist

    1. Hi Amanda, You are saying only ingest oils that say it is safe to ingest. Essential oils are basically to be applied to the skin on troubled area. You gave good advice for everyone. Thank you.

    1. Hi, for sinunes pure peppermint oil works well. Try inhaling it few drops on a tissue or in a bowl of water.

    2. Twice I have used one drop each of therapeutic grade rosemary oil and tea tree oil in a sinus rinse from bottle from Neilmed. Two treatments in a day and my sinus problem was gone. I would never use anything but therapeutic grade oil.

      1. Can you make your own Rosemary oil? Want to use to cure inner ear/ sinuses causing blurry vision and a bit of dizziness.

        1. Yes. But Mary do you grow a lot of rosemary? You need much rosemary. I am a Herb Lady and have taught many classes. There is an easy way to make rosemary oil. From your local library order Rodales Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Page 465. Much good luck. I grow Rosemary but not enough to make the essential oils.

    1. The precursors to all regulatory hormones (that turn functions on and off at the right time) are vitamins A and D, and DHEA. I sailed through that time with only one hot flash when I’d forgotten to take them for awhile. I suspect they are deficient in a lot of conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure…

  5. I have MS ( multiple sclerosis )and experiencing leg weakness and blurry vision. Doctor wants me to take Steroids through an IV for four days . Anything i can take natural that can help with my balance and vision?

    1. Ginger& tumeric tea in large quantities supplement your natural steroid levels. Diet is critical. Blueberries, green tea, spinach, fava beans, garlic,& oregano. Look back to Mike I gave him directions for making tea & roasting garlic. I have Lupus SLE, CNS among other issues. If you like you can go back & see some info. My story about steroids is a horror story I am not sharing. Mine was back in the day of – she has a giggle in her elbow – give her more prednisone. Six weeks of IV’S very high doses of steroids 4x daily. Was in teaching hospital 3 1/2 months. Lucky to live. Steroids saved my life and ruined it. But I am living. So no complaints. I recommend natural if possible. My half sister was diagnosed with MS and refused steroids. Her symptoms were “vision clouds” , uncontrollable laughter and fatigue. She got busy with diet and excercise and rest. If she asked me what I thought I would say research. An anabolic diet. Yoga. Meditation. Excercise: Walking, Gentle dance, chair excercises – whatever your day calls for you to do. It takes large quantities of herbs, oils, diet care to replace medical steroids. At BING bring up Natural Steroids & read the various articles especially the 10 foods you need. After my sister did this and was sure of her info I would say go to your Dr. Ask for side effects- no one told me any as I was critical. But they exist. By giving you IV’s over 4 days he limits side effects. Ask him for the lowest level of roids – evaluate his answer. MS is a mystery how if affects people so differently. If it were my eyesight & my walking even knowing my history I would not dismiss the steroids. You must be proactive after this! Research& develope a routine of wellness. Dont quit on yourself. Research! Im joining you to a worldwide pray list tomorrow. If you do not approve email me by Noon please. Do you trust your Dr? That is 1/2 the battle. Wishing you joy and good health.

      1. Hello
        I came across this today.

        The phlegm that is coming from my sinuses is drowning my lungs…I’m on steroids n side affect are killing my body…
        I have tried many times to go off them but to have had to go back on them as they are only thing that helps me breath…

        I read that oregano oil is good…not sure if this would help…

        Can someone help please

        Thank you


  6. Long-term prednisone use or any prednisone use is unhealthy for the body. It nearly took my life. I now use peppermint oil for my migraine headaches. I put a drop on the back of my forefinger and swipe it across my forehead, be careful not to get it in your eyes. If you do it will just feel unusually cool for a couple of minutes. Then I run the same finger under my nostrils with the remainder on my finger and take in a few long deep breaths. If I feel ill or sluggish from eating improperly I put a drop or two in a 32 oz canning jar filled with water, tea, or juice and sip it throughout the day or night. Try it, you won’t regret it.

  7. I have nasal polyps and asthma. I can’t smell or taste food properly. When the gp prescribes me prednisone together with steroid based nasal drops I sometimes get brief period of relief and can smell strong scents. But alas this is short lived when effect of steroids wear off. Any suggestions would I could take long term to help me breath and smell again.

    1. Moira I have the same problems. I have been on and off steroids for 5 years after my two nasal surgeries. Also looking for natural ideas. I sure do miss smelling all kinds of scents. Any suggestions would be appreciated

  8. Daughter was diagnosed with inflammation of the cartilage around her lungs. Prednisone therapy is the only thing helping. Oh, and massive doses of ibuprofen. Going to try all of these. Thanks so much.

    1. Try glucosamine. Follow directions faithfully and you should see improvement in 2-3 weeks, maybe sooner. I used osteo-biflex, but i think any will do. (But do make sure its glucosamine sulfate, NOT glucosamine HCL. …. Prayers and good luck!!!

  9. I have asthma and get out of breath a lot. I start coughing and have chest pains. The dr just put me on steroids. I couldn’t take them before. I don’t know how this time is different. There are a ton of side effects taking steroids. What would help me? I need to know the best alternative.

  10. CUROST the human formula is a natural product you can buy online. It has a berry base so I mix it with cranberry juice. In 2 days I am feeling better and it 3 or 4 I’m perfectly fine until I mess up my knee again. I consider it a MIRACLE CURE. Eliminate all sugar and bottled drinks it will make a big difference.

  11. I have two vertebrae popped out and never had taken steroids but took them for 6 days and they started helping but tripped and fell and jarred my neck again. I have had Breast cancer and colon cancer and so far so good cancer free. I take many natural supplements and was wondering what to take as I need the inflammation around the two vertebrae to go down so they will move back. Saw that on the x-ray when I went home to a specialist. Can you suggest something to help me to get this swelling down.

    1. Upper cervical chiropractor. They are rare. They get the top (the master vertabre) vertabre in perfect alignment, which gets the hips in alignment too, and untwists the spine. For Any more still out, mine used muscle massage to release. Nothing else had worked for me , and I had been to typical chiropractors for years. After he treated me, if I didn’t pull it out again, I didn’t have to go back. It wasn’t a treatment plan of multiple times per week for months.

  12. Thank you!!! All of my passages are filled and I have developed polyps. I refuse to get surgery. I have no smell, and 50% of my taste. I will let you know if it works. If it does, I will post this everywhere I can.

  13. The most safest and natural remedies for your health is turmeric. Turmeric anti inflammatory and anti oxidant. It has many health benefits.

  14. I am having a difficult time getting my skin to clear up from eczema and am having allergic reactions (itchy rashes on arms and hands). Dr put me on a steroid pack (prednisone) and gave me an allergy shot and it worked but a week after stopping the steroid my skin starts to flare up again and I get acne from steroids. I do not want to continue taking steroids if there is something I can take that is natural that will help just as well. What can I take naturally to help keep this at bay?

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