Most athletes know all too well the double-edged sword of post-exercise inflammation. Inflammation is a general immune response to injury in the body that can be triggered by over-training. It ultimately works to mend and strengthen muscles, making them more adaptable to more intense levels of activity, but if post-exercise inflammation is not modulated, it may become chronic, compromising recovery from workouts and increasing risk for more serious over-use injuries.

While it is not desirable to turn off inflammation completely, helping the body mount a healthy, time-appropriate and intensity-appropriate inflammation response is essential to building strength and endurance. Moreover, researchers know now that a healthy inflammation response is important for maintaining the health of virtually every system in the body, including the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, and central nervous system.

By incorporating a combination of natural herbs, inflammation can be modulated, so that you get the benefits of inflammation (stronger muscles) but not the chronic, post-exercise inflammation.

Herbs for Inflammation

HOLY BASIL (Ocimum sanctum) Revered for thousands of years as “Tulsi” or “The Incomparable One,” Holy Basil was traditionally used to promote a positive stress response and to elevate the spirit. Today, a major U.S. university found that Holy Basil contains at least six phytonutrients that can powerfully promote a healthy inflammation response. For more information on holy basil, see the article Finding Calm with Holy Basil.

TURMERIC (Curcuma longa) Modern research conducted at dozens of U.S. universities is beginning to help explain why turmeric has been so appreciated throughout time. Turmeric contains a group of molecules called curcuminoids that are synergistic with green tea and have the profound ability to be cell protective and to promote a healthy inflammation response. For more information on turmeric, see the article Timeless Turmeric,

While some researchers believe curcuminoids are responsible for turmeric’s life-supportive effects, other fat soluble phytonutrients called turmerones also play a crucial role in making this plant the Western world’s most important herb for cardiovascular health and maintaining DNA integrity.

GINGER (Zingiber officinale) Revered in ancient medical systems, ginger was referred to as "vishwabhesaj" or the universal medicine. Modern international research shows that ginger contains multiple fat and water soluble phytonutrients that beneficially modulate inflammation. Ginger also contains numerous anti-aging constituents that benefit the nervous and cardiovascular systems. For more information on ginger, see the article Ginger is Much More than a Spice!

GREEN TEA (Camellia sinensis) Clinical trials now show that tea consumption consistently leads to a significant increase in the antioxidant or free-radical scavenging capacity of the blood. Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a major university database note that Green Tea contains dozens of constituents in addition to its well known molecule EGCG that can exert a beneficial effect on promoting a healthy inflammation response. For More information on the benefits of green tea, see the article "Weight Loss, Cancer Protection & Great Health with Green & White Tea."

ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis) Researchers at major U.S. universities have subjected the culinary herb to the rigors of modern science and discovered it possesses some of the most effective free-radical scavenging or anti-aging constituents known in nature. In particular, the constituent carnosol has been shown to promote normal cell growth and a healthy inflammation response.

HU ZHANG (Polygonum cuspidatum) In traditional healing systems, Hu zhang was used to treat a wide range of imbalances, including those challenging the skin, immune, and cardiovascular systems. Today one of the most exciting botanical research projects at major U.S. universities is the focus on Hu zhang’s most celebrated phytonutrient called resveratrol. It is the same molecule that is believed to be responsible for the beneficial cardiovascular and positive inflammation-modulating effects of red wine.

BARBERRY (Berberis vulgaris) and CHINESE GOLDTHREAD (Coptis chinensis) Chinese goldthread has been used in Chinese herbal medicine for thousands of years to “dispel heat” and support digestive and immune functions. Native Americans also used it to dispel heat or fever and heal digestive imbalances. What both plants have in common is the impressive phytonutrient called berberine. Research in Asia demonstrates that this constituent of both plants can help promote a healthy inflammation response.

OREGANO (Origanum vulgare) Famous healers and scholars from ancient Greece and Rome such as Hippocrates and Pliny regarded Oregano as a valuable healing plant for digestive and respiratory imbalances. According to a USDA database, oregano is a source of over 31 phytonutrients to beneficially modulate inflammation. For more information on the benefits of oregano, see the article Oregano's Health Benefits.

BAIKAL SKULLCAP (Scutellaria baicalensis) In traditional Chinese medicine, Baikal Chinese Skullcap was used to counter toxicity and to normalize temperature. Today it is known that Baikal skullcap contains precious phytonutrients called baicalein and wogonin which can help restore balance to a healthy inflammation response. Baikal skullcap has an added benefit to offer, namely its well known soothing properties excellent for promoting a good night’s rest.

What is Zyflamend?

Zyflamend by New Chapter is a concentrated blend of the ten therapeutic botanicals (listed above) used for thousands of years by millions of people to promote health and longevity. These herbs have been extracted and formulated to maximize their effectiveness and to contain active levels of dozens of key constituents that science has recognized to promote a healthy inflammation response.

New Chapter’s Zyflamend is a unique patented herbal formula representing a scientific breakthrough in the maintenance of a healthy inflammation response. Both professional and amateur athletes across the country rely on Zyflamend to support their body’s response to inflammation, allowing them to train harder and recover faster.

Increased Endurance

At least 1,500 years ago, Tibetan herders observed that yaks would eat Cordyceps and then frolic with great energy and playfulness. This encouraged the herders to experience the power of Cordyceps—the world’s most researched mushroom for increasing endurance — which has led to its use by millions of people over the ages.

This mushroom has made sporting international headlines . At the Chinese National Games in 1993, a team of nine Chinese women runners shattered 9 world records, breaking the record for the 10,000 meter run by an unprecedented 42 seconds. They gave credit to their intense training regimen and the use of Cordyceps (Steinkraus 1994; Pegler et al. 1994).

Hiyoshi et al., (1996) conducted a limited study on the use of Cordyceps “on long distance runners, resulting in significant improvement in 71% of the subjects, due, in part, to increased respiratory activity and the metabolism of lactic acid 1.”

Recently, a marathon runner reported that he was able to cut 25 minutes off his time in the Boston Marathon using Cordyceps, placing him in the top ten.


For athletes, it is important to modulate inflammation to control chronic, post-exercise inflammation. What better way than with the support of nature's herbal gifts combined in a comprehensive, inflammation modulator formula like Zyflamend? Cordyceps, another gift from nature, provides increased stamina and endurance for the serious athlete in training or in competition.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Author's Bio: 

Christine Dreher, CCN, CCH is a Nutritionist, Herbalist, Author of “The "Cleanse Cookbook" and President & Founder of Christine's Cleanse Corner, Inc., (a nutritional company that specializes in nutritional & health education & Whole Food Vitamin Supplements. Christine is the Editor & Publisher of the free, online "Transform Your Health" Nutrition and Health E-Newsletter. She is also a Health/Nutritional Speaker & Teacher, & a Nutritional, Diet & Internal Cleanse Consultant, and a Live Beyond Organic Mission Marketer.

Christine is also the Official Self Growth Guide for Dietary Supplements. For more information about New Chapter, Garden of Life or Vitamin Code and other Whole Food Vitamin supplements and herbs, visit Christine on the web at: or call Christine's office at 858-673-0224.