When we think about health symptoms that can signal a serious problem, inflammation may not come to mind. Yet inflammation, whether brief or chronic, needs attention.

A man who has looked for plant medicines in over 20 countries says natural remedies can help battle inflammation. Chris Kilham, better known as the Medicine Hunter, has been fascinated by herbs since his teen years. “It just seemed to me, based on a few herbal books that I found when I was around 17 or 18, that there was really something worth knowing about medicinal plants,” says Kilham, whose travel destinations have included the Himalayas, the Peruvian Andes, Thailand, Malaysia and Morocco.

After investigating plants in their host countries, Kilham, who is the author of 14 books and has appeared on over 1,500 radio programs and more than 500 TV shows worldwide, says he’s “convinced, more than I ever have been, that plant medicine is the clear path out of our current health crisis.” Kilham says these medicines need to be more broadly available so people can improve their health and “get off toxic, dangerous…bad drugs.”

Traditional herbs may provide a solution to chronic pain and inflammation. Kilham, in an interview with Men and Health: It’s a Guy Thing, says “we know that inflammation is one of the foundation occurrences in all chronic and degenerative health disorders.” Kilham describes turmeric root, a common spice that’s widely used throughout Asia, as “rather extraordinary.”

According to Kilham, this particular root contains a group of compounds known as curcumin. “Curcumin is one of the best-studied medicinal agents from plants in the whole world. We know this is a superbly powerful anti-inflammatory agent,” says Kilham.

Kilham contrasts this natural ingredient with common pharmacy products such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin and cortisone. He says while these drug store options help relieve pain, kidney and liver damage can result; aspirin can be bad on the digestive tract. “We know that ginger is a spectacular anti-inflammatory. Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties. But nothing is quite like turmeric root. It really is the biggest of them all,” says Kilham.

If you’re interested in choosing products from nature, Kilham suggests going to a good quality natural food store. “You’ll find there are many different herbal products out there designed to deal with inflammation. There are some based on hops, the same flower that’s used in making beer.” Kilham recommends Curamin, a concentrated curcumin product, which he says “is very effective for relieving pain within about a half hour.”

Doctors may not be as well-versed on natural products as you might think. Kilham says, “Most medical doctors in practice today don’t know that much about herbs, but they’re starting to be aware that herbs are real legitimate medicines, because articles on herbs show up constantly in the medical journals.”

When it comes to natural products, Kilham has advice, particularly for baby boomers: “You can either age well (maintain health span) or not.” Kilham says we need to eat good foods, exercise, and take the time to do the things that matter in life. He describes the importance of eating natural products, such as ginger, garlic, onions, turmeric and antioxidant-rich berries. “That sends us down the path to increasing health span.”

Visit the Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, at www.medicinehunter.com