Tumor necrosis factor, abbreviated as TNF, is a protein that your white blood cells make in response to inflammation or infection throughout your body. Sometimes TNF can be beneficial to your body by heightening your immune response. TNF can also be harmful, as the substance might activate other bodily reactions, such as the growth of cancer cells, according to Breast Cancer Choices. Certain herbal remedies may help block TNF, which might improve your health.
Cook with turmeric to block TNF. Turmeric is an herb commonly used in curries and other Indian dishes and is available in the spice aisle of most supermarkets. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which is traditionally used to control inflammation. The spice may also play a role in inhibiting TNF, according to the Multiple Sclerosis Encyclopaedia. Curcumin is also available in capsule form if you do not like the taste of turmeric.
Take milk thistle to inhibit TNF. Milk thistle is a plant used mainly to protect against and treat liver disease. Silymarin, a main component of milk thistle, has antioxidant and anti-flammatory properties. A 1999 article in the Journal of Immunology reports that these properties can also block TNF from activating a nuclear transcription factor in the body that controls inflammation and the development of cancer cells. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 280 to 450 mg of milk thistle daily for adults.
Ask your doctor about taking stinging nettle leaf extract to inihibit TNF. This herbal remedy's effect on colitis, a chronic inflammatory disease, was investigated by German and Swiss researchers. The results, reported in the January 2005 issue of the International Journal of Colorectal Disease, showed that concentrations of TNF were lower in animals who were given nettle leaf extract than those who were not treated with herbal remedies. Stinging nettle leaves can be brewed into a a tea or taken as a fluid extract.