There are many wonderful herbs for arthritis to help ease the pain and stiffness of this troublesome disorder.
More than 32 million Americans suffer with some form of arthritis. It is the leading cause of disability and affects one in eight people. The two main types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder caused by the breakdown of joint cartilage due to overuse or “wear and tear.”
Cartilage provides the cushioning between the bones that form the joint, so when cartilage is lost bone rubs against bone, causing this very painful disease. Typically, osteoarthritis begins in one single joint.
In comparison, rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, inflammatory disease and is also considered an autoimmune disease where immune cells fight against the body’s healthy tissues. The lining of a joint is primarily what is affected by rheumatoid arthritis, but other organs can be affected also. Typically, multiple joints are involved when one has rheumatoid arthritis.
People seeking relief are finding renewed hope in herbal remedies for rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. Herbal medicine is nature’s way of providing our bodies with the nutrients it needs to heal itself. More importantly, herbs boost your immunity, which is an especially helpful feature for rheumatoid arthritis.
Useful Herbs for Arthritis
Here are some helpful arthritis herbal remedies. Remember that alternating herbal remedies can be helpful in finding relief as well as offering variety.
Start out with only one herb at a time, so if you have an adverse reaction you will know the culprit that caused it. Also, keep in mind that everyone’s reaction time is different, and it may take you several weeks to feel any effect.
* Cayenne (also capsicum or capsaicin) is one of the best herbal remedies for rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteoarthritis. It is an excellent remedy to help relieve arthritis pain by inhibiting the pain-transmitting nerves. It is one of the best herbal remedies for many ailments and works as a catalyst to increase the effectiveness of other herbs.
According to studies, the heat sensation causes the body to produce endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. There are creams available containing 0.025–0.075% of capsaicin, which can be applied to the affected joints three to five times per day.
* White willow bark provides pain relief and reduces inflammation and is considered to be an “herbal aspirin.” In fact, aspirin was derived from white willow bark.
* Alfalfa blossoms, stems, seeds, and leaves are very rich in enzymes, minerals, and vitamins. Alfalfa is a very effective and widely used herbal remedy for arthritis that has been passed down many generations.
* Feverfew is another of the beneficial herbs for arthritis, inflammation, and pain. A month of feverfew usage is generally needed before improvement in symptoms is realized. Arthritis patients have reported significant improvements in pain levels and range of motion. Feverfew is considered a “circulatory stimulant” that helps increase blood flow, which is believed to help the body heal.
* Devil’s claw is another of the excellent arthritis herbal remedies, often improving mobility and use of the affected joint, further inducing healing.
* Ginger is used to treat inflammation and pain. In one particular study, 75% percent of those studied with either rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis said the ginger treatment resulted in significant relief of their symptoms. Along with this, no adverse side effects were reported, even among those who took ginger over a long period of time.
* Turmeric is one of the oldest anti-inflammatory herbs for arthritis used. Several studies support how effective this herb is for alleviating arthritis symptoms. The anti-inflammatory properties are credited to the yellow pigment in turmeric, called curcumin. It is recommended to avoid use of this herb if you have gallbladder problems.
* Ginseng is an adaptogen, which means that it helps the body deal with different types of stressors. Ginseng tea is wonderfully effective for treating arthritis. However, as Asian ginseng can aggravate the pain, make sure to use American ginseng.
* Boswellia is another of the wonderful herbs for arthritis that has an anti-inflammatory action similar to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It is very helpful for easing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Boswellia can be taken internally as well as externally applied to the affected joints in order to relieve inflammation. It has been known to decrease morning stiffness and improve joint mobility.
* Celery eaten raw or cooked is a good arthritis remedy. It is full of minerals, and different parts of celery contain over 25 anti-inflammatory properties.
Beyond Arthritis Herbal Remedies – Other Steps To Take
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Stay physically active
- Eat a healthy diet with plenty of vitamin B, C, D, and E as well as calcium and magnesium
- Drink plenty of filtered water
- Eliminate refined white sugar, white flour, and fried foods