Most people think of arthritis as an ‘old people’s’ disease. To an extent that is true. The average age of diagnosis is 60 years. But arthritis can and does afflict people who are much younger. People in their 20s too have been known to suffer from this painful disease.
Arthritis is a condition in which the cartilage of the joint slowly deteriorates and hardens, resulting in deformity. It is an autoimmune disorder, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue. The disease most often begins in the small joints, eventually progressing to joint pain and swelling. The pain and swelling may persist despite medical intervention. Herbal remedies provide a safer alternative for treating arthritis. Here are 10 best herbs for arthritis pain which can help relieve inflammation and the associated pain.
Herbal Treatment for Arthritis – 10 Best Herbs for Arthritis Pain Relief
Turmeric, the spice that gives the curry its distinctive color, has plenty of pain relieving properties. It contains Curcumin and cucuminoid, chemicals that decrease inflammation and slow the progression of arthritis. Take turmeric in the form of supplements to experience its full medicinal benefits. The herb can also be applied topically to relieve pain.
Ginger has been used for thousands of years to cure inflammation. It lowers the prostaglandin levels in the body, calming arthritis. Research has also revealed that ginger can reduce pain and inflammation more effectively than non-steroidal drugs. It also helps to relieve nausea, menstrual cramps and headache.
Traditional Chinese medical practitioners used eucommia bark for hip and joint pain. It is used to strengthen the bones, tendons, and ligaments. Eucommia also helps to heal the tissues after an injury. It contains a compound that encourages the development of collagen, an important part of tissues. Eucommia is best taken in the form of supplements. Patients suffering from blood pressure should consult their physician before consuming eucommia.
4. Burdock Root:
Burdock roots, also known as Fox root, are a broad-leaved perennial herb with anti-inflammatory properties. Burdock root is available in the form of dried root powder, decoction, extract and tincture. Take burdock root twice a day to treat arthritis.
Nettles are extremely effective for treating all types of arthritis and gout. The anti-inflammatory properties of nettle combined with the nutrients present in it, help to ease arthritis pain and build stronger bones. Nettle is applied to the skin, which gives a stinging effect, overriding arthritis pain. Nettle leaves are covered with tiny hair, which have high silicon content. When the leaf touches the skin, the sharp point of the hair enters the skin along with the compounds. These compounds help to reduce the pain by stimulating its neurons. Nettle leaf tea relieves and prevents water retention, nourishing the kidneys and adrenals.
6. Willow Bark:
Willow bark is one of the oldest herbs for arthritis, especially used for treating inflammation. People, during Hippocrates’ time, chewed willow barks to relieve pain. It contains aspirin like compounds, which are very effective for treating mild to severe knee, hip and joint pain. You can take willow bark orally in the form of tea or supplement. An overdose of willow bark can cause rashes and allergies, so be careful about the amount you consume.
Glycyrrhizin, a compound found in licorice, blocks and relieves inflammation. It savages free radicals in the body and inhibits the production of enzymes involved in the inflammatory process. Licorice root is available at herbal stores in dried, powdered, tablets, capsules, gels, and tincture form.
Boswellia herb is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is made from purified resin gums of the Boswellia serrate trees that grow in the Middle East and India. This herb blocks leukotriene, a substance that attacks the healthy joints in autoimmune diseases. The extract of boswellia is effective in decreasing pain and increasing joint function in people suffering from osteoarthritis. Boswellia is available in the form of tablets and topical creams.
9. Cat’s Claw:
Uncaria tomentosa, also known as cat’s claw, is another amazing herbal medicine for arthritis that can be used to reduce arthritis related swelling. The usage of cat’s claw for arthritis dates back to the Incan civilization. It lowers the levels of uric acid in the blood, curing gout. Cat’s claw can also help with osteoarthritis pain and swelling. Do not consume cat’s claw if you are taking blood-thinning medication.
10. Thunder God Vine:
Thunder God Vine is one of the oldest herbs for arthritis used in Chinese medicine. The extract from its roots is known to suppress the over-active immune system, making it a possible alternative treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. Thunder God Vine is best used in the form of topical creams.
Before treating arthritis the natural way, make sure you consult your doctor to avoid probable side effects. Remember, the anti-inflammatory herbs will not heal the arthritis; they can only give you relief from the pain.