Natural Remedies for Arthritis
According to the CDC, arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, limiting the activities of nearly 27 million adults. The two most common forms of arthritis are rheumatoid (RA) and osteoarthritis (the most common arthritis form). Osteoarthritis is often associated with the wearing down and drying out of the cartilage.
RA is classified an autoimmune disease, i.e. the body attacks itself for some not totally explainable reason. In addition, fibromyalgia and polymyalgia diseases could be considered varieties of arthritis because they both share similar painful symptoms in joints and muscles. All forms of arthritis have one major root cause in common: inflammation. Arthritis sufferers can fight back as there are several natural arthritis remedies to help heal joint pain and inflammation.
Natural Remedies for Arthritis
Diet – If you’re dealing with osteoarthritis (OA) research has been shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and no processed food or sugar has been shown to help reduce inflammation and pain in your joints. A beneficial side effect of proper diet is weight loss. Those that are overweight are putting extra strain on those joints, that needs to be relieved.
SAM-e – SAMe, also known as S-adenosylmethionine, is a synthetic form of a compound formed naturally in the human body. The body uses SAMe to make certain chemicals that play a role in depression, pain, liver disease, and other conditions. SAM-e relieves arthritis pain by increasing blood levels of proteoglycans, molecules that seem to play a key role in preserving cartilage by helping to keep it “plumped up” and well oxygenated. In a review of SAM-e studies sponsored by the U.S. government, the supplement proved comparable to anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) in fighting arthritis pain.
Boswellia – Boswellia has been used as a natural anti-inflamatory for thousands of years, similar in effect to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID), but without the side effects and does not causes gastrointestinal bleeding. Mainly found in India, the extracts of the gum of this tree (also known as Frankincense), have long been used to relieve joint pain and inflammation. Scientific studies has confirmed that boswellic acids are able to stop the formation of leukotrienes, the immune cells responsible for inflammation. With regular use of boswellia, blood supply to the joints is also maintained allowing for soft tissue to be nourished and healthy. Boswellia is also considered to be an effective in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes derived naturally from the juice and stems of pineapples. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme, and is believed to help with the digestion of protein.
Some studies have supported its use as a natural remedy for easing the symptoms of arthritis, including pain and joint stiffness. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) classifies bromelain as “possibly effective” for osteoarthritis when used in combination with trypsin (an enzyme) and rutin (an antioxidant found in certain fruits, vegetables, and herbs like ginkgo biloba and St. John’s wort). According to the NIH, the combination of bromelain, trypsin and rutin may be “about as effective as some prescription painkillers” in treatment of arthritis pain.
Willow bark. – Willow bark is the original natural source for aspirin. In head to head studies, it was twice as effective as Motrin, and as effective as Vioxx, and it has been shown to not cause the stomach bleeding caused by other arthritis medications.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish oil does help relieve the pain and inflammation of arthritis, but it doesn’t slow the progress of arthritis. The richest food source of omega-3 fatty acids are cold water fish such as salmon, sardines, and anchovies are. Due to contaminants like mercury and other chemicals, high grade fish oil capsules are considered a safer source of omega-3 fatty acids, because companies filter to remove harmful chemicals. Although flaxseed oil is often used as an alternative to fish oil, it doesn’t appear to have the same anti-inflammatory effects as fish oil at achievable intakes.
Thunder god vine (Tripterygium wilfordii) – A perennial vine that is native to Asia (fact sheet found on our site here). The root is peeled away to make this herbal supplement mostly used to treat autoimmune illnesses and inflammatory conditions. Research has shown Thunder god vine contains anti-inflammatory activity, and some immune-boosting activity. A clinical trial at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center ( too small to prove the true efficacy) found that roughly 80 per cent of those patients who were given a high dose of the plant supplement found that their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms got considerably better .
Prickly pear fruit and the nopal cactus it grows on have been used for centuries as a medicinal food in helping with arthritis, diabetes, cholesterol, and many other diseases that have inflammation at the root.
Alfalfa is considered as one of the best herbal treatments for arthritis, according to Washington State University. The perennial flowering plant contains such minerals as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium to help treat the cause and symptoms related to arthritis. Different forms of alfalfa arthritis treatments include tea remedies, seeds and supplements.
Glucosamine sulfate – Studies suggests that glucosamine alleviates arthritis pain, but the type of glucosamine matters. There are no trials demonstrating that glucosamine hydrochloride benefits people with