Arthritis affects countless people. Overall, 54.4 million adults were diagnosed with the condition from 2013 to 2015, with 23.5% being women and 18.1% men. The older the patient, the bigger the risk of developing arthritic joints.
Limits with conventional medicine show a real need for safe and effective treatment of arthritic patients. According to experts, herbal medicine might be a solution. Some herbs can offer much-needed relief for patients with rheumatic disease.
Although their potency varies, patients can avoid serious side effects that come from conventional drug therapy. Like is the case with NSAIDs (non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs are often recommended to curb the symptoms of the condition. But, for those who are taking them, gastrointestinal complications happen frequently. They cause a whopping 12,000 hospitalizations a year.
That’s where herbs can come in handy. We selected the most efficient products supported by science that have the potential to manage this costly disease.
Here is a detailed review of each of them, including the effects they can offer.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a type of rheumatic illness and a group of more than 100 distinct diseases. Those who develop the condition can experience joint swelling, stiffness, and aches. But, it is not uncommon for the rest of the body structures to suffer, like the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones.
The aches and discomfort come and go. They can stay for some time or get worse as the years go by. In severe cases, chronic pain becomes a serious problem, and arthritic patients find it difficult to progress with their daily activities.
What Makes Herbs a Practical Choice?
Adequate nutrition, physical activity, and medications are the “core” of arthritis management. Therapeutic treatment targets the symptoms and enhances joint function. Often, people have to try different treatment combinations before they can find the right one.
Based on the type of arthritis, their therapy will vary. But, what all medical therapies share in common are adverse reactions. Whether patients are taking pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, or counterirritants, side effects can happen.
Hence the need for good treatment with low toxicity. Herbal products come in a variety of forms, like spices, teas, tinctures, and capsules. They quickly get absorbed into the system and provide the body with numerous beneficial properties.
6 Herbs To Fight Arthritis Joint Pain That You Might Need
Specific natural remedies could alleviate mild arthritis symptoms, especially when used together with conventional treatment. Still, even when you decide to use natural remedies, you must consult with a rheumatologist first.
Since some herbs could interact with the medication you are taking, you will need to take the necessary precautions.
Here are the most notable herbs for arthritis that can make a difference.
1. Turmeric – The All-Rounder
Turmeric is by far the most famous natural remedy in the world, and for a good reason. Turmeric has outstanding anti-inflammatory activities. As a dietary supplement or alternative medicine, turmeric is often used in the form of an extract.
The extract is standardized to 80% to 95% curcuminoids, mainly curcumin. Based on reports, turmeric exerts beneficial compounds on osteoarthritis, dyslipidemia (abnormal cholesterol and other lipid levels), and type 2 diabetes.
Since it is less spicy and hot, the body can tolerate it much easier than pepper or ginger. Turmeric is one of the most well-known immune-boosting foods on the planet. It can also help with pancreatitis.
Studies show that there is an increased risk of acute pancreatitis in people with rheumatoid arthritis. And inflammatory bowel problems are often linked with autoimmune pancreatitis. That’s why it is a good idea to have a multi-purpose herb at your disposal. Not just for arthritis but other diseases that may be associated with it.
2. Ginger – The Most Potent and Delicious of Spices
Ginger has many uses. According to experts, it may also improve active rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger supplementation provides a substantial anti-inflammatory effect. Scientists conducted six studies about osteoarthritis and ginger to evaluate their impact.
2020 reports showed that ginger was an anti-inflammatory agent capable of reducing the levels of the proinflammatory cytokine. After three months of taking 500mg ginger powder, patients had a notable improvement.
Further analysis indicates that ginger may have a promising effect for alleviating osteoarthritis pain. During these trials, volunteers didn’t experience any serious side effects.
3. Cat’s Claw – A Tropical Vine With Profound Effect
Cat’s Claw is another well-documented herb in alternative medicine. Its extract features immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant compounds. Although research on Cat’s Claw and arthritis is limited, its unique properties can help with inflammation.
The plant works by preventing the activation of many inflammatory substances in the body. A trial showed that in phase A, 53% of participants who took Cat’s Claw noticed a drastic reduction in joint pain, compared to the 24% who took placebo treatment.
But, if you take it alongside conventional medication, it is possible to experience some minor side effects. This is especially true if you are taking hypertension medication or immunosuppressants. Because Cat’s Claw can stimulate cytokines production, it can interfere with your immune system.
When dealing with arthritis, you want foods that boost the immune system. So, consult with a doctor first to know whether this is the right option for you.
4. Aloe Vera – A Widely Cultivated Plant With Healthy Juices
The painfully inflamed joints are a real problem for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies show that Aloe Vera can ease this kind of arthritis pain. It can be a viable treatment for persistent non-cancer pain, mainly triggered by osteoarthritis.
With topical administration, Aloe Vera can inhibit inflammation. People can apply Aloe Vera gel directly on their painful and swollen joints. The gel can then provide relief. Since it is packed with anti-inflammatory activities, it can alleviate aches and joint immobility.
5. Thunder God Vine – The Right Option for Joint Tenderness and Swelling
People have been using the thunder god vine for hundreds of years. Experts believe that using it orally or applying it directly on the skin can help with rheumatoid arthritis. As well as with psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and other health issues. That’s why both the roots and leaves of the vine are used.
Preliminary research indicates that the herb can alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. It might even be more efficient than standard treatment alone for curbing the joint tenderness and swelling. However, it comes with many side effects.
The side effects include increased blood pressure, heart rate, and kidney issues, as well as less blood cell production, headaches, etc. Without the proper preparations, the thunder god vine extract can be very poisonous. So, it’s crucial to use it from reputable vendors.
Talk with your healthcare provider if you think about using this product. Even if it can’t replace conventional medicine, you and your doctor will make a well-informed decision.
6. Eucalyptus – The Evergreen Tree With Strong Medicinal Properties
Eucalyptus oil features both analgesic and anti-inflammatory compounds. It might also help with blood circulation. A 2013 report showed that aromatherapy with eucalyptus oil alleviated some aches and inflammation after a total knee replacement. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis can use a eucalyptus gel or diluted oil on the affected area. Applying the product can reduce the pain and curb the inflamed spot.
Herbal medicine has just the right purity, potency, and effect. But, when dealing with arthritis, these herbs can’t replace conventional treatment. The persistent pain requires regular therapy. That’s why it’s best to use herbs alongside traditional medication. Before you add any changes to your diet, consult with your doctor. A certified specialist will advise you on the possible risks and benefits of herbal treatment. That way, you can keep the pain in check.
- Daily JW, Yang M, Park S. Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials. J Med Food. 2016. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003001/
- Anh NH, Kim SJ, Long NP, et al. Ginger on Human Health: A Comprehensive Systematic Review of 109 Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2020. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7019938/
- Chang CC, Chiou CS, Lin HL, Wang LH, Chang YS, Lin HC. Increased Risk of Acute Pancreatitis in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Population-Based Cohort Study. PLoS One. 2015;10(8):e0135187. Published 2015. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532490/
- Ahmed S, Anuntiyo J, Malemud CJ, Haqqi TM. Biological basis for the use of botanicals in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a review. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2005. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1193557/
- Bałan BJ, Niemcewicz M, Kocik J, Jung L, Skopińska-Różewska E, Skopiński P. Oral administration of Aloe vera gel, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory herbal remedy, stimulates cell-mediated immunity and antibody production in a mouse model. Cent Eur J Immunol. 2014. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4440021/
- Jun YS, Kang P, Min SS, Lee JM, Kim HK, Seol GH. Effect of eucalyptus oil inhalation on pain and inflammatory responses after total knee replacement: a randomized clinical trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703330/
Author: Ben’s Natural Health
Ben’s Natural Health is the world’s first high-quality, all-natural, scientifically proven clinical supplement company. Our motto is to combine holistic healing with modern science.
Ben Ong has brought together a team of naturopaths, nutritionists, and medical researchers to help him create real, side-effect-free solutions to serious metabolic health conditions.
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