10 Powerful Herbs for Arthritis
Special guest writer, Chetana Sagiraju, has offered us her wisdom on herbs for arthritis. Arthritis is a debilitating joint condition that affects millions of people every year. People suffering from this disease experience severe pain. In fact, the pain is so severe that it can keep you from doing everyday activities. Unfortunately, today an increasing number of young people are also falling prey to this disease. Most rush to the nearest general practitioner for treatment of arthritis but you will be surprised to know that allopathic medicines only alleviate the symptoms and do nothing to cure the ailment. The pain tends to exist even after medical intervention.
It is time to take a natural approach to gain relief from this excruciating pain. Below are 10 herbs that help support the body's ability to heal and lessen the symptoms of arthritis.
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Rosehip contains galactlipid, an enzyme that performs anti-inflammatory actions. Rosehip powder and extracts contain polyphenols and anthocyanin, which ease joint inflammation and prevent its damage. It is also rich in vitamin C, which is required to scavenge the free radicals that cause tissue damage. In a trial, 100 people were assigned to receive one LitoZin tablet (5 grams of Rosehip), or a placebo for 4 months. After 4 months usage, people who consumed Rosehip reported improved hip flexion.
Boswellia, the chemical compound found in frankincense essential oil, is marketed as an alternative medicine for arthritis and perhaps one of the most effective herbs for arthritis. The herb blocks leukotriene, a substance that attacks healthy joints in rheumatoid arthritis. It interferes with the autoimmune process, and is a powerful anti-inflammatory, making it an effective therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. In a double blind study, 30 people with osteoarthritis were given either boswellia or placebo for 8 weeks. Patients in the Boswellia group showed significant improvement in knee mobility, pain and walking as compared to placebo.
3. Cat's claw
Several animal and laboratory studies have found that cat's claw can prevent the activation of inflammatory substances in the body, making it one of the top 10 herbs for arthritis. The antioxidants in cat's claw prevent the damage to the body's cells by interacting with the harmful molecules that are produced within the cells. In a trial, 40 participants were given either cat's claw tablets (60 grams if Uncariae tomentosae) or placebo tablets for 24 weeks. 53% people from the cat's claw group reported a significant reduction in painful joints.
The health benefits of ginger are not just limited to adding flavor to your dishes, but can also help you to get rid of arthritis. The compounds present in ginger, reduce the activity of leukotriene that promotes joint inflammation. In a trial, 67 participants were given one of the following treatments- 170 mg of ginger extract, 400 mg of ibuprofen tablets, and a placebo three times a day for three weeks. Participants who consumed ginger extract showed significant reduction in pain as compared to people who took placebo tablets.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is very useful for reducing inflammation in the body. A study conducted at Michigan University found that the compounds in green tea can help to avoid inflammation and joint damage. The researchers found that epigallocatechin 3 gallate in green tea blocked the two potent molecules that cause breakdown in rheumatoid arthritis affected bones. It also blocked the production of prostaglandin E2, a substance that causes joint inflammation.
Turmeric is believed to slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. It is an effective anti-inflammatory herb and a potent pain reliever too. It contains Curcumin and curcuminoids, the two compounds that decrease inflammation. In a study, daily consumption of 2 grams of turmeric for 6 weeks improved the participant's ability to climb stairs.
7. Willow Bark
Willow bark is one of the most popular herbs for arthritis and inflammation. Several studies have proven its efficiency in relieving osteoarthritis related pain in the knees, hips and neck. It contains salicin, an active ingredient that reduces the production of pain inducing chemicals in the nerves. The treatment can be taken orally or in the form of tablets. In a study, 26 participants were given either willow bark (260 grams) or placebo tablets for 6 weeks. People consuming willow bar reported a 15 % reduction in pain.
8. Thunder God Vine
Thunder God vine is a Chinese herb with immunosuppressive effects. A study conducted by the National Institute in 1999 has found that Thunder God vine slowed the progress of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
9. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is used to alleviate pain linked with joint pain, gout and arthritis. It contains nutrients like boron, calcium, silicon and magnesium that ease pain while building strong bones. Striking the inflamed joint with nettle plant draws blood to the joint, relieving pain and inflammation. In a study, 27 participants were given stinging nettle leaf and placebo leaf to apply to the painful area for 5 weeks. People who used nettle leaves reported less pain and disability than those who used placebo.
Arnica is one of the more popular herbs for arthritis used in many ointments and tincture. Arnica cream is considered a natural pain reliever to alleviate soreness and muscle stiffness. A study published in 2007 found that people who applied Arnica gel twice daily showed improved muscle and bone functionality.
Before adopting the natural way, make sure you talk to your doctor to avoid the life threatening side effects that may accompany some of these herbs. Do not stop taking the prescribed medication unless instructed by the doctor.
Do you or someone you know suffer from arthritis or has used herbs for arthritis discomfort? Do share your experience with us in the comments section below!
My name is Chetana and I'm an Amateur Makeup artist from India and Founder of StyleCraze.com - India's largest beauty network. I am completely addicted to makeup & beauty especially the colour play and the process involved.