If you are one of the millions of people suffering from arthritis, you are probably willing to try just about anything to reduce your pain and increase your mobility. There are plenty of medical options out there: arthritis can be treated with painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications. Unfortunately, many of these have frustrating side effects. Even worse, if you are taking other medications they may interact in dangerous ways.
If you want to manage your arthritis pain but avoid adding more medications to your life, try using one of these natural remedies as part of your course of treatment.
Boswellia for Joint Pain
You may know this medicinal herb, derived from the gum of India’s boswellia trees, by its more popular name: frankincense. Boswellia works by blocking leukotrienes, the chemical that attacks healthy joints and causes rheumatoid arthritis.
Though boswellia is still not fully embraced by the mainstream medical community, studies have begun to show its effectiveness in treating arthritis. It can be found in tablet form at many natural food stores.
Ease Joints with Epsom Salts
Epsom salts contain high levels of magnesium sulfate, a mineral compound that has been used to treat and reduce pain for centuries. Epsom salts can used to create a relaxing soak that will reduce the pain of arthritic flare-ups. Add ½ cup of salts to a bowl of warm water to ease pain in the joints of your hands and feet, or add 1-2 cups to a warm bath to soak your entire body.
Fish Oil Supplement
The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil do more than promote healthy hair and glowing skin. They also help reduce the symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Your body uses these fatty acids to produce resolvins, powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals that reduce swelling, pain, and stiffness in your joints. Fish oil can be found in fatty fish such as salmon or taken as a supplement.
This yellow spice has more to it than a delicious flavor. It also contains a chemical known as curcumin which works as a natural anti-inflammatory.
turmericResearch by the NIH has shown that extracts reduce the inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis. You can add turmeric to meals, or mix it with honey and hot milk to make a warm, spicy, and healthful drink.
Magnesium and Arthritis Joint Pain
The magnesium in epsom salts can help relieve pain, but you can help reduce and prevent arthritis by adding more magnesium to your diet overall. Magnesium is an essential mineral that is used in hundreds of biochemical processes in your body.
High levels of magnesium are associated with flexibility, bone density, healthy muscles, and reduced pain. However, you can’t produce it on your own — you have to eat it. Magnesium supplements are available in most pharmacies, or you can add it to your diet naturally by eating large amounts of leafy green vegetables and beans.
If you are overweight or obese, your body weight puts a lot of extra strain on your joints, which can seriously aggravate the pain of arthritis. Losing weight isn’t easy, of course.
But every pound you drop means four pounds less pressure on your joints — a significant change that may mean the difference between a life of pain and a life of activity. If you suspect that weight plays a factor in your arthritis pain, talk to your doctor or nutritionist about creating a healthy weight loss plan.
Day to Day Exercise Routine
Along with maintaining a healthy weight, exercise is an essential part of managing joint pain, especially if you suffer from arthritis or osteoarthritis. It helps keep your joints limber and mobile, reducing the stiffness and swelling that leads to pain. Also increasing the synovial fluid in the joints.
Avoid high-impact or repetitive exercise, like long intense runs. Instead, develop a routine of both aerobic exercise, like walking or biking, and anaerobic exercise that strengthens individual muscle groups. Swimming is also a great form of exercise for those with arthritis, as it puts very little strain on already delicate joints.
Dandelion Tea for Arthritis
Dandelion leaves are a great way to help your body:
Incredibly high in vitamins A and C, dandelion leaves can help repair damaged tissue and help the liver clear toxins out of the blood. Studies, although limited, have also shown anti-inflammatory properties due to the linoleic and linoleic acid in them.
Linoleic is an essential fatty acid required by the body to produce prostaglandin-which basically regulates immune responses and suppresses inflammation. Because of its involvement with immune responses, dandelion shows great potential when it comes to treating rheumatoid arthritis in particular. You can enjoy dandelion leaves in nice salad, or brew tea with them.
Dandelion Tea Recipe
-3 teaspoons of fresh dandelion leaves, or 1 teaspoon of dried
-1 cup of boiling water
-A handful of fresh leaves (if making a salad)
-A dash of extra virgin olive oil (if making a salad)
For fresh dandelion tea, step 3 teaspoons of fresh leaves or 1 teaspoon dried in 1 cup of boiling water. Strain and drink twice daily. Dandelion tea is very bitter…you have been warned! You can add honey to sweeten it up if you’d like. To make a salad, simply toss the greens in with another recipe, or eat them plain with a bit of extra virgin olive oil. Older leaves can be gently sautéed to soften them up a bit.
Arthritis and Molasses
While it sounds odd, black-strap molasses drinks can be fantastic arthritis remedies:
High in valuable minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, blackstrap molasses has been a cherished home remedy for arthritis for a number of years. Black-strap molasses is what remains after the 3rd boiling of sugar syrup, and is nothing like the nutrient lacking refined sugars used today.
As a dietary supplement (easily consumed as a drink) black-strap can help relieve symptoms of arthritis and joint pain, thanks to its vital constituents that regulate nerve and muscle function, and strengthen bones.
You will need…
-1 tablespoon of black-strap molasses
-1 cup of warm water
Heat 1 cup of fresh water until warm, but not hot. Stir in a tablespoon of black-strap molasses and drink once daily. Do note that it can sometimes have a laxative effect.
White Willow Arthritis Remedy
White willow was known since well before aspirin had ever been invented:
The Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about it all the way back in 5th century BC. It wasn’t until 18-something or other (1829, I believe) that it was found that white willow was so effective because it contained an active ingredient called salicin.
Salicin is converted in the body into salicylic acid-similar to acetyl salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. But because the naturally occurring salicin is converted after it passed through the stomach, it resulted in less irritation/side effects. While it can be taken in a capsule form, I usually opt for the tea version of just about everything.
-2 teaspoons of powdered or chipped white willow bark
-1 cup of water
-Honey or lemon to taste
Bring 1 cup (8 oz.) of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add 2 teaspoons of powdered or chipped white willow bark and let it infuse for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steep for 30 more minutes. Drink twice daily-it’s bitter, so honey and lemon are usually welcome here.