Although arthritis is a term used frequently, it’s also one that’s commonly misunderstood.
It’s not just a disease but more a condition and one that affects and causes pain to our joints.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis.
While arthritis has typically been a disease thought to be restricted to the elderly, the plain truth is that it can and does affect people of all ages.
In fact, more than 300,000 children in America have some type of arthritis.
Arthritis is also the leading cause of disability in America with the most common symptoms being pain, swelling, stiffness and lessened range of motion.
Although the pain of arthritis may come and go, it typically progresses and gets worse over time.
The Arthritis Foundation also predicts that about 67 million people will be sufferers of arthritis by 2030.
Although arthritis is a condition that generally affects the joints, it can also affect other parts of the body like the lungs, heart, skin, eyes and kidneys.
Some of the different types of arthritis include degenerative arthritis, infectious arthritis, inflammatory arthritis, metabolic arthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatism, tendinitis and bursitis to name just a few.
Many patients with arthritis visit their doctors and get prescriptions for pain relief medications.
While the medications may be beneficial on a short-term basis, many patients don’t like the prospect of being on pain medication indefinitely.
Fortunately, there are many natural remedies patients may wish to try for relief of arthritis pain and symptoms.
Here is a list of 20 natural remedies for arthritis.
Live Healthy for a Longer and Less Painful Life
All those things and many of the wives’ tales your parents told you about healthy living really are true.
If you smoke, quit smoking. Among the many negative things smoking can do to your body, it can also put stress on the tissues that connect to your joints, which can in turn bring you more pain.
Eating three balanced meals of healthy food can not only help you maintain a healthy weight but can also give you the protein and energy your body needs. In addition, get a good night’s rest.
In the same way that your car won’t run on an empty tank of gas, your body will not function without healthy food and adequate rest.
A Relaxing Epsom Salt Bath
You may also remember getting baths with Epsom salt as a child any time you had a sprain, strain or other injury.
Epsom salt has been around for a long time and continues to be used as a pain reliever.
What makes Epsom salt so good for arthritis pain is that it contains high amounts of magnesium, which is a naturally occurring mineral effective for pain relief.
The good news is that you don’t need a lot of Epsom salt to get relief.
If it’s a small area that needs relief like your hands or feet, you can soak them in a large bowl of warm water in which ½ cup of Epsom salt has been added.
For larger or less convenient body parts, you can add two cups of Epsom salt to a bath tub of warm water.
Soak for at least fifteen minutes for the most relief.
Turmeric & Ginger Tea – A Simply Recipe for Pain Relief
Both ginger and turmeric are natural anti-inflammatories that can be very helpful in relieving pain in more than one type of arthritis.
In addition to lowering the levels of enzymes that cause inflammation in arthritis sufferers, turmeric is shock full of curcumin, which is a highly effective antioxidant.
Turmeric and ginger can be used together to make a spicy yet tasteful tea.
If you’re not a tea drinker, these two can be consumed in capsule form.
Another way of getting turmeric in your body is in the form of a spice since it’s used in many popular types of Indian cuisine.
Magnesium – A Required Addition to Your Diet
Although there are many things our bodies can make naturally, magnesium is not one of them, despite the fact that it’s used in more than a couple hundred biomechanical bodily responses.
There are many health benefits to adding magnesium to your diet.
It helps our bones mineralize, our heart beat and relaxes our muscles while relieving pain and stiffness, which are common symptoms of arthritis.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who have magnesium-rich diets also have stronger bones and higher bone densities.
You can get magnesium in your body by drinking turmeric tea, taking magnesium capsules, applying magnesium oil to your body or eating magnesium-rich foods like legumes, nuts or dark leafy green vegetables.
Olive Oil is Not Just for Italian Food
More and more we are hearing about the health benefits of using olive oil and not just for pizza and other Italian dishes.
When we think of oil, we often think of how it lubricates things, and that’s exactly what it toes to our joints.
However, not all olive oils are created equally. Extra virgin olive oil contains high levels of oleocanthal, which help reduce inflammation.
Keep in mind, however, that heat decreases the levels of oleocanthal so use it cold like in salads or as a rub on your sore joints and ligaments.
Dandelions – Don’t Mow Them Down Just Yet
If you’re eager to mow your lawn to get rid of all those pesky dandelions that seem to grow nonstop, think twice.
It’s almost unbelievable how many health benefits can be found in the leaves of dandelions.
In addition to containing linoleic, which is an important fatty acid used to suppress inflammation and regulate our immune system, dandelion leaves also have high levels of both vitamins C and A.
These levels help the liver rid the blood stream of toxins while also helping to repair damaged tissues in our body.
Dandelion leaves can be added to your favorite salad or boiled up to drink as tea with a little honey.
Top your dandelion leave salad with a touch of extra virgin olive oil and get twice the benefits!
Blackstrap Molasses – A Sweetener & Pain Reliever
Blackstrap molasses, which is a dark liquid byproduct resulting from the third boiling in the process of turning sugar cane into table sugar, is not only a delicious and healthy sweetener but also a healthy addition to your diet.
Unlike corn syrup and refined white sugar, which have basically no nutrients other than a few carbohydrates, blackstrap molasses can be used as a healthy sweetener or made into a delicious drink by adding a teaspoon to a cup of warm water.
It’s concentrations of magnesium, iron, calcium, copper, vitamin B6 and potassium help promote strong bones, regulate muscle and nerve functions and provide pain relief for arthritis sufferers.
An Aspirin a Day? Just Drink White Willow Tea
The use of white willow bark goes way back to the days of Hippocrates and even before we had aspirin to use for every ache and pain.
In fact, today white willow tea is often referred to as the original aspirin because it contains salicin, which our bodies convert into salicylic acid – a compound similar in characteristics to acetyl salicylic acid, which happens to be an active ingredient in aspirin.
White willow can be taken in capsule form or added to a cup of warm water with honey and drank as tea.
Never Underestimate the Power of Exercise
Although the idea of getting out there to get some exercise is the last thing we want to think about when we’re in pain, exercise can really help with arthritis pain. In fact, it’s almost a necessity for joint pain or stiffness caused from arthritis.
Exercising can be helpful in maintaining healthy weight, losing weight, lubricating our joints and just keeping us from being sedentary.
You don’t need to overdo it with exercise. Start off with a simple 15-minute walk and work yourself to what makes you comfortable.
However, avoid repetitive and high-impact motions like jumping, running, or high-impact aerobics.
Maintaining Good Weight to Feel as Good as You Look
Losing weight may be one of the most important things you can do but also one of the most difficult things to do.
When you’re overweight, it puts excess pressure and strain on all parts of your body, particularly the parts affected by arthritis.
The more weight you can lose, the less pressure and less pain you’ll feel.
Maintaining a healthy weight can also help you have the energy needed to exercise, which can help even more for pain relief.
The best way to get and maintain healthy weigh is by eating moderate portions of healthy food, which will also help you get many of the vitamins and nutrients that can provide natural pain relief.
Essential Oils – The Natural Remedies for Today’s Ailments
We’re constantly hearing about the health benefits of essential oils.
Two in particular are peppermint and eucalyptus oil.
While they won’t completely eliminate arthritis, they can do a lot towards eliminating some of the pain and discomfort associated with many types of arthritis.
Their pain-relieving and analgesic properties provide the body with a cooling sensation that feels quite relaxing.
Mixing a few drops of these two with carrier oil like olive, grape seed or almond oil will give you a very good rub for your body.
It’s important to always include the carrier oil to avoid irritation to your skin. You can also use this mix in your bath water.
A Cup of Juniper Berry Tea a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
We’ve all heard that old saying about an apple a day keeping the doctor away.
While it may just be a saying, that apple a day is about as healthy for you as a cup of juniper berry tea.
Juniper berries have a component called terpinen-4-ol, which can help reduce painful inflammation.
Juniper berry tea is particularly beneficial for sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, who generally experience pain, inflammation and even loss of function.
Mixed with honey and water, juniper berry tea can very quickly become your favorite daily drink.
Golden Raisins & Gin – A Remedy Sworn by Many
Keeping in mind how helpful juniper berries can be for arthritis pain, it’s no wonder that gin would also be used since its flavor comes from juniper berries.
The sulfides used to give raisins their golden color have the same characteristics as chondroitin and glucosamine, which provide good relief for arthritis pain.
Combining gin with golden raisins has been a sworn remedy of many for a couple decades.
Put a small amount of yellow raisins in a bowl and add just enough gin to cover them.
Cover with a towel and let them sit in a cool dark place until the gin evaporates.
Eat a couple raisins a day and see if you notice a difference.
Gold, Frankincense and Myrhh….Not Just For the Holidays!
Remember the old Christmas song about gold, frankincense and myrrh?
Well, we maybe don’t need the gold but frankincense, also known as bosweilla, is a very effective supplement for arthritis sufferers.
The extract of this flowering plant works not only as a pain killer but also as an anti-inflammatory.
This supplement is generally taken in pill form. Its ability to disable white blood cells also helps to shrink already swollen tissues.
We can’t forget about myrrh, which also has great anti-inflammatory properties.
Pectin and Grape Juice – Good Remedy that Tastes Great
When we hear the word pectin, we often think of the delicious jellies and jams we make and how it’s used to help set the jams.
It’s also a natural ingredient in fruit that helps them to be firm while they ripen.
This same delicious compound, when combined with grape juice, has become very popular with people who have arthritis.
While the pectin helps with pain, grape juice helps with inflammation.
Mixed together, they make a very tasty drink.
Get Ready for Some Hot Peppers!!
Many people don’t know that when they buy over-the-counter pain relievers, they’re often taking capsaicin, which is a component found in cayenne and other hot peppers.
This very component has a very important role in that it helps decrease discomfort and eliminates pain.
It’s a very effective topical ointment treatment that can be made with cayenne pepper you probably already have in your cupboard.
It should be used sparingly, however.
Make Your Aloe Vera Plant Part of Your Medicine Cabinet
The use of aloe vera as a treatment for the pain and discomfort of arthritis goes back many centuries.
While many people are familiar with using aloe vera for cuts and burns, research has now found aloe vera to be effective in reducing inflammation.
Another benefit of aloe vera is that, when taken orally, it can help prevent stomach problems that are common side effects of some anti-inflammatory medications.
Holistic Treatment for Arthritis – Treatment Without the Side Effects
In recent years, holistic treatments like acupuncture and chiropractic care have become very popular for many conditions, and arthritis is no exception.
Acupuncture, the process of inserting tiny needles into specific areas on the body, has been used to decrease arthritis pain.
Electroacupuncture is also used for arthritis pain.
Chiropractic therapy may be helpful in treating the muscle spasms that are a part of osteoarthritis.
What many people find attractive about holistic therapy is that they get relief without many of the side effects found with medications.
Hot and Cold Therapy – It Doesn’t Get Much Simpler
Some of the simplest treatments – cold or hot therapy – are often the least expensive and most effective and enjoyable.
Examples of these are long warm baths, electric blankets or heating pads.
These are especially helpful in the morning to help relieve the stiffness that may have developed during the night. Joint pain is best relieved with cold therapy like gel ice packs or ice bag.
You Thought Mustard Seed Was Just for Cooking? Think Again
Another herb used for relief from joint pain is mustard seed. It’s easy to prepare and use.
Make a simple plaster with mustard seed and warm water and spread it over any joints that may be swollen or sore.
Mustard seed is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and selenium, all things recommended for arthritis sufferers.
Although arthritis is a painful condition with no cure, arthritis sufferers can find some relief from the pain, inflammation and joint stiffness so common.
With so many natural remedies out there today, patients can lead much more pain-free lives and once again enjoy simple things through their days – without the many harmful side effects.