Cold weather has a funny way of bringing about joint pain, especially as you get older. Not only that, stiffness and swelling in your fingers and toes can make everyday tasks difficult, if not impossible.
Arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects your joints and the surrounding tissues. What are the main causes? Sometimes it’s simply a matter of wear and tear, but injuries or infections can make the unpleasant condition even worse.
Arthritis comes in many forms but there are three that are most common and worthy of mention. There are:
- Rheumatoid arthritis: This type of arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease. For reasons that are still a mystery, your immune system attacks other parts of your body it considers to be a threat. In this case, it happens to be your joints.
- Osteoarthritis: This is the most common type of arthritis. For those who are older, normal wear and tear can cause cartilage and joint lubrication to decrease. Friction can occur, and over time pain and inflammation follow.
- Psoriatic arthritis: Less common, this type is often associated with those who also have psoriasis of the skin. Some patients will experience swelling of the fingers and toes, along with pain or stiffness.
While certain medications may help, they come with the potential risk of side effects. Using herbs can be a natural and safe way to tackle arthritis pain.
Here are 8 of the best herbs you can take to help keep arthritic pain under control:
If you ever make a trek to the Amazon rainforest, you might come across this woody vine. It gets its name from the thorns that closely resemble the claws of a cat.
Cat’s claw has amazing antiviral properties that have helped in cases like herpes and hpv. In addition to that, research shows it can help with arthritis pain in the knees (2).
Originating in Asia, this golden herb has been used for thousands of years as part of ancient Chinese and Ayurveda medicine. When it comes to arthritis, turmeric can offer anti-inflammatory as well as pain-relieving properties (3).
Found in deserts and other tropical environments, the Aloe Vera plant hosts a wide range of health benefits. Not only does it provide sunburn relief, this succulent can help with arthritis. Research has studied how effective it is at alleviating arthritis pain in the hands when applied topically and internally (4).
A tree known for its long, swaying branches, the willow offers more than an iconic appearance. The bark has powerful anti-inflammatory properties in it, making it useful for conditions such as arthritis.
Researchers studied its effects on 436 people suffering from back pain and arthritis. After three weeks of taking willow bark extract, pain levels in the participants measured significantly lower (5).
This beige colored root is not only popular in Asian cuisines, it can help a great deal with arthritic pain.
Anti-inflammatory properties within the root have seemed to help inhibit or reduce certain pain molecules called leukotrienes. It also seems to suppress prostaglandins, a substance in the body that acts as a hormone and is responsible for some of the pain and inflammation you experience (6).
Resin pulled from the bark of the boswellia tree, this extract is both aromatic and useful for pain relief. You may also know it as frankincense. And according to the Arthritis Foundation, it may even help rebuild lost or depreciating cartilage (7).
This dark red beauty contains a bundle of health benefits. Not only can it help stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol, it has antioxidants that can help clean up free radical damage in the body.
One study tested its effects on people with arthritis, and those who took 500mg capsules over an 8 week period had lower levels of inflammation, as well as less swelling in the tendons and joints (8).
Borage Seed Oil
The borage plant is a fuzzy flowering annual that produces pretty blue flowers. The oil from this plant is rich in omega fatty acids, which can help lower inflammation.
One study showed that when taken orally over a six month period, people with rheumatoid arthritis experience lower pain and swelling (9).
As with anything new in your diet or regimen, some herbs carry the potential to cause mild to moderate side effects. Discuss any new herb or natural remedy with your health professional.
Pain, inflammation, stiffness and swelling are some of the symptoms related to having arthritis.
Whether it comes from everyday wear and tears, stress on the joints from being overweight, or as a side issue to having psoriasis, it’s a condition that decreases many people’s quality of life.
There are many medications for pain on the market, but some come with unpleasant side effects. Thankfully, nature offers a solution that can both help relieve some of the pain, but also offer additional health benefits.
Dried herbs, liquid extracts, or capsules of some of the above herbs can make a real difference in the severity and frequency of arthritic pain. Everyone responds to things differently, and because of that it’s always wise to consult your health professional before adding anything to your regimen.
Do you take herbs for your arthritic pain? Who do you feel would benefit from this knowledge? Be sure to share with a friend!
References & Disclaimers
✝✝This noted statement is based on independent research and is not necessarily the opinion of the author