Treating arthritis naturally
10 ways Using herbal remedies can help uncomfortable arthritis.
In this week's blog, Oswestry herbarium gives us 9 tips and herbal remedies to help with the discomfort of Arthritis.
All in all, arthritis can be pretty uncomfortable by making joints change shape, become knobbly, swollen, and hard to bend and flex.
There are different types of arthritic changes with different causes and following the route of treating arthritis naturally could work for you. These remedies may be really effective and alleviate a lot of swelling and discomfort in arthritic joints.
If you think you’re suffering from arthritic changes and would like to find out what is best for you and how to treat your arthritis naturally, Medical Herbalist Louise Idoux can help you figure out what remedies are suitable.
Louise, can offer a private consultation so that you can talk through your signs and symptoms, creating a bespoke plan to suit your personal needs.
Remember that herbal remedies for arthritis are often aimed at reducing inflammation and can interact with prescribed anti-inflammatories from your doctor so please talk to Louise about this.
All you need to do is call into Oswestry Herbarium or phone on 01691 656934 to chat to Louise for the best advice.
Different Types of Arthritis
There are a few different types of arthritis, the most common two types being Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
This is basically the wear and tear of life that sometimes causes pain and inflammation in a joint when the cartilage starts to break down. Cartilage is a hard slippery material that covers the end of bones and forms joints, which allows them to articulate (slide) across one another easily.
When this cartilage breaks down the joint no longer slides easily and bone can wear uncomfortably directly on the next bone meaning you start to notice discomfort and swelling.
When you notice a joint start to change shape, for example, knobbly knuckles, this is where the cartilage has worn away unequally and muscles and tendons become weaker leading to a change in joint shape.
We often notice this type of arthritis as we age due to general wear and tear on joints, however, it can sometimes occur in younger people and often occurs in the site of an old injury - for example - if you have a knee injury this will mean you have a higher likelihood of developing osteoarthritis here as you age.
Commonly the hands, spine, hips, and knees are affected.
This type of arthritis is different because it is actually the body's own immune system attacking the joints. This immune response is more common in women than men and causes the breakdown of the cartilage leading to swelling and pain.
People who suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis can sometimes suffer from other immune-related problems as well.
There are several other types of arthritis that are less common although no less uncomfortable so it's important that you get a good diagnosis if you are concerned so you can get the treatment that is appropriate for you.
10 ways you can treat arthritis naturally and feel more comfortable
The main aim of treating arthritis is to reduce uncomfortable symptoms and improve your quality of life. It’s no good suffering and struggling with your day to day living so with a bespoke plan from Oswestry Herbarium you may really start to feel a difference.
A big influence in the treatment of arthritis is reducing swelling - you’ll see below that (in addition to having weird and wonderful names) a lot of natural treatments have reported excellent anti-inflammatory properties.
The good effects of these herbal supplements are also reported to be effective in animal use.
Turmeric is a bright yellow plant root that gives a yellow colour to curries. However, it’s not only great in a tasty curry dish but has also been recognised for having anti-inflammatory properties.
The ingredient that causes this great natural property is called Curcumin and has been used for its anti-inflammatory abilities for thousands of years.
When you're looking for herbal remedies for arthritis, Turmeric is an absolute must. It’s suitable for both Osteo and Rheumatoid arthritis in addition to other types of arthritis that you may suffer from.
Although you can consume turmeric in food, when you’re thinking about how to treat arthritis it's a good idea to up your intake with a supplement. This can be in the form of a herbal tea or as a tablet supplement.
2. Devils Claw
What is Devils Claw (what a great name!)? It’s a plant that originates in South Africa and bears a fruit with hook-like projections which lead to the ominous name.
Devil's claw is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been reported to be extremely effective in treating arthritis naturally over centuries.
It has been noted that it reduces pain and makes arthritic joints much more comfortable. Devil's claw can be taken as a supplement.
Boswellia is also known as Indian Frankincense. It’s reported as an extremely effective painkiller and has even been suggested that it may stop the breakdown of cartilage during an arthritic change.
Research into Boswellia has suggested that it works by preventing the production of cells that cause inflammation.
Studies have shown that people have reported reduced pain symptoms from both Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis when taking a Boswellia supplement.
So when you’re looking for a herbal remedy for arthritis, Boswellia is the king of supplements.
Ginger is well known for its tasty culinary uses but once again we’re looking at an excellent natural anti-inflammatory. Ginger is also an antioxidant meaning that it is also great for your overall health and immunity.
One study using Ginger even reported that it was possible it had been just as effective as ibuprofen at reducing pain after knee surgery.
Ginger can be added to your diet (fresh ginger is best) or taken as a tea or supplement.
5. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is yet another natural remedy for arthritis that has reported strong anti-inflammatory properties. It can be applied topically to the arthritic joint or taken orally as a supplement. It’s suggested to help with the discomfort of arthritic joints
It’s also known for its other healing properties and is popular for treating skin abrasions, mild burns, and sunburn.
6. Cayenne Cream
Cayenne cream is a warming application that can be rubbed gently into affected joints. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can also be used for fibromyalgia, chilblains, and sciatica.
Cayenne peppers can also be added to your diet in tasty dishes to really reap their benefit when treating arthritis.
7. Weight loss
Although not a supplement or remedy, weight loss can help with the discomfort of arthritis.
If you are overweight this will put excess stress on your joints increasing wear and tear and discomfort.
By losing weight and eating a balanced diet you will be being kind to yourself and creating the best chance of managing your arthritic changes.
Following on from weight loss, it’s important to consider what is in your diet and if this could be causing inflammation in your joints.
Foods to avoid include:
- Cheese and high-fat dairy
- Refined carbohydrates and sugars
- Processed foods
You may want to also avoid acidic foods such as spinach and tomatoes as this can directly affect swelling in joints.
9. Exercise and lifestyle
Remember that arthritis is better if you take appropriate exercise. This should be non-strenuous on the joints although enough to get joints moving and build muscle tone. This will help improve discomfort.
Swimming is a great example of a non-concussive exercise that gets joints moving. The buoyancy of the water also supports joints gently.
Walking on level ground is also great to get creaky knees, hips and backs warmed up and feeling better.
Other fabulous exercises to think about when you want to treat arthritis naturally are Yoga, pilates, and Thi Chi. These are great ways to move and stretch whilst being kind to your body. They also have the benefit of helping you to relax and focus which will help your mental health and help you deal with discomfort.
10. Stay warm
Have you ever heard anyone say that their joints are stiff because of the weather? Well, this does have some reported truth. Arthritis is seemingly affected by changes in temperature and often damp chilly weather will see an increase in stiff joints.
Try to stay warm, wear gloves, and keep active to maintain good circulation. Sitting still and getting cold will cause you to stiffen up.
Find what works for you
Medical herbalist Louise Idoux is here to help you get your arthritis discomfort to a manageable level and help you maintain the right balance of life and supplements. Visit Oswestry Herbarium website or call 01691 656934