5 Herbs for Arthritis & Joint Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an overactive immune system. It can be very scary, since the medical protocol can be quite intense (such as chemotherapy and other therapies which suppress the immune system). We don’t suggest any immune-enhancing herbs, but instead recommend herbs that treat inflammation, (the true root cause of all disease, in my humble opinion) as well as herbs which cleanse the blood and strengthen the body in general.
These herbs can cleanse metabolic waste products and toxins from our body. Because of this, they’re a staple of herbal medicine. These herbs work by supporting the natural cleansing functions of the kidneys, large intestines, increase blood flow and aid lymph drainage. By allowing wastes and toxins to circulate throughout the body, inflammation is caused. And when the body is attempting to stem inflammation, it’s not able to do much else in order to support our health. Today, we’ll give you a few herbs that help stem inflammation and aid the body in its detoxing efforts.
(Note: these herbs are helpful for anyone with illness—not just arthritis or other inflammatory conditions).
Burdock Root (Arctium lappa or Arcticum minus)
To help soothe join, or any kind of pain for that matter, you can increase your intake of essential fatty acids.What contributes to burdock’s reputation as an anti-inflammatory agent is the fact that it contains fatty oils. You eat burdock root as stir fries, or you can make a decoction. To make a decoction, you’ll need to chop 2 tablespoons of fresh burdock root (you can use dried root, if you don’t have fresh), add it in boiling water and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Then, you’ll need to turn off the heat. Strain it and drink it while still warm. Drinking 3 – 4 cups a day is ideal. You can also take the root in capsule form however, you’ll need to dose them according to your weight.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is known as a very effective anti-inflammatory herb. Thus, it’s a very effective pain reliever. It contains curcumin and curcuminoids, two chemicals that decrease inflammation. Because of the anti-inflammatory effects it has, turmeric is often recommended for treatment of cancer, cataracts and Alzheimer’s.
In order to fully experience its medical benefits, you’ll need to take turmeric in supplement form. To “activate” it when you’re cooking, try adding black pepper or dried ginger. You can also apply it topically, to relieve pain.
Flax (Linum usitatissimum)
Flaxseed is one of the best vegan sources of Omega-3 (ALA). Omega-3 (ALA) is very important for a strong immune system and for fighting inflammation. You should include two tablespoons of flaxseeds or flaxseed oil in your daily diet.Note: Never heat or cook the seeds or the oil. Furthermore, if you’re suffering from a digestive condition such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), use the oil rather than the seeds—they could irritate your condition.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Licorice reduces inflammation. It decreases free radicals at the site of inflammation and inhibits the enzyme production that’s involved in the inflammatory process. One of the components of licorice, Glycyrrhizin, blocks and relieves inflammation, and also supports the body’s release of cortisol, which in turn suppresses the immune system, easing the pain and occurrence of arthritis. However, it also inhibits some of the side effects of cortisol (adrenal fatigue and anxiety). You can use it in supplement form or as a tea.
Note: Licorice is not a good remedy for people with blood pressure issues. People who regularly take large amounts of licorice (20 grams/day or more) can experience serious side effects including headaches, high blood pressure, and heart problems. If you already have high blood pressure, heart or kidney disease, or low potassium (hypokalemia), please licorice the herb altogether.
Nettles (Urtica dioica)
Nettles contain protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene, along with vitamins A,C, D, and B complex, all in a form that is easy for the body to use.
Stinging nettle is the perfect herb for those with all types of arthritis and gout. Its anti-inflammatory properties, combined with the minerals it contains (boron, calcium, magnesium and silicon), makes nettle great for easing pain while helping to build strong bones. Using nettle may help you to decrease the amount of NSAIDsyou need to take with arthritis. Drinking a cup a day of nettle leaf tea can relief and prevent water retention and inflammation and nourish the kidneys and adrenals as well.
Note: Many people suffering from arthritis have found that striking the inflamed joint with a fresh cutting from a nettle plant helps relieve joint pain. We know that this might sound crazy, but the brave amongst you can give it a try.
All these herbs aside, the best treatment for arthritis is a diet filled with fresh produce, essential fatty acids, and fiber.
Source: Mind Body Green