This is a guest post from the Editor-in-Chief of Well-Being Secrets, Helen Nichols: https://www.well-beingsecrets.com/arthritis-natural-remedies-and-treatments/
Arthritis is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States.
In fact, there are more than a hundred different kinds of arthritis, making it the most common chronic illness in the U.S. alone.
As it is such a strikingly common ailment, there are also a staggering number of prescribed medications that are given to people who suffer from arthritis; unfortunately, many of these medications only mask arthritis pain and discomfort and do very little actually to help mend the disease itself.
That is precisely why so many people are turning to natural remedies to help deal with arthritis.
Here, we have compiled a list of more than 29 various natural remedies that are tried and true at helping not only to cope with the pain but also potentially to assist in the process of healing your body from the painful disease.
What is Arthritis?
To understand better how some of the natural remedies can best work for your body, it is important to learn a little more about what exactly arthritis is, and how it affects your body.
While arthritis is a common disease, it is actually not thoroughly understood.
As stated, arthritis isn’t just only a single disease, but it is more of an informal way to describe joint disease or pain as a whole, which is why there are over a hundred various types of arthritis and other joint-related health conditions.
While developing arthritis becomes increasingly common as we get older, it has no bias in who it affects.
Anyone, regardless of sex, race, or even age can develop it, and over 300,000 children and 50 million adults have some form of arthritis.
People begin questioning if they have arthritis when they first start feeling pain in their joints.
This, of course, is a huge red flag.
There are many common arthritis symptoms to note.
Some of these include, but are not limited to: pain, swelling, decreased the range of motion, and stiffness in the joints.
Many of these symptoms tend to appear and recede, and they can range from being very mild to moderate and painfully severe.
Many of the symptoms can stay the same for many years before they start to progress and worsen.
The most severe forms of arthritis tend to result in a number of other debilitating issues like chronic pain, which can hinder your ability to do even the most simple of everyday tasks like climbing stairs or even walking.
And arthritis can lead to permanent changes in your joints, many of which may even be physically visible.
And there are certain kinds of arthritis that can affect not only your joints, but other areas of your body like your eyes, heart, skin, kidneys, and lungs.
Arthritis can easily be diagnosed with a simple visit to your healthcare provider.
You will be guided through a series of tests including a physical examination, possible blood tests, and some imaging scanning to help ascertain what type of arthritis may be affecting your body.
If you are diagnosed with arthritis, you may be referred to a specialist or a rheumatologist if you are needing a bit more care, if your arthritis is inflammatory, or if your diagnosis of arthritis is unclear or uncertain.
Specialists can help you in a number of ways.
For example, orthopedic surgeons may be needed for any form of joint surgery or replacements.
A rheumatologist may be required if you are needing help to manage more complicated cases of arthritis, such as inflammatory arthritis or gout.
And, if your arthritis tends to affect you in only a certain area, you may need the assistance of specialists like a dentist, a dermatologist, or an ophthalmologist.
While a team of specialists can prove effective in helping you better understand your arthritis, as well as providing you with some great tips to help you manage it, there are things that you can do to help you deal with the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis; and, best of all, they are all-natural!
Three Main Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis plagues more people than any other form of arthritis.
Osteoarthritis most commonly affects older adults, due to the strain that we put on our bodies over the years; essentially, our joints become overused.
While this tends to happen as we age, other factors can lead to the development of osteoarthritis, such as obesity or joint damage from injuries.
Any joints of your body that support extra weight, like your hips, feet, knees, and your spine, are usually the most common places where osteoarthritis will set in.
Typically, it takes several years for osteoarthritis to be felt; sometimes, however, it can come on quite quickly, and you will simply feel a significant amount of pain in your joints.
As we age, we begin to lose our body’s natural shock absorber, cartilage.
Cartilage is the slippery substance which covers the ends of our bones, and, over time or with extra pressure, it begins to break down.
As cartilage begins to wear away and/or become damaged, even the slightest movement can become incredibly painful.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis depend mainly on what joint(s) are affected.
The most common symptoms, however, are aches and pains, trouble with simple daily tasks like climbing stairs or getting dressed, morning stiffness which tends to last for less than thirty minutes, pain when you are walking, and feeling very stiff after taking a rest.
Your joints will also typically feel warmer to the touch and swollen and more difficult to move, and you may experience the inability to enjoy a wide range of motion.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease, meaning that your immune system begins to attack various areas of your body, specifically your joints.
This can lead to painful inflammation that can lead to pretty severe joint damage if it is left untreated.
While at present, researchers are not quite sure exactly what it is that causes rheumatoid arthritis, many believe that your immune system may become overactive following an infection by a virus or bacteria, and it starts to attack and wreak havoc on your joints, eventually spreading to other areas of your body, as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms can either begin quite suddenly or more slowly and much more gradually; there truly is no set standard.
Symptoms also tend to be much more severe with rheumatoid arthritis than most other types.
Many people have noted that their first symptoms included feeling stiffness and pain, and swelling in the wrists, hands, knees, elbows, ankles, shoulders, feet, neck, and jaw.
Rheumatoid arthritis typically will affect more than one of your joints, and usually in a symmetrical pattern.
Additionally, roughly 1 in 5 individuals who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis also will begin to see lumps develop on their skin.
These lumps are referred to as rheumatoid nodules, and they will develop around areas of your body that tend to experience the most pressure, like your heels, elbows, and knuckles.
Other symptoms may include feeling stiff when you awake in the morning, and that stiffness will last several hours or the majority of the day.
Many also feel tired more than they should, and they have a decrease in appetite and may experience weight loss, as well.
Psoriatic arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation of both your skin and your joints.
Psoriasis can lead to white and red, raised patches of skin that become inflamed and scaly.
This tends to occur mainly on the tips of your knees and elbows, your scalp, your navel, and areas around your anus and genitals.
On average, only between 10%-30% of individuals who have psoriasis will end up getting psoriatic arthritis.
Psoriatic arthritis usually will appear between the ages of 30 and 50 (though children have been diagnosed with it), and it is equally common in women and men.
Psoriatic arthritis can lead to swelling of your fingers and toes, and often people have noted that their fingernails become discolored and pitted.
On average, it will tend only to affect one joint or a few, but not your entire body.
Those who suffer from the aches and pains that are associated with arthritis can understand just how incredible it is to find relief from the pain.
No longer do you have to reach for your prescription bottles!
Following these simple tips can significantly assist you in feeling relief from the pain, while also being able to prevent its onset.
You will find yourself, in turn, being able to experience a happier, fuller life that is free from the pain of arthritis and aching, swollen joints.
Move Your Body
When you are in pain, it becomes tempting to want to lie down and rest.
Unfortunately, that is the exact opposite of what your body needs when it comes to maintaining joint mobility.
Even going for a simple walk to the mailbox or around the house can be enough to keep your joints moving.
Be sure always to speak with your healthcare provider, physical therapist, or another arthritis specialist to be able to find your proper level of activity, as well as what are some of the top activities that you can easily incorporate into your healthcare regime.
Sit and Meditate
Mindfulness and meditation have been substantially proven to help those who suffer from arthritis cope with their pain on a deeper level, by activating various areas of their brains that are known to respond to pain.
There are a number of guided meditations that can be found on various websites and apps.
However, the simplest way to practice mindfulness meditation is to find a comfortable sitting position, close your eyes, and pay attention to your breathing.
If a thought comes to your mind, allow it to pass, and simply return your focus to your breathing.
You will be astounded at the benefits that you will receive once you truly get the hang of mindfulness meditation.
And remember to stick with it; it may seem like a simple process, but true results can only be gained with practice.
There have been countless studies that have found that the consumption of fish oil can greatly relieve your body from joint pain and stiffness.
The fatty acids found in pure fish oil have been widely acclaimed for the benefits that they provide, particularly for their soothing properties for the inflammation that is so common in arthritis.
To receive the benefits of fish oil, you will want to opt to consume regularly oily fishes like salmon and trout or take fish oil supplements.
Hot & Cold Therapy
Before you undertake any kind of physical activity that you know is going to leave you with achy joints (like yard work or sewing, for example), you may want to plan ahead and take advantage of some hot and cold therapy.
To experience the benefits, all you need to do is hold a cold or a hot compress over any areas of your joints that tend to be the most affected by pain.
Lose Extra Weight
There has been a tremendous amount of research that has shown that those who suffer from arthritis and are overweight or obese tend to experience significantly more pain than those who are at a normal weight for their build.
When you carry excess weight, you are adding extra pressure to the joints of your body like your knees and your hips, which is why when you lose it, you will minimize that pain.
Get Some Rest
As previously noted, the movement is crucial to minimizing your arthritis pain.
However, it is equally as important not to overexert yourself, and to get the rest that you need.
Be sure that you find the time to vary your daily schedule by doing the activities you want or need to accomplish, and then find some time to rest in between.
Probiotics are great for you because they contain the highly beneficial bacteria that exist naturally in your body’s gut.
Countless experts claim that such bacteria can greatly assist in your body’s management of inflammation
Since inflammation is the sole cause of arthritis stiffness and pain, taking probiotic supplements can help your body to ward it off, which can help to ease the painful symptoms that are associated with arthritis.
Sulfur contains MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) which has been shown to help reduce inflammation in your joints while also assisting in repairing and rebuilding your body’s tissues.
MSM has been proven in multiple studies to help to lower significantly functional impairment and pain.
Some of the foods that contain high levels of sulfur are garlic, onions, cabbage, and asparagus.
Bone broth provides a multitude of benefits for your body, including being the finest all-natural source of collagen.
Collagen boosts the amino acids glycine and proline that help your body repair and rebuild its connective tissue.
Bone broth is also widely lauded for supplying your body with glucosamine and chondroitin sulfates, both of which are antioxidants that can assist in lowering the inflammation and joint pain associated with arthritis.
Making bone broth is also incredibly simple.
Just place some animal bones of your choice into boiling water (the amount of broth you want, i.e. enough for a bowl or a larger batch) and then throw in some of your favorite vegetables.
Some great veggie options are celery, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and green beans, as they are low-calorie and nutrition-packed.
You may also toss in some healthy options like apple cider vinegar, turmeric, or even ginger.
Don’t add noodles, however, as those extra carbs negate the nutritional value of the soup.
Allow your bone broth to simmer for as long as you like, but keep in mind that the longer it simmers, the more nutrients are released which will result in a deep, rich color and flavorful broth.
It has even been advised to boil your bone broth for upwards of 24 hours really to receive the most benefits.
One excellent tip is to pack your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables that are filled with antioxidants, vitamins A and C, anti-inflammatory compounds, potassium, fiber, digestive enzymes, and magnesium.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Many naturopathic physicians swear by using apple cider vinegar for a multitude of health ailments, including arthritis.
Apple cider vinegar contains all of the essential acidic content that our bodies need to maintain and restore the balance within our digestive system, while also avoiding the build-up of calcium.
One important point is that not all apple cider vinegar is the same.
You should always choose unprocessed, organic, and raw apple cider vinegar.
This type of apple cider vinegar is significantly richer in the acids and enzymes that give apple cider vinegar its health benefits.
You will also note that this type of apple cider vinegar tends to contain floating residue.
This residue is referred to as the “mother,” and it accumulates naturally and is the key to your body’s being able to absorb those beneficial nutrients and enzymes.
To get the fastest relief, you should take at least a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar at least three times a day.
If you are not a big fan of the strong flavor, mix in a little bit of honey to offset it.
An effective and popular home treatment for arthritis is the use of Epsom salt.
Epsom salts are loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and with regular use, they have been noted to help significantly with decreasing the joint pain and stiffness that is caused by arthritis, in addition to helping to decrease inflammation, thus warding off muscle cramps and pain.
There are a few different ways that you can use Epsom salt to help you cope with painful arthritis symptoms.
The first is to mix some cinnamon powder with honey and add in some Epsom salts to make a soothing paste; then, rub the paste onto the areas of your body that are causing you pain.
Another tip is to add about two cups of Epsom salt to your bath and soak in the water for at least 30 minutes.
Doing this two or more times a week can help to lower pain and inflammation.
If you have certain health problems like kidney or heart disease, excess magnesium from using Epsom salt might result in cramps, nausea, and abnormalities.
Having a diet that is rich in fiber is great for your body in a number of ways.
It can help you to control your appetite and has been proven to be beneficial for your digestive health while also helping to decrease your risk for developing various other health-related complications and diseases, including arthritis.
Visit Your Chiropractor
Regular visits to your chiropractor have been linked to a lot of benefits when it comes to alleviating the pain that is often associated with arthritis.
Your chiropractor will best be able to determine what the treatment is that your body needs, depending on the acuteness and overall severity of your arthritis.
Chiropractic treatments and adjustments that are aimed specifically at treating arthritis can include but are certainly not limited to, osteopathic manipulation in your lower back and/or neck, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, relaxation therapy, and training in biofeedback.
All of these can be combined to assist your body in better being able to manage and control arthritis pain.
Get a Massage
It is clear why so many people who suffer from physical pain turn to massage to receive relief.
Massage plays a vital role in releasing the energy, pain, and blockages that may be stored in your muscles.
A good deep tissue massage can work wonders in providing you with relief.
Acupuncture is also been widely regarded as being effective in reducing arthritis pain.
Many chiropractic and massage therapy offices now provide their customers with a variety of holistic services to help alleviate some of the pain associated with arthritis; these can include herbal treatments, nutrition recommendations, and of course, acupuncture.
Proteolytic enzymes are known to assist your body with digestion by providing your body with the essential enzymes that are produced by your digestive organs to metabolize the foods you consume.
Some of the most notable enzymes include papain, bromelain, trypsin, and chymotrypsin (the latter two are produced by the pancreas).
You can get proteolytic enzymes from tropical fruits like papaya (that contains papain), and pineapples (that contain bromelain).
Proteolytic enzymes have been noted to have a multitude of anti-inflammatory benefits, due to their assistance in improving your immune system and your gut health.
Research has also shown that proteolytic enzymes can decrease the swelling and pain that are associated with arthritis, while helping to increase overall mobility, and warding off infections by controlling your body’s inflammatory response.
Ginger boasts a variety of chemicals that have many beneficial anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
There have been a number of research studies conducted on ginger that suggest that it can significantly decrease the pain that is often associated with arthritis, while also improving the overall health of your gut and digestive system.
According to a report published in the Journal of Medicinal Foods in 2005, the ginger extract derived from the plant species Alpinia galanga and Zingiber officinale is known to be able to repress the induction of various genes (including the inducible enzyme cyclooxygenase, chemokines, and encoding cytokines) that are all involved in the inflammatory response.
Research has also suggested that ginger can mimic the relief that is often caused by taking NSAIDs, the most commonly-used drug for arthritic pain relief.
It appears that ginger works by warding off the pain-causing chemicals that are a part of your body’s natural inflammatory response, and it does so free of any of the side-effects that typically appear with the use of prescribed medication.
You can opt to use raw ginger, lightly cooked ginger, or powdered ginger on your foods, or simply make a tea to drink.
To make your own tea, you only need to simmer a few slices of ginger in a couple of cups of boiling water for about 15 minutes, or you can buy some ginger tea bags at your local grocery or health food store.
There are over a hundred active components that have been isolated from turmeric.
Some of these are special substances that are located in the volatile oils in turmeric, like curcumin, dihydro curcumin, turmerone, demethoxycurcumin, and 5′-methoxycurcumin.
The most active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin, which is one of the most powerful all-natural anti-inflammatory compounds in the world.
The benefits of turmeric for those who suffer from arthritis are the slowing of periarticular joint destruction, reduction in edema and swelling, and also in joint inflammation.
There have also been a tremendous number of research studies conducted on turmeric, many of which have found that it boasts substantial pain-killing benefits for those who suffer from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis.
It should be noted, however, that large amounts of turmeric can act in a manner similar to that of a blood thinner, and can potentially lead to an upset stomach, as well.
If you are currently taking blood thinners, have gallbladder disease, have an upcoming surgery, or are pregnant, you should avoid turmeric to be safe.
Turmeric has also been shown to lower your blood glucose level.
If you are taking any form of oral anti-diabetes medications, you should be sure to monitor your blood glucose level closely, in order to prevent it from dropping lower than is safe while you are taking turmeric.
Boswellia Essential Oil
Commonly referred to as Indian frankincense, Boswellia is a potent herbal supplement that has tremendous inflammation-reducing benefits.
Boswellia is found in many varieties and of various concentrations, including therapeutic-grade oils which can be directly massaged into your skin where you are in pain.
In fact, Boswellia is considered to be so powerful that its effectiveness often compared to that of common NSAID pain relievers.
You can easily make your own home remedy by combining a few drops of pure frankincense oil with a type of carrier oil such as coconut oil, and then apply the cream to the skin over any joints that are in pain.
Some other essential oils that are useful for arthritis pain and that can be combined to create your own healing cream are turmeric, orange, lavender, ginger, peppermint, and myrrh.
Alfalfa contains a lot of useful minerals such as sulfur, calcium, sodium, magnesium, iron, chlorine, silicon, and potassium, as well as vitamins like vitamin C, K, and E.
Alfalfa also is known to help cleanse and purify your blood, aid your body in blood clotting, ease bouts of morning sickness, and of course, relieve the pain that is associated with arthritis.
The best way to use alfalfa to help you to cope with your arthritis is to add it to tinctures, herbal teas, or food.
Cinnamon is commonly referred to as an all-natural remedy for treating a number of various pains and illnesses, including but not limited to arthritis pain.
As arthritis is an autoimmune disease, our immune system attacks our joints which can cause bone loss, swelling, pain, and inflammation; consuming cinnamon can provide your body with a natural sense of significant pain relief, free of all side-effects.
It is the chemical composition of cinnamon that makes it such a useful healing remedy for those who suffer from arthritis.
This is due to the fact that cinnamon contains a chemical referred to as “cinnamaldehyde,” which boasts a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that can help to reduce joint inflammation.
To receive cinnamon’s benefits, boil a cup of water and then add a tablespoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon; allow it to steep for at least 5 minutes.
Strain, and then drink it twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
You can also receive similar benefits by sprinkling cinnamon on the foods that you enjoy like yogurt, oatmeal, and rice.
You can even opt to make a paste mixture by combining some cinnamon and honey and then massaging it over areas that are causing you pain.
Be sure never to consume more than 11 mg of cinnamon a day, as there may be some side effects from consuming too much, such as increased heart rate, blood thinning effects, and upset stomach or stomach ulcers.
Recently, a team of researchers from Boston University Medical Center learned that eating more than 10 cherries a day could help protect those who suffer from gout and arthritis.
This effect is mainly due to anthocyanins in cherries.
While all cherries have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties because of their anthocyanins, more tart cherries boast the highest levels.
Cherries can also help to stave off painful inflammation for arthritis sufferers because of their high magnesium and potassium content, both nutrients which act as natural painkillers.
The good news is that pretty much any kind of cherry will do: fresh, frozen or even jarred, all types are loaded with helpful nutrients to help you cope with arthritis pain.
Comfrey is a medicinal herb that has been proven to help cope with arthritis pain and discomfort.
One of the best attributes of comfrey is that it is a wonderful addition into virtually any topical treatment for arthritis, providing users with substantial pain relief benefits.
Mind Your Mental Health
Recent research will show that those who suffer from arthritis, most notably RA, and who additionally show symptoms of anxiety and/or depression are, in fact, far more likely to have significantly more poor health outcomes and a reduced response to treatment than those who don’t suffer from anxiety and/or depression.
It is these compelling results that are driving some of the top researchers to press for routine mental health assessments in those who are being treated for arthritis.
Stop and Smell the Roses
Sweet-smelling scents such as lavender are lauded for their ability to alter one’s perception of pain.
In fact, researchers in Japan explored the hypothesis that lavender can help to reduce levels of cortisol (aka the stress hormone), which can, in turn, help you feel both less pain and far more relaxed.
While lavender isn’t the only scent that can help you reap such rewards, some others you may want to take advantage of are peppermint, rosemary, and marjoram.
One great way to enjoy these scents is to craft your very own at-home pain-relieving aromatherapy treatment.
Just add a tablespoon of the dried herbs of your choice to a ¼ cup of vegetable oil, and smell as often as you like!
Wash Your Dishes
While this tip sounds far-fetched, when you think about it, it really does make sense in helping to relieve some of your arthritis pain.
You dip your hands in hot water to relieve the pain and stiffness of your joints while also relaxing your muscles, and the exercise of washing the dishes can help to keep your fingers and hands more mobile, as well.
Make a Heating Pad
Heating pads can work wonders in relaxing your body while also warding off some of the pain in your joints.
If you don’t have one on hand, you can easily craft one out of items you probably already have.
To start, fill a cotton sock (be sure never to use any kind of synthetic fiber, because they can easily melt when they are heated) with any kind of uncooked rice that you may have in your cupboards.
Tie it together or sew it, and then microwave it on high for about 2 or 3 minutes.
Allow it to cool a bit before placing it on your body.
If you want, you can even add some essential oils or dried herbs to the rice to incorporate an aromatherapy effect, as well!
Homemade Capsaicin Cream
Capsaicin cream is a top over-the-counter pain reliever for both back pain and arthritis.
Capsaicin cream helps by reducing the levels of a chemical compound in your body that is called “substance P,” that can transmit pain signals to your brain.
You can easily make your own capsaicin cream by combining a couple of dashes of ground cayenne with about 2 or 3 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil.
Then just apply it with gauze to painful areas and swollen joints at various times throughout the day.
Be sure to do this on unbroken skin only, and take note that the first couple of times that you use the cream you will feel a burning sensation; however, those areas will begin to desensitize after about a week.
And always take care to avoid using the cream around your eyes, mucous membranes, and your mouth.
Chamomile Tea Poultice
Chamomile tea is a great anti-inflammatory agent that can help to ease the pain of arthritis.
To craft your own chamomile tea poultice, you should brew up a strong batch of about four chamomile tea bags in about a cup of hot water, cover it, and allow it to steep for about 20 minutes.
Remove the tea bags, squeezing them into the brew as you do, and then soak a clean cloth in the tea mixture and apply it to painful areas.
Borage is a plant that is used to make medicine.
All parts of the plant can be highly beneficial, yet it is the oil of the seed that helps in treating arthritis.
Borage seed oil is loaded with essential fatty acids that can help to regulate your body’s immune system while helping to ward off joint inflammation.
It has been estimated that borage seed oil contains high levels of two different types of polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acids: linoleic acid (LA), and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA).
GLA is essential for ensuring that your body maintains both joint function and that of your overall cell structure.
To get the most benefits from borage seed oil, you will want to massage it directly onto the skin of the areas where you are feeling the most pain, swelling, and tenderness.
You can also opt to drink directly one teaspoon of oil each day to receive its benefits.
Be sure never to ingest raw seeds or the plant itself because proper testing has not been conducted to ensure its overall safety.
Never consume or use borage seed oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as this could lead to cancer, liver disease, or birth defects.
It should also be avoided if you have bleeding disorders, as it can lead to an increased risk of bleeding and bruising, as well.
Get More Magnesium
Magnesium is essential if you are seeking to treat your arthritis as deeply as possible.
Magnesium is vital to your body, yet it can’t make it on its own.
Interestingly, the nutrient is utilized in over 300 biomechanical responses that occur throughout your body.
It can also help to relax completely your muscles and your nerve endings, thus leading to a sense of relief from stiffness and pain while also helping to mineralize your bones.
Magnesium can be taken in a number of different ways, such as via supplements, diet, or even as an oil (applied directly on the skin); you can also opt for a combination of some or all of these methods best to suit your needs.
The extra virgin olive oil contains a number of unique compounds that boast astounding abilities to stave off inflammation.
There has been significant research that suggested that those who suffer from arthritis and take 4 tsp of extra virgin olive oil every day for 3 months noticed a drastic overall reduction of pain and stiffness in their joints.
Extra virgin olive oil also contains essential omega-3 fatty acids that are highly regarded for their abilities to fight swelling and inflammation.
There are several different ways to take advantage of the incredible benefits that extra virgin olive oil has to offer.
One of the easiest ways is to begin incorporating it into your meals.
It goes wonderfully on salads and sandwiches; just be careful not to heat it too much, as high temperatures can destroy the beneficial qualities in the olive oil.
Extra virgin olive oil is also great for massaging directly onto your skin to help relax sore muscles and aching joints; you can also add some essential oils, to create your own personalized massage oil!
Dandelions are famous for their incredible health benefits; their leaves, in particular, have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Dandelion greens can prevent interleukins (members of a more broad accumulation of cytokines that can change the behavior of your body’s cells) from triggering further inflammation.
Dandelions are also packed with all-natural calcium that is essential to ensure the health of your bones.
And, dandelions are loaded with vitamins A and C, both of which can help your body repair damaged tissue naturally.
Not to mention the fact that dandelions also contain linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid that helps to keep inflammation at bay and also regulates your body’s immune response.
You can make a tea from the leaves of fresh dandelions, just eat them raw in a salad, or add some extra virgin olive oil to them to receive multiple health benefits!
To make the tea, just boil a cup of water with about 3 teaspoons of raw dandelion greens or 1 teaspoon of dried dandelion greens, let it boil for a few minutes, and then strain the water into a mug to drink and enjoy!
Blackstrap molasses boasts high levels of magnesium, calcium, and potassium, which makes it a top solution for helping to treat arthritis symptoms, while also benefiting your bone health.
The nutrients found in blackstrap molasses are valuable in regulating tension in your nerves and muscles and strengthening your bones at the same time!
To take advantage of these benefits, simply stir a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses into a cup of warm water and drink once a day.
Or you can opt to eat a tablespoon of molasses directly once in the morning to help relieve symptoms.
Many people swear by this method and claim that it can take arthritis pain away in as little as 20 minutes.
It should be noted, however, that blackstrap molasses can have a laxative effect, so it is best to use it only as is comfortable.
White willow bark has been used throughout history as a trusted medication, as it boasts tremendous anti-inflammatory properties while also providing incredible pain relief.
The active ingredient in white willow bark is salicin, and its effects are strikingly similar to those of an NSAID, making it the perfect all-natural way to alleviate pain and swelling.
There are several ways to take white willow bark, but perhaps the most common way is just to eat it directly.
White willow bark is usually dried, so you can chew it on a regular basis to ward off the pain.
You can also purchase white willow bark powder, which is a great option as well because there are a lot of different ways to use it.
For example, you can add it to boiling water, and strain and drink it, or even use it as a mouthwash.
The power can also be mixed with a bit of water into a paste and rubbed directly onto the skin.
You can even add white willow bark powder to food and eat it, or make a tea out of it.
Eucalyptus Oil and Peppermint Oil
Eucalyptus and peppermint oils can help to alleviate some of the most common painful symptoms of arthritis, due largely to their analgesic and pain-relieving properties.
When used together, eucalyptus and peppermint oil provide you with a cooling and relaxing sensation that can greatly reduce your overall pain and discomfort, while also giving you a nice, soothing experience.
Making a combination to keep on hand is simple; just blend 5-10 drops of eucalyptus oil and 5-10 drops of peppermint oil into about 1-2 tablespoons of a carrier oil of your choice (extra virgin olive oil and grape seed oil are great options).
Use the mixture as often as you need by simply rubbing it directly onto your sore, achy joints.
If you make too much, you can easily store it by placing the oil mixture into a dark glass bottle and putting it in a cool, dark place.
Juniper Berry Tea
Only recently was it discovered that juniper berry contains a component called “terpinen-4-ol” that provides some great benefits in helping you cope with arthritis.
Terpinen-4-ol works by suppressing a type of white blood cell known as a monocyte that responds to any sign of inflammation in your body.
If consumed on a daily basis, juniper berry tea may help to reduce inflammation in your body, thanks to that component.
Making the tea is very easy; just add a tablespoon of dried juniper berries to a mug, and cover them with boiling water.
Allow the tea to steep for about 20 minutes, strain, and then enjoy two times a day!
This tea tends to be pretty bitter, so you may need to add some honey.
If you are nursing or pregnant, you may want to chat with your healthcare provider before drinking juniper berry tea, just to be on the safe side.
Golden Raisins and Gin
Gin’s flavor is actually derived from juniper berries, and golden raisins require sulfides during their processing to gain their signature color.
Sulfides are often found in both chondroitin and glucosamine, both of which are highly recommended for treating arthritis.
To reap the rewards of gin and golden raisins, you can easily make a concoction by placing a cup of raisins into a container and pouring ½ cup of gin over them.
Cover with a towel and store in a dark place until the majority of the gin has evaporated (roughly 10-14 days).
Eat nine raisins each day, and you will notice dramatic results in a couple of weeks.
Pectin and Grape Juice
Pectin is a water-soluble carbohydrate located in a plant’s cell walls, giving the fruit its firmness as it begins to ripen.
Researchers have speculated that pectin can help to renew your synovial tissue, making it more elastic and lubricated, and thus leading to more pain-free mobility.
Grape juice has been noted to reduce inflammation, and combining the two can lead to substantial and beneficial results in the long run for those who suffer from arthritis.
For best results, mix a tablespoon of liquid pectin into a glass of grape juice and drink 1-2 times a day for two to three weeks.
Stinging nettle has long been used, both internally and topically, to help in warding off the inflammation that is associated with arthritis.
Stinging nettle extract has been noted to help lessen inflammation so significantly that it is as effective as an NSAID.
You can find stinging nettle supplements in your local health food store or online.
Bee Sting Therapy
Bee sting therapy (also referred to as bee venom therapy) is a technique that has been used for many centuries to help treat a wide variety of ailments, including arthritis.
Bee sting therapy is typically given via herbal acupuncture, and the process is simple and painless.
Basically, bee venom is extracted and then diluted, and is administered to different areas of your body where you experience the most aches, pains, and stiffness.
People who have completed bee sting therapy have noted that they felt fewer tender and swollen joints, and significantly less morning stiffness, as well.
If your arthritis is mild to moderate, some conventional treatments that you may want to consider are the following:
You should always work closely with your healthcare provider to develop an exercise routine that can help ward off the aches, pains, and stiffness of arthritis without harming your body.
You will want to ensure that you choose a plan that can help you increase the strength, endurance, and stability of your muscles that surround your joints, as this can greatly help to decrease your symptoms.
Some good exercises that are gentle, yet effective, are swimming, Pilates, and walking.
While you should strive to use exercise to help care for your joints if you ever experience any pain you need to cease the exercise and either rest or move onto something else.
Cold and Hot Packs
You can find significant relief from your joint swelling and inflammation by alternating cold and hot packs.
Heat eases the stiffness, while cold relieves any muscle spasms.
If you have poor circulation you should not use a cold pack, and heat should be warm, but never too hot.
There is a wide array of prescription and over-the-counter medications that are usually recommended by healthcare providers to help cope with pain.
Some of these may include, but are not limited to:
- Acetaminophen: Helps to relieve pain, but will not help to reduce inflammation for those with mild to moderate arthritis.
- NSAIDs: Can help to reduce pain and inflammation in affected areas, and are available over-the-counter or via a prescription (they tend to be stronger, and may have side-effects if used for long-term relief).
- Tramadol: Only available via prescription, tramadol is an analgesic that can provide pain relief but not relief from inflammation. Also tends to have fewer side-effects than other prescriptions, and is usually used only for acute symptoms on a short-term basis.
- Pain creams: There is a wide variety of gels and creams that can be purchased over-the-counter that will provide you with fast pain relief. They tend to work best on smaller joints like your fingers and knees.
- Cortisone Shots: Cortisone may be injected into your joint (or joints) to help relieve the severe inflammation and pain. This must be done by your healthcare provider.
- Strong Painkillers: Stronger medications may be given to you to help you cope with severe pain. There are usually side-effects, however, especially if you have a dependency issue, so you should certainly talk with your healthcare provider.
- Visco Supplementation: This is used for arthritis in your knees only. The process consists of several injections of derivatives of hyaluronic acid (Hyalgan, Synvisc) and can aid in providing you with pain relief by cushioning your knee joints.
- Arthrodesis: Permanently fuses your bones together within a joint in order to promote and increase your stability, while also reducing your pain. As your joint will be fused it will be able to hold weight, but there will no longer be any flexibility. An arthrodesis is usually a good option for those who have severe pain, but who can’t get a joint replacement surgery for whatever reason.
- Arthroplasty: Removes the joint surfaces that are damaged, which are then replaced with a prosthesis made of both metal and plastic that can last upwards of 20 years. Knees and hips are the most common joints that need to be replaced, though other joints are certainly often replaced, as well.
- Debridement: Cleans the area surrounding the joint by removing loose pieces of bone and cartilage so as to reduce inflammation and pain. Typically, debridement is done arthroscopically, where only miniscule incisions are made in your joint, and an incredibly small camera is then inserted to let your surgeon look at the area that he or she is operating on.
- Osteotomy: When a joint replacement surgery is not an option (specifically in younger patients) an osteotomy is usually done. This surgery realigns your bones to help reduce the stress that is placed on areas of your joints that are already damaged.
- Synovectomy: A synovectomy is a surgery that requires removing the synovial lining (the connective tissue that lines the interior surface of the capsules of your synovial joints and tendons) if it is inflamed and tends to cause you excessive pain.
- Tendon repair: If the joint damage and inflammation are severe enough, they may have caused your tendons around your joints either to become significantly tighter or even looser. When this happens, a tendon repair surgery is usually required, in order to help to repair the tendons that surround that joint; this will provide it with substantially more movement, stability, and flexibility, while also helping to ward off some of the inflammation and pain.
When to See a Doctor
If you or someone you love starts to experience any of the aforementioned symptoms associated with arthritis, it is imperative that you make an appointment with your healthcare provider as soon as you can.
The earlier you can get to your doctor and receive a proper diagnosis, the sooner you will start to see relief from the pain and discomfort, and you can also ensure that your symptoms do not get worse.
Your healthcare provider will additionally be able to create a game plan for you that may include the best natural remedies and healing techniques for your specific needs, and can also get you a referral to a specialist if need be.
If you already have arthritis, it is important to continue your visits to your healthcare provider on a regular basis to ensure that you are following up with everything that you need to do in order to help treat, cope with, and even heal from arthritis symptoms.
If you ever find that your symptoms get worse, you need to go to your doctor as soon as you can to find out what can be done to help you.
There are so many wonderful natural remedies for helping to cope with arthritis pain and inflammation.
Feel free to try different variations and options to see which ones work the best for your specific needs, but remember always to follow up and double-check with your personal healthcare provider to ensure that what you are doing is safe for your ailment.