Which Herbs and Spices Help for Arthritis?
Many folk remedies that have been used through the ages are being investigated by science, and these are some that have produced accepted results.
Let's begin with a herb and a spice that have long been used in Ayurvedic medicine.
Ginger (everything about Ginger)
Ginger is the sovereign herb for reducing inflammation. It can be taken internally as an infusion in water three to four times a day or used externally as a poultice by pounding the roots, adding a little hot water and applying it to the affected area as a warming compress.
Turmeric (everything about Turmeric)
Here's a medicine that's very easy to take! Season food with Turmeric, various types of pepper and add some pineapple. The three ingredients complement each other and help the Turmeric to do its work. It has even been suggested that Turmeric can help to slow the growth of cancerous cells.
But you don't have to stop raiding your kitchen yet! There's also:
Cayenne pepper (Kick Arthritis Pain with Cayenne:Arthritis Research Institute of America)
Warm up a lotion made from glycerine and Cayenne pepper and apply it externally to the affected area. Do not use this if you have broken skin and remember to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Although this remedy really works, it may cause pain to people with sensitive skins. If this happens, wash the affected area immediately with soap and warm water.
Moving from the kitchen to the garden, there are more things you can try:
Devil's claw (Devil's Claw and Arthritis: University of Maryland Medical Center)
This herb from South Africa is a powerful anti-inflammatory and has impressed the medical world with its properties. If you can't find plants to grow in your garden (unlikely: it has nasty, barbed seeds), it can often be found at pharmacies and health-shops. However, the concentration of anti-inflammatory agents is strong enough that it should not be taken by pregnant women.
White Willow bark (Natures WayWhite Willow Bark, 60 Capsules: Amazon)
Salix alba, or White Willow, is the natural painkiller which Aspirin was synthesized to emulate. However, it is much less irritating to the stomach lining than Aspirin and is said to give longer-lasting and more effective relief.
If you ever harvest bark from a tree, be careful not to cut the bark away right around the stem. A tree transfers water from roots to branches just under the bark. Dried willow-bark, either in its raw form or as teabags is commercially available.
Simmer one teaspoon of willow bark per cupful of water for about ten minutes on the stove. Then leave the brew to settle and strain the liquid off once the bark has settled to the bottom of the container.
Anyone who is sensitive to Aspirin should not use willow bark tea.
Although the most compelling human medical evidence for this herb relates to its ability to suppress migraines in certain individuals, it has been used for hundreds of years for a variety of ills, including arthritis. A Japanese study showed it effective in reducing joint destruction in animals, so it seems there is some grounds for giving it a try.
It's an easy-to grow herb with many medicinal uses, and an infusion of leaves is easily made by adding a small amount of fresh leaves to a cup of boiling water. Once again, this herb is also commercially available as a tea or tablet (Nature's Way Feverfew 180 tablets ).
Feverfew should be avoided by pregnant women or those with blood or kidney disorders.
General notes on natural remedies and arthritis
In general, you will have to persevere for longer with natural remedies to determine whether they can help you or not. Some remedies, like willow-bark and ant inflammatory creams or ointments have a fairly quick effect, but when using infusions such as Ginger or Feverfew, the herbs should be taken regularly for at least two to three months.
Sadly, there is still no known cure for arthritis, but there are many ways in which one can obtain relief. Along with these, enjoy healthy eating, get lots of calcium and be as active as you can. Swimming is said to be a great therapy for arthritis sufferers.
Treating Arthritis the Drug-Free Way : A Review on Amazon : When I found this book I was of course very sceptical, as was my dad when I gave it to him. He closely followed the diet & supplement regime though (excepting the epsom salt baths - only got a shower!), & he was amazed to find that not only did the pain diminish over several weeks, but the swelling in his hands greatly reduced & his fingers straightened out too.
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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )