Arthritis is the name used to call a group of joint disorders in both adults and children across the world. The word means “joint inflammation”. It is one of the disorders which have been troubling people across all age groups without a proper cure and there is no vaccination for it either. Though occurring at a later stage in life with most people, arthritis is also known to affect from a young age.
When you have arthritis, it becomes difficult to move your joints freely; naturally affecting limb movement. The limbs swell up; become stiff and moving the affected joints become a painful task. It can be a case of mild, moderate and severe arthritis. There are medicines available for the pain as well as the disease itself. However prevention from an early stage with proper precautions and the right diet will go a long way to make sure that you do not end up with a bad case of arthritis. Apart from the right diet, there are certain herbs and spices which are known to have anti arthritis properties. Here are some of them.
Let’s start the list off with one of the most common ingredients in the kitchen, Turmeric. Turmeric has Curcumin; something which has proven anti inflammatory properties which means it will prevent the joint from swelling up and make them less painful and easier to move your limbs about.
It is generally advised to add turmeric in milk and have 2 glasses of it every day. You could also try taking turmeric capsules daily; however do consult a doctor before you decide to take the capsules and decide the dosage.
Liquorice or Licorice is the root of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant and is a known herb used in sweetening or flavouring. It is also known to have anti inflammatory properties which were studied by the Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology in 2010. Licorice is roasted and the extract of it has a role in treating both the acute and chronic inflammatory inflammations and also in its prevention. This herb pretty much acts like the body’s corticosteroid in reducing inflammation. It also has a blood pressure increasing property and should not be taken in excess. Hence, it is recommended that you consult a doctor about how much of it is actually good for you.
Boswellia or Indian frankincense plant has been used since long in treating rheumatic arthritis, osteoarthritis and joint pains in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine. It has proven anti inflammation properties. The resin of this plant is used in the treatment of joint inflammations and sometime asthma. The resin drips out of the bark of the tree and is collected and used.
One of the commonly known spices, Cinnamon also has properties which translate to its use as a anti inflammatory drug and also as an anti oxidant. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal published a study in 2012 which outlined reducing of inflammation and tissue damage on mice. More studies need to be conducted on humans for a correct diagnosis. Cinnamon can be added to honey in warm water and consumed before breakfast in the morning. Excessive intake of cinnamon however is to be avoided as it could affect blood clotting and thinning medicines. Consult a doctor on Cinnamon consumption and dosage as a precaution.
Long known to man as a medicinal plant apart from its use as an item in the kitchen, Garlic has known anti-inflammatory properties. Also, it has Sulphur which our body cannot produce. Sulphur is needed to make collagen, which is needed for the production of the cartilage between joints. Excessive Garlic consumption on the other hand is not good for the health either. Rather than eating the Garlic raw, it should be roasted so that the consumption is less irritating to the stomach as well.
Green tea is very beneficial to the health. Research which was presented in Experimental Biology 2007 has shown that a compound named EGCG found in green tea has anti-inflammatory properties which make it a good anti arthritis drink. Also it has shown promises in preventing joint damage rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea should be taken 2-3 cups a day, more in the winter, to keep the ingredients active in your body. Also, Polyphenol present in green have anti oxidant properties. They are useful in fighting the process of aging in the human body.
Ginger also has been used since long as a medicine in fighting a host of diseases and increasing body’s resistance. It has proven anti-inflammatory benefits which helps us against all kinds of arthritis. Ginger oil is used for the purpose. It is usually rubbed on the joints and then left to sun to warm it so that the effect is deeper in the body. Regular massaging in such a way is very beneficial to patients with pain and inflammations in the joints. Another way of consuming Ginger is having Ginger Tea
Stinging Nettle is an herb which is found in the US Canada and Europe. It has been found to be useful as an anti-inflammatory and it also works within the body as a pain killer in cases of arthritis and the joint pains. A recent study has shown that an ingredient called Hox alpha which has anti-inflammatory benefits. However, studies indicate that it is more beneficial to arthritis in the thumb than arthritis in the knee. More study is needed to find out the exact benefits of this herb. You can have this as tea or take it as a capsule, or apply the leaves directly to the joints affected with the pain.
2.White Willow Bark
The bark of the Salix tree has been used since long in treating rheumatic arthritis and osteoarthritis. The bark produces a chemical called Salicin which is used to produce salicylic acid in the body. Salicylic acid is known for reducing pain and inflammation. It is available as a tablet for direct consumption. However, the effects aren’t substantiated and excess consumption should be avoided. People on blood clotting and blood thinning medications should also consult doctors before you start taking it.
1. Cat’s Claw
An herb found in the Amazon rain forests and south and central Americas, It has been known to be helpful in cases of arthritis as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer. Taken in moderate amounts under medical supervision, this herb has helped patients with arthritis.
As a word of caution, it must be advised that before you start taking any of these herbs and spices, do consult a doctor for adverse side effects and other potential problems. Remember, exercise, weight reduction and early diagnosis along with a healthy diet will make sure you can deal arthritis in the best possible way.