Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. It causes stiffness and pain in the affected area. There are over 100 types of arthritis and related arthritic conditions known today. Over 50 million adults and well over 250 thousand children deal with some type of arthritis.
One of the keys to dealing with most forms of arthritis is anti-inflammatory plants and herbs. Hot and cold treatments are also a big help in treating arthritis naturally. Warm baths or showers can help eliminate the stiffness in the joints while a cold pack can ease the pain and inflammation. Exercise also helps alleviate the symptoms brought on by arthritis.
Today’s walk through Mother Earth’s Medicine Cabinet is going to take us down the arthritis relief section! We will take a look at seven herbs that are amazing for treating arthritis and its symptoms.
Seven Herbs for Arthritis
- Thunder God Vine (Tripterygium wilfordii): The Thunder God Vine is native to China and Taiwan where it has been used for hundreds of years to treat swelling and inflammation. It is well known in traditional Chinese medicine. The Thunder God Vine’s medicine is located in the roots; the roots are peeled and the medicine extracted. It is commonly used to help overactive immune systems and makes an amazing alternative remedy for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus): Eucalyptus is also known as the blue gum tree. It can be used topically and orally to treat various conditions. The leaves contain tannins that are extremely beneficial for reducing the swelling and easing pain associated with arthritis, as well as inflammation in general. You can use crushed leaves to make a poultice or the essential oil extract. Be sure to first test a small part of your skin to confirm there is no allergic reaction. Studies have shown that it is wonderful for treating pain.
- Boswellia (Boswellia serrata): Many of you may recognize this plant as Frankincense rather than Boswellia. Boswellia/Frankincense has been used in religious and sacred ceremonies for centuries. It is used by many practitioners for the anti-inflammatory effects it has on the body. The herb is used topically and also comes in tablet form. Frankincense works by blocking leukotrienes that attack healthy joints due to autoimmune diseases. It is also full of beneficial antioxidants.
- Green Tea (Camellia sinensis): Green tea is a very popular drink all over the world and the matcha powder made from the leaves is also incredible. It has been used for hundreds of years because of its antioxidant properties, as well as its ability to reduce inflammation throughout the body. You can use the tea, tablets, tinctures, or powder to get some relief. Green tea naturally fights inflammation caused by arthritis, helping to ease the pain. Studies have shown that it is truly beneficial for treating osteoarthritis.
- Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa): Cat’s claw is native to the Amazon rainforests. This tropical vine dates back to Incan civilizations. It was traditionally used to boost the immune system -- and still is today. Cat’s claw is also used for breast health among other things. In more recent years, it has been studied to see if it is beneficial for treating arthritis. So far, the anti-inflammatory properties are useful for reducing the swelling seen in arthritis. One bad thing is that because this herb can sometimes over stimulate the immune system it can have an opposite effect on arthritis so it is best to use in small doses.
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.): There is so much science-backed information on the healing properties of this tasty herb. It is well known for the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties present in it. Ginger has made many of the lists from the medicine cabinet vault. Ginger contains gingerols that are responsible for the many healing properties -- especially the anti-inflammatory properties. Gingerols are also responsible for ginger’s potent flavor. In Chinese medicine, ginger is used to increase the circulation of blood, which eases the pain, as well as provides warmth and healing. Ginger is amazing for arthritis: just add it to your daily diet or find a suitable supplement.
- Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Turmeric, like ginger, can be found in many spice cabinets. Curcumin is the active ingredient found in turmeric that provides heavy healing. Turmeric has been used for many years to treat arthritis; there are some but not many reports that actually prove the benefits are worth it. Curcumin reduces swelling and inflammation brought on by many forms of arthritis. It is useful for helping to ease the pain from rheumatoid arthritis, as well as osteoarthritis. Just add turmeric to your meals and enjoy.
As I mentioned earlier in this article arthritis can affect people of any age. In many cases, arthritis is brought on by some form of injury. No matter your age it’s always good to know what natural options are available to help you through the pain and inflammation. I hope today’s walk through the Medicine Cabinet finds you well and in a good way! Happy Healing!