Anti-inflammatory Herbs for Arthritis
If you were born in the baby boomer years when you see the word “herbs,” marijuana might be one of the words that come to mind. Well, medical marijuana is listed as one of the Anti-inflammatory Herbs for Arthritis; however thank goodness it is not the only herb with anti-inflammatory characteristics. Since medical marijuana requires a prescription from a doctor to be legal, I am providing you with links to my research nevertheless, this will not be the main focus within this hub.
Prior to listing the anti-inflammatory natural herbal remedies that my research has revealed that do not require a prescription; let’s take a look at the crippling disease of arthritis. Delve into Google Health and you will learn that arthritis is inflammation of the joints which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement.
- CDC - Arthritis Home Page
Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States, limiting the activities of nearly 19 million adults.
- Arthritis Foundation
The Arthritis Foundation is the only national not-for-profit organization that supports the more than 100 types of arthritis and related conditions.
Symptoms and Causes of Arthritis
Please note that rheumatoid arthritis is only one type of arthritis there are over 100 different types of arthritis and the depilating symptoms can be:
- pain and or warmth around a joint
- redness of the skin and or reduced ability to move the joint, and
- stiffness or swelling of one or more joints
Causes of this joint inflammation may occur for numerous reasons including:
- general “wear and tear” on specific joints
- a broken bone and or serious injury to the joints
- an autoimmune disease in which the immune system tricks the body into believing there a foreign body part and attacks the joints in that location, or
- infection which can be caused by viruses or bacteria
The type of treatment one receives is determined by the cause of the arthritis, the severity, which joints are affected and how the condition affects your daily activities. Your doctor should take into consideration your age and occupation as well. There are numerous prescription drugs available to treat arthritis, however if you are like me, and many others you might prefer to explore alternative medicines prior to taking strong prescriptions. For me this is a personal preference that has to do a lot with my heritage of which perhaps I will discuss in another hub, and what happened to my dad. But for now let’s take a look at the numerous places arthritis can attack your body and the anti-inflammatory herbs for arthritis information I’ve discovered.
Doctors’ for Herbal Remedies
Jacob Teitelbaum, MD article titled The 6-Week Arthritis Cure asks,“Don’t want to be one of the over 16,500 Americans who unnecessarily die yearly from arthritis medications?” Of which, I’m sure that most people would prefer not to be a part of such statistics.
Unfortunately, it's been less than a year since my dad died from complications generated from what my family and I believe resulted from too many prescription drugs for arthritis. Hopefully this hub will assist others from having to endure such a tragedy.
Dr. Teitelbaum’s theory about curing arthritis consists of a program devised to decrease inflammation and help to mend the affected joints. The components of his program are:
- To repair the joints by taking a combination of glucosamine sulfate, MSM, and Chondrotin along with a good multi-vitamin.
- To restore function through movement by begin to stretch, exercise, lose weight if necessary, and the application of heat.
- To rule out and treat infections and food allergies, which can cause inflammation and aggravate arthritis symptoms.
- To reverse inflammation by taking natural anti-inflammatory herbs to assist in reducing swelling thus eliminating pain.
Natural Arthritis Herbal Remedies and Foods
I’ve include the video to the right because it reveals that there are numerous ways to reduce inflammation without prescription drugs; one means is by monitoring one's diet. and including anti-inflammatory foods.
Now for the anti-inflammatory herbs remedies that Dr. Teitelbaum recommends are boswellia, willow bark, and cherry. In addition, to those I have discovered there are a few more anti-inflammatory herbs for arthritis:
Boswellia is a moderately large branching tree found in the dry hilly areas of India. The tree trunk is tapped and a gummy oleoresin is exuded. A purified extract of this resin is used in modern herbal preparations and has anti-inflammatory action much like conventional nonsteriodal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
White willow or Willow bark
The ancient Egyptians used white willow for inflammation. The white willow tree is a native to Europe and Asia. This arthritis herbal remedy can be used instead of ibuprofen or aspirin because it does not appear to be an irritant to the stomach lining.
Cherries can be found in America, Europe, and Asia. The University of Michigan researchers have performed a recent study that has revealed that a cherry-enriched diet reduced inflammation markers in animals by up to 50 percent. Other studies have indicated that the anthocyanins in cherries may be beneficial for arthritis, including a range of other inflammatory-related conditions.
- Cherry Health: Arthritis, Inflammation and Gout Relief
For decades, tart cherries have quietly grown a devoted fan base of arthritis and gout sufferers who routinely consumed the fruit (particularly as juice) to help soothe their symptoms.
- Thinking Is Dangerous: Recommended Arthritis Cure - Cherries
googling "cherries, arthritis" brings up reams and reams of companies either promoting cherries as an arthritis cure
The rhizomes of the turmeric plant are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, and then are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and other South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine. It is said to stimulate blood circulation, solves blood clot, is an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent that relieves pain. Curcumin is an active ingredient that has an earthy, bitter, peppery flavor and a mustardy smell.
- curcumin arthritis
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit.
- Curcumin & Arthritis - General Information
A University of Arizona physician and a UA plant scientist have determined that turmeric root can prevent the onset of rheumatoid arthritis.
This underground stem or knobby rhizome has been grown in Asia, India, and Arabia since ancient times. It is known to aid digestion, treat an upset stomach, and nausea for more than 2000 years. In recent years it has been found to reduce inflammation. In a study of 261 people with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee, when the ginger extract was used twice a participants experienced less pain and required fewer pain-killing medications.
In addition to providing relief from nausea and vomiting, ginger extract has long been used in traditional medical practices to reduce inflammation.
- arthritis pain relief - rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and remedy
Full strength natural alternative medicines, health remedies and organic health supplements. Numerous articles and a newsletter with health news and tips.
This herb comes from the southern portion of Africa. The active ingredients are believed to be iridoid glycosides called harpagosides found within the secondary root. The Rheumatology journal published a study that compared devil’s claw extract to the anti-inflammatory prescription drug Vioxx (now off the market, but one of the drugs my dad was on for years). Within six weeks the devil’s claw was deemed as effective as the Vioxx for reducing pain and it also appears to work in the same manner as the Cox-2 anti-inflammatory drugs such as Celebrex (another one of the drugs that my dad took for years).
- Devil\'s Claw for Arthritis?
In recent years, a number of scientific studies have suggested that devil's claw can help relieve the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis, particularly symptoms
- Seattle Health - Devil\'s Claw. Devil\'s claw is a native of South Africa, so...
Devil's Claw - Swedish Medical Center, Seattle Hospitals, King Cnty, WA State - Devil's claw -
Comfrey cream – Comfrey is an herb with a plant origin in Asia and Europe. It is a perennial with oblong dark green leaves that is full of vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll. Chlorophyll acts as a catalyst, to promote healing within the body and is a valuable blood purifier. Comfrey cream has been taken off the market as an oral supplement however; it can be used as a topical cream containing comfrey extracts.
The herb comfrey contains potentially dangerous levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (a toxic substances) so it is not to be taken orally any longer. Studies have shown that individuals using comfrey extract cream during a three week period showed an improvement in mobility and pain.
Marijuana requires a prescription to use for medical reasons otherwise it is illegal to use. Most of the articles that I read revealed that this herbal drug showed improvement in movement, less pain, better sleep and a reduction in inflammation. However, this drug is still illegal in many states and research is still being done to determine how and what this drug will be prescribed for.
Other Alternatives for Arthritis
- EXCELLENT NATURAL CURE FOR ARTHRITIS - by Tajana-Mihaela
Bones are important part of our immune system: blood cells develop in bone marrow...
- Homeopathic Ant Remedy Relieves Rheumatic Arthritis Gout and Itching- by Debby Bruck
Extensive article about homeopathy and other scientific facts related to one homeopathic remedy for arthritis, rheumatism,
In summary I would like to say that the purpose of this hub has been to inform readers that at times there are alternative medicines that can assist an individual through pain and illnesses just as well as prescription drugs. For years doctors, the government, and the FDA have been against herbal medicines. However, within recent years numerous doctors have began researching and recommending some alternative medicines. Personally, I feel blessed to have found a doctor that works with me and meets me halfway when it comes to prescription verses herbal drugs.
Please do not view this as a pro herbal remedies and con prescription drugs rant; however in some ways it might should be. Over the years I’ve watched my dad suffer badly with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) I was under the impression that he had been taking some herbal remedies and getting relief from them. However, it was not until he was on his deathbed that I realized the numerous harmful prescription drugs he was continuously taking. My dad’s last days were spent bleeding profusely from all major organs because of previous side effects from the medications he had taken over the years.
He spent his last days having numerous blood transfusions and dying a slow painful death as he was taken off of all previous medications that relieved pain and reduced swelling. I am not a doctor, or an herbalist; I am just a daughter that loss her dad way too soon. And the saddest thing is that if my dad had lived through this ordeal, his doctors were talking about possible herbal remedies that could be suggested for him; to assist in elevating the pain and suffering associated with RA. The doctors knew he could NO LONGER be on the prescription drugs that he had been using for so many years. Now that is an example of the full-circle of bureaucratic crap that is centered around natural remedies and alternative medicines.
Common sense to me would have deemed to have Dad on herbal remedies first and used the prescription drugs as emergency alternatives. Anyway, hopefully someone else can benefit from this story. So please keep an open mind to herbal remedies that might have less harmful side effects than some prescription drugs. And by all means whatever you are taking be it prescription or natural herbs take time to research, ask questions, and research some more to find out what the product is doing to your body.
If you like this hub and want additional information; you will find the below link helpful as well:
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Before engaging in any complementary medical technique, including the use of natural or herbal remedies, you should do your own research, and then consult your present physician. If your doctor does not believe in alternative medicines and you would like to give them a try then find a reputable doctor familiar with natural herbal remedies for arthritis that can assist you in deciding what treatments might meet your specific needs.