Herbs & Spices to Help Treat and Prevent Arthritis

Picture Courtesy of HealthLine

I have several close family members and dear friends who suffer from arthritis. It is amazing to me what herbs, spices, supplements and a healthy diet can do in the prevention and treatment of arthritis.
There are two different types of arthritis and both can be extremely painful. Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common disorder in the entire world as almost everyone age 60 or older has some degree of it. OA results from wear and tear on the joints and/or an injury to the protein that forms cartilage. The hands, hips, knees and spine are the areas most commonly affected. Arthritic joints are not only painful, but stiff. People suffering from OA can experience mild to extreme pain.

Conventional treatment for OA generally calls for a wide range of painkillers, both over-the-counter and prescription. Yet, many foods and herbs can be just as effective as medication without the side effects that often include severe stomach aches.

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an auto-immune disorder that leaves joints swollen, stiff and deformed. People suffering from RA often experience weight loss and fevers. RA is most common in women between the ages of 20 and 40 and usually follows a pattern of flare-ups followed by remissions. Essentially, RA is a disease in which the body can turn on the immune system but cannot turn it off.  It is interesting to note that it can also be triggered by “leaky gut” condition.

These are herbs and spices that will help treat both types of arthritis:

Ashwaganda has an anti-inflammatory effect that is similar to aspirin without the stomach irritation.

Bayleaf helps to reduce the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. It has anti-inflammatory properties similar to painkillers.

Boswellia relieves swelling and inflammation.

Cat’s Claw relieves swelling and inflammation. It can be helpful to control symptoms of RA associated with food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.

Cayenne causes temporary skin pain that counteracts joint pain. It is specifically helpful with osteoarthritis because it improves the levels of synovial fluid which lubricates joints and helps prevent the cartilage from breaking down.

Feverfew is an anti-inflammatory.

Fennel Seed is a very strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Fennel extract has been shown to dramatically decrease swelling and pain associated with arthritis.

Ginger stops the production of inflammatory chemicals.

Rosemary extract has been shown to reduce pain in people suffering from arthritis by up to 50 percent. According to Bharat B. Aggarwal , author of Healing Spices, “Studies in Mexico found that adding rosemary to the diets of test animals helped alleviate the pain and inflammation from chemically induced arthritis.”

Turmeric relives pain as effectively as steroid drugs without weakening the immune system.

The dietary supplements chondroitin and glucosamine have been shown to be very effective at helping with OA. The recommended dosage is 400 mg of chondroitin sulfate and 400-500 mg of glucosamine sulfate daily. These substances are vital to joint repair and have been shown to reduce pain as effectively as ibuprofen, without damaging any tissues.

Eating fresh pineapple often is advised as bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, is excellent for reducing inflammation. Please note the pineapple must be fresh as once it is heated the enzymes are destroyed.

I always encourage those suffering from arthritis to eat lots of foods rich in Vitamin K as this vitamin helps prevent OA from worsening. Blackstrap molasses and dark-green leafy vegetables are very high in Vitamin K. Furthermore, ladies please try to avoid wearing high-heeled shoes as they place stress on your knee joints.

Many people with RA benefit from an increased intake of Omega 3’s. Taking 2,000 mg of panothenic acid daily helps to reduce painful joints. Many people find that vegetables from the nightshade family (eggplant, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes) can aggravate RA as well as gluten, dairy and corn. I have several friends who have cured their arthritis simply by eliminating gluten from their diet. If you suffer from arthritis, I highly recommend eliminating gluten and nightshade vegetables for one month to see if the condition improves.

Lastly, pure expeller pressed flax, grapeseed and walnut oils can be very helpful in the treatment of RA.

This was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday and Monday Mania.

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  1. thetastyalternative says:

    Hi There Laura,
    What an excellent post you put together here.  So much great information.  I too have several friends and family with authritis – it can be quite debilitating.  I’ve never hear of Ashwaganda! Great to find a new herb. I’ll definitely be passing this post along.  
    Thanks Laura!!
    Hugs, –Amber 

  2. GFreeHappyTummy says:

    what a great post full of helpful information! i take a cat’s claw supplement everyday! 

  3. I know several people dear to me who struggle with arthritis.  While a healthy diet always helps, it’s so encouraging to know of additional supplements you can take that are effective as well!  I’m going to share this with them. :)  Thanks!

  4. Very useful info! I came from a family where most of the people suffer arthritis. I think we have to blame that for the unhealthy eating habits that we have. Thanks for providing this list of spices that will help prevent or even treat different types of arthritis.


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