What Is Arthritis*
Arthritis is a painful inflammation of the joints. Arthritis is considered a chronic and degenerating condition. As arthritis progresses, it causes increasing damage to and decreasing range of motion in the affected joint. Advanced arthritis can make simple tasks like walking and getting dressed difficult, and is the leading cause of disability in adults.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis (OA), sometimes called degenerative or “wear and tear” arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by a breakdown of the cartilage in the joint.
Another common and more serious form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that is considered an autoimmune disease. Like RA, lupus is considered an autoimmune disorder. While fibromyalgia (FMS), a soft-tissue rheumatism involving muscle pain, does not cause damage to or inflammation in the joints, it is considered arthritis-related, often overlapping with RA.
Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease with varying symptoms that may include arthritis, hair loss, fatigue, kidney inflammation, and other problems with the joints, skin or other organs.
Gout, which most commonly affects the base of the big toe in men, is often described as the most painful type of arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis include pain, inflammation, redness, swelling, stiffness and a limited range of movement in the affected joint. Like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis can also attack the organs, including the skin.
Natural Treatment For Arthritis*
Many arthritis sufferers think there is little or nothing to be done to help them, but these natural treatments should relieve the pain of all types of arthritis, including lupus. I would also recommend it for fibromyalgia-type pain. The key is to do ALL of it simultaneously (together at once) so the healing is faster and synergistic.
Arthritis (or lupus, or fibromyalgia) is not a simple problem – it is a whole-body imbalance and so many aspects of healing need to be addressed simultaneously to see results. If you pursue this holistic healing, you will likely see other health issues automatically resolve as well. Here's a summary of the holistic treatment needed to heal arthritis and then I'll go into each aspect in further detail:
Herbs by Dr Kohli. http://www.drkohli.ca/health-products
Rosehip contains galactlipid, an enzyme that performs anti-inflammatory actions. Rosehip powder and extracts contain polyphenols and anthocyanin, which ease joint inflammation and prevent its damage. It is also rich in vitamin C, which is required to scavenge the free radicals that cause tissue damage. In a trial, 100 people were assigned to receive one LitoZin tablet (5 grams of Rosehip), or a placebo for 4 months. After 4 months usage, people who consumed Rosehip reported improved hip flexion.
Boswellia, the chemical compound found in frankincense essential oil, is marketed as an alternative medicine for arthritis and perhaps one of the most effective herbs for arthritis. The herb blocks leukotriene, a substance that attacks healthy joints in rheumatoid arthritis. It interferes with the autoimmune process, and is a powerful anti-inflammatory, making it an effective therapy for rheumatoid arthritis. In a double blind study, 30 people with osteoarthritis were given either boswellia or placebo for 8 weeks. Patients in the Boswellia group showed significant improvement in knee mobility, pain and walking as compared to placebo.
3. Cat's claw
Several animal and laboratory studies have found that cat's claw can prevent the activation of inflammatory substances in the body, making it one of the top 10 herbs for arthritis. The antioxidants in cat's claw prevent the damage to the body's cells by interacting with the harmful molecules that are produced within the cells. In a trial, 40 participants were given either cat's claw tablets (60 grams if Uncariae tomentosae) or placebo tablets for 24 weeks. 53% people from the cat's claw group reported a significant reduction in painful joints.
The health benefits of ginger are not just limited to adding flavor to your dishes, but can also help you to get rid of arthritis. The compounds present in ginger, reduce the activity of leukotriene that promotes joint inflammation. In a trial, 67 participants were given one of the following treatments- 170 mg of ginger extract, 400 mg of ibuprofen tablets, and a placebo three times a day for three weeks. Participants who consumed ginger extract showed significant reduction in pain as compared to people who took placebo tablets.
5. Green Tea
Green tea is very useful for reducing inflammation in the body. A study conducted at Michigan University found that the compounds in green tea can help to avoid inflammation and joint damage. The researchers found that epigallocatechin 3 gallate in green tea blocked the two potent molecules that cause breakdown in rheumatoid arthritis affected bones. It also blocked the production of prostaglandin E2, a substance that causes joint inflammation.
Turmeric is believed to slow down the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. It is an effective anti-inflammatory herb and a potent pain reliever too. It contains Curcumin and curcuminoids, the two compounds that decrease inflammation. In a study, daily consumption of 2 grams of turmeric for 6 weeks improved the participant's ability to climb stairs.
7. Willow Bark
Willow bark is one of the most popular herbs for arthritis and inflammation. Several studies have proven its efficiency in relieving osteoarthritis related pain in the knees, hips and neck. It contains salicin, an active ingredient that reduces the production of pain inducing chemicals in the nerves. The treatment can be taken orally or in the form of tablets. In a study, 26 participants were given either willow bark (260 grams) or placebo tablets for 6 weeks. People consuming willow bar reported a 15 % reduction in pain.
8. Thunder God Vine
Thunder God vine is a Chinese herb with immunosuppressive effects. A study conducted by the National Institute in 1999 has found that Thunder God vine slowed the progress of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
9. Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is used to alleviate pain linked with joint pain, gout and arthritis. It contains nutrients like boron, calcium, silicon and magnesium that ease pain while building strong bones. Striking the inflamed joint with nettle plant draws blood to the joint, relieving pain and inflammation. In a study, 27 participants were given stinging nettle leaf and placebo leaf to apply to the painful area for 5 weeks. People who used nettle leaves reported less pain and disability than those who used placebo.
Arnica is one of the more popular herbs for arthritis used in many ointments and tincture. Arnica cream is considered a natural pain reliever to alleviate soreness and muscle stiffness. A study published in 2007 found that people who applied Arnica gel twice daily showed improved muscle and bone functionality.
Before adopting the natural way, make sure you talk to your doctor to avoid the life threatening side effects that may accompany some of these herbs. Do not stop taking the prescribed medication unless instructed by the doctor.