10 Natural Remedies for Arthritis
Fromstiff joints to inflammation, dealing with arthritis can be a pain (literally).Luckily, hitting up your doctor for a heavy-duty prescription isn't the onlysolution. There are a number of all-natural remedies for arthritis (not to goall crunchy granola on you) that experts agree can bring you some relief. Evenbetter: Many of these are probably already in your kitchen cabinet.
Pucker up! Tart cherry juice can act as anantioxidant—eliminating pain by reducing the stress on cells, says JillianFinker, ND, a naturopathic doctor in Bellmore, New York, and author of It's About Wellness, Naturally.It also helps calm down inflammation by lowering certain proteins that causeswelling. Healthy side effect alert: The fruit elixir increases melatonin,which means it will help you sleep and reduce pain. Sip one to twotable spoons before bed.
Ginger contains chemicals that help deflateinflammation, says Lawrence Taw, MD, an assistant clinical professor at theUCLA Center for East-West Medicine. If you're not quite sure how to sneak someof the knotty herb into your daily diet, try adding it into some of yourfavorite dishes, like stir-fry, or picking up a instant ginger tea.
This mighty mineralis a pain-relieving powerhouse, says Kimberly Wilson, NMD, a naturopathicdoctor in Plano, Texas. It's found in a variety of foods, including almonds,avocados, broccoli, carrots, chickpeas, and plums. It can be difficult to getfrom food alone, so consider taking a 10mg supplement daily.
Two types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oilcould be just what you need to combat those pesky aches and pains. The oil works bydecreasing inflammation, which gives joints a chance to heal, even in moresevere rheumatoid arthritis cases, Finker says. A typical dosage runs from1,000 to 3,000mg—depending on your weight. Just make sure the fish oil is pureand that it's been tested by a third party for heavy metals and othercontaminants.
A study published in the Archives ofInternal Medicine shows that acupuncture helpseliminate chronic pain associated with arthritis. The exact reason is still a littlecloudy, but it's thought that the treatment helps regulate the body'sperception of pain by promoting the release of endorphins.
This spice helps increase jointmobility and health—and it's been shown to be as effective asibuprofen at combating pain,according to Finker. But you can't just throw a few dashes on your favoritedish and expect to be ache-free. You need to take an actual 400 to 800mg dailysupplement (the amount depends on your weight and health).
Vitamin D deficiency can leadto increased arthritic flare-ups and pain, so make sure you're taking a dailyvitamin D supplement to preempt any irritating symptoms or joint dysfunction,Finker says. Bonus: It will strengthen your bones, too.
A category of veggies called"nightshades"—consisting of eggplant, peppers, potatoes, andtomatoes—has been linked to increased inflammation. But don't dump all your garden produce. Load up on plenty of anti-starchyvegetables that are high in vitamins A, C, and K—all arthritis-approvednutrients. Spinach, kale, and collard greens are great choices.
When the body lacks the capabilityto produce glucosamine (usually due to old age), the cartilage loses itsgel-like nature and ability to act as a shock absorber, which may worsenarthritis pain and joint deterioration, according to Wilson. A good dosage is a500mg supplement three times a day.
Relief from arthritisdiscomfort and a trip to the spa soundslike a win-win to us. According to Wilson, arthritis sufferers who take a soakin a sulfur bath have less morning stiffness, better walking ability, and lessinflammation, pain, and swelling in the joints. Book a spa sesh pronto.