There are so many arthritis herbs that are recommended as a natural pain
reliever for arthritis sufferers that it can be hard for you to tell
exactly what is healthy, effective, and safe.
It can be also difficult to determine exactly why herbs work and how to integrate them into your diet and routine. There are several things you should know about arthritis herbs before beginning any natural supplement, though.
1. Always consult your physician before beginning any natural arthritis herb supplement – no matter how innocuous you may think it is. These herbs can have strong properties that are dangerous when mixed the wrong way – especially if you are taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications (like NSAIDs).
2. Make certain that you are buying your herbal supplements from a reputable retailer. High quality ingredients, dosages, and additional ingredients vary from brand to brand.
3. Always read the label! If you choose an herbal supplement that has more than one component, make sure that you know what the other ingredients are because if there are other herbs, you want to be sure that they are ones you want to take, too.
4. Use caution if you are growing your own arthritis herbs. Gardening can be a very therapeutic remedy for arthritis patients because it can be calming and it is a no-impact activity that allows you to work gently with your hands without stressing joints and muscles.
However, it is impossible to tell the exact content and makeup of herbs you grow. These are great to add as supplements to your diet to improve your arthritis, but may be dangerous if used as a concentrated herbal supplement.
There are four main reasons that herbs work to relieve the symptoms of your arthritis.
The first is that many herbs work as anti-inflammatory supplements. Arthritis is the inflammation of your joints anywhere in your body, particularly in your hands, wrists, shoulders, knees, hips, and ankles.
Some arthritis herbs with anti-inflammatory properties decrease swelling in these joints.
The second is that many herbs can also offer pain relief. These are called analgesic agents.
Still others work as muscle relaxants or antispasmodics.
And lastly, some arthritis herbs can increase circulation which can reduce inflammation.
One herbal property to avoid is diuretics. You do not want to dehydrate your body and joints – this actually adds to swelling.
You want your joints to be as lubricated as possible, and diuretics will have the opposite effect. Reading labels carefully for this property is important because a lot of herbs do work as diuretics.
Green tea and stinging nettle are often suggested as great arthritis herbs for pain relief, but they also have very strong diuretic properties (which is why they are often recommended for weight loss).
Another herbal property to be careful of is stimulation. Many very effective herbs, like ginseng, act as stimulants on the body – the nervous and physical systems.
This can be dangerous for arthritis patients because the increased stimulation can exacerbate the symptoms of joint pain and stiffness.
Angelica – Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and an analgesic.
Boswellia – Anti-inflammatory.
Feverfew – Anti-inflammatory.
Ginger – Analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Red pepper or Cayenne pepper – Analgesic.
With care and caution, herbs can bring great relief from your arthritis.