Arthritis consists of more than 100 different conditions, including mild forms of tendinitis and bursitis as well as crippling rheumatoid arthritis (1).
Symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and fatigue. Untreated, the condition can include joint damage, destruction, and disability.
Most people who suffer from arthritis self-medicate with ibuprofen to manage their day-to-day pain. However, this habit can cause serious liver damage, not to mention drug tolerance, meaning you have to take increasingly bigger doses to get the same relief.
Plus, these drugs might treat inflammation, but they don’t actually cure arthritis, which is a degenerative disease that can only be improved with proper exercise and proper nutrition.
See also: anti inflammatory foods
Herbs And Essential Oils For Arthritis
Try these natural alternatives to manage your symptoms in a healthy way.
One study found that taking just 2g of curcumin (the active compound in turmeric) extracts per day for 6 weeks was as effective in reducing symptoms as taking 800 mg of ibuprofen daily for the same time period (3).
Add turmeric to your meals, steep a cup of golden milk, or massage turmeric essential oil on sore joints before starting your day.
Boswellia, also known as Indian Frankincense, comes from the gum of the Boswellia tree.
Boswellic acids, the active compounds, have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that improve joint movement and reduce pain. The herb also inhibit the autoimmune process, making it beneficial for arthritis, osteoarthritis, and even celiac disease (5).
Boswellia can be purchased in essential oil form online and in most health food stores. Apply a small amount topically directly on your sore spots.
3. Green tea
Green tea is recommended by the Arthritis Foundation as a complimentary treatment.
EGCG (a substance found in green tea) works by blocking interleukin-1, a pro-inflammatory cell, from damaging cartilage (6). Plus, the substance also blocks transforming growth factor beta-activated kinase-1 (TAK1) – a key signaling protein through which pro-inflammatory cytokines transmit the signal to trigger inflammation and arthritic damage (7).
If that wasn’t enough, tea even contains nutrients that improve bone quality and regulate immune response.
For best results, drink green tea in the morning and evening and apply green tea essential oil on sore joints.
Like green tea, the Arthritis Foundation of America recommends ginger as a complimentary holistic treatment (8). Studies have found that the root is as effective as diclofenac, a popular nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (9).
Ginger works by blocking the formation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes to fight existing inflammation and prevent future inflammation. It also neutralizes uric acid in the joints to increase your range of motion (10).
Use fresh ginger as a compress to ease pain or keep a small bottle of ginger essential oil mixed with coconut oil and apply topically as needed. You can also steep a cup of ginger tea in times of pain.
5. Aloe Vera
Plus, the gel is beneficial for treating skin conditions like eczema.
Although all these herbs are beneficial for managing arthritis, they won’t heal the condition on their own. That’s why it’s important to lubricate your joints by practicing yoga, swimming, walking, or pilates. You can also strengthen your joints by eating cartilage-healthy foods.