Osteoartritis, the most common form of arthritis, affects millions of people all over the world (1).
The condition causes pain and mobility problems as cartilage in the joints wear down.
Currently, there is no cure for arthritis, but there are many natural and medical treatments that can provide temporary relief.
By properly managing their symptoms, arthritic patients can lead an active, healthy lifestyle despite their diagnosis. One of the easiest ways to ease pain is using a ginger press.
How Ginger Helps Arthritis
You may think of ginger as a digestive aid, but it’s also often used to ease pain from arthritis, sore muscles and menstruation (2).
In fact, daily ginger consumption is said to reduce pain after standing and walking, and ease joint stiffness in patients suffering from arthritis.
The Arthritis Foundation of America even recommends the root as part of complimentary holistic treatment (3).
A recent study published in the Journal of Complementary Medicine found that ginger is as effective as diclofenac, a popular non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. Ginger, however, was found to be safer for long-term treatment because it does not harm the liver like prescription drugs do (4).
Additionally, Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava from Odense University in Denmark found that ginger works better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Tylenol.
These drugs simply work by blocking the formation of inflammatory compounds. However, ginger works on several levels by blocking the formation of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes while acting against existing inflammation and neutralizing uric acid in the joints (5).
Other Active Ingredients
Garlic acts as a topical analgestic that helps ease inflammation in swollen joints, according to the Arthritis Research and Therapy journal (6).
In fact, garlic oil is often used in naturopathic medicine to ease joint and muscle pain. Garlic can also be taken orally for the same effects (7).
Salt is used topically to ease swelling, irritation and inflammation. In fact, saline compresses are also often used to prevent skin infection in cancer patients (8).
How To Make A Ginger Compress
This press works well against arthritic pain, but should not be placed on open wounds or broken skin.
- A few pieces of ginger root
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of Himalayan salt
- A large stainless steel mortar and pestle
- Plastic film
- Medical tape
- A large bandage
- Place the ginger in the mortar and pestle and crush.
- Peel the garlic and add to the ginger.
- Continue pounding and crushing, adding the salt as you go.
- Continue crushing until well blended.
- Scoop the mix into a large square of gauze and fold to make an envelope.
- Place the gauze envelope over the site of pain and cover with plastic film to avoid leaking.
- Tape down film with medical tape and wrap into place with a large cloth bandage.
- Leave on for a minimum of 6 hours and discard gauze envelope after use.