A debilitating condition, joint pain can be experienced as a result of ageing, over-use, or autoimmune diseases attacking the joints and their surrounding tissue. If you have tried all available traditional medications yet failed to get the results you expected, this would not be surprising as many drugs only alleviate the symptoms without targeting the underlying cause.
Several alternative herbal treatments have been researched – and lab studies suggest that these may even have the potential to address both symptoms and origin in lab studies. Below are 10 herbs considered useful for managing joint pain:
This is a popular herb present in various commercial ointments externally applied to the skin. When applied as a balm or cream, arnica has been shown to serve as a natural pain reliever to alleviate soreness and stiffness.
The evidence of arnica’s clinical value is rich that when a study was conducted to compare its effects with ibuprofen in 204 patients with active hand osteoarthritis, there was no difference found in pain and hand function improvements between ibuprofen and arnica tincture after 3 weeks of treatment. This study suggests that arnica formulation is comparable to ibuprofen in treating hand osteoarthritis, yet without the potential side effects of ibuprofen.
Ginger is traditionally known to aid nausea but research has also found convincing evidence of its success in combating arthritis. Its active ingredients, gingerols, possess anti-inflammatory characteristics responsible for its medicinal actions. Ginger has been found to relieve pain by preventing cytokine formation, an immune chemical that triggers inflammation. Consequently, one 3 year study discovered that 75% of the participants with rheumatoid arthritis experienced improvements in pain and swelling after using powdered ginger.
3. Stinging Nettle
Its name may sound daunting but once you have infused this herb in tea, skin rash that would be brought about by this plant’s hairs will naturally be neutralized. After concocting tea made from dried or fresh leaves of stinging nettle, it may be used to alleviate pain linked to joint pain, arthritis and gout. Exploratory studies that investigated the value of stinging nettle as a useful, safe and cheap therapy in treating joint pain have discovered nettles as being very effective to the extent that some subjects believed they have been cured by it without any major side effects.
Researchers discovered how the interesting mechanism behind rubbing cayenne works to relieve joint pain; cayenne, through the presence of its active ingredient capsaicin, acts as a counterirritant to the pain by producing mild irritation to distract your nerves from the more severe joint pain. Eventually, repeated application of cayenne pepper can significantly reduce arthritic pain. Because of cayenne’s anti-inflammatory properties, experts believe that it can also ease gout and gut-related pain like ulcers.
This tree commonly found in India attributes its therapeutic value to its gum which promotes anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic activities. A 2003 randomized controlled study that evaluated the efficacy, safety and tolerability of boswellia extract in 15 patients with osteoarthritic knees concluded that this herb can decrease knee pain and frequency of swelling, increase knee flexion and walking distance after 8 weeks of usage with minimal side effects. Moreover, boswellia is believed to prevent invasion of inflammatory white cells into damaged issue making it a natural pain killer for osteoarthritis, gout and possibly, other types of arthritis as well.