Turning to Herbal Remedies to Treat Arthritis

Turning to Herbal Remedies to Treat Arthritis

Herbal products vary widely from one another. Some can only be found as pills. Others are available as teas, tinctures, and capsules, among other forms. For instance, you can buy turmeric in capsule form or as a spice to add to cuisine. Ginger is available as a pill, a powder for cooking, and a tea. The type of herb you choose will frequently determine how you consume it because some herbs are better absorbed into the body when eaten, while others are better absorbed when steeped in liquid.

Since virtually the dawn of time, humans have turned to plant-based treatments for illness. The earliest documentation of the use of plants as medicine comes from a Sumerian clay tablet from 5,000 years ago that includes recipes for remedies produced from plants including the poppy, henbane, and mandrake. Turmeric, ginger, Boswellia serrata, devil’s claw, willow bark extract, and feverfew are among the herbal treatments currently being advertised for the treatment of arthritis.

Pills and Capsules

The most convenient form of taking herbal supplements, and the form that is most easily found at your neighborhood health food store or pharmacy, are pills and capsules. Just pop the tablets into your mouth after opening the bottle.

Some herbal therapies are frequently employed in research, making it simpler to verify that you’re receiving the right dosage. It could be difficult to determine how much of the active component you’re getting or require with different forms.

Infusions and Teas 

Boiling water is added to stems, leaves, or other fresh or dried plant products to make teas and infusions, which are then steeped to release the active chemicals. Due to their anti-inflammatory qualities, willow bark and ginger are two teas that are used for arthritis.

You can speak with a herbalist or a doctor who specializes in traditional Chinese medicine to determine the proper dose while utilizing loose herbs. Nonetheless, many herbal teas are now available in supermarkets and health food stores in pre-measured amounts. According to Marvasti, there are numerous tea companies that offer standardized tea bags.

He suggests steeping your tea for between 15 and 20 minutes. That’s just enough time to reap the product’s full benefits without going overboard. When brewed for too long, some teas can potentially be dangerous. Black tea, for instance, has tannins that, according to Marvasti, might cause cancer when brewed for more than an hour.

Creams, gels , and other topical products

Several herbal medicines are applied topically to the skin as a cream, gel, patch, or compress. Gels made from arnica and comfrey are both effective at reducing arthritis pain. Creams containing capsaicin, an extract from chili peppers, can also help with pain but come with drawbacks like a burning sensation and skin irritation. Usually, the box for these products includes the suggested dosage.

Herbs for Cooking 

You can add some herbs, like ginger and turmeric, to the food you cook. You can buy dried herbs, fresh-cut herbs at a market, or herbs that you have grown yourself. In general, Marvasti believes that the dry form is a little bit more potent, but it really depends on how and why you’re utilizing it.

Herbs for Cooking
Herbs for Cooking

Some herbs require a little help when being cooked. For turmeric to be properly absorbed by the body, it must be cooked with some sort of fat, like cooking oil.

Although while using herbs when cooking is generally a good idea, don’t expect a few curry dishes with turmeric to work wonders for your joints. Although it’s anti-inflammatory and a great spice for health promotion, Chris D’Adamo, PhD, director of Research & Education at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine, adds that if someone is suffering from arthritis pain, that probably won’t be enough. If you wanted to benefit from a [curcumin] supplement for severe pain conditions, you’d have to consume jars of the whole spice turmeric.

Can herbal remedies really help with arthritis pain?

While not a cure, some herbal remedies show promise in managing arthritis symptoms like pain and inflammation. Options like turmeric, boswellia, and ginger have anti-inflammatory properties that might offer relief. However, evidence for effectiveness can vary, so consulting a doctor is key.

What are the safest and most effective herbal remedies for arthritis?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Turmeric, with its active component curcumin, is a popular choice for its anti-inflammatory properties. Boswellia may also be helpful. However, talk to your doctor to determine the best option for your specific type of arthritis and medical history.

Are herbal remedies a good alternative to prescription medications for arthritis?

For some, yes. Herbal remedies can offer a gentler approach with potentially fewer side effects. However, they may not be as strong as prescription medications. Discuss your options with your doctor to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your needs and preferences.

How long does it take for herbal remedies to work for arthritis?

The effects of herbal remedies can vary. Some, like turmeric, may take several weeks for noticeable improvement. It’s important to be patient and consistent with use.

What are some things to look for when buying herbal remedies for arthritis?

Look for reputable brands that test their products for purity and potency. Choose products with clear labeling that list the ingredients, dosage, and potential interactions with medications.

Can I take herbal remedies for arthritis alongside my medications?

Not necessarily. Some herbs can interact with medications. Always consult your doctor before starting any herbal remedy, especially if you take prescription drugs. They can advise you on potential interactions and recommend safe options.

Are there any side effects associated with herbal remedies for arthritis?

While generally safe, some herbs can cause side effects like stomach upset or diarrhea. Be mindful of the dosage recommendations and discontinue use if you experience any discomfort.

Where can I find reliable information about herbal remedies for arthritis?

Talk to your doctor or a qualified herbalist. They can provide personalized guidance based on your medical history. Reputable health websites can also be a good resource, but avoid relying solely on online information.

Are there any risks to consider when using herbal remedies for arthritis long-term?

Long-term use of certain herbs is not always well-researched. Discuss this with your doctor to ensure the chosen remedy is safe for long-term use in your specific case.

What if herbal remedies don’t seem to be helping my arthritis?

If you don’t see improvement after a reasonable trial period, consult your doctor. They can adjust your treatment plan, explore alternative remedies, or recommend additional therapies like physical therapy or pain management techniques.

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