Arthritis affects a jaw-dropping 53 million adults and children in the United States and an estimated 350 million worldwide.
While the term “arthritis” seems like it refers to one single disease, actually it includes more than 100 related diseases. From osteoarthritis, the most common type today, to rheumatoid arthritis, gout and fibromyalgia, the journey to pain relief begins with a diagnosis of arthritis.
However, achieving an accurate, detailed diagnosis is not always an easy feat. Many different types of arthritis can share quite similar symptoms. To further complicate matters, arthritis often occurs alongside other serious health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or obesity.
Health professionals have their work cut out for them in linking the pain, stiffness and limited mobility that characterize arthritis to arthritis itself and the right sub-type under the arthritis umbrella.
Once a diagnosis is established, the treatment phase can finally begin. Yet for many who suffer from arthritis, the traditional Western medicine remedies do not deliver adequate relief.
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If this describes you, you are likely looking further afield to find natural remedies for arthritis that may work better for you.
In this article, learn about 15 effective home remedies for arthritis you can try right away to find relief from the discomfort of your symptoms.
As you read through this list of effective home remedies for the symptoms of arthritis, you will likely realize right away that the relief you seek has been hiding in your own pantry all along!
Remedy 1: Turmeric and curcumin.
Turmeric and its active ingredient, curcumin, are at the top of any natural remedies list when the symptoms include inflammation. According to world-renowned health expert Dr. Weil, turmeric can deliver terrific anti-inflammatory and pain relief benefits without side effects.
What to do: Turmeric is available commercially in many different forms today. You can make turmeric tea, use the turmeric spice as a flavoring for your meals, take turmeric in a supplement as a capsule, tincture or powder and order curry when you eat out.
The key when taking a supplement is to make sure there is at least a 65 percent concentration of curcumin as this will deliver the best anti-inflammatory results.
Remedy 2: Ginger.
Ginger is closely related to turmeric and is a similarly powerful anti-inflammatory agent. Ginger’s active ingredient is called gingerol, and it can not only ease nausea and pain, but according to health expert Dr. Axe, ginger is also a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-bacterial supplement.
What to do: Happily, ginger is also quite tasty. You can make ginger tea, eat candied ginger, use ginger essential oil (a particularly potent method), take ginger supplements orally as pills or as a powder, add raw ginger to smoothies or salads and taken as a digestive aid after eating sushi. As a supplement, the suggested daily intake is 1,000 mg per day.
Remedy 3: Hot and cold therapy.
Hot and cold therapy is a time-honored method to achieving relief from different types of inflammation. Whether the issue stems from a sports injury, back strain or the symptoms of arthritis, using heat and ice can help the body heal itself more quickly than it might achieve on its own.
What to do: One of the best ways to ease pain and inflammation is to take a hot bath or shower each morning. This will help with stiffness as well as pain and get your day started on the right foot.
Then during the day you can apply ice packs as needed for spot relief. At night, try using a heat pad or hot water bottle for spot relief.
Remedy 4: Magnesium supplements.
Magnesium isn’t one of the “glamour” supplements, but it is an essential need that your body has, and many people don’t take in enough naturally with diet alone. Magnesium is an effective anti-inflammatory agent, according to WebMD.
However, since magnesium does have some medication interactions, it is important to discuss your dosage with your doctor before you begin increasing your daily magnesium intake.
What to do: Magnesium can be found in dark leafy greens, nuts, legumes and whole grains. You can also take in magnesium in supplement form. The easiest and most common supplement form is oral as a pill or capsule. Doctors can also give magnesium in injectable form.
Remedy 5: Exercise.
Health experts near-universally agree that getting regular exercise and staying physical fit is a great aid to easing the symptoms of arthritis such as pain, stiffness and inflammation of the joints.
In fact, the Arthritis Foundation even maintains a list of recommended exercise videos to help sufferers quickly hone in on those that can produce the greatest relief in the least amount of time.
What to do: Check out the list of videos on the Arthritis Foundation website (link above here) and try some out to see which ones seem to deliver the best results.
Also talk with your doctor and see what exercises are recommended. As always, it is a good idea to discuss exercise with your healthcare provider before beginning a new fitness regimen.
Remedy 6: White willow.
White willow, also known as white willow and willow bark, is often called the “miracle tree” or “nature’s aspirin” and for good reason. Willow bark contains one of the building blocks of the popular commercial painkiller known as aspirin today. As such, it can have an immediate impact on inflammation and pain.
What to do: You can chew the bark, take it as a tea or powder, use a liquid tincture or take a supplement in extract form. Be careful not to exceed 240 mg per day to avoid the risk of gastric ulcers or worse.
Remedy 7: Cinnamon and honey.
Cinnamon is not just tasty – it is also a potent healer in its own right. Cinnamon is harvested from the inner bark of the cinnamomum tree. Once harvested and dried, cinnamon can be used in many different ways and forms to provide its numerous medicinal powers.
According to Authority Nutrition, among cinnamon’s well documented healing powers are these: it is an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent and has an anti-diabetic affect as well.
What to do: Cinnamon can be used in cooking and baking, as a tea (with honey is particularly delicious), sprinkled on top of main or side dishes, in a supplement (take no more than 6 mg daily) or even as a paste with honey that you can apply right over the painful area.
Remedy 8: Epsom salt soaks.
Epsom salt is full of magnesium (see Remedy 4 here). It is also quite wonderful when added to a warm water bath (here, aim for a temperature between 92 and 100°F for maximum safety and health benefits).
The Arthritis Foundation specifically recommends adding in epsom salts to your daily regimen of warm water therapy to ease the discomfort of arthritis pain, stiffness and inflammation.
What to do: The amount of epsom salts you add into your bath water is up to you. You can follow your doctor’s instruction (this is especially important since magnesium can interact with certain medicines). Soak for at least 20 minutes and try to move around as well as sitting still for maximum relief.
Remedy 9: Omega-3 fatty acids and Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA).
Omega-3 fatty acids are best known today as “fish oil,” but you can also get it from certain non-fish foods. Gamma-Linolenic Acid (GLA) is a herb and plant-based version of the same.
Both Omega-3s and GLA can help to ease the stiffness, inflammation and pain caused by different types of arthritis.
What to do: You can eat fish (salmon is ideal) or eat flax or chia seeds to get Omega-3s. GLAs come from essential oils (borage, black current seed and evening primrose).
Remedy 10: Dandelion.
Disabled World highly recommends dandelion leaves as a natural home remedy to ease the symptoms of arthritis. Dandelion is chock-full of Vitamins A and C, both potent anti-toxin agents that also boost immune system function.
But the most powerful part of the dandelion leaf is linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that can ease inflammation.
What to do: You can take dandelion leaves as a brewed tea (add some honey) or steam and eat the leaves (add garlic for flavor).
Remedy 11: Weight management.
Medical science has long advocated for weight management as an aid in managing the symptoms of arthritis. This is because, not surprisingly, added weight puts more pressure on joints that are already feeling stiff, painful and inflamed.
What to do: Talk with your doctor about whether you may benefit from a weight management program. You can also talk about what your weight loss goal might be for maximum relief from your arthritis symptoms.
Remedy 12: Natural cherries or cherry juice.
Cherries are beginning to enjoy a well-deserved day in the sun as an effective remedy for arthritis symptoms, and especially the inflammation of gout.
Cherries contain robust amounts of potassium and magnesium (see Remedies 4 and 8 here), which can both ease inflammation and reduce pain.
What to do: The best way to take in the benefits of cherries is through eating 10 cherries per day. You can also drink natural, organic, unsweetened cherry juice if you can’t get whole cherries. Gout and You also recommends cherry powder if neither the juice or the cherries are available.
Remedy 13: Borage seed oil.
Borage seed oil is a natural essential oil that contains potent anti-inflammatory properties when used orally or topically. Currently, a number of clinical trials are researching the effects of using borage for treating arthritis. Trial results have been positive to date, especially in reducing pain, stiffness and inflammation.
What to do: You can use borage seed oil in massage form right on the affected area or ingest one teaspoon of the oil daily (do NOT eat the seeds, leaves or roots of the borage plant).
Remedy 14: Peppermint and/or eucalyptus essential oils.
Both peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils can be powerful pain relievers when combined with a carrier oil and used for massage over an area that feels painful or stiff.
What to do: Fractionated coconut oil is a great carrier oil and is very soothing in its own right. Use 10 drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil with 2 tablespoons-full of carrier oil for a massage oil.
Remedy 15: Boswellia.
Like many other remedies listed here, boswellia is finally beginning to receive long-overdue recognition for its potent powers as an anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) agent, according to Natural Arthritis Remedies.
What to do: Boswellia is best taken as an oral supplement. You want to look for a high concentration of boswellic acids, since this is the active ingredient.
After you have suffered with the painful and often debilitating symptoms of arthritis, it can feel so tempting to just throw up your hands and give up. Why even try when nothing ever works?
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But don’t let your own mind talk you out of trying these remedies which have provided so many others with arthritis relief!
Rather, just pick out one remedy to try. Then tune in to your body so you can notice subtle signs of relief. Small changes today can add up to much bigger changes tomorrow or a week from today.
If you have questions after reading this article, please post them in the comments section here. We will do our best to answer all of your questions in the order received for the benefit of everyone.