Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition that affects over 1.3 million Americans and one percent of the world’s population. In fact, it affects women up to three times more often and women are more likely to develop it sooner in life.
Rheumatoid arthritis is caused when antibodies attack the fluid of the synovial joint, resulting in chronic inflammation. It is the third most common type of arthritis and affects every sufferer differently. Currently, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis, but research revealed that it occurs as a result of an autoimmune disorder.
Pain, stiffness, and swelling of the joints are all commonly known symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If you begin to experience stubborn joint pains often lasting over 30 minutes, you should consider getting diagnosed and treated. Whether health care is not available to you or you just prefer not to use medication, know that there are other treatment options for you.
Clove buds go back thousands of years to ancient China where they were used in seasonal and holiday recipes. Inside of its hard shell, it contains an oil. The oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have also found that it can help prevent new inflammation from occurring.
It can be found as a liquid extract, powdered as a spice, or in the form of a pill supplement. If you do not mind the taste, you can add it as a spice to many different foods. Use the clove buds to combat inflammation, the root of rheumatoid arthritis pain.
Garlic is known to be helpful in treating many health conditions. It has been clinically supported that garlic can be used to treat diabetes, colds, and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few. It strengthens the immune system and has anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, it can reverse the effects of nephrotoxicity, a side effect of drugs commonly prescribed for arthritis treatment.
A study in 1999 observed the effects of garlic on 30 patients who suffered from rheumatoid arthritis. They found that the garlic improved many of their symptoms with no side effects.
Thunder God Vine
Used in Chinese medicine, Thunder God Vine is another remedy with origins in Asia. Taken orally as a supplement for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, the plant can be used to reduce pain and inflammation.
The effectiveness of Thunder God Vine has been met with mixed results. In fact, the best result came when it was being used in conjunction with methotrexate. It is important to monitor any side effects of this plant and to only use the root since the other parts are toxic.
Originating in China, willow bark spread across the world as many began to see its medicinal properties, especially when combatting rheumatoid arthritis. Willow bark is known to relieve pain and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Even Hippocrates advised his patients to chew on the bark for relief from the pain and inflammation. Willow bark is effective because it contains the compound salicin, which is similar to aspirin.
A study was conducted to observe willow barks effect on back pain. Participants were given different dosages of willow bark. At the end of the study, they reported relief and some even became free of pain.
Green Tea Leaves
Green tea leaves have been used for medicine for centuries since they contain strong antioxidants. The Arthritis Foundation found that the polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties.
University of Michigan scientists found evidence supporting claims that the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in green tea can benefit those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. ECGC has also been found to potentially help protect cartilage and bones.
The benefits of green tea leaves can be received by brewing and drinking it. It is best to let it steep for three to five minutes.
Ginger spice is known for being a way to treat upset stomachs and nausea. However, it can also be used for decreasing pain and inflammation.
The University of Miami did a study that concluded that ginger extract may even become a substitute for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Their study’s participants experienced a reduction in joint pain and stiffness when ginger was used.
Ginger can be consumed through capsules, teas, oils, or foods made directly from the root of the plant. The most effective method is to take it in capsules because it is in one of its purest forms.
Originally used traditional Indian medicine for healing, turmeric is known to treat a large variety of ailments. From boosting the brain, to fighting diabetes, to combating depression, turmeric does it all.
Turmeric has an active ingredient called curcumin, which is what gives the yellow powder its anti-inflammatory property. It is made even more effective when eaten with a black pepper as it contains capsaicin, an ingredient known to help with pain and swelling. Since higher doses of curcumin do not absorb well, using a black pepper to increase the absorption of the curcumin in turmeric makes a powerful combo. Try to eat both together as often as you can.
Cinnamon contains both cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid. These ingredients have antioxidant properties. When used with other spices, it may offer an enhanced anti-inflammatory effect, but there is not as enough research to make any definitive conclusions.
Fish oil can be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis symptoms because of its omega-3 fatty acids. These acids block inflammation by being converted into resolvins, powerful anti-inflammatory chemicals, in the body. In addition to inflammation, fish oils can also help with morning stiffness.
Fish oil can be found in the form of capsules, soft gels, chewable tablets, and liquids. Pregnant women should limit fish intake to avoid consuming excess mercury.
Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil comes from the evening primrose plant that is native to North America. The oil is a good source of the essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid, an acid used for many therapeutic treatments.
Evening primrose oil helps relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis because of its ability to suppress inflammatory responses. Plus, it can be taken as a dietary supplement. The other parts of the plant can also be eaten as normal green vegetables or made into a tea for brewing.
Acupuncture is a form of ancient traditional Chinese medicine in which stainless-steel needles are inserted just below the surface of the skin. These needles are inserted in well-known energy channels throughout the body. According to ancient Chinese wisdom, imbalances or blockages in these energy channels can lead to a variety of unpleasant symptoms in the body. The practice of acupuncture is said to release these blockages and allow the energy to flow freely.
Acupuncture can be an effective means of reducing body-wide inflammation in those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. It has been reported that acupuncture also helps boost the number of endorphins produced by the body, which in turn provide a natural source of pain relief.
Hot and Cold Therapy
The application of both heat and cold temperatures have been used for generations in the treatment of many different ailments. While heat can be soothing and relaxing, cold temperatures are often recommended for reducing inflammation to damaged tissues.
Depending on the individual, rheumatoid arthritis can result in different types of pain. Some RA sufferers may experience burning pain. Others may feel discomfort associated with stiffness.
Alternating heat and cold application to areas affected by RA can be very helpful in reducing pain. If a particular joint is feeling stiff and sore, the application of heat can relieve pain by relaxing the surrounding tissues. If the joint is experiencing burning pain, the application of a cold pack can reduce inflammation and the pain that results from it. Just keep in mind that you should always avoid putting heat on joints that are already red or inflamed.
Magnetic therapy has been used in the treatment of pain for many decades. Magnets reportedly help to increase proper circulation throughout the body. When sufficient circulation can occur, it is believed that a reduction in inflammatory markers can reduce pain. Proper circulation helps prevent stiffness and swelling, both of which are major issues for RA sufferers.
Magnetic therapy can be achieved by the application of a number of products containing magnets. Depending on the joints that are affected, magnetic wraps, gloves, bracelets, or necklaces may be useful options for reducing pain and swelling by improving circulation through the affected area.