Herbs for your joints

Sadly a great number of people are afflicted with joint pain.  There are a number of reasons but today I am going to talk about Arthritis.  The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.  Osteoarthritis causes the breakdown of cartilage while rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that targets the lining of the joints.The pain and swelling can prevent you from doing the things you want to do.  There are many medications that can help with this.  For those that want to try something a little more herbal, here are some herbs that can help.

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Borage

Borage is my very favourite little known herb.  Little known in modern times that is.  Borage has been in use for centuries and was a staple for the Roman army.

Borage is a rich source of Omega 6 fatty acids.  It helps your body fight off inflammation, improves your immune system and protects your cells.

Several studies have been done and there is evidence that the Gamma linolenic acid in borage oil is beneficial for the signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

 Turmeric

Turmeric

The active ingredient in turmeric is a substance called Curcumin.  Although it can be found in other herbs, turmeric has the highest level of curcumin.  

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory.  Inflammation is thought to be the cause of most disease and is absolutely associated with arthritis.  The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can reduce the swelling and pain of the joints.  The antioxidants in turmeric can protect the cells from further damage.

 canstockphoto0958188 Arnica

Arnica

Arnica Montana is also known as Wolf’s Bane.  Sorry I just love the cool old names for herbs and like to toss them in wherever I can.

Arnica is poisonous when ingested but when used topically it is one of the best pain relievers on the market.  Arnica targets the source of the pain.  It takes a few minutes but suddenly you will realize the pain is gone.  A number of anecdotal statements on the effectiveness of Arnica for arthritis pain exist.  Although I do not have arthritis, I can testify to it’s usefulness as a pain reliever.  For arthritis it can ease the pain and stiffness of the joints.

 ginger

Ginger

The major benefit of using ginger for arthritis is that it is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  Gingers anti-inflammatory benefits include Rheumatoid Arthritis.  In a study in 2012 it was found that ginger supplements worked as well as steroids for reducing inflammation in synovial cells.  Arthritis today even suggests ginger capsules as a treatment for inflammation. 

Cautions

As with most herbs, anyone taking Warfarin or blood thinners needs to check with their doctor before taking ANY herbal supplement. 

The caution with Borage oil is that it contains some pyrrolizidine alkaloids which can effect the liver.  People with pre-existing liver problems should avoid using borage.   

Turmeric has been known to cause stomach issues if taken in excessive amounts.  It can also cause allergic reactions. 

Now for the important cautions and warnings for Arnica.

****Arnica should never ever be taken orally.  There is an oral homeopathic arnica but I would never recommend this to anyone.  Arnica is poisonous when ingested.  Topical arnica is amazing and is easily available at most drugstores.  The warning the manufacturers fail to provide is NEVER USE ARNICA ON BROKEN SKIN.  It effects blood cells, can cause irritation and make the problems worse. 

Ginger side effects include increased chance of bleeding and possibly lowering blood sugar levels.  Please check with your doctor. 

There are many herbal pain relievers, anti-inflammatories and anti-oxidants.  These are just a few. 

THIS BLOG IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR. 

Reference:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/basics/definition/con-20034095

http://www.arthritis-relief-naturally.com/borage-oil.html

http://www.arthritistoday.org/arthritis-treatment/natural-and-alternative-treatments/supplements-and-herbs/supplement-guide/ginger.php