Arthritis affects one in 7 people in America. Glucosamine, chondroitins and MSM are the most common natural remedies used to manage pain and to supply building materials for joint repair. While these are very helpful, particularly with osteoarthritis, I would like to mention some other natural remedies for arthritis.
One of the best and cheapest remedies is diet. Some basic arthritis causing/aggravating foods are peanuts, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers), soy, wheat, coffee and oranges. Food sensitivities can result in hidden inflammation - as in the kind that is in your joints and causes arthritis over time. Blood type diets are really helpful in identifying foods you should avoid to help your joints hurt less. Diet changes can be as remarkable as any drug or supplement in eliminating joint pain and inflammation throughout the body.
Mineral deficiencies and imbalances contribute to arthritis as does an overly acid body pH. It is easy to test pH with litmus paper strips for urine. Any body that is overly acid will have mineral imbalances that will start coming into balance when pH is balanced.
Some of my favorite arthritis remedies are herbal. I like devils claw and yucca which are anti-inflammatory and cleansing to the joints. The cleansing action is particularly useful in gouty arthritis. Hydrangea is another favorite of mine. It helps break down abnormal calcification. A little hydrangea goes a long way - it is best in combination with other herbs.
Another favorite of mine is boswellia (also known as frankincense). It is excellent as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever. I use the essential oil topically for lower back pain - especially after exercise. One of our best selling pain relievers contains boswellia, devils claw and willow bark – customers report that it relieves their chronic pain.
There are other natural anti-inflammatory herbs known as COX-2 inhibitors - in reference to a specific enzyme that causes inflammation in the body. Much research has been done to identify natural COX-2 inhibitors which do not have the side effects of the prescription drugs such as Celebrex and Vioxx. Well known COX-2 inhibiting herbs include ginger, rosemary, turmeric and boswellia – my favorite combination is called Zyflamend.
Another arthritis remedy is Celadrin. It is an ester of a fatty acid that acts as a lubricant, an immune system modulator and an anti-inflammatory. Clinical trials show phenomenal results. It is thought that Celadrin resets the immune system such that it does not attack and tear down the joints. Several customers have switched to a glucosamine / celadrin formula with very favorable results.
The last natural tidbit for those of you with arthritis is to be careful about using NSAID’s. Non-steriodal anti-inflammatories such as aspirin, acetominophen and ibuprofen interrupt the cartilage repair cycle and do not slow progression of arthritis as some of the natural remedies mentioned above do.
Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas. www.naturalcowgirl.wordpress.com