Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Taking the Right Herbs for Arthritis

By Kaye Fretz

Have you heard about herbs for arthritis? Although there is no natural or synthetic cure for arthritis, there are ways and means to help reduce the pain and swelling caused by arthritis. One way is to take some helpful herbs. Here are some of the possible herbs you may want to take.

-Stinging Nettle- This herb has a similar effect as NSAIDs. It reduces inflammation since it has anti inflammatory properties. It also contains boron which is a mineral which is especially recommended for arthritis patients. Nettle leaves can be steamed and eaten to relieve arthritis inflammation.

-Devil's Claw- The claw-like shape of this herb's fruits is the reason behind its unusual name. The herb originates from Africa and is good relief for pain and arthritis swelling. There is also some experiential evidence that the herb can assist in promoting greater joint movement.

-Ginger- This common herb is also good relief for inflammation and pain. The best thing about it is that it apparently has no side effects. Ginger is easily available and can be drunk as tea or eaten mixed with food or dish sauce.

-Celery- Another ingredient found in the kitchen that can be used for arthritis relief is celery. Early European settlers introduced this herb to the North American continent. The herb has anti-inflammatory substances and potassium which is beneficial for arthritis patients.

-Red Pepper- No herbs for arthritis list will be complete without red pepper. This is probably one of the most well known natural pain relievers that is useful even to those who do not have arthritis. Capsaicin which makes peppers taste hot can also help hamper the perception of pain. It also causes the release of more endorphins which are natural pain relievers in the body. Another compound in red peppers is salicylate which closely mimics aspirin.

-Alfalfa- Arthritis patients receive vitamin and mineral nourishment from alfalfa. This herb is also a diuretic. Alfalfa in tea form is a good supplement for arthritis patients. It is advisable though for arthritis sufferers not to take it in its powder form since it can worsen the symptoms of the condition.

-Angelica- Among the Chinese, the more popular species is the dong quai. Angelica tea can be taken to relieve pain and inflammation.

These are only some of the herbs used for arthritis. There are many others that are considered beneficial for people suffering from arthritis symptoms. Although many people swear by the benefits of natural arthritis relief options, it is still important to be careful with the use of herbs. Some herbs may interact with medications that you may be taking for arthritis or some other medical condition.

Another danger to herbs is the lack of dosage standards. Various people suggest different ways and quantities of taking herbs. There is always a danger that you could take too much or too little of herbs.

Herbs should not be taken without your doctor's advice. The safest way to take herbs for arthritis is with your doctor's knowledge and consent.

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