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Natural Home Remedies for Arthritis

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

If you or someone around you is suffering from arthritis, you are already familiar with the repercussions it can have on the daily lives of people.  

home remedies for arthritis

The term arthritis means ”joint inflammation”. It refers to the group of conditions that affect the joints. It is a common condition that causes swelling and pain in the joints. A joint is nothing but the junction where two bones connect.  

Arthritis can occur in men, women, and children of all age groups. Arthritis can be of different kinds; while it primarily affects joints, it can also occur in organs like your heart, eyes, and skin. The symptoms can range from mild to severe.1,2  

An early diagnosis can help you start the treatment early, which will help you prevent the condition from worsening or causing permanent joint damage. In addition, there are plenty of home remedies that you can use to manage your symptoms and live a less painful life. Some of the remedies are discussed below.  

For osteoarthritis, it is recommended to maintain an ideal weight, avoid overusing joints that are damaged and follow a specific plan of exercise that strengthens the muscles supporting the joint to prevent its progression.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D.

What Causes Arthritis? 

Causes of arthritis 

There are different types of arthritis, and for most of them, the causes are not fully known. You might develop arthritis if you  

  • Do a job or play a certain sport that puts stress on a particular joint repeatedly 
  • Someone in your family has arthritis 
  • You had a severe viral infection or autoimmune disease.1  

Types of arthritis 

  • Gout: Gout is caused due to accumulation of uric acid in the joints. It can affect most joints, but it is most common in the big toe. 
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis: It is arthritis of the spine. It is accompanied by pain, redness, heat, and swelling along the spine or at the bottom where the spine connects with the pelvic bone.  
  • Juvenile arthritis: Swelling of the joints seen in children is called as juvenile arthritis.  
  • Osteoarthritis: This type usually affects older people and affects the finger, hip, and knee joints. A joint injury can also lead to osteoarthritis.  
  • Psoriatic arthritis: This type of arthritis occurs in people with psoriasis.  
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: The body’s immune system is overactive and starts attacking the joints of hands and feet. In the long run it also affects other internal organs like the lungs, eyes, etc. 
  • Reactive arthritis: This type of arthritis is the result of an infection. It is often accompanied by swelling in the urinary tract and swollen eyes.2  

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies for Body Pain

Symptoms of Arthritis: 

The symptoms of arthritis vary with the type of arthritis. However, there are some symptoms come to any arthritis. Common symptoms of arthritis are: 

  • Fever  
  • Skin rash or itchiness  
  • Pain, stiffness, swelling, redness, and heat in the joints 
  • Weight loss  
  • Difficulty moving the joint1,2  

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For Heel Pain

Aloe vera which is available as many forms for intake also has very high anti inflammatory properties. Reasearch shows that daily intake of aloevera orally either as juice or leaves reduces the pain in long-term.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Suggested Home Remedies for Arthritis: 

You can use these home remedies to manage and relieve the symptoms of arthritis. Some of the herbs mentioned bellow can be used as homemade remedies for arthritis.  

1. Turmeric:  

Turmeric or haldi is a household remedy used for many health conditions in the country. It is an effective remedy to reduce the swelling of the joints due to its potent anti-inflammatory activity. Curcumin is the active component responsible for its anti-inflammatory activity.  Turmeric is also an effective pain-relieving remedy. It is one of the most recommended remedies to relieve rheumatoid arthritis.3  You can simply add a pinch of turmeric in your dishes. For example, it can be added to soups, vegetables, lentils, and other food preparations. Typically, it is used in most dishes in almost every Indian household.  

2. Ginger: 

Ginger is an effective ayurvedic medicine used for thousands of years for many ailments. It is also frequently used in other traditional systems of medicine. It helps by reducing swelling and providing pain relief. You can use ginger in various soups, salads, and sauces.3  Ginger has active compounds like gingerol and shogaol, responsible for the anti-inflammatory benefits.4  

3. Boswellia:  

Boswellia is a herbal medicine used since thousands of years in Ayurveda for arthritis. Boswellia might help relieve swelling and pain of arthritis because of its active compound called Boswellic acid.3 Boswellia is available in the form of topical creams and tablets. You must consult your healthcare provider before starting with any such health supplements.  

4. Ashwagandha: 

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian ginseng in English, is a potent medicinal herb with many health benefits. To relieve arthritis, mix equal amounts of ashwagandha powder, sesame, and kapikachu seeds. Mix it thoroughly. You can take this mixture with warm milk can help relieve problems like arthritis. It helps relieve tiredness and fatigue in people with arthritis because of its rejuvenating property.5   

5. Alsi: 

Alsi or linseed seeds can be used to ease arthritis. To use alsi seeds, soak them in buttermilk. Let them rest through the night. You can make a paste using the soaked seeds the next day. Apply this paste over the joints. Applying this paste regularly can help relieve joint pain.5   

Also Read: Steer Clear: A List of Foods to Avoid with Gout

6. Guduchi: 

Guduchi or Indian Tinospora has numerous health benefits in conditions like diabetes, fever, and stomach illnesses. It is also a beneficial remedy for arthritis. You can drink guduchi juice regularly to relieve symptoms of arthritis.5 The anti-inflammatory benefits of guduchi help reduce the swelling in the joints.6  

7. Masha: 

Masha or black grams offer many health benefits. You can make a paste using black gram powder and sesame oil. Mix these ingredients to make a fine paste. The paste can be applied to the joints to relieve the pain and inflammation that accompanies arthritis. It is a valuable remedy for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.5  

8. Diet changes: 

Eating healthy will help you maintain the right weight for your age and height and reduce unnecessary pressure on your joints. Less pressure can relieve some pain associated with arthritis.5 You can follow a healthy diet plan by involving the following in your diet practice  

  • Following a balanced diet 
  • Involve foods rich in unsaturated fats. Examples are avocados, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. 
  • Follow a Mediterranean diet. A Mediterranean diet involves pulses, fish, olive oil, fruits, vegetables, and nuts. 
  • Eat more omega 3 fatty acids. Fish is a good source.  
  • Calcium-rich dairy foods. Example yoghurt, milk, and cheese.7  

Avoid the following in your diet  

  • Saturated fats. For example, red meat, full-fat dairy, and poultry. 
  • A high amount of purines. For example, meat, kinds of seafood, and foods that have yeast. 
  • Sugary, fatty foods that have less energy.7 

9. Exercise:  

One of the most effective ways to manage arthritis is regular exercise. It is important to find the exercise that works best for you, one which you enjoy doing, so that you regular with it. The type of arthritis can help you find suitable physical activity. Regular exercise can help you by 

  • Making the muscles strong enough to support joints 
  • Helping maintain balance 
  • Reducing the tension and the stiffness in your joints 
  • Reducing joint pain 
  • Helping with depression and fatigue 
  • Boosting your mood and energy levels 
  • Improving sleep quality 
  • Keeping you active.7 

When you start any exercise program, you might experience some pain. Some amount of pain is normal. However, if you are experiencing pain lasting for more than two hours, you need to consult your physiotherapist or doctor before continuing with further exercise.5  

  • In the case of osteoarthritis, choose a moderate exercise program and not a strenuous one.  
  • If you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, establish a balance between the amount of exercise and rest.7  

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies For Neck Pain

When to Seek Medical Help: 

You must consult with your doctor if you experience joint pain and stiffness for no apparent reason, which lasts for more than a few days and results in swelling, stiffness, and warmth at the joints. If you contact your healthcare provider on the first onset of symptoms, you can prevent the condition from worsening and prevent long-term damage.7  

Conclusion: 

Arthritis is a severe yet common condition that can present with severe or mild symptoms. It can affect all age groups but is typically seen in the elderly. Arthritis has many types and different symptoms depending on the variant. If you or someone around you suffering from arthritis, you are aware of the loss of quality of life. However, it is possible to make some lifestyle changes and live a comfortable life. You can use herbs like Turmeric, Ginger, Ashwagandha, Guduchi, Alsi, and Boswellia to manage the symptoms of arthritis at home. In addition, exercise and diet changes can help you improve your quality of life.  

Also Read: Doctor-Approved Home Remedies For Vertigo

Frequently Asked Questions:  

What are the natural remedies for arthritis at home? 

Natural remedies for arthritis are turmeric, ginger, boswellia, ashwagandha, alsi, masha (black gram), and guduchi. You can use these herbs at home to relieve the symptoms of arthritis.3,5   

What is arthritis home treatment? 

Home treatments for arthritis are exercising regularly under the guidance of a physiotherapist, losing weight if you are overweight and making suitable diet changes to maintain your height-appropriate weight. You can also use herbs like turmeric, ginger, and ashwagandha in your diet to help with arthritis.3-5  

Can arthritis cause other complications? 

Complications of arthritis include reduced quality of life due to pain and immobility, leading to fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Some types of arthritis can increase your risk of developing heart diseases, lung diseases, and diabetes. The loss of physical activity due to arthritis may lead to social isolation, dependence, and loss of function.7 

Can I prevent arthritis? 

You can reduce the risk of developing arthritis if you  
Do regular, low impact exercise 
Reduce joint injuries 
Maintain a healthy body weight 
Avoid tobacco and tobacco-related products1 

Is running a feasible exercise for people with arthritis? 

Running may be difficult for people with arthritis. You can try brisk walking instead. You can consult your doctor before starting with any exercise; they will be able to suggest an exercise that works best for you.7  

Are there risk factors for arthritis? 

There are many risk factors that increase the chances of arthritis, which are 
Age: Older people are more prone to arthritis. 
Weight: Obesity can put stress on your joints. 
Lifestyle: Lack of exercising and smoking increase the risk of arthritis. 
Sex:  Women are more prone to arthritis than men.1 

References: 

1. Cleveland Clinic. Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes, Types & Treatment [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 2]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12061-arthritis 

2. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease. What is Arthritis & What Causes it? [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 2]. Available from: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/arthritis 

3. Ravikumar C. Herbal Remedy for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research. 2014;6(9):310–2. Available from: http://www.mchemist.com/proflexplus/pdf/boswellia,%20ginger,%20turmeric%206.pdf 

4. Mashhadi NS, Ghiasvand R, Askari G, Hariri M, Darvishi L, Mofid MR. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence. International Journal of Preventive Medicine [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2022 Jun 10];4(Suppl 1):S36. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23717767/ 

5. Ayush Division. Ayurveda offering Herbal healing. Available from: https://www.esic.nic.in/attachments/publicationfile/7d11b02e5abb4717d53b4ce05efabd21.pdf 

6. Patgiri B, Umretia BL, Vaishnav PU, Prajapati PK, Shukla VJ, Ravishankar B. Anti-inflammatory activity of Guduchi Ghana (aqueous extract of Tinospora Cordifolia Miers.). Ayu [Internet]. 2014 [cited 2022 Jun 10];35(1):108. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25364210/ 

7.  Healthdirect. Arthritis – causes, symptoms, and treatment. [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 2]. Available from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/arthritis  

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