Ease achy, inflamed joints with these proven botanical medicines
Arthritis literally means “joint inflammation,” but medically it also refers to more than 100 different rheumatic diseases that cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in joints or connective tissue. One form of arthritis or another afflicts 50 million Americans, and it’s the most prevalent cause of disability in people 65 and older.
Osteoarthritis (OA) develops from excessive wear to the cartilage between joints, commonly affecting athletes and older people who have “worn out” their joints. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), on the other hand, is an autoimmune disease, meaning the body’s immune system attacks itself, causing pain and inflammation. RA can strike any joint—regardless of how much or little it’s been used—at any age. Here are some of the best herbs to use for relieving arthritis symptoms.
Turmeric is a staple in Ayurvedic medicine for treating arthritis. It works, in part, by inhibiting an enzyme in the body called cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). When the body overproduces COX-2, chronic inflammation and pain are the result.
A study published in Inflammopharmacology tested turmeric extract for knee arthritis. The herb was shown to improve symptoms significantly compared to a placebo. Use up to 10 grams of powdered turmeric, in capsules, per day. Use it liberally in cooking too. You can make a turmeric tea by mixing 1 tsp. of turmeric with honey to form a paste, then adding hot water.
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