Tag Archives: Arthritis

The use of herbs for arthritis healing and pain is becoming accepted and popular all over the world. Used since ancient times by Chinese homeopaths, herbs offer many pain relieving and circulatory benefits. Most of these herbs, when combined with a healthy diet and exercise, can alleviate your need for narcotic pain relievers.

What is Arthritis?

Do you wonder what arthritis is? If so, you are not alone. Many people suffer intense pain but do not know that they have arthritis. There are many types of arthritis, two of the main types being Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis is a painful inflammation or changes in joint tissue. If your condition has been diagnosed as osteoarthritis, herbs can help with circulatory problems and digestion.

Rheumatoid arthritis is the second major form of the disease. This type of arthritis is caused by an autoimmune problem. Inflammation will be very painful and could be deforming. Herbs are also effective for addressing this severe form of arthritis. The herbs used will include those for circulation and digestion as well as herbs for boosting the immune system and herbs that ease inflammation.

Herbs for Digestion

Healthy digestion is a very important factor for people who suffer from arthritis. Many times a person with arthritis is unable to digest calcium and minerals from the foods they eat. In these cases, herbalists use enzymes to help with digestion. These enzymes can be digested before your meal and will help your body absorb the calcium and minerals it needs. An herbal concoction of bitters works well to help with digestion. Several different herbs are combined with bitters, which is an alcohol derivative.

Magnesium is an extremely important mineral for arthritis. This mineral is one that cannot be absorbed by many people with the disease. However, there are herbs for arthritis that can help your body absorb magnesium. Nettles, fennel, sage and marjoram, along with parsley and alfalfa, can be utilized by arthritis suffers. These herbs will help relieve muscle cramps caused by a lack of magnesium in your system.

Silica can be taken to improve calcium absorption and it will help improve bone density. Horse tail is a great source of silica and is used in many arthritis preparations.

Topical Herbs for Arthritis

There are also several good topical herbs for arthritis pain relief. The best is also the strangest and is usually performed by an herbalist. The technique, called moxabustion, involves the use of the mugwort root. Herbalists grind this herb into a powder and roll it in paper much like a cigarette. One end of the rolled herb is lit. After the lit end turns red the ground mugwort root will be passed back and forth very close to the affected area. The area will redden and the herbalist will move to another spot.

As mentioned, this technique is most often performed by an experienced professional. Although Moxa sticks can be found in many Chinese stores you should never attempt this treatment by yourself.

Herbs for arthritis can be extremely helpful in treatment and stabilization of the disease. Discussing your options with your doctor will help you find the best way to reduce the pain and gain control of your joints.

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The ancient wisdom of Chinese herbal medicine provides answers to the insidious effects of arthritis, which slowly cripple and deform, through a relentless attack on joints and surrounding tissue.

Approximately one in five Australians experience symptoms of arthritis due to various causes. The main forms of arthritis that afflict us as we age are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Joint degeneration in OA usually begins after the age of 30 and mainly affects weight bearing joints including the lower back and hips but also attacks joints like shoulders, fingers and toes. The disease is characterised by the loss of protective cartilage covering the ends of bone and consequent damage to underlying bone. OA predominantly affects men under the age of 45 and women over this age. 80% of people over the age of 50 are afflicted to some degree with OA.

RA is a chronic disease affecting 1 - 3% of the population with women outnumbering men 3:1. Onset is usually gradual and commonly occurs between the ages of 20 - 40, involving mainly the hands, feet, wrists, ankles and knees. Acute forms of RA can occur at any age and damage to affected joints and surrounding tissue can be swift.

To successfully treat the complex symptomatology associated with chronic degenerative arthritis a unique and holistic approach is required. Certain Chinese herbs like Acanthopanax and Eucommia have the unique ability to not only relieve inflammation and pain but also to help restore healthy connective tissue and cartilage. Supporting these benefits is the ability of both herbs to promote the elimination of waste material from joints and to tonify the Liver and the Kidneys.

From a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective 'tonifying the Liver and Kidney organ-meridian systems' strengthen their associated tissues - the bones, muscles and connective tissue. Adding Boswellia to this combination invigorates the Blood and promotes the free flow of Qi (energy) through the meridian channels, preventing 'wind' or migrating pain from 'lodging in the joints'. Boswellia is clinically proven to inhibit inflammation, relieve pain and improve blood supply in OA and RA.

Swelling, which also causes pain, is defined as 'dampness' in TCM. Herbs to eliminate 'damp' include Clematis, Gentiana, Angelica and Ledebouriella. These four herbs reinforce and sustain many of the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, circulatory stimulant, muscle relaxant, detoxifying and connective tissue restorative effects when used in combination with the above mentioned herbs.

Paul Keogh ND, DMH is a Naturopath, Medical Herbalist and Technical Director for Fusion Health™. Paul regularly reviews the benefits of vitamins and supplements and discusses health conditions and goals. Fusion Health™ products, discount vitamins and supplements can be found online.