Arthritis is a painful, irritating and often debilitating disease that affects millions of people around the world. So it comes as no surprise that most vitamin and supplement manufacturers offer some sort of "treatment" or "miracle cure" to cash in on peoples desperation for relief. While there is clinical research that supports the efficacy of certain alternative treatments, the majority of natural arthritis remedies are nothing more than slick marketing ploys and empty promises. Below are some natural solutions to ease arthritis pain that are backed up by solid clinical research and often thousands of years of traditional use.
Exercise and a healthy diet are the most important aspects of relieving arthritis pain. Experts agree that our joints are alleviated of four pounds of pressure for every pound we shed and some people will see their symptoms disappear altogether with a 10 to 20 pound reduction in weight. It is important to choose an exercise that won't further stress the affected joints. Tai Chi is a gentle and safe activity for people with arthritis and countless studies, along with hundreds of years of practical experience in China, have shown that it is very effective at reducing the pain and suffering associated with arthritis.
Another effective treatment from China is acupuncture. Although there is little research with rheumatoid arthritis, studies have shown acupuncture is very effective at easing the pain of osteoarthritis. Traditional Chinese Medical doctors claim acupuncture works by influencing and balancing the life energy that flows throughout the body. By stimulating specific points located on the channels of energy called meridians, blockages are released and balance is restored thus healing the body of illness. Western clinical research has indicated that relief from acupuncture is a result of natural pain killing hormones, such as endorphins, being released due to stimulation of sensory receptors. Whatever the explanation, the results are less pain and misery for arthritis sufferers.
Omega-3 fatty acids such as those found in fish oil have been shown to have anti inflammatory properties. Several studies suggest that fish oil supplements decrease the stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil also helps to prevent heart disease which people with rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk for developing.
Research into several different natural anti-inflammatory herbs has shown great promise for arthritis sufferers.
Turmeric, a spice common to Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. In one study, the active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin, was actually more effective than the pharmaceutical medication. There are many supplement companies marketing turmeric capsules but using the spice available at any grocery store is just as effective and cheaper. Always purchase non-irradiated and certified organic turmeric.
The herb Boswellia has also been shown to reduce inflammation and improve the immune system. The immune system is often compromised in people with rheumatoid arthritis. Boswellia is available in capsule form from any health food store but do your research and purchase from a reputable manufacturer. When it comes to buying herbs, quality and potency are of the utmost importance and many manufacturers use inferior grade ingredients with little or no healing value.
Shilajit, a member of the herbal remedies from India, has been used successfully for centuries to treat pain and inflammation. It is believed to be a cure for all forms of arthritis and a powerful immune system booster. It is also said to repair and rebuild damaged tissue and promote healthy bones and joints. It is rich in fulvic acid which has been called natures greatest anti-oxidant and alkalizer. Studies have shown that an overly acidic diet can aggravate arthritis. There are some modern clinical studies that have confirmed Shilajit's use as an arthritis treatment but most of these studies have been conducted on animals. Still, centuries of traditional use indicate pure shilajit could be an arthritis sufferers best friend. The most potent form of shilajit available is the authentic black gooey tar-like substance which is collected high in the Himalayan mountain range. It has an unpleasant taste but is considered to be superior to the standardized extract powders available in capsule form. So far no negative side effects have been reported from shilajit. Before using any herb or natural health supplement always consult your doctor or health care professional.