Arthritis is a disease with over 100 variations that affects 350 million people around the globe including an alarming number of children. While these numbers may be discouraging, the cheering news is that natural remedies like borax, apple cider vinegar, turmeric, baking soda and blackstrap molasses are quite effective. Home treatments for arthritis can not only relieve pain but prompt the body to heal itself.
Natural remedies for arthritis address the pain, inflammation, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Supportive foods and supplements provide needed materials for the body’s own repair of joint degeneration.
There are many excellent natural remedies for arthritis and they can be tailored to individual needs. It may take a combination of remedies to bring full relief.
11 Home Remedies for Arthritis
Borax is a compound that exists in deposits around the world. It is mined from the earth and used in a variety of commercial and home settings. Borax contains sodium, hydrogen, oxygen and boron. Boron is a mineral required by the body. Higher concentrations of boron are found in strong bones than in weak bones. Boron is needed by the body for proper calcium-magnesium balance, another factor in a healthy skeletal system. This video will provide more extensive information about using borax for arthritis.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw and organic apple cider vinegar provides trace nutrients to the body and helps the body to become more alkaline which reduces pain. 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar can be added to a glass of water. This tonic is consumed once or twice a day. Apple cider vinegar is a popular remedy for weight loss. Losing excess weight often reduces arthritis symptoms and risks.
3. Baking Soda
When an imbalance in the body’s natural pH level is the primary causes of arthritis, baking soda is an effective treatment option. Baking soda helps neutralize the body’s acidic state and return the body to alkalinity. Baking soda also provides carbonates to the body. Baking soda is a popular natural remedy for gout, one form of very painful arthritis.
4. Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is a densely packed food. It contains calcium, magnesium, iron potassium, zinc selenium, and B vitamins to name a few! Nutritional deficiencies are common causes of many diseases. Restoring necessary nutrients to the body can allow it to heal itself. 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 200 mg of calcium, which is 20% of the RDA for calcium for adults 50 and under. Calcium is critical to bone health, and calcium from foods is more easily assimilated into the body. 1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 25% of the RDA of magnesium for adults. Magnesium is necessary for healthy bones and cartilage. Copper is needed by the body to form connective tissue. Blackstrap molasses is a source of copper. Take note of the nutritional content of individual brands of blackstrap molasses. The amounts of nutrients in molasses does vary from brand to brand.
Turmeric is an herbal anti-inflammatory and a wonderful natural pain remedy. It can be taken in capsule form or added to milk. Golden milk is a popular way to take turmeric and is quite palatable. Curcumin in turmeric is they key to turmeric’s anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties. Early studies about the use of curcumin for arthritis are encouraging.1 Turmeric has few side effects, especially when compared to over the counter ani-inflammatory medications.
6. Essential Oils
A number of essential oils have anti-inflammatory properties. Frankincense and peppermint essential oils are each excellent topical treatments for arthritis pain. Frankincense has a long history in herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory. Peppermint essential oil has a cooling effect on the body. Using peppermint and frankincense together makes a pleasant smelling topical pain reliever. While some people use either of these oils “neat,” (undiluted) it is generally recommended to use essential oils with a carrier oil. Coconut oil or castor oil are two great carrier oils for arthritis treatment as each one has its own healing properties.
7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is needed by the joints for the synthesis of collagen. Vitamin C is also a natural anti-inflammatory. Evidence suggests that vitamin C has analgesic properties for those with joint and other pain.2
Sodium ascorbate is the best form of vitamin C to take. It is easier on the stomach and less acidic than the ascorbic acid form.
8. Bone Broth (Gelatin)
Bone broth is gaining popularity as a remedy for many degenerative conditions, including arthritis. Perhaps it would be better to say that it is “regaining” popularity. Generations ago bone broth was a staple in homes and used on a regular basis. Bone broth is made by a low simmering of bones and cartilage for 12-48 hours. During this time the nutrients that make up the bones and joints are extracted. Bone broth is chock full of just the nutrients needed for bone and joint repair! It is not difficult to make bone broth at home. Alternately, gelatin, collagen or store bought bone broth can be used.
9. Weight Loss
Extra pounds cause extra stress to the joints, which promotes pain and degeneration. For every pound that a body is overweight there is a four pound increase in pressure on the knee joints. Someone who carries around only a modest 15 pound excess is placing an extra 60 pounds of force on the knee joints. Additionally, excess fat cells can aggravate arthritis conditions due the the inflammatory chemicals that are produced in the fat cells.3 Losing weight can reduce pressure on joints and reduce the inflammatory response in the body. Losing weight is definitely worth the trouble to improve health on many fronts. Weight loss goes hand in hand with the next important arthritis remedy on this list…
Exercise helps strengthen the body, including the muscles and the bones. Stronger muscles mean there is less stress on and more support for the joints. Exercise also promotes effective circulation. Better circulation allows for the body’s repair mechanisms to take place at a faster rate. Swimming is a wonderful exercise for those with arthritis. Walking is pleasant and more easily available. If your doctor permits, small hand weights can be used to strengthen joints and muscles in the arms. (The legs will be getting the benefit of weight bearing exercise by virtue of carrying the body.)
11. Dietary Changes
Food is the primary vehicle for needed vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to enter the body. Making calories count with healthy and nutrient dense foods gives the body something to work with. Whether arthritis is caused by wear and tear, genetics, obesity, infection, autoimmune diseases, metabolic imbalances or nutritional deficiencies, quality nutrition will support healing or at least can help to slow down the progression of disease. Excessive amounts of sugar and processed foods fill up the body and keep it from getting needed nutrients. They also contribute to obesity, which aggravates arthritis. Supplements may still be necessary and helpful but they will never completely overcome damage done to a body that gets very little nutrition from food.
Some specific nutrients that arthritis suffers need and good sources of them are listed below:
Calcium – kale, milk, milk kefir, cheese, sardines, lentils, almonds
Magnesium – quinoa, black beans, brown rice, tofu, dark chocolate, avocados
Vitamin C – pineapple, strawberries, kiwi fruit, red peppers, papaya, broccoli
Vitamin D – fortified milk, cereal, salmon and tuna
Folate – chickpeas, lentils, broccoli, and spinach
In addition to quality foods, positive dietary changes include plenty of quality liquids. Even mild dehydration can contribute to pain. A well hydrated body feels better. Fluids keep toxins moving out of the body.
Keep coffee and sodas to a minimum. Both can cause the body to be more acidic, making pain worse and contributing to compromised health. Plenty of quality water should be consumed daily. Avoid distilled water as it can leach important minerals from the body, especially the bones.
Herbal tea is a wonderful way to fulfill needs for fluid and nutrition.
Try this nettle infusion daily to boost the intake of nutrients to benefit overall health, including that of the bones.
- 1/4 cup dry nettle leaf
- 4 cups water
Bring water to a near boil. Place nettle leaf in a quart jar. Pour water into jar over the leaf. Allow the tea (an infusion is a strongly brewed tea) to steep without further heat for 12 hours. (Prepare before bed for use the next day.) Strain out the nettle leaf. Lightly sweeten with honey as desired. Consume 4 cups daily. This tea will keep for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Peppermint or spearmint leaf can be added for flavor.
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