If you have been experiencing pain and swelling in your joints of fingers, wrists, arms or legs and if the pain gets severe in the morning, it might be a case of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). If you can also hear a cracking noise while moving any of your joints2 and have constant stiffness in it, you may be suffering from Osteoarthritis. When your own immune system becomes your enemy and attacks your body tissues, you get rheumatoid arthritis. Thus it is an autoimmune disease. On the other hand, when the cartilage or the cushion between your bones and joints gets damaged and increases the friction between the bones, you get osteoarthritis. While there is no permanent cure for arthritis (except, of course, joint replacement surgeries), there are many herbal and home remedies to manage the symptoms of arthritis including pain and stiffness. Proper diet, lifestyle changes and these home remedies can save you from becoming immobile and lead a normal life.
Home Remedies for Arthritis
Green Gram Remedy for Arthritis
Green gram or green moong dal (pulse) is a very good remedy for arthritis due to its many beneficial components like vitamin A, B, C and E, iron, calcium, and potassium. It also helps in weight loss, which is one of the pre-requisites for curing arthritis, as it is a low-fat food rich in protein and fibers. If you regularly take green gram moong dal, you can reduce bad cholesterol levels and improve the flexibility of your arteries and veins apart from regulating your blood pressure. So, it seems a good deal to have green gram to manage arthritis and to get added benefits for free!
You will need:
- Green gram- 3 tbsp
- Water- 250 ml
- Garlic cloves- 2
- Salt (optional)- a pinch
- Pepper (optional)- a pinch
- Soak green gram in the water overnight.
- In the morning, take out the soaked green gram from the water.
- Crush the garlic.
- Add the garlic to the green gram.
- Have a handful of this green gram-garlic mix twice a day.
- If you want to make it a little tasty, add salt and pepper to it.
You should have the green moong for at least 2-3 months daily.
Turmeric for Arthritis
Many researches have supported the belief that turmeric reduces pain and inflammation including tenderness and swelling of joints. There are also no side effects of having turmeric. You just need to add a dash of turmeric powder in your gravies and curries to get the benefits. In fact, if you are not allergic to having milk, you must boil a glass of milk with ¼ tsp of turmeric powder and have it before going to bed. If you don’t want to have milk, use water and boil some turmeric with it and have it. Remember, you need to boil turmeric with milk or water and not just add the spice to warm drinks!
Black cumin for Arthritis
Loaded with flavonoids and antioxidants, black cumin can be a perfect anti-inflammatory spice. The salicylic acid in it relieves you from pain too. Use it like below.
- Add 2 tsp of black cumin in a glass of water.
- Boil this mixture until it reduces to ¾ of its original quantity.
- Let it cool down,
- Drink this daily before going to bed and in the morning after waking up.
Fennel for Arthritis
The phytonutrients present in fennel makes it a super spice having antioxidant properties. Anethole, which is the primary component of fennel’s volatile oil, helps in reducing inflammation. Vitamin C in it neutralizes free radicals which in turn prevents pain as well as deterioration of joints seen in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin C also helps in proper functioning of the immune system. Including this spice in your dishes can give you more health benefits that you can imagine. Make fennel tea yourself and enjoy its good taste while eliminating pain and swelling that you get from arthritis.
- Take 1 tsp of fennel seeds and crush them in a mortar and pestle.
- Heat a cup of water (don’t boil it).
- Place the crushed fennel seeds in a cup and pour hot water over it.
- Cover and steep for 10 minutes.
- Have this aromatic tea. You don’t need any added sweetener as fennel seeds are naturally sweet (though only a little sweet).
You may have this tea twice or thrice a day.
Fenugreek Seeds for Arthritis
Fenugreek seeds which are high in fiber and protein have various other beneficial components including iron, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin C, phosphates, flavonoids, saponins, trigonelline, and other alkaloids. Because of their anti-inflammatory properties, these seeds have been traditionally used to get relief from pain due to arthritis and gout too. There are more than one way to have fenugreek seeds for arthritis.
- Soak a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. In the morning, discard the water and chew the seeds. You will feel the bitterness first but gradually you’ll adapt to its taste.
- If you can’t stand the bitter taste of fenugreek seeds while chewing, swallow the seeds with water.
- You can also use fenugreek seeds powder. Mix one tsp of this powder to a cup lukewarm water and have this in the morning on an empty stomach everyday for about 2-3 months.
- You can also use fenugreek powder or seeds in your gravies and curries.
Ginger for Arthritis
Ginger root is one herb that can be called a superfood. Many ancient medicine systems including Chinese, Indian and Arabic herbal medicines have used ginger to not only treat arthritis pain but also for many other medical conditions like diarrhea, nausea, colic, and heart conditions. In one of the studies conducted with 261 people having osteoarthritis in knee, the patients were given ginger extract twice daily and they reported less pain as well as needed fewer pain-killing medications. So, you can, without worry, add ginger to your daily menu. Use it for gravies, teas or chew it raw with some salt. Ayurveda, in fact, recommends a mixture of certain spices with ginger to cure arthritis.
You will need:
- Ginger powder- 50 g
- Fenugreek seeds powder- 50 g
- Turmeric- 50 g
- Mix all the three ingredients- fenugreek, turmeric and ginger powder.
- Store it in an airtight container.
- Every morning and evening, take one tsp of this mixture. You can mix it with warm water and have it.
Mustard Oil- Camphor Massage for Arthritis
Massaging aching and swollen joints with herbal oils is one of the ancient ways to manage arthritis. Here is a recipe for such oil.
You will need:
- Mustard oil- 1 cup
- Camphor- 10 g
- Take mustard oil in a pan.
- Add camphor to this oil.
- Heat the oil till the camphor gets completely dissolved.
- Let it cool down a little till it gets lukewarm.
- Massage your joints gently with this lukewarm oil.
Sesame Seeds for Arthritis
Chinese traditional medicine recommends eating sesame seeds for arthritis relief. Sesame seeds are rich in fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, and copper that help in reducing inflammation and pain.
- Sprinkle a little sesame seeds powder on your choice of dishes and have it during lunch and dinner.
- Soak black sesame seeds in a cup of water overnight. Have this water along with the seeds in the morning.
Juice Remedy for Arthritis
If you have rheumatoid arthritis, you should try to have certain juices on daily basis. The juices that you have must be high in anti-inflammatory components like beta-carotene which is found in parsley, broccoli and spinach; copper which is found in carrots, apples and ginger; pineapple which is rich in the enzyme bromelain. If you have osteoarthritis, you should avoid citrus fruits and certain vegetable juices like those made with potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Here are some suggestion for juices that you may have.
- Carrot, celery, and cabbage Juice having a dash of Parsley.
- Potato juice (only for Rheumatoid Arthritis). Soak thin slices of potatoes with peel in a glass of water overnight. Have this water in the morning.
- Cherry juice.
- Carrot, beet, and cucumber juice
- Radish and garlic juice
Diet Remedy for Arthritis
Proper diet is of utmost importance when you talk about home remedies for arthritis because here you take some food that affects your joints and body inflammation in a negative way, there you’ll lose all the benefits from the herbs and spices you use for getting relief from arthritis. Thus, have a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet having complex carbohydrates from vegetables and grains. This kind of diet helps in reducing the fat in your tiny arteries that supply blood to your joints. This means your joints will get more oxygen, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that you take through various herbs and foods for your arthritis. Here are some diet rules for you to follow.
- To detox, your body, first of all, takes 2 teaspoons of lemon juice mixed in a glass of warm water with 1 teaspoon of honey. Have it twice, in morning and evening.
- Avoid foods that produce gas and lead to bloating. These include cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, lady’s fingers and potatoes.
- Have vegetable juices and soups that are made with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients. For example, juices of carrot beat root and cucumber mixed together is good for you.
- Have a green salad with a simple dressing of lemon juice and a little salt.
- Have fruits like apples, oranges, grapes, papaya etc.
- Have vegetables like squash, zucchini, pumpkin.
- Use such spices as cumin, coriander, ginger, asafetida, garlic, fennel and turmeric while cooking and also as a seasoning for salads, yogurt etc.
- Avoid hot and spicy as well as fried foods, and
- Avoid excessive tea, coffee, alcohol, white sugar, yogurt, chocolate, cocoa, smoking.
Proper diet, certain exercises and herbs as well spices mentioned above can go a long way to give you relief from arthritis.