Arthritis generally comes in two forms osteoarthritis and inflammatory-arthritis. For this article we will discuss inflammatory-arthritis and natural herbal alternatives for reducing swelling and pain. Prescribed non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs are the best option to manage arthritis pain. These drugs have been linked with liver, kidney, and cardiovascular disease. Natural alternatives for inflammatory arthritis are also available. Boswellia and ginger, skullcap, turmeric as well as hops, holy basil and feverfew are all natural options. These herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that supplement manufacturers are now able to use in various combinations to reduce swelling and pain.
Boswellia is the first on this list. It has been used for a long time as an anti-inflammatory herb for stiffness and joint pain. Herbalists have also noted its effectiveness. Boswellic Acid is the main compound in boswellia that has been known to have anti-inflammatory properties. When buying boswellia, make sure you only purchase products that are standardized for boswellic acids. Ginger root is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the production immune-system components called Cytokines, which can cause inflammation in the body. The body would experience less inflammation if ginger was a COX-1 or COX-2 inhibitor. The body can also get vital nutrients and blood to areas that are inflamed by ginger. Traditional Chinese medicine uses Skullcap as an anti-inflammatory herbal. Curcumin, also known as Turmeric, has been used as an anti-inflammatory herb in Asia, India and central America for many years. Clinical studies have shown that turmeric’s curcuminoids reduce inflammation. Turmeric can also be used as an antioxidant to fight free radical damage that can cause inflammation. Hops and Acacia have been used traditionally to treat pain and inflammation. Since the first century, feverfew has been used to treat headaches, pains such as arthritis, menstrual discomfort and fever. A clinical trial in England found that feverfew can be used for up to three to four months to reduce migraines and other types of pain. Feverfew works in the same way as COX-2 inhibitors. It also decreases the absorption thymidine in white blood cells. This will lower the rate at which leukotrienes are produced, which is an inflammatory chemical in our bodies. White willow bark, which is a natural painkiller, has been used in place of aspirin without the side effects. White willow bark has been used to treat fever, colds and minor infections as well as acute and chronic rheumatic conditions, mild headaches and inflammation. A clinical study on white willow bark at the University of Exeter revealed that eighty-two participants suffering from chronic arthritic pain were offered either Reumalex or a herbal supplement with whitewillow. The white willow herb was found to be more effective than the placebo pill after two months.
Although this is not a comprehensive list of herbs that can reduce inflammation, it will help you get started in your journey to inflammatory arthritis recovery. If you are currently taking medication, please consult your doctor before you discontinue medication or introduce herbs to your diet.