Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition which is considered to be a chronic, inflammatory disorder that causes the immune system to attack the joints. This debilitating disease is a disabling and painful inflammatory condition, and can often lead to a major loss of mobility due to pain and joint expiration. Since rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease, it often affects extra-articular tissues throughout the body including the skin, blood vessels, heart, lungs, and muscles.
A number of herbs have been shown to feature significant anti-inflammatory properties. Some herbs also can be potential painkillers as well as being anti-inflammatory in nature. However, further testing of possible herbal remedies is still in the early stages and it would be difficult to tell the true effectiveness of these herbs. A number of promising herbal substitutes for painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are shown below to harbor significant anti-inflammatory properties:.
Birch leaf juice – Acts as a diuretic without irritating the kidney. It is advised to take 1 tablespoon three times daily.
Boswellia – Boswellia, has been investigated for its effects on arthritis. The herb has a unique anti-inflammatory action, and acts much like the conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). People are advised to take 400-800 mg of extract in capsules or tablets three times per day.
Blueberries and cherries – These berries are rich sources of flavonoid molecules, specifically proanthocyanidins. These flavonoids possess membrane and collagen stabilizing, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory actions, including many other functions that are very beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
Celery seeds – These seeds help clear uric acid from the joints of gout and arthritis patients. To prepare, boil 1 tsp. of seeds in 1 cup of water for fifteen minutes, strain and sip.
Dandelion – Noted to dispel uric acid. Take 3 capsules daily, 1 tbsp. juice or 1 cup tea, twice daily for four to six weeks to reduce the frequency and intensity of pain, and to strengthen the connective tissue.
Devil’s claw root – Is known to be effective in reducing the inflammation of connective tissues, as it dispels uric acid.
Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) – Chinese skullcap has proven anti-arthritic and anti Chinese skullcap does not appear to have any adverse effects at therapeutic levels. Its therapeutic-inflammatory actions, similar in effect to the prescription drugs phenylbutazone and indomethacin. action appears to be related to its high content of flavonoid molecules.
Chinese thoroughwax – (Bupleuri falcatum) This root is an important ingredient in various prescriptions in Chinese traditional medicine, particularly remedies for inflammatory conditions.
Ginger – In one significant study, Indian researchers gave three to seven grams of ginger a day to 28 people with rheumatoid arthritis. More than 75 percent of those participating in the study reported at least some relief from pain and swelling.
Feverfew – Feverfew has a long history in traditional herbal treatment circles for the treatment of fever, arthritis and migraine. Extracts of feverfew have indicated greater activity in inhibiting inflammation in experimental studies. Feverfew extracts have been noted to inhibit the synthesis of many pro-inflammatory compounds at their initial stage of synthesis.
Dong quai – This herb is potent for relieving fleeting muscle and joint pains, particularly, if they are worse in damp conditions. Take I tbsp. of dried root juice three times daily.
Along with these herbal concoctions, rheumatologists also advise that treatment for conditions like these also includes rest and physical activity. Regular exercise is required for maintaining joint mobility and strengthening the joint muscles. Swimming is particularly good, since it allows for exercise with a minimum of stress on the joints. Heat and cold compresses are effective modalities that can ease RA symptoms before and after exercise.