Arthritis generally comes in two forms of osteoarthritis and inflammatory-arthritis. For this article, we will discuss inflammatory-arthritis and natural herbal alternatives for reducing swelling and pain. The popular option for controlling arthritis pain is taking prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; these drugs have been linked to cardiovascular, kidney, and liver disease. If that doesn’t sound appealing, natural alternatives are available for inflammatory arthritis. Herbs like Boswellia, ginger, skullcap, turmeric, acacia, hops, holy basil, feverfew, and white willow bark. Fortunately, supplement manufacturers have learned about the anti-inflammatory properties of these herbs and do make them in various combinations to help relieve swelling and pain.
The first one on the list is Boswellia, has a long history of use as a mild anti-inflammatory herb for joint pain and stiffness, and noted by herbalists of its effectiveness. The primary compound in Boswellia known for its anti-inflammatory effect is boswellic acid, when purchasing Boswellia always look for products standardized to boswellic acid. Ginger root has been known for its anti-inflammatory effects as well, ginger inhibits the production of the immune-system components called cytokines which cause inflammation in the body. Ginger is also known as a COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitor in suppressing prostaglandin synthesis which would reduce inflammation in the body. Ginger also stimulates circulation helping the body bring vital blood and nutrients to the inflamed areas of the body. Skullcap is used in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory herb.
Turmeric is also known as Curcumin has been used in Asia, India, China, Central, and South America as an anti-inflammatory herb for many years. The curcuminoids in turmeric have been clinically proven to reduce inflammation. Turmeric is also a potent antioxidant good for fighting free radical damage which tends to cause inflammation in the body. Acacia and hops are both traditionally used for inflammation and pain.
Feverfew since the first century has been used for the treatment of headaches, fever, menstrual discomfort, arthritis, and other aches and pains. According to a clinical trial study in England, feverfew when taken for three to four months can reduce the severity and frequency of migraines and other sorts of pain. Feverfew acts in a manner like the class of pain relievers known as COX-2 inhibitors, feverfew also reduces the absorption of thymidine by white blood cells, this will reduce the rate at which leukotrienes are produced which is an inflammatory chemical in the body.
Finally, white willow bark has been used like aspirin as a painkiller without the aspirin side effects. White willow has been used for fever, colds, minor infections, acute and chronic rheumatic disorders, mild headaches, and pain caused by inflammation. According to a clinical study done on white willow bark in England, researchers at the center for Complementary Health Studies at the University of Exeter gave eighty-two participants with chronic arthritic pain either Reumalex, herbal supplement with white willow, or placebo. After two months the white willow herb proved to be superior to the placebo pill.
This is by far a complete list of herbs good for reducing inflammation in the body, but it is a good start to help you on your way to recovering from inflammatory arthritis. As always, the statements in this article are not intended to diagnose, treat and cure or prevent disease please consult your health care physician before discontinuing medication or introducing herbs into your diet if you are currently on medication of any kind.