When joint cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone, causing arthritis. Sounds painful? It is.
Arthritis seriously impairs the quality of life for 27 million Americans. Given that osteoarthritis is so disabling, painful and common, there are plenty of ridiculous claims out there, from shark cartilage to copper jewelry to snake venom. But here are some natural remedies that research suggests may actually help reduce arthritis pain.
1. Castor oil has many powerful medicinal and curative powers. There is a component called ricinoleic acid found in castor oil that has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties which can help relieve arthritis pain. Gently massage a little castor oil on the affected area, you will need to do this twice a day to reduce pain. Or, you can boil 2 tablespoons of castor oil and add it to a glass of fresh orange juice, if you drink this juice before breakfast everyday you will notice an improvement in your condition within 2 weeks.
Caution: Castor oil is also a laxative so do not drink too much castor oil or for too long.
2. Fenugreek seeds – Research has shown that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of fenugreek, also known as methi, could help treat inflammation associated with arthritis (i). Soak 1 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds in water overnight. The next morning, eat the seeds and throw away the water, do this daily for a few months.
3. Turmeric – Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, turmeric is another popular ingredient for treating hand arthritis. Turmeric also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of hot milk along with a little honey and drink once a day. Alternatively, heat approximately a quart of water adding 1 tablespoon of turmeric powder and boil the solution for 10 minutes. Drink the cooled water daily.
4. Olive Oil – Olive oil is said to help prevent arthritis. Olive oil has a special compound called oleocanthal present which helps prevent the production of pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. Olive oil can also be used as a massage oil for your hands and fingers. Add a few drops of lavender oil to some warm olive oil and massage the affected area with gentle strokes to stop discomfort and inflammation. Using olive oil for cooking food can also help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
5. Honey and Cinnamon – Honey and cinnamon powder both have excellent healing properties, honey is known for its antiseptic qualities and cinnamon is a great anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. By mixing the two together you will get a great natural way to treat arthritis in hands and help relax stiff muscles. Mix 1 tablespoon of honey and 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon powder. Consume this mixture every morning on an empty stomach for several weeks or until you find relief.
5. Epsom Salt – is good for reducing the stiffness, inflammation and pain linked with arthritis. It is high in magnesium which is important for bone health, many patients suffering with arthritis have demineralized bones. Magnesium also helps to decrease nerve pains. Mix 2 cups of Epsom salt in warm bath water. Soak your hands in it for 20 to 30 minutes. Do this 3 times a week for several weeks or until you are happy with the results.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar – is anti-inflammatory and has alkaline forming properties that can help reduce pain and stiffness in the hands from arthritis. Drink a glass of warm water mixed with 1 tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar and some honey every day. You can also try mixing either one-quarter of a cayenne pepper or mix 1.5 teaspoon of cayenne pepper in 1 cup of warm apple cider vinegar. Soak the painful joint in it for about 15 minutes and then rinse it off. Repeat daily until you see improvement.
7. Ice Pack – This is good for those suffering with hand arthritis. To lessen irritation and reduce soreness, use ice packs, a plastic bag filled with crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables. Apply regularly onto the sore hands and fingers. Please remember that different people may respond differently to cold therapy. All you need to do is put the ice pack on the affected area for a few minutes and then repeat. Repeat several times a day for about 20 minutes (make sure to put a thin towel between the ice pack and the skin to prevent frostbite).
Exercises and physical therapies will also surely help you have better joint movement in your fingers and hands.