Natural Home Remedies for Osteoarthritis
Arthritis is a general term used to identify joint pain or joint disease, while osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body. Joint cartilage, which provides a gliding surface for joint action, breaks down, causing pain and swelling. It is most common in people over 65. Risk factors include previous joint injuries, overuse, obesity and genetics.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- Stiff joints
- Impaired range of motion
- Cracking sounds at a joint
- Swelling around a joint
- Pain that increases throughout the day
This condition affects approximately 27 million people in the United States.
Medical treatment will focus on managing symptoms and improving mobility. Your physician will suggest lifestyle changes like weight management and exercise. Your doctor may offer medications for pain management, or surgery for damage repair.
These suggestions are for treatments that others have found helpful in relieving pain, decreasing inflammation, and restoring balance. The entries here are intended for your further research.
A healthy immune system is always the first line of defense against disease and inflammation. To promote a healthy immune system, it is important to eat a balanced diet, with as much variety as you can manage, with lots of whole, fresh vegetables and fruits, quality protein and healthy sources of monounsaturated fat. The Zone is an excellent nutrition plan and will help in reducing inflammation. There are also arthritis diets and anti-inflammatory diets.
FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING
- Anti-inflammatory foods
- Bok Choy
- Bone Broth
- Borage oil (for GLA)
- Chia seeds
- Coconut oil
- Fermented soy foods from organic non-GMO sources
- Fish from cold waters
- Flax seeds
- Leafy greens
- Oatmeal, cooked, steel-cut (for GLA)
- Shitake mushrooms
FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID
- Aconite (use only as a homeopathic dilution)
- Alcohol can reduce bone density, increase inflammation, and interact with medications)
- Arnica (use only as a homeopathic dilution)
- Autumn crocus may do more harm than good
- Chaparral (can cause hepatitis)
- Inflammatory foods
- Kombucha tea, homemade (use store-bought kombucha unless certain of sterile preparation conditions at home)
- Processed sugars
- Refined carbohydrates
- Smoking increases risk and severity
- Wheat (Wheat has a protein called gliaden in it, which has been shown to affect gut permeability.It disrupts the junctions between the cells lining the intestinal wall. This allows dietary proteins to leak into to the blood stream which causes a response from the immune system.
TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS
- Blackstrap molasses in warm wter
- Green tea
- Macha tea
- White tea
- White Willow Tea
HERBS AND SPICES
- Allspice, Jamaican
- Aloe vera
- Cat’s claw
- Cayenne pepper
- Celery seed
- Dandelion leaves
- Eucalyptus (use the leaves for compresses on painful joints)
- Evening primrose
- Green tea extract
- Green-lipped mussel
- Pau d’Arco
- Pumpkin pie spices
- Willow bark
Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil like coconut (3% diluted solution), or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath. Commercially, you might find edibles and sprays as well.
- Blue Tansy
OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS
A blood test can determine some of your deficiencies and will be less expensive in the long run than taking supplements you do not need.
- Activator X
- Detoxification supplement
- King of bitters
- Olive oil, extra virgin, internally and topically
- Omega-3’s, which are anti-inflammatory
- Proteolytic enzymes
- Turmeric extract (with piperine) 2 g for pain (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/)
- Vitamin D
Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½ ounce to 1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.
Your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help you keep your joints flexible. That exercise is beneficial is undisputed. Brisk walking helps build muscle surrounding joints, reducing pressure on the joints themselves. Exercise will trigger endorphins, your natural painkillers. If you are ill, you will want to take it easy, of course, but there is always something you can do to support your body. Do what you can do without making yourself feel worse. Exercise in fresh air whenever possible. Gentle stretching will help improve flexibility.
Stay calm. Anxiety undermines health. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to stay mellow. Getting quality sleep is an important ingredient to a serene and balanced mind.
OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO
- Apply cold for pain relief.
- Apply heat for pain relief.
- Check out the possibility of guanidine poisoning, which can produce pain and arthritis when alkalosis causes calcium to accumulate in your joints.
- Epsom salt soak
- Lose weight. Obesity puts you in a higher risk category.
- Paraffin wax baths for arthritic hands
- Research Dr. Bruce West’s recommendations for Cod Liver Oil and Activator X, to treat stiffness, osteoporosis and joint pain.
- Chinese Medicine
- Chiropractic care
- Meditation for a calm mind
- Tai Chi
People with OA experience more falls and have a much greater risk of fracture.
- A healthy immune system
- Avoid overuse of joints (do not use when swollen or compromised).
- A wholesome diet
- Exercise regularly to build muscle
- Learn to bend, lift and move correctly.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Manage blood sugar, since high glucose levels affect cartilage flexibility and inflammation.