Rheumatoid Arthritis: Natural Treatment Options, Part 1


Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory autoimmune disease that can cause debilitating pain in the joints. The herbs listed below are not a cure but will help to relieve the pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and decrease the occurrence of inflammation. It is best to consult with a medical personnel before using the herbs listed below. Taking herbs may not be suitable depending upon your health background and medication(s).



Ginger: Ginger helps with inflammation. It inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory substances known as cytokines. The root is used in the form of decoction, tincture, fresh juice, powder, compress, candied, and as a spice. The essential oil of ginger can be applied to olive oil and massaged into the skin, too. Ginger shouldn’t be consumed if taking blood thinning medication.

Horse chestnut: Horse chestnut contains a compound called aescin which is anti-inflammatory. The seeds, bark, flowers, and leaves are what is used of Horse Chestnut. The extracted oil may be rubbed directly on the painful area. The unprocessed seeds, leaves, bark, and flowers of Horse Chestnut contain esculin, which is poisonous.

Properly processing Horse Chestnut seeds extract removes esculin. The processed extract is considered generally safe when used for short periods of time. Horse chestnut is usually taken in the form of a capsule.

Consult with a doctor before taking Horse Chestnut if taking lithium or diabetic medications. Horse Chestnut may cause a drop in blood sugar.

* For additional information related to aescin and its role with inflammation click on the subheading Mechanism of Action after clicking on the above link.

Stinging Nettle: The Stinging Nettle cleanses uric acid from the joints which relieves inflammation. An option for external treatment is to place a small amount in lotion to rub on the affected area. It is possible to apply the plant directly to the skin whipping the stems and leaves against the inflamed joint(s).

The sting creates irritation which draws the blood to the joint(s) that helps remove the inflammation.  The sting is painful and/or uncomfortable according to people but does go away. The sting is removed from the herb if juiced, cooked or made into a herbal remedy such as a tincture. Many people cook the leaves in soups, stews, or quiches.

Chaparral: Chaparral naturally grows in the Mediterranean, Southwest Australia, the African Cape Region, Central Chile, and California. Extracts or oils of Chaparral can be added to salves or lotions. The stem and leaves can be added to a bath to relieve the inflammation of arthritis. Some people do internally use this plant but it is recommended by medical personnel not to internally consume Chaparral due to the toxicity level.


Immunomodulating Herbs and Plants:

Immunomodulating herbs and plants build and strengthen the immune system.

Tulsi: The plant known as Tulsi is a plant. It grows abundantly in India, Western Asia, Malaysia, Central and South America, and even Puerto Rico. The parts of the plant that grow above the ground can be used. It can be used as a tea, decoction, tincture, fresh juice, poultice, or powder. Avoid using Tulsi if you have low blood sugar, trying to get pregnant, or taking blood thinning medications.

Ashwagandha: It is an herb that is commonly grown in India. Ashwagandha is grown in China, Nepal, and Yemen, as well. The roots are commonly used but the berries and leaves can be used, too. It can be taken and or used as a poultice, decoction, tincture, or, powder. Do not take this herb if taking medication for anxiety, seizures, or insomnia.













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