Arthritis, a condition characterized by joint inflammation and pain affects millions of people worldwide. In India, more than 180 million people are affected by this condition causing pain, stiffness, and limitations in their daily activities. The condition is commonly seen in adults above the age of 65. However, it can also develop in children, teens, and younger adults.
To create awareness of this widespread medical condition, May is recognized each year as National Arthritis Awareness Month. It aims to educate the public about arthritis, raise awareness of its impact, and promote support for those living with this condition.
While conventional treatments are available, many individuals seek natural remedies or Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis as alternative approaches to managing their symptoms.
In this article, we explore a range of natural remedies for arthritis that have gained attention for their potential benefits in alleviating joint pain and improving overall joint health.
Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is an important herb of the Ayurvedic system of medicine. Ashwagandha might reduce pain associated with arthritis. Studies state that the roots and leaves of Ashwagandha contain an active substance called withaferin A that inhibits the production of pain mediators such as prostaglandins. This reduces the pain and inflammation associated with arthritis [2-5].
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How to take Ashwagandha Capsule
Take one ashwagandha capsule with milk or water preferably after meals twice a day for at least 1-2 months for better results.
Shilajit is a mineral-based extract that is pale brown to blackish brown in color and is found in the Himalayan rocks. It consists of more than 84 minerals, including copper, silver, zinc, and iron. Shilajit’ also contains elemental Selenium that has a significant anti-inflammatory function and helps reduce pain in arthritis [4,6].
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How to take Shilajit Capsule
Take one shilajit capsule with milk before sleeping at night for a minimum of three months to get relief from arthritis symptoms.
Turmeric is an ancient spice that has been used mainly in cooking. It is also used as a medicine in providing relief from pain and inflammation caused due to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. This is due to the presence of curcumin which has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce the production of chemicals causing pain. It also inhibits the activation of an inflammatory protein and helps in improving mobility in case of arthritis [7-9].
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How to take Turmeric Capsule
Take 1 turmeric capsule with milk after breakfast and dinner for at least 1-2 months for better pain relief.
4. Supplements and Nutritional Support
Certain dietary supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids are commonly used to support joint health. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate arthritis symptoms. Arthritis often involves the breakdown of cartilage, leading to joint pain and stiffness. Omega-3 fatty acids may help protect cartilage, the flexible tissue that covers the ends of bones in joints .
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5. Weight Management
Excess weight puts additional stress on the joints, leading to increased wear and tear. By maintaining a healthy weight, you can minimize the load on your joints, reducing pain and slowing down the progression of arthritis. Weight loss can also enhance joint mobility and function, making it easier to perform daily activities and reducing pain during movement. Increased mobility can also help maintain muscle strength and flexibility around the joints, providing better support and protection .
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Natural remedies for arthritis provide a holistic approach to managing joint pain and inflammation. While these remedies may not work for everyone, they offer potential benefits when used as part of a comprehensive arthritis management plan. It is essential to consult with healthcare professionals, as they can provide guidance on the safest and most effective use of natural remedies and ensure compatibility with existing treatment plans. By incorporating these natural remedies into their lifestyle, individuals with arthritis can take proactive steps toward improving joint health and enhancing their overall quality of life.
It is important to note that these remedies may not work for everyone, and consulting with a healthcare professional is essential before trying any new treatments.
(The article is written by Monalisa Deka, Senior Health Content Editor, and reviewed by Dr. Deepak Soni, Health Content Editor, Ayurveda)
1. National Institutes of Health. Arthritis. Available online: https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/arthritis
2. Prince SE, Sonal C, Khan RM. Evaluation of analgesic, antipyretic and ulcerogenic effect of Withaferin A. Int J Integr Biol. 2009;6(2):52–56.
3. Twaij HAA., Elisha EE, Khalid RM.Analgesic studies on some Iraqi medicinal plants.Int J Crude Drug Res.1989;27:109–112.
4. Chandra LM.Scientific Basis for Ayurvedic Therapies: CRC Press LLC.2004:72-73. Available online: https://kleayurveda.org/Akshara/Akshara2/Scientific_Basis_for_Ayurvedic_Therapies.pdf
5. Giri KR.Comparative study of anti-inflammatory activity of Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) with hydrocortisone in experimental animals (Albino rats).Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies.2016;4(1):78-83. Available online: https://www.plantsjournal.com/archives/2016/vol4issue1/PartB/3-6-41.pdf
6. Balkrishna A, Sakat SS, Joshi K, et al. Herbo-mineral formulation ‘Ashwashila’ attenuates rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in collagen-antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA) mice model. Sci Rep. 2019; 9: 8025. Available online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6541602/
7. Park C, Moon DO, Choi IW.Curcumin induces apoptosis and inhibits prostaglandin E2 production in synovial fibroblasts of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.Int J Mol Med.2007:365-372. Available online: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17671742/
8. Ramadan G, Al-Kahtani MA, El-Sayed WM.Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of Curcuma longa (turmeric) versus Zingiber officinale (ginger) rhizomes in rat adjuvant-induced arthritis.Inflammation.2011;34(4):291-301. Available online: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21120596/
9. Daily JW, Yang M, Park S. Efficacy of Turmeric extracts and curcumin for alleviating the symptoms of joint arthritis: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials.J Med Food. 2016;19(8):717–729. Available online: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27533649/
10. Arthritis Society. Canada. Omega-3 fatty acids. Available online: https://arthritis.ca/treatment/emerging-treatment-and-research/omega-3-fatty-acids
11. CDC. Weight Loss for Adults with Arthritis. Available online: https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/communications/features/arthritis-weight-loss.html