Herbal medicine for joint pain relief and treatment

Herbal Medicine for Joint Pain Relief and Treatment

Many people with Joint Pains feel better and relieved with herbal and dietary supplements. There are many herbal therapies to choose from, but there’s not much specific and scientific evidence to show they really work in treatment of joint pains. Many herbs and supplements have been studied to establish the role of herbal and natural products and dietary supplements to conclude their effectiveness in Joint Pain Relief. A 2011 systematic review found evidence to suggest that oils containing GLA, such as blackcurrant seed oil, evening primrose oil, and borage seed oil, may relieve pain and improve function in people who have rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The following is a list of some dietary supplements used for relief of Joint Pains.  Check with your physician to discuss about risks, benefits, and potential interactions with your current medications.

Aloe vera: 

Aloe vera is a succulent plant popular for its health benefits. Many wound healing ointments and skin products contain aloe vera because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.The compounds in aloe vera help remove free radicals from the body, much like antioxidants. These antioxidant functions also help reduce inflammation by preventing the production of inflammatory enzymes. The compounds in aloe vera produce anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiable (ASU):

A natural vegetable extract made from ⅓ avocado oil and ⅔ soybean oil. It improves Join pains and function.

Black Currant Oil:

A natural supplement made from 15-20% gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fats. It eases Joint inflammation.

Borage Oil:

Made from 20-26% GLA. The seeds of the Borago officinalis plant, or starflower, contain large quantities of an omega-6 fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). It also contains linolenic acid, the precursor of GLA. For people with rheumatoid arthritis, borage oil may relieve Joint pain. When the body metabolizes it, GLA converts into a precursor of prostaglandin, an eicosanoid (or signalling molecule) that helps regulate immune responses in the body.

Boswellia:

Also called Indian Frankincense. Made from the Boswellia serrata plant, it may ease pain and improve joint function. Boswellia serrata, or frankincense, is the resin from the bark of the Boswellia tree. This resin has a strong aromatic quality, making it a popular ingredient in perfumes, incense, and essential oils. Frankincense may also offer benefits for people with chronic joint inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the active compounds in frankincense possess anti-inflammatory properties that could help relieve arthritis symptoms.

Bromelain:

Supplement made from pineapple enzymes. Some people with Joint Pains find that it can reduce joint pain.

Capsaicin:

Made from oil in hot chili peppers. It can be applied as a topical cream, gel, or patch. It depletes the amount of a neurotransmitter called substance P that sends pain messages to the brain, so it can distract you from sensing pain in a joint or muscle. Take care not to touch the eyes or mouth after applying capsaicin to the skin.

Cat’s Claw:

Uncaria tomentosa (U. tomentosa), or “cat’s claw,” is a vine plant native to South and Central America. Cat’s claw improves immune function and reduce joint inflammation. One clinical trial did examine the anti-inflammatory effects of cat’s claw among 40 people with RA. The authors reported a 53.2% reduction in joint pain among the participants who took U. tomentosa extract for 24 weeks. Also, a 2015 study found that cat’s claw influences enzyme activity associated with arthritis.

Chondroitin Sulphate:

Supplement made from the cartilage of cows, pigs, or fish. It’s designed to help replace worn-down cartilage in your joints, to reduce pain and inflammation, and improve joint function. It’s usually used by people with osteoarthritis joint pains.

Curcumin:

 Curcumin is derived from the root turmeric. This herbal treatment has potent anti-inflammatory effects, so it could help ease joint pain and swelling. Turmeric is a yellow spice and medicinal herb that originated in India. The orange pulp inside the stem contains the potent plant compound curcumin. One clinical study done in 2018 cited findings from a number of animal studies and two trials suggested that curcumin may reduce chronic inflammation due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. A compound called Piperine — which is present in black pepper — can reduce inflammation and improve curcumin absorption, according to one 2018 study.

Devil’s Claw:

Supplement made from a plant native to southern regions of Africa. Used to relieve joint pain and inflammation, as well as back pain.

DHEA:

Supplements made from a natural hormone made in your adrenal glands on top of your kidneys. There’s good evidence that DHEA can help improve bone density and improve lupus symptoms, but there’s less proof that it helps people with RA. This hormone can convert to estrogen or testosterone, so patients with breast, ovarian, testicular, or prostate cancer should avoid DHEA.

DMSO:

 Also called dimethyl sulfoxide. By-product of paper manufacturing, DMSO can be found in gel or cream form and rubbed into the skin. It’s meant to ease pain and inflammation, and improve joint mobility. Research on DMSO for Joint Pains is scant.

Evening Primrose:

 Herbal oil rich in omega-6 fatty acids. It’s used to lower pain and inflammation, and some evidence shows it could ease morning stiffness.

Eucalyptus:

 Eucalyptus oil may help reduce Joint inflammation and pain. Oil distilled from eucalyptus leaves has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. The flavonoids and tannins in eucalyptus leaves have antioxidant properties that may help reduce inflammation and pain. A 2016 clinical study found that eucalyptus leaf extracts significantly reduced the levels of two inflammatory enzymes: interleukin-6 and tumour necrosis factor alpha.

Fish Oil:

 Supplements of natural liver oil from fatty fish in capsule form, or in fish you consume in your diet. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Could reduce joint pain, inflammation, and morning stiffness.

Flaxseed Oil:

Herbal supplement taken in capsule form. It’s rich in alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid that builds healthy cells. It’s used to ease joint inflammation, but there’s not much evidence that it works for RA. Eating ground flaxseed will provide more fiber along with ALA compared to flaxseed oil.

Ginger:

 Natural root ground into powder, taken in capsule or oil form, added to foods or eaten in tea, pickled, or candied form. Could reduce chemicals in your body that play a role in inflammation. Could also ease pain in a similar way as aspirin. Effective at easing nausea.

GLA:

Gamma linoleic acid, found in other herbs like borage oil or evening primrose. Rich in omega-6 fatty acids. Used in supplement or food form to ease joint pain, stiffness, and swelling.

Glucosamine Sulfate:

Supplement made from the shells of fish like shrimp or crabs (avoid if with shellfish allergy). Glucosamine is used to slow deterioration of joint cartilage, relieve joint pain related to osteoJoint Pains, and improve joint mobility.

Green-lipped Mussel:

 Shellfish found in the waters off New Zealand. Its hard shells are ground into powder and put in capsules. It’s rich in omega-3 fatty acids that may have anti-inflammatory effects and ease joint pain.

Melatonin:

 Supplement containing a natural hormone that’s found in your brain. The hormone helps control your circadian rhythms, which tell your brain when to sleep and when to wake. Melatonin capsules may help you sleep better if your Joint Pains symptoms keep you awake. Nightmares or vivid dreams may occur with this supplement.

MSM:

Methylsulfonylmethane, an organic sulfur compound found in animals and plants. It’s often taken in capsules or in a cream that you rub into your skin. Meant to reduce pain and inflammation.

Pine Bark:

 Herbal extract from the bark of trees. Also called by a common brand name, Pycnogenol®. It contains procyandin, an antioxidant that may block pro-inflammatory enzymes. Not much evidence supports its efficacy in RA.

Rose Hips:

 Herbal supplement made from the tiny fruits of wild rose bushes. Found in capsule form as well as teas. Rich in polyphenols and anthocyaninins, natural chemicals that may ease joint inflammation. Also rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant.

Sam-E:

Short for S-adenosyl methionine. Found naturally in the body, it is a precursor to making serotonin, which helps regulate mood. Taken in capsule or pill form, it’s used as a supplement to treat pain, stiffness, and swelling, rebuild cartilage, and improve mobility. Sam-E may also help improve depressed mood.

St. John’s Wort:

Herbal supplement made from a flowering plant found mostly in Europe. It’s mainly used to ease mild to moderate depression symptoms, but some say it can reduce inflammation and pain in Joint Pains. Do not take with birth control or HIV medications.

Stinging Nettle:

Herbal supplement made from a common plant that stings your skin if you brush by it. It can be eaten or cooked into food, or taken as a supplement. It’s used to ease inflammation and pain, and may work best for hayfever. Its use inJoint Pains has been studied primarily in vitro (test tubes) and may be helpful in reducing joint pain.

Thunder God Vine (Tripterygium wilfordii):

Herbal supplement made from a plant that’s used to improve pain, tender joints, and inflammation in RA. One large study compared it to sulfasalazine (Azulfidine®) which is used to treat RA, and found it effective, with a list of mild to moderate side effects.

Valerian:

Herbal supplement made from a plant root. Can be taken in capsule form or as a tea. Used mainly to treat insomnia, but may also ease pain, and have antispasmodic and sedative effects that could relax tense muscles or joints.

Vitamin C:

A water-soluble vitamin, also known as L-ascorbic acid that is naturally present in some foods, such as citrus fruits. Has been shown to build collagen and connective tissue in the body.

Vitamin D: 

This is actually a hormone used by every cell of the body, derived from the conversion of inactive vitamin D to its active form by sunlight exposure to the skin. This vitamin helps improve bone density and is deficient in many patients who lack adequate sunlight exposure. Vitamin D supplements can replace deficient levels while avoiding sun damage to the skin. Vitamin D can become toxic if taken in high amounts for a long period of time, so be sure to have your physician check your vitamin D-25 OH levels periodically.

Summary

Joint Pain is associated with many diseases and disorders. Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can cause swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints. Although people can manage their symptoms with medical treatments, exercise, and proper nutrition, naturally occurring compounds and herbal medicines could serve as complementary treatment options. Current research shows promising results to prove the effectiveness of the natural remedies for Joint Pains and treatment.

People should always speak with their doctor before trying any new supplements or natural remedies.

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