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Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis and more than 16 million Americans suffer from this condition. The most commonly affected areas the hips, knees, spine, and the tiny joints of the hands and feet and usually develops gradually.
Another form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis and can cause a crippling joint deformity. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are usually joint pain, swelling and warmth, fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, enlarged lymph nodes, lumps under the skin and muscle stiffness after sleep or inactivity. Stiffness usually disappears after moderate activity.

The following herbs have promising effects on arthritis.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Turmeric (Curcuma longa) are good for pain and swelling and rarely have any adverse side effects. Both herbs can be used in teas or with flavorings in other dishes.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) contains bromelain, which is a compound that helps prevent inflammation. A lot of athletes use pineapple during training to prevent and treat sports injuries. Bromelain can also help the body rid itself of immune antigen complex, which are present in arthritic conditions.

Red pepper (Capsicum) interferes with pain perception in the body. The capsaicin triggers the body to release endorphins, the feel good chemicals that occur naturally in the body. Red pepper also contains aspirin like compounds as well. You can also buy capsaicin creams in drug stores.

Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) can be used as an arthritis treatment by “stinging” yourself with the plant or steaming the leaves and eating as vegetables. If you harvest your own nettle you’ll want to wear gloves as they do “sting” but once cooked, the leaves lose their sting. Stinging nettle is high in boron, which is a recommended nutrient for arthritis from the Rheumatoid Disease Foundation.

Oregano (Origasum vulgare) is an antioxidant and may help prevent cell damage caused by free radicals. Oregano contains rosmarinic acid, which has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties. It’s also very good to use for seasoning Italian dishes.

Willow (Salix) Garlic (Allium sativum) and Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Willow is a natural aspirin. Licorice has anti-inflammatory properties and may help with gastrointestinal problems caused by willow. Licorice can raise blood pressure if taken in large quantities over long periods. Garlic can help combat the long-term effects of licorice by lowering blood pressure.

Brazil nut (Bertholettia excelsa) and Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) contain similar properties to over-the-counter ibuprofen and S-adenosyl-methionine or SAM, better known as SAMe.

Brazil nut (Bertholettia excelsa) and Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) contain similar properties to over-the-counter ibuprofen and S-adenosyl-methionine or SAM, better known as SAMe.

Brocoli (Brassica oleracea) contains glutathione, an antioxidant. Studies indicate that people who have low levels of glutathione are more likely to develop arthritis.

Other vegetables rich in glutathione are asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes, and purslane. Fruits that contain glutathione are avocados, grapefruit, oranges, peaches and watermelon.

This is just another reason to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.



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