(Health Secrets Newsletter) Arthritis is a disease that causes pain and loss of movement of the joints. The word “arthritis” literally means joint inflammation (arth=joint, ritis=inflammation), and refers to more than 100 different diseases. Mainstream medicine uses a variety of pain relievers and other drugs to try to manage arthritis, often with very little success. The good news for many arthritis sufferers is that there are natural and alternative solutions that can help eliminate or lessen the pain and debilitating effects of arthritis.
One Highly Effective Arthritis Remedy
A very successful arthritis remedy combines the following ingredients:
1) Plant Derived Minerals – Minerals are the building blocks of the enzymes necessary for the utilization of all other vitamins, etc. Rock minerals are a waste of money since only 5-15% can be broken down by the body before being eliminated. Minerals already digested by plants are potentially 100% absorbable.
2) Colloidal Gold – Gold has even been used by mainstream medicine to treat severe arthritis.
4) Glucosamine and Chondroitin
4) Calcium with Ostivone
5) Colloidal Silver – Some arthritis is believed to be viral related, and colloidal silver is an extremely good anti-viral agent.
6) Digestive enzymes are highly recommended, since they help break up fibrin and scar tissue that may be at the root of arthritis in many instances. For best results, take 3 to 5 capsules two or three times a day on an empty stomach.
Since arthritis comes in so many different forms and since no two people are alike, what works for one person or one kind of arthritis may not work for another. Following are other remedies, treatments and information which have been reported to be effective with at least some people and some forms of arthritis.
Juices for arthritis
Black cherry juice is good for arthritis. Take two glasses of this juice twice a day, with each glass containing four ounces of juice diluted with four ounces of water. You can discontinue this treatment once the pain clears up.
People with rheumatoid arthritis should include in their daily diets juices high in the anti-inflammatory nutrients. These nutrients include beta-carotene (found in carrots, parsley, broccoli and spinach) and copper (found in carrots, apples and ginger).
Rheumatoid arthritis improves with a glass or two a day of pineapple juice. Pineapple is a rich source of the enzyme bromelain, which has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Other Useful Juices:
* During acute state, one pint to one quart celery juice daily.
* Carrot, celery and cabbage juice. Add a little parsley.
* Carrot, beet and cucumber
* Radish, garlic
Caution: Certain juices may cause adverse reactions in people with osteoarthritis. Avoid citrus fruits, and be careful with vegetables from the nightshade family, including potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant. Citrus seems to promote swelling, and nightshades contain psyllium alkaloids, which cause problems for some people.
* Angelica (Angelica arch-angelica): Angelica is an herb that has been used in European folk medicine since antiquity to treat arthritis. The Western variety of angelica has 12 anti-inflammatory constituents, ten antispasmodic (muscle relaxant) constituents, and five anodyne (pain-relieving) ones. The Chinese sometimes use their native variety of the plant (Angelica sinensis) for the same purpose. The Chinese species is sold in North America under the names dang gui or dong quai.
Place 1 tablespoon of the cut roots of either species of angelica in 1 pint of water and bring to a boil. Cover and boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, until the water cools to room temperature. Strain and drink the tea in 3 doses during the day for two to three weeks at a time. Then, take a break for seven to ten days and start the treatment again if desired.
* Boswellia has unique anti-inflammatory action, much like the conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used by many for inflammatory conditions. Unlike NSAIDs, however, long-term use of boswellia does not lead to irritation or ulceration of the stomach.
* Feverfew has been used for centuries for arthritis. Some studies have found that the anti-inflammatory effects of this herb are greater than those achieved by NSAIDs. Take 250 milligrams once or twice daily.
* Ginger (Zingiber officinale): In one study, researchers gave three to seven grams of ginger a day to 18 people with osteoarthritis and 28 with rheumatoid arthritis. More than 75 percent of those participating in the study reported at least some relief from pain and swelling. Even after more than two years of taking these high doses of ginger, none of the people reported side effects. Many people drink ginger tea for osteoarthritis.
A ginger compress is also beneficial for arthritis.Dilute five drops of essential oil of ginger in 20 drops of a carrier oil such as wheat germ or almond oil (available from health shops), and massage into painful areas. Remember that essential oils should never be taken internally.
* Licorice root acts in the body like cortisone, without the harmful side-effects. Licorice has significant anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy activity. Licorice components are able to bind to glucocorticoid receptors on cells and exert glucocorticoid-like effects. Licorice has been used historically in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, asthma and other conditions that put added stress on the adrenals. Take 2 capsules daily.
* Oregano (Origanum vulgare): Oregano, is a powerful antioxidant. The antioxidant activity of oregano and other medicinal mints is due in large part to rosmarinic acid, a compound with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antiviral properties. The antioxidants in oregano may help prevent the cell damage caused by free radicals. Free radical reactions are probably involved in inflammation, degenerative arthritis and the aging process in general. And evidence is accumulating that antioxidants may help relieve osteoarthritis.
* Pineapple (Ananas comosus). Bromelain, a chemical in pineapple, helps prevent inflammation. Athletic trainers have been reportedly recommending pineapple to athletes to prevent and treat sports injuries. It is believed to have beneficial effects on arthritis also. Bromelain can help the body get rid of immune antigen complex, compounds that are implicated in some arthritic conditions. It also helps digest fibrin, another compound suspected of being involved in some types of arthritis.
* Red pepper, Cayenne pepper (Capsicum spp.): Red pepper interferes with pain perception. The pain-relieving chemical in red pepper, capsaicin, triggers the body to release endorphins, nature’s own opiates. Red pepper also contains aspirin-like compounds known as salicylates. Compounds in red pepper can also help relieve arthritis when you apply the herb to the skin. Researchers have discovered that you will get significant pain relief if you apply capsaicin cream directly to painful arthritic joints four times daily. In one study of this treatment, the capsaicin cream reduced rheumatoid arthritis pain by more than half. Osteoarthritis pain was reduced by about one-third. Place 1 ounce of cayenne pepper in 1 quart of rubbing alcohol (a poison not for internal use). Let stand for three weeks, shaking the bottle each day. Then, using a cloth, apply to the affected area during acute attacks of pain. Leave the solution in place for ten to twenty minutes, then wipe clean. You can also use an over-the-counter cream that contains capsicum like Zostrix or Capzasin-P.
* Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis): The plant’s leaves contain four anti-inflammatory substances-earnosol, oleanolic acid, rosmarinic acid, and ursolic acid. Carnosol acts on the same anti-inflammatory pathways as both steroids and aspirin, oleanolic acid has been marketed as an antioxidant in China, rosmarinic acid acts as an anti-inflammatory, and ursolic acid, which makes up about four percent of the plant by weight, has been shown to have anti-arthritic effects in animal trials. Put 1/2 ounce of rosemary leaves in a 1-quart pitcher and fill with boiling water. Cover tightly and let stand for thirty minutes. Drink a cup of the hot tea before going to bed and have another cupful in the morning before breakfast. Do this for two to three weeks, and then take a break for seven to ten days before starting the treatment again.
* Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica): Stinging nettle is an official remedy for rheumatism in Germany. It is the most important herb to consider for treating early onset arthritis. Nettle juice contains an anti-inflammatory component similar to that of steroid drugs. It also contains 47 parts per million of the mineral boron, figured on a dry-weight basis. Boron is an important mineral for arthritis. (The Rheumatoid Disease Foundation suggests that three milligrams of boron may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.) Directions: Take 1 tablespoon of nettle juice three times a day. You can freeze the juice for later.
* Turmeric (Curcumin, Curcuma longa): Curcumin, the yellow pigment of turmeric, has significant anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin has been shown to be as effective as cortisone or phenylbutazone in certain models of inflammation. Curcumin also exhibits many beneficial effects on liver functions. The typical dosage of curcumin is 400 to 600 mg 3 times daily. Curcumin is sometimes given in combination with an equal dose of an extract of the pineapple plant called bromelain, which appears to possess anti-inflammatory properties of its own. Curcumin is thought to be quite safe. Side effects are rare and are generally limited to occasional allergic reactions and mild stomach upset. However, safety in very young children, pregnant or nursing women, and those with severe liver or kidney disease has not been established.
* Willow (Salix, various species): Willow bark was the original herbal aspirin. It contains a chemical called salicin, which the Bayer Company eventually transformed into aspirin that so many people with arthritis take daily. Willow bark tea has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of aspirin. But because the irritation-causing ingredient in aspirin tablets is diluted in tea, you will have less risk of stomach upset, ulcer and overdose if you take the tea instead of the pills.
* Yucca – Yucca has long been used to reduce arthritic pain. A double-blind clinical trial indicated a saponin extract of yucca demonstrated a positive therapeutic effect. It was suggested that effects were due to indirect effects on the gastrointestinal flora. It is possible that yucca decreases bacterial endotoxin absorption thus reducing this inhibition of cartilage synthesis.
Vitamin and Nutrition Therapy for Arthritis:
* Vitamin therapy may relieve certain arthritic symptoms. Beta carotene (vitamin A) has an antioxidant effect on cells, neutralizing destructive molecules called free radicals. Vitamins C, B6, and E, as well as zinc, are thought to enhance collagen production and the repair of connective tissue. Vitamin C may also be advised for people taking aspirin, which depletes the body`s vitamin C balance. Daily Balance provides baseline amounts of these vitamins in capsule form, as well as the minerals mentioned in this article. Absolute Greens provides them in the form of food. This is the form in which vitamins and minerals are most easily used by the body.
* Boron plays a major role in bone health. It helps the body regulate calcium, keeping it from leaving the body and weakening the bones. Epidemiological studies from several countries have shown that in areas where the soil contains more boron and people are presumably eating boron-rich foods grown in that soil, there is less osteoarthritis. When boron supplements were given to hospitalized arthritis patients, some 90 percent reported “complete remission” of symptoms. Apples, nuts and green leafy vegetables are good sources of boron. Daily Balance also provides an optimal level of boron.
* Many people with arthritis are deficient in manganese, a trace element that activates important enzymes and is necessary for normal skeletal development. Daily Balance provides an optimal level of manganese.
* Methylsulphonylmethane (MSM), a natural source of sulfur, can help relieve arthritis pain and maintain joint health. Sulfur is an essential component of connective tissue. Take 500 milligrams three or four times daily, with meals. Sulfur is naturally found in meat, milk, poultry, eggs and fish.
* Omega-3 fatty acids, found in many fish and available in Omega 3 Plus, have shown promise in fighting arthritis. Some 26 osteoarthritis patients ranging in age from 52 to 85 were given either an omega-3 fatty acid found in Omega 3 Plus called EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) or a placebo. Six months later, those who had received EPA had less pain and were better able to perform normal activities, as compared to the placebo group.
* Pantothenic acid, part of the vitamin B complex found in Daily Balance, has been shown to help prevent and alleviate arthritis. The connection between this nutrient and arthritis was made nearly forty years ago. But there is definitive study that shows precisely how it works. Many people do find relief from their symptoms with pantothenic acid. Take 3 grams daily. It will take one to two weeks before you see any results. If no results are seen in three weeks, discontinue the supplement. Some physicians recommend up to 12 grams of pantothenic acid a day, but this should be taken only under your doctor`s supervision.
* Vitamin E protects against muscle-wasting and is essential in cellular respiration, thus helping remove toxins. Vitamin E, like the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for arthritis, inhibits the prostaglandins that play a role in pain. When 50 patients were given either 400 IU of vitamin E or a placebo, the vitamin E group reported greater pain relief and had to use less pain medication. In another study, 29 patients were given either vitamin E or a placebo for 10 days. Then the groups were switched without their knowledge, so that the vitamin E group was getting a placebo and the placebo group the vitamin E for an additional 10 days. The vitamin E produced “good” pain relief in 52 percent of the patients, compared to 1 percent for the placebo. Wheat germ, nuts and tomatoes are natural sources of Vitamin E. Daily Balance provides 200 IU of vitamin E from mixed tocopherols to make up for what is not obtained from food.
Caution: If you are taking an anticoagulant (blood thinner), consult your healthcare practitioner before taking supplemental vitamin E.
* Vitamin C is important for the synthesis of collagen and the repair of connective tissue. Daily Balance provides 150 mg of vitamin C.
* Many older people are found to be deficient in B6. The first symptoms of a deficiency include tingling, pain, and stiffness in the hands. Arthritis patients are recommended to take a supplement of B6 in addition to the B6 that is in Daily Balance.
* Vitamin B1 and B12: One study found an important relationship between doses of NSAIDs and vitamins B1 and B12. When administered to persons with arthritis, these two B vitamins enhanced the effectiveness of the pain killing drugs, allowing for a lower dosage of the drugs. The effect was seen in as little as seven days. If you take drugs for pain relief. Daily Balance provides baseline amounts of these vitamins.
* Vitamin A and the minerals zinc and copper are crucial to the formation of collagen and connective tissues. These are also provided in Daily Balance.