Looking for natural ways to manage your arthritis? We’ve compiled a list of what herbs help with arthritis to get you started.
There are several forms of arthritis, but they all come with aching, stiff, and painful joints that can make us feel miserable.
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for arthritis, but there are ways to manage the symptoms associated with it and reduce the frequency of flare-ups. Along with conventional medicine, many of us turn to natural remedies, including herbs, to help us cope.
The two most common forms of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which is caused by the deterioration of the protective cartilage between your bones, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition.
Although the causes are different, both these common types of arthritis are characterised by inflammation in the joints, which creates pain, swelling, and difficulty moving.
Other forms of arthritis, such as gout and secondary arthritis (caused by an injury), also result in painful and inflamed joints.
As a result, the best herbs to help with arthritis are typically those that reduce inflammation, act as natural pain relievers, or both.
To help you discover more about what herbs help with arthritis, we’ve pulled together this list of our favourite anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving herbs. Some are worth trying no matter what form of arthritis you have, while others have shown particular promise in relieving symptoms of a specific kind of arthritis.
1. Curcumin (Turmeric)
One of the best-studied herbal remedies for arthritis is curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric. A potent anti-inflammatory, curcumin has shown especial potential in the treatment of osteoarthritis, leading to significant decreases in pain levels.
Curcumin may also help with other forms of arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis. When taken regularly, it is associated with reduced stiffness and joint swelling.
We use curcumin in our NutraJoint tea, in combination with piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper. As well as being an anti-inflammatory in its own right, piperine helps our bodies absorb curcumin more easily.
Another well-researched herb for arthritis is ginger, which is both an anti-inflammatory and a natural pain reliever. Like curcumin, ginger helps to reduce pain in osteoarthritis sufferers, leading to significant improvements in joint stiffness and function when taken daily.
Ginger contains salicylates, which our bodies turn into salicylic acid – the same active ingredient found in aspirin. The salicylic acid then helps with pain reduction by preventing our bodies from producing certain prostaglandins, which are associated with inflammation and increased pain sensitivity.
You can find ginger in several of our herbal teas, including our flagship Ginseng & Ginger blend.
3. Willow Bark
While we’re on the topic of salicylic acid, we have to talk about willow bark, famously known as nature’s aspirin. That’s because of its main active ingredient, salicin, which is transformed into salicylic acid in our bodies.
Research indicates that taking willow bark can reduce pain for both rheumatoid arthritis sufferers and people with osteoarthritis. Willow bark also has anti-inflammatory properties, so may help with swelling and stiffness too.
Willow bark is one of the ingredients in NutraBone, along with other herbs that promote healthy bones and joints.
For people experiencing gout, one of the most popular natural remedies is cherries. Packed with antioxidants, these delicious fruits contain pigments called anthocyanins, which help to combat inflammation. They are also a source of quercetin, a flavonoid thought to prevent the formation of uric acid.
Cherries are high in vitamin C too, which is another reason they may be good for treating gout. A diet rich in vitamin C is associated with a lower risk of gout because vitamin C helps to prevent uric acid from forming.
We use cherries as one of the ingredients in our NutraUric blend, along with turmeric, piperine, and other ingredients that support the management of uric acid levels.
5. Devil’s Claw
Regularly recommended for back and joint pain, devil’s claw has been a popular herbal remedy for many years. According to the arthritis charity, Versus, it may be as effective as over-the-counter medications for managing osteoarthritis.
Devil’s claw contains harpagoside, a natural painkiller, which can help to ease the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis. It is also packed with iridoid glycosides – compounds that have an anti-inflammatory effect in our bodies.
You can find devil’s claw in our NutraBone blend, alongside willow bark, ginger, and turmeric.