Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory disorder which usually appears in the smaller joints such as those in fingers and toes, but also can affect wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, knees, and even hips.
This can eventually lead to bone erosion or deformity of joints. According to statistics from Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.5 million Americans suffer from this condition. Rheumatoid arthritis is usually diagnosed after the age of 40 and usually appears in women more than in men, although it can develop even in children. Among the many risk factors we can list genetics, smoking, chronic periodontal disease and silica exposure.
The many symptoms of RA can come and go in a random fashion, and this disease of inflamed tissues can lead to:
- Aches in joints and muscles
- Morning stiffness
When the tissue inflammation subsides, the disease becomes inactive and for the time being, your symptoms will disappear. Although there is no currently known cure, there are some natural remedies you can employ to relieve pain and minimize symptoms.
Here are 10 natural remedies for relief of RA symptoms:
The first step in order to fight the symptoms or prevent the condition is to work out regularly. This also helps battle depression, a very common condition of RA, and also in reducing the risk of osteoporosis. To improve your condition, do these three types of exercises:
- Strength – 2-3 times a week
- Aerobic or cardio – 3-4 times a week for 30 minutes
- Range and motion – for about 30 minutes a day
We also encourage you to consult and expert on which exercises are best for your condition.
- Hot and cold compresses
Sooth the symptoms of RA by alternating between cold and hot compresses. A cold compress will reduce inflammation and swelling and help reduce any aches and a hot compress will relax the muscles and joints, reducing the pain.
First hold the hot compress on the affected are for 3 minutes. Then hold the cold compress for 1 minute. Repeat this until you get the relief you want.
In some cases, you can use only the cold or just the hot compress. But be sure to avoid the hot compress if the area is red, hot and irritated and avoid the cold compress if you experience problems with circulation.
- Fish Oils
A number of studies throughout the years showed that fish oils minimize any symptoms of RA. That is due to their EPA and DHA acids, which help decrease any pain because of their anti-inflammatory nature. Fish oils also help with preventing heart disease, which those suffering from RA are more prone to develop.
- Eat a lot of cold-water fish like tuna and salmon regularly.
- Also you can take supplements of fish oil twice a day.
Just consult a physician before you take these supplements because they can interfere with some medications.
The main component in turmeric is curcumin, which has bot anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic components.
Turmeric is an excellent natural way that helps prevent joint inflammation because of its power to block the enzymes and cytokines. Here are some tips on how to use turmeric:
- Put one tablespoon of turmeric to 1quart of boiling water, leave it to boil for ten more minutes. Let it cool down and consume it 1-2 times a day.
- You can also take turmeric capsules (500mg-1000mg) 3 times a day, but consult a doctor before deciding to take them.
- Add some turmeric powder to your meals and make them more tasty and healthy.
You can also choose to take turmeric capsules (500-1000mg) three times daily, but it’s always best to
Just be careful not to take turmeric in very high doses because even as something good as turmeric can cause problems and upset your stomach.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV soothes any RA symptoms because it is rich with many healthy minerals like magnesium, potassium, calcium and phosphorous.
- Mix together 1 tablespoon of ACV (unfiltered) together with 1 tablespoon of organic honey in a cup of warm water. Drink this beverage once a day.
- Or you can also apply ACV directly on the affected area. Then rub it gently with some warm castor oil. After this just wrap the affected area with a cotton cloth and leave it overnight.
Garlic is an excellent natural soothing agent because of its potent anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic helps with the reduction of swelling or pain by reducing the production of cytokines, which are pro-inflammatory substances.
Eating raw garlic works wonders for RA patients and it is also one of the most strong immune system boosters.
- Eat 1-2 fresh garlic cloves a day,
- You can also take capsules, but be sure to consult a doctor for the correct dosage.
- Epsom Salts
Epsom salts helps naturally decrease any swelling and pain caused by RA. They naturally regulate the pH levels because they are a rich source of magnesium. This leads to reducing any pained swelled and stiff joints. In addition to all this benefits Epsom salts help in the mineralization of the bones.
– Fill your bathtub with warm water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt. Soak in the salted water for about half an hour and do this no more than 3 times a week.
This spice was used to treat any inflammations and inflammatory diseases even by our ancestors. It is praised by both naturopathy and Ayurvedic medicine. Its main component is gingerol. Here are some tips on how you can use ginger:
- Apply a few drops of ginger oil on the affected area. Then expose the area to sunshine for about 5-10 minutes. You can repeat this method regularly for getting better results.
- Chew on some fresh slices of ginger every day
- Add it as a spice to your food or drink 2-3 ginger teas a day.
If done right, massaging can help greatly in reducing the pain caused by RA and relaxing the stiff muscles due to the stimulation of the circulation of the blood.
- Use gentle strokes to massage the affected area with a mixture of lavender oil and olive oil.
- Put 10 grams of camphor oil in one cup of mustard oil and mix them good. Heat them up and wait for them to cool off before you apply them on the affected area.
You can do these massages 2-3 times a day, but if your muscles and joints feel to tender you should skip out massaging them.
- Evening Primrose Oil
This plant oil is a great choice that helps reduce morning stiffness, thanks to its essential fatty acid called gamma-linolenic acid. You can take 540mg-2.8g of the oil a day, in separate doses. Just be sure to consult a doctor because taking this oil supplement can counteract with some medications.
Some Extra Tips
- Make sure to exercise enough and properly so that all your joints are included.
- Avoid situations that might lead to strain on your joints
- Don’t overwork yourself; if you need rest be sure to take it.
- Do not keep your affected joints in the same position for longer periods of time.
- While you are working, be sure to take a break at every hour.
- If you happen to be overweight, try losing some pounds.
- Keep a healthy diet full of minerals and vitamins, as well as omega-3 fatty acids,
- If you are a smoker, try quitting so you won’t have any further problems
- Try reducing the amount of alcohol you drink.
- Keep your brain focused on other things to avoid any depressing thoughts.
- Drink 2-3 cups of green tea a day
- You can try meditation for controlling the pain naturally.
- Acupuncture can also reduce pain and relax the muscles.
We hope you find these remedies and tips effective.