5 Home Remedies for Arthritis & Joint Pain

We take the freedom of movement for granted, until it becomes limited. The cause of this for many people comes in the form of arthritis, or the inflammation of one or more of your joints. There are two main kinds, osteo and rheumatoid, both of which affect the joint in different ways. Osteo arthritis is when the cartilage between bones wears down, until bone grates on bone. Rheumatoid is little less straightforward, being caused by an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation of the synovial membrane (a soft tissue that protects joints in the body) and that can lead to bone loss. Whichever you experience, there are natural remedies for arthritis to manage the pain and ease the symptoms.

1. Turmeric & Ginger Tea

Turmeric and ginger are both anti-inflammatorys, and will help with oseto and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric in particular has gotten a lot of attention lately. Its active ingredient is something called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. In addition, it lowers the levels of 2 enzymes responsible for causing inflammation (which is what we’re often fighting with arthritis.) You can take these in a capsule form or make a nice spicy tea to enjoy daily.

You will need…
2 cups of water
12 teaspoon ground ginger
12 teaspoon ground turmeric
Honey to taste

Directions
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, and had ½ teaspoon each ground ginger and ground turmeric. Reduce to a simmer and let it be for 10-15 minutes. Strain, add honey to taste, and enjoy twice daily. This yields 2 servings.

2. Get more magnesium (seriously.)

Magnesium is something our bodies need, but we can’t make it ourselves. It is used in over 300 different biomechanical responses in our body. It relaxes all our muscles and nerve endings, relieving stiffness and pain. It is even part of what makes our heart beat. Not only does it relax muscles and ease pain (this goes for arthritis pain too, of course) it helps bones to mineralize. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted one of many studies on magnesium that showed people who had a diet high in magnesiumtook supplements had higher bone density, and overall stronger bones. There are several ways to get more magnesium and utilize it for arthritis in particular.

Supplements: Magnesium capsules are a good thing to add to your day-to-day life, but they work best when used in conjunction with an improved diet.

Diet: Really this is the clincher-as great as supplements are, they can’t do everything. Eat foods that are high in magnesium, which include dark leafy greens (like spinach), nuts, and legumes (beans.)

Oil: There is magnesium oil that can be applied topically and absorbed through the skin. Try rubbing it on sore joints to relieve pain.

3. Blackstrap Molasses Drink

High in valuable minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, blackstrap molasses has been a cherished home remedy for arthritis for a number of years. Blackstrap molasses is what remains after the 3rd boiling of sugar syrup, and is nothing like the nutrient lacking refined sugars used today. As a dietary supplement (easily consumed as a drink) blackstrap can help relieve symptoms of arthritis and joint pain, thanks to its vital constituents that regulate nerve and muscle function, and strengthen bones.

You will need…
1 tablespoon of blackstrap molasses
1 cup of warm water

Directions
Heat 1 cup of fresh water until warm, but not hot. Stir in a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses and drink once daily. Do note that it can sometimes have a laxative effect.

4. White Willow Tea (the original aspirin)

Before there was aspirin, and I mean way before aspirin, there was white willow bark. The Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about it all the way back in 5th century BC. It wasn’t until 18-something or other (1829, I believe) that it was found that white willow was so effective because it contained an active ingredient called salicin. Salicin is converted in the body into salicylic acid-similar to acetyl salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin. But because the naturally occurring salicin is converted after it passed through the stomach, it resulted in less irritationside effects. While it can be taken in a capsule form, I usually opt for the tea version of just about everything.

You will need…
2 teaspoons of powdered or chipped white willow bark
1 cup of water
Honey or lemon to taste

Directions
Bring 1 cup (8 oz.) of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add 2 teaspoons of powdered or chipped white willow bark and let it infuse for 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steep for 30 more minutes. Drink twice daily-it’s bitter, so honey and lemon are usually welcome here.

5. Juniper Berry Tea

A 2009 research trial published in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacology” found that juniper berries do indeed help with arthritis pain thanks to a component called terpinen-4-ol. Terpene suppresses a type of white blood cells called monocytes which, as a part of our immune system, respond to signals of inflammation. In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system attacks normal joint tissue for no reason, leading to inflammation, pain, and loss of function. If taken daily, juniper may be able to reduce the uncomfortable inflammation thanks to its terpene content. Only prickly juniper and common juniper varieties were effective.

Note: Do NOT drink juniper berry tea while pregnant.

You will need…
1 tablespoon of dried juniper berries
1 cup of fresh water
Honey (optional)

Directions
Bring 1 cup of fresh water to a boil, and place 1 tablespoon of dried juniper berries in a mug. Pour the boiling water over the berries and let them steep for 20 minutes before straining. Drink 1 cup twice daily, and add honey to taste if you like.