Herbal treatment of arthritis and water – Part 2
Management of arthritis
The most important recurring factor in arthritis is inflammation. It is this that gives rise to other symptoms like pain, swelling and stiffness, which are characteristic of this condition. There are numerous natural products that have anti-inflammatory properties by which arthritis can be contained.
Feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium). This herb was used in ancient days for the treatment of pain and headache. In laboratory studies extracts of feverfew were able to stop certain processes involved in rheumatoid arthritis. This herb should not be taken in pregnancy.Boswellia (Boswellia serratas). This is a gum resin, which has been used by the Indians for a long time. Boswellia is sometimes mixed with turmeric and another herb known as ashwaganda in the treatment of arthritis.
Ginger. Fresh ginger powder has anti-inflammatory properties and can also decrease the pain associated with arthritis.
Green tea. Polyphenols are antioxidants found in green tea and studies have shown that they can prevent rheumatoid arthritis and actually reduce the severity of the condition. They reduce the inflammation of arthritis and also decrease the rate of breakdown of cartilage. Green tea is by far the healthiest beverage that one can consume because of this action on arthritis and other health-related issues. Drinking three to five cups of green tea daily can prevent arthritis and decrease the severity in an individual that is already suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Making green tea a part of your diet is a very wise thing to do.
Omega 3. This is an essential fatty acid found in fresh cold water fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardine etc. and such seeds as flaxseed. Omega 3 has significant anti-inflammatory property that makes it useful all over the body, including the joints. It causes relief of painful joints and eases the joint stiffness that occurs after a period of rest or sleep. Omega 3 also maintains the health of the cells in the joints and by clearing plaques from the arteries any where in the body, it increases blood supply to the joints as well as other parts of the body. As prevention against arthritis, make omega 3 fish oils and seeds and nuts that contain the fatty acid a part of your diet. Omega 3 can also be taken as supplements, but as usual care must be taken if you are on blood thinners and antihypertensive drugs.
Pomegranate extract and peel have antioxidants that are able to combat the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis. They can also repair damaged cells in the joints. You can eat the fruit where it is available or take it as a supplement. Pomegranate that can be taken as tea can be found in health food stores.
Other natural food products that are effective against arthritis are the enzyme bromelain, commonly found in pine apple, stinging nettle and devil’s claw. They all can reduce inflammation and pain and increase mobility of the stiff joint.
Lifestyle style changes in the management of arthritis.
Loss of weight for obese people. Arthritis and its severity are directly proportional to the weight of the individual and joints commonly affected in such patients are the spine, hip, knee and ankle joints. It stands to reason therefore, that reducing the weight will go a long way in the management of arthritis. Weight loss among obese patients should be one of the first considerations. Drinking water sufficiently daily and changing the diet to one of low carbohydrates and proteins with the right fats, omega 3 and 6. The refined and processed food products should be avoided; such items as white flower products, white sugar, white rice and hydrogenated fats. As usual, the main stay of the diet should be vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds.
Exercise. Another life style change that people with arthritis should embark upon is exercise. The benefits of exercising to a patient with arthritis are weight control, increased flexibility and strength of the joint, increased bone and muscle strength and reduction of pain in the affected joint. Also, there is the development of new capillaries and increased blood supply to the joints as an individual does exercises. With increased blood supply, there is concomitant increase in oxygen and nutrient supply to the joints.
There are different exercises to choose from depending on the joint affected. The types of exercise include aerobics, range of motion and strengthening exercises. Consult your doctor or physiotherapist before embarking on any exercise.
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