Old-Fashioned Arthritis Treatments: Useful Herbs and Spices

Arthritis is a debilitating condition that affects millions of people of all ages in the country. Studies conducted between 2013-15 estimate that at least 54.4 million adults have been diagnosed with this disease. It is the leading cause of work disability, limits activity, and mobility in many patients and increases the risks of falls and injuries.

While there is no cure for this disease, therapy programs focus on symptomatic treatment, pain relief, increased mobility, flexibility, and quality of life.
The conventional medical approach consists of pain relief, physical therapy, surgery, etc., but several old-fashioned arthritis treatments have been used over the centuries. Some of them involve the use of various herbs and spices.

Being aware of arthritis management strategies can help people to cope with the condition with more confidence and effectiveness. Community centers and government-funded programs help to spread awareness, self-management, and education through workshops.

Common strategies include:

  • Weight management
  • Leading an active lifestyle
  • Protecting the joints
  • Regular monitoring

This condition is one of the old-fashioned arthritis treatments in history to be identified and clinically documented. A team of researchers from the University of Bristol, UK, reported the discovery of the remains of a 150-million-year-old dinosaur affected with arthritis-like damage in 2012.

Remains of Neanderthals from 250,000 years ago show definite signs of arthritis. Hippocrates first described rheumatoid arthritis and gout. Since then, physicians, scientists, and patients have struggled to deal with this painful and disabling disease.

Old-fashioned treatments for arthritis include the use of certain herbs and spices, such as the following:

1. Willow bark
One of the earliest known old-fashioned arthritis treatments for arthritis, it has been known since the time of Hippocrates. The bark was chewed traditionally, but today it’s available in capsule, tea or tablet form, and reduces pain and inflammation.

2. Aloe vera
This plant is famous for its anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Topical application in the form of gel or ointments provides relief from pain and swelling.

3. Frankincense
Also known as Boswellia, it is formulated from the sap of certain gum trees found in India. It has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

4. Cat’s claw
Also known as Uncaria tomentosa, it is a vine native to South and Central America. It promotes immunity and reduces swelling.

5. Ginger
Known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, it promotes blood circulation and has heating properties as documented in Chinese medicine.

6. Eucalyptus
Helps in reducing swelling and pain.

7. Thunder god vine
Also known as Tripterygium wilfordii, is a staple in traditional Chinese medicine. It is used primarily to treat autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is toxic and should be used under strict supervision.

8. Turmeric
The active ingredient in this root, curcumin is a staple in Eastern traditional medicine systems. It reduces pain and swelling, fights infections, and promotes immunity.

9. Spices

  • Cinnamon: reduces pain, inflammation, and has warming properties
  • Black pepper: anti-inflammatory and provides relief from pain
  • Garlic: in raw form, reduces swelling and combats pain

Herbs and spices can be consumed as part of the regular diet. Since botanicals come in different forms, there may be different methods of ensuring maximum benefit. They can be taken in the form of teas, infusions, concoctions, decoctions, fresh/dried, liquids, extracts, and tinctures.