There are 200 types of arthritis. All of which subject the patient to pain, inflammation and the joints and bones in the affected body part. Arthritis is a condition that is rarely cured and requires maintenance of the symptoms to allow the patient to live a normal life. Surgery to replace joints with synthetic material can prove successful, but is not an appropriate treatment for many arthritis patients.
Research into using herbs for arthritis and other forms of alternative treatments are on-going. The Arthritis Research UK organisation is the main body for publishing the study results and are a source of advice and support for sufferers.
There are no one fix all herbs for arthritis sufferers. Each patient will require treatment tailored to their particular symptoms. That often involves a consultation with a medical herbal practitioner. Any prescription is likely to contain a mix of herbs that are known to have anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties. Other herbs to counteract other symptoms will be added as required.
- A dietary supplement consisting of the oils of the avocado fruit and soybean plant has been found effective during laboratory studies can help to reduce production of inflammatory substances in some joints. It helps to prevent or slow down the breakdown of joint cartilage. It stimulates the production of collagen, which is a natural ingredient in the tendons, joints, ligaments and muscles. There have been no reported major side effects in trials, but minor side effects include allergic reactions and upset stomach. Patients who have a known allergy to banana and chestnut products are at greater risk of a reaction to this supplement.
- Borage seed oil used as a dietary supplement has proven benefits for those patients with rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Study results from two trials show that after six months of treatment patients tested had an improvement in tenderness, swollen joints and a lessening of morning stiffness. Throughout both studies, there were no reported major side effects. Only a small number of patients reported diarrhoea, flatulence and belching.
- Capsicum is an herbal medicine extracted from the placental tissue and internal membranes of the chilli peppers plant. Several studies have reported that Capsicum works effectively in reducing the transmission of pain signals from a nerve ending to the brain. It is also useful in the production of anti-inflammatory properties in the joints. There have been no reported side effects with Capsicum, and it is considered safe when combined with prescription medications.
How effective are Herbal Medicines and Herbs for Arthritis?
As stated earlier there are research studies on-going into the possible benefits of using alternative therapies and herbs for arthritis sufferers, to help relieve the symptoms. New products are being classified as safe for use in the treatment and alleviation of symptoms. However, it is fair to say that no one herb for arthritis sufferers can claim to cure any of the 200 arthritis conditions.
As a final note of caution, not all herbs for arthritis treatment are legally available in the UK at this time. This is usually because there is insufficient evidence to support their effectiveness or may raise questions about their safety for patients.
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