About half of all people over the age of 60 have osteoarthritis, although young people can also be affected. Osteoarthritis is one of many forms of arthritis, and may be triggered by various factors. In osteoarthritis the smooth cartilage lining covering the bone becomes thin and worn, which means the bone is left unprotected. Swelling occurs when the body tries to protect this area by increasing the fluid around the joint; this swelling causes pain. Small outgrowths of bone or nodules can develop on the exposed bones, deforming the shape of the bone over time.
Naturopaths have always advocated changes in the diet, lifestyle changes, physical therapies, homeopathic and herbal medicines as part of the natural approach for relief from arthritis. Recent research shows herbal medicines may offer a much-needed alternative for people with osteoarthritis. Some herbs can be used as part of your everyday diet; Green Tea can protect the cartilage, while the spices Ginger and Turmeric in your meals can help decrease pain and inflammation.
Herbal medicine is usually taken in liquid or tablet form, and is tailored to your personal health requirements. Harpagophytum procumbens is a great herb for suffers of osteoarthritis. The shape of the root of this plant inspired the common name it is known by, “Devil’s Claw”. There is strong scientific evidence this helps osteoarthritic complaints and chronic lower back pain.
“Devil’s Claw” and other herbs such as Meadowsweet, Boswellia, White Willow, Chamomile and Stinging Nettle relieve pain by decreasing inflammation.
The natural form of salicylic acid in Black Cohosh, and Meadowsweet relieve pain in a similar way to Asprin which contains a synthetic form of salicylic acid.
There are many more herbs traditionally used to relieve arthritis, in the future these too are likely to be researched; meanwhile they can be used as they have been for centuries, to give you relief from pain and discomfort.
Contact Bay Health Clinic today to find out more about herbal medicine that can be tailored to your personal needs and to book your Naturopathic consultation; call 07 571 3226 or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Original Article Nov 2013
Copyright Jaine Kirtley