There are three common types of arthritis. They include osteoarthritis (the most common), affecting around 16 million Americans with an average age of 45. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD), usually attacks weight-bearing joints like the knees, hips, and ankles. It is also frequently found in the fingers, neck and back. Each of our joints is cushioned by cartilage. Osteoarthritis attacks that cartilage and gradually wears it down.
Another type of arthritis is known as rheumatoid arthritis. Extremely painful and inflammatory, it strikes the lining of the joints and leads to severe joint destruction. It attacks millions Americans, many in their younger years.
Psoriatic arthritis is not as well known as the previous two, but actually eats away at the joints and can also manifest as psoriasis lesions on the skin.
The term arthritis literally translates to “joint inflammation.” If you suffer from any of the different types of arthritis listed above, chances are you have taken drugs (either prescription or over-the-counter) to combat the pain, or tried alternative or “home” remedies.
If you haven’t yet tried “urtication,” it may offer some help. The term “urtication” comes from the botanical name, Urtica dioica and dates back some 2,000 years to biblical times. Urtica dioica is also known as stinging nettle. The treatment is to grasp the nettles in a gloved hand and swat the sore joints with the nettles. This may sound quite bizarre, but the practice has proven to be so effective for some sufferers of arthritis that they now maintain a nettle plant on their window sill.
Here are a few more natural herbs that are used by many people to treat arthritis:
Black cohosh: Also known as black snakeroot, bugbane, rattleroot, and squawroot. This herb is a relaxant as well as being extremely effective in easing painful menstrual cramps. It is also effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatic pain and nerve pain. In small doses, appetite and digestion are greatly improved and it can be very beneficial for the nervous system in general.
Bogbean: Useful for treatment of rheumatism, osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also has a stimulating effect on the colon.
Celery Seeds: Use dried ripe fruits as an anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, diuretic or anti-spasmodic. Great for treating rheumatism, arthritis and gout.
Chapparal: Useful in cases of acne, arthritis, chronic backache, warts and skin blotches. Also alleged to be one of the best cancer-fighting herbs.
Feverfew: Use the leaves to treat migraine headaches, arthritis, dizziness or vertigo, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Nettle: This is the herb we referred to earlier and is another one of those “universal” plants that is found all over the world. Rheumatism, arthritis, eczema, nosebleeds, high blood pressure are just a few applications. Nettles contain calcium, chlorine, iron, potassium, silicon, sodium and sulfur.
Saffron: A natural form of hydrochloric acid, saffron helps arthritics get rid of the uric acid which holds onto the calcium deposited in the joints. Also reduces lactic acid build-up. Said to be good for measles, skin problems, scarlet fever and perspiration.
Yucca: Hope for arthritics. The extract from the plant has been used with surprising success on arthritis and rheumatism sufferers.
All of the herbs mentioned here should be available at your local health food store along with suggestions on how to prepare them for use. Some applications will be to ingest in teas while others may require the creation of a topical treatment.
No matter what natural remedies you choose please consult your physician to make certain that your course of treatment does not interfere with any other medications that your doctor has prescribed for your treatment.