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Fresh garlic can liven up any dish and may help ease rheumatoid arthritis pain. A study published in August in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology noted that garlic has significant anti-inflammatory effects because it inhibits the production of pro-inflammatory substances known as cytokines. But the study found that heating garlic extract significantly reduced its anti-inflammatory properties.

What is it?

Garlic can be added to many types of foods, including roasted vegetables, stir-fries, and sandwich spreads. Black Pepper.

Peppers are widely used to fight pain and swelling in traditional natural remedies. For instance, capsaicin, the substance that gives hot peppers their heat, is used in gels and creams as an arthritis treatment , according to the Arthritis Foundation. Research published in August in the journal Natural Product Communications found that many of the anti-inflammatory properties found in capsaicin are also found in black pepper. She advises using herbs or supplements at least two hours before or after taking your medications.

And, she adds, your treatment should be personalized. Work with a health professional trained in herbal medicine, she suggests, because such a person will consider many factors, including your overall health and symptoms, before recommending specific herbs.

Turmeric is a yellow spice and medicinal herb that originated in India. The orange pulp inside the stem contains the potent plant compound curcumin. One article cited findings from a number of animal studies and two trials suggesting that curcumin may reduce chronic inflammation due to RA. However, the body cannot absorb large quantities of curcumin, which can limit its therapeutic application.

That being said, a compound called piperine — which is present in black pepper — can reduce inflammation and improve curcumin absorption, according to one study. Uncaria tomentosa U. Cat's claw may improve immune function and reduce inflammation. However, not enough high quality clinical trials exist to support these claims. One older clinical trial did examine the anti-inflammatory effects of cat's claw among 40 people with RA. The authors reported a Also, a study found that cat's claw influences enzyme activity associated with arthritis. A more recent study found that although U. Cat's claw appears safe when a person takes it in small quantities.

However, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health advise that women who are pregnant should avoid taking cat's claw. Oil distilled from eucalyptus leaves has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. The flavonoids and tannins in eucalyptus leaves have antioxidant properties that may help reduce inflammation and pain. A study using cell cultures found that eucalyptus leaf extracts significantly reduced the levels of two inflammatory enzymes: interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha.

People can purchase eucalyptus extract as an essential oil in many stores or online. They can then add it to a warm bath or inhale it. Boswellia serrata , or frankincense, is the resin from the bark of the Boswellia tree. This resin has a strong aromatic quality, making it a popular ingredient in perfumes, incense, and essential oils. Frankincense may also offer benefits for people with chronic inflammation. According to the Arthritis Foundation , the active compounds in frankincense possess anti-inflammatory properties that could help relieve arthritis symptoms.

A review article of several small scale clinical trials found evidence to support the use of frankincense and other Boswellian resin products for managing arthritis symptoms. Aloe vera is a succulent plant popular for its health benefits. Many wound healing ointments and skin products contain aloe vera because of its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. The compounds in aloe vera help remove free radicals from the body, much like antioxidants. These antioxidant functions also help reduce inflammation by preventing the production of inflammatory enzymes.

Fast Facts

According to one article , the compounds in aloe vera produce anti-inflammatory effects similar to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition that can cause swelling, pain, and stiffness in the joints. Although people can manage their symptoms with medical treatments, exercise, and proper nutrition, naturally occurring compounds in certain herbs could serve as complementary treatment options.

Current research shows promising results, but there is not enough scientific evidence to draw any definitive conclusions about the effectiveness of the natural remedies in this article. People should always speak with their doctor before trying any new supplements or natural remedies. Article last reviewed by Tue 16 July Visit our Osteoarthritis category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Osteoarthritis.

All references are available in the References tab. Ammon, H.

Arthritis Pain Reliever

Boswellic acids and their role in chronic inflammatory diseases [Abstract]. Asteriou, E. Curcumin for the management of periodontitis and early ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis: Killing two birds with one stone. Cameron, M. Herbal therapy for treating rheumatoid arthritis. Castilhos, L. Effect of Uncaria tomentosa extract on purigenic enzyme activities in lymphocytes of rats submitted to experimental adjuvant arthritis model.


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