If you feel pain and stiffness in your joints caused by inflammation, see our natural remedies for arthritis—plus, tips on some foods to eat and not to eat to alleviate inflammation.
When people say “arthritis,” they usually mean osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. More than 16 million Americans over the age of 45 complain of this condition, which causes joints to become inflamed, painful and stiff.
While osteoarthritis cannot be cured, mild symptoms can be managed or reduced. We don’t want you to suffer, so check out these tips to relieve pain.
6 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR ARTHRITIS
1. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). This common herb has been used to relieve arthritis since the ancient Egyptians. The plant has tiny stingers which cause a burning sensation. Some brave folks literally self-inject the stingers into the inflamed area and swear by its effectiveness. However, most suffers will drink as a tea, steaming several ounces of the fresh leaves in how water. (Once cooked, stinging nettle loses its sting.) You can grow stinging nettle in the garden or purchase in health food stores as dried leaves or in ointment form for arthritis.
2. Capsaicin—the “hot” chemical in red chili peppers—can relieve the pain of arthritis. Capsaicin temporarily interferes with perception of pain in the body by reducing substance P, a pain transmitter. You can make a tea by mixing red pepper into water, or simply cook red pepper in your meals or add a splash of hot-pepper sauce in tomato juice. It is also available as a topical cream, gel, or patch at drugstores. When first applied, topical capsaicin causes a burning sensation. This sensation lessens within a few minutes, and also over time with repeated applications. (Don’t get carried away with this idea and try smearing yourself directly with chili peppers—that’s a higher potency than most skin will tolerate.)
3. Dose of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcumin longo) also also been shown to provide relief from pain and swelling, thanks to anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies have shown some support for curcumin (500 mg, three times daily) as a treatment for osteoarthritis.
4. Bee-vemon contains anti-inflammatory peptides that act against the pain and inflammation of your arthritis. If you’re allergic to bees, do not use this remedy without the supervision of a doctor. Even if you aren’t allergic, buy a bee sting kit from your pharmacy and keep it handy.
5. Increase the amount of oily fish in your diet. Studies show that increased consumption of non-fried fish suppresses the joint inflammation of arthritis. The reason? Like, aspirin, the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish boost production of a recently discovered class of anti-inflammatory fats called resolvins.
6. Pineapple (Ananas Comosus) has shown some ability to prevent inflamation because of bromelain, a chemical in pineapple. If you like pineapple, eat it as a snack in between meals not with your meal; it must be fresh or frozen, not canned pineapple or pineapple juice.
5 EVERYDAY MANAGEMENT TIPS FOR ARTHRITIS
1. Stretch for 18 to 20 minutes a day. Warm up first! Focus your stretching where it hurts the most, but increase flexibility all over.
2. Practice your posture each day. When you stare at a computer, are your eyes looking straightforward or is your head titled downward. Do you slouch? Look up exercises on proper posture exercises. Avoid staying in the same position and take frequent breaks.
3. If you are obese or overweight, anything that you can do to lose weight will reduce strain on your joints and reduce symptoms.
4. Exercise is good (not bad!) for arthritis, and one of the most effective ways to reduce pain and maintain joint health. Look into swimming which avoids putting strain on your joints. Avoid running which can put excessive load on joints. Try to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (such as swimming, cycling, or fast walking) every week.
5. Ice your affected joints right after doing an activity. Don’t allow them to become inflamed. You could even wrap some frozen vegetables in a towel and hold them to your painful joints.
You should certainly see a doctor or health professional if you have persistent symptoms of osteoarthritis so they can confirm the diagnosis and prescribe any necessary treatment.
WHAT TO EAT AND NOT EAT
What to Avoid
These are all well-known triggers of inflammation and problematic for arthritis suffers. Cut out or cut back each week:
· Red meat
· French fries and other fried foods
· Sugar and processed foods such as packaged cookies and crackers.
· White bread and pasta
· Fruit juice
· High-fat dairy products
· Corn oil
What to Eat
Put these foods on your next shopping list!
· Omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish, such as salmon and tuna
· Brazil nuts (Bertholettia excelsa) and Sunflower Seeds (Helianthus annus) which have S-adenosyl-methionine, a chemical shown to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties
· Dark green leafy vegetables high in vitamin K which helps body inflamation and antioxidants, such as broccoli, kale, and spinach.
· Vegetables rich in glutathione including broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and purslane. Fruits with healthy amounts include avocados, grapefruit, oranges, peaches and watermelon.
· Canola and olive oil. Similar to fish, olive oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Pure olive oil also contains oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
· Garlic and onions which help keep inflammation at bay.
· Red kidney beans and pinto beans are excellent sources of fiber and phytonutrients, which may help reduce inflammation.
· Celery, which has two dozen antiinflammatory compounds
· Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), which has antioxidants that help prevent aging in cells
If you are suffering from insomnia or sleep deprivation, simply can’t sleep, or are snoring, you might benefit from these natural sleep aids, which might help you sleep better.
WHAT IS INSOMNIA?
Insomnia is having trouble falling asleep or getting back to sleep—or, waking up too early.
It’s natural for people to have trouble sleeping from time to time. Some common reasons are stress, a sick child, eating or drinking too close to bedtime, or certain medications. This is usually nothing to worry about, but it slows your thinking, makes it difficult to pay attention, and makes you feel cranky (which affects others)!
Not getting enough sleep for a long time, however, can cause long-term health problems. For example, it can make problems like diabetes and high blood pressure worse. If you have sleep issues that last most nights for 3 to 4 weeks or more, you need to consult a health professional. You may have a chronic case of insomnia; this issue is more common in women, people with depression, and people older than 60.
Another serious sleeping problem is sleep apnea, and there are also sleep disorders, such as narcolepsy, that can make you sleep during the day. Certain disorders like restless legs syndrome can keep you up all night even though they don’t directly impact sleep.
Insomnia can become a habit that your body easily adopts if you don’t try to put a stop to the cycle.
It’s normal to take between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re having trouble and this is not a chronic case, here are some common natural sleep remedies that may work better than counting sheep!
· Go to bed and get up at the same time each day. Humans crave structure and rhythm. Help your body find its natural rhythm.
· Get up and walk around. If you keep tossing and turning in bed for 20 minutes, try getting up. Take a walk or do something quiet.
· Sleep in a dark, quiet room that isn’t too hot or cold for you. Many readers suggest that a slightly cooler room is helpful for sleeping at night. A few readers add that the feet can’t be too cold, and it helps to warm them in a bath or with socks before bedtime.
· Don’t face the clock. Try removing clocks from your bedroom. Clock-watching can feed into the pattern of insomnia. If you need an alarm, put one outside your bedroom door.
· Don’t listen to sleep myths. If you tell people you struggle with insomnia, they might list off a string of ideas for how to make you sleep better. Before you take their advice, make sure that it’s not just a sleep myth.
· Work out early. Exercise is a good way to get rid of insomnia. However, exercising 2 to 3 hours right before going to bed will only keep you awake. So plan accordingly.
· Wind yourself down. In the 30 minutes before bedtime, wind down by doing something relaxing, such as listening to music. Don’t do bills or work right before you go to sleep! Turn off electronic devices, too.
· Skip the afternoon nap. Try to not take naps during the day because this can take away your ability to be able to have a deep sleep. If you do nap, don’t nap later than 3 P.M.
· Avoid caffeine, nicotine, beer, wine, and liquor in the 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
· Don’t eat large meals within 2 hours of bedtime.
· Milk and turkey can help. Though large meals are not advised, try having a glass of milk an hour before going to sleep. If milk upsets your stomach, eat half of a turkey sandwich. The chemical tryptophan in both milk and turkey causes drowsiness.
· Your sleep position can also be important and affect your health.
· Consult your doctor. In some cases, taking medicine together with some changes to your routine can help most people with insomnia. Consult your health professional.
According for folklore: For insomnia, eat tomatoes, tangerines, or oranges.
Do you snore? Snoring is caused by vibrating in the throat. Some people can make changes that will stop snoring. These include:
· Losing weight
· Cutting down on smoking and alcohol
· Sleeping on your side instead of on your back
However, if you snore loudly and often and find that you are drowsy during the day, you may have sleep apnea. This is not uncommon, but it is dangerous because your breathing can stop during sleep. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you should see your doctor.
People with sleep apnea tend to be overweight. It is more common among men than women. In many cases, doctors will recommend a device that pushes air through your airway, but in some cases, you may need surgery.