Many arthritis sufferers think there is little or nothing to be done to help them, but these natural remedies for arthritis should relieve the pain of all types of arthritis, including lupus. I would also recommend it for fibromyalgia-type pain. The key is to do ALL of them simultaneously (together at once) so the healing is faster and synergistic.
Arthritis (or lupus, or fibromyalgia) is not a simple problem – it is a whole-body imbalance and so many aspects of healing need to be addressed simultaneously to see results. If you pursue this holistic healing, you will likely see other health issues automatically resolve as well.
What Is Arthritis?
Before we get into my natural remedies for arthritis, let’s talk about what arthritis is.
Arthritis is a painful inflammation of the joints. Arthritis is considered a chronic and degenerating condition. As arthritis progresses, it causes increasing damage to and decreasing range of motion in the affected joint. Advanced arthritis can make simple tasks like walking and getting dressed difficult, and is the leading cause of disability in adults.
There are over 100 different types of arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis (OA), sometimes called degenerative or “wear and tear” arthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused by a breakdown of the cartilage in the joint.
Another common and more serious form of arthritis is rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory type of arthritis that is considered an autoimmune disease. Like RA, lupus is considered an autoimmune disorder. While fibromyalgia (FMS), a soft-tissue rheumatism involving muscle pain, does not cause damage to or inflammation in the joints, it is considered arthritis-related, often overlapping with RA.
Lupus is a complex autoimmune disease with varying symptoms that may include arthritis, hair loss, fatigue, kidney inflammation, and other problems with the joints, skin, or other organs.
Gout, which most commonly affects the base of the big toe in men, is often described as the most painful type of arthritis.
Symptoms of arthritis include pain, inflammation, redness, swelling, stiffness, and a limited range of movement in the affected joint. Like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis can also attack the organs, including the skin.
Natural Herbal Remedies For Arthritis
Each of the treatments or supplements below are effective natural remedies for arthritis. You can pick and choose if you wish, but here’s how holistic healing actually works: You do all the treatments simultaneously. Each remedy addresses a different piece of the puzzle, put them all together and you have the synergy of holistic healing.
1.Cat’s Claw – an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant that provides immune support. The bark and root of this woody vine have been used for centuries in South America to treat arthritis, inflammation, and other conditions.
Dosage: 30 drops in water or tea (it’s tasteless) twice a day.
2.Resveratrol – Resveratrol is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound found in abundance in grape skins and red wine. Researchers working with rabbits found that resveratrol shut down the production of HLA-DR4, a compound involved with joint deterioration in arthritis. In humans, some rheumatoid arthritis sufferers report they waited 4 to 6 months before they obtained relief from taking resveratol, but others achieved more rapid results.
Dosage: Once per day, as directed on the package. Keep refrigerated.
3. Transdermal Magnesium – Relaxes smooth muscles and blood vessels. It reduces pain and inflammation and helps tissues regenerate quicker. You can apply magnesium oil directly to the affected area. Either pour some into your hand and rub it on, or transfer some magnesium oil to a spray bottle (available at any dollar store) and spray the affected area. Use as often as needed.
Dr. Mark Sircus, who specializes in transdermal medicine, tells this story:
“Yesterday I witnessed one of the most amazing benefits of transdermal medicine I have ever seen. It certainly was a demonstration of the absorption properties of the skin. I work with another RN who is afflicted with arthritis, especially in her hands, and frequent muscle cramping/spasms in her legs. Yesterday I received a phone call from her begging me to please bring to the hospital some magnesium oil, as her hands were so cramped up and painful that she could barely stand to continue working.
When I got there, her hands and fingers were very contorted in spasm. Her fingers were curled up and stiff and her legs were cramping badly. She reported they had been this way all day, and the pain was driving her to tears. She immediately slathered the magnesium oil all over her hands. We were in report and she wanted it on her hands right away so the entire nursing staff watched and within 5 minutes you could visibly see her fingers extend back to normal and the finger movement return. We could literally see the relaxation taking place. Within minutes her hands were completely relaxed and functional again and stayed that way the remainder of the evening.”
Some people find the magnesium oil is itchy as it dries (depends on where you apply it), so if this is the case, then put the magnesium into your bathwater instead.
You can add 2 oz. of magnesium oil and 1 cup of Epsom salts to a hot bath, and soak for at least 20 minutes daily until the acute pain phase is over, then several times per week. Many people like to combine these two methods – applying directly to the skin throughout the day (as needed) and then once per day soaking in a magnesium bath.
Since 40 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium, you will also benefit from taking oral magnesium – if you take it in nanoparticle or atom-sized form, it does not require digestion and is even absorbed through the lining of your mouth. Therefore it does not affect (loosen) your bowels and the absorption rate is 100 percent vs. 5 – 15 percent from tradiational magnesium supplements. You can also use the oral magnesium instead of the magnesium oil, if you prefer.
Dosage: Apply magnesium oil directly to affected area, add 2 ounces magnesium oil plus 2 cups Epsom salt to your bath. Also take 1 dose of atom-sized magnesium each day. Atom-sized, or nano-sized minerals are so tiny that they are absorbed instantly through the lining of your mouth. If you are only taking the oral magnesium (no transdermal) then take 2 doses per day.
4.Minerals – Bone Matrix is a nanoparticle-sized blend of key minerals needed for bone (and teeth) health. Bone Support contains the ideal 2:1 ratio of magnesium to calcium. The bone-building minerals and the trace minerals benefit not just the bones and joints, but also calm inflammation by alkalizing the body. In addition, your body won’t have to pull minerals out of your bones to counteract the acidic diet or drinks you may be consuming.
Dosage: Take 2 doses of Bone Matrix per day, and 1 dose of Trace Matrix.
5. Fish Oils – Fish oil is an excellent source of bioavailable anti-inflammatory omega-3’s, which aid joint mobility, among many other benefits. The cell membrane contains a lot of fat (lipid membrane) – humans cell membranes are 40% fat/lipid, so we need an adequate intake of these healthy fats each day.
Dosage: Krill oil – 1 capsule 2 times a day with food Cod liver oil – 3 capsules 2 times a day with food.
6.Vitamin E – Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. French scientists showed that 6 weeks of natural vitamin E supplementation in mice reduced the progression of bone and cartilage destruction, when compared with mice that were not given supplements.
German physicians showed that supplementation with 400 IU of vitamin E daily for 6 weeks reduced pain twice as much as a placebo. Another study found that 400 IU per day of vitamin E relieved arthritis pain symptoms more effectively than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen.
One part of the long-term Framingham study showed that people who consumed 6 to 11 mg of vitamin E daily were significantly less likely to experience progression of arthritis of the knee than were people who consumed only 2 to 5 mg. These dosages are much lower than usually given; vitamin E toxicity has been seen at doses of 3,000 IU per day for more than 7 weeks. (Source: The Arthritis Handbook by Grant Cooper MD.)
Dosage: 800 IU Natural (NOT synthetic) Vitamin E per day. Take at the same time as your fish oils, with food.
7.Vitamin D3 – Helps regulate and control the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus by aiding in their absorption from the small intestine, and by directly affecting the rate at which these minerals form and maintain bone and teeth.
Dosage: 4000-5000 IU natural-sourceVitamin D3 per day. Take at the same time as your fish oils, with food.
Some relevant studies on Vitamin D as a natural remedy for arthritis:
Rheumatoid arthritis tends to be worse during the winter months when people typically receive less sunlight, required for the creation of vitamin D in the skin. Vitamin D3 has been found to help people with rheumatoid arthritis because it works specifically with both the immune and skeletal systems. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatism in January 2010 found that vitamin D3 prevented bone loss caused by the steroids used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
A study of 206 elderly patients with inflammatory polyarthritis published in July 2007 in Arthritis and Rheumatism showed that patients with higher levels of vitamin D in their blood reported fewer hurting joints. The researchers recommend that vitamin D intake be considered for joint health, particularly for the elderly.
A study of 1,248 elderly adults published in August 2009 in The Journal of Clinical Rheumatology found that blood levels of vitamin D related to the progression of the disease. Vitamin D levels were associated with less advanced osteoarthritis of the knee and also with higher bone mineral density.
(Sources: Arthritis and Rheumatism: 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 Modulates Th17 Polarization and Interleukin-22 Expression by Memory T Cells From Patients With Early Rheumatoid Arthritis
Arthritis and Rheumatism: Association Between Serum Vitamin D Metabolite Levels and Disease Activity in Patients with Early Inflammatory Polyarthritis
Journal of Clinical Rheumatology: Vitamin D Status, Bone Mineral Density, and the Development of Radiographic Osteoarthritis of the Knee: The Rotterdam Study)
8.Vitamin C – Another powerful antioxidant that also offers immune support. Vitamin C in its common ascorbic acid form can cause diarrhea in higher dosages. Therefore, you may want to get Vitamin C in mineral ascorbate form (e.g. calcium ascorbate). The mineral ascorbate form is also preferable as it’s more readily absorbed – ascorbic acid has to first be converted to mineral ascorbates by the body prior to absorption. High doses of magnesium can also cause diarrhea so avoid vitamin C in magnesium ascorbate form, if you are susceptible to diarrhea.
Another delicious way to get your daily vitamin C in mineral ascorbate form (for ongoing use) is by using Emergen-C – handy single-serving packets naturally flavored in a variety of yummy flavours. Carry them with you and take as often as possible.
Dosage: 3000 to 10,000 mg per day. Vitamin C can cause diarrhea in high doses, so just take as much as you can tolerate.
9. Digestive Enzymes – For better nutrient absorption and a reduction in the inflammatory response from food. My favorite is Houston Enzymes.
Dosage: Follow the package directions.
10.Probiotics – A healthy gut flora helps reduce inflammation. Certain aspects of proteus mirabilis, an organism implicated in arthritis, resemble the synovial fluid in our joints. If proteus overgrows in the intestine and invade the intestinal wall, the antibodies attempting to attack it will inadvertently attack the joints as well. Another bacteria, Klebsiella pneumoniae, has been linked to alkylosing spondylitis, a severe form of arthritis that affects the spine. What’s more, there have been reports that certain intestinal bacteria can relocate to the joints and cause arthritis.
For LOTS more information abut choosing a potent probiotic and how to dose for different conditions, sign up for my free eBook, What You Need To Know About Probiotics, in the green box.
DMSO is a topical treatment (apply it to your skin on affected areas) that works better than MSM. It is also used by many professional sports teams when their athletes are injured with joint or ligament damage and they need to get them back into game-shape quickly.
You can mix 25 ml of DMSO with 10 ml of water to create a 70% DMSO solution. Apply on or around the area of soreness or swelling, using an applicator (like a paint brush or Q-tip), or with your fingers. Paint on repeatedly; allow to dry a bit between applications, and then let air dry for 30 minutes. Wipe off any excess to prevent damage to clothing. Apply 3 times a day.
Begin treatment with lower concentrations (perhaps 50% – so 25 ml of DMSO with 25 ml of filtered water) until skin tolerance builds up. if no skin irritation occurs, then advance to a higher concentration. Fair-skinned blondes or redheads with blue eyes are most sensitive to DMSO, so topical, oral or intravenous concentration for them should be 50% or less.
Possible side effects include skin irritation for first 72 hours, inflammation and possibly blistering on people with extremely sensitive skin, and a garlic or oyster-like body odor or smell on the breath. Skin irritations, rash or inflammation can be treated with ice and/or aloe vera, and eliminated by reducing the concentration of DMSO used. You can always test a small patch first, or, use only a 50% concentration of DMSO to start. You can also dilute the DMSO with George’s Aloe Vera Juice instead of water and this is soothing for the skin.
I find 50% DMSO concentration works well for my young kids (children have more sensitive skin). I have very sensitive skin so although I can tolerate 70% I find it annoyingly itchy as it dries. Rubbing on pure aloe vera, or cold-pressed castor oil after the DMSO is dry helps to calm any irritation.
Cod liver oil twice per day aids the action of DMSO.
For severe arthritis, you can increase DMSO’s potency and action by using this Impervious Wrapping Technique:
Use only for body parts below the waist, from the hips on down. This technique is too strong for areas of the body above the waist (arms, hands, trunk, neck, face, shoulders or back).
Apply 70 to 80% topical DMSO liquid, gel, cream or ointment to the area of the arthritis pain. Apply lightly using a cotton ball, Q-tip, soft paintbrush, or your fingers – don’t rub it in.
Wrap a thin layer of gauze bandage over and around the affected area.
Cover the entire bandaged area with plastic wrap (Saran wrap or other cling film).
Leave in place for 2 hours the first time. If no skin irritation develops, then next time leave the wrapping in place for the entire night, or the whole day.
Wash treated area with natural, organic, vegetable glycerin or olive oil soap only. Do not use any moisturizing creams or lotions on the area, before or after treatment. Pure aloe vera can be used if irritation occurs.
If irritation or rash occurs, discontinue the gauze and cling film wrap.
CAUTIONS FOR USING DMSO: DMSO will instantly transport into the cells of anything it comes in contact with. So store it only in glass; wash your hands with natural soap before handling, and use only unvarnished wood, stainless steel or glass to apply – avoid plastics or anything that contains synthetic chemicals that could be transported into your body.
FOOD/DIET AS A NATURAL REMEDY FOR ARTHRITIS
Foods To Avoid On An Arthritis Diet
Avoid any chemicals, MSG, sugar, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, pasteurized dairy (RAW dairy is okay), hydrogenated oils, packaged foods, and gluten. Common foods that contain gluten are wheat, rye, barley, spelt and kamut.
Minimize nightshade vegetables like tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, chilies, paprika and goji berries. Or avoid them completely, and then reintroduce them one by one to see if any trigger a reaction.
Avoid or minimize grains like rice, wheat, millet, quinoa etc. Stick to protein, good fats and vegetables. Google Paleo recipe sites for meal ideas.
Arthritis Elimination Diet
If you are very committed to getting rid of your arthritis for good, then you may want to try the Keto Diet, or the Carnivore Diet, or Dr. Andrew Saul’s vegetable juicing program.
Each of these diets has shown to be very effective with eliminating arthritis, so research each of them and then ask your body which one you should try. When you ask your body, don’t ask your brain or your taste buds – be sure and ask your gut/belly!
Most important is to stop consuming any kind of sugar – like table sugar, high fructose corn syrup, brown sugar etc. as sugar is highly inflammatory and depresses the immune system. If you cannot stop eating grains, then use stevia in your baking so you don’t feel deprived. If you add 1-2 tbsp raw honey to your stevia in a recipe (to replace the sugar), you will not be able to taste the difference – the stevia aftertaste will be masked by the honey.
The Ideal vs. Reality
Keep in mind that the dietary guidelines here are what will give you the fastest, most dramatic healing results. However, if you are treating a child, or if you yourself have issues with food or self-discipline, then it is better to just follow these guidelines as best as you can – and let the rest go. Don’t beat up on yourself or increase your stress (depresses your immune system) and allow yourself time to implement the changes.
Children may need to be kept home from school for a week or two to do a cleansing diet, whilst supplementing with probiotics three times per day to start re-building the gut flora. If you or your child suffers from any kind of recurring infection or gut disorder, then I strongly suggest you consider using my book, Jini’s Natural Healing Guide: Gut Infection to both clear the nasties from the gut and implant with good bacteria (probiotics).
Treat the Underlying Emotional Causes of Arthritis
I have long been convinced that if you don’t heal the underlying psychological and emotional causes of any disease, then you will never have long-term good health. A complete healing plan for arthritis has to keep in mind the emotional component, which also needs addressing. In my experience, the most effective mind/body therapy to identify and treat emotional and psychological issues is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or even better, my own version of EFT, called Lazer Tapping. Come and try a free session with me, and see if your body likes this healing modality.
NATURAL REMEDY FOR ARTHRITIS SUMMARY