Natural Remedies for Arthritis

Millions of arthritis sufferers-especially the elderly-wake up every day with achy, inflamed joints and go to bed with the same pain in their bodies. Many lie awake unable to sleep due to this pain. Instead of spending astronomical amounts of money on medications and surgeries, there are many natural remedies for arthritis that are available.

Exercise is essential. If an arthritic joint is not used, it will not remain lubricated, and a stiff joint will eventually not move at all. If you haven't been exercising, remember to start your exercise program slowly. Increase your program as your body permits. The key is to listen to your body. A little exercise today will go a long way for your joints tomorrow.

Put away the pain relievers. When the pain of arthritis becomes too much to handle, arthritis sufferers often reach for a bottle of aspirin. Those who choose to use natural methods of obtaining the same soothing relief can chew on a twig of willow. The bark of willow trees like the white willow, weeping willow or pussy willow contains salicin, a chemical very similar to aspirin.

Willow bark may react with a number of different drugs. It is important to discuss using willow bard with your doctor before beginning this natural treatment. Also, due to the risk of Reyes syndrome, children under the age of 16 should never be given willow bark or aspirin.

Pamper your joints. Hot baths and hot mud baths have been used for centuries to relieve the pain of arthritis. Additionally, a mixture of dandelion greens and fern fronds-boiled to a paste and then cooled-has soothing properties when rubbed on the afflicted area. Cayenne pepper added to lotion and then applied topically also does the trick. Ginger extract has natural anti-inflammatory properties and no apparent side effects.

Eat your jello. Gelatin is a source of collagen, which helps the regeneration of cartilage in your joints. As a bonus, it also helps your nails grow. Bananas are packed with potassium and are a good sourced of Vitamin B, folate and Vitamin C-all great for fighting arthritis.

Nutrition experts recommend a diet that's high in fruit and vegetables.

Foods to avoid:

  • Red meat
  • Dairy products
  • Citrus
  • Alcohol
  • Salt
  • Caffeinated foods and beverages
  • Sugar
  • Corn

Foods to choose:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Cherry juice (concentrated, if possible)
  • Gelatin (boosts cartilage rebuilding)
  • Cold water fish (Omega-3)
  • Whole foods, rather than processed foods
  • Plenty of fresh water (keeps cartilage from dehydrating)

To date, the best natural remedies for keeping arthritis in check include:

  • Eat a balanced diet, rich in omega-3 oil and fruits and vegetables
  • Avoid sugar, caffeinated and/or dairy products and alcohol
  • Take a hot bath before bed (or use a hot water bottle or heating pad)
  • Use topical ointments
  • Maintain a good weight to height ratio
  • Maintain a light, but consistent exercise program
  • Eat gelatin with bananas on a regular basis

When it comes to fighting arthritis, there are many natural remedies that have the ability to soothe inflammation or ease pain, and there are vitamins we can take to keep our body running at its best. If we don't exercise, eat properly, and perhaps most importantly, take in enough water, our bodies cannot function properly. Know your body. Learn what works for you.

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