Naturopathy for Arthritis

Degeneration of joint leads to a condition called Arthritis; it is accompanied with joint pain. Osteoarthritis is the most common type of Arthritis and may be due to poor diet, infections, trauma and overuse of joints. This progressive disorder occurs due to degeneration of hyaline cartilage which allows movement of joints. This condition occurs in both men and women, and occurs naturally as we age. Changes in joints may happen to individuals when they are still in their 20s/30s, and symptoms may become frequent by their 50s/60s.

Arthritis Symptoms: Swelling, Pain, noise from joints upon movement, morning stiffness, restricted mobility.

Arthritis affected Parts: Shoulders, fingers, knees, spine and hips. Arthritis is commonly asymmetrical - it affects joints only on one side.   

Nutrition for Arthritis: Good nutrition helps in repairing damaged tissues. Eliminating food from the nightshade family which includes eggplant, tomatoes, peppers and tobacco, may also be beneficial. These food items contain alkaloids that may increase inflammation and interfere with joint repair. Excessive weight puts pressure on joints therefore losing weight is beneficial in condition of Arthiritis. Consumption of celery, kale, artichoke, turnip greens,lettuce, mustard greens, black mission figs, millet, barley, almonds, cherries, pineapple, blackberries, black currants, limes, olive oil, and gelatin may be beneficial.

Foods to avoid in Arthritis: Lowering consumption of sugar, junk food, dairy products, caffeine, refined foods, rhubarb, fried foods, spinach, asparagus, and the nightshade family may help in condition of Arthritis.

Recognizing diet sensitivities and eliminating food sensitivities from diet helps.

Drink sufficient water: Consuming atleast 1/2 ounce water per pound of body weight is recommended in condition of arthritis.

Alfalfa (Medicago saliva) for Arthritis: Tea made of Alfa alfa seeds helps to alkalize residues of food in the body, this helps in condition of Arthritis. Consuming six to seven cupfuls of Alfa Alfa tea everyday for aleast two weeks is recommended.

Celery for Arthritis: Celery is rich in organic sodium which helps in keeping lime and magnesia in solution form and hence relieves joint deposits. Celery should be consumed in form of fresh juice extracted from its leaves and stem.

Herbs for Osteoarthritis: Black Cohosh, Burdock, Chaparral, Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), Juniper, Yucca are used for treatment of Osteoarthritis. Black Cohosh, Chaparral, Devil's Claw and Yucca have anti-inflammatory properties. Please note that Juniper may cause kidney irritation. It must not be used continuously for more than 6 weeks.

Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic illness characterized by inflammation of joints and surrounding tissues. In addition to affecting hips, knees, fingers and wrists, this type of arthritis also affects tendons, tissues and muscles. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune illness in which immune system targets the healthy tissue of the body by mistake. The condition occurs due to inflammation of linings of joints which is accompanied by swelling and possible deformity of joints. The condition of Rheumatoid arthritis can affect in any age but the disease commonly affects in middle age. Causes of Rheumatoid arthritis disease are unknown. The disease may be linked to hormones, infection and genes. Women are more prone to Rheumatoid arthritis than men.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis: Joint pain (both sides of the body are equally impacted), morning stiffness, fatigue, under skin bumps/nodules, stiffness, numbness, tingling, burning sensation in hands and feet, burning eyes & mouth, itching

Treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis: A lifelong treatment is required for Rheumatoid arthritis which includes physical therapy, muscle strengthening exercises , medications, occasional surgery and a good diet. An alkaline diet is recommended for  Rheumatoid arthritis patients as alkaline action helps in dissolving deposit accumulations around joints/tissues. A good mix of fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbohydrates should be part of the diet. Fresh raw vegetables may also be consumed in salad. The diet must include at least two cooked vegetables. In severe conditions, patient should be kept on raw vegetable juice therapy for one week. Juice of green leafy vegetables mixed with carrot, celery, beetroot juices is recommended. Rheumatoid arthritis patients also benefit from consuming fish oil (containing omega 3).

For centuries, folk medicine have used raw potato juice therapy to treat rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Potato juice in those days was prepared by cutting raw potato into slices and keeping in cold water overnight. In morning, this water could be consumed empty stomach. The juice could alternatively prepared in morning from fresh raw potatoes and diluted (50:50) with water.

Black gingelly seeds have also been found useful in arthritis as they help in preventing frequent joint pains. These seeds must be soaked overnight in water and this water must be taken on an empty stomach in morning along with seeds.  

Joint destruction could be delayed if an aggressive treatment is given to the patient at the onset of the disease. Heat treatments/cold treatments, orthotic and joint protection devices may be used as per recommendations. It is also essential that the patient rests between activities and sleeps for eight to ten hours per night.

Longevity and Rheumatoid arthritis: According to researchers for individuals with Rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease is a major cause for low life expectancy. However, simple changes in life style could reduce risk of heart diseases. Firstly, as bacteria from mouth may get into blood stream and clog arteries it is essential to keep mouth clean, which may require flossing teeth everyday. Patients may consume fatty fish oil and fatty fish as omega 3 present in these could lower risk of heart disease. 2 grams of fish oil everyday/ 14 ounces of fatty fish (Salmon, Sardine, Herring, Tuna) every week is recommended.