Arthritis is joint inflammation characterized by symptoms such as joint stiffness and pain, decreased joint movement, and swelling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that in the United States, over 50 million adults have arthritis. Around 33 million of these cases are osteoarthritis, making it the most prevalent type of arthritis [R].
We have listed a few natural arthritis remedies supported by scientific studies.
1. Thunder God Vine
Scientifically known as Tripterygium wilfordii, thunder god vine or thunder duke vine is an herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine.
A daily dose of 60 to 360 mg of thunder god vine extract was tested in 2 clinical trials involving more than 100 individuals. It was found to reduce joint inflammation and pain and improve the overall physical health. Another trial with 62 individuals was conducted showing that thunder god vine extract is more effective than sulfasalazine, a standard medication for rheumatoid arthritis [R] [R] [R].
In a trial with 61 individuals, topical application of thunder god vine tincture treated arthritis [R]. In trials with over 400 individuals, it was found that low doses of 20 mg 2 to 3 times daily, along with methotrexate (an immunosuppressant used to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis) can be used [R] [R] [R] [R].
However, we would only recommend the short-term use of thunder god vine treatment because it can compromise the immune system.
Ten studies were reviewed that showed that administering bromelain had a positive impact on individuals with osteoarthritis of the knee and lowered common symptoms, such as swelling, and joint pain and stiffness [R].
A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial with 103 individuals showed that a combination treatment using trypsin, rutosid, and bromelain can safely treat osteoarthritis of the knee. These individuals said that bromelain’s pain-killing effect was as effective as the drug Diclofenac but without the common side effects [R].
3. Cat’s Claw
Cat’s claw, scientifically known as Uncaria tomentosa, is a vine that is native to the tropical jungles of Central and South America.
A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial was conducted with 45 individuals suffering from osteoarthritis, and it was found that 1 week of cat’s claw treatment lowered activity-induced pain more than the placebo [R].
This herb was found to contain compounds called sesquiterpene lactones that boost the health of joints and blood vessels by suppressing two enzymes that causes damage to collagen in these parts of the body [R].
One clinical trial was conducted wherein 79 individuals with knee osteoarthritis were administered twice a day with highly diluted arnica gel containing 2.5% arnica extract for 6 weeks. They noted reduced joint pain and stiffness and increased mobility. Additionally, in a clinical trial with 200 participants, the same gel used thrice a day for 3 weeks for symptoms of hand arthritis was as effective as a 5% ibuprofen gel [R] [R].
5. Krill Oil
Krill oil contains omega-3 fatty acids that prevents arthritis by reducing inflammatory cytokine levels [R].
A double-blind, randomized, controlled trial with 90 patients suffering from heart disease and arthritis showed that daily administration of krill oil effectively lowered joint pain, stiffness, and immobility [R].
An additional double-blind, randomized, controlled trial with 50 patients showed that krill oil reduced knee pain and increased mobility [R].
6. Black Cumin Oil
In 2012, the US National Library of Medicine published a study showing that thymoquinone in black cumin helped reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, such as joint swelling and stiffness, in 40 female individuals. They were administered with 500 mg of black cumin oil twice a day [R].
Among the many medical uses of horsetail is treating rheumatoid arthritis. In a randomized, controlled study involving 60 rheumatoid arthritis patients, it was able to reduce symptoms, such as inflammation and pain, and regulate the immune system [R].
We strongly advise you to have regular check-ups with your doctor and lab tests (blood, kidney, and liver) at least once every four months if you decide to take any herbal medicine or supplement mentioned in the list for long-term.