How Do I Choose the Best Herbal Treatment for Osteoarthritis?

Meshell Powell

Choosing the best herbal treatment for osteoarthritis may take a little time and experimentation, as each person responds differently to each remedy. Some of the most frequently used herbs for inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis include devil's claw, turmeric, and feverfew. Additional remedies may include cayenne pepper, ginger, and stinging nettle. As is the case with all medications, there may be negative side effects and medication interactions associated with the use of herbal supplements. For this reason, a doctor should be consulted before choosing a specific herbal treatment for osteoarthritis.

A healthy hip and one with osteoarthritis.
A healthy hip and one with osteoarthritis.

Devil's claw possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties, making it a popular herbal treatment for osteoarthritis. This herb is believed to help increase joint mobility among those with arthritic conditions and is thought to be especially useful for those who are prone to having gout as a result of high uric acid levels. Those with diabetes, high blood pressure, or stomach problems may not be able to safely use products containing devil's claw.

A picture of a healthy spine and one with osteoarthritis.
A picture of a healthy spine and one with osteoarthritis.

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Turmeric can be taken in the form of a capsule or added as a spice to food dishes as a way to reduce pain and inflammation of the joints. This herbal treatment for osteoarthritis is considered safe for the majority of people when used in moderation. People who have a history of gallstones or bleeding disorders should discuss the potential risks of turmeric with a doctor before choosing this supplement.

Feverfew is often used as an herbal treatment for osteoarthritis. While this herb is reported to have anti-inflammatory effects, some studies have indicated that it may not be as effective for arthritic conditions as once thought. Side effects of feverfew may include headaches, weight gain, and allergic reactions. This herb is related to ragweed, so those with known ragweed allergies should not take feverfew supplements.

Cayenne pepper has been used for centuries to treat painful muscle and joint conditions such as arthritis. It is used primarily as a topical preparation, and skin irritation is often reported as a result of using creams or ointments containing derivatives of this herb. Ginger may be a good choice for many people, as it is thought to reduce swelling and relieve pain. Lowered blood sugar levels, abnormal bleeding, and miscarriage are among the possible side effects of ginger.

Stinging nettle has been shown to be an effective herbal treatment for osteoarthritis and should be used under the supervision of a medical professional. This herb is usually added to creams or ointments and applied directly on the affected area. Those who have been diagnosed with heart problems or who are taking certain medications should use this product only under close medical supervision in order to avoid potentially serious side effects.

Turmeric can act like over-the-counter painkillers to relieve inflammation.
Turmeric can act like over-the-counter painkillers to relieve inflammation.

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