Arthritis Herbal Supplements

In addition to the helpful arthritis supplements listed below, diet and exercise are also important factors. Since this is one of my active problems, I am always looking for other sites which provide helpful information. One such site which uses pilates exercises is Pilates-Back-Joint-Exercise

Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Supplements

The omega-3 fatty acids are a first line of defense in arthritis and play an important role in keeping the heart, kidneys, and digestive system healthy. The body needs omega-3 fatty acids to regulate blood clotting, hormone production, and inflammation, pain, and swelling in the body.

There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids; docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are found in fish oil, and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is found in plant foods such as nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils (especially flaxseed oil).

Many studies have conclusively shown that getting enough DHA and EPA through diet or supplementation protects against cardiovascular disease by lowering the levels of triglycerides (fats) in the blood, while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent the buildup of cholesterol that can clog the arteries and lead to heart attack and stroke. It also helps keep blood platelets from becoming sticky and clumping together to form blood clots.

Fish-oil supplements have been shown to help prevent sudden death as a result of dangerous abnormal heart rhythms, and strokes in people with known cardiovascular disease. Omega-3 supplements may also help ease the pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that symptoms such as morning stiffness and joint tenderness decrease after 3 months of regular fish oil supplement intake. Omega-3 was also reported to enhance the benefits of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen and aspirin.

Evening Primrose

Evening primrose, also known as evening star, produces little yellow flowers that bloom for only one night and then wither and die. The seeds for this plant are used to produce evening primrose oil (EPO), an excellent source of the omega-6 essential fatty acid. Evening primrose oil has been proven to be an effective treatment for many skin disorders, and may also help prevent diseases involving the breasts and central nervous system.

The omega-6 essential fatty acid, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), is believed to be the active ingredient of evening primrose oil. Gamma-linolenic acid is known to help soothe inflammation in the body, and to support the body’s immune system.

Several studies have shown that oral supplements containing evening primrose oil can help heal skin conditions that involve inflammation and have been linked to the body’s autoimmune response, including eczema, (scaly skin), and atopic dermatitis. The gamma-linolenic acid contained in evening primrose oil helps maintain the integrity of the myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves and helps protect them from damage. Therefore, evening primrose oil may be helpful to those suffering from disorders that affect brain chemistry. Based on the results of laboratory studies, it is thought that taking oral evening primrose supplements can help control symptoms and prolong remission in individuals suffering from conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease, and diabetic neuropathy. The typical dosage for treatment of these diseases ranges anywhere from 500 to 2,400 milligrams in capsules per day.

(Side note to the men - have your wife try some of this for post menopausal symptoms.)

Turmeric (Curcumin)

Turmeric produces a root that is used to produce the vibrant yellow spice used as a culinary spice so often used in curry dishes. Turmeric is native to India and parts of Asia, and is a relative of cardamom and ginger. Today's herbalists and naturopaths consider turmeric to be one of nature's most potent anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.

This spice has long been used in Indian ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to treat infection, gallbladder problems, dysentery, arthritis, and liver disorders. Indian researchers found that tumeric relieved joint pain and swelling in people with arthritis as well as prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) without side effects such as abdominal bleeding or stomach upset.

Turmeric is a natural antioxidant, and thus protects the body from oxidative damage. Turmeric helps detoxify the body, and protects the liver from the damaging effects of alcohol, toxic chemicals, and even some pharmaceutical drugs. Turmeric stimulates the production of bile, which is needed to digest fat. Turmeric also guards the stomach by killing salmonella bacteria and protozoa that can cause diarrhea.

Glucosamine Supplements

Glucosamine is one of the raw materials used to form new cartilage in the body. It is needed to form the fluid that helps keep the joints cushioned and well lubricated. Glucosamine is touted to ease symptoms of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and bursitis, as well as other disorders associated with a breakdown of the cartilage regenerative process.

Glucosamine is the precursor of chondroitin sulfate, a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) that forms the tough, fibrous tissues of cartilage. Both glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate as said to improve symptoms of arthritis, a condition characterized by decreased amounts of cartilage at the joints. Many supplements marketed as a treatment for joint pain or chronic back pain contain both glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate as the main active ingredients

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a substance that attaches to collagen and elastin to form cartilage. HA not only helps keep the cartilage that cushions joints strong and flexible, but also helps increase supplies of joint-lubricating synovial fluid.

Research has shown hyaluronic acid to be an effective treatment for both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, particularly in its injectible form.. Hyaluronic acid is present in every tissue of the body, and it performs many important functions. It helps deliver nutrients to and carry toxins from cells that do not have a blood supply, such as those found in cartilage.

Without adequate amounts of HA, the joints will become brittle and deteriorate. Not only does it keep joints lubricated, but hyaluronic acid also encourages water retention in other bodily tissues. It is found in large concentrations in the extracellular matrix (ECM), which is the fluid-filled space between cells. HA locks moisture into the ECM, keeping collagen and elastin moist and promoting a youthful appearance.

Green Tea

Green tea comes from the same perennial evergreen shrub as black tea—the difference between the two teas lies in the methods used to process the leaves. Green tea is made by lightly steaming fresh tea leaves, while black tea is made from leaves that are dried and roasted and that therefore lose a lot of their medicinal power.

Green has been a popular beverage in China for thousands of years, but only recently has the Western world discovered its remarkable health benefits. The lighter processing method used to make green tea leaves the polyphenols intact. In laboratory studies polyphenols provided more antioxidant protection than vitamin E or vitamin C.

Polyphenols also enhance the performance of the body’s own natural antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione, which has been proven effective for reducing inflammation and cartilage breakdown associated with arthritis.

Does CherryJuicePower work?

I was first introduced to tart cherry juice by my relatives in Illinois. They had started taking it when a friend told them it helped arthritis. They checked it out and it helped their arthritis symptoms. There has been some scientific work done analyzing cherry juice with the result that anthocyanins which are an antioxidant have been identified as responsible for some of the cherry juice benefits. Dietary antioxidants are believed to play a role in reducing the risk of various human degenerative diseases caused by free radicals in our bodies. Cherry juice is no longer just a folk remedy.

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