rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder which affects mostly the hands and joints. Initially the wrist and hands are affected and as the disorder intensifies it spreads to other parts of the body also. The factors responsible for development of rheumatoid arthritis are genetic and environmental. When the immune system attacks the joints inflammation and thickening of joint capsule occur, which in turn affects the bone and cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis induces pain and stiffness which worsens after rest.

Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis involves reducing pain, decreasing inflammation and improving the overall functions of the person. There are contradicting claims about cures available for the disorder. But clinical treatments are attempted.

Home remedies for rheumatoid arthritis

There are certain home remedies practiced to treat the problem.

Ginger

Ginger is a root from a flowering plant. The root is fleshy and juicy. It is widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Gingerol, is an anti-inflammatory agent present in ginger. In addition, ginger has antioxidant and anti-ulcer properties. By regularly consuming ginger, joint pain and stiffness due to rheumatoid arthritis is substantially reduced.

You can chew on few pieces of fresh ginger root every day. You can also add honey to ginger pieces and eat it.

Ginger RA

Garlic

Garlic is an anti-inflammatory agent. This wonder herb has the potential to inhibit production of cytokines which are inflammatory by nature causing rheumatoid arthritis. By consuming just one or two cloves of garlic every day, pain and swelling due to this disorder is reduced. Garlic capsules are also available and can be consumed. Please check with a doctor to know the dosage. Raw and fresh garlic is more beneficial than capsules because it prevents production of free radicals that cause damage to the joints.

garlic for arthritis

Apple cider vinegar

Rich minerals present in apple cider vinegar are calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. All these help reduce inflammation and joint pains due to RA (rheumatoid arthritis). The benefit is derived by consuming one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with just half the amount of honey in 100 ml water, once, every day. Application of ACV (apple cider vinegar) with warm castor oil externally on the affected parts also provide relief.

Turmeric

Turmeric is ant-inflammatory and anti-septic by nature. It is useful in blocking some enzymes and cytokines that cause inflammation in the joints. Drinking water with turmeric extract or turmeric powder twice a day for some weeks will gradually reduce inflammation and provide lasting relief from RA.

Turmeric

Hot and cold water compression

Hot and cold water compress is very effective for all sorts of pain. When hot and cold compress are used simultaneously, it is an excellent therapy to get relieved from the acute pain due to RA.

Method

  1. Prepare a hot water bag and ice or cold water bag.
  2. First place the hot water bag on the affected area and compress for a few minutes.
  3. Then place the ice or cold water bag on the area for just a minute.
  4. Repeat the exercise every half an hour till substantial relief.

As a word of caution, if the affected area is red due to severe inflammation, hot water compress should be avoided. Similarly people with circulatory problems should avoid cold compress.

Exercise

exercise ball

Those suffering due to RA must guard themselvesagainst the risk of developing osteoporosis which is a more serious bone disorder. To avoid that eventuality and to get relief from RA, some regular physical exercises are required. Such exercises not only reduce fatigue but also strengthens the muscles thereby reducing pain due to RA. Range-of-motion exercises, cardio or aerobic exercises and muscle strengthening exercises are some of the exercises that help in subsiding the pain due to RA. Continuous exercising over a period of time has the advantage of minimizing the occurrence of the problems due to RA.

Vegetable consumption

Vegetables contain anti-oxidants and other nutrients which protects cells from damage and reduce inflammation in the body including joints. Green leafy vegetables containing lot of antioxidants and vitamins A, K, and C prevent damage of cells. Broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts and kale are good for RA. Vegetables with bright colors like orange and red contain beta-cryptoxanthin and anti-oxidants which are helpful in reducing inflammation. It is better to steam cook the vegetables in order to retain the nutrients fully.

Other foods that help to recover.

  1. Eating whole grain white bread, mushrooms that provide lot of vitamin D are good for RA.
  2. All varieties of tea are rich in polyphenols which are anti-inflammatory. Green tea is particularly more beneficial as the polyphenol in green tea is more effective in reducing swelling and symptoms in RA patients.
  3. Consumption of as much water as possible is very useful as it prevents gouts and reduce joint pain by flushing out toxins from the body frequently and effectively.

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.