Arthritis is an inflammation affecting the soft tissues of the joints of the bones , of which there are over 100 types and whose causes can be of metabolic origin (gout), traumatic , infectious , caused by problems in the immune system, etc. Among the various symptoms with which this disorder occurs are: heat , swelling , joint stiffness , pain , redness . Let’s see the various herbal remedies to treat it.
> 1. Anti-inflammatory remedies for arthritis
> 2. The reparative remedies
> 3. Immunostimulating remedies for arthritis
In herbal medicine for the treatment of arthritis herbs and medicinal plants are used that act with different properties , because this disorder can have different causes . Among the herbal remedies there are plants with anti- inflammatory and analgesic action aimed at reducing pain; others that act on the immune system , when the cause is infectious or autoimmune . Also used are substances of natural origin capable of slowing down degenerative processes and stimulating reparative ones, thus improving joint lubrication.
This disorder can present itself acutely or chronically. Acute artitis , which is widespread, is mostly caused by bacteria and microbes that cause swelling and stiffness of movement.
Chronic arthritis is an important symptom of some systemic diseases , such as psoriasis ( psoriatic arthritis ), gout ( gouty arthritis) , blenorrhagia (blenorrhagic or gonococcal arthritis), syphilis and tuberculosis .
Among the chronic ones there is rheumatoid arthritis , of autoimmune origin , which simultaneously affects several joints and in particular the fingers , wrists and tendons . One of its peculiarities is the symmetry of the lesions ( eg the two elbows, the two wrists, the two hands, etc.). Often this disorder has an unfavorable outcome due to the onset of permanent joint deformities with severe functional limitations (typical of the hands, enlarged knuckles and deviation outside the phalanges).
Anti-inflammatory remedies for arthritis
Among the most used anti-inflammatory herbal remedies for arthritis, mainly of the chronic type, we find:
- The devil’s claw has an analgesic and anti-inflammatory action : it has been used for centuries in the traditional medicine of South African peoples, for the treatment of various problems of the osteo-articular system . The analgesic action of the Harpagosides contained in the root justify its use for the treatment of arthritis. The devil’s claw has proven particularly active especially in situations that cause pain and inflammation such as tendonitis, osteoarthritis, back pain, toothache, cervical pain and sciatica.
- Spirea : considered together with willow , the ” vegetable salicylate “, the plant has an anti-inflammatory , analgesic and antipyretic action , because it inhibits the synthesis of prostaglandins (PGE2), responsible for pain and the inflammatory process of the tissues. It is therefore used to relieve pain caused by arthrosis, rheumatoid arthritis, joint pain, toothache, back and neck pain. However, unlike synthetic anti-inflammatory drugs, spirea has no ulcerogenic action (gastritis, ulcer), a side effect of this category of drugs. The presence of mucilage,in fact, it confers to the spirea a protective action for the mucous membranes , able to reduce the spasms and the erosive processes of the gastric walls.
- Boswellia : boswellic acids , contained in the resin , hinder the functioning of an enzyme capable of stimulating the production of substances that facilitate inflammatory processes. In addition, they are able to inhibit elastase , highly destructive enzymes that attack and destroy the elastic part of the tissues in which an inflammatory process is underway, thus preventing the deterioration of the connective tissue. The mechanism is similar to the action of non-steroidal groups of anti-arthritis drugs, with none of the more common side effects such as gastric irritation and ulcerogenic activity associated with such drugs. Many studies have confirmed that Boswellia serrata possessespotent anti-inflammatory and anti- arthritic qualities , improve blood supply to the joints and restore the integrity of vessels weakened by spasm. It may also be useful for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis , again with no side effects to those seen with traditional medications of choice.
- Mud treatments : for external use, recent acquisitions on their pharmacological activities not only confirm but justify their use for the treatment of arthritis , arthrosis , dermatosis , gout , injuries and fractures, thanks to the anti- inflammatory and protective action of cartilage . In general, the muds have a draining, analgesic and muscle relaxant action, stimulating metabolic processes and resistance to pathogens ; they help cleanse and detoxify the skin, because they absorb toxins and waste and give us back a smooth, soft and purified skin.
Also discover the properties of silica earth, useful against arthritis
Remedies for repairing connective tissue
To restore joint function and protect cartilage , natural substances are used in phytotherapy, capable of slowing down the degenerative processes that damage the connective tissue and replenish collagen , thus improving joint lubrication.
- Hyaluronic acid : represents one of the main components of connective tissue and synovial fluid . From a chemical point of view, hyaluronic acid is classified as a glycosaminoglycan . Its ability to retain water in the tissues makes it particularly useful for the skin and joints. By participating in the formation of collagen and soft tissues, hyaluronic acid increases the plasticity of the tissues and ensures joint lubrication. It also has healing and anti- inflammatory properties and is free of contraindications or side effects.
- Collagen : is the main protein of connective tissue , with the function of strengthening and making tissues and organs elastic , taking part in the natural connection of joints, muscles, tendons, hair, joints and fundamental parts of the body human. In addition to these typical organic characteristics, collagen is the essential active ingredient for activating the reparative processes of all tissues of the human body, such as: skin, tendons, cartilage and vital organs. It also strengthens the muscular and osteoarticular system, helping to reduce pain .
- Glucosamine : the absence of this amino sugar causes the destruction of the cartilage of the joints of the hands, feet and knees: the bones rub against each other, causing inflammation and joint pain. Glucosamine is a natural component that the body obtains from glucose; with aging the body’s ability to self-produce it decreases, hence the need for its integration. Supplemental glucosamine can help rebuild cartilage and treat arthritis. Although it is derived from the shells of crustaceans, it can also be used by those who are allergic to it, as the allergen is in their meat. Natural glucosamine supplements can in fact reduce joint pain, without causing side problems.
Immunostimulating remedies for arthritis
When arthritis is of infectious or immune origin, herbal medicines are used immunostimulating plants, capable of enhancing the antibiotic and antiviral activity of NK cells and T lymphocytes.
Uncaria tomentosa : the pentacyclic alkaloids, present in the cortex, seem to be the most important components of the phytocomplex, because they induce the release of a factor in human endothelial cells that activates the regulation and proliferation of B and T lymphocytes responsible for the immune response.
The uncaria is able to enhance the activity of NK cells and T lymphocytes , therefore it seems to have as an elective target both specific and non-specific cytotoxic cells, with an effect similar to that of some human interferons, capable of transforming NK cells, in the most efficient LAK cells and to promote the activity of cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
For this reason it is indicated in the treatment of allergies; to strengthen the immune defenses against infections caused by viruses and bacteria; and in the prevention of colds in immunodeficiency syndromes and degenerative diseases .
Furthermore, among the other active ingredients that make up the phytocomplex, the glycosides of quinovic acid are responsible for the anti- inflammatory properties , together with sterols and polyphenols, which make it an effective remedy with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving action , useful in the treatment of arthritis , rheumatism and arthrosis , inflammatory processes and osteoarticular and muscular pains.