The pain and stiffness you feel around your joints may just be a sign that you’re getting on in years, then again, it may mean something else altogether. Doctors use arthritis as a catchall term for inflammation of the joints. Arthritis, of which there are many different, identifiable conditions, refers more specifically to inflammation of the joints. The herbal preparations and suggestions below are intended to relieve the general muscular aches and pains and stiffness in the joints commonly suffered by most people.
There are many kinds of arthritis, each with different symptoms and causes. Two major divisions are osteoarthritis, which is related to wear and tear of the joints, and thinning of the cartilage surrounding them; and rheumatoid arthritis which is defined as an auto-immune disorder, it is caused when the body’s defense system attacks its own cells, in this case the soft tissue in the joint, the result is swollen, painful, often deformed joints and general feeling of being unwell, due to the chemicals released into the body.
An active lifestyle and a sensible diet are important overall health, and will minimize muscular aches and pains and stiffness in the joints.
Exercise: moderate exercise, within limits of comfort, such as walking or swimming, improves muscle tone and helps keep joints working well.
Diet: as with most conditions, it helps to eat healthy, balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals, which includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and oily fish, high in essential fatty acids.
Cod liver oil: a daily dose of up to 50ml/1tsp. can be beneficial for the joints and reduce stiffness. Ocean fish such as mackerel, salmon and herring provide omega-3 fatty acids that ease swelling and pain.
Cross eel off the menu, it contains arachidon acids, which allow pain to occur in the body.
Vitamin C has positive influence on the course of the disease, as well as vitamin E, it intercepts so-called oxygen radicals which form in greater quantities with acute inflammatory joint diseases.
Avoid coffee, alcohol and nicotine.
Take tai chi classes, or Chinese shadowboxing to relax all joints
Herbal teas and decoctions, detoxifying the system and eliminating irritant waste material, are often advised for reducing the effects of muscular aches and pains. Stiff joints and mild osteoarthritic conditions also benefit from detoxifying the system and stimulating circulation. Take the following teas for these purposes: Dandelion, Nettle, Meadowsweet, Celery seed, Ginger and Celery seed, and parsley.
Massage, gently rubbing the affected area with anti-inflammatory, painkilling essential oils, such as cypress, juniper, pine, and rosemary to ease muscular aches and stiffness of joints, essential oils of black pepper, ginger and marjoram stimulate the circulation and are also suitable for massage.