Arthritis can take over 100 types, depending on its symptoms and causes. Symptoms usually include stiffness, pain and redness of joints, while causes can vary from genetic to trauma, stress, obesity and lack of minerals. The most common types of arthritis are -
1. Rheumatoid arthritis - The membrane that helps our joints to move smoothly inflames and causes pains. It usually affects knees, fingers, wrists and toes. It usually appears in people between 35 and 50 years old.
2. Osteoarthritis - The cartilage covering the end of each bones damages. It is usually caused by age and genetics and patients with this form of arthritis are older. The hips, the knees and the spine are the most affected.
3. Gout - It is caused by excess of uric acid in the body. This deposits around the joints in crystal form and prevents the joint from moving naturally. It mainly starts in the toes and the pains can be very severe.
Patients with arthritis are very much interested in improving their condition with herbal treatments because they are afraid that prescribed or over the counter pills might have unpleasant side effects.
Herbs are very efficient in arthritis. Those containing anti-inflammatory or analgesic substances have actions similar with those of arthritis drugs. Herbal treatments for arthritis include:
1. Tea made of alfalfa seeds (three cups a day) - A cure of two weeks reduces the inflammation of the joints considerably. Besides this, alfalfa capsules can be taken daily, as a prevention measure.
2. Turmeric (capsules taken three times a day) - It is known as an Indian spice, but it has also been used for centuries in treating arthritis. It is especially recommended in osteoarthritis.
3. Stinging nettle - It is best to be used in the early phases of arthritis to slow down the course of the illness.
4. Willow - Willow bark tea has the same effect as aspirin in reducing the inflammation and the swelling of the joints.
5. Cayenne pepper - It contains capsaicin, a powerful pain killer and also other compounds helpful in treating arthritis. It increases the blood flow and it is efficient both internally and externally.
6. Ginger - Ginger tea is mostly recommended for osteoarthritis.
7. Sesame seeds - Their high content of copper helps the body recovers from arthritis crises and regains the required nutrients.
8. Pineapple - A substance contain by this fruit prevents inflammation and swelling.