Alternative Ways to Handle Arthritis
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Alternative Ways to Handle Arthritis

Arthritis affects more than 40 million people in the US. Some forms of arthritis results to chronic pain, stiffness and swelling of joints that limits daily activities of the sufferers. Osteoarthritis is by far the most common form of arthritis affecting more than 20 million people worldwide. Other popular forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and gout arthritis and many other different types. Here are some alternative ways to treat arthritis but do not forget a partnership with a qualified alternative practitioner.


Arthritis simply means joint inflammation, coming from the Greek word arthro – joint and itis – inflammation. A joint works to move the body parts by its bones. The inflammation may affect the main structures inside the joints, including bones, lining of the joint, cartilage and other tissues. The condition may affect one or several joints throughout the body.

There different types of arthritis contributing too many causes of joint inflammation. The most common referred to as the wear-and-tear arthritis is called osteoarthritis. There are rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, and many others.

There are many possible causes of this joint injury although some are much common than others. One of the numerous reasons is that a long time moving breaks down the cartilage that forms a cushion between the ends of the bones. Eventually, bone rubs on bone, resulting in pain and stiffness that can range from mild to crippling on the knees, hips, shoulders, hips, in spines and even toes. 

There are many different medical treatments for the inflammation that osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis produce but the most common involves using no steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These include sapirin, ibuprofen, indomethacin (Indocin), naproxen (Aleve), and many others.

James Braly, M.D., an allergy specialist in Boca Raton, Florida stated that while NSAIDs may reduce symptoms today, in the long run, they make arthritis worse.

He insisted, “The single most important message that you could give to people with arthritis is that the type of drug most commonly used to treat over 20 million arthritis patients in the US is actually accelerating the destruction of joint tissue.”

Fortunately, there are many alternative medicines for arthritis – some of which, say alternative healers, have the power to not only relieve arthritis symptoms but to actually reverse them.

Glucosamine Sulfate: Abort the pain of Osteoarthritis 

Studies suggest that glucosamine sulfate, a nutritional supplement, may build cartilage and slow the progression of the disease instead of merely masking its symptoms.

According to Walter Crinnion, N.D., a naturopathic doctor and director of Healing Naturally in Kirkland, Washington, 500 milligrams of glucosamine sulfate, taken three times a day before every meals, “works excellent” among his patients who have osteoarthritis. But do not expect an overnight pain-free, this is a slow, natural process of rebuilding a damaged part of the body.

Tip: Be sure the label says glucosamine sulfate. “There are other forms of glucosamine being sold and they don’t work as well,” Dr. Crinnion says.

Turmeric: Booster of Glucosamine

In therapeutic dosage, turmeric, the yellow spice, work as well as NSAIDs to reduce the pain of inflammation of arthritis, Dr. Braly stated, “And has no side effects.”

One of the anti-inflammatory substances in turmeric is curcumin, which is available in capsules. Taken together, curcumin and glucosamine sulfate reduce pain and inflammation far better than either one alone, Braly continues. And some studies show that curcumin may block the formation of some types of tumors.


Ginger is another herbal spice with scientifically proven anti-inflammatory powers. One of the active ingredients is gingerol. People with arthritis problem should eat plenty of fresh ginger (raw is best). One can slice it thin and add as much as you’re comfortable eating to salads and other foods.

Alternatively, you can take a ginger supplement. Look for a standardized ginger product and follow the dosage recommendations on the label, until your arthritis pain subsides.

Mahanarayan Oil: For immediate relief

The director of the Ayurveda holistic Center in Bayville, New York, Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha, suggest the use of mahanarayan oil for immediate relief of pain due to arthritis. “But this is not a long term relief; the pain comes back after a few hours.”

The oil penetrates the skin and immediately softens pain-causing deposits in he bone, says Swami Tirtha. And it’s completely safe, so one can use as much of it as you want for pain relief. The oil is not greasy; you can rub a light coating of it in your skin as you would massage oil.

Guggul: Ayurvedic relief       

Ayurvedas support the use of guggul. “This herb can relieve the pain of arthritis within a day or two,” says Swami Tirtha. One-forth teaspoon of guggul tincture mixed with one-half teaspoon of water 30 minutes before meals three times a day, he suggests. You can take guggul for many months, he adds. If the pain goes away, he suggests that you can stop taking the herb for a month to let your body adjust. You can take it again as a preventive or if the pain returns.

“The herb travels to the arthritic bone and removes the imbalances that are causing the stiffness, swelling, and inflammation,” Swami Tirtha explains.

Flaxseed Oil: An omega-3 fatty acid

Lauri Aesoph, N.D., a naturopathic doctor in South Dakota, suggest one tablespoon of flaxseed oil intake daily is a good source of LNA (alpha-linolenic acid), another omega-3 fatty acid. Include this in your daily diet just as any other oil – in salad dressing or in any other recipes that do not involve heating. Flaxseed oil is also available in supplement form. Just follow the dosage recommendations on the label.

Dr. Braly insisted that you can take this supplements indefinitely, they contain “essential nutrients” that are profoundly deficient in the Western diet.

Evening Primrose

This supplement is made from the seeds of the evening primrose plant which is very rich in GLA (gamma-linolenic acid), the fatty acid in which people are most deficient with. Dr. Gus Prosch, MD, a physician in Birmingham, Alabama, suggest taking six capsules (containing 240 to 270 milligrams of GLA) of evening primrose oil daily.

Cut that dosage in half after 4 to 6 months, he stated. He said that there are cheaper forms of GLA on the market but beware that they do not render the same results as GLA from evening primrose oil.

Hydrogenated Oils: Must Avoid

Hydrogenated oils intervene with the metabolism of fatty acids. These oils are found in margarine, peanut butter, most cooking oils, and many other processed products such as snack chips, baked foods, and other salad dressings.

Avoid foods which labels include the word hydrogenated, Dr. Prosch advises.  

Caution: You should use the alternative remedies discussed here only as a part of a treatment program that is guided and monitored by a professional or a qualified medical doctor in partnership with a qualified alternative practitioner, both of whom are experienced in caring for your condition.

Note: This series is only intended as a reference only, not as a medical journal series. The information given is projected to help you make informed decisions about your health. This is not intended as a substitute for any treatment that may have been prescribed by your doctor. If you suspect that you have a medical difficulties, I advice you to seek professional medical help.

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Comments (10)

It is always a pleasure to read your well composed health information. Thank you.

Thank you very much dear Roberta for the thoughtful comment.

Excellent tips here again. You thoroughly explained the process, it is so true that many medicines mask the symptoms. I have noted the alternatives you give. I will try and find Guggul here. I hope it is being held here. Thank you so much, dear Ron, for sharing this.  

Thanks a lot dear Francois.

Since it's an autoimmune disease alternative medicine is the way to go, your Kidney might suffer using artificial medicine. Excellent Article! voted up

I have heard about Tumeric and your article is very helpful. Thank-you.

It's great to have natural alternatives to treat arthritis and other ailments. Thanks for the health info!

Thanks, my mother had it and now I am having signs of getting it. I will try to avoid oils as you advice.

I'm surprised that RAW pineapple isn't mentioned here. Raw pineapple (not cooked/canned etc.) is one of the most potent anti-inflammatories there is, and (unless you are allergic to it as my wife is,) is very effective with the ~itis ("inflammation of~")

Mind your ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6... in short: eat more fish, less chicken.

Chicken contains Omega-6 and if you out-proportion it to fish, sore joints tend to be common. But it is not the amount, it is the ratio that matters. Eating more fish is as effective as eating less chicken to achieve this desired ratio of maybe 2:1 or 3:1(??)

re: "Other popular forms of arthritis include rheumatoid arthritis and gout arthritis and many other different types."

Arthritis is hardly "popular" :-o

-I'd find another adjective here. :-)

GREAT article.

Well research and very informative...Why not try product review you'll make it better

than mine sir...