Arthritis is the inflammation of a joint or joints, usually accompanied by pain, stiffness (especially early morning) restricted movement, and swelling. Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are most well known. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can affect anyone at any stage of life, which affects not only the joints of the fingers, wrists, hips, knees, and feet, but also the muscles, tendons and other tissues of the body. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disorder which usually occurs in the older age-group.
The diet of the arthritis patient should be planned along alkaline lines and should include fruits and vegetables for protection and proteins and carbohydrates for energy.
- Pain and stiffness in joints particularly the knees and hips
- Tender joints
- Unable to move joint through its full range of motion
- May hear or feel a grating sensation when using joint
- Extra bits of bone, which feel like hard lumps, may form around the affected joint called bone spurs
- Rheumatoid Arthritis:
- Morning stiffness
- Joints swell and become red, stiff and sore
- Fatigue, fever and weight loss
- Loss of appetite
Home Remedies for Arthritis
- Sesame seeds: Soak 1 teaspoon of black sesame seeds in a quarter cup of water overnight. Take the seeds along with water first thing in the morning. This has been found effective in preventing frequent joint pains.
- Turmeric: Take turmeric capsule or consume it daily to get relief from moderate to mild joint pains and inflammation. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidants property that helps in destroying free radicals in your body which are responsible for the painful joint inflammation and eventual damage to the joints.
- Garlic: Eat 2-3 cloves of garlic everyday. Garlic has an anti-inflammatory property which accounts for its effectiveness in the treatment of arthritis.
- Ginger: Apply ginger compresses on the affected area which will ease pain. Drink one cup of ginger tea with two teaspoons of castor oil added before going to bed. Expect some laxative effect from castor oil. Castor oil contains natural precursors of steroids, which help to heal the inflammatory condition of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Potato: The raw potato juice therapy is considered one of the most successful biological treatment for rheumatic and arthritic conditions. Dilute medium-sized potato in a glass of water (place the thin potato slices without peeling the skin overnight in a large glass filled with water) and drink in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Pineapple: Drink a cup of fresh pineapple juice which is also valuable. The enzyme in fresh pineapple juice, bromelain reduces swelling and inflammation in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Honey and cinnamon: Take one tablespoons of honey and half teaspoon of cinnamon powder in one cup of hot water thrice a day. When taken daily even chronic arthritis can be cured.
- Green gram: Prepare green gram soup by mixing a tablespoon of green gram in a cup of water, with two crushed garlic cloves. Take this soup twice a day.
- Massage: Massage joints in case of stiff and aching joints using warm coconut oil or mustard oil mixed with camphor. It will increase blood supply and reduce inflammation and stiffness on account of gentle warmth produced while massaging.
- Sea bath: Sea bathing is considered beneficial in the treatment of arthritis. The natural iodine in the sea water is said to relieve arthritis pain. Iodine regulates the acid-alkaline balance in the blood and tissues which helps to repair and regenerate worn out tissues and nourishes the skeletal structure.
- Epsom salt: Relax for 20 minutes every night in a tub of warm water in which a cupful of epsom salt or sea salt has been mixed. The minerals will replenish the body’s mineral stores and provide relief.
Do’s for Arthritis
- Include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables in diet. Cabbage, asparagus, carrot, cucumber, celery, lettuce, onion, garlic, and radishes may be used as raw salad due to its high sulfur level which helps repair cartilage. The cooked vegetables may include asparagus, beets, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, mushroom, onions, peas, spinach, tomatoes, squash and turnips.
- Eat foods which are high in essential fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, and flaxseeds due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Also fiber in flaxseeds will help keep intestine clean.
- On an empty stomach take 3-4 walnuts or eat fresh coconut.
- Drink plenty of water as dehydration has been linked to arthritis. Water keep joints lubricated and body hydrated.
- Drink water kept overnight in a copper container. This water has traces of copper which helps strengthen the muscular system. For the same reason wearing copper ring or bracelet will also help.
- Exercise moderately when there is no acute inflammation in the joints. Do light exercises such as walking, hiking and swimming which are beneficial. Exercise can slow deterioration and relieve pain and stiffness.
- Keep body warm. Heat therapy and ultrasound therapy may also be beneficial.
- Maintain normal body weight to ease symptoms and which is also an important factor in preventing arthritis.
- Do yoga daily. Yogic asanas which is helpful in curing arthritis are trikonasana, shalabhasana, bhujangasana, vakrasana and shavasana.
Don’ts for Arthritis
- Avoid non-organic, non-grass fed meats and fried foods.
- Avoid sugar, dairy, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and caffeine.
- Avoid hydrogenated oils and processed foods.
- Avoid cold foods and drinks.
- Eliminate food that contain a substance called solanine that triggers inflammation such as eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, and peppers.
- Avoid instant foods that are often rich source of chemical additives in the form of preservatives and flavoring.
- Avoid constipation as it poisons the system and adds irritation and inflammation of the joints.
- Pain is becoming worse and develops new symptoms.
- Having severe pain with swollen, red and hot joints and have a fever.