Herbal Supplements to Prevent Stiffness and Pain From Rheumatoid Arthritis

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the joints — this causes chronic pain, immobility, and sometimes limb deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis is caused by an overactive immune system—causing painful swelling and inflammation around the joints—especially the fingers, ankles, and feet. Although rheumatoid arthritis is common in older patients, even younger people are prone to having this condition.

Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms range from swollen joints, stiff joints, redness in the affected area, fever—and in severe cases—deformity. Although rheumatoid arthritis has no known cure, there are several supplements you can take to ease the symptoms.

Taking Supplements to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Supplements typically refer to vitamins/minerals, natural or herbal extracts that treat either a specific condition or a variety of ailments. While rheumatoid arthritis has no cure, several types of herbal plants are known to minimize flare-ups and even work as effective management for pain.

Below are great herbal supplements to try for rheumatoid arthritis treatment:

Indian Frankincense Supplement

Indian frankincense is derived from an aromatic resin from the Boswellia tree. According to tests, Boswellia contains certain acids that have potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Prepared as supplement, Indian frankincense is a popular herbal supplement that treats rheumatoid arthritis. Indian frankincense may also help prevent cartilage loss.

In a 2008 study, clinical tests reveal that boswellia contains 5-Loxin, a type of compound that could help ease joint pain and restore function in as little as seven days, as well as slow down cartilage damage in three months.

Flaxseed Supplements

Because rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition, it makes sense to take supplements that strengthen the immune system and ease inflammation. Traditionally, flaxseed is used to treat a wide range of ailments, including inflammation. Flaxseed is one of the richest sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids that help strengthen the immune system and prevent inflammation. When taken daily, flaxseed could help ease the symptoms caused by rheumatoid arthritis.

Fish Oils

Oily fishes—like wild salmon and herring—are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. Of course, if you are not keen on eating salmon each day to get your recommended consumption of essential fatty acids to treat rheumatoid arthritis, you can always take fish oil supplements. Just make sure you are getting it from a trusted source.

Essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA help block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins, preventing inflammation typically associated with rheumatoid arthritis. In a 2010 study, researchers conclude that essential fatty acids help minimize joint stiffness and tenderness in patients suffering from chronic rheumatoid arthritis.

Garlic Supplement

Garlic is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. It’s one of the best treatments for inflamed joints. In a 2013 journal published by the Food and Chemical Toxicology, the study noted that because garlic has a high level of anti-inflammatory properties, it helps inhibit the elevation of cytokines, a pro-inflammatory compound in the body. Taking fresh garlic—and even garlic supplements—help reduce swelling and inflammation, as well as decrease the chances of an arthritic flare-up.