Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints. It can affect one joint or multiple joints. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis, with different causes and treatment methods. Two of the most common types are osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Signs & Symptoms:
Loss of joint range of motion
Many joints affected (polyarthritis)
Both sides of the body affected (symmetric)
Loss of joint function
Cartilage is a firm but flexible connective tissue in your joints. It protects the joints by absorbing the pressure and shock created when you move and put stress on them. A reduction in the normal amount of this cartilage tissue cause some forms of arthritis.
Normal wear and tear causes OA, one of the most common forms of arthritis. An infection or injury to the joints can exacerbate this natural breakdown of cartilage tissue. Your risk of developing OA may be higher if you have a family history of the disease.
Another common form of arthritis, RA, is an autoimmune disorder. It occurs when your body’s immune system attacks the tissues of the body. These attacks affect the synovium, a soft tissue in your joints that produces a fluid that nourishes the cartilage and lubricates the joints.
RA is a disease of the synovium that will invade and destroy a joint. It can eventually lead to the destruction of both bone and cartilage inside the joint.
The exact cause of the immune system’s attacks is unknown, but scientists have discovered genetic markers that increase your risk of developing RA tenfold.
How To Cure:
1. Turmeric & Ginger Tea
Turmeric and ginger are both anti-inflammatorys, and will help with oseto and rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric in particular has gotten a lot of attention lately. Its active ingredient is something called curcumin, which is a powerful antioxidant. In addition, it lowers the levels of 2 enzymes responsible for causing inflammation (which is what we’re often fighting with arthritis.) You can take these in a capsule form or make a nice spicy tea to enjoy daily.
You will need…
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
Honey to taste
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, and had ½ teaspoon each ground ginger and ground turmeric. Reduce to a simmer and let it be for 10-15 minutes. Strain, add honey to taste, and enjoy twice daily. This yields 2 servings.
2. Epsom salt soak
Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which sounds kind of scary, but it’s really quite a wonderful substance. A naturally occurring mineral, magnesium sulfate has been used to get relief from pain for years, namely because of its high levels of magnesium (more on magnesium below.)
You will need…
1/2 cup of Epsom salt
A large bowl
Fill a large bowl with warm water and add ½ cup of Epsom salt. Stir it around, and then submerge your sore joints in the liquid. If you are experiencing pain in a less convenient place to soak, such as your knees, try taking a bath with Epsom salts. Run a tub full of warm water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt. Soak for 15 minutes (at least.)
3. Lubricate With Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The very consistency of olive oil makes it seem like something that would lubricate your joints and ease arthritis pain, and it turns out, it actually does. A main compound in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) called oleocanthal inhibits inflammatory enzymes COX-1 and COX-2, just like Advil or aspirin does. The study showed that 1 ½ tablespoons is equal to 200-mg of ibuprofen. However, not every oil is created equal. Heat destroys oleocanthal, so it is necessary to use extra virgin olive oil or “cold-pressed.” The ripeness of the olives at the time they were pressed also determines the level of oleocanthal-generally the stronger tasting the oil, the higher the level there is present. It can be taken internally to reap the benefits, but being high in calories consider replacing any fats, such as butter, with it in cooking instead.
You will need…
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Rub a bit of olive oil onto your sore joints twice a day, massaging in to each one gently. You can also take 2-3 tablespoons daily, but be sure to give up some other form of fat due to the high calorie count in the oil (rest easy, these are good calories.)