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The Best Years in Life
Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel
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How to Treat Arthritis Naturally
by Jaime A. Heidel
(The Best Years in Life) According to the CDC, 52.5 million adults live with arthritis. If you're one of them, you know how debilitating it can be. The pain, swelling, stiffness, and reduced range of motion can make tasks that were once easy to do seem impossible.
If you're struggling with arthritis, the discomfort may sometimes be too much to handle. While prescription and over-the-counter drugs may provide fast relief, they often come with unwanted side effects and can, over time, cause dependency.
You can treat arthritis naturally with these safe methods. Not only will they help relieve your pain, they will support your body's natural ability to heal.
Research has shown that potatoes have the power to treat arthritis naturally. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition showed that consumption of colored potatoes (yellow or purple) helped reduce inflammation and DNA damage in healthy men.
To make potato-infused water, cut a clean, organic colored potato into thin slices. When doing so, leave the skin intact. Place the slices into a glass jar of cold, filtered water and let sit overnight. Drink the next day.
You can also juice potatoes along with other organic fruits and vegetables for a more potent effect. Just be sure to clean them thoroughly and get rid of any "eyes" before cutting them up and feeding them through your juicer.
In addition to relieving inflammation, potatoes have been shown to support healthy blood circulation, which may improve mobility.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids treat arthritis naturally by blocking inflammation pathways. A 12-month, double-blind, randomized study published by the American College of Rheumatology showed that participants who took at least 2.6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily noticed a significant decrease in pain and were thus able to reduce their intake of prescription drugs.
The two most powerful forms of omega-3 fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). While wild-caught fish contains a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids, those living with arthritis should consider using a supplement for more potent and effective results.
Virgin olive oil contains a compound called oleocanthal, which prevents the production of pro-inflammatory COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes. When these enzymes are inhibited, inflammation and pain sensitivity is significantly dampened, resulting in decreased pain and increased mobility.
In addition to consuming virgin olive oil regularly, you can also use it directly on your joints for soothing pain relief. Warm the olive oil and allow it to cool to a temperature that will not burn your skin. Rub it generously into your aching joints.
For added benefit, use a dash or two of cayenne pepper. Cayenne contains capsaicin, which depletes a neurotransmitter called substance P. When this neurotransmitter is inhibited, it is no longer able to send pain signals to your brain.
Epsom Salt Baths
You can also treat your arthritis naturally by enjoying a long soak in an Epsom salt bath. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is a mineral that helps relieve inflammation, reduce pain, and ease stress while detoxifying your body.*
Run a warm bath and pour a cup of Epsom salt into the running water. Gently ease yourself in and soak for 20 to 30 minutes. While the tub is draining, rinse with cool water to bring your body temperature down. You should also drink plenty of water before and afterward to avoid dehydration.
Take care when getting out of the tub as you may feel light-headed or dizzy at first. Have someone help you, if necessary.
*Do not take Epsom salt baths if you are pregnant, diabetic, or allergic to sulfur.
Yoga is a relaxing way to gently stretch your muscles, improve your circulation, and reduce your arthritis pain. According to research published in BMC Research Notes, an intensive, weeklong yoga program helped improve functionality and decrease disability in participants with rheumatoid arthritis.
If you're new to yoga, consider watching a gentle beginner yoga video online and carefully trying some of the movements. You can also look for yoga classes in your local area. This way, you'll have a professional yoga instructor to guide you ever step of the way.
These natural treatments for arthritis can help keep the pain at bay while improving your quality of life. If you don't live with arthritis, but know someone who does, pass this information on to them. It may prove invaluable.
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