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From Medical Cannabis to Aloe Vera: 10 Natural Remedies for Joint Pain and Arthritis

07 April 2023

Key Points

  • Arthritis is a condition that affects millions in the UK. Although it’s common among the elderly, there is no known cure for this condition.
  • Current treatment plans for arthritis include a combination of prescription medications, lifestyle changes, exercise and even surgery.
  • Prescription medications for arthritis, like ibuprofen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can help mitigate arthritis pain. However, their short-term effects may come with adverse effects like stomach ulcers, bleeding and even heart problems.
  • Natural treatment options for arthritis, like ginger, turmeric and vitamin supplementation, may provide relief while reducing the need for medication. Another option is medical cannabis, which has been shown in various clinical studies to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Before starting any natural treatment, you should talk to your doctor about the potential benefits and risks.

Senior man with arthritis rubbing hands.

Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness and swelling in your joints. It can affect any joint in your body but usually affects the knees, hips and hands.

There are many different types of arthritis, including:

  • Arthritis caused by inflammation
  • Osteoarthritis (also known as degenerative joint disease) is a type of arthritis that occurs when cartilage wears away on the ends of the bones
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a type of arthritis where your immune system attacks healthy tissue in your body.

In the UK alone, over 20 million people live with a musculoskeletal condition like arthritis. That’s one in three people in the country, with half of those continuing to live in pain daily.

Despite the prevalence of this condition, there is no known cure for arthritis. Instead, treatment focuses on limiting inflammation and mitigating pain.

Many of those living with arthritis use medication as part of their treatment plan. Pain-relievers such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications provide short-term pain relief. However, they also come with the risk of side effects and long-term complications.

As such, employing natural treatments for arthritis is always a good option. A holistic approach to pain mitigation has been shown to be more effective in the long term and can reduce reliance on medication.

As with any medication or therapy, it’s important to consult with your doctor first before trying natural remedies for joint pain and arthritis to determine that this is an appropriate treatment for you. 

In this blog, we’ll cover a few of the best natural arthritis remedies. These options are easy to implement and can help you manage your pain in the long run.

Here at Lyphe, we are committed to helping you find natural solutions that work. As the largest and most trusted medical cannabis clinic in the UK, we have a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to natural pain relief. If you would like more information on cannabis as a treatment for arthritis, please don’t hesitate to book a consultation today.

1. Medical Cannabis as a Natural Cure for Arthritis

Doctor writing prescription and offering patient medical cannabis oil.

Medical cannabis is well-studied for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, two important components of a natural cure for arthritis. A study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management found that medical cannabis use was associated with significantly lower levels of pain, stiffness and depression when compared to opioid use.

Medical cannabis may help with arthritis in several ways. Studies have shown that cannabis can help reduce chronic pain associated with arthritis and reduce inflammation and nausea. It might also help improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety and depression associated with the condition.

Additionally, a 2021 systematic review suggests that cannabis may reduce the progression of joint damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis. In the study, researchers found that a combination of various cannabinoids (compounds found in the cannabis plant) shows significant anti-inflammatory effects. These cannabinoids include:

  • Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It acts on CB1 and CB2 receptors to produce pain-relieving effects.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It binds to CB1 receptors to produce mood-altering effects, including euphoria and pain relief. When taken together with CBD, THC may have an amplified effect on the CB1 receptors, which could explain why it’s so effective for pain management.
  • Cannabigerol (CBG) is another non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It acts on the CB1 receptors to produce pain-relieving effects.

Although medical cannabis shows promise in treating arthritic symptoms, finding a clinic that will prescribe it can be difficult. Many physicians may not have the knowledge or experience to prescribe medical cannabis, and those who do may be uncomfortable recommending it. Additionally, some patients are reluctant to tell their doctor about their use of cannabis because they fear judgement or legal repercussions.

At Lyphe, we believe that all patients should have access to medical cannabis. We are dedicated to helping patients find the right treatment for their condition, and our team of licensed medical professionals can provide guidance and support throughout your journey. To learn more about our services, call today to schedule an appointment.

2. Ginger

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and analgesic agent that may provide arthritis pain relief. It’s been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as a natural treatment for other ailments.

Ginger contains a compound called gingerols, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and studies suggest that ginger may reduce the production of inflammatory chemicals. Additionally, ginger may also help improve joint mobility and reduce stiffness, making it easier for people with arthritis to move around.

One placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine found that taking a ginger supplement twice daily for three months significantly reduced pain levels in older adults with osteoarthritis. The same study also found that ginger supplements improved patients’ inflammation levels compared to those who took the placebo.

A 2018 study also suggests that topical application of ginger may help reduce joint pain and stiffness. In the study, published in the Journal of Bionanoscience, the researchers developed a formulation of ginger extract meant to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

3. Essential Oils for Arthritis

Essential oils can be a great way to relieve the pain of arthritis. Some oils are more effective than others, so you’ll want to know what’s available and how they can help you.

Here are some of the best essential oils for arthritis:

  • Frankincense (Boswellia serrata) has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce joint swelling and stiffness. It also helps with depression and anxiety related to chronic pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis.
  • Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is known for its calming effects on the mind and body.
  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) contains 1,8-cineole, which has analgesic properties that may reduce pain associated with arthritis.
  • Peppermint (Mentha piperita) contains menthol, which is thought to relieve muscle spasms associated with many forms of joint inflammation, including rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) has been used since ancient times as an anti-inflammatory agent for treating arthritic conditions like gouty arthritis.

4. Plant-Based Diets

Vegan poke bowl with avocado, tofu, rice, seaweed, carrots and mango.

Plant-based diets can help with arthritis in various ways. They encourage the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, which all have been shown to have positive effects on symptom relief. A Mediterranean diet consisting of whole grains and plant-based foods has also been shown to reduce inflammation and joint pain.

A 2017 study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition suggests that patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can benefit from dietary flavonoids. Flavonoids exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory properties. Flavonoid-rich foods include berries, tea and cocoa.

There are many ways to incorporate plant-based foods into your diet to help manage symptoms:

  • Eat whole grains, legumes and nuts.
  • Try a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil and fish.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Try adding plant-based sources of omega-3s, such as flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil.
  • Instead of snacking on sweets, try snacks like fruit, nuts and hummus.

5. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub that is commonly used for stress relief. In Ayurvedic medicine, the herb is used to treat various conditions, including anxiety, insomnia and depression. It has been studied for its potential as a herb for arthritis to reduce inflammation and pain.

In a 2015 clinical study, researchers found that administering 5g of Ashwagandha powder twice daily for three weeks improved outcomes in arthritic patients. The study compared pre and post-treatment scores of tender joint counts, swollen joint counts and overall physical health. After the Ayurvedic treatment, the researchers noted significant improvement in all areas,

Additionally, research using mice has shown that ashwagandha extract significantly reduced the activity of collagenase enzymes. In effect, the compound inhibits the breakdown of collagen and cartilage, essential components of healthy joints. The findings suggest that ashwagandha may be a promising option for treating arthritis pain and inflammation.

6. Boswellia

Boswellia, better known as Indian frankincense, is an ingredient that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. Boswellia is an extract from the resin of a tree that grows in India and other parts of Asia. Boswellia has been found to reduce inflammation and may be useful in treating osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Studies have shown that taking at least 100-250 milligrams of Boswellia for at least four weeks can help reduce pain associated with OA and improve joint function. In addition, a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials found that Boswellia extract could be an effective medication for OA.

Another pre-clinical study published in Phytomedicine suggests that Boswellia may help modulate the immune system. In the study, the researchers found extracts of this herb had antioxidant effects that led to lower inflammation levels.

7. Turmeric

Turmeric is a home remedy that contains a compound called curcumin. Various studies have shown that curcumin contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties.

Research studies have suggested that curcumin may reduce the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis by blocking the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body. Additionally, curcumin may help reduce oxidative stress and protect the joints from damage caused by free radicals. One study published in Inflammation Research found that daily doses of curcumin inhibited joint inflammation caused by arthritis.

Another 2016 review published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that curcumin supplements can alleviate arthritis when used as an adjunct to conventional therapy. Turmeric is well-tolerated even at higher doses, making it a safe treatment option to improve pain outcomes.

8. Fish Oil

Hand pouring fish oil capsules from a bottle.

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. This can be particularly helpful for people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease that causes joint inflammation.

Research has shown that consuming fish oil supplements could reduce joint pain, stiffness and swelling in people with RA. Fish oil also comes with other benefits, such as helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

However, it is important to note that fish oil supplements can cause side effects. One of the most common gripes people have with fish oil is the fishy aftertaste.

Other side effects include stomach upset, rashes, diarrhoea and an increased risk of bleeding. Therefore, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are on blood-thinning medication such as warfarin.

9. Vitamins and Minerals for Arthritis

Vitamins and minerals are essential for your body to function properly. They play a vital role in the production of hormones, enzymes and other chemicals that help cells communicate with each other. These micronutrients support immune function and help maintain healthy skin, bones and joints.

The following key vitamins and minerals should be sufficient in your diet to help you manage symptoms:

  • Calcium (1,200mg-1,500mg daily) – Calcium plays a role in maintaining strong bones and teeth and helps the muscles contract. Calcium deficiency can lead to conditions like osteoporosis, a condition typically associated with arthritis. The calcium dose for arthritis is higher than what most people need.
  • Vitamin D (1,000-2000 IU daily) – Studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have issues with inflammation and pain. Vitamin D is essential for many important cellular functions, including the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Magnesium (420mg for men, 320mg for women) – Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps to regulate the body’s natural processes, including muscle function, nerve health and blood pressure levels. It also helps maintain joint cartilage.
  • Folate (400mcg daily) – Folate is a B vitamin that helps to maintain healthy cells and tissues. It also assists in DNA synthesis and repair, thus making it easier for the body to recover from inflammation.
  • Vitamin C (maximum 2,000mg daily) – Vitamin C is an antioxidant that promotes healthy skin, eyesight and immune system function. It’s also an essential vitamin for building collagen and connective tissue.

10. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera sliced and aloe vera gel on wood table background.

Aloe vera has been used as folk medicine to treat various ailments, from skin conditions to digestive issues. This homemade remedy for arthritis pain has also been found to have anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and anti-rheumatoid properties.

Aloe vera contains glucosamine, a natural compound found in cartilage. Some studies suggest that taking glucosamine could help reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis. Aloe vera also contains 20 minerals, such as manganese, calcium, iron and zinc, which assist in the healing of joints.

A 2014 study published in Immunome Research suggests that aloe vera can help reduce inflammation that leads to arthritis. In the study, the researchers administered crude aloe vera gel to animal models. Despite the positive results, clinical testing is needed to confirm these findings.

Conclusion – Home Remedies for Arthritis

In conclusion, there are several natural remedies available that can help ease the symptoms of arthritis. From incorporating plant-based foods into your diet to applying topical treatments, there are many ways to help manage the pain and stiffness that often accompany arthritis.

Additionally, taking supplements like omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric and ginger can also be beneficial. And for those who prefer a more clinical approach, medical cannabis may also provide relief.

It’s important to remember that while natural remedies can be effective, they should not replace medical treatment. It’s always best to consult your healthcare provider before trying any new treatments or supplements. With the right combination of natural remedies and medical treatment, those living with arthritis can find relief and improve their overall quality of life.

Ready to take the leap with medical cannabis for arthritis and joint pain? Our expert medical professionals at Lyphe can help. Contact us today to learn more about how medical cannabis can help with your arthritis pain and inflammation!

Frequently Asked Questions

What vitamin deficiency causes arthritis?

Various studies have shown that a lack of vitamin D can cause arthritis. It is thought that this may be due to a lack of vitamin D increasing levels of inflammation in the body, which can lead to painful joints.

What are the three vitamins for arthritis?

Vitamins A, C and D have been studied for their effects on arthritis. Vitamin B3, also known as niacinamide, has been suggested to improve osteoarthritis (OA) symptoms and reduce the need for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) by suppressing inflammation.

What herbal supplement is good for arthritis?

Fish oil is a popular supplement that has been shown to be beneficial for arthritis. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis.

What food triggers arthritis?

Foods rich in fats and sugar may worsen or even trigger arthritic symptoms. Those with the condition should avoid high-calorie foods such as beef, sugar and butter cooked at high temperatures.

How do you get rid of arthritis pain naturally?

While there is no cure for arthritis, natural treatments (e.g., medical cannabis, supplements, herbal remedies) can help patients mitigate symptoms. Having a positive mindset while employing a holistic approach to treatment may also help ease pain and improve quality of life.

References

Bang JS, Oh DH, Choi HM, Sur BJ, Lim SJ, Kim JY et al Antiinflammatory and anti-arthritic effect of piperine in human interleukin 1β-stimulated fibroblast like synoviocytes and in rat arthritis models. Arthritis Research and Therapy 2009; 11(20): 1-9.

Funk JL, Oyarzo JN, Frye JB, Chen G, Lantz RC, Jolad SD et al Turmeric extracts containing curcuminoids prevents experimental rheumatoid arthritis. NIH Public Access 2006; 69(3): 351-355.

Jackson, J. K., Higo, T., Hunter, W. L., & Burt, H. M. (2006). The antioxidants curcumin and quercetin inhibit inflammatory processes associated with arthritis. Inflammation Research, 55(4), 168–175. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00011-006-0067-z

James W. Daily, Mini Yang, and Sunmin Park.Efficacy of Turmeric Extracts and Curcumin for Alleviating the Symptoms of Joint Arthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Clinical Trials.Journal of Medicinal Food.Aug 2016.717-729.http://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2016.3705

Janie Allaire, Patrick Couture, Myriam Leclerc, Amélie Charest, Johanne Marin, Marie-Claude Lépine, Denis Talbot, André Tchernof, Benoît Lamarche, A randomized, crossover, head-to-head comparison of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid supplementation to reduce inflammation markers in men and women: the Comparing EPA to DHA (ComparED) Study, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 104, Issue 2, August 2016, Pages 280–287, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.131896

Kumar, G., Srivastava, A., Sharma, S. K., Rao, T. D., & Gupta, Y. K. (2015). Efficacy & safety evaluation of Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powder & Sidh Makardhwaj) in rheumatoid arthritis patients: a pilot prospective study. The Indian journal of medical research, 141(1), 100–106. https://doi.org/10.4103/0971-5916.154510

Lindler, B. N., Long, K. E., Taylor, N. A., & Lei, W. (2020). Use of Herbal Medications for Treatment of Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Medicines (Basel, Switzerland), 7(11), 67. https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines7110067

Masud Parvez, G. M., & Akanda, K. M. (2019). Foods and arthritis: An overview. Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Arthritis and Related Inflammatory Diseases, 3–22. https://doi.org/10.1016/b978-0-12-813820-5.00001-5

Naderi, Z., Mozaffari-Khosravi, H., Dehghan, A., Nadjarzadeh, A., & Huseini, H. F. (2016). Effect of ginger powder supplementation on nitric oxide and C-reactive protein in elderly knee osteoarthritis patients: A 12-week double-blind randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 6(3), 199–203. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtcme.2014.12.007

Sailaja, A. K., & Lola, V. S. (2018). Formulation of mefenamic acid loaded polymeric nanoparticles for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Journal of Bionanoscience, 12(2), 177–183. https://doi.org/10.1166/jbns.2018.1525

Samuel D. Hughes, Natkunam Ketheesan & Nagaraja Haleagrahara (2017) The therapeutic potential of plant flavonoids on rheumatoid arthritis, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57:17, 3601-3613, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2016.1246413

Subhashis Paul, P. G. (2014). Analyses of human and rat clinical parameters in rheumatoid arthritis raise the possibility of use of crude aloe Vera Gel in Disease Amelioration. Immunome Research, 10(02). https://doi.org/10.4172/1745-7580.1000081

Umar, S., Umar, K., Sarwar, A. H., Khan, A., Ahmad, N., Ahmad, S., Katiyar, C. K., Husain, S. A., & Khan, H. A. (2014). Boswellia serrata extract attenuates inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress in collagen induced arthritis. Phytomedicine, 21(6), 847–856.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2014.02.001

Vitamins and minerals for arthritis. Arthritis Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/treatment/complementary-therapies/supplements-and-vitamins/vitamin-and-mineral-guide-for-arthritis

Yu, G., Xiang, W., Zhang, T. et al. Effectiveness of Boswellia and Boswellia extract for osteoarthritis patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Complement Med Ther 20, 225 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12906-020-02985-6

Author: Alex Frost
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Alex Frost, Marketing Manager at Lyphe Group, brings a diverse and creative background to his role. Prior to joining Lyphe, he spent five years as a freelance illustrator, where he not only honed his artistic and conceptual skills but also demonstrated his prowess in digital marketing. During this period, he successfully grew the social channel he managed to over 40,000 followers using solely organic digital marketing strategies. This hands-on experience provided him with valuable insights and a deep understanding of the intricacies of digital marketing and social media algorithms. Alex's marketing journey kicked off at The Sports Trust, where he managed large-scale events and successfully expanded a new project to over 25,000 collective social media followers. At Lyphe Group, Alex applies this wealth of diverse experience to innovate and shape the narrative in cannabis marketing. His blend of artistic creativity, digital marketing acumen, and a literary foundation make him a dynamic force in the ever-evolving landscape of cannabis branding and promotion.

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