Herbs and Spices to Help Prevent Arthritis

Arthritis is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, and it is important to take steps to prevent it. Fortunately, there are several herbs and spices that can help reduce inflammation and protect joints from the effects of arthritis. Turmeric, ginger, Boswellia serrata, devil's claw, willow bark extract, matricaria, thyme, green tea, cinnamon, garlic, black pepper and eucalyptus are all beneficial for those looking to prevent arthritis. Galina Roofener, a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, recommends working with a trained herbalist to find the best herbal remedies for joint pain caused by arthritis.

Fresh thyme or leaves can be added to a variety of dishes for flavor and health benefits. However, it is important to use it in moderation as too much can be a drawback. Additionally, Roofener warns that turmeric should be avoided in large doses if you are taking an anticoagulant medication as it has anticoagulant properties. Green tea contains polyphenols which are rich in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation.

Research has found that green tea extract has superior anti-inflammatory effects compared to black tea. Enjoy a cup of hot green tea or iced green tea for health benefits. Matcha is also a great option as it is made from ground green tea leaves. Dried cinnamon can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, soups, stews or oranges for a delicious and healthy dessert.

Cinnamon sticks can also be added to teas or ciders for an additional flavorful infusion. However, Roofener warns not to overdo it as high doses may interfere with blood clotting and anticoagulant medications. Garlic is another great addition to many dishes as it contains diallyl disulfide which is an anti-inflammatory compound that decreases the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Research has found that garlic administration had anti-arthritic activity and prevented cartilage destruction and reduced inflammation in arthritis-induced rats.

Black pepper also has genuine health benefits as it contains antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and gastroprotective effects. The active compound piperine found in black pepper helps reduce inflammation. It is especially potent when combined with turmeric and ginger which are also anti-inflammatory herbs.Eucalyptus leaf extracts appear in topical remedies for treating arthritis pain. It is important to remember to check with your doctor before starting any herbal remedy.

Jill Sizemore
Jill Sizemore

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