Use Natural Remedies for Arthritis Pain

James Duke, Ph.D. explains how to use these natural remedies for arthritis pain, includes information on which herb helps with inflamation, pain, helpful antioxidants and herbal recipes.

| February/March 2002

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    Rosemary and oregano are both antioxidant mints.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • The pain-relieving chemical in red pepper, capsaicin, triggers the body to release endorphins, nature's own opiates.
    The pain-relieving chemical in red pepper, capsaicin, triggers the body to release endorphins, nature's own opiates.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Rosemary has antioxidants that help prevent aging in cells.
    Rosemary has antioxidants that help prevent aging in cells.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
  • Some intriguing research suggests bromelain, a chemical in pineapple, helps prevent inflammation.
    Some intriguing research suggests bromelain, a chemical in pineapple, helps prevent inflammation.
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  • Tiny stingers in this nettle provide microinjections of chemicals that can help relieve arthritis.
    Tiny stingers in this nettle provide microinjections of chemicals that can help relieve arthritis.
    PHOTO: DAVID CAVAGNARO
  • On every continent where it grows, stinging nettle has developed a reputation as an arthritis treatment.
    On every continent where it grows, stinging nettle has developed a reputation as an arthritis treatment.
    DAVID CAVAGNARO

  • Rosemary and oregano are both antioxidant mints.
  • The pain-relieving chemical in red pepper, capsaicin, triggers the body to release endorphins, nature's own opiates.
  • Rosemary has antioxidants that help prevent aging in cells.
  • Some intriguing research suggests bromelain, a chemical in pineapple, helps prevent inflammation.
  • Tiny stingers in this nettle provide microinjections of chemicals that can help relieve arthritis.
  • On every continent where it grows, stinging nettle has developed a reputation as an arthritis treatment.

Learn how to use these natural remedies for arthritis pain. 

Back in the good old days, I played bass fiddle in a a five-member band. At that time, three of our band members or their relatives were using an herb known as stinging nettle to relieve arthritis pain. Although stinging nettle does cook up into a tasty vegetable, these musicians weren't eating it. Rather, they were stinging themselves with it by grasping the plant in a gloved hand and then swatting their stiff, swollen joints.

This practice, called urtication — from nettle's botanical name, Urtica dioca — dates back at least 2,000 years. Although it's an odd-sounding practice, there's no escaping the fact that it's been around so long precisely because it helps so many people.

Our banjo player kept a plant in his kitchen so he could self-urticate when his arthritis flared up. The guitar player's mother-in-law was unable to write because of arthritis in her hands, but the sting of the nettle improved that. The fiddle player's mother soon had stinging nettle taking over her garden and said her arthritis was much improved.



Just so you don't think that urtication is something only crazy musicians indulge in, my former secretary at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) kept a nettle plant in the office. She would use the nettle to discreetly sting herself when arthritis stiffened her fingers. On a before-and-after photocopied image of her hand, you could see how the swelling went down.

Urtication often provides considerable relief, sometimes very quickly. I've seen arthritic swelling subside within minutes after the stings were administered.

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8/15/2018 8:55:15 AM

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liam
6/19/2018 2:46:26 AM

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