What causes joint pain?

Joint pain is quick to hinder our mobility as well as decrease our fervor in life. It manifests as inflammation, which is usually characterized by swollen joints, redness, loss of joint function and stiffness. Joint pain has many potential treatments. Some rely on conventional medicine, which can be found effective, but to some it may cause side effects due to over-dependence.

Inflammation is a process by which your body’s white blood cells and the things they make protect you from infection from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses.

But in some diseases, like arthritis, your body’s defense system — your immune system– triggers inflammation when there are no invaders to fight off. In these autoimmune diseases, your immune system acts as if regular tissues are infected or somehow unusual, causing damage. (WebMed; “What is Inflammation)

If you’ve found you’re not getting the relief you want through medications, you can substitute effective all-natural relief found in herbal remedies. Alternative herbs and spices, specifically various types of teas, have been associated with alleviating joint pain and inflammation that can cause rheumatoid arthritis and other forms of arthritis. Here are a few herbs that you can serve as a tea or mixed into teas to help get rid of inflammation as well as detoxify the body.

Green Tea, Camellia sinensis, has been used medicinally to treat inflammation since ancient times but is being researched extensively by modern medicine. with favorable results.

Green Tea

healthline photo DecGreen tea is known as an herb with the highest amount of polyphenols, an antioxidant that has an anti-inflammatory effect, and would be a great food to incorporate into a rheumatoid arthritis diet. These anti-inflammatory chemicals can also be found in decaffeinated green tea, so it can be an option if you don’t want the stimulant effect of regular green tea. Green tea also comes in tasty blends with added flavors so it’s easy to find one to your liking. Based on several studies, you need to take at least four to six cups daily to achieve the pain-relieving effects.

Nettle Tea

Stinging nettle is a prickly plant that has been found helpful in relieving discomfort, particularly in the joints. It contains active compounds that reduces inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are the messengers between the cells that causes inflammation due to immune response. The compound found in nettle leaves inhibits the protein that activates cytokines in the tissues lining the joints. Nettle tea may not sound like the most inviting remedy, but its cost efficient, easy to access and simple to use. Tea can be made with fresh or dried leaves from the nettle plant, and you can add honey or cinnamon for a better taste.

Burdock Root Tea

Burdock root has been used in many herbal remedies because of its numerous medicinal qualities. It contains fatty oils that are known to help with inflammation. You can take this as a tea by chopping up the dried root and mixing it into the boiling water. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes before straining. It is best to drink it while it’s still warm.

Echinacea Tea

Echinacea plant is native to North America and was originally named as Snakeroot because of its restorative effects on snake bites. It is also known to be effective in easing arthritis and joint pain by activating chemicals in the body that decreases inflammation. An echinacea herbal tea consists of leaves, stems and flowers of Echinacea angustifolia and Echinacea purpurea, including dried extract of its root.

Ginger Tea

Ginger has a stimulating pungent odor that makes into an excellent tea for warming the body as well as relieving fever. Ginger root also has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful in alleviating arthritis and joint pain. It is advisable to consult your doctor regarding taking ginger root since it can increase the risk of bleeding for those taking blood-thinning medications.

Celery Seed Tea

Celery seed has been widely used in India since ancient times. Many specialty tea producers mix celery seed in tea for arthritis treatment. Celery has been found to possess anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling and joint pain. It also eases joint discomfort and reduces body joint degeneration. For a good celery tea concoction, you could mix one teaspoon of crushed celery seeds in a cup and add boiling water. Allow it to steep for 10-20 minutes before straining the tea and serving.

Alfalfa Tea

Alfalfa is a flowery plant from the pea family, which has been used to treat arthritis and inflammation, as well as diabetes and allergies. It is recommended to drink alfalfa leaf tea rather than supplements because the leaves contain important minerals but lesser L-canavanine, which is an amino acid that can cause severe side effects if taken in large amounts. It is best to consult with your doctor before taking alfalfa since it also has immune-boosting properties that may cause problems for those with autoimmune diseases. You can serve alfalta tea by mixing half to one teaspoon in boiling water, taken after each meal. It can also be taken before a meal to stimulate digestion.

Image courtesy of Healthline. 

This article has been updated from the original publication, December 9, 2013.