Last week, I told you about how mainstream medicine pours most of its attention and funding into research and treatment of “fatal diseases” like cancer and heart disease.
But it woefully neglects non-fatal, chronic conditions like arthritis. And this neglect has directly contributed to the opioid epidemic—which is a tragic cause of death.
What’s worse is that the coronavirus pandemic panic has prevented tens of millions of people with chronic pain from getting access to safe and effective non-drug approaches, like acupuncture, bodywork, massage, mindfulness meditation, and yoga, in the midst of a real opioid drug epidemic!
Fortunately, there are many safe, effective, natural botanical supplements for dealing with arthritis pain. And I’ll tell you about seven of them in a moment. But first, let’s back up to consider the scope of the arthritis crisis…
The problem of arthritis is on the rise
Nearly 55 million adults suffer from arthritis in the U.S. today. And according to the latest figures, the problem is only getting worse.
Of course, in my view, the skyrocketing rates of osteoarthritis (OA)—also known as degenerative arthritis—stem, at least in part, from another epidemic…of over-exercising…or “excess-ercise,” as I call it.
It’s tragic, really.
In our modern era, people tend to think that they must overtax themselves with grueling workout routines, such as pounding away on a treadmill or the hard pavement, or cycling on a bike for miles on end.
But the human body just wasn’t designed to withstand that kind of abuse. And, over time, it causes significant wear-and-tear on your joints.
Then, once people start to experience the painful degeneration, swelling, and stiffness in their knees, hips, or wherever, they begin taking over-the-counter (OTC) drugs—and/or prescription drugs—to deal with their symptoms. But drugs just aren’t the answer…and they never have been.
For example, during the 1970s, doctors often prescribed 20 aspirin (or more) per day to people suffering with their arthritis pain. But we now know that such high doses of aspirin can cause bleeding problems.
Then, in the 1980s, people started using non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen. Of course, NSAIDs are more effective against joint pain at lower doses than aspirin. But still, they’re far from risk-free.
Eventually, in the 1990s, big pharma got in on more of the action with a new generation of prescription anti-inflammatory drugs called COX-2 inhibitors. They’re supposed to work by blocking an enzyme responsible for inflammation and pain. But they have a long history of serious side effects.
In fact, many of them were taken off the market almost immediately and/or were subject to massive, class action lawsuits. And the one COX-2 inhibitor still left on the market increases your risk of suffering a deadly stroke or heart attack!
Of course, rather than rely on any of these drugs—which simply mask arthritis symptoms—I’ve always advised you to try any of the many science-backed, natural approaches for dealing with arthritis…
Safe, science-backed supplements provide relief from arthritis pain
There are a number of dietary supplements that reduce the chronic inflammation, stiffness, and pain associated with OA. And many of them work for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as well. So, let’s take a look at them in alphabetical order, starting with my “ABCs of joint pain,” which work even better when taken together…
1.) Ashwagandha* is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy, known botanically as winter cherry. Studies show it can effectively reduce pain, stiffness, and disability in people with osteoarthritis. I recommend a daily dose of 400 to 500 mg.
2.) Boswellia (frankincense)* is a resin taken from gum trees that grow in South Asia. And it’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat pain for thousands of years. Better known as frankincense, boswellia made its way back to Europe during the Crusades. (Although historic evidence suggests it was known even to the ancient Greeks and Romans, probably from the Spice Route.) Boswellia helps ease the pain associated with both RA and OA. It also supports healthy cartilage and reduces chronic inflammation. So, always look for it when finding a joint supplement. I recommend a daily dose of 400 to 500 mg, which may show results in as little as one week.
3.) Curcumin (turmeric)* is the bright-yellow, active compound found in the common spice turmeric. It reduces pain and joint inflammation. And in a new Belgian study, 820 people with OA who took a curcumin extract had improved pain, mobility, and quality of life in just six weeks. In fact, the curcumin was so effective that more than half of the study participants were able to toss out their drugs for pain and inflammation. In addition, it has potent activities against dementia, depression, and cancer. It also promotes healthy brain and gastrointestinal (GI) functions. I recommend 400 to 500 mg per day.
*As I mentioned earlier, always look for a joint support supplement that combines my three ABCs of joint health—ashwagandha, boswellia, and curcumin—for optimal effectiveness.
4.) Capsaicin is a natural ingredient in hot chili peppers that effectively relieves joint pain. In fact, in one study, people who rubbed a topical capsaicin cream on their sore joints experienced a nearly 50 percent reduction in pain in just three days! It seems to work by depleting your body’s supply of substance P, a chemical involved in transmitting pain signals to your brain. Now, many people think you can only use capsaicin topically. But, of course, you can also take it orally as a supplement…or simply use hot chili peppers in your cooking, like my Uncle Mike always did. Indeed, in many countries around the world—such as Eastern Europe, Italy, Mexico, India, China, and Southeast Asia—they routinely incorporate hot chili peppers into cooking to keep their joints feeling pain-free.
5.) Ginger is widely used to support GI health, but it can also reduce pain and disability in people with OA. In fact, in one recent study, 62 percent of people with moderate-to-severe arthritis experienced improvements in knee pain after six weeks of supplementing daily with a concentrated ginger extract. I recommend adding ground ginger or fresh, chopped ginger into foods, or making a hot infusion with fresh ginger root. You can also find high-potency ginger supplements—I recommend 150 to 250 mg daily.
6.) Omega-3 fatty acids, including EPA and DHA from fish oil, effectively reduce the inflammation and pain associated with OA. They also lower the risk of developing RA and can reduce the disease’s symptoms in the early stages. Fatty fish like anchovies, mackerel, salmon, and sardines are all excellent sources of omega-3s. But if you don’t consume fish every day, you should also take a daily fish oil supplement. For detailed dosing information and guidelines for how to pick a high-quality fish oil supplement, refer to the June 2018 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“Why I’m upping my recommendations for this ‘controversial’ supplement”). If you’re not yet a subscriber, now is the perfect time to get started.
7.) Tart cherries also work well for joint pain and inflammation. In fact, studies show they’re as effective as ibuprofen! And one study found that arthritis sufferers who drank tart cherry juice for 21 days significantly reduced their markers of inflammation—which is a major cause of arthritis. You should eat at least 20 cherries per day to feel a difference. Or—you can take a 2,000 mg tart cherry extract daily. This remedy may also reduce the risk of colon and other cancers. And, as an added benefit, tart cherries promote restful sleep. (I reported on all the benefits of tart cherries in the September 2014 issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter (“Big time health benefits from a tiny fruit”).
In addition to these seven science-backed supplements, you can learn about the many other natural approaches to combatting the pain, stiffness, and swelling associated with arthritis in my Arthritis Relief and Reversal Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool discusses a drug-free plan for easing and eliminating arthritis pain. To learn more, or to enroll today, click here!
“Effectiveness and safety of topical capsaicin cream in the treatment of chronic soft tissue pain.” Phytotherapy Research, 2010. 24(12): 1877-1885. doi.org/10.1002/ptr.3335
“Efficacy of Tart Cherry Juice to Reduce Inflammation Biomarkers among Women with Inflammatory Osteoarthritis (OA).” Journal of Food Studies. July 2012. doi.org/10.5296/jfs.v1i1.1927
“Effects of a ginger extract on knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.” Arthritis & Rheumatology, November 2001. 44(11):2531-2538. doi.org/10.1002/1529-0131(200111)44:11<2531::AID-ART433>3.0.CO;2-J
“A new curcuma extract (flexofytol®) in osteoarthritis: results from a belgian real-life experience.” Open Rheumatol J. 2014 Oct 17;8:77-81. doi.org/10.4236/ojra.2017.74017