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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disorder that afflicts the patient's joints, especially in the hands and feet. It generally affects the middle-aged and elderly and can significantly affect one's quality of life and in extreme cases, also makes some patients completely bedridden. Even younger people can be prone to this debilitating disease which causes a lot of painful swelling which eventually leads to bone erosion.
Till date, there is no specific treatment for RA and doctors tend to treat it symptomatically with the help of medications and in more chronic cases, also suggest joint replacement surgeries. Unani and Ayurveda practices have used a few herbal remedies practitioners for several centuries that offer some respite from the condition. Listed here are six remedies that you can try too:
In Ayurveda, ginger has been used since centuries as a part of traditional medicine system due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ginger is effective in fighting against symptoms of RA as Indian researchers have found that ginger oil causes a significant suppression of joint swelling and has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties . You can add ginger oil to your diet to get some relief. These are the 10 amazing benefits of ginger.
Pineapple has been used as a medicinal plant since the 18th century and has a wide range of health benefits and can also lower your cholesterol. This is because pineapple contains bromelain, which also has strong anti-inflammatory properties. In a study where bromelain was given to RA patients, it was found that nearly 72% of them experienced reduced swelling and joint pains . You can reap the benefits of bromelain by having a glass of fresh pineapple juice a day.
Night jasmine (Harsingar)
Night jasmine or harsingar is a plant that originates from West Bengal and has been widely used for treating arthritis and sciatica by Indian Ayurveda practitioners. Oral administration of night jasmine extracts has the potential to significantly reduce joint inflammation, says a study conducted by Indian researchers in 1997 . It is the leaves that is commonly used in treating of rheumatoid arthritis and is also considered as a sacred tree in Hindu mythology. The decoction of the leaves is usually given by Ayurveda practitioners for treating arthritis, among other ailments.
This medicinal herb is native to the Himalayan regions of India and is also widely used. The main active components of chirayita are swerchirin, swertanone and swertianin that have anti-inflammatory properties due to which it is used in treating rheumatoid arthritis. It is bitter to taste and usually all parts of the plant is used for a wide range of ailments including rheumatoid arthritis . It is available in a powdered form or as a dried herb. However, be careful while purchasing chirayita in the market as it could be adulterated and consult a reliable Ayurveda practitioner for the correct dosage.
This expensive spice is commonly used as an aphrodisiac and is known to have a wide range of health benefits. One of it is that saffron extracts contains anti-inflammatory properties . You could try adding the spice to your diet more often to get some form of relief from pain, swelling and inflammation.
Karvi (Strobilanthes callosus)
Karvi is an Indian medicinal herb that is commonly found in Maharashtra and in fact, has commonly been used by local tribes to treat a wide range of inflammatory disorders. The roots of the shrub are used in Ayurveda as studies have found that it is effective in treating rheumatic diseases . This shrub was first discovered in the 19th century and research has revealed that it has the ability to prevent the production of pro inflammatory agents. You could try using the oil prepared from the plant for best results. Here are six other natural remedies for arthritis you could try.
Reference Pharmacology. 1994 Nov;49(5):314-8.Suppressive effects of eugenol and ginger oil on arthritic rats.Sharma JN(1), Srivastava KC, Gan EK.  Pa Med J. 1964 Jun;67:27-30. BROMELAINS THERAPY IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.COHEN A, GOLDMAN J.PMID: 14174138  J Ethnopharmacol. 1997 Apr;56(2):153-8. Depletion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha in mice by Nyctanthes arbor-tristis. Paul BN(1), Saxena AK.  Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2003 Nov;25(4):573-83. Swertia chirayita mediated modulation of interleukin-1beta, interleukin-6,interleukin-10, interferon-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in arthritic mice. Kumar IV(1), Paul BN, Asthana R, Saxena A, Mehrotra S, Rajan G.  BMC Pharmacol. 2002 Mar 15;2:7. Antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of Crocus sativus L. stigma and petal extracts in mice. Hosseinzadeh H(1), Younesi HM.  Agarwal R., Rangari V. Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities of lupeol and 19 -H lupeol isolated from Strobilanthus callosus and Strobilanthus ixiocephala roots. Ind. J. Pharm.2003;35:384 387.
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