Treating Arthritis

Chinese medicine classifies Arthritic conditions under Bi Zheng, obstruction or stuckness disease. Circulation to joints, bones and ligaments is impaired, causing pain and lack of mobility.   Arthritis can be caused by several factors, mainly damp, cold or heat.   These influences can damage circulation and blood flow to joints.  Hot arthritis will be swollen, warm, red and painful.  Cold arthritis will be less swollen, and have spasmodic pain.   Joints can become disfigured. 

Western medicine differentiates between two types of arthritis: in osteoarthritis there is inflammation, pain and bony changes to the tissue. In many cases there are painful calcifications and bone spurs as well. For the herbalist, circulation, digestion, and elimination are the primary issues to address. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition that usually involves a great deal of inflammation and if it is severe, can be very disfiguring. Circulation, digestion, inflammation and immune modulating are all issues a good herbalist will treat in cases of rheumatoid arthritis.

Diet plays an important role in healing the body of arthritis.  including more green leafy vegetables, beans, and fruits in the diet, and less sugar and carbohydrates. Moderate amounts of protein should be consumed, as well as good quality fats, including olive oil, coconut oil and grass fed butter.  Night shade family vegetables should be avoided- tomatoes, peppers, eggplants.  They are linked to excess inflammation.  Turmeric is helpful to move the blood and circulation, and is considered a potent anti-inflammatory.   Curcumin, which is the active ingredient in Turmeric, can be taken as a supplement.   

Below is a wonderful anti-inflammatory combination that can be taken for pain relief:  

500 mg curcumin 

500 mg quercetin  

500 mg bromelain 

These can be found at most health foods stores or online. The above combination can be taken up to 4 times a day, and you can increase the curcumin to 1000 mg for extra pain relief.   

 Another wonderful way to ingest turmeric is an ayurverdic beverage called "golden milk".   golden milk is made by preparing a paste with turmeric and black pepper.  I prepare the paste in advance, store it in an airtight jar in the fridge and mix a teaspoon with almond milk or regular milk, honey and coconut oil.  Its delicious and beneficial.  Great to drink anytime, as a great morning beverage that won't leave you jittery or a before bed relaxing drink.   here is a link for a recipe.



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Eti Domb is a licensed Chinese Medicine physician and can treat a wide range of health conditions using Acupuncture and Herbal remedies.

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