These are the top five herbs that I recommend for joint pain. There are many others that work equally well. Any herb that reduces inflammation and is high in anti-oxidants will help joint pain, but these have other properties that increase the healing effects on the joints.
To help you get the most benefits from these herbs make sure your vitamin and mineral consumption is sufficient, and possibly take an omega-3 oil capsule. Just getting overall good nutrition will make a big difference. This is my routine, and I think it helps give the herbs the best environment to do their work.
There are many herbs that reduce inflammation and relieve joint pain. The key is finding the combination that works for you, and then using them regularly for best effects.
Lemon Verbena, Aloysia citrodora
I grow lemon verbena because I love the heavenly lemon scent. When I need a pick-up, I crush a few leaves in my hands and breathe in the scent. Once I started growing the plant, I was thrilled to learn that it also has health benefits.
Lemon verbena is a powerful antioxidant and protects the muscles and joints. It prevents damage to muscles that’s often encountered with muscle training and overuse. Lemon Verbena also reduces joint pain and increases joint mobility when taken regularly.
Enjoy lemon verbena in hot or cold tea, slice it thinly and use it in salads, or infuse it into oil or vinegar. The tincture is also useful for joint pain, but I find the tea to be easier and it has a pleasant taste.
White Mustard, Sinapis Alba
White mustard seed is another good herb to use for joint pain. It is used topically to warm the area and relieve immediate pain, while helping the joint to heal for long term relief.
To use white mustard seeds, I prefer to grind them or crush them just before use. Mix the ground seeds with enough vinegar to wet the powder and make a paste. Apply it to the skin over the sore joint. The seeds irritate the skin above the joint and bring an increased blood supply to the joint and skin. Once the skin is red and irritated, wash the seeds away to prevent blisters. For widespread joint pain, add 1 teaspoon of ground white mustard seeds to a warm bath and take a soak.
When I first started growing mustard, I overplanted. You’d be surprised how many leaves and seeds you get from just a row of plants. The leaves are good in salads or cooked as a green. When the seed pods turn brown harvest them immediately, otherwise the pods will split and cast seeds for a good crop next year. Cut the pods off and place them into a paper bag to catch the tiny seeds when the pods open.
Cayenne attacks joint pain in several different ways. First, cayenne is a powerful anti-inflammatory, attacking the primary source of most joint pain – inflammation. Like most herbs for joint pain, cayenne works best when used regularly and long term. Take cayenne internally on food, if you can handle it, and use it topically on the painful joint.Capsaicin is the ingredient in cayenne responsible for most of the relief and it is also available in commercial products for joint pain. When applied to the joint it has pain relieving properties. It also creates a burning sensation that warms the area and brings an increased blood supply, which helps healing. The combination of increased blood to the area and reduced inflammation promote long term healing, while the capsaicin relieves pain for temporary relief.
Greater burdock is another plant with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. If your joint pain is due to osteoarthritis, greater burdock may be the plant you need. It tames the arthritic inflammation when taken daily over time. I drink three cups of greater burdock root tea daily. When I first started using it I was a bit skeptical but, over time, the pain gradually subsided. It takes about two to three months to get the maximum benefits.
I grow greater burdock in the back corner of my garden. The plant is large, up to ten feet tall, with a tap root that grows to eight feet deep. The leaves, stems, seeds, and roots are all edible. I eat the young leaves in salads, peel the stems and eat them cooked, and use the dried root to make my medicinal tea.
Moringa, Moringa Oleifera
Moringa is a relatively new plant in the US, but it is spreading rapidly because of its usefulness. The tree is highly nutritious and useful for many different medicinal reasons. It came to my attention when a friend began using it for arthritis.
In his late 40s, Jim was already taking an expensive assortment of drugs for his arthritis. He couldn’t afford it and it wasn’t helping anyway. He decided to try moringa. Within two weeks, his joints were improving, and after a month he quit taking the other drugs. It has been two years now and his joints look normal. He says he still has some morning stiffness and occasional pain, but it is greatly improved over his pre-moringa arthritis.
My husband is now taking moringa twice a day (2 grams total daily by capsule) and it has helped his joints greatly. In the beginning he had upset stomachs from the moringa, so we reduced him to a small dose and gradually increased it. I take it also, for inflammation, and it combines well with the lemon verbena.
Like most of the herbs listed here, moringa needs to be taken daily for maximum effects.
You can grow and harvest your own moringa in almost any area of the US. It is a warm weather tree, but it will do okay if you keep it covered in cold weather. The tree grows so fast that you can harvest a crop every fall and replant in the spring. Remove the leaves and young stems from the tree, dry them, and powder for later use.
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