Video Q & A:

Natural Remedies for RA


Which herbal remedies can potentially relieve my RA?

Expert:   Kenya Beard , ACNP-BC, Hunter College »

Herbal remedies are sometimes beneficial supplements to your RA treatment. Find out more about them!

Transcript: According to several clinical studies, a FEW herbal remedies may be beneficial to people with rheumatoid arthritis.Thunder god vine is a highly POISONOUS plant, but its root bulb contains several compounds with medicinally PROMISING properties. CELASTROL, a compound found in thunder god vine, might ease inflammation and autoimmune conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis. At this time, treatment with thunder god vine is still a challenge, as it is difficult to extract celastrol without CONTAMINATING it with the plant’s poisonous compounds, and there are side effects such as diarrhea, headache and nausea.Borage, evening primrose and black currant seeds contain oils that hold high levels of gamma-linolenic acid, an OMEGA-6 fatty acid. Some studies show that these oils may reduce joint pain, swelling, and morning stiffness in people with rheumatoid arthritis. In one study conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, people who took gamma-linolenic acid for six months showed meaningful improvement in their rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. Taking these oils in high doses can upset the digestive system and does not slow the progression of the disease, so it won’t prevent joint damage. Another herb with potentially beneficial properties is called turmeric. A member of the ginger family, turmeric contains a compound called CURCUMIN. This compound has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that have the capacity to relieve joint pain. One study showed that when people with rheumatoid arthritis took curcumin as part of a treatment that included a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, their morning stiffness and joint swelling improved. If you’re interested in incorporating herbs and alternative medicine into your rheumatoid arthritis treatment, discuss your options with your health care provider to make sure these remedies won’t interfere with your current treatment regimen. More »

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