Joint and knee pain is incredibly common and can be caused my many different factors. A few of the potential causes are injury, arthritis, bursitis, the flu, mumps, and hepatitis. But because our joints absorb the impact associated with pretty much any kind of movement, they can also just get tired out from overuse.
Whatever the source, joint and knee pain typically occurs when the body’s immune system triggers inflammation in the area. This reaction is meant to be protective, but in many cases adds to your discomfort because it slows down blood flow to the affected area.
The good news is that a diet rich in certain herbs can reduce chronic inflammation and soothe aggravating joint pain. In some cases, these herbs also work well when applied topically. We recommend experimenting with each one – unless you happen to be allergic, there are almost no side effects from their use, unlike many over-the-counter medications. You’ll also love that using these herbs has many benefits beyond joint care, especially #3!
1. Green Tea
Green tea is a super healthy beverage that does great things all over your body, like accelerating fat burning and strengthening brain function. But for our purposes, you’ll be pleased to learn that green tea is a powerful anti-inflammatory that has been studied extensively in relation to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Green tea is super easy to make from tea bags or loose leaves, and as a bonus you can also boost the effects by adding other pain relieving herbs to your brew. Both ginger and aloe make tasty complements to green tea. You may also want to experiment with adding green tea concentrate to other meals, or for the ultimate in convenience, take it in tablet or tincture form.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is good for so many ailments, most notably sunburn. But we’re here to tell you that it is fantastic for joint and knee pain as well. Aloe has an astonishing 75 active components, two of which (aloin and emodin) are actually natural pain relievers. It also contains plenty of anti-inflammatory compounds to get your blood flowing freely through those painful joints again.
Many people like to massage aloe gel into sore joints, but you can also take an aloe supplement by mouth. Capsules are an easy choice, but aloe vera juice is mild in flavor and mixes beautifully with smoothies. Just be sure to choose an aloe product that has been certified as pure by the International Aloe Science Council.
Note that people who take medication for diabetes, diuretics, or stimulant laxatives should speak with a doctor before starting an aloe vera regimen.
Ginger is a miracle spice that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine forever. Due to its active ingredient, gingerol, it helps with joint and knee pain by increasing blood circulation and reducing pain. Research on the benefits of ginger for patients with rheumatoid arthritis is quite exciting.
But that’s just the beginning. Scientific studies have found that ginger can also lower bad cholesterol, improve blood sugar levels, protect the heart from disease, reduce your risk of cancer, and boost brain function. And, it’s super easy to take because it tastes great. You can use it dried, powdered, fresh, or in oil form for cooking, or simply swallow a capsule if you prefer.
Rosemary (along with its pal sage) contains similar anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Both are great for relieving joint and knee pain. However, rosemary also has something called rosmarinic acid, which reduces inflammation as well as soothes skin afflictions, reduces stress, stimulates hair growth, and improves blood sugar. It may even suppress Alzheimer’s disease!
Rosemary has a sweet and slightly piney taste that goes wonderfully with roasted meats and veggies. If you want to cook with it, try dropping a few sprigs of fresh rosemary to your cooking oil for a couple of minutes before adding the rest of the food. Of course, dried rosemary is also delicious to sprinkle on food during the cooking process, and you can get a tincture, essential oil, or capsules for days when you don’t plan to cook with it.