Natural Remedies For Aching Joints
Ahhh spring! It’s finally on its way. Mother nature is teasing us with snippets of sunshine and warm(ish) breezes. For me, the first sign of spring is the returning itch to get outside and run. This is likely the result of years of junior high and high school spring track seasons. The smell of the earth thawing means it’s time to start training. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way!
Look out your windows and you’ll see that it’s no longer just the diehard runners out there who have braved even the nastiest of snow storms in the ultimate display of commitment. Regular folks (like me) are returning to the streets after a long winter to walk, jog and bike.
As we return faithfully to our warm weather workout routines there’s one problem that many of us will experience before too long: aching knees, ankles and hips.
“It’s just part of getting older,” you may say. Perhaps. But does it have to be? Perhaps not. Aching joints can be a sign of inflammation, the body’s natural immune response. There are a number of factors that can contribute to an unhealthy inflammatory response in the body that may result in ongoing pain, discomfort, or lack of mobility.
A number of natural foods and herbs have been used throughout history to support the body’s healthy inflammatory response and to ease the discomfort associated with inflammation.
Turmeric is the cooking spice that accounts for the yellow color of curry and American mustard and has a distinctive sharp flavor. Dr. Andrew Weil recommends turmeric for all inflammatory disorders, including arthritis, tendonitis, and autoimmune conditions.
Ginger is another spice that can support the body’s inflammatory response and can be used in cooking, as a tea or taken as a supplement.
Boswellia is a lesser known herb that has been traditionally used to reduce pain and inflammation. It can be found as a single herb supplement or in combinations with complementary herbs.
Glucosamine, condroitin and MSM are compounds that may support healthy joint function as well and can also be supplemented.
As with any natural remedy, the key is to be patient. Many supplements can take up to 2 months before the full effects can be recognized.
Rachel Anzalone is an Herbalist and Traditional Naturopath at Holistic Lakewood