Treating Arthritis Naturally – Part 2

I wrote about lifestyle changes to alleviate arthritis throughout life in the previous post.  Now I will discuss ways to treat the symptoms of arthritis naturally, without steroids. You can make these at home or purchase similar products from Mother Gaia’s or natural food stores.

First and foremost the simplest, safest, and most inexpensive remedy is Chamomile.  It is an amazing calmative and anti-inflammatory that any can use at any time.  It has also been mentioned in the treating Pink-Eye post.  If you have arthritis in your hands a good way to alleviate the pain and swelling is to make a strong Chamomile tea (2 tbsp of loose, dried Chamomile flowers or 4 tea bags to 1/2 cup of water, simmered for 30 minutes).  Strain and cool.  Soak a clean washcloth in it and wrap it around your hand and cover with a plastic bag or wrap with saran wrap and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Or mix the extra strong tea with a cup of Epsom salt, pour in the tub full of hot water, and soak for 20 minutes.

Black Pepper, Cinnamon leaf and bark, Pine Needle, German Chamomile, Lavender, and Red (Spanish) Thyme are all great for reducing the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. They are also known to repair damage and heal injured joints. Because essential oils are highly concentrated they must be diluted for safe use. If they are not diluted each one of these can cause damaging skin irritation like blisters and rashes.

So if you have 8 ounces of lotion only .28 (approx 1/4) of an ounce of essential oils should be included in the mixture.  In other words there should be only about 70 – 80 drops of essential oils total for each ounce of the carrier lotion.

30 mL = 1oz, 1 drop = 0.1 mL (approx), 30 drops = 1 mL, so 1 oz = 300 drops(approx), depending on thickness of essential oil.

This mixture can be also made with just one carrier oil instead of lotion, sesame oil is the best because it is warming to the skin and joint, coconut oil is cooling.
Simply rub the mixture into arthritic joints and allow to soak in for at least a half an hour before bathing.
This mixture should be stored in a cool, dark place, in glass container and can be kept for a year or more.
Essential oils should not be stored in plastic, they begin to dissolve the plastic which destroys the chemical composition of the oil.

There is a plaster or poultice that I learned about as well.  It’s definitely stinky but is also very beneficial. Take one whole, medium sized, white onion, not a sweet onion, and simmer for 20 minutes until soft. Cool and mash it up and place on affected joint and lightly wrap with a warm towel, saran wrap, or gauze and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Remove and wash with warm water.  It will reduce inflammation and pain and help the joint to move easier.  This can be kept in the fridge for a week and used as needed.

Mother Gaia makes effective pain relievers including Warming Pain Relief, Cooling Pain Relief, Unscented Pain Relief, and Arnica Infused oil.

Another very beneficial plant for sore and inflamed joints is Arnica.  It is not sold in an extracted essential oil form because it is too irritating and can be toxic.  But in an oil emulsion form it is safe to use often.  But should not be used for more than 14 days in a row because the chemical constituents build up in the liver and can cause toxicity.  I have made Arnica lotion many ways and the best I have found to make at home is a similar product as oil emulsion.

I like to use rendered bacon grease.  1 cup of collected bacon grease from cooking and 2 tbsp loose, dried Arnica flowers. First render the bacon grease by boiling it in a large pan of water for up to 8 hours.  As it cools the clean fat stays on top of the water and all of the additives and salts sink to the bottom.  Scoop off the clean fat, also called tallow or lard, from the top of the water and pour into a small sauce pan.  Add the Arnica to the lard and warm on low for up to 24 hrs. Don’t use a crockpot because they get too hot and will only cook the mixture not extract the constituents. You can also place fresh Arnica flowers on a tray lined with warm lard and allow to sit for a few days. The lard will become yellow-green in color.  Warming on the stove is a faster method.  Strain and store in the fridge in a glass container for up to a year.

Rubbing it on sore joints and muscles as needed to reduce pain and swelling.  As a therapy for only 14 days at a time with at least 7 days between repetitions.

If I missed anything please don’t hesitate to ask questions.