Can Herbal Remedies Really Treat Arthritis?


More and more people are trying to add natural remedies to their current chronic disease treatment plans. Many natural medicine options can provide relief from various diseases and the debilitating symptoms that often accompany them.

With conditions like arthritis, people experience pain, swelling, stiffness, and decreased range of motion that often deteriorates over time and disrupts their ability to do everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, and running errands. With arthritis, which affects approximately 23% of all American adults, it is clear that natural remedies can be a viable option when it comes to helping sufferers manage their chronic health condition. Can Herbal Remedies Really Treat Arthritis? And is marijuana an effective option for arthritis? Let’s find out.

Herbs for arthritis pain

Pain and inflammation are common symptoms in people with arthritis. There are eight different types of arthritis, each caused by different things. For example, osteoarthritis is caused by the wear and tear on the cartilage in the joint, while rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the body’s immune system attacking healthy joints. Regardless of the type of arthritis, there are many herbs that can help relieve the resulting pain and inflammation.

Natural medicines have received more attention in recent years because they are less likely to cause side effects. They come naturally, which may also be a healthier alternative for some people who are sensitive to the chemically made drugs most commonly used today.

Image by Sharon McCutcheon to Unsplash: Medical marijuana may need more study to determine if it is a contender for the best medicine for arthritis pain. However, recent research shows that it can be helpful in conjunction with traditional therapies.

The best herbs for pain relief and inflammation from arthritis are:

Willow bark

Willow bark can be taken as a tea or in a tablet and has been used since ancient times to help prevent pain and inflammation. Research has shown that willow bark can be useful in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.


Used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties due to its main component, curcumin. Although some research suggests it may help with arthritis pain and inflammation, more studies are needed to confirm its effectiveness.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera is popular for treating sunburn, but it also offers anti-inflammatory properties without the harsh side effects some people experience when taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The most useful dosage method for aloe vera and arthritis is oral.


Recent research has found that boswellia, also known as frankincense, has anti-inflammatory effects that people with arthritic diseases can benefit from. Human studies found that those who took capsules saw improvements in pain, stiffness, and joint function.

Cat claws

Cat’s Claw can help reduce swelling from arthritis and help boost the immune system. It is believed to help people with arthritic disease as it can suppress tumor necrosis factor. However, it does have some side effects and limitations.


Eucalyptus can be effective in treating arthritis pain when applied topically. The leaves of the eucalyptus plant contain tannins, which some studies have shown to relieve swelling and pain caused by arthritis. Eucalyptus treatment for arthritis is often followed with heating pads to increase effectiveness.


Ginger is more commonly used in cooking, but its anti-inflammatory properties can reduce pain and inflammation. Some researchers hope that ginger will become an alternative natural therapy to the use of over-the-counter and prescribed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Thunder god vine

This long-used medicinal herb helps suppress excessive immune activity and lower inflammation throughout the body. Because of its ability to lower immune activity, it can be helpful in treating rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases caused by an overactive immune response. However, it can have serious adverse effects and should only be taken with caution and after consulting a doctor.

MMJRecs - eucalyptusImage by Kelly Sikkema via Unsplash: Eucalyptus leaves used in conjunction with heating pads are effective in relieving joint pain.

Marijuana for arthritis

Research has shown that people with arthritis can find some relief from their symptoms through the use of medical marijuana. The best types of medical marijuana for arthritic disease are strains with high CBD potency, as CBD is the active ingredient that can provide pain relief. It is also believed that high-CBD strains can also lead to decreased inflammation in the body, thereby reducing the effects of inflammation-related pain caused by arthritis.

It’s worth noting that it may take some time to find a particular strain and type that are right for you and your arthritic condition. You should also continue treatments before and then in conjunction with medical marijuana use after discussing your options with your doctor. Medical marijuana may not replace your arthritis medication, but it can help alleviate some of your symptoms as a complementary form of disease management.

Featured image by Anna Auza on Unsplash


Beth Edmonds