Arthritis is the name given to a range of health conditions that are characterized by the inflammation of the joints. A cure is yet to be discovered for it in the medical field which is unfortunate because it can be a very painful disease to live with for the rest of your life.
There are more than 60 types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis (due to wear and tear of the joints), rheumatoid arthritis (autoimmune disease that attacks the joints), gout (a complex arthritis that mainly affects the joints of the toe), etc. every type of arthritis has its own unique characteristics and symptoms.
Arthritis most of the time affects those that are ageing and overweight the most. Family history, diet, lifestyle, previous damage to a joint, environmental factor such as a job with repetitive movements, long standing hours are all factors that increase the likelihood of developing this condition.
One of the best ways that one can manage and comfortably live with this condition is by devising a management plan or by adapting your lifestyle to suit and support this condition. Researching appropriate remedies that can lessen the symptoms is also key in living with arthritis sucessfully.
Botanical name: Momordica balsamina
Hausa name: Garahuni
The fruits of this herb recently became popular amongst natural jhealing practitioner, health ethusiasts and the like. Its leaves are also very medicinal and are also eaten as a vegetable in northern Nigeria.
It should be used as a supplement to manage the amount of uric acid in the blood which is the main cause of the pain and the inflammation of the joints.
Caution: this herb is very potent hence, the dosage for an adult is a quarter teaspoon for every use; half a teaspoon should be used in a day. One of its side effects when taken in abundance is diarrhea among other. So be careful.
How to use:
- Boil a quarter teaspoon of the leaves powder in a cup of water
- Allow it to cool down and then sieve
- Take the water extract after meals. Twice in a day – in the morning and evening.
Colorful fruits and vegetables
A healthy diet that includes adequate fruits and vegetables can help in combatting almost evey diseases known to man.
In arthritis, colorful fruits and vegetables are especially known to contain antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and other useful compounds. These are very useful in fighting inflammation that triggers the cycle of arthritis.
An example of such fruits include water melon, roselle flowers (zobo), African plum, water pear, beet root, etc. these are all colorful fruits that are known to often stain one’s clothes if care is not taken.
Botanical name: moringa oleifera
Hausa name: Zogale
Moringa as we know is a very nutritive and healthy plant. All parts of the plant are used in Nigerian traditional medicine for various illnesses.
Moringa is a common vegetable, herb and medicine in Nigeria, West Africa, India and many other places. This vegetable is known to be rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, potassium, 4 types of vitamin Bs etc.
One is advised to frequently add this wonderful and delicious herb to their diet as a supplement to help balance and manage their symptoms. It is a safe plant that can be added to smoothies, soups, taken as tablets etc.
This is a lesser known ointment in Nigeria that is very effective for a range of health problems including colds, rashes, inflammations, etc. its main component is fresh garlic and then it is mixed with some other oils.
Various ointments are commonly used by arthritis patients to manage their symptoms especially when they are triggered by some environmental and lifestyle factors.
Beyond this ointment, you should try to identify ointments that help you in your management of this condition.
Bermuda grass herb
Botanical name: cynodon dactylon
Hausa name: Karya garma
Plant part used: Leaves
This plant if is remember correctly is one of those plants we studied in our agriculture class in my junior secondary years. It is a very common weed but without much knowledge, you pass it by and not identify it.
The purpose of the application of this plant is for pain and inflammation relief. You can easilty get this fresh herb in the neighbourhood as it is a common weed. If you are unable to do that, then you can simply get the powdered herb from the local herbal market.
How to use:
- Pound about one single hand full of the fresh leaves of this herb
- You can also use a tablespoon or so of the dried leaf powder – just enough for the skin area
- Get some shea butter or some fresh butter from a cow or man shanu as named in Hausa
- Mix the leaves and the shea butter just enough for application on the inflammed or pained area
Ginger is a known for its anti-inflammatory and antibiotic compounds used for many common ailments. Another lesser known property of ginger is that it is a pain reliever. Inflammation and pain the two main pillars of arthritis.
You can use this spice and herb by adding grating some fresh ginger and adding to your tea, foods, drinks and baked foods. You should to incorporate it in your everyday routine and foods.
You can use all the remedies and rugs in the world but if your lifestyle and behavior does not support arthritis, then you will constantly be in significant pain and your condition will continue to degenerate. Here are some useful tips that will help you:
- Avoid eating much of red meat such as cow, sheep etc. Instead, opt for fish, chicken etc.
- Exercise regularly to maintain the health of your bones and joints
- Try to lose weight if you are overweight. It will lessen the stress on your bones and joints hence the pain and symptoms will also improve.
- Hot therapy by taking a very warm bath when your joints begin to stiffen.
- Cold therapies to reduce discomfort at any time of the day. Wrap some ice or a very cold object in a cloth and place it on the joints. Never place ice directly on your pained joints
- Beware of foods that cause inflammation in the body such as red meat. Try to eat them as little as possible
- Try learning some massage technics to ease your discomfort.
- Keep to a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and the like to help balance the uric acid in the body and prevent arthritis flair.
Arthritis can be managed with the right lifestyle and effective natural remedies. It will be especially useful if you can focus on using supplements that support this condition and foods rich in antioxidants, flavonoids etc. Such as colorful fruits as they contain much of these compounds e.g water melon, African plum, turmeric, zobo drink, pomegranate, etc.
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