Herbal treatment for arthritis reduces the pain and inflammation association with all types of arthritis and arthritic conditions. Chinese herbs for arthritis, other herbs, and diet all help with arthritis. LoveToKnow spoke with Llynn' Newman, a Certified Herbologist, New York State licensed certified nutritionist, and certified Reiki practitioner about the best ways to treat arthritis. Llynn's 30 year career includes counseling hundreds of arthritis suffers. Here, she shares her insights into holistic management of this all-too common condition.
An Interview with Llynn' Newman
Holistic Treatment for Arthritis
Arthritis, a disease involving inflammation of the joints, strikes people of all ages and walks of life. It can seriously limit an individual's quality of life, and the pain can be quite debilitating.
What do you consider the most important aspects of treating arthritis?
Llynn' Newman: Back to basics is my motto, and upon meeting a new client suffering from arthritis, I begin with an evaluation of his or her overall health, medication conditions, and diet. Diet plays such an important factor in managing arthritis. Everyone should drink plenty of fresh, clean water. Herbs are simply plants chock full of good nutrition that we add to the diet to aid healing. We focus on cleaning up the client's diet, eliminating white sugar, white flour, and fried foods.
What type of diet do you recommend for arthritis sufferers?
LN: Acidic conditions encourage inflammation, so I suggest clients immediately reduce sugar consumption. Sugar induces inflammation. I also provide clients with a diet based on organic green, leafy vegetables, lean and high quality protein, and other vegetables. Avoid all vegetables in the nightshade family, like green peppers, eggplant, potato and tomato.
When do you incorporate herbs into the treatment plan?
LN: I include herbs synergistically with diet recommendations. Herbs are assimilated through the digestive tract, so we must first ensure that the client's digestion works properly. If the person is constipated, for example, herbs won't be assimilated properly. Drinking plenty of water and adjusting the diet to include fresh, organic vegetables, for example, helps digestion work properly and aids assimilation of herbs.
An Herbal Treatment for Arthritis
What herbs do you recommend to treat arthritis?
LN: The herbs that immediately come to mind to treat arthritis include alfalfa, black cohosh, boswellia, chamomile, ginger, Devil's Claw, sarsaparilla, wild yam, white willow, yucca and nettles. All of these herbs, when incorporated with the suggested dietary changes, act in concert to provide healing. White willow provides pain relief and reduces inflammation. Remember that aspirin was derived from willow bark, and white willow relieves pain and inflammation, especially for people with sensitive stomachs who can't tolerate aspirin or other pain relievers.
How should these herbs be taken?
LN: Anyone considering herbs for arthritis should consult a qualified herbalist or holistic practitioners for the proper dose. I also recommend trying one herb at a time. This is especially important for people with known allergies and sensitivities. By trying just one herb at a time, you can study the effect of that particular herb on the body and on the arthritic condition. It's also important to rotate the herbs you're taking for a condition so that the body doesn't get used to any one particular herb.
How should one select herbs? Which should a person use - capsules, extracts, or whole herbs?
LN: Obviously the closer you can get to fresh herbs, the better. But that's not realistic for most people today. If you cook for yourself, try to include as many fresh herbs and vegetables as you can in your daily diet. But you don't need expensive pills. Simply add fresh herbs such as parsley, basil and others to your salads or meals. You can incorporate many herbs into your diet this way.If you must use herbal products, choose organic, alcohol-free extracts or capsule with no artificial ingredients. Frequently clients show up for their first meeting with me carrying bags of vitamins and herb capsules. Yet the products they've purchased are virtually useless and even worse, harmful. Many include toxins, artificial colors, preservatives, dyes and waxes. Don't add to your body's stress load by ingesting poor quality herbal products.
Read the labels before you buy. Try to find a local health food store and ask the proprietors. Most are deeply committed to natural health and will be happy to answer your questions. If you must shop for herbs online, look for the ingredients posted on the website before purchasing the product. If the site doesn't post the ingredients in the product, skip that site and find one that does.
Are there any contraindications associated with these herbs?
LN: Usually not, but if the person is on blood thinners, they should not take white willow, feverfew, ginger, or cayenne. I also recommend taking herbs at a different time of day than any medications. It's also important to disclose to your medical advisor all the herbs and medications you're taking so that he or she can adjust the dose, diet or herbs as necessary.
Get Back to Basics
If readers could leave with just one piece of advice for treating their arthritis, what would you tell them?
LN: Get back to basics! The quality of one's diet is so important. Fresh, natural, organic ingredients and a plant-based diet are essential to overall good health. Drink plenty of fresh, pure water, and be sure to get lots of fresh air. It's the simple things in life that restore balance and harmony.
If you'd like to make an appointment with Llynn' Newman, her practice is located on Long Island, New York, near New York City. Visit her websitefor more information or call (516)674-4868 for an appointment.