Arthritis Relief Without Harsh Chemicals

Holistic practitioners are experiencing more positive results with various types of arthritis without the use of harsh chemical entities and their invariable side effects.

As we know, the term arthritis covers a large variety of illnesses. The major type, rheumatoid arthritis, can be viewed as a diseased state in which swelling and inflammation are the major factors. Osteoarthritis involves the wearing away of joints and other bone structures because of wear and lack of cartilage.

For rheumatoid arthritis, the major nutritional aid is bromelain. The usual dose is 500 milligrams (mg.) three times each day. Bromelain has traditionally been used as a safe, nonirritating substance that can often serve as a replacement for aspirin and stronger anti-inflammatory drugs, thus avoiding a host of adverse effects. Some nutritionists also use MSM, an organic sulfur-containing compound that helps make the joints more flexible.

It is possible that avoiding certain foods might be beneficial in both types of this malady. The main foods that some recommend avoiding are:

Nightshades: tomatoes, white potatoes, bell peppers, and eggplant.
Gluten: an ingredient in pasta, white bread, and other grain products.
Products with a high allergy profile such as milk and some dairy products.
None of these avoidance procedures is universally successful. In addition, the various arthritic maladies are often made more baffling by the phenomenon of "spontaneous remission," which means that the illness may simply disappear, sometimes with and sometimes without treatment. Thus, one can never be entirely sure whether improvement is a result of a particular therapeutic modality or spontaneous remission.

Although certain foods can be avoided, some foods might benefit more arthritis patients:

Cherries: but avoid all fruits with artificial dyes
High-grade salad oils: olive and flaxseed oils

Vegetarians with osteoarthritis may have a special problem with some remedies such as glucosamine and chondroitin, shark cartilage, bovine cartilage, collagen, and cetyl myristoleate. The following nutrients may be used instead:

Bromelain: This plant-derived enzyme can reduce swelling and inflammation. The usual dose is 500 mg. three times daily.

Silica: Preferably derived from the horsetail plant, it supplies the main material that makes up cartilage. Most people with arthritic problems have deteriorated or substandard cartilage. Silica is a nutrient often in short supply in the diet. The dose would be elemental silica 25 mg., two or three times daily.

Niacinamide: An excellent anti-arthritic nutrient, niacinamide is not to be confused with niacin. Many patients have benefited greatly from using niacinamide. The usual dose is 250 mg., three or four times daily.
Linseed and flaxseed oils: These products are rich in essential oils. Although linseed caps are usually covered with animal gelatin, this is not the case with the pure oil. For patients who do not like the taste of the oil, it may be taken with various foods such as applesauce in order to make it more palatable.
Magnesium: Various magnesium compounds may exert a relaxing effect on the muscles and thus ease the generalized pain that often characterizes various forms of arthritis. The dose would be up to 500 mg. of elemental magnesium daily.
Calcium: Some, but not all, cases of arthritis may benefit from calcium supplementation. This determination should be made by a health professional.
Although arthritis is not usually a life-threatening situation, all individuals are well advised to be under the care of a competent health professional who can monitor their progress.

Differences Between Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis Osteoarthritis:
Usually develops slowly after age 40 or 50.
Usually affects a few joints in the body.
Usually causes slight redness, warmth, and swelling inside the joints.
Does not cause any feelings of sickness.
Rheumatoid arthritis::
Usually develops between 25 and 50 years of age.
Usually affects many joints in the body, especially smaller joints in the hands, wrists, and feet.
Usually causes redness, warmth, swelling, and some morning stiffness that can last for hours.
Often causes general feelings of sickness and fatigue.

By Philip Zimmerman

Philip Zimmerman, Ph.D., is Chief Chemist at Freeda Laboratories.

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