These days, more and more consumers are interested in natural alternatives to prescribed treatments – not only do they often carry fewer, if any, side effects, they’re usually easier on the budget too. Even though you can usually find a great selection of natural joint support products either at your local drugstore or online, it can be fun to grow and make your own natural remedies to complement your daily supplement – and you don’t even need to be an expert gardener to do so! Here are just a few easy-to-cultivate plants that can be made into a variety of joint-friendly rubs, teas and tinctures.
The Aloe Vera plant is a low maintenance, easy-to-grow succulent well known for its soothing gel. Applying it to irritated or sunburned skin is just one of its many uses; with an array of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes, the Aloe Vera plant has numerous other health benefits, including the temporary relief of inflammation. The thick, cooling gel can be gently squeezed out of any mature Aloe Vera leaf cut from the plant and applied directly to the painful joint as often as needed. Because of its soothing properties, its unlikely to cause any reaction, but if you have particularly sensitive skin it’s best to do a patch test first.
As one of the most well-known and commonly used herbs, Parsley can be easily grown and added to numerous culinary dishes. Even though it’s most often used as a garnish, adding a finishing touch to many culinary dishes, you can take advantage of the health benefits of parsley in many other ways. However you decide to eat it, whether in a soup, relish, dip or salad, if you have joint pain, you need this green-hued herb in your diet! As one of the richest sources of Vitamin K, which supports bone health and the creation of strong, healthy cartilage, and Eugenol, a volatile oil with potent anti-inflammatory and anesthetic properties, eating parsley on a regular basis can greatly contribute to the overall health of your joints.
While you might not intend to grow dandelions, if you have a garden there’s a good chance you’ll have them anyway! Although this common weed is largely detested by gardeners everywhere, its numerous health benefits simply can’t be ignored, especially by those experiencing painful, inflamed joints. As a good source of vitamins A, B, C and D, flavonoids, calcium, potassium and more, dandelions can be enjoyed in several ways using all parts of the plant – the flower, greens and root. Extensively studied for their effect on arthritis and known to relieve nociceptive pain, such as that caused by inflammation, dandelions are perfect for making into a pain-reducing oil that can be rubbed directly on the inflamed area. Simply fill a jar with washed and dried dandelion blossoms, cover in olive or sunflower oil, leave in a sunny spot for at least two weeks and strain into another clean jar. The oil can be kept for several months if refrigerated and used liberally whenever required.
aybe one of the most delicious ways to reduce the pain from inflamed, sore joints is with strawberries. Red, juicy and sweet, strawberry plants are easy to grow both in containers and the ground as long as they receive regular watering and lots of sunshine. Aside from being a great source of vitamin C, folate and potassium, strawberries are high in antioxidants and a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins that, as well as being responsible for the color of the fruit, are clinically proven to reduce chronic inflammation. Studies have shown that eating at least 16 strawberries a week can significantly lower levels of proteins which are linked to inflammation so, whether you enjoy this tasty berry on its own, in a smoothie or topping your morning cereal, go ahead and indulge!