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Natural Relief for Joint Aches and Stiffness

Aches and stiffness don’t just come with age, but also with injury, chronic illness and environmental stress. Our joints undergo a great deal of pressure throughout the day. It’s easy to take them for granted until they start causing problems.

Photo credit: Frank Gaillard via WikiMedia

Although your first instinct might be to pop anti-inflammatory pills like ibuprofen and naproxen, these synthetic medications can be harsh on your body over time. Fortunately, there are lots of safe, natural alternatives that have proven effective for joint issues. And for many people, natural and herbal supplements provide extra relief that prescription medications simply don’t offer.

Two of the most popular natural treatments for joint relief are glucosamine and chondroitin. Glucosamine is naturally found in the shells of lobster, shrimp and crab. This supplement claims to slow down cartridge deterioration, relieve pain, and promote mobility. Actual results by consumers reporting on the use of this product have been mixed. Chondroitin, which is also naturally found in our connective tissues, can be extracted from cow trachea and pork byproducts. It also claims to reduce pain and inflammation, improve functioning, and slow the progression of osteoarthritis in knees. Unfortunately, a lot of the chondroitin raw material now comes from China, having been extracted from waste pork skins that have been boiled in acid baths. Consumers using this product also report mixed results.

Foods and supplements rich in calcium and vitamin D have long been known to promote healthy bones. In Chinese, Japanese, and Indian medicine traditions, ginger have been used to decrease joint pain and inflammation for hundreds of years. Tumeric, which is a plant originating from India and Indonesia, has been widely used as an anti-inflammatory agent, a preventative medicine, and a digestive aid.

Omega-3 fatty acids which are found in coldwater fish, natural oils, and some nuts, has also shown to control inflammation in the joints, tissues, and bloodstream. Responsibly-extracted shark cartridge in the form of capsule supplements and shark liver oil softgels can also can provide joint relief when nothing else works.

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Many foods and herbs that you already have in your pantry may provide joint relief as well. When mixed into a topical ointment, cayenne pepper offers excellent relief for joints in both the short term and the long run. To make your own ointment, mix 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, ½ cup cocoa butter, and coconut oil to apply directly onto to sore joints. Many people drink all-natural grape juice, which is loaded with antioxidants, and teas infused with licorice to reduce inflammation and control the release of cortisol.

Contrary to popular belief, joint issues aren’t simply a normal part of aging. If left untreated, joint issues can lead to excruciating pain and irreversible loss of mobility. To learn about even more alternative remedies, browse through Prevention magazine’s article that features eight all-natural recommendations and The Dr. Oz Show‘s list of herbs for natural pain relief.

Trumpetfish cruising in Bonaire

Trumpetfish cruising in Bonaire

When all else fails, one other alternative therapy is just to relax and watch a Trumpetfish slowly cruising the waters of Bonaire. This species of fish is very calm,swims slowly and easy to approach. When feeding, it can momentarily accelerate to strike and swallow a smaller fish.  It lives in the world of eat and be eaten.

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