Natural Remedies for Arthritis

How to Treat Arthritis Pain

December 4, 2020

If you feel pain and stiffness in your joints caused by inflammation, see our natural remedies for arthritis—plus, tips on some foods to eat and not to eat to alleviate inflammation.

When people say “arthritis,” they usually mean osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis. More than 16 million Americans over the age of 45 complain of this condition, which causes joints to become inflamed, painful and stiff.

While osteoarthritis cannot be cured, mild symptoms can be managed or reduced. We don’t want you to suffer, so check out these tips to relieve pain.

6 Natural Remedies for Arthritis

  1. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica). This common herb has been used to relieve arthritis since the ancient Egyptians. The plant has tiny stingers which cause a burning sensation. Some brave folks literally self-inject the stingers into the inflamed area and swear by its effectiveness. However, most suffers will drink as a tea, steaming several ounces of the fresh leaves in how water. (Once cooked, stinging nettle loses its sting.) You can grow stinging nettle in the garden or purchase in health food stores as dried leaves or in ointment form for arthritis.

  2. Capsaicin—the “hot” chemical in red chili peppers—can relieve the pain of arthritis. Capsaicin temporarily interferes with perception of pain in the body by reducing substance P, a pain transmitter. You can make a tea by mixing red pepper into water, or simply cook red pepper in your meals or add a splash of hot-pepper sauce in tomato juice. It is also available as a topical cream, gel, or patch at drugstores. When first applied, topical capsaicin causes a burning sensation. This sensation lessens within a few minutes, and also over time with repeated applications. (Don’t get carried away with this idea and try smearing yourself directly with chili peppers—that’s a higher potency than most skin will tolerate.)
  3. Dose of ginger (Zingiber officinale) and turmeric (Curcumin longo) also also been shown to provide relief from pain and swelling, thanks to anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies have shown some support for curcumin (500 mg, three times daily) as a treatment for osteoarthritis. 
  4. Bee-vemon contains anti-inflammatory peptides that act against the pain and inflammation of your arthritis. If you’re allergic to bees, do not use this remedy without the supervision of a doctor. Even if you aren’t allergic, buy a bee sting kit from your pharmacy and keep it handy.
  5. Increase the amount of oily fish in your diet. Studies show that increased consumption of non-fried fish suppresses the joint inflammation of arthritis. The reason? Like, aspirin, the omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish boost production of a recently discovered class of anti-inflammatory fats called resolvins.
  6. Pineapple (Ananas Comosus) has shown some ability to prevent inflamation because of bromelain, a chemical in pineapple. If you like pineapple, eat it as a snack in between meals not with your meal; it must be fresh or frozen, not canned pineapple or pineapple juice.

5 Everyday Management Tips for Arthritis

  1. Stretch for 18 to 20 minutes a day. Warm up first! Focus your stretching where it hurts the most, but increase flexibility all over.
  2. Practice your posture each day. When you stare at a computer, are your eyes looking straightforward or is your head titled downward. Do you slouch? Look up exercises on proper posture exercises. Avoid staying in the same position and take frequent breaks. See tips on proper posture
  3. If you are obese or overweight, anything that you can do to lose weight will reduce strain on your joints and reduce symptoms. Use this calculator to find out if you are overweight
  4. Excercise is good (not bad!) for arthritis, and one of the most effective ways to reduce pain and maintain joint health. Look into swimming which avoids putting strain on your joints. Avoid running which can put excessive load on joints. Try to do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity (such as swimming, cycling, or fast walking) every week. The Arthritis Foundation offers in-person exercise programs and an interactive tool for exercise solutions.  You also might enjoy this exercise video
  5. Ice your affected joints right after doing an activity. Don’t allow them to become inflamed. You could even wrap some frozen vegetables in a towel and hold them to your painful joints. Find out more about how heat and cold can help inflammation.

You should certainly see a doctor or health professional if you have persistent symptoms of osteoarthritis so they can confirm the diagnosis and prescribe any necessary treatment.

What to Eat and Not Eat

What to Avoid

These are all well-known triggers of inflammation and problematic for arthritis suffers. Cut out or cut back each week:

  • Red meat 
  • French fries and other fried foods
  • Sugar and processed foods such as packaged cookies and crackers.
  • White bread and pasta
  • Fruit juice
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Salt
  • Corn oil

What to Eat

Put these foods on your next shopping list!

  • Omega-3 fatty acids from cold-water fish, such as salmon and tuna
  • Brazil nuts (Bertholettia excelsa) and Sunflower Seeds (Helianthus annus) which have S-adenosyl-methionine, a chemical shown to have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Dark green leafy vegetables high in vitamin K which helps body inflamation and antioxidants, such as broccoli, kale, and spinach.
  • Vegetables rich in glutathione including broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, tomatoes and purslane. Fruits with healthy amounts include avocados, grapefruit, oranges, peaches and watermelon.
  • Canola and olive oil. Similar to fish, olive oil is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Pure olive oil also contains oleocanthal, which has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Garlic and onions which help keep inflammation at bay.
  • Red kidney beans and pinto beans are excellent sources of fiber and phytonutrients, which may help reduce inflammation.
  • Celery, which has two dozen antiinflammatory compounds
  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), which has antioxidants that help prevent aging in cells

Do you have any tips or tricks that help your arthritis? Let us know below!

Related Articles

Does cracking your joints cause arthritis? Find out here.

Find out more about how hot peppers can help your health.

Are your furry friends dealing with arthritis along with you? Find out remedies for pet arthritis here.

Reader Comments

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I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) 20 years ago. I have experienced whatever side effects I was warned about. The only treatment that has been successful has been the taking of worldherbsclinic RA HERBAL FORMULA, maintenance dosage of 2 in the MORNING with breakfast. I normally take 2 as usual with breakfast and one at night with dinner and have been pain-free period for more than 2 months now. I have regular blood tests and do not experience any of the side effects from taking it. Thank God this works for me. I feel great! checkout www worldherbsclinic com for more details about Rheumatoid arthritis herbal formula

Arthritis help

I hated sweet bell peppers as a child. My grandmother put them in everything possible. My grandparents ate them as snacks. At age 11 I started having joint problems and grandma said I needed to start eating these peppers. I didn't listen. In my 30s I found a book that was focused on eating your way to good health and ridding yourself of aches and pains by eating natural pain relieving foods. What did I see on page one for achy joints, the worst tasting thing on the planet (to me) Bell Peppers. I found freezing them concentrates the anti-inflammatory Chemical and removes most of the bitterness. Chopping them up into tiny pieces also helps hide them. I can tell a difference if I go a few days without eating them.

I found out last year at age 54 that I had/have Juvenile Onset arthritis. It went untreated for 40yrs. Early diagnosis and treatment is key, please do not put off going to a rheumatology board certified doctor. Arthritis damage cannot be undone after a certain point. I wish I would have made peace with the peppers and listened to grandma.

Natural Arthritis Treatment

I have been taking Boswellia Serrata or Indian frankincense for a few years with awesome results. I mix it with equal amounts of ashwagandha root which is thought to have some anti inflammatory properties. You can get boswellic acid extract or buy the ground frankincense itself. I prefer to grind my own from frankincense tears but it is difficult to find. It works well.

Herbs, but please no bee killing

I make turmeric capsules with black pepper included, take twice a day with a natural fat (buttered toast works easily) and my doctor says there is no inflammation in my body. But please, the bee venom? Aren’t our bees in enough danger?

Arthritis remedies. Cut out Caffeine and Sugar!

I cut out all caffeine, the results were amazing. Within two days my lower back pain was gone. I also cut out eating major amounts of sugar; getting rid of the two has made all the difference in the world. Mind you, the withdrawal from coffee was brutal, but worth it. I do not do decaf coffee as that is actually worse than the kind that contains caffeine. I switched to naturally caffeine free herbal tea.

Arthritis help

Magnesium spray works great ...spray on joints and muscles that are in pain gives immediate relief !

ginger for joints

I buy ginger in bulk from the spice section of a local store, buy empty gelatin capsules, fill one a day and take it before eating. No need to buy ginger in capsules, or an expensive bottle of the spice. Eat something right away because if the capsule does not go down, it will start to dissolve and you will feel burning in the middle of your chest. Also be careful to get it off your fingers after filling capsule. Ginger is an anti-inflamatory

Arthritis cures

While it took me a year, I cured the painful arthritis in my fingers by drinking organic cherry juice every day. I know have a job where I type a lot and I milk goats every morning-even in freezing temperatures and I could not have done that a couple years ago.

Fibromyalgia and arthritis

A huge hello from New Zealand :)

Two major car accidents caused a ton of issues, fibromyalgia for 20 years and now arthritis in many parts of me - ugh.

I couldn't sleep or stay asleep for more than 10 - 20 minutes at night. Recently my son began having sleep loss, zero energy & general malaise, serious enough for us tough Kiwis to consider doctor & fast. Funny how our kids galvanise us into action right? I'm a remedial therapist and lover of natural remedies - IF they work. I have known about Golden Milk, aka Turmeric Tea or Golden Tea for years, so off to the kitchen I hobbled.

The result was immediate! Not just for my 32 year old son, but for me (for whom no medication does a thing). He couldn't tell me if his new bamboo pillow helped because, well, he was asleep :). His energy was restored and caused a final comment on it heading to his work van for another !2 - 14 hour day. I woke once, but immediately went back to sleep.

In two days I stopped in my tracks and realised I felt incredible and had zero fibro 'fog'. If sleep is all this does for me and no mind fog, so be it and that is priceless. Two weeks into it and this is our MUST have nightcap.

The recipe is:

GOLDEN MILK (Turmeric Tea or Golden Tea)

Two servings in this recipe.

1 C milk
1/2 tsp turmeric
Ground black pepper
1/4 inch fresh ginger peeled & grated
Ground cardamom (don't have that though)

I whisked it all together & then just warmed on the stove. It was surprisingly delicious. Preferable to have milk straight from cow or nut or organic coconut milk, so they say.

I go hard on ginger, cinnamon & black pepper to be honest, as in, I have a bigger chunk of root ginger, biiiig shake of cinnamon out of shaker & lots of grinds of pepper mill. The black pepper is vital to release the curcumin in turmeric.

After first consultation with specialist two days ago, I got a high five for it and instructed to take it night and morning.

Whilst there is much against dairy, possibly in less 'green' countries than New Zealand, one can only experiment for personal results. In the cause of guinea pig for others, I'm right now sipping on a milk-free brew with the addition of lemon juice and I'm happy to report it's zingy and delicious.

Bottoms up lovelies and don't be scared to chew the chewy and crunchy stuff.

Arohanui from Aotearoa (big love from New Zealand) - June


Try taking two spoonsful of Certo [the liquid pectin used for making jelly; available at grocery stores with the jelly and jams or in the canning section---teaspoon, the regular eating spoons, not the big spoons] in a few ounces of grape juice each morning. It works. Years ago I worked in a grocery store and older folks used to buy Certo by the case; I asked them if they did a lot of canning and they said it was for their arthritis. Now I'm one of the "old folks" and take it, and it does work.

Move Free helps with our arthritis

My husband and I have developed arthritis and we both take Move Free every day. It really helps and we are virtually pain-free when we take it.

Raisins & Gin

I have read of the raisin/gin treatment and my husband is using it and claims it helps. But when I read about this it said to use golden raisins and special gin which is higher in whatever the helpful things are. We use the blue sapphire gin. And they should macerate (soak) for two weeks before eating the 9 a day. We always have the second batch warming up. I think it takes a bit before you notice anything.


One Aleve tablet taken daily during a flare up does help. Also a damp towel heated in microwave provides temporary relief. I have had symptoms for over 20years and Aleve is worth a try.Glad the product is on the market.

Turmeric! Keeps down swelling

Turmeric! Keeps down swelling in general as well as being a mild analgesic. My dog Emily had lost use of her left rear leg. Basically just a stick that kept her standing, while the right leg became HUGE from doing all the work. After three weeks on it, she started using the leg again. After six weeks I was surprised to see her propelling herself UP a small hill using that leg. I kept her on it, with gelatin, for the rest of her life. It's what kept her mobile until the last week of her life. Those two items now keep me going and able to play with my new puppy!

arthritis relief

Food is friend or foe....arthritis is caused by inflammation...a lot of which goes undetected in our bodies (eg. heart and brain!!) Cut out the foods that harm: nightshades, gluten and include those that help: omega 3 containing fish, extra greens (good for the liver)...etc. Look for alternatives to drugs b/c the drugs...well...costly....and harmful!


I use Arnica cream when my joints are swollen and painful. Relieves for hours.


Arnica relieves the pain. Can be bought over the counter in cream or gel form or you can make it yourself. If you don't have that handy and the pain is the result of cold weather, try warming a hand towel up in your microwave and apply it to the joint.

Medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana. Specifically, edibles made with canna oil. And topical analgesics like vapor rub or Bengay. It doesn't cure it but it helps you keep going despite the pain.

What has helped my arthritis

What has helped my arthritis immensely takes a change in my diet. Gluten is an inflammatory, therefore, if you can go gluten free, like I have, your joint pain will be alleviated. It doesn't work right away, as your body has to rid itself of the gluten in your body. Took about a month for my knees to no longer be in pain and about two months for my hands. I've been gluten and pain free for 4 years now...It's not as hard as you would think...As far as my body is concerned, gluten is nasty...

Osteoarthritis, the most

Osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis, gets worse with age and is caused by wear and tear over the years.

Some tips for Rheumatoid arthritis pain:
1.Don't give your joints the chance to become stiff keep them moving.
2.Take time to organize your daily tasks. Work at a steady, moderate pace and avoid rushing.
3.Try low-impact exercises like water aerobics or swimming to flex your joints without adding further stress.
4.Use an electric blanket or heating pad at night to keep your joints loose and use moist heating pads.
5.Turmeric, the yellow spice common in Indian dishes, contains a chemical called curcumin that may be able to reduce arthritis pain. The secret is its anti-inflammatory properties. (from )

I suffer from Neuropathy in

I suffer from Neuropathy in my feet and ankles used to be at night now becoming all day. The Doctors prescribe creams that work for a short period then no longer help. Can you help me find a better alternative. Tonight I was in so much pain I actually felt suicidle Im 55 the thought of being in this pain for mny years to come is unthinkabke.

Any suggestions, Thank You


Mike, we are not health

The Editors's picture

Mike, we are not health professionals so we can not give medical advice but our heart reaches out to you. We are not sure if you have diabetic neuropathy; here is an article about protecting the feet, which includes possibly using more serious prescription pain medication to block the pain and give comfort:

Read a book called Numb Toes

Read a book called Numb Toes and Aching Soles and/or Numb Toes and other Woes by John A. Senneff: Two books with more information about PN than any other source. Many kinds of potential remedies are available....a life times worth. One or more may work for you. Good Luck, Diane

Hi, Mr Mike . I am not an

Hi, Mr Mike .
I am not an herbalist or a doctor but I love what ever the creator created for us. Try a fresh ginger root half to an inch, and a teaspoon turmeric and a stick sinamon. Boil in two to there cup of filtered water, when water left half the amount then sip it atleast two times a day. Ask the creator to help your suffering, I bet you will be in good hand. But plz as a Christians do not ask any help from Jesus. Forgive about this information.

I also have severe neuropathy

I also have severe neuropathy (and arthritis) in my hands especially but also in my feet. My doctor prescribed Gabapentin pills (which is working). I also rub Voltarin cream on my hands at night then put on cosmetic gloves (so the dogs won't lick the medicine).

Fish oil pills also work well...or fresh fish if you like fish.

Born with JRA I have dealt

Born with JRA I have dealt with pain my whole life. I recently started using cinnamon in my coffee. It helps with the swelling and pain almost all day. Its about 12 hours before I start to feel pain again. cinnamon is also great for your metabolism and is an antifungal!

For almost 40 years, I was in

For almost 40 years, I was in pain in many joints from arthritis. I took everything that Doctors gave me to take, some helped, a little, but did not get rid of the swelling and pain altogether. Then last year, I was reading about another remedy for something else and read about "tart cherry juice". I read more about it and how this natural juice helped to rid the joints of the pain and swelling.... I've been drinking 1 oz. in the mornings and one at night about an hour before bedtime (it also helps you sleep.!)for about 5 months now... I should tell you that the only relief I was getting before was from taking 4-6 BC powders a day..!! After the first week of drinking the tart "all natural" cherry juice, I have NOT taken another BC powder, I have NOT taken any meds from any Doctor and I have NOT have any pain nor swelling from arthritis in 5 months..! If you go to your local store, look for ONLY the juices that ONLY contain "ALL NATURAL". If you see a list down the side of what's in it, put it BACK...!! I buy only "Old Orchard, Very Cherre" tart cherry juice, it has a green label and is in a 64 oz plastic bottle. 64 ozs. at 2 ozs. a day for under $6.00 a month..!! I was paying as much as $300.00/month for 'drugs" that didn't do a thing..!! The article I was reading says it may take from a week to 3 weeks to get in your system to start working. I started feeling the relief in 4 days..!! Your's may be the same or might take alittle longer, but for $5.99/bottle, it's well worth it to try it..! and remember, 2 ozs a day from a 64 oz bottle is 32 days, so within the first month, you'll know if it is going to help you. Also, the juice is good for others things also....

I too suffer from arthritis.

I too suffer from arthritis. I have tried everything but nothing worked. Where can I purchase this cherry juice?

Take Advil..800mg at night...

Take Advil..800mg at night...

I also use a decotion made

I also use a decotion made from dried Golden Rod Leaves and wild Strawberry stems and leaves.. bring a cup of each to a boil.. in 2 qts of water...Rolling boil for 5 minutes... pour the decoction into a tub of warm water.. it's best to shower prior to this soaking to open the pores of the skin to "soak up" the decotion... solak for 20 minutes in the warmest water your body can stand.. once the water starts to chill.. get out... good for arthritis and rhumitisim...