Natural Therapy And Treatment Options For People Suffering From Arthritis And Inflammatory Conditions

According to WebMD, the percentage of Americans who suffer from osteoarthritis is 12.1% of the population.  Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, although there are other, less common forms.

Arthritis is a painful inflammatory condition, leading to swelling of the joints and a loss of the cushioning cartilage that exists between joints to reduce friction.  There is no known medical “cure” for arthritis, although there are many medications that have been prescribed in order to help manage the condition.  For example, Celebrex and Bextra are still used as a first-line treatment for arthritis.

celebrex is a common choice for arthritis pain relief
Celebrex is a popular choice for arthritis pain relief. Photo by Stock Catalog.

However, as not many patients know, Celebrex and Bextra were withdrawn from the market in 2005, and were later reinstated with a cardiovascular and stroke warning label requirement.  You can see this requirement on the FDA’s website.  This is because, like many other NSAIDs, Celebrex, Bextra, and Vioxx all increase the risk for cardiovascular disease (including heart attacks) and stroke. Vioxx was voluntarily withdrawn from the market by Merck in 2005.



As a consequence of this warning, as well as the fact that these medications simply offer short term pain relief, many patients find that the risks outweigh the benefits.  These drugs only help with arthritis for as long as they are taken, and they do not help joints to repair.  So many patients begin seeking alternative health remedies to treat their arthritis.  In this article, I shall discuss several lesser known options for the treatment of arthritis with natural methods.

The first option is to use an herbal or plant-based pain-reliever, such as white willow or cayenne pepper.  These both offer short term pain relief, similar to an NSAID, but without the added risk of heart attacks, stroke, or stomach ulcers.  However, since cayenne pepper is a hot pepper, it can cause stomach irritation similar to that experienced when consuming hot and spicy foods.

Natural alternatives for relief of arthritis
Herbal Medicine Can Help With Arthritis. Photo Touch Me Not by Vivek Raj

Celery, cinnamon, and rosehip are helpful plant based remedies for arthritis that actually help to reduce the inflammation associated with the condition.  This means that they would have a more long term healing effect than a NSAID or even a pain relieving herb, in that they affect the inflammation in the joints themselves.


So, if you suffer from arthritis, you can take these herbs daily to reduce the inflammation, which would also reduce the pain, since the pain is generally caused by having inflamed joints.  When you reduce the inflammation, it also might become possible for the condition to reverse, as removing inflammation allows the body to repair itself.  This, however, would be a subject for further research, as these herbs have not been researched in terms of their long term use in healing arthritis.


Your next option, and one that shows great promise in terms of long term benefits, is massage therapy.  Massage therapy has been shown to reduce the pain and the inflammation associated with arthritis, along with improving grip strength, reducing anxiety, and improving mood.  Since this condition can cause depressed mood, this is an important treatment that can be used by those who suffer from arthritis.


Arthritis can damage joints and posture
Arthritis can be profoundly painful and damaging. Photo by Wonderlane.

Finally, there is a little-known but very effective remedy for arthritis.  This remedy is actually a vitamin, and it is called niacinamide.  This vitamin is a form of Vitamin B-3, but unlike pure niacin, it does not cause an uncomfortable flushing feeling.  In addition, it was heavily researched on human subjects in the 1970s and 80s by William Kaufman.


It was found that when niacinamide was administered six times a day at a small dose of 250mg, after six months, the arthritic condition would reverse.  This means it would literally cause the joints and damaged tissue to repair themselves, as long as it was taken continuously for what many would consider to be a long period of time.


It is quite surprising that, in light of its effectiveness as a real and true treatment for arthritis, with the capacity to reverse the condition in many patients, there was no fanfare or popularization of this vitamin.  The cost of the vitamin is very low, and due to its nature as a vitamin, it cannot be patented as a drug by any company.  The results of his research were published in the Journal Of The American Geriatrics Society in 1955.


Due to this, it is actually unusual that it was studied at all, but it was studied by a researcher who was also a doctor.  His patients were more than happy to take the risk that it would not work, since there is no harm from taking what is an essential mineral for the proper functioning of the body.

The joint damage that can result from arthritis.
The joint damage done by arthritis. Photo Rheumatoid Arthritis Fingers by david__jones.


His dose was not excessively high either, and there has never been established an actual dose of niacinamide that would cause illness or death.  So, his patients learned that there are actually vitamins that can act as a natural treatment for arthritis, that are cheaper than any medication their doctor could prescribe, and leagues more effective.  Of course, it did not work for every single patient, but anyone wanting to try this simple remedy was not increasing their risk of heart attack or stroke in so doing.  There was nothing to lose, and a great possibility of gain.


In conclusion, there are many natural treatment options that arthritis sufferers can try to help their condition.  Natural herbal remedies have been shown to be effective at either helping with the pain or with the inflammation.  Massage therapy has been shown to reduce the pain of arthritis, increase the range of motion and grip strength of those with arthritis, and improve their mood while reducing anxiety.  Finally, niacinamide is a simple, cost effective alternative remedy for arthritis, which can actually promote true healing of the joints affected.


Of course, the best option would be to do all three, possibly even at the same time.  So one could start taking niacinamide, go for regular sessions of massage therapy for six months or more, and take one of the herbs mentioned above.  It is then possible that their condition would reverse itself, although if not, the patient would certainly be in less pain. Due to the low risk, these remedies are certainly worth a try.



FDA Disclaimer:  Information provided on this site is for information purposes only.  It is not meant to replace the advice of your doctor.  The herbs and vitamins mentioned are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease.



The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke

The Common Form Of Joint Dysfunction by William Kaufman (out of print book)

The FDA’s website at’s Description of the Research and Accomplishments of William Kaufman

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society article





Elizabeth Pringle