Home remedies for osteoarthritis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

For osteoarthritis, people are usually looking for things that will help with pain relief.

So far, there are no treatments other than possibly glucosamine/ chondroitin that appear to help preserve cartilage. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things out there. Basic research into the biology of cartilage looks promising. Until then, here are some home remedies that some people vouch for. I personally don’t recommend home remedies to my patients but I do not discount them if a patient comes in and says it helped them.

Here’s an interesting one…If the problem is inflammation, you can wrap the joint with a cabbage leaf.

Another old folk remedy is called “rainydrop.”

Get some fresh ginger root. Grate the ginger and then cook it in a little bit of water for about five minutes or so. Then combine the cooked ginger root with some honey. Then pour seltzer into a glass and pour the ginger root mixture into that.

Another thing you can do is soak a brown paper bag in vinegar, wrap it around the affected joint, leave it on over night.

Some people have used a combination of grape juice and vinegar for their arthritis. This is sometimes sold as "Jogging in a Jug."

Honey and vinegar is one of the oldest home remedies.

Older patients swear that Knox gelatin works well.

A number of commercial rubs are available. Warning: commercial or home-made ointments that use capsaicin (the hot in hot peppers) can cause too much can burn or blister the skin.

Alternating between hot and cold compresses sometimes works.

Horse liniment has its proponents. Caution is advised here.

DMSO has also been used. Some people swear by it. Use caution because it can be carcinogenic.

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