Arthritis and its associated aches and pains plague the lives of millions of people in this country…and the world. New statistics tell us that one in five American adults have been diagnosed with this painful modern plague. And with more than 100 types of arthritis, there are a lot of ways to suffer, the most common being osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia and gout.
While arthritis takes a huge toll as we age, it’s not just an ailment of the elderly. Statistics reveal that around 65% of people with some form of arthritis are under the age of 65. This serious and painful degenerative disease seems to affect more and more of us, from the athlete to the aging, but there’s hope for us all.
This month, as we work to create awareness of arthritis, it’s a great time to discuss options for relieving pain naturally.
Natural Ways to Relieve the Pain of Arthritis
The best advice is always the simplest, isn’t it? Every expert I researched revealed that the most effective relief from arthritic pain is…exercise. Turns out that it’s vital for pain relief, but also to prevent the disease from worsening.
But wait a minute. If your joints hurt, how are you supposed to work out? Well, slowly and easily at first, until your body can take more stress. Start with short walks and build. You’ll lose a little weight which is also a great joint relief.
Have I got news for you! I suffer with arthritis in my knees from decades of sports and exercise. Both of my knees are what my doctors call “bone on bone,” meaning there’s no cartilage left in the knee joints to cushion the daily pressure of walking and working out. While my knees ached constantly, I persisted with daily exercise and not sitting for too long a period of time, so my joints wouldn’t stiffen.
Then I discovered Moringa.
We were on St John in the US Virgin Islands with friends when we stopped at a roadside stand and had an amazing conversation with an older gent who was selling Moringa products. He was a lot older than he looked with a fascinating life story about his world travels that brought him right back to the island of his birth. But along the way, he discovered Moringa and attributed its “magic” to his wellness and youthful vitality.
From seeds to tea to oil, he used Moringa for what ailed him. So I asked him if he thought I would see results with my poor beat up knees. He said, as I suspected he would, that I had nothing to lose.
As I researched Moringa I saw that it made perfect sense that it could help people afflicted with arthritis pain…and lots of other ailments as well! It’s a powerhouse of nutrition!
But back to my knees…and your aching…whatever. In 2008, a study showed significant evidence that traditional uses of Morninga were particularly effective in treating arthritic pain and inflammation. While there’s no cure for arthritis that we know of…and joint disintegration can’t really be restored without a joint replacement, Moringa is showing a great deal of promise in providing relief. The study was done with the application of Moringa oil on painful joints but I am here to tell you that taking Moringa internally has proven to be quite the remedy for my knee pain.
The secret ingredient in Moringa that holds the key to me being able to do squats at the gym again? Omega-3 PUFA’s in concentrated form along with some of the most intense concentrations of anti-inflammatory compounds found in a plant or seed.
The study states: “When looking at arthritis from a diversity of perspectives, Moringa oleifera has been used to treat the pain and inflammatory conditions caused by arthritis, a disorder affecting more than fifty million Americans, and other degenerative diseases. Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids are found in Moringa oleifera and the ratio is disproportionately omega 3 fatty acids.”
On returning from my trip to the islands, I began to research Moringa oleifera, also known as horseradish tree, ben tree, or drumstick tree. From India, Pakistan, and Nepal, this delicate plant has been used for generations in Eastern countries to treat and prevent diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, anemia, arthritis, liver disease, and respiratory, skin, and digestive disorders.
Moringa has become popular as a natural leaf powder supplement, although the pods, roots, bark, flowers, seeds, and fruits are also edible and can be used in various remedies and methods to create vitality and wellness. My new friend on St John said that he eats 3 seeds every single day and credits them with his vigor.
Along with arthritic pain relief, Moringa is a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, like Vitamins A, C, and E; calcium; potassium; and protein. Moringa contains antioxidants called flavonoids, polyphenols, and ascorbic acid in the leaves, flowers, and seeds, all significant in our quest to age gracefully. In fact, one study found that leaf extracts had higher antioxidant activity, free-radical-scavenging capacity and higher inhibition of DNA oxidation than flowers and seeds.
What does this mean to you? Moringa can help prevent the damage and degradation that free radicals cause in the cells of different organs in the body, keeping them healthy and functioning at their best.
Moringa leaf powder has been shown effective at reducing lipid and glucose levels and regulating oxidative stress, which means it lowers blood sugar and cholesterol and improves protection against cell damage.
Moringa supports brain health and cognitive function because of its antioxidant and neuro-enhancer activities. It's also been tested as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease with favorable preliminary results.
Moringa helps the liver function more efficiently; it has antibacterial and anti-microbial properties and can help wounds to heal faster.
It’s pretty much the granddaddy of all super foods.
What to Do with Moringa?
Moringa powder can be added to a smoothie or protein drink or be simply enjoyed as a tea. It has a mild flavor, so it makes for a light morning tea with a slightly earthy taste.
You can simply chew on 3 seeds a day (simply pop them out of their shells). They are a bit bitter, so best to enjoy them after eating. You can take a few drops of the oil as well. I have taken to this myself. My own experience has shown that about ½ to 1 teaspoon a day does the trick for my knees.