9 Herbs for Arthritis Pain

9 Herbs for Arthritis Pain

9 Herbs for Arthritis

Arthritis is a common clinical chronic disease. It refers to inflammatory diseases that occur in the body’s joints and surrounding tissues and are caused by inflammation, infection, degeneration, trauma, or other factors.

According to statistics, there are more than 100 million arthritis patients in China, and the number is increasing continuously. At present, the number of arthritis patients worldwide is also increasing. It seriously endangers people’s health.

There are dozens of types of arthritis. Common arthritis includes osteoarthritis, rheumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, gouty arthritis, and infectious arthritis.

Currently, the main treatments for arthritis include medication, surgery, bone marrow transplantation, immunotherapy, and biotherapy. In addition, it has some auxiliary treatments, such as physical, rehabilitation, vocational training, and psychological treatments.

After a large number of clinical observations and laboratory studies, pharmacologists have summarized some Chinese herbal medicines for the treatment of arthritis.

Although the effects of these herbs have been proven, patients should not use them without medical advice. Patients should always consult their doctor before using them, as some medicines may interact with existing medications.

Qiang Huo (Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii)

Qiang Huo commonly known as Rhizoma et Radix Notopterygii or Notopterygium Root is the rhizome and root of Notopterygium incisum or Notopterygium franchetii, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Umbelliferae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in in the late Western Han Dynasty (about 100 BC).

It can expel wind and dampness, relieve pain, treat arthralgia caused by wind-cold-damp in the upper body, and pain in the shoulders, back, and limbs.

Clinically, it is often used to treat wind-cold, rheumatic arthralgia, aching pain of shoulder and back, headache, nuchal rigidity, premature heartbeats, bronchial asthma, chronic gastritis, nephritis, edema, epilepsy, and spondylosis.

At present, there is no literature report that it has toxic effects.

Du Huo (Radix Angelicae Pubescentis)

Du Huo also known as Radix Angelicae Pubescentis or Pubescent Angelica Root is the root of Angelica pubescens, which is a perennial herb belonging to the family Umbelliferae. It is a relatively practical and antirheumatic Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in in the late Western Han Dynasty (about 100 BC).

It can treat joint pain, muscle pain, the pain of the waist and back, cheiropodalgia caused by wind-cold-dampness, soreness and weakness of waist and knees, disadvantageous flexion, and extension of joints.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to treat rheumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, prolapse of the lumbar intervertebral disc, osteoarthritis of the knee joint, sciatica, fibrositis, scapulohumeral periarthritis, stroke, neuralgia, hemiplegia, fall injury, and insomnia.

Animal experiments have shown that long-term or overdose of it may cause poisoning, symptoms such as irritability, rapid breathing.

Wei Ling Xian (Radix Clematidis)

Wei Ling Xian commonly known as Radix Clematidis is the root and rhizome of Clematis chinensis, Clematis hexapstala, or Clematis manshurica, which is a perennial deciduous vine belonging to the family Ranunculaceae. It is a relatively practical Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in in 659 AD.

It can expel wind and dampness, activate meridians, treat rheumatic arthralgia, numbness of the limbs, tendon spasm, disadvantageous flexion and extension of joints.

Clinically, it is often used to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cervical body hypertrophy, lumbar body hypertrophy, heel pain, cholelithiasis, viral hepatitis, acute mastitis, and chronic bronchitis.

It is poisonous and its toxic components are protoanemonin and anemonin. Overdose of it may cause mouth burning, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, dyspnea, mydriasis. External use of it may cause skin ulcers or allergic dermatitis.

Chinese Moccasin (Qi She or Bai Hua She)

Chinese Moccasin is commonly known as Qi She, Bai Hua She, Sharp-Nosed pit viper, or Deinagkistrodon acutus, which is an oviparous pit viper belonging to the family Viperidae. It is rare animal medicine, which first appeared in (Master Lei’s Discourse on Processing of Chinese Materia Medica) in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420 AD–589 AD).

It can treat chronic rheumatic arthralgia, numbness of the limbs, tendon spasm, stroke, hemiplegia, and facial distortion.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, lumbar disc herniation, nodular skin vasculitis, thromboangiitis obliterans, gout, leprosy, scabies, pediatric convulsion, and tetanus.

Its snake venom can cause dizziness, headache, palpitations, difficulty breathing, flaccid paralysis, and respiratory failure. There are reports of allergies in a small percentage of people taking medicines containing Chinese Moccasin.

Mu Gua (Fructus Chaenomelis)

Mu Gua commonly known as Fructus Chaenomelis is the nearly mature fruit of Chaenomeles speciosa, which is a deciduous shrub belonging to the family Rosacea. It is a relatively practical Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in around 420–589 AD.

It can relieve rigidity of muscles and activate collaterals, treat arthritis with fixed pain caused by dampness, muscular spasm, stiffness of the neck, neck muscle spasm, aching and heavy pain in the waist and knee joints.

Clinically, it is often used to treat rheumatic arthritis, cholera, enteritis, beriberi, athlete’s foot, acute bacterial dysentery, acute viral hepatitis, tetanus, adhesive intestinal obstruction, and pediatric urinary tract infection.

At present, there are no reports in the literature that it has toxic effects. Patients should avoid taking iron or lead-containing medicines while taking the medicine. Patients with hyperacidity should not take it.

Lu Lu Tong (Liquidambaris Fructus)

Lu Lu Tong commonly known as Liquidambaris Fructus is the infructescences of Liquidambar formosana, which is a large and deciduous tree belonging to the family Hamamelidaceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in (a supplement to the compendium of materia medica) in the 30th year of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1,765 AD).

It can expel wind and activate collaterals, treat rheumatic arthralgia, numbness of limbs, muscular spasms, stroke, and hemiplegia.

Clinically, it is often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, chronic rheumatic arthritis, traumatic injuries, edema, scanty menstruation, amenorrhea, primary dysmenorrhea, hypogalactia, distending pain of the breast, rubella, urticaria, and diabetic lower limb arteriosclerosis obliterans.

At present, there are no reports in the literature that it has toxic effects. It should not be taken by women who are menstruating or pregnant.

Chuan Shan Long (Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae)

Chuan Shan Long commonly known as Rhizoma Dioscoreae Nipponicae is the rhizome of Dioscorea nipponica, which is a perennial twiner belonging to the family Dioscoreaceae. It is a practical Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in (Journal of Medicinal Plants in Northeast China) in 1,963 AD.

According to the Chinese Pharmacopoeia, It can expel wind and dampness, relax muscles and tendons and remove the obstruction from meridians, treat rheumatic arthralgia, joint swelling, waist and leg pain, and limb numbness.

Clinically, it is often used to treat rheumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis, severe lumbar sprain, traumatic injuries, senile low back and leg pain, hyperosteogeny, osteoarthritis, coronary disease, angina pectoris, rheumatic heart disease.

Animal experiments have confirmed that it has certain harm to the liver. A small percentage of patients taking it may cause mild diarrhea, constipation, stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, stomatitis, dizziness, blurred vision, and a temporary increase of alanine aminotransferase.

Fang Ji (Radix Stephaniae Tetrandrae)

Fang Ji commonly known as Radix Stephaniae Tetrandrae is the root of Stephania tetrandra, which is a perennial herbaceous liana belonging to the family Menispermaceae. It is a commonly used Chinese herbal medicine with a medicinal history of about 2000 years.

It can treat rheumatic arthralgia, aching pain and heaviness of limbs, swelling and pain of joints, bodily pain, and limb spasm.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to treat rheumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, hypertensive nephropathy, primary hypertension, dysuria, athlete’s foot, eczema, chronic glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndromes, and prostatitis.

Animal experiments confirmed that it can cause acute pulmonary toxicity. Overdose of it may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or upper abdominal discomfort.

Lei Gong Teng (Radix Tripterygii Wilfordii)

Lei Gong Teng commonly known as Radix Tripterygii Wilfordii is the root of Tripterygium wilfordii (Thunder God Vine), which is a woody liana belonging to the family Celastraceae. It is a relatively practical and common Chinese herbal medicine, which first appeared in (a supplement to the compendium of materia medica) in the 30th year of Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty (1,765 AD).

It can expel wind and dampness, promote blood circulation and remove obstruction in channels, alleviate swelling and relieve pain, treat redness and swelling of joints, swelling that does not go away easily, morning stiffness, functional limitation, and deformed joints.

In traditional Chinese medicine, it is often used to treat rheumatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sciatica, ankylosing spondylitis, leprosy, eczema, scabies, psoriasis, glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndrome, lupus erythematosus, thyroid eye disease, and Sjogren syndrome.

Although Lei Gong Teng has been used for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency advises patients not to use unlicensed herbal medicines containing it. It has some toxic side effects. A proportion of patients taking it may cause nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, burning sensation in the lower esophagus, dry mouth, borborygmus, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, blood in the stool, leukopenia and thrombocytopenia, dizziness, weakness, drowsiness, menstrual disorder, amenorrhea, oligospermia, decreased sperm motility, palpitations, chest tightness, arrhythmia, abnormal ECG, eczema-like dermatitis, rash, facial pigmentation, itching, and alopecia.