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Effective Herbs and Spices to Manage Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms

Rheumatoid arthritis or RA is usually managed with medical treatments. However, some people prefer using supplements, herbs and some spices to get temporary relief from the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. If you are looking for such alternatives, then the following article will be helpful. This article discusses some of the most effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis.

Using herbs and spices in your daily diet may help manage symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is advisable to seek a medical opinion before taking any herbal medicines.

Effective Herbs for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Willow Bark:

Willow bark is known to help in reducing inflammatory markers. There is an active ingredient called Salicin in willow bark, which reduces the production of pain-inducing chemicals in nerves. Willow bark can interact with certain drugs, including the anticoagulants and the anti-inflammatories. They can also cause side effects of stomach upset, allergic reactions, etc. so, you need to talk to your doctor before taking willow bark. Hence, it is necessary to seek medical advice before using it.


Chamomile tea is known for its wonderful anti-inflammatory properties and sedative effects. One of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis, Chamomile is also effective in healing sores or irritated skin. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help fight the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, reduce rheumatic pain and inflammation.2


Rosemary is a Mediterranean shrub, is used as a food spice and fragrance in cosmetics widely. It is also known for its medicinal benefits like relieving muscle pain and treating indigestion. Antioxidants present in rosemary can aid in reducing inflammation in the body. You can try applying the rosemary oil topically, preferably with your doctor’s advice.

Green Tea Extract:

Green tea is not only a tasty beverage but also an old herbal remedy rich in anti-oxidants. It is used traditionally for improving heart health and enhancing digestion. It is rich in catechins, which is a compound with anti-rheumatic activity. Thus, green tea is one of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis. But make sure you check with your doctor before adding this into your diet as green tea may interact with some medications.

Evening Primrose:

One more effective remedy for rheumatoid arthritis could be Evening primrose or Onagraceae. It is a common herbal medicine for several conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, menstrual concerns, etc. it is also known for its protective and anti-inflammatory properties. Although primrose is one of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis, it may have some side-effects like skin rashes, nausea, diarrhea, etc. It is ideal to consult your doctor and also avoid taking this if you have epilepsy.

Effective Spices for Rheumatoid Arthritis:


Cinnamon is used for its superb medicinal powers and has properties that fight inflammation. It is very useful for aches, pains; especially when they are worse with cold or during cold weather. Studies have shown that cinnamon consumption improves clinical symptoms and inflammatory markers in women with rheumatoid arthritis.1 this is one of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis. Powdered cinnamon can be added to oatmeal, and even to healthy desserts. Though cinnamon is beneficial for RA, taking in overdoses is not safe; especially for pregnant women.

Black Pepper:

Among the spices, black pepper is widely used to fight pain and swelling in traditional natural remedies. The capsaicin or the substance that gives peppers their heat is used in creams and gels as a treatment for arthritis. Many anti-inflammatory properties found in capsaicin are also found in black pepper. It is one of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis.


Turmeric is popularly used in traditional and ancient herbal medicine. It is one of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric that has anti-inflammatory properties and can be beneficial in reducing rheumatoid arthritis swelling and tenderness. Studies support the fact that increased curcumin levels in turmeric can modify cellular disease mechanisms, thus improving the anti-inflammatory profile.3 You can add turmeric into your diet via curries, teas, and as a spice or consider taking supplements, with medical advice.

Cayenne Pepper:

Cayenne pepper is known since long for its wonderful medicinal benefits, especially as a digestive aid. However, now it is also known to treat pain. Capsaicin, present in cayenne pepper blocks your nerve cells against a chemical that sends pain messages. This is a topical treatment for reducing pain and hence, one of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis. You can find capsaicin in topical creams for minor pain and aches. You can use this as capsaicin creams several times in a day or may use it as a part of your anti-inflammatory diet.


Ginger is one more common remedy you can use to treat many conditions like cold, indigestion, migraines and hypertension. It is known for its wonderful anti-inflammatory effects, making it one of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis. Ginger may also have additional protective effects on the joints. The fresh root is available in grocery stores and can be used in tea. You can also find ginger in supplement form. People taking blood thinners or having gallstones must avoid ginger because of the unwanted side effects.


Fresh garlic help in easing pain and is one of the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have shown that garlic has significant anti-inflammatory effects apart from its cardioprotective properties.4 The study found that heating garlic extract reduced its anti-inflammatory properties. Garlic can be introduced into many types of food, including roasted vegetables, sandwich spreads, stir-fries, etc.


Now, we know about the effective herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis. It is advisable to consult your doctor for any specific symptoms and to know about the safe dosages of herbs and spices and any possible side effects. Also, these herbs and spices for rheumatoid arthritis do not replace medical treatments for rheumatoid arthritis. Patients need to follow their medical advice, appropriate diet, lifestyle recommendation, exercise regimen and given instructions.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 5, 2020

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