There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis, with a host of causes. Among the more widely known forms are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and lupus. Arthritis in the hands is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs as a result of the breakdown of the cartilage that support the bone structure.
Since we use our hands and fingers in most activities, arthritis in the hands can be a cause of discomfort and uneasiness. Swollen fingers, joint inflammation, stiffness and pain are some of the symptoms of hand arthritis.
Fortunately, there are many home remedies for protecting your joints and relieving joint pain.
Cold therapy is good for those suffering from hand arthritis. You can use ice packs, a plastic bag filled with crushed ice or a bag of frozen vegetables. Regular application of ice packs on the affected hands and fingers will lessen irritation and reduce soreness.
Apply the cold compress to only one or two joints at a time, and be sure to put a thin towel between the ice pack and the skin to prevent frostbite.
Turmeric (haldi) and Ginger Tea
Turmeric and ginger are both anti-inflammatorys, and will help with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, and had ½ teaspoon each ground ginger and ground turmeric.
- Reduce to a simmer and let it be for 10-15 minutes.
- Strain, add honey to taste, and enjoy twice daily.
Epsom salt (rechak namak) Soak
Epsom salt contains magnesium sulfate which has been used to get relief from pain for years.
- Fill a large bowl with warm water and add ½ cup of Epsom salt.
- Stir it around, and then submerge your sore joints in the liquid.
- If you are experiencing pain in a less convenient place to soak, such as your knees, try taking a bath with Epsom salts. Run a tub full of warm water and add 2 cups of Epsom salt. Soak for 15 minutes.
Honey and Cinnamon (daalcheenee)
The combination of honey and cinnamon powder is a good natural way to treat arthritis in hands and help relax stiff muscles due to their excellent healing properties.
- Mix one tablespoon of honey and one-half teaspoon of cinnamon powder.
- Eat this mixture every morning on an empty stomach for several weeks or until you get encouraging results.
There is a strong connection between olive oil and inflammation caused by arthritis.
- Olive oil can be used as a massage oil for your hands and fingers. Add a few drops of lavender oil to some warm olive oil and massage the affected area with gentle strokes to alleviate discomfort and inflammation.
- You can also use olive oil for cooking food to help reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
- Fry two garlic cloves (chopped) in two tablespoons of mustard oil (sarson ka tel)
- Turn off the heat and allow the oil to cool until it is comfortably warm.
- Apply it on the affected area and gently massage with it.
- Repeat the process twice daily until you see improvement.
Castor Oil (arandee kaa tel)
Castor oil has powerful medicinal and curative powers. The component known as ricinoleic acid present in castor oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
- Gently massage some castor oil on the affected area. Do this twice a day to reduce pain.
- You can also boil two tablespoons of castor oil and then add it to a glass of fresh orange juice. Drink this juice before eating your breakfast daily, and within weeks you will notice an improvement in your condition.
Caution: Castor oil also works as a laxative so not drink too much castor oil or for too long.
- Mix together 3 tablespoons of cayenne powder (lal mirch) with 1 cup of your oil of choice and heat in a double boiler for 5-10 minutes over medium heat.
- Stir in a 1/2 cup of grated beeswax and continue to stir until it has melted completely and everything is blended together.
- Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, and then whisk together.
- Chill for another 10-15 and then whip again before putting it in a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid and storing in the refrigerator.
It will keep for 1 ½ weeks-apply daily as needed for pain.