Did you know that an estimated 1 in 4 adults have arthritis? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that's about 58.5 million people.  Arthritis normally advances when the cartilage that protects the bone at the joints is destroyed as a result of wear and tear or chronic inflammation. The affected joint then swells or becomes painful upon movement leading to difficulty performing common tasks like walking, cleaning, and cooking.
Arthritis symptoms advance with age, and there is no known way to treat it. However, you can manage the symptoms of arthritis, and in this article, we will discuss the most popular herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicines you can use for joint health and other OTC-drugs that relieve arthritis symptoms. Learn more below.
What is Arthritis?
Simply put, arthritis is the inflammation/swelling of the joints. This includes conditions that affect connective tissues, tissues around the joints, and the joints themselves. The main symptoms of arthritis are stiffness and joint pain. There is no known cause for arthritis, but risk factors like age, joint injuries, obesity, smoking, and occupation can contribute to arthritis. 
Types of Arthritis
There are two main types of arthritis: osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- Osteoarthritis - This is the most common type of arthritis. It is also known as degenerative joint disease or “wear and tear” arthritis and normally affects. It occurs most frequently in the hands, hips, and knees. In osteoarthritis, joint cartilages break down, causing changes to the underlying bone. This can lead to stiffness, pain, disability, and swelling. In some cases, it might even interfere with the ability to carry out daily tasks.
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) - This is an autoimmune condition where the immune system attacks the healthy cells in the body by accident leading to inflammation and swelling in the body. It normally affects joints like wrists, knees, and hands. Rheumatoid arthritis inflames the lining of the joints, leading to tissue damage, chronic pain, imbalance, and sometimes deformity. Common rheumatoid arthritis symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, tenderness in the joint, fever, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss.
Herbal Nutrition to Naturally Help the Body Manage Arthritis Symptoms
There is no known cure for arthritis. However, you can manage the symptoms, reduce pain and improve the quality of your life.
- Capsaicin - Capsaicin is an excellent nutrient occurring in several herbs that can be used to support joint health. Capsaicin has natural pronociceptive actions that help process pain stimuli in the body. In an inconclusive 2014 study, researchers investigated capsaicin as a topical remedy using randomized controlled trials and reported that capsaicin might contribute to reducing surface pain intensity in patients with moderate pain.*  Another limited 1991 clinical trial investigating the treatment of arthritis with topical capsaicin reported that patients experienced a reduction in pain after a short treatment period.*  In a limited 1992 study, researchers investigated topical capsaicin in patients with painful osteoarthritis of the hands and reported that capsaicin reduced pain and tenderness.*
- Boswellia - Boswellia has been used for thousands of years to support healthy inflammation responses.* It contains many nutrients, which are attributed to boswellic acid and its derivatives, making it great for supplementing nutrition for optimal receptor function.*  In a limited randomized control trial of an osteoarthritis drug that contains boswellia extracts, the researchers reported that the participants claim moderate pain and movement improvement.
- Cat’s Claw - Cat’s claw contains potent antioxidants and healthy inflammation response properties that make it excellent for joint and connective tissues.* Its nutritional properties are believed to help with immunomodulation.*  Cat’s claw effectiveness was investigated in a limited 2001 clinical trial where researchers reported that it might be potentially beneficial.* 
- Ginger - Ginger has strong free-radical and joint supporting properties*, and in a 2012 randomized control trial, researchers reported that ginger was effective, but results are inconclusive. They also reported it was easier on the stomach lining than other products in the market.*  A 2001 clinical trial studying the effects of ginger extract on knee health reported that the ginger extract was potentially beneficial.* 
- Ginkgo Biloba - Ginkgo biloba contains a nutrient known as Ginkgolide B, which has joint and connective tissue health benefits.* In a limited 2020 study, researchers reported that the effect of Ginkgolide B is related to its nutritional qualities.*  In an inconclusive 2013 study investigating the effects of Ginkgo biloba extract, researchers reported that it has protective properties that make it a potential supplement for patients with joint, tendon and connective nutritional needs.* 
- Turmeric - Turmeric contains a well-known compound known as curcumin, which is responsible for its beneficial properties.* Curcumin nutrition supports multiple molecular targets which are involved in normal healthy inflammation responses.*  In a 1980 clinical trial, curcumin was reported to be successful helping with mobility and physical comfort.* 
- Tripterygium wilfordii (Thunder God Vine) - Tripterygium has been used for thousands of years as a traditional Chinese medicine remedy. In a limited 2009 study, researchers reported that participants who used Tripterygium had favorable responses.* 
5 Best Selling Traditional Chinese Medicines for Arthritis Symptoms
1. Zheng Gu Shui External Analgesic Lotion
This lotion is made with camphor and menthol. It is normally used to provide temporary relief for joint pains and muscle aches. Additional Zheng Gu Shui TCM herbal components include Japanese knotweed root, paniculate swallowwort root, shin-leaf prickly ash root and zedoary root.
2. Wu Yang Brand - Pain-Relieving Medicated Plaster
This adhesive plaster patch is made with camphor and menthol for relief from aches and pains and may be beneficial for managing arthritis symptoms. Additional Pain Relieving Medicated Plaster TCM herbal components include angelica dahurica root, cinnamon bark oil, dipsacus asper root, dragon's blood resin, drynaria fortunei root, gardenia jasminoides fruit, ginger, lanolin, lonicera japonica flower, myrrh, nepeta tenuifolia flower, rheum officinale root, rosin, safflower, saposhnikovia divaricata root, senegalia catechu wood, taraxacum mongolicum, and zanthoxylum nitidum root.
4. Ultra Strength Fei Fah Electric Medicated Balm
This balm is created using menthol and high-strength methyl salicylate. It provides quick relief for topical pains and aches through a numbing effect (i.e., desensitizing) which can temporarily reduce pain symptoms.
The complete Solstice Pain Relief Patch is made with premium ingredients like camphor, menthol, methyl salicylate for temporary relief from minor aches and pains. Additional TCM herbal components include basil, cinnamon, fang feng, Formosan sweet gum, angelica root extract, greater galangal root extract, ginger root extract, huo xue dan, safflower, schizonepeta and others which are nutrients for natural responses relating to nociception and blood circulation within the body.*
Arthritis is a bleak condition because there is no cure. However, topical analgesics, Traditional Chinese Medicine and dietary supplements offer a variety of alternative natural remedies that you can use to manage arthritis symptoms. Herbal remedies are safe and offer multiple benefits that help maintain balance in the body. Browse our extensive collection of arthritis remedies on our website now.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.