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Which herbal arthritis products really work?

IF YOU OR YOUR PARTNER suffers with arthritis you will know the misery it can cause. Reduced mobility means you can’t get out and about and enjoy the things you love – so what can you do about it?

Natural extracts could hold the key

There are a whole host of plant extracts which have been used in traditional medicine to treat joint and tendon damage and reduce swelling. The problem is that many of these can be hard to get hold of or are only available from dubious sources. Many of these natural extracts have been refined and improved by scientific testing and can work even better in combination with each other. Here is our selection of what to look for when you are choosing your joint supplements.

Omega 3 and Fish Oil

Fish oil and Omega 3 supplements are great for helping to treat arthritic joint pain and inflammation as they contain the essential fatty acids DHA and EPA. These fatty acids are converted by your body into chemicals which reduce inflammation and help to lubricate joints.

Organic Bamboo Silica

It has been known for years that the loss of organic silica from the body is responsible for many problems associated with ageing – in particular joint and bone degradation. Your body stops producing organic silica when you reach around 30 years old and your levels can drop rapidly. Scientists searched far and wide for a reliable source of organic silica and their patience was rewarded with the discovery of Tabashir – a type of bamboo incredibly rich in organic silica.


Developed after years of research, this powerful compound has been shown to relieve joint swelling with incredible speed. Many test subjects reported feeling positive effects within 30 minutes! It was shown to reduce joint inflammation considerably, particularly with long term use and was also suitable for application direct to the site of pain as a cream or gel.

Green Lipped Mussel Extract

The Green Lipped Mussel is native to New Zealand and grows to an impressive size in the clear, mineral rich waters around the islands. The mussels are well known for being rich in omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, minerals and carbohydrates which are all vital to maintain good joint health.

Glucosamine sulphate

One of the original joint supplements, but still one of the most effective. Glucosamine is great for preventing joint damage and can even help to rebuild damaged cartilage. It is often shellfish based, but vegetarian versions are available (just make sure you check the label carefully).


The natural partner to glucosamine and that’s why you will often find them together in joint supplements. Chondroitin is an important component in your joint cartilage – in particular it helps protect it during compression. This helps to stop damage being caused during everyday activities, so is a vital supplement to add to your list.

Hyaluronic acid

This is found naturally in your cells and it works as a shock absorber lubricating the fluid in the joint tissues. Your levels of hyaluronic acid drop as you age, but it is possible to replace this with a supplement. As an added benefit, it has also been found that hyaluronic acid can help to reduce wrinkles.

Harpagophytum or ‘Devils Claw’

This scary sounding plant is actually part of the sesame family and gets its name from the hook shape of its fruit. It is native to Africa and early colonists brought the plant home where it was used to treat arthritis. A dried extract made from the tubers (part of the root) was found by a german study to be highly effective at treating inflammation and joint pain. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia recognises Devil's Claw as having analgesic properties.


Meadowsweet is a mild, but effective anti-inflammatory herb. The leaves are rich in salicylates – these compounds are converted by the body to salicylic acid, which is similar to aspirin. It is especially helpful for those arthritis sufferers who have gastritis, (inflammation of the stomach lining) from years of taking NSAIDs.