Literally millions worldwide are affected by arthritis in one form or another, with the numbers on the rise yearly. In part, this is because there is no known method to cure the various forms of arthritis. Also, to some degree, it is almost inevitable, as one of the most common forms of arthritis, osteoarthritis, is likely to be developed by those past the age of fifty.
It is not a new disease, and there are cases where the skeletons of prehistoric man have been found to bones that showed signs of arthritis. It is likely that this disease has been with mankind for as long as the human race has existed.
From the beginning, it is likely that man has sought out sources of relief from the symptoms of arthritis, and some of the herbal remedies used today may very well have first been discovered and used at the dawn of humanity. One can almost imagine prehistoric man suffering from arthritic pain, then seeking out herbal remedies by trial and error, to find an effective source of relief.
The funny thing is, that very quest for an effective arthritis remedy seems to continue today, despite all the available treatment methods and remedies. Prehistoric man digging through the various leaves and plants has been replaced with modern man popping every pill, checking every web library, trying every remedy to find relief.
Is it really so difficult to find an effective remedy for arthritis? To begin with, conventional medicines can be very effective in relieving the symptoms of many forms of arthritis. Aside from the use of drugs, conventional medicine can also utilize physical therapy to restore mobility to stiff joints, and in worst cases, can also use surgery to actually replace the joint. These on their own should seem sufficient for those who are affected by arthritis.
However, there are some actual problems with even conventional treatment methods. Conventional medicines, as effective as they can be, may eventually require higher doses or more potent medications to relieve the pain, as damage to the cartilage continues, with the body building up resistance to the drugs as well. Long term use of the more potent medications may also bring about harmful side effects, in effect trading one condition or difficulty for another.
Even physical therapy and exercise has its limits, and can basically only slow down or halt the degeneration of the joints, with no way effectively rebuild the damage already sustained by the connective tissues. Surgery does replace the joint to restore mobility, but also requires some time for rehabilitation, which may not be an option for those past a certain age.
In some other cases, people may simply want another option aside from conventional methods, to treat their arthritis. Perhaps they distrust modern medicine, or simply believe that alternative methods are healthier. Whatever the reason may be, individuals then return to the quest began by our ancestors – one for an effective remedy for arthritis. Unsurprisingly, many turn to herbal remedies for their relief.
Herbal remedies, as I have previously mentioned, may well be the very first real remedies used to treat arthritis. Some herbal remedies are passed on from generation to generation, part The Lost Book of Herbal of the legacy of our elders and shared to the young for use when they grow old. Schools of herbal medicine can even trace their knowledge over the centuries, with some claiming to have served Kings and Emperors around the world.
It is no stretch of imagination that herbal medicine actually once held the spot in people’s lives that modern medicine now holds. Admittedly, much of it would have been bound in superstition and mistaken beliefs, and yet it cannot be said that there is no truth to the effectiveness of herbal remedies in treating arthritis. And while not every plant that grows on the green Earth can be used to treat the disease, there are herbal remedies that can provide adequate, long-term relief.
If this is true, why then does modern medicine seem to advise against herbal medicines? Actually, this may very well be a mistaken notion, as many doctors and other practitioners of conventional medicine are actually aware of at least a few herbal remedies, and may even recommend them to their patients.
The conflict comes with more exotic herbs and remedies, that make use of less well-known plants. Given the scientific approach of modern medicine, combined with the lack of research performed on these other types of herbal remedies, most doctors will prefer to err on the side of safety, and will advise against the use of such remedies. After all, “first, do no harm.”
Despite the lack of research and endorsement from conventional medicines, many people continue to seek out and use herbal remedies to treat their arthritis. A good many of them find effective relief in one or a combination of herbs, and even recommend these various methods to their friends and family, much like how many folk remedies are passed on. A new media even makes it possible to share their experiences with herbal remedies around the world – the internet.
Why then do some people still find it difficult to find an effective herbal remedy, if so many use them and find relief? One reason could be because different people have different metabolisms and body chemistries, which can mean the dosage and formulation that works for one, may not work for another. Another involves inadequate preparation methods – perhaps a step that was very important to the remedy has been lost along the way. In other instances, the reason may even be confusion as to the type of herbs to be used, as some herbs are called by one name in one part of the world, and another in another part of the world.