Herbal Health Information on Arthritis

There is so much written about Arthritis that I am not going to pretend to know all the latest research, butI will tell you my experience of helping patients with arthritis to achieve a better quality of life.

Sadly by the time Arthritis sufferers come to see me they have usually had the condition for many years resulting in degeneration (breakdown) of the joint lining. They have a long history of taking strong anti inflammatories, pain killers and possibly steroids. I know the joints are painful and inflamed but pain tells us when to stop doing something and if it is masked then there is a possibility the joint is used beyond its capability causing further damage to the joint itself.

So my first advice is to always be aware of the limitations of an arthritic joint and only use it as much as is comfortable.

Diet is very important but different people find their joints may react to different foods. The norm, is to radically reduce the intake of dairy and wheat and never eat any Tomatoes and Oranges. The acid in these two foods is not broken down by the body so creates an acidic environment which is not good for joints and the urinary system.

Many arthritis sufferers find eating meat will increase inflammation. The message here is to keep an eye on your diet to see if any foods do make your arthritis worse. If they do, you may have to visit a nutritionist to cut out these food substances but maintain a healthy diet.

Drink loads of water.

Any inflammatory condition I approach in the same way

  • Ensure the digestive system is working well to break down food and eliminate toxins
  • Improve joint circulation
  • Make sure the urinary system is eliminating metabolic (body function) by-products
  • Reduce inflammation

A typical herbal prescription would be:-

  • Dandelion root tincture, which improves digestive function and elimination of toxins via the Bowel.
  • Ginger, (very small amounts) to improve circulation to the joints
  • Celery seed, (small amounts) to improve uric acid excretion from the kidneys as well as having anti rheumatic properties.
  • Meadowsweet, a little favourite of mine, which has strongly anti inflammatory properties.

This is not set in stone and may vary depending on the patient, what medicines they are already on and the severity of their condition.

There are many over the counter herbal remedies for arthritis but if you buy one make sure it is a licensed product, which means it is tried and tested.

I do recommend if you have been an arthritis sufferer for some time and are on orthodox medicines but want to try an alternative, that you visit a qualified Medical Herbalist who can take all those factors into account and will tailor make an Herbal Remedy specifically for you.

My Clinic details can be seen by clicking here or on the “Clinic” tab at the top of the page.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist

Herbal Health Information

Burdock (Arctium Lappa)

The root is used which contains tannin, mucilage and inulin as well as iron, sulphur and B Vitamins.

This is another one of those weeds that robs the earth of all the minerals and so is a nutritive, blood tonic as well as having digestive system and liver cleansing properties. As it is a bitter herb, it stimulates digestion preventing the build up of toxins in the gut which may then get absorbed and cause problems in other areas of the body.


In clinic I use it as my number one digestion and liver supporting herb for all conditions requiring a cleansing action, such as arthritis, rheumatism, eczema, psoriasis and acne.

It is gentle, reliable and effective.

And yes it is that annoying plant with burrs as seed heads that stick to your clothes and the dog if you brush against them………we can’t all be perfect!

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information

Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

Evening Primrose Oil, extracted from the seeds, contains Gamma linolenic acid, more commonly known to us as the essential fatty acid Omega 6. Essential fatty acids cannot be made in the body so must be acquired from a food source. They are necessary for the growth or repair of any body cells and for the production of hormones.

Evening Primrose

I am actually not an evening primrose oil fan as I think there are better sources of Omega 6 oils, but am amazed to read that it has a wide history of use from improving blood circulation in the arteries to arresting moderate arthritic conditions.

There is plenty written on the internet on the virtues of Evening primrose oil, so, as I do not use it medicinally, I am going to take the cowards way out and say have a look on Google if you want to know more.

The big thing Evening primrose has going for it, are the very showy yellow bell like flowers circling tall stems, stunning when you come across them in the wild and making excellent cultivated garden plants.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/Herbal Health Information