We’ve all heard of using food as medicine, but what about using spices for arthritis pain relief? One of the best (and most delicious) ways to apply this well-known adage is by incorporating a variety of anti-inflammatory spices into your diet. Research suggests that overall spice intake—not just the consumption of one spice—is responsible for the powerful anti-inflammatory effects seen in places like India, where a variety of beautiful, fragrant spices are used in everyday dishes.
For those suffering from pain conditions, such as arthritis, adding a healthy sprinkling of spices like cinnamon or turmeric to your meals can lessen your pain, stiffness, and swelling by reducing inflammation levels. Today, we’re going to share which spices are good for arthritis pain relief and how to incorporate them into your diet. There are lots of comforting bowls of curry, soup, and oatmeal in your future!
6 spices to help relieve chronic pain
This vivid orange-yellow spice has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to treat a variety of medical conditions, including arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders. It’s potent anti-inflammatory effects stem from curcumin, a compound that has been shown to inhibit inflammatory cytokines and block free radicals from triggering new inflammation.
How to use it: To benefit from turmeric’s powerful anti-inflammatory effects, you can use it in its fresh or dried form. Add it to soups, stews, curries, rice dishes, smoothies, or fresh-pressed juices. To enhance turmeric’s healing properties, combine it with black pepper—this increases curcumin's bioavailability by 2000 percent!
Ginger is a spice that adds a zingy pop of flavor to your meals. Used in Asian medicine and cuisine for centuries, ginger is known for having powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In a study published in the journal Arthritis, ginger has the ability to suppress inflammatory molecules called leukotrienes and the synthesis of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that cause pain and inflammation. This is also why the Aromalief Energizing Pain Relief Cream has ginger in it too!
How to use it: While it’s most potent in its fresh form, you can also use dried ginger. Add ginger to stir-fries, soups, stews, curries, smoothies, or fresh-pressed juices.
Mmm, cinnamon. This tasty spice is often used to flavor baked goods or oatmeal, but did you know that cinnamon’s benefits run far deeper than just being delicious? Studies have shown that this sweet, earthy spice has anti-inflammatory effects, which can help ease the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. One particular 2018 study found that when women with rheumatoid arthritis consumed four capsules of 500 milligrams of cinnamon powder daily for eight weeks, they had a significant decrease in blood levels of C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation), as well as reduced symptomology, including tender and swollen joints.
How to use it: To use cinnamon for arthritis relief, add some to oatmeal, smoothies, soups, stews, or healthy baked treats. You can also add cinnamon sticks to tea to infuse it with a little extra flavor.
Cayenne is a fiery spice that has long been praised for its extraordinary health benefits. Cayenne contains natural compounds called capsaicinoids, which gives this spice its powerful anti-inflammatory properties and makes it a wonderful remedy for arthritis pain.
How to use it: You can use cayenne to spice up any dish. It also makes a great ingredient in marinades, rubs, and sauces. Just don’t add too much—it packs quite the kick!
Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world, but thankfully, you only need a pinch to reap its incredible anti-inflammatory benefits. The anti-inflammatory potential of saffron is likely due to chemical compounds called crocetin and crocins that promote strong antioxidant and radical scavenging properties.
How to use it: Saffron has a subtle taste that goes well with savory dishes, particularly paella, risotto, or other rice dishes.
Who doesn’t love a good dose of garlic? Not only is it delicious, but it may also help ease the pain of arthritis. Garlic contains an anti-inflammatory compound called diallyl disulfide, which decreases the effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines. One 2018 study found that consuming garlic prevented cartilage destruction and reduced inflammation.
How to use it: Let’s be honest—almost every savory dish could be made better with a little garlic. While it’s most potent in its fresh form, you can also use dried garlic. Add it to pasta dishes, soups, roasted chicken or veggies, stir-fries—the possibilities are endless!
Spice up your life
The power of spices is truly incredible when it comes to helping ease the symptoms of arthritis. Along with lifestyle changes and other natural remedies, adding these colorful, flavorful spices to your dishes daily will help to tamp down inflammation, reduce swelling, and decrease your pain levels. Add some spice to your life today!
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This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Please consult a medical professional prior to using this or any other product for pain relief.