The word “arthritis” itself refers to inflammation of the lining of the joints, mostly affecting the knees, elbows and spine and has been reported to be excruciatingly painful. Considered as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, garlic has been shown to have a profound effect on our immune system and this property of it has been exploited for easing the pain, stiffness, swelling and inflammation of the joints associated with arthritis.
Properties of Garlic that Serve to Treat Arthritis
The usage of garlic for curing all types of diseases dates back to the Egyptian Era, way before the invention of modern medicine. Its anti-inflammatory properties were exploited during World War II, when it was used as a disinfectant to prevent war injuries from turning into gangrene.
In today’s age besides being used as a flavoring agent, garlic has also been found to treat bacterial, yeast and bladder infection and for protection against heart diseases and cancer. Listed below are a few compounds in garlic that are considered crucial for treating arthritis.
Environmental pollutants containing high amounts of free radicals are often responsible for causing degenerative diseases like arthritis, characterized by a great deal of damage done to joints. High selenium content in garlic increases the incorporation of selenium into proteins called selenoproteins, which are important antioxidant enzymes.
These enzymes help to control the levels of free radicals in the body that can relieve the symptoms of arthritis, thus helping in managing and treating the pain associated with arthritis. This was confirmed by the association of low intake of selenium by individuals and low levels of selenium in the blood with a higher incidence of arthritis.
A study published in “Arthritis Research and Therapy” has identified a novel sulfur compound called thiacremonone in garlic, which has been found to reduce the inflammatory response in the body.
Sulfur plays an important role in the production of collagen that forms the cartilage tissue, which serves as a cushion for joints. Since sulfur cannot be produced by the body, it must be included in the diet. Garlic, a dietary source of sulfur can thus reduce joint and the muscle pain by helping in the repair of cartilage, thereby producing an analgesic effect that reduces joint pains.
Different Ways of Including Garlic in Your Diet
A study published in the “Soviet Archives of Internal Medicine” found that a garlic preparation consumed twice a day consistently for four to six weeks can work in the same manner as the conventional therapy used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
Hence, making garlic a part of the daily diet can help to boost the immune system and improve blood circulation in people suffering from arthritis, enabling them to lead a more pain-free life. Intake of garlic supplements, as per the correct dosage level, in any of the forms mentioned below have been shown to alleviate the symptoms of swellings and pain due to arthritis.
Raw or Roasted Garlic
To make the most of its beneficial properties, one can peel and eat 2-3 cloves of fresh garlic every day. However, raw garlic can cause irritability in the digestive tract and so one can roast or mash the cloves to make it easier for digestion.
In order to extract all its healing properties, peel about 40 cloves of garlic, crush them and submerge them in a jar containing oil. Seal the jar well and keep shaking the mixture every day. After about 20 days, you can start using it by adding 15-20 drops to a small cup of water and consuming it once a day, before meals, for a period of one month.
If you are not fond of its taste, then you can make and preserve a paste of garlic that can be consumed by applying it liberally on bread. Take about 20 cloves of garlic, mince them with a knife and lightly fry them in olive oil or butter. Grind it in a food processor until it turns into a paste and add salt and pepper for taste.
If you do not like the taste of garlic you can make its oil at home and use it for the purpose of cooking. Also, massaging of the affected joints with garlic oil can instantly reduce stiffness and arthritic pain. Moreover, its regular usage has been shown to gradually alleviate the symptoms associated with arthritis.
Peel about 20 cloves of fresh garlic and allow them to steep in a glass jar containing about 4 cups of extra virgin olive oil for about 10 to 15 days. Strain out the garlic cloves which can also be used as a paste while cooking. Seal the jar containing the oil, and store in a cool place.
If your diet lacks sufficient amounts of garlic, then one of the fastest ways of consuming garlic is to buy over-the-counter garlic capsules or tablets from your local pharmacy. When taken in the recommended amount, most of them have an advantage of being odorless and do not create the garlic after taste that most people do not prefer. However, make sure that the capsules that you are buying are deodorized or take them on a full stomach to avoid bad breath.
Hence, garlic serves as one of the oldest and the most effective home remedy for the relief of arthritic pain, which can either be used as an oral supplement or as a rubbing oil to strengthen the affected joints.
It is important to consult your doctor before you start consuming garlic since there have been a number of cases where people have reported that eating garlic had lead to heartburn, nausea and allergic reactions leading to skin rashes. Garlic has a blood-thinning effect and therefore can very easily magnify the effect of other anti coagulants like aspirin or warfarin.
Hence, one needs to be extremely cautious about the amount of garlic being consumed, when one is on other medications. Garlic consumption must be reduced in people who have a surgery or dental work planned in the near future and also in individuals with bleeding disorders since it can worsen the condition through its blood-thinning property.