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Herbal Help for Easing Joint Pain


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Herbal Help for Easing Joint Pain

Herbal Help for Easing Joint Pain

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About the Author

Asti Renaut

Asti Renaut (BHSc. Comp Med, BA, Adv Dip Nat, Adv Dip Herb Med, MNZAMH)

Asti Renaut is a degree-qualified medical herbalist and naturopath with over ten years clinical experience. Asti practices in Christchurch, New Zealand, treating a wide range of health issues. She especially enjoys working with infants and children, and finally has one of her own to practice on! One of the cornerstones of Asti's practice and philosophy is the importance of education and sharing information. She believes that empowering clients to understand their own bodies and health, and giving practical tips and tools to use from the garden and kitchen are just as important for wellness as qualified professional care. 

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With the cold and damp of winter many people feel their joints stiffen and seize up. Whether this is due to the start of arthritis caused by a lifetime of wear and tear, or due to a particularly nasty tackle on the rugby field last Saturday, herbs can be of enormous support to reduce pain and inflammation.

Two of the most potent and well-researched herbs to use topically (on the skin) for joint pain, sprains, injuries and bruising are Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) and Arnica (Arnica montana). These herbs are both powerful natural anti-inflammatories, and have been shown in clinical trials to:

  • Reduce swelling
  • Improve range of motion and mobility
  • Reduce pain (in some studies by up to 95%)
  • Improve and speed healing

Comfrey’s common name in days gone by was ‘Knitbone’, pointing to its then well-known ability to improve healing. Massaging Comfrey and Arnica into the skin over a painful or swollen area promotes bloodflow and allows the herbs to penetrate into the affected tissues. These herbs can be found in combination in SprainAway Cream.

Internally, herbs such as Ginger (Zingiber officnale), Kawakawa (Macropiper excelsium) and Peppermint (Mentha piperita) are well known for promoting circulation, a key action to warm cold stiff joints. Ginger and Kawakawa are both also excellent anti-inflammatory herbs. While pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories can have potentially damaging long-term side effects in the body, these herbs promote health; it could even be said that they have beneficial side effects! For example, they will also help with digestion and bloating and Ginger & Kawakawa Tonic is the ideal product. 

Using herbs both internally and externally for joint pain, sprains or strains helps to not only reduce the symptoms of pain and swelling, but also to improve healing, easing inflammation from the inside and out.