The Best Spices & Herbs to Relieve Joint Pain and How to Use Them

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Joint pain is very common and affects many people, especially when they get older. It can be a mild, short-term nuisance or a chronic condition that affects your quality of life and well-being. Joints form the connections between bones and help us move. There are many different reasons that can lead to joint pain, such as injury or various diseases like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, strains and sprains. Joint pain can affect any part of your body, but the most common is knee pain, followed by shoulder and hip pain. Conventional medicine offers various non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) that can provide relief, and severe cases require stronger medications. But in this article I would like to share with you what nature has to offer in this case, and concentrate on the top herbs to relieve joint pain.

Using herbs – Important precautions

Some of the herbs that are listed below can be taken in many ways, for example as a tea, tincture, extract, capsule, topical application, or just added to your diet. A word of warning: If you take herbs orally, always discuss with your doctor before doing it to avoid any adverse interactions with current medications you take. For example, turmeric and ginger which are mentioned in this article, possess natural blood-thinning properties. Therefore people who are about to undergo surgery and those who take blood thinning medications should take extra precaution. Also some herbs are not safe for pregnant women. Talk to your doctor first to be on the safe side.


I wrote in the past about the amazing health benefits of turmeric. Curcumin, the component which gives turmeric its golden color and its many health benefits, has been well-studied over the years. It works as a powerful antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Thus it helps to patients complaining of sore and achy joints from arthritis, muscle aches, sprains and strains.

Some physicians advise their patients to take turmeric in a supplement form which is usually combined with a compound called piperine (found in black pepper), which aids absorption. Most experts advise taking 250 mg to 500 mg of turmeric capsule 3 times daily, but always consult with your doctor before taking it as a supplement. Turmeric comes also in other forms such as tea, powder, liquid drops and topical paste. Although it is safe for most people, turmeric extract is not recommended for pregnant women, those with gall stones or impaired liver functions and those who are taking blood thinners.


You can add turmeric to your diet, as consuming moderate amounts of turmeric on a regular basis helps prevent arthritis pain. Turmeric absorbs most readily into the body when combined with oil or with other substances such as black pepper and ginger. 1-2 teaspoons a day will enable you to experience turmeric’s benefits without negative side effects.

You can also apply turmeric topically. If joint pain strikes, make a paste of 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder with 1 or more tablespoons of coconut oil and apply to the affected area. Wrap the joint in a plastic wrap and cover with heated pad for 20-30 minutes. It will leave a temporary yellow discoloration on your skin which can be washed later with soap. Also be careful not to stain your cloths.

Some people use turmeric essential oil to make a topical application of it at home: dilute 1-2 drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply to the affected area. Since essential oils are very concentrated, do a patch test first to see if there are any reactions.


In my e-book the Herbal Remedies Guide dandelion appears as an herbal remedy in several cases, and indeed Wikipedia mentions that historically dandelion was prized for a variety of medicinal properties, and it contains a wide number of pharmacological active compounds. It has been used in herbal medicine to treat infections, bile and liver problems and as a diuretic.

But did you know that it’s also one of the most useful plants to reduce joint pain and aching muscles? The anti-inflammatory properties of dandelion have been proven to aid in the treatment of arthritis, gout, relieve sore muscles and decrease joint pain. In this case the dandelion flowers are infused into oil that can work effectively when massaged into aching muscles and joints.

Dandelion Oil Recipe to Relieve Joint Pain


Dandelion flowers, freshly picked
Base oil, such as grapeseed oil, almond oil or olive oil


Fill a small mason jar with fresh dandelion flowers. Pour the oil over the dandelion flowers and fill the jar almost to the top. Cover with cheesecloth secured with a rubber band and set the jar on a warm sunny windowsill for 2 weeks, or until the flowers have lost their color and turn brown. Strain the dandelion flowers out of the oil and transfer the oil to a new sterilized jar. Store it in a cool dark place. If you put it in the refrigerator, it should last indefinitely.

How to use it? when your therapeutic massage oil is ready, massage it into achy joints or muscles as needed.


I’ve already written in a previous article about the anti-inflammatory properties of omega 3. Flaxseed is one of the best vegan sources of ALA, one form of omega-3 fatty acids (although ALA isn’t as powerful as the other omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA), so it is important to incorporate flaxseed into your daily nutrition, especially if you don’t consume omega 3 from other sources such as fish. Try to include two tablespoons of ground flaxseeds or flaxseed oil in your daily diet. You can add ground flaxseed to smoothies, yogurt, cereals and sauces. It is a true superfood that is also featured in my e-book about superfoods which is part of the Natural Health Revolution Program, a program that will help you to achieve your health, nutrition or weight loss goals.


Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties as well as other health benefits. If you suffer from joint pain, consuming ginger on a daily basis can definitely help. Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory substances called gingerols. These have been tested in various research of rheumatic diseases such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. The participants in the research reported a gradual reduction of pain, improving agility and movement and reduction in swelling when using ginger regularly.

Ginger is so concentrated with active ingredients that you don’t need to use much of it to enjoy its health benefits. Add it to your daily diet or prepare a tea with 1-2 inches of fresh ginger in hot water (don’t boil), or use ready-made ginger tea bags.

You can also apply a ginger compress to the affected area. Grate the root, wrap the ginger in cheesecloth, place it in hot water for few minutes and place on the affected area for 20 minutes. Wrap with a towel to retain the heat. Or use ginger essential oil which has warming properties that ease muscle strains, backache, arthritis and rheumatism. Dilute 1-2 drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply to the affected area. Since essential oils are very concentrated, do a patch test first to see if there are any reactions. If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy. This book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.


Cayenne pepper

Cayenne pepper is known for its spicy-hot taste and has been used as a medicine for centuries. Repeated topical applications of cayenne pepper can reduce muscle and joint pain significantly. This is because cayenne has counter-irritant effect: if you rub cayenne on the affected area, it will cause a mild irritation to the tissue to which it was applied, thus distracting from the original more severe joint pain. The active ingredient in cayenne is a substance known as capsaicin. This chemical relieves pain by acting on the sensory nerves.

Cayenne Warming Oil for Joint, Muscle and Arthritis Pain Relief

Apart from cayenne pepper and ginger root, this recipe also contains mustard seeds that act as an irritant, encouraging blood to flow towards the surface of the skin. This is very helpful in treating certain cases of rheumatism, as well as for various other muscle aches and pains including back pain. The mustard seeds will warm the body when rubbed on sore joints and muscles, thus providing pain relief and loosening stiff muscles.


1 tbsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp crushed mustard seeds
2 tsp grated ginger root
250 ml (8 fl oz) sunflower oil

Mix all the ingredients in a glass jar, and leave to infuse for 1 week. Strain the oil and massage it into the affected area to treat muscle and joint pain.

Stinging nettle

This treatments is for brave people only – nettle leaves are covered in tiny hairs and when the leaf touches your skin, the tiny hairs enter your skin causing irritation. The chemicals released into the skin, including histamine and serotonin, can help to reduce and override the pain. So if you are really brave, apply freshly cut nettle leaves on the affected area.

Stinging nettle comes in many forms such as dried leaf, extract, tincture, capsules, tablets and tea. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center website, a few other studies show that taking an oral extract of stinging nettle, along with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), allowed people to reduce their NSAID dose.


You can also drink nettle tea: steep 1 tbsp. dried nettle leaves (or 3 tbsp. fresh leaves) in 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, and drink 3 to 4 cups per day to soothe the symptoms of inflammatory rheumatism. You can also soak the affected joint in this tea to relieve joint pain by preparing a nettle compress. Soak a clean, cotton cloth in the hot tea and then apply directly to the painful area. Remove after the cloth cools and repeat as necessary.

Juniper Berry

With their warming, stimulating, and anti-inflammatory properties, juniper berries have many medicinal uses including joint, muscle and arthritis pain relief. These joint related ailments, such as arthritis and gout, occur because of the fluid retention around these joints, and the juniper berry with its diuretic action relieves this pressure considerably.

Juniper seems to be safe for most adults when taken short-term, but don’t use it for longer than four weeks. Long-term use can cause kidney problems. Juniper also seems to be safe when applied to the skin in small areas. It also shouldn’t be used by pregnant women because it can stimulate the uterus. Use juniper only for a month or so; then have a break for at least a week before using the herb again.

Below you can find a recipe for juniper berry ointments for joint, muscle and arthritis pain relief. If making the juniper berry ointment is too much of a hassle for you, use juniper essential oil by diluting 2-3 drops in a tablespoon of carrier oil and apply to the affected area. Since essential oils are very concentrated, do a patch test first to see if there are any reactions.

Juniper berries come also as a tincture or you can make your own tea. When making juniper tea, short, hot infusions of just 5-8 minutes are best to preserve the volatile oils. Steep about 20 lightly crushed berries per cup of hot water. Steep in a covered container to preserve the oils. Limit consumption to 1 or 2 cups in a day, and don’t use longer than two months.

Juniper Berry Ointment Recipe

1 cup ripe juniper berries (if you cannot find them in your area, you can buy dried ones online or in health food stores)
distilled water
2 cups oil (such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil)
2 – 3 Tbsp. beeswax


Soak the juniper berries in distilled water for several hours or overnight.

Lightly crush the berries and place them and oil in the top of a double boiler (bain-marie) over low heat.

Bring the water to a simmer for several minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and strain the juniper berries. Discard the berries and preserve the oil.

Put the strained juniper berry oil back in the double boiler and put it back on a low heat. Stir in the beeswax and allow it to melt.

Pour the juniper berry ointment into sterilized airtight jars and allow to set. Massage the juniper berry ointment as needed into sore joints and muscles.

You don’t have to refrigerate the mixture, although refrigerating extends the life shelf. If you make a larger batch of it, keep only the jar you are using out, and store the rest in the fridge.

If you have allergy to beeswax, you can replace it with cocoa butter or shea butter. You can even omit the beeswax from the recipe and then the consistency will be of an oil rather than an ointment/salve.

Burdock Root

Burdock root is the primary source of many herbal preparations and contains chemicals that are anti-inflammatory. Burdock root has been used historically both internally and externally to treat painful joints. You can make a burdock root decoction: use 1 tablespoon of dried burdock (or 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh root). Add 3 cups of filtered or spring water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to steep for another 20 minutes. Strain and drink while still warm, 3 cups a day.

Extracts and tinctures of burdock root are found in a variety of herbal preparations as well as homeopathic remedies, and they are also available in capsule form. Pregnant or nursing women should avoid burdock as it may cause damage to the fetus, as well as patients taking insulin or other hypoglycemic medication.


Licorice root has anti-inflammatory properties that can ease the pain of arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. There are powdered and finely cut root preparations made for teas, tablets, and capsules, as well as liquid extracts, however licorice is not safe for everyone so always ask your doctor before consuming it.

For more ideas on how to treat sore muscles, read my article about the best home treatments for muscle soreness.

If you are interested in herbs and herbal remedies, you can find more useful information in my e-book the Herbal Remedies Guide. This guide will teach you how to treat common ailments using herbs: Herbal Remedies Guide

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19 Responses to The Best Spices & Herbs to Relieve Joint Pain and How to Use Them

  1. Joseph King Edu says:

    I like your health tips

  2. Philo Aisa says:

    Very interesting, Im suffering from this chronic joint pains.

    • Shafwaan says:

      I have found that taking Joint Support(Herbalife Product) has really helped myself and so many others that I have recommended to. I’m sure it will help you too. 🙂

    • Christinia Prock says:

      I have inflammatory issues and turmeric doesn’t work for me. I changed diet and take gelatin and fish oil and still not enough. I used an anti-inflammatory med for over a year, until i discovered that swallowing cloves is actually more effective of an anti-inflammatory than turmeric. i have cut back on my med since.

  3. H Rahman says:

    Good remedy for pain

  4. sunita srisrimal says:

    Good tips

  5. fiona khan says:

    Anti inflammatory and detox- crushed fenugreek seeds in boiled water,

  6. Twin Geri says:

    Fantastic,& inexpensive healthy tips. Should be like Trudeau & help put pharmaceutical conglomerates out of business. Maybe you could work together & one of you become our health minister.

  7. Sudhindra Dugar says:

    I like this very much.This is v.v.useful and intetesting sight for masses.

  8. kenneth fournerat cdt says:

    Ive had gout at least six Times. .I had to get crutches it was so bad..and every so often have joint pain…after reading from this website I bought burdock root in liquid form, dandelion and red clover tea..I eat alot of fresh cherries and blueberries along with varying the above teas…a month later I have no joint pain at all..also make detox water and drink every day also..slowly losing water weight now have to try get rid of fat..I hate taking meds for anything and thanks to this site I feel better

    • ghazal says:

      how u get rid of joints pain.i m only 33 but suffering with this disease. i also had doctor treatment but all useless

  9. Praveenkumar says:

    I like this kind of health tips

  10. rene says:

    i have also a problem about my clogged arteries or also they call it vain now is very painful and as i consulted to my doctor he told me if you don’t like gabapentin 100 mg capsule i’m not sure if you take herbal way can heal you. but when i consulted to herbal expert here in manila she advice me to take vitamin B1, B6 & B12 these were all organics mega dose 10 tablets (100 mg) after meal 3X/day for 1 week and reduce the dosing if you feel the pain is lowering.

  11. TRICIA EATON says:

    Hello new to your wonderful site..
    I have had a constant chronic sore throat for 5 months now. I’ve gone to medical doctor she thinks two ideas???????
    I. Esophageal
    2. Thyroid

    Well. Pain is to much to bare, ive done chloraseptic. . Motrin.. doesn’t do anything.

    Ive read possibly CAYENNE?
    could help?
    Can you helps. Please Please please

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Tricia, capsaicin is the key ingredient in cayenne pepper and responsible for its pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the amount of a certain chemical that carries pain messages to the brain. When there is less of this substance, the pain messages no longer reach the brain, and you feel relief. This is why there are topical applications containing capsaicin to reduce muscle and joint pain, nerve damage or other painful skin conditions, and this is why adding cayenne pepper to a glass of water can help get instant relief of migraine headache. Cayenne may also relieve sore throat, and you can drink cayenne pepper tea (about one quarter to half teaspoon of cayenne pepper steeped in a cup of hot water with a little bit of honey). Capsaicin isn’t destroyed by heat and you can add it to food, or stir it into juice, tea or milk. However you must remember that I’m not a doctor and I don’t know if cayenne pepper is suitable for your specific condition and other medications you take, as cayenne pepper can interact with certain medications (such as aspirin and blood thinners), so a proper medical consultation is still required. Cayenne also treats the symptom (sore throat) but not the underlying reason itself.

  12. Nancy says:

    I’ve use turmeric,and it alway helps me to feel better.i love this website

  13. Josephine Abbate says:

    Such useful information,thank you for sharing. Love this website

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