Benefits of Herbs and Spices for Bone Health
- The Bone weakness affects the strength and flexibility of bone health.
- Herbs and spices show anti-inflammatory and/or anti-arthritic effects with minimal adverse effects.
- Herbal medicine is recommended for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis for reducing joint pain, inflammation, swelling, and stiffness.
The burden of joint and bone pain is on the rise. It may be due to the factors of body weight, injury, activity levels, age, lifestyle, low calcium levels in our body, and genetics. No matter what the cause, seeking treatment is a necessity as the pain in joint diseases is unbearable.
Globally, up to 1% of the entire population suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. whereas more than 350 million people suffer from arthritis all over the world. It is impossible to comprehend the severity of these numbers but what’s possible is that we find better solutions to these problems.
Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoporosis, and low back pain are the four major musculoskeletal diseases acknowledged in prevalence by United Nations and WHO.
While medication, physiotherapy, lifestyle change, and sometimes surgery could be the suggested treatment for joint diseases, herbs and spices for better bone health have been in use for ages now in effective management of bone and joint pain.
Herbs and spices as remedies
In traditional medicine, bone healing using medicinal plants, and herbs are widely practiced. Studies depicted that herbs for joint pain are found to boost up bone formation process and do not have any side effects.
Herbs and their supplements are safe, effective, and show anti-inflammatory properties thereby being used in treatments of osteoarthritis and RA.
A few examples of herbs for joint pain and bone health are: turmeric, bamboo, ginger, borage oil, red sage, red clover, horsetail, thyme, cat’s claw, eucalyptus, frankincense, aloe vera, cinnamon, thunder god vine, Gotu kola, oregano, basil, cilantro, parsley, lemongrass, dandelion, Withania somnifera, Boswellia serrat, etc.
Curcuma longa is a yellow perennial root used as a spice, also known as turmeric. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.
- Orthopedic professionals are recommending turmeric in reducing arthritic pain.
- A 2018 research showed that curcumin reduces pro-inflammatory cells and thus decreases chronic inflammation in RA.
- The study reported that when curcuminoids used in combination with diclofenac shows a higher decrease in pain and improved tolerability in patients with osteoarthritis.
Bambusoideae is a tree beneficial in joint pain and arthritis.
- Used in osteoarthritis because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Antioxidants present in them helps in controlling different cause of inflammation
3. Piper longum
Piper longum (Long pepper) is a fruit, dried and used as a spice. The alkaloid piperine present in the fruit of P.longum is a remedy used for treating menstrual pain, chronic gut pain, and arthritis.
- Anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties
- In an in-vivo study, piperine was beneficial in alleviating symptoms of RA
4. Borage oil
Seeds of the Borago officinalis plant or starflower are a rich source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an omega-6-fatty acid.
- Improves symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
- GLA helps stop joint inflammation
- Prevents some of the body’s inflammatory responses
Zingiber Officinale, widely known as ginger is estimated to have relieved inflammatory symptoms.
Ginger acts similarly to COX inhibitors, and theory predicts that it can minimize the functions of several chemical components that enhance joint inflammation.
- Gene expression alteration by ginger thereby reduces symptoms of RA.
- Ginger combined with cinnamon and sesame oil might reduce pain associated with osteoarthritis.
6. Boswellia Serrata
Also known as frankincense, this herb exhibits anti-inflammatory activity.
- Aids in reducing synthesis or preventing activation of inflammatory mediators.
- Reduces knee joint gap and osteophytes are effects of Boswellia in arthritis treatment.
Oregano is a staple herb in Mediterranean cuisine and a rich source of several bone-boosting nutrients.
- It is an excellent source of vitamin K, a crucial vitamin involved in bone mineralisation and calcium absorption.
- Vitamin K works in synergy with vitamin D and calcium to promote optimal bone health.
- Including oregano in your diet can provide a flavorful way to ensure adequate vitamin K intake.
Rosemary is a fragrant herb often used to season roasted meats and vegetables.
- It contains carnosic acid, a potent antioxidant that may help protect bone cells from damage caused by free radicals. This is one of the best herbs for bone health.
- Additionally, rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties that can support bone health by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.
- It is among the lesser known muscle building herbs. Including rosemary in your cooking can add depth of flavor while promoting strong and resilient bones.
Rich in calcium, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and zinc, Thyme is one of the best herbs for bone repair.
- Thyme is known for its fortifying properties and is among the better herbs to heal broken bones.
- It strengthens the skeletal structure, while promoting bone development.
This herb is a popular favourite that adds a zing of flavour to your Italian dishes but what’s less known are its bone strengthening properties.
- Being an adaptogen, it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that contribute towards maintaining bone health, thus helping people cope with arthritis and other joint problems.
Among Ayurvedic herbs for building muscle, Ashwagandha is proven to be the most effective.
- It prevents the loss of bone mineral density and is excellent for women in their menopause to consume.
- It enhances the action of bone-producing genes and reducing bone resorption. Thus, this is among the few herbs that heal bones.
Spices For Bone Health
Listed below are the spices that will help you boost your immunity while improving bone strength.
These spices and herbs to heal bones have proven to be effective in extreme bone and joint pain conditions like osteoporosis too.
- Cinnamon, a versatile spice used in both sweet and savory dishes, contains high levels of manganese.
- Manganese is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in bone health. It aids in the formation of enzymes responsible for bone formation and maintenance.
- Including cinnamon in your diet can provide your body with this valuable mineral, supporting the strength and integrity of your bones. Cinnamon is also among the spices and herbs that build muscle.
- This is among those spices and herbs for bone repair. Ginger is not only a fantastic spice for adding a zing to your meals but also offers potential benefits for bone health.
- It contains gingerol, a bioactive compound known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Chronic inflammation can contribute to bone loss and osteoporosis.
- Gingerol may help reduce inflammation, alleviate pain associated with arthritis, and support overall bone health.
3. Black Pepper
- Black pepper is more than just a popular table spice; it also offers potential benefits for bone health.
- This versatile spice contains a compound called piperine, which has been shown to enhance the bio-availability of several nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D.
- Both calcium and vitamin D are essential for maintaining strong and healthy bones.
- Adding a pinch of black pepper to your meals can help maximize the absorption of these vital bone-building nutrients.
Best ways to use herbs and spices
People with joint pain can use herbs or spices in a variety of different forms.
Some ways to utilize herbs and spices are listed below:
1. Capsules or pills
- Herbal supplements can be taken orally in form of capsules or pills.
- Those having problems in swallowing can dissolve them in water and have it.
- In capsules or pills, an active ingredient is present in the required dosage form to avoid the risk.
Boswellia serrata, and Piper nigraum capsule are available to improve joint health.
2. Infusion or teas
You must have had ginger tea or green tea. Ever heard about Rose hip tea and willow bark tea? Both herbal extracts have anti-inflammatory properties.
Rose hip tea is a source of Vitamin C and this phytochemical is found to be effective for both osteoarthritis and RA. Willow bark extracts ease pain in people with osteoarthritis.
How to make: Herbs can be dissolved in boiling water, to extract the active ingredients of herbs and consume them.
3. Creams or ointments
Various ointments or creams are available which contain herbs alone or in combination with other herbs to treat joint pain. They can be used to reduce joint swelling or stiffness and improve joint pain.
Aloe vera, eucalyptus, Withania somnifera, and Zingiber officinale are a few herbs used in the preparation of ointments or creams to treat bone and joint health.
The tincture is a concentrated extract form of herbal medicine and can be consumed in liquid form. Curcuma and ginger tinctures to ease pain in RA.
Aromatherapy means using essential oils for the mitigation of disease. Essential oils usually contain bark, leaves, stem, or peel of fruits and are scented. Oils from some herbs are used to reduce knee and joint pain from traditional days.
Cinnamon, eucalyptus, ginger, lemongrass, and frankincense are essential oils for joint inflammation.
Joint pain or bone disease very often restricts us from carrying out our day-to-day activities smoothly. Lifestyle change, diet, physical activity or exercise, and pharmacotherapy are the various treatment options available to diminish the pain associated with arthritis or other bone diseases.
The addition of herbs and spices to your diet is recommended because of their inflammatory properties. Herbs and spices are proven as a traditional alternative approach to pharmacology strategies.
Herbs and spices contain ingredients that enhance bone growth and strengthen bones. Start using herbs or spices for better bone health in your diet to enhance the flavor of food and stay healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Herbs and spices are power-packed immunity boosters that help improve your overall health. Furthermore, they’re extremely good at maintaining your bone health while treating conditions like arthritis, osteoporosis etc. Make herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary etc. a part of your diet along with spices like turmeric, black pepper and cinnamon.
Herbs for strong bones and joints include thyme, alfalfa and ashwagandha.
Spices like turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper are great for your bone health.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that is best for bone health. It prevents the loss of bone mineral density and is excellent for women in their menopause to consume. It enhances the action of bone-producing genes and reducing bone resorption. Thus, this is among the few herbs that heal bones.
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- Arthritis: Accessed on 25th Nov 2022, Available at Mayo Clinic.
- Kumar P, Banik S. Pharmacotherapy options in rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical Medicine Insights: Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2013 Jan;6:CMAMD-S5558.
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- Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment: Accessed on 25th Nov 2022, Available at Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center
- The best food to help your relieve joint pain Accessed on 25th Nov 2022, Available at Health Clinics
- Ahmed S, Anuntiyo J, Malemud CJ, Haqqi TM. Biological basis for the use of botanicals in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis: a review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2005 Sep 1;2(3):301-8.
Our team of experts frequently monitors developments in the health and wellness field, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
Dec, 02 2023
Fact checked By
Dr. Jatin Bhide