Arthritis is painful joints caused by infection or inflammation. The most common is rheumatoid arthritis. It can also be a form of degenerative disease known as osteoarthritis, which usually affects people 50 years and older. Symptoms include fever, pain, swelling, fatigue and stiffness. According to western medicine there is no cure for arthritis. Stress, vitamin deficiencies, a mineral imbalance and bacteria infection, are all possible culprits. Traumatic arthritis mainly plagues athletes, who cause extreme wear and tear on their cartilage, the tissue that covers the ends of the bones.

It has been discovered that arthritics are low in such minerals as manganese and zinc and high in copper and iron. Western dietary advice is to increase the intake of manganese through foods such as whole grains, seeds, legumes, and alfalfa; zinc, by eating oysters, liver, beef, wheat bran, wheat germ, nuts and poultry; and omega-3 fatty acids found in cold-water fish such as salmon and tuna. The latest studies have confirmed the effectiveness of fish oil and vitamin E in controlling the inflammation. Milk, dairy products, sugar, wheat, caffeine and alcohol are to be avoided.

Chinese medicine relates the problem to excessive wind, cold or dampness. If wind dominates, the problem will move around. If cold dominates, pain is induced. If dampness dominates, fixed pain and swelling occurs. If the problem remains for an extended period of time, other issues such as qi, blood, liver or kidney deficiency will develop.

Foods that can expel wind and dampness, warming and promoting circulation of blood such as chive, parsley, green onion, eel, beef and mutton are beneficial. Pearl barley (job's tears) can cure inflammation and ginger tea can ease painful joints, reduce numbness in limbs, warm up the body and diuretic to clear excessive water. Sea cucumber has been commonly used by the Chinese to treat arthritis for thousands of years. Modern research has confirmed its anti-inflammatory properties and high content of vitamins A, B1, B3, and C and magnesium and zinc. Mistletoe (sang ji sheng) tea is commonly used to expel wind-dampness, rheumatism, weakness of back and knees and rigidity of extremities.

The following is one of the many effective recipes in treating arthritis.

Pepper Root and Cow Tendon Soup


Painful limbs, inflexible joints, numbness and difficulty in walking.


Clear internal wind and wetness, benefit liver and strengthen tendon, improve energy, warm extremities.


Pepper root ŒÓž£ª- 60gm
Cow tendon ‹‹Ø- 180gm
Wash the two ingredients and cut them into smaller pieces.
Put them in a pot with adequate water (about 2 liters) and cooked over medium heat for 3 hours to 1.5 cups of soup left.
Drink soup only.

Not suitable for people with high blood pressure, fever and hot constitution. Take once a day for 3 days as one course of treatment. If necessary, stop for a couple of days and repeat for another course.

(Recipe No. AR 01)

Copyright @ 2001-2004 Foods 'n' Herbs - All rights reserved

Last updated on 03/21/2005
naomi says: 2009-06-29 23:13:13
i liked this article.. i must say arthritis patients should really take care of their heath and diet. I take a lot of care of my mom. Infact from a website called, i even learnt tht physical activity helps a lot to get relieved from pain. I read a lot of stuff like this on arthritis to take good care of my mom.

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