Homeopathic Treatment of Arthritis:
by Lauren Feder, M.D.

Since reading about all the information on Vioxx and Celebrex I’ve decided to stop taking any of them for pain. Can you recommend any natural remedies for pain and arthritis?

In September 2004, the pharmaceutical company Merck & Co. pulled the popular pain medicine Vioxx from the market because of serious side effects. Since then, the FDA has also issued health advisories on other arthritis pain medicines like Celebrex and Bextra. These non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) could increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes. What medicines will be next? For many people, this information on safety brings into question the reliability and integrity of the drug companies and the FDA.

When a patient comes to visit a homeopath or holistic doctor, a detailed case is taken. Although five patients may be given the same anti-inflammatory for lower back pain or osteoarthritis, the holistic approach may prescribe a different treatment for each person – based on their complaints which can all be varied. The following are some commonly used homeopathic remedies and herbal gemmotherapy for muscular-skeletal pain (Arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, herniated disc, muscle spasm). These remedies can be used in conjunction with standard medicines.

Homeopathic Remedies

Arnica montana - Injuries
Injuries with pain in the muscles and joints. Arnica montana is for pain associated with soreness and a bruised feeling. Arnica is the first remedy that I use following an injury or trauma. For my patients in car accidents I often use begin with this remedy. I keep Arnica in my purse at all times.

Bryonia alba - I'm worse when I move
The keynote is movement – all motion makes the pain worse. Thus, a person who responds to Bryonia feels better being still. Whether it is one finger, or the neck or back, the person is stiff and in pain. The mood of the person is irritable, doesn’t want to be disturbed, can be preoccupied with business matters. In addition, they can have dry mouth with extreme thirst. Bryonia is also an excellent cough and headache remedy.

Rhus toxicodendron - Rusty Gate
Rhus tox is useful for arthritic pain and stiffness that is relieved with motion. Typically the person has stiffness in the morning upon waking, or sitting in a chair and feels better moving the joint, walking around, and taking hot showers or baths. The person is fidgety, restless and can’t find a comfortable position.

Hypericum perforatum - Sharp, shooting nerve pain
Hypericum is an excellent remedy for sharp shooting pain caused by injury or inflammation of the nerves, including sciatica. The pain can be in the neck, lower back, even the tailbone.


Common Birch (Betula pubescens) Hip Arthritis
Common Birch is an important remedy for the hip joint and hip arthritis. Common Birch stimulates local blood to the hip. It also cleanses the liver and is an important remedy to help boost the immune system.

Black Currant (Ribes Nigrum) General Strengthener
Black Currant has strong anti-inflammatory properties. It’s known to decrease overall pain and increase flexibility. In general, Black Currant is excellent for strengthening the constitution. It increases resistance depleted from stress and fatigue. Especially good for adults and those undergoing much stress. Use in the morning, and if needed in afternoon. Avoid before going to bed as it increases energy. Black Currant is useful as an anti-inflammatory (respiratory, digestive or urinary) and for auto-immune diseases. It is often used in conjunction with other gemmos.

Mountain Pine (Pinus montana) “Wear and Tear”
Mountain Pine is for osteoarthritis of the joints. It is known to regenerate bone, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.

European Grapevine (Vitis vinifera) Small Joints
European Grapevine is used for treating painful arthritic small joints, fingers and toes – including deforming rheumatism. Can be used for people with osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, or rheumatoid arthritis.