If you or a family member suffers with arthritis, you know just how disabling it can be. Stiff and swollen joints can make even simple daily tasks, like bathing or dressing, extremely painful. There’s no cure for arthritis, so managing symptoms and flare-ups are essential to maintaining a comfortable, active life. However, there are more than 100 different types of arthritis, each with their own unique set of challenges.
Osteoarthritis arthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are two of the most common types. Experts agree that it is crucial to practice aerobic or low-impact exercises despite the pain. Over time, regular exercise can aid in restoring flexibility and range of motion while maintaining heart health and strengthening muscles, which can help alleviate pressure from weakened joints. But how do you get started when every movement seems to hurt? The homeopathic medicine Bryonia is one of the top choices for arthritis pain, and it’s indicated for other conditions, too. Let’s learn more about this plant that’s so important to people living with joint pain.
What is Bryonia?
Bryonia is a perennial flowering vine in the cucumber family, Cucurbitaceae, and native to Europe. It’s considered an invasive weed in the United States as it grows rapidly and aggressively, easily choking out other plants. Homeopathic medicines are made from the thick root of Bryonia alba, also known as white bryony or devil’s turnip. This particular variety produces greenish-white flowers and berries that turn black as they ripen.
All parts of the Bryonia plant contain a poisonous, bitter substance called bryonin, which can cause inflammation, vomiting, and even death if ingested in large quantities. It’s this substance that makes Bryonia so useful for rheumatic pains in homeopathy. Outside of homeopathy, Bryonia has a long history of use in folk medicine. Herbalists would use it to induce vomiting — a treatment once believed to reduce swelling (edema). It was also applied externally for leprosy and gangrene.
Bryonia for Arthritis and More
When prepared homeopathically, the toxic properties of Bryonia are removed. The 6C dilution targets joint pain that is improved by rest and applying pressure.* It’s included in the Arnicare Arthritis formula for this reason. You can also find it as one of the active ingredients in Chestal Honey where it relieves dry and painful coughs triggered by speaking.*
- Skerrett, Patrick J. “Exercise Is Good, Not Bad, for Arthritis.” Harvard Health Blog, May 8, 2013.
- Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board
- Ellingwood, Finley. “The Therapeutic Applications of Bryonia.” The American Journal of Clinical Medicine 19 (1912): 387–90.
- Orr, Stephen. The New American Herbal. New York: Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2014.
*Claims based on traditional homeopathic practice, not accepted medical evidence. Not FDA evaluated.
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