Natural Supplements For Joint Pain & Arthritis

Last Updated on December 29, 2022

Joints can become less supple and more inflamed due to a range of health conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and growing older.

Joint pain can have a significant effect on your life and mobility, but there are natural supplements that can help.


Bromelain is a type of enzyme called a proteolytic enzyme. It is found in pineapple juice and in the pineapple stem. Bromelain has significant anti-inflammatory activity and may help reduce joint swelling and improve joint mobility.

A study in Germany found that Bromelain is an effective and safe alternative to NSAIDs such as diclofenac for painful osteoarthritis.

“I’ve had scores of osteoarthritis patients who rely on their bromelain,” says Amy Rothenberg, ND, a licensed naturopathic doctor in Northampton, Massachusetts, who has been prescribing bromelain for all the 34 years she’s been in practice. “People are less aware of bromelain than better-known supplements like turmeric. But most are happy to learn it’s derived from a simple pineapple, and they’re surprised by how well it can work.”


This amino sugar is a natural part of the cartilage in your joints. Taking it as a supplement may help slow down cartilage loss, as well as ease stiffness, swelling, and pain.


This substance is a natural part of the connective tissue in your bones and cartilage. When you take it as a supplement, it can help boost the collagen in your joints to help you absorb shock better. It may help hold water in your cartilage too. That can make the tissue operate more smoothly.

Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)

This sulfuric compound is naturally present in fruits, vegetables, grains, animals, and humans. Sulfur helps your body make connective tissue. Taking this natural chemical every day may help with symptoms of knee osteoarthritis, such as pain and swelling.

UC-II Collagen (Undenatured Type-II Collagen)

UC-II Collagen helps support healthy joints. Several clinical studies (including research at the prestigious Harvard Medical School) show that UC-II Collagen is more than three times as effective as Glucosamine and Chondroitin for joint pain reduction and improved joint mobility. It can be taken only once a day.

Fish Oil (Omega-3s)

Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects which make a good remedy for joint pain. Your body turns them into anti-inflammatory chemicals called resolvins that can help take away joint stiffness and tenderness. In some cases the effect was so significant that people were able to stop taking their pain medication.

Turmeric (Curcumin)

This spice gives curry its yellow color. It may give you some pain relief too. A chemical in turmeric called curcumin blocks certain proteins that can cause inflammation. Over time, it can help joints ache less and help you move better.


Quercetin is a flavonoid naturally found in fruits and vegetables like red wine, onions, green tea, apples, berries etc. and is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

A 2017 study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed 500 mg of quercetin supplementation per day for 8 weeks resulted in significant improvements in clinical symptoms, disease activity, inflammatory markers, and health assessment in women with rheumatoid arthritis.

A 2019 study in the Journal of Cellular Physiology showed it eliminated cartilage degeneration and decreased cartilage cell death in the knee joints.


Fenugreek contains compounds which have been known to inhibit the inflammation that is seen in autoimmune inflammatory disorders like arthritis.

SAMe (S-adenosylmethionine)

Your liver produces this chemical compound. When you take it as a supplement, studies show SAMe can work as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. It may also help repair cartilage damage that causes arthritis symptoms.

Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU)

ASU is an extract made from a combination of avocado and soybean oil extracts.
Your joints are lined with special cells called synovial cells. ASU helps protect them so they can promote the growth of healthy connective tissue. Studies show that over time, people with osteoarthritis who take ASU supplements may need less pain medication than they did before. In Denmark, ASU is marketed as a food supplement for its anti-inflammatory effects and its ability to stimulate cartilage growth and repair.


Also called Indian frankincense, this plant extract has been a part of African and Asian folk medicine for centuries. The active ingredient in Boswellia can help with pain and improve movement in your joints. Research also shows it can slow down cartilage loss.

Borage Oil

This extract from seeds of the borago plant is high in gamma linolenic acid, a fatty acid that fights inflammation in the body. Daily borage oil supplements may help treat symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and even reduce the dose you need of your prescription treatments for joint pain and swelling.

Cat’s Claw (Uncaria Tomentosa)

This woody vine from Central and South America contains chemicals called tannins and sterols that may soothe inflammation. Studies show it might help with knee pain in osteoarthritis without side effects. If you have rheumatoid arthritis, cat’s claw could help ease pain and swelling in your joints.


Magnesium is a nutrient your body uses for many tasks, like repairing cells and keeping your nerves and muscles working. One of magnesium's most important jobs is making sure your bones are strong – 60% of the magnesium in your body is in your bones and teeth.

Studies have shown that that people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis may benefit from magnesium in their diet or as a supplement. Since arthritis can cause inflammation, magnesium's anti-inflammatory effects might help some people with the condition.

Vitamin D

Scientists who study rheumatoid arthritis have found that people who have the condition often lack vitamin D. Low levels of this essential nutrient may lead to chronic pain. When you take it as a supplement, it could help your arthritis treatment work better.

Vitamin B6

Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have reduced circulating levels of vitamin B6 compared to healthy subjects. A daily dose of vitamin B6 at the current upper tolerable levels may reduce levels of inflammatory compounds in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, says a new study.

Capsaicin + Menthol (Topical)

Capsaicin is most commonly known for being the compound that gives chillis their heat. But, it can also reduce the release of signals that cause pain in the body. It’s available in creams, patches and gels, and the effects last a few hours, so you can reapply whenever you need to during the day.

Adding Menthol improves results. Menthol is known as a counterirritant. It works by causing the skin to feel cool and then warm. Menthol creams and lotions can provide temporary relief from minor arthritis pain and pain from strains, bruises, and sprains.

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