Coconut Oil Treatments for Arthritis


The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). There are actually more than 100 different forms of the condition and related diseases. These are incurable, usually painful joint disorders. Arthritis manifests as inflammation, causing pain and stiffness in one or more articulations. Research suggests that coconut oil can help to tame this inflammation when applied direct to the affected areas. Trials have also shown how the oil strengthens bones and improves the immune system. There’s been a lot of talk in recent years on the arthritic healing benefits of coconut oil. Arthritis inflammation treatment is always worth exploring.

Coconut Oil as an Anti-inflammatory

Coconut oil could be just what the doctor ordered for the relief of the chronic inflammation associated with arthritis and fibromyalgia. Early research in India showed how the unique antioxidants in the oil could act as an effective anti-inflammatory when injected into arthritic lab rats [1].

Given the choice, all sufferers of arthritis would prefer a natural treatment over the conventional drugs. Why? Because many of these widely used medications have adverse side effects with some patients. If coconut oil proves to be effective in these pervasive diseases it will be a major turning point. Sufferers will have less disability and more relief from the pain and damage that surrounds their synovial joints, connective tissues and articular cartilage.

The Problem with Arthritis Drugs

There are several drugs that doctor’s use to treat RA. Some are powerful disease-modifying drugs (DMARDs), and others are non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Indomethacin. Sadly, there is not one medication that suits all. This causes major problems for doctors as they attempt to find a solution that works for their individual patients.

The India study mentioned above showed how coconut oil was more effective at treating arthritic inflammation than the conventional pharmaceutical drugs currently in use. This discovery has potentially huge beneficial implications.

The problem with conventional treatments is obvious to sufferers:

  1. Current pharmaceutical drugs are largely ineffective
  2. Conventional medications often have serious, undesirable side effects

Largely ineffective and with potentially serious side effects on top of the diseases! It’s no wonder there’s an urgency to find alternative, safer solutions, and coconut oil could hold the key [2].

The Power of MCFAs

A lot of the noted benefits of coconut oil derive from its MCFA content (medium-chain fatty acids). Other saturated fats do not contain MCFAs. The Arthritis Foundation actually encourages a little coconut oil in the regular diet of patients. It’s important to note that not all oils are helpful or safe for people with arthritis. Trans fats are definitely off the menu. None of us should consume foods containing unnatural trans fats of course. But it’s especially important to those suffering with arthritis as they are at a higher risk of developing heart disease [3], [4].

Arthritis is a problematic disease because doctors are not totally sure what causes it. They know what it is and what it looks like, but they’re still exploring the root cause (see below). It’s never easy to find a workable solution to anything without first understanding the initiating trigger. The science now concludes that the MCFAs in quality coconut oil energize and nourish the cells. This in turn leads to less inflammation and reduced pain and stiffness in patients. It seems that MCFA-rich coconut oil has the ability to repair and heal damaged tissue because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

The Science so Far

New evidence suggests that the main cause of arthritis begins by acquiring an infection of sorts. Naturopathic physician and certified nutritionist Dr. Bruce Fife, is leading the way in this hypotheses. He’s also the author of “The Arthritis Cure,” and so speaks with a lot of authority on the subject [5].

The problem with arthritic infections is that blood can’t reach them due to the structure and tough membranes that encase the joints. No blood means that conventional antibiotics are useless at fighting the condition. Furthermore, antibiotics are only effective against bacterial infections anyways, not those which come about as a result of viruses or fungi. The research is ongoing, but this is the direction science is taking as studies continue into the understanding and treatments for arthritis.

The MCFAs in coconut oil are what make it so potent. Its antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties allow the oil to target these chronic arthritic infections. [6].

Choosing and Using the Right Oil

Because the research is still relatively new, there are no hard and fast rules for using coconut oil to treat arthritis – yet! Some people consume the oil and others apply it topically or both. Whatever works is all that matters. For the record, there are many health benefits that derive from consuming a quality coconut oil (see site menu).  However, not all oils contain equal amounts of antioxidants. Stay clear of refined products and always opt for the nautraloils for medicinal purposes.

If you would like to try it topically, one suggestion is to warm the oil up slightly before you apply it to the skin. Some people like to add a little camphor to the mix. It works by increasing the blood supply to your affected joints. This warming effect assists pain reduction and discomfort of the affected areas. Massage the oil into your skin after you’ve had a relaxing soak in a warm bath or straight after a hot shower for best results [7].

For more on the amazing health benefits of this incredible oil, please take a look around the site.

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About Coconut Health

Hi, my name is Susan and over the past few years, stories on health especially natural ways to heal have fascinated me. This site was set up to explore the research, stories and health possibilities of coconuts. Feel free to contact me if you have suggestions, questions or to tell me your story!