Natural and herbal remedies haven’t been shown to cure psoriatic arthritis, but a few may help ease your symptoms.
Before taking any natural or herbal remedy for psoriatic arthritis, talk with your healthcare provider. Some remedies can cause side effects or interact with your medications.
Here are 14 natural remedies you can try to help soothe your joints and relieve psoriasis plaques.
Turmeric is a yellow-colored spice used in a variety of cuisines, especially Indian food. The spice is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
You can eat foods with turmeric, like Indian curries, or make turmeric tea. You can also take turmeric in pill form.
Look for supplements containing curcumin, an active ingredient in turmeric. Curcumin has been shown to block cytokines and enzymes that cause inflammation.
A 2016 review of several published studies found evidence supporting the effectiveness of turmeric (roughly 1,000 mg/day of curcumin) for improving arthritis symptoms like pain and stiffness.
High doses of turmeric can thin the blood. It’s recommended that you don’t take turmeric or curcumin if:
- you’re on blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin)
- you’re having surgery
- you’re pregnant
Fish oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory.
Fish oil supplements might also improve heart function and protect against heart disease, according to a 2016 study. This could be an important finding, since people with psoriatic arthritis are at higher risk for heart disease.
To add more omega-3s to your diet, increase your intake of fatty fish, like salmon, tuna, halibut, and cod, or take a fish oil supplement.
High levels of fish oil can interfere with some medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin), so talk to your doctor before taking a supplement.
Due to potentially dangerous levels of mercury, those who are pregnant or trying to conceive should avoid eating certain fish like:
- king mackerel
- albacore tuna
Taking vitamin D hasn’t been found to improve psoriatic arthritis, but
Vitamin D is important for general health, especially bone health. You can get this vitamin through sun exposure and from fortified foods like:
- orange juice
Ask your doctor if you should also take a supplement.
Healthy bacteria called probiotics are believed to provide health benefits by supporting good bacteria that live in the gut.
In a 2015 study, people with psoriatic arthritis had less diversity of bacteria in their intestine compared to healthy participants.
You can find probiotics in:
- fermented cheeses
- some types of milk
Probiotics are in foods like:
- dandelion greens
You can also take probiotic or prebiotic supplements or both. Ask your doctor for advice.
The Dead Sea is located in Israel roughly 1,300 feet below sea level. It’s full of minerals and is very salty.
People have been soaking in the Dead Sea for centuries to improve the appearance of their skin and reduce inflammation.
Soothing a skin condition by bathing in mineral springs is known as balneotherapy. Only a few studies have looked at this remedy for psoriatic arthritis, but
If a trip to the Dead Sea isn’t feasible, you can purchase Dead Sea salts online. Another option is to try taking short, warm baths with Epsom salt to help reduce joint pain and inflammation.
Capsaicin is a compound naturally found in chili peppers. It helps with arthritis pain by creating a numbing effect on pain receptors.
You can buy ointments, gels, and creams containing capsaicin in stores or online. Simply rub this product on the skin near your painful joints.
You can also find capsaicin patches that work for up to 8 hours at a time when applied directly to the skin. You might feel a burning sensation at first, but this should lessen over time.
Heating pads loosen joints and relax aching muscles. Moist heat from a wet washcloth or warm bath can be especially soothing to sore joints.
Cold packs help reduce swelling and pain. Wrap the ice pack in a towel to avoid damaging your skin. You can alternate heat with cold as needed to help with arthritis symptoms.
Fatigue is a common issue for people with psoriatic arthritis. Part of the reason for this pervasive tiredness is a lack of sleep.
A 2019 study published in the journal Dermatology and Therapy looked at sleep patterns in people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Study results showed nearly 60 percent of those involved in the study had trouble sleeping.
The research also found that almost 40 percent of them said they don’t sleep enough.
Getting enough sleep is important for preventing fatigue and improving your overall mood and quality of life.
Here are some tips on how to create proper sleep hygiene to help ensure a good night’s sleep:
- avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day
- exercise during the day
- keep your room dark and cool
- turn off all screens an hour before bedtime
- avoid big meals before bed
- take a relaxing bath or shower before bed
- go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
Getting the right treatment for psoriatic arthritis will also help you sleep better.
It may be that another treatable condition, like sleep apnea, is keeping you awake.
If you still aren’t getting enough rest, ask your doctor for recommendations such as a referral to a sleep specialist.
Stretching is a vital part of psoriatic arthritis therapy. It prevents tightness and keeps you limber. Plus, it helps you avoid injuries when you exercise.
The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends 15 minutes of stretching as part of your daily exercise routine.
Work with a physical therapist or qualified personal trainer to create a daily stretching routine that works for you.
Regular exercise has many benefits for people with psoriatic arthritis, including:
- preventing joint stiffness
- improving muscle strength, which can make daily tasks a little easier
- reducing stress and improving overall mood
- maintaining bone density
- reducing fatigue
- promoting weight loss, which takes pressure off joints
- lowering risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes
Low-impact exercises are the easiest on painful joints. Swimming, yoga, Pilates, tai chi, walking, and cycling are good options.
Resistance training strengthens the muscles that support painful joints.
Warm up before exercising to prepare your body and prevent injury. Remember to stretch after each session, too.
A physical therapist can help you create an exercise plan that works well for you.
Massage is used to relieve muscle tension and reduce stress. A
However, it’s not clear whether it’s better than treatments like acupuncture or chiropractic care.
For best results, find a massage therapist who is trained to provide services for people with chronic conditions like psoriatic arthritis.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine in which practitioners place hair-thin needles into various pressure points around the body.
Inserting these needles promotes the release of natural pain relievers like serotonin and endorphins.
If you want to try this technique, see a licensed acupuncturist who has experience treating psoriatic arthritis. It’s important that they use clean needles and do not insert them into areas of skin with active flares.
Aloe vera gel is possibly best known for soothing sunburns and helping wounds heal.
Research finds that a cream or gel containing aloe might also help relieve some of the redness, swelling, and scaling associated with psoriasis.
The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends creams containing 0.5 percent aloe. You can apply them up to 3 times daily.
Mahonia aquifolium, also known as Oregon grape, is a medicinal herb with germ-killing properties.
There’s no cure for psoriatic arthritis. However, a combination of the right medications and natural, at-home remedies can help you manage inflammation and joint pain.
Always speak with your doctor before using natural or alternative therapies, especially if you’re taking other medications.
Even if a natural remedy improves your symptoms, don’t stop taking your prescribed medication without consulting your doctor first.