Millions of people are currently living with arthritis and other joint problems. Depending on the type of arthritis, it can cause issues such as pain, inflammation, joint stiffness and even difficulty moving.

Though there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways to both reduce the risk of the condition and ease symptoms.

There are lots of locally prepared anti-arthritic remedies in varying localities in Nigeria and these local therapies which are basically herbal have poor scientific backup and documentation.

However, a remedy that has been scientifically proven useful is produced from coconut oil and Sida acuta.

Researchers, investigating the chemical composition and potency of the locally prepared anti-arthritis remedy made from coconut oil and Sida acuta leaves, affirm that it is effective in reducing the pains and inflammation observed among arthritic patients.

Commonly called Broom weed, Sida acuta is called aihenmmwin in Edo, udo in Igbo, and isepotu in Yoruba. Decoction of the leaves is used for hookworm, diarrhoea, parasitic skin diseases, catarrh, dysentery and nephritis.

To prepare the remedy at the laboratory, Sida acuta plant was collected at 6:00am, the leaves were removed and washed thoroughly with tap water, rinsed with distilled water and dried in a shade for two weeks before being pulverized into fine powder.The coconuts were sliced and blended into a paste, mixed with clean warm water and filtered, then poured into a pot to boil for about an hour. The coconut oil was obtained and allowed to cool before transmitted into an airtight container.The coconut oil was poured into a clean pot and heated for five minutes; the pulverized Sida acuta leave was added to the heated coconut oil and allowed to boil for a few minutes until it turned greenish-black.The mixture was allowed to cool and then filtered with a new handkerchief or cheese clothes; the filtered oil was stored in well labeled air-tight containers before being distributed to volunteers with established cases of arthritis.The remedy was given to 100 already diagnosed patients with osteoarthritis for topical application/massage. The application was done twice daily for three weeks and questionnaires were used as a tool to obtain feedback from them.

Sixty five percent of volunteers reported complete disappearance of inflammations and its associated pains while 35 percent reported drastic reduction but slight pains and mild inflammations associated with arthritis still persists.The 2022 study that backs up the therapeutic claim of Sida acuta and coconut oil in the management of arthritis in folklore medicine practice appeared in the International Journal of Medical and All Body Health Research.

Sida acuta has been shown extensively to possess rich medicinal properties.Previously, researchers had said that coconut oil has the ability to suppress or reduce inflammation due to its unsaturated fatty acid content.

For example, linoleic acid, an unsaturated fatty acid that is richly present in coconut oil, is known to promote relaxation.However, the researchers declared, “Our locally made preparation showed a high level of efficacy in the management of osteoarthritis and its associated discomfort with promising potential for the development of new drugs in this area.”

“However, more investigations should be carried out to ascertain the appropriate mechanism of action of the remedy in achieving the observed result(s).”

@ Nigerian Tribune

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