Is Honey Good For Arthritis? I Tested Out 3 Recipes

Is Honey Good For Arthritis? I Tested Out 3 Recipes

A few years back, I was looking for natural remedies for my rheumatoid arthritis. I was so sick of the side effects of classic drugs that I was willing to try the natural side as well. That’s when I came across several recipes that had one mutual point – honey. They were all 100% natural and I found them on forums about arthritis. I had tried lots of alternative remedies, but without much success.

However, these recipes looked very interesting. They were basically combining honey with other natural substances, so I didn’t need anything special to prepare them. 

So is honey good for arthritis? I was quite skeptical back then, but I decided to try out each of these 3 recipes and see for myself what they can do. They are still very popular, so there are high chances that you heard of them as well. 

So if you’re curious, here’s my experience with each.


My Joint Pain Background

I was dealing with rheumatoid arthritis for a long while, so joint pain was probably my best friend. I was pretty much all the time in pain.

It was worse in the morning, because I would wake up with very stiff joints that would go away after about an hour. Ice was helping me a lot in those morning, so I would always keep several packs in the fridge near my bed. It’s a really good hack if you’re waking up with stiffness.

At one point, I even found the right treatment for me and my pain wasn’t bothering me too much. But that happened only about 2 years ago. Before that, I didn’t have any solution. And that was the point when I heard about these natural recipes based on honey. 

People were praising them a lot, so I was very excited to see if they could be of any use for me too.


1. Honey + Turmeric

Is Honey Good For Arthritis? I Tested Out 3 RecipesWhy It’s Good: I’m a huge fan of turmeric because it’s the best herb for my RA. It has amazing benefits and I’ve rarely had problems from it. 

When you put it together it with honey, it’s hard to beat this combination. Turmeric is both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory (the best one actually), while honey contains lots of enzymes and vitamins that also decrease the swelling. 

Besides, they also help the density of your bones and make them stronger. They prevent certain substances from damaging the bones and the cartilages around it. But that’s only the theory.

Did It Work?: Not as I had hoped. I had a lot more energy and I wasn’t feeling constantly tired, but my pain didn’t decrease much. So I still think it works, but in a rather easy form of arthritis. Or if you have chronic joint pain without any clear diagnosis, you can try it.

What I Liked Most: Unlike NSAIDS, you can’t get any side effects from this combination. It works just as good as the classic drugs but it’s a lot safer.

It also has a really nice taste, I like to call it “spicy honey”. So you won’t be having a hard time taking it.

Biggest Downside: I didn’t experience such a great relief as I did with turmeric supplements. In this case I used organic turmeric, but it’s a fact that our body doesn’t absorb the whole quantity of turmeric if you take it by mouth. That’s why every good supplement has a helper like bioperine. 

So I don’t think you can get a full pain relief with this combination, at least if you have a real diagnosis of arthritis (and not temporary joint pain).

How To Take It: Put together 100 mg of organic honey and 10 mg of turmeric powder, mix them up and take 1 tablespoon every morning, Make sure you do this for at least 2 weeks, or even more if possible. But after this time, you could start to see an improvement. 




2. Honey + Vinegar

Is Honey Good For Arthritis? I Tested Out 3 RecipesWhy It’s Good: This is probably the most popular recipe with honey I came across. Every website I entered was talking about it, so I thought it should be really good then. 

However, I didn’t find any explanation why vinegar could be good for arthritis. Every recipe recommended apple cider vinegar but none explained why it’s effective.

After a quick research, I found out that it contains antioxidants and a lot of other substances (but they’re not useful for arthritis). So this makes me think it’s a great food for osteoarthritis, which can be caused by free radicals and aging. 

Neither honey nor vinegar are anti-inflammatory, so that explains why it can’t help swelling and inflammatory arthritis.

Did It Work?: The pain from my knees did go away after a while, so this recipe really works. But as the form of OA from my knees wasn’t that severe, so pain wasn’t my #1 problem there. It was stiffness and inability to move. And when it comes to this, the recipe didn’t change much. 

Also, regarding my RA pain, I can’t say I felt any improvement. But yes, that was no surprise.

What I Liked Most: They are both really cheap and you can find them in any small store. It’s important to get the organic type, as that’s the one with all the benefits. But don’t worry, you can find both organic vinegar and honey really easily.

Plus, even the organic forms are really cheap, so you won’t be spending more than $15 on both.

Biggest Downside: The taste. I couldn’t get used to it even after 2 weeks, even though I thought I would. The honey does help, but it doesn’t mask that horrible taste completely, so you’re still feeling it well enough. But maybe that depends of person, I don’t know.

How To Take It: Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, dilute it with a bit of water and then add 2 tablespoons of organic honey. You have to drink this mix at least once a day, and I recommend you to do it in the morning.


3. Honey + Cinnamon

Is Honey Good For Arthritis? I Tested Out 3 RecipesWhy It’s Good: A 2014 study proved something that many people already suspected: cinnamon can decrease inflammation and swollen joints. It also contains lots of antioxidants, which are great for protecting cartilages and joints against damaging factors caused by age. 

When it comes to honey, it also has enough antioxidants inside but it can’t fight against inflammation. 

So this could be the reason why alternative medicine recommends combining these 2 ingredients. In this way, they could both decrease inflammation and protect the joints against free radicals. 

Did It Work?: To be honest, I didn’t get any major improvement from this remedy. It made me feel better overall but not in terms of pain. I could sleep better at night, I was more fresh and energetic but my pain wasn’t considerably better. So you’re not losing anything trying.

What I Liked Most: I used this mix instead of sugar because it was really sweet and had a great flavor. So I used it for tea, coffee and even in some cakes I made at that time. I simply did that because I liked it taste and I felt it was healthier than regular sugar. 

Biggest Downside: It’s not as powerful as the other 2 combinations. That’s why it didn’t relieve my pain, in my opinion. So I wouldn’t recommend it if you’ve had chronic joint pain for a while. 

How To Take It: Unlike the other 2 recipes, I found out that you can also use this one topically, by rubbing it on your joints. However, I don’t know how effective it is, considering it didn’t do much even when I took it by mouth.

But I still prefer the classic way. For this, you have to put together 2 tablespoons of honey, one of cinnamon powder and a glass of water. You should drink this mix once a day, for several weeks. But this time, it could take more than 2 weeks until (if) you notice an effect, because cinnamon is not as strong as the previous 2 foods. 


My Final Verdict – So Which Is The Best Recipe?

If you have osteoarthritis, you could try the apple cider vinegar + honey combination. The vinegar is a pretty strong antioxidant, so it could help you a lot, especially if you’re older.

On the other hand, things don’t look so good for rheumatoid arthritis.

Though I’m a huge fan of turmeric, its combination with honey didn’t help me much. So as I said, I prefer supplement because they are much better absorbed. 

Overall, honey is a great ingredient for arthritis, but don’t expect it to do anything on its own. In fact, it didn’t make any miracle for my even when combined, so it couldn’t possibly work alone. That’s why I stick to my supplements, that really make miracles for my RA.

But if you want a natural approach, I really advise you to try one of these 3 recipes. They’re really cheap, easy to make and who knows? They might turn out effective for you.

Heather Pharm.D.

Heather Tracy Foley is a Pharmacy graduate, Blogger and Author with a vast experience in health sciences. She has a particular interest in joint pain and rheumatology and spent several years studying health problems. You can find her on Pinterest or via email.

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2 Responses

  1. Shawn says:

    What supplement do you use? I’m only 37 and My movement is getting worse. I’ve been trying to use CBD and it helps for the muscles. But the overall pain and stiffness I can’t get a grasp on it 🙁

  2. Heather Pharm.D. says:

    Hi Shawn! If you have RA or any other form of inflammatory arthritis, I recommend turmeric supplements because they have the strongest effect against inflammation among all natural products, but they have a much lower risk of side effects than classic medication (NSAIDs, for example). I’ve been using turmeric for a very long time and I don’t think I will ever switch back to anything else. My #1 recommended supplement is Turmeric Curcumin Plus from Vita Balance, because it has the composition I consider to be the best, as well as a really affordable price (compared to others). So that’s the product I use and what I also recommend to people with inflammatory arthritis.

    I personally have never had excellent results with CBD, that’s why it’s not a remedy I focus on too much, on this website.

    Hope this helps and please let me know about your progress.

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