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Talk with your doctor before you try a new supplement, even if it’s “natural.” She can check to see if it’s safe for you. Some people with rheumatoid arthritis take supplements such as:

Fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids seem to lower inflammation slightly. Studies show that it may also help relieve your pain and morning stiffness. You may be able to lower your doses of painkillers if you take fish oil.

Borage seed oil. There is some evidence that taking this along with your regular medications might help your symptoms after 6 weeks of treatment. The improvement appears to last as long as 24 weeks.

Thunder god vine. Studies of animals suggest that this may help inflammation and control your immune system. But it has serious side effects, like issues with your period if you’re a woman, and fertility problems if you’re a man. So many experts say its risks are too high.

Some people with RA take other supplements too, including boswellia, ginger, glucosamine, green tea, turmeric, and valerian. But there is no clear proof that they help or are safe.

If you want to try a supplement and your doctor says it’s OK, Husni says to try it for 3 months and then decide if it has helped you. If you feel better, keep using it. If not, you can stop.

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