Gout is a form of arthritis (literally: joint pain) that is caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body. The uric acid builds up in the joints, ligaments and tendons and is often very painful and slow to subside. Usually gout first attacks the big toe, but it can also attack ankles, heels, knees, wrists, fingers and elbows. You are more likely to have gout if it runs in the family, you are a man and you drink alcohol.
The initial attacks usually get better within days. As the disease progresses, the attacks last longer and are more frequent. Attacks typically occur suddenly, often at night, and without warning. Symptoms include intense joint pain that may last five to ten days and then stops. The discomfort subsides gradually over one to two weeks leaving the joint back to normal and free of pain. Inflammation and redness at the joint along with swelling and tenderness are also classic symptoms.
The pharmaceutical medications available are very hard on the kidneys, and may physicians suggest that they not be used long term. There are some natural things that can be done to help alleviate gout issues.
Eating habits: Eliminate all processed foods, alcohol (especially beer), caffeine drinks, chocolate, red meat, pork, lamb, processed meats, such as bacon and hot dogs, shellfish/seafood, anything made with yeast, such as breads, refined sugars and all grains, which cause inflammation in the body. Organ meats, dried beans, anchovies, asparagus and mushrooms are high in purines (the substance that causes uric acid), so it is best to completely avoid them.
Water: Drinking pure water with a few drops of citrus oil added will help flush the uric acid out of your body. Drink ½ your body weight in ounces of water daily. Many find it helpful to pour up the water every morning, perhaps into glass quart canning jars, and add three drops of your favorite citrus essential oil to each quart. By the end of the day, you should have finished off the water.
Black Cherry Juice & Blueberries: Drink black cherry juice as part of your daily routine, which as been proven to lower levels of uric acid. Blueberries are also noted to help counteract pruines (per Julian Whitaker M.D.).
Juicing: Juicing about 4 handfuls of pitted cherries with ½ cup strawberries may help neutralize excess uric acid and help prevent gout attacks (Cherie Calborn, M.S., co-author of Juicing for Life.
Digestive Enzymes: Taking digestive enzymes with every meal, and even between meals, help break down food particles. It’s best to start slowly and build up to what works best for your body.
Essential oils: Many essential oils have anti-inflammatory effects. Suggested oils are: CYPRESS, GRAPEFRUIT, HYSSOP, JUNIPER BERRY, ROSEMARY, CORIANDER, CARROT SEED, BASIL, ANGELICA ROOT.
Dilute the essential oils with a carrier oil (castor oil is a good choice because it is known to draw out inflammation, especially when used as a warm compress). Massage the essential oil mixture on the affected area. To use the CASTOR OIL with a compress, wet a cotton cloth, and put a liberal amount of the oil on the cloth. Apply it to the affected area. Place a dry cloth over this one, and on top of that wrap a heating pad set as hot as tolerable. If possible, use this procedure for at least 20 minutes every few hours; more often is even better.
Cypress and Juniper Berry essential oils are:
- Anti-inflammatory, which helps reduce swelling and inflammation
- Anti-rheumatic, which helps prevent and/or relieves chronic rheumatic pain and swelling
- Diuretic - aids in the elimination of toxins in the body by increasing urine flow, which helps flush the uric acid and monosodium urate crystals out of the system.
- Tonic - helps to strengthen the entire body and specific organs
Homeopathy: (per Dr. Meletis)
- Red, hot, swollen joints that are worse with motion or from the lightest touch - try BELLADONNA 12C every couple of hours.
- Acutely painful and red joint - ACONITE 12C, taken every few hours, is the choice.
- Swelling is in your big toe, which is red and tender, especially if you also feel irritated and weak - COLCHICUM 12C, taken every few hours, is very helpful.
- Burning, itching and swelling in the gouty area - URTICA URENS 12C, taken every few hours.
Foot Bath: The warmer the water the better, but make is tolerable. To a cup of Epsom salts add 1-2 drops of an essential oil or blend of your choice (see list above or the testimonies below). Soak as long as desirable.
Ice and cold water treatments are great first aid for painful gout attacks, says John Abruzzo, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Rheumatology and Osteoporosis Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Apply a cold, wet compress directly to the affected area for 20 minutes, or wrap an ice pack in a plastic bag and place it over a towel on the skin, suggests Dr. Abruzzo. “Never leave a cold treatment on for more than 20 minutes, though, or you could damage your skin,” he cautions.
While cold treatments usually relieve the pain, see your doctor right away if a single application doesn’t help. “Gout is comparatively easy to treat if it is recognized early enough. If you let it go for too long, it’s much harder to get under control,” says Dr. Abruzzo.
1. My son had terrible gout for years, and he has had remarkable relief from simply adding a citrus oil to his water and increasing the amount of water he drinks. It has virtually eliminated the gout issue. His favorite oil is GRAPEFRUIT, and he makes sure he never runs out of it.
2. My husband uses NUTMEG when his gout acts up. It relieves the pain immediately, and he feels like it may help dissolve the crystals that cause the pain. The other oil that he sometimes mixes with Nutmeg is GERANIUM.
3. I’ve had chronic gout for several years and taken meds for the inflammation. I was told that I’d need to take them for the rest of my life, but the meds make me nauseous, so I avoided taking them. My neighbor and friend offered to help me during one of my bouts. She gently applied FRANKINCENSE to my big toe and elbow, which was also in pain, and then applied wet heat (a wet towel heated in my microwave). I could not have imagined how much better I’d feel from one application.
4. I have been diagnosed with gout in my big toes and found that PAIN-X and PEPPERMINT offer great relief - much greater relief than I ever experienced with medications prescribed by my M.D.
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