Gout is a kind of arthritis condition that is characterized by swelling in the feet and hands, especially affecting the big toe. Gout can be very painful and can get aggravated with wrong food habits. A control over diet and weight are the most common ways by which the condition can be kept within control and the severity and attacks reduced. Along with these, there are several herbs that come to your rescue and prevent gout attacks form troubling you every now and then.
The herbs mentioned here are very simple and can be used long term for prevention of gout as well as treating the symptoms. They mostly aim at detoxification of the body and reducing the levels of uric acid deposits in the joints, which is the main cause of gout attacks. However, as some herbs are known to interfere with certain medications and other conditions that you could be suffering from, it is always best to consult a herbalist in such matters rather than rely on hearsay and use the herbs without monitoring.
Herbal Remedies for Gout
Chamomile is known to be an anti inflammatory and also helps in soothing the skin, thereby relieving the swelling and pain caused due to gout. Chamomile is also good for easy and efficient digestion of proteins and this will prevent uric acids from getting deposited in the joints due to excess protein intake as in the case of meat products. Take chamomile tea 3-4 times throughout the day. Chamomile oil can be used for massaging on the swollen joints as well in order to facilitate relief and recovery.
A combination of herbs like birch, ginkgo biloba and red clover is known to be very effective for treating gout. This herbal tea helps in elimination of toxins from the body by acting as a diuretic and prevents uric acid deposits from causing gout attack. It also increases blood circulation. For making the herbal blend, take one part birch leaf, one part red clover flower or leaf and one part ginkgo biloba.
Mix well and store in an airtight container. Take one tablespoon of the mixture and add to one cup of boiling water. Infuse for fifteen minutes and drink this 2-3 times a day, twice a week. This herbal tea may not be good for people with kidney trouble due to its diuretic properties.
A tea prepared from celery seed can be used for preventing gout inflammations and also for eliminating uric acid deposits in the body. For preparing the tea, take 2 teaspoons of celery seeds and add to one cup of boiling water. Steep for ten minutes and take it every day to keep the uric acid levels in the body minimal. Celery seeds capsules are taken by some patients with gout and many have reported immediate relief from inflammation and pain associated with gout.
Devil’s claw is extensively used for treating arthritic conditions of the body. It is a good pain reliever and helps in reducing the levels of uric acid in the body. Dried roots powder can be used for making a tea or capsules or liquid extracts can be taken as per the directions of your naturopath.
You can also use the herb as an ointment for topical application of the affected area for great relief from inflammation. The herb may cause trouble if taken by people with liver problems, gallstones ulcers etc. It is wise to avoid devil’s claw if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Bilberries are rich in anthocyanins and are also high in antioxidant properties that are both beneficial for the treatment of gout. The anthocyanins that are present in bilberries help in increasing the flow of blood to the area of swelling and this will reduce the pain and swelling considerably. However, bilberry extracts must be taken with care as it can cause hypoglycemia and bleeding in patients who have diabetes or who are on blood thinning medications. Consult a naturopath for dosages and directions of use.
Nettle is another great herb that can reduce uric acid deposits in the body. Nettle is also rich in potassium, which will prevent uric acid crystallization in the joints. This is why potassium rich bananas are very beneficial for treating gout as well. Nettle is also rich in vitamin C, which is known to reduce the levels of uric acid in your body by about 50 percent.
Nettle also possesses antihistamine as well as diuretic properties that will help in the flushing out of toxins and removal of swelling from the affected site. A tea can be prepared from nettle and taken for relief from the symptoms. Nettle tea is not recommended for diabetics and those suffering from hypertension.
The root of dandelion can be used for treating gout as it is a great herb for improving kidney function and helping in better elimination of toxins from the body. Dandelion is also a good source of vitamin C and this will help in boosting the immunity and also in melting the uric acid deposits in the joints. Dandelion root tee can be prepared by adding a teaspoon of the dried root powder to a cup of boiling water and infusing it for fifteen minutes before drinking it. The tea can be taken twice daily to reduce the uric acid deposits in the body and prevent gout attacks.
St John ’s Wort
St John’s wort helps in reducing the swelling and acts as a pain reliever as well for gout patients. The infused oil can be used for massaging on the swelling caused due to gout. This will ease the pain and inflammation to a great extent.
Ginger is an anti inflammatory agent and a natural pain reliever and can be used a simple yet effective remedy for treating gout attacks. Take a stalk of Ginger and grate well. Add this to a cup of water and allow the water to come to a boil. Simmer for ten minutes and drink it warm. Ginger tea helps in increasing blood circulation to the area and reduces inflammation. It also masks pain.