Every Wise Woman

Real Food, Real Health, Real Birth

Gout Begone!

Despite my best efforts to be organized and share information in a particular order, life keeps throwing things at me and I see opportunities in that to build my public knowledge base...

...So let's talk about gout!  Really? Gout?  But that's such an obscure ailment!  Well, apparently not...at least, not in my sphere of influence. LOL  I have had the opportunity to help with a few cases of gout in the last couple years and it came up again this past week, so I feel it apropos to add it to the slowly growing library of health issues here.

Of course, being the convention-questioning herbalistmama that I am, I will begin the discussion with a reminder that there are NO arbitrary and isolated illnesses.  These ailments do not come upon us randomly, nor are they disconnected from our holistic physiology.  Treating the symptoms of gout is not a remedy for the real problem.  And when someone has gout, the real problem is the kidneys (and also the liver).  BUT...for the sake of brevity (too late, some may say), this post will specifically address how to deal with gout, which can be debilitatingly painful.

Gout is an excessive production and accumulation of uric acid; it is a symptom of kidney malfunction.  The acid accumulation tends to settle in the lower extremities, most often affecting the big toes and front portions of the feet.  The synthetic drugs prescribed to deal with gouty symptoms do not heal the gout (shameless reminder two: drugs do not heal disease) and they often greatly irritate the stomach (shameless reminder three: drugs always have side effects...those you can feel immediately, and those you cannot, such as organ function disruption...especially the liver).  We can, however, treat the gout with natural medicine and bring relief to the condition.

Various treatment regimens exist for this condition.  I am going to share the regimen that I have recommended with success.  Look to the links at the end of the post to explore more about gout and to learn additional healing options and helpful information.

Our goal with this treatment is to:

  • Reduce pain and inflammation, increase circulation
  • Alkalize the body
  • Break up the uric acid and eliminate its excess production
  • Begin to tone the kidneys

The first element in achieving this goal is proper hydration.  Yes, there is a full post in the works about this very topic...so I won't give away the farm here, LOL.  In this instance, you need to hydrate the kidneys and to flush the excess uric acid out of your system.  Suffice it to say that it is essential when treating the gout that you drink 1 ounce of water for every pound of your body weight...consuming a minimum of 1 gallon of pure (filtered) water daily (not distilled, and never tap).  Add 1/2 tsp. sea salt for every gallon of water consumed (this helps to maintain proper mineral balance).

Secondly, the essential daily supplement regimen for reducing gout inflammation is:

  • Quercetin 1,000 mg 3x/day with meals
  • Bromelain 500 mg 3x/day
  • Cherry Extract 1,000 mg 3x/day (eating organic cherries or drinking raw, organic cherry juice is even better!)
  • Activated Charcoal 2 caps 3x/day   (draws out toxins)

The essential herbal/dietary elements are:

  • Celery Seed Tea (this is one of the most important elements of the gout treatment; celery seed is exceptionally potent in eliminating gout) = 1 Tb. celery seed in 2 cups boiling water; strain when seeds are soft (after 10 minutes minimum steeping); drink 1/2 cup 4x/day
  • Additional herbal tea = 1 tsp nettle, 1 tsp mullein, 1 tsp parsley in 2 cups boiling water; steep 15 minutes, drink throughout the day (these herbs feed and tone the kidneys; nettle is superb at drawing out uric acid)
  • Potassium = eat 2 to 3 bananas daily (or other potassium-rich foods, such as sweet potatoes); potassium decreases uric acid production
  • Baking Soda = 1/2 tsp in warm water, drunk at each meal (alkalizes system to combat uric acid production)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (raw, organic) = 2 Tb ACV + 1 tsp. raw honey in warm water before bed (another excellent alkalizer and toxin reducer)

The third element, and the one that most quickly reduces the pain of gout, is the Foot Soak.  The elements in this soak help to break up and eliminate built-up uric acid, and relieve inflammation/pain.
In a small basin (plastic dish tub or large pyrex baker) combine:
   1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
   4+ cups warm water (add as needed to fill basin)
   1/2 to 1 tsp. ginger (start small and add more as needed)
   1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne
Soak at least 10 minutes and do this as often as needed throughout the day.  Be sure to rinse your foot after the soak, as the ginger and cayenne can feel irritating to the skin if left caked on without emulsifying/demulcent agents (as in a salve).

Using a cayenne-based salve can reduce gout pain and increase circulation.  And applying a poultice is an effective way to draw out the uric acid and reduce inflammation.  A simple poultice can be made by mixing a small amount of activated charcoal powder and Pascalite (or bentonite) clay with a bit of cayenne pepper (adjust the cayenne to your personal comfort level).  Mix with apple cider vinegar to make a paste, apply to affected areas and wrap with plastic wrap or cotton cloth.  This is especially helpful for overnight applications.

Finally, I must stress that it is vital that you avoid alcohol, caffeine and soda, all of which put undue stress on your kidneys and liver and will hinder your ability to deal with this condition.

Homeopathic remedies can be helpful in treating gout.  [Use as with any homeopathic treatment.  These are very basic instructions:  3-5 tablets dissolved under the tongue; no food/drink except water 15 minutes before/after; use as needed every 30 minutes or longer depending on symptoms; cease when symptoms improve]  This list is NOT exhaustive:

  • Colchicum = one of the best remedies for gout, but not easily found in stores (can be ordered online); indicated for intense big toe/heel pain; joints swollen, red, hot; sensitive to touch; throbbing especially in evening.
  • Arnica = bruise-like pain, difficulty in walking
  • Belladonna = throbbing, hot pains worse upon touching
  • Bryonia = tearing pain worse from slightest movement
  • Ledum P. = shooting pains throughout foot/ankle; big toe and foot swollen

(See links below for more information.)

The daily regimen I have suggested may seem more onerous than popping some pills, but the treatment will work to heal the condition as well as alleviate pain.  You must commit to this regimen completely before determining its efficacy.  You will not improve if you approach it "willy nilly" and try one or two things haphazardly or half-heartedly.  Stick to the program for at least one full week.  As you begin to see results, you will appreciate the effort you have made.  Getting bodily systems to respond and repair takes time.

Your gout flare-ups should decrease as you pursue this treatment.  But I cannot stress enough the fact that real healing will come only from addressing the cause of the gout...the kidneys.  That is a longer subject for another day.  Do not forget that your kidneys (and liver) are the real issue and cannot be ignored.  Study kidney health and maintenance...make a commitment to cleanse, tone and nurture your kidneys for your future good health.

A final word...this is how I would deal with gout if I had it.  As with any healing protocol, you need to be familiar with your body, its needs and its responses.  The above advice assumes you are neither pregnant nor using pharmaceuticals.  Celery seed and some of the other nutrients/herbs have diuretic actions, so it would be unwise to use them with pharmaceutical diuretics; you should be sure to maintain good hydration levels.  While the whole food herb approach is abundantly safer and more effective than pharmaceuticals, it would behoove you to understand the potential of strong diuretic action on diseased kidneys; you should do your own research if you plan to vary or increase the elements suggested above.  Until next time, be well and Become Your Own Expert!

Gout at HolisticOnline.com
gout homeopathy
Gout at Herbs2000
celery and gout
Modern Herbal gout

EWWHerbals                                                                              "Every wise woman builds her house..."  Proverbs 14:1

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