About 4% of Americans suffer from gout, and that number is on the rise. The modern medical treatment for it usually involves the use of steroids, which often has side-effects. But there was a time when people only had what amounted to home remedies for gout. These treatments are still effective in managing the condition; although dietary and lifestyle changes are the answer in the long run.
Anyone who has suffered from gout will tell you what a painful affliction it is. It is marked by sudden burning pain, stiff and swollen joints — very often in a big toe, but also in other foot, knee, hand and shoulder joints. Attacks of gout can recur continuously unless the condition is treated. Eventually it can do permanent damage to joints, tendons, and other tissues.
What IS Gout?
Gout has been around for centuries. It tends to be more prevalent in men, and for a long time it was called “the disease of kings” because it seemed to be confined to the very wealthy. That should tell us something. The aristocracy ate very rich diets (which only they could afford), often drank alcohol excessively, and exercised little because they had servants who took care of the physical labor. While heredity may be a factor, the causes of gout are ascribed to slow kidney function, obesity, high blood pressure, and/or lack of exercise.
Gout is a kind of arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints, tendons, or tissues. These crystal deposits cause the arthritis and inflammation. An attack of gout can occur quite suddenly, or it can come on slowly.
So, let’s take a look at the most popular home remedies for gout.
7 Home Remedies for Gout
- Alfalfa. Down through the centuries, alfalfa has been a staple treatment for gout. Now modern science has confirmed it’s usefulness, owing to the nutrients found naturally in alfalfa.
- Apple Cider Vinegar and Raw Honey. This has been another popular option over the years. Drinking a mixture of ACV and honey before each meal is said to help with gout.
- ACV Soak. Apple cider vinegar boiled with rose hip is also supposed to make a very effective remedy. Soak the affected area for 20 minutes at a time. This mixture can also be used as a rub instead of soaking.
- Baking Soda. Mix 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in 8 oz of water and drink. This can sometimes relieve gout pain almost immediately, or over a course of 1-2 days as you repeat it. Note: The maximum
recommended dosage is 4 teaspoons per day. And if you suffer from hypertension, you should be cautious, as baking soda can raise blood pressure if consumed in large amounts.
- Cayenne Pepper Rub. Made by boiling cayenne pepper in equal parts of water and vinegar. Apply liberally to the affected area.
- Cherries. Whether fresh, frozen, or canned, you need to eat between 20 and 30 cherries, or drink a concentrated cherry juice. One study of more than 600 patients found that a ½-cup serving of cherries every day resulted in a 35% reduction in the occurrence of gout attacks.
- Pineapple Juice. The bromelain enzymes found uniquely in large quantities in pineapples have proven an effective remedy for several conditions including gout.
Change Your Diet to Beat Gout For Good
The home remedies for gout above have all been helpful in controlling gout attacks, but the long term answer is to change your diet. The culprit in gout, uric acid, is produced when you eat foods with high purine levels. Purine is highest in rich foods like like fatty red meat, organ meat, game, and seafood (particularly shellfish).
You should also reduce your intake of alcohol and caffeine, and get more exercise. Just think how the kings of old lived … and do the opposite!