3 Herbal Remedies for Gout You Should Consider
If you are suffering from terrible gout attacks, what can you do? How about trying herbal remedies. Studies show that certain gout medications run the risk of organ damage when used long term. Herbal remedies for gout can help you avoid this problem. For this reason alone, I use natural therapies in trying to prevent a gouty episode. So far, so good as I have not had an all out attack in nearly three years. I used to get them 2-3 times a year and that was while taking prescription medicines designed to get rid of gout.
There are several natural treatments you can use to help you avoid this painful disease. Some of them work while you are having an attack and some help reduce the likelihood of occurrence.
The three this hub is going to concentrate on are:
1. devil's claw
3. nettle root
Herbal Gout Remedy-Devil's Claw
Devil's claw, otherwise known as Harpagophytum procumbens has been used over the centuries as an herbal treatment. It is sometimes called the unicorn plant or devil's claw because of the shape of the seed after it is opened. It is mostly found in Africa, but you can also find it in western Texas and in part of Nevada.
This herb is useful for getting rid of gout because of it's ability to lower uric acid concentration and because it helps flush out toxic waste. Several studies have shown that this herb has helped reduce pain in gout patients. Dosages varied among the studies, so depending on what naturopath you talk to you may get a different dosage requirement.
Devil's claw has not only been used to help bring relief from gout pain, but also bring relief to people with chronic lower back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and arthritis. One of the reasons it would be helpful to gout patients is that gout is a form of arthritis.
Bilberry as an Herbal Remedy for Gout
Bilberry, otherwise known as European blueberry, has been used for centuries to help with various ailments, including gout. Just as with blueberries, bilberry contain useful anthocyanins. Even though bilberries are physically smaller than blueberries, they actually have more anthocyanins than blueberries per the USDA anthocyanin rating chart. This is very important during an actual gout attack, because anthocyanins help with blood flow to your joints which helps reduce painful swelling.
Bilberries also contain many antioxidants, although not as much as it's counterpart, the blueberry. Antioxidants are important in helping reduce the intensity or occurance of attacks. They accomplish this by helping reduce uric acid levels.
Because of the bilberry's anthocyanin and antioxidant ability, it should definitely be considered as a remedy for gout. You can purchase it as a supplement or herbal tea at many nutritional stores.
Things to consider.
While most people should have no problem taking bilberry, as always consult with your doctor before taking any supplement. Some of the cautions regarding this herb are if you are diabetic. Bilberry can decrease your blood glucose levels, so if you are prone to hypoglycemia, this is defnitely something you should consider beforehand.
Another consideration is if you have a bleeding problem because bilberry can thin your blood. This would also include then if you were on blood thinning medication such as warfarin, otherwise known as Coumadin, aspirin, NSAIDs, heparin, or any other medications or supplements that would add to a bleeding risk.
Again, consult your physician or naturopath so you can tailor treatments to your specific case.
Herbal Tea: Nettle Infusion
Nettle Root-The Stinging Herbal Remedy
Nettle root or "noedl" in German is another herbal remedy you can use to help treat gout. Nettle, also known as "stinging nettle" for it's painful sting upon touching it helps lower uric acid. It contains vitamin C which studies show helps reduce uric acid levels when used on a consistent basis. One study showed up to a 50% decrease.
Potassium is another benefit of taking nettle. Potassium takes uric acid and puts it in an easier form for the body to eliminate, so taking other high potassium foods such as bananas can also help provide relief.
Nettle root is also a diuretic and can help alleviate symptoms by getting the kidneys to excrete excessive acid. While this is good on one hand, dehydration in gout patients is not. So you need to make sure you drink plenty of water regardless of whether or not you are taking nettle.
This herb is also a natural antihistamine. This is helpful for gout because the antihistamine helps reduce swelling. It is because of this antihistamine that nettle has also been used to aid in treating open wounds.
Nettle can be used in soups, infusion teas, and in extracts. When used in soups, the heat eliminates the stinging ability. For infusion ideas, please take a look at the video.
As with just about any remedy, there are things you should take into consideration before using, again seeking your physician's counsel. If you are taking high blood pressure medication or are a diabetic, consult your physician prior to taking this herb.
While nettle contains beneficial potassium, because it is a diuretic, you should not use it regularly without supplementing your diet with potassium rich foods or supplements.