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3 Herbal Remedies for Gout You Should Consider

Updated on September 2, 2009

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

2. bilberry

3. nettle root

Devil's Claw

Devil's Claw, also known as the unicorn plant
Devil's Claw, also known as the unicorn plant
Devil's claw after pods dry and fall off.
Devil's claw after pods dry and fall off.

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, otherwise known as European blueberry. Photo by Leo Michels from
bilberry, otherwise known as European blueberry. Photo by Leo Michels from

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.

Nettle Root

photo courtesy of Leo Michels from
photo courtesy of Leo Michels from

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.

Herbal Remedies for Gout Poll

Which herbal gout remedies have you tried

See results

How effective were any herbal remedies that you've tried?

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    • profile image

      Donis Fylaktou 

      7 years ago

      Here is my story. It was the middle of the night. I opened my eyes and was awakened by

      earth shattering pain. My big toe was throbbing. In fact it felt like a towering inferno.

      I turned on the light and was startled to see that my great toe was 3 times its normal size.

      It was bright red and red hot, just like a firecracker and the pain was the most severe that

      I’ve ever experienced by far.

      The suffering that I had to endure was almost unbelievable.

      That was over ten years ago. At the beginning I was having attacks

      every 6 months. Then gradually I was getting them every 3 months, then every month and


      every week.It started at my big toe and then it was moving sometimes in my knees,and


      all around my joints, in my feet.And the pain was agonising.

      I have tried all the cures you can imagine.I tried ACV, lemons, drinking a lot of water, but

      to no avail.

      I tried water fasting, juice fasting,baking soda, again without success.

      I almost gave up meat, limiting it to only once a week ,gave up alcohol completely,again

      no success.

      I was living on vegetables, lots and lots of fresh fruit, milk ,cheese beans and so on .My

      eating habits

      could not be healthier ,or so I thought.But my gout was worsening.

      Then I decided to increase the amount of fruit I was consuming, thinking that if some fruit

      is healthy, more

      fruit will be more healthy.Some days I was eating fruit only ,others over 10 portions a day.

      And alas my gout instead of improving it became chronic ,it was there all the time.

      I was desperate I did not know what to do.And then one day accidentally I read an article

      about fructose,

      which is contained in fruit in large quantities.It said that it increases uric acid, in a matter

      of minutes.

      Fructose is also present in table sugar, and in HFCS, which is used in soft drinks.

      I put two and two together and realised what I was doing wrong.

      I stopped eating fruit and all other sugars, for a period of 3 weeks,and by magic I saw a


      improvement.Pain was gone, swelling was gone, I was fine.

      I re introduced fruit again in my diet but reducing them to 1 or 2 a day, and my gout almost


      I do eat more meat now, and occasionally have an alcoholic drink, and thank God everything

      seems to be fine.

      Fructose was my enemy.

    • profile image

      george bosser 

      8 years ago

      you can also buy celery seed at your grocery store, but they get stuck in your throut and you need plenty of water.

    • JCielo profile image


      9 years ago from England

      Great photos of the herbs tbfrascone! I haven't tried any of these particular herbs, but, I know someone who has used celery seeds infusions very successfully. But for anyone out there who wants to try celery seeds - if you're pregnant or suffer from any kidney disorder etc, then don't because they are a diuretic.


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