The legendary Greek physician Hippocrates once called it the “unwalkable disease”, because it can be excruciatingly painful to those who suffer from it. Until the present day, gout still remains a growing public health concern, because of the rising number of people who are getting it. Fortunately, there are a number of natural, plant-based remedies for treating, or alleviating it. Here’s a look at the top 4 natural remedies for treating gout.
What Is Gout?
For those who are unaware of it, here are some quick facts about gout. First, it’s a form of arthritis, which usually affects the joint at the base of the big toe. It also hits without warning, and advanced cases of gout can lead to the onset of kidney stones. Most gout cases are treated with certain medications (although today there are potent natural therapies for easing it).
The symptoms of gout include sudden and severe pain, tenderness, swelling and redness in the joints (often in the big toe’s base). These occur when a bodily waste called uric acid (which comes in the form of needle-like crystals), accumulates in the fluids and tissues within the body. The excess uric acid then starts forming lumps under the skin which surrounds the joints, thus causing the intense pain.
What Causes It?
While gout is due to the buildup of excess amounts of uric acid in the blood, it is caused by a number of factors. Among the usual suspects include genetics (or a family history of gout), excess alcohol consumption, a high-purine diet (which is mainly found in meat and seafood), obesity and being overweight, and health problems like hyperthyroidism, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Are There Natural Home Remedies For It?
While the common medications used for treating gout include anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs and corticosteroids, more and more people are looking for ways to treat it naturally (and safely). Here’s a look at the top 4 organic treatments for gout.
Cherries. If you think cherries are just so cute and they’re only for kids, then you’re wrong. Cherries are rich in antioxidants called anthocyanins; thus, gout patients are advised to eat 15 to 20 cherries a day to lessen swelling and pain (and eventually eradicate gout).
Ginger Root. Ginger root can be taken as a tea, or it can be added to your favorite recipes. You can also crush ginger root and turn it into a paste, and then apply to the affected area. Ginger has notable anti-inflammatory properties, which help soothe pain, swelling and other infections.
Bananas. The high potassium content in bananas converts uric acid crystals into liquid, thus making them easier to flush out of the body. Eat one or two bananas a day, for best results.
Apples. Apples contain high amounts of malic acid, which help eliminate uric acid, and heal gout. Eat an apple after each meal, or drink a glass of apple juice, for effective relief.
Since the holidays is a period where many of us over-indulge, reducing your consumption of purine-rich food items like ham, salami, sausages, beer, red wine, shellfish, herring, sardines and anchovies helps cut future bouts of gout. And one of the best natural therapies is to drink at least two liters of water daily, to flush out excess uric acid.