Gout is a type of arthritis that affects the joints, caused by high uric acid build-up in the blood which crystallizes and are deposited in joints, tendons, and surrounding tissues causing inflammation with discomfort and pain. This acid is a by-product from when the body breaks down purines found in many foods. With some dietary changes and Ayurvedic herbal treatment, can cure a person with gout by reducing the purine levels and uric acid naturally without causing any side effects.
Consuming purines leads to a build-up of uric acid. This is then filtered out by the kidneys and excreted via urine or stool. But if too much uric acid (hyperuricemia ) may build up in the joints that leads to gout. An abnormality in handling uric acid and crystallization of these compounds in joints can cause painful arthritis, kidney stones, and blockage of the kidney filtering tubules with uric acid crystals, leading to kidney failure. Men are three times more likely than women to develop gout. It tends to affect men after age 40 and women after menopause.
Symptoms of Gout
Gout attacks are very painful and can develop suddenly. Gout most classically affects the joint in the base of the big toe, knee, or ankle joints. Other joints include the ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows can also be affected.
Signs and symptoms of gout include:
- severe pain in one or more joints
- the joint feeling hot and very tender
- swelling in and around the affected joint
- red, shiny skin over the affected joint
- The pain usually starts at night and is often seen as throbbing, crushing, or excruciating.
These painful Gout attacks typically last from hours to days but may return from time to time. Almost everyone with gout will experience further attacks at some point, usually within a year.
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Causes of Gout
Gout is caused by the build-up of uric acid in the blood. When your body produces too much uric acid or your kidneys don’t filter enough out, it can build up and forms tiny sharp crystals depositing in and around joints. These crystals can cause the joints to become inflamed (red and swollen) and painful.
Factors that may increase your chances of getting gout include:
- Certain medical conditions like obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney, and thyroid disorder.
- Alcohol consumption
- Certain medications, such as cyclosporine, diuretics.
- Having a diet high in purines and the foods that cause uric acid, such as red meat, organ meat, seafood (such as anchovies, sardines, mussels, scallops, trout, and tuna), certain vegetables and legumes including rhubarb, silverbeet, lentils, beans, asparagus, and yeasty foods all may contribute to gout.
- Sugar-sweetened beverages and food and drinks high in fructose.
Treatment for Gout
Ayurvedic Treatment for Gout
According to Ayurveda, Gout is known as Vata-rakta. The word Vatarakta is made up of two words Vata (wind) and Rakta (blood) which means, Gout occurs when the blood in the body becomes impure with an excess of vata dosha that causes inflammation, swelling and severe pain in the joints. Vata dosha becomes aggravated when you increase the intake of spicy, sour, salty, alkaline or heavy foods and also because of faulty lifestyle such as staying awake till late at night. Ayurvedic treatment includes various herbs and making dietary changes helps to reduce uric acid naturally without causing any side effects.
Natural Herbs for Gout / High Uric Acid Treatment
Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia)
Giloy is an Ayurvedic herb (is known as the queen of all herbs) full of health and medicinal benefits that have been used and advocated in Indian medicine for ages. As per Ayurveda, Giloy can be consumed in powder, juice, or decoction form, it is anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-allergic, anti-malarial, and anti-diabetic. An herb that heals inflammation, due to increased pitta levels in your body. The juice extract from the stem of giloy is highly effective for the treatment of gout as it helps to neutralize the increased uric acid levels in the body.
Triphala is an ancient herbal preparation used in Ayurvedic treatments. It’s a combination of three dried herbs: Indian gooseberry (Emblica Officinalis), black myrobalan (Terminalia chebula), belleric myrobalan (Terminalia bellirica). Triphala has anti-inflammatory properties, so it could reduce the inflammation associated with gout. Triphala may have various health benefits such as improving digestive and oral health, supporting skin healing, helps in arthritis, stress, and anxiety, diabetes, act as a natural immunity booster. It also contains powerful antioxidants that maintain a healthy heart and stable respiratory functions as well.
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Curcumin is the active compound in the spice, turmeric, which is a staple of Indian curries. In Ayurveda, turmeric is believed to have a number of health benefits. It acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This may help ease gout-related inflammation and pain. Take curcumin along with black pepper and a source of fat for better absorption. Turmeric is effective when combined with Boswellia. Turmeric can be also consumed after mixing it in the milk.
Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)
Boswellia, also known as Indian frankincense, used in the traditional Indian medicinal practices of Ayurveda. It is extracted from trees in a kind of resin form. It is found to be effective in reducing inflammation, so it may also reduce the symptoms of Gout, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) both for pain and joint degradation. The Arthritis Foundation recommends, the active constituent, boswellic acid as a potential therapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis reduces the formation of inflammatory leukotrienes, which is a principle characteristic of gout. Boswellia works well in combination with other herbs for gout such as celery seed, turmeric, and ginger. The usual dose is 300-400 mg daily of an extract containing 65% boswellic acid.
Heather (Calluna vulgaris)
Heather is a plant used for medicinal purposes. A tea made from the flowers of this herb has been used for urinary tract infections, prostate enlargement, fluid retention, gout, arthritis, sleep disorders, breathing problems, cough, colds. The flowers are also believed to contain a substance that is capable of removing uric acid from the body. Because of its cleansing and detoxifying plant, it has been used in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis and gout.
Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)
Devil’s claw is an herbal supplement potential remedy for inflammatory-related conditions, such as arthritis and gout. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and potential to reduce pain, devil’s claw has been used as an alternative treatment for arthritis and pain. It is available in many forms, including concentrated extracts, capsules, powders and herbal teas.
The usual dose of the herb is of 600–2,610 mg of the dried and pulverized root, 3 times daily. As a tincture, a typical dose is 4-5 ml, three times a day.
KOKILAKSHA (Asteracantha longiflia)
Kokilaksha is an herb which is very effective in providing relief to patients suffering from Gouty arthritis. All parts of this plant are used (leaves, seeds, root) for medicinal purposes and have a slightly bitter taste. Kokilaksha has several health benefits, helps in managing Male Sexual Dysfunction, blood sugar, managing urinary problems by increasing urine production.
According to Ayurveda, taking Kokilaksha powder (1/4- 1/2 teaspoon twice a day) regularly along with water helps to manage symptoms of gout due to its Vata-Pitta balancing property.
(Also Read: Arthritis: Herbal and Natural Treatments )
Natural Home Remedies for Gout /Uric Acid Control
- Cherry: Cherries, strawberries, and blueberries are excellent fruits to reduce uric acid naturally. Cherries contain high levels of anthocyanins, which have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers recommend three servings of any cherry form over a two-day period, which was considered the most effective for gout.
- Celery Seed(Apium graveolins) has been used traditionally to treat urinary issues, rheumatism, arthritis, and gout. Celery can be consumed in the form of raw celery sticks, juice, extract, or seeds. Celery seed should be used under the supervision of a physician if you have a kidney disorder.
- Fenugreek seeds – Consumption of fenugreek seeds can help cure gout as it helps in reducing internal and external inflammation of the body.
Soak 1 Tbsp fenugreek seed in half cup water overnight and drink that water in the morning and chew the soaked seeds. This will help in reducing the swelling of the joints and can relieve pain.
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- Ginger– has anti-inflammatory properties, which relieve pain and swelling. Many studies found topical ginger reduced pain related to uric acid in gout. Make a ginger compress by boiling water with 1 tablespoon of grated fresh ginger root. Soak a washcloth in the solution. After cooling down, apply the washcloth to the affected area daily for 15 to 30 minutes. Internally, boil a 1-inch slice of ginger root and water for 10 minutes. Strain the decoction and consume half of it in the morning and the other half in the evening.
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- Drink plenty of water preferably 10 – 12 glasses every day to flush out excess uric acid from your body.
- Applying cold packs to the affected area of gout reduces inflammation. Do not apply ice to your hands or feet if you have nerve problems from diabetes or other causes.
- Epsom salts are rich in magnesium, which may lower gout. Mix 1 to 2 cups of Epsom salt to warm water. Soak your entire body or only specific joints for symptom relief for 15-20 minutes.
- Eat a healthy diet: consume high fiber foods, Avoid foods that are high in substances called purines, such as some seafood, red meat, organ meats like liver, and fatty foods, which can raise the uric acid in your blood. Avoid/limit alcohol intake (particularly beer and hard liquor).
- Consumption of lemon water daily helps to prevent gout flares. Lemon juice tends to neutralize acid within the body, including uric acid.
- Get physically active: Moderate, low-impact activities are recommended which include walking, swimming, or biking, but avoid strenuous exercise that puts pressure on the joints. Stress may trigger a gout attack. Participating in physical activity and other activity programs can help reduce pain and help you focus on things other than the pain.
Ayurvedic treatment for gout includes herbal medicines and herbal therapies that help the body eliminate uric acid. Making lifestyle changes and maintaining a healthy weight can all contribute in managing gout.
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