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Our ancestors used to call gout “The Disease of Kings.” That’s because in ancient times, gout was thought to be the punishment of a lifetime spent overeating rich meats and wine.
Today, we know that this disease is a form of arthritis, caused by high levels of uric acid. Although our kidneys normally remove uric acid, for those afflicted, the acid does not dissolve properly and forms large crystals which build up in the joints.
If you have experienced this or have seen a loved one with those red, swollen joints, then you know just how painful it can be. While we now have modern medicine to help relieve pain and inflammation, as well as medications that block the production of uric acid, you have to wonder: What did our ancestors do before pharmaceuticals? And what could we use if — one day — pharmacies are closed?
Our ancestors relied on herbs and foods to help reduce the symptoms of gout, as well as to work as preventatives against future attacks.
Here is a sweet “cure” to be sure! There is research showing that they lower inflammation and uric acid levels. One study found that just 48 bing cherries a day lowered uric acid, and therefore the symptoms of gout, in just two weeks! Other studies show similar results — one with results in just 2 days. It’s worth noting that dried cherries or cherry juice works as well as fresh fruit.
2. Celery seed
Celery seed has long been used as a healing herb, as it has powerful anti-inflammatory compounds, but modern research shows that celery seeds flush out urates from the kidneys. This lowers acid levels, including uric acid, in the body.
3. Burdock root
This is another ancient herb, used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions due to its anti-inflammatory compounds. The interesting thing about this root is that it can be used both internally and externally to help fight gout symptoms. Consumed as a tea, burdock root removes uric acid from the body and topically, it can be ground into a poultice and applied to the feet or other joints to help relieve pain.
Like burdock root, ginger also can be consumed as a tea or applied as a compress to help relieve gout symptoms. Ginger has long been known to have anti-inflammatory compounds that help a variety of symptoms, including gout and arthritis. One study found that one of the active compounds found in ginger, 6-shogaol, lowered levels of urate crystals.
Each time I even see the name of this plant, my fingers start itching from the memory of my one encounter with it. But fear not — you don’t have to handle the plant! Nettles are really powerful anti-inflammatory plants that can help stop the pain of gout. You can consume this as a supplement or buy dried leaves that have the stinging part removed so you can drink it as a tea.
There are other ways to help reduce inflammation in the body, such as fish oil supplements, pineapple and turmeric, but some of these items might be hard to find in difficult times. Consider stocking up on some canned cherries or ginger root and adding them to your pantry in case gout decides to make an unwanted appearance.
*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or cure any particular health condition. Please consult with a qualified health professional first about this method.
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