Q: Dear Dr. Mao, I have been suffering from Gout on and off and when it comes, the pain is really unbearable. Is there a natural way to deal with this problem?
A: Gout is a result of buildup of Uric Acid in the system. The buildup is usually a combination of dietary excess combined with weak excretion system (usually kidneys and the intestines). The buildup of uric acid usually affects the big toe and it can occur rather suddenly and cause excruciating pain. There are natural ways to help with this condition. Follow these simple steps and also consult a licensed Acupuncturist to help with a proper herbal and acupuncture protocol.
Eat a diet high in fibers, complex carbohydrates such as dark green leafy vegetables, and starches. Protein should be organic and minimal. Eat more celery seeds, onions, leeks, shallots, chives, celery, cucumber, green beans, asparagus, capers, scallions, and tomatoes. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries raspberries and blackcurrants are antioxidants and can help reduce excess uric acid. Prunes, apples, pineapple, plum, and various melons are also beneficial. Vinegar helps dissolve uric acid crystals. Water intake is essential in flushing the excess uric acid from the system. Drink at least 80 oz of room temperature water daily; drink bottled water as the regular tap water contains chemicals prone to sedimentation.
AVOID: foods high in purine concentrations should be eliminated from the diet; these include anchovies, mackerel, sardines, shellfish, asparagus, herring, meat gravies, meats, mushrooms, mussels, peanuts, yeast, and sweetbreads. Fried foods, foods with saturated fats, processed foods, sugar and white flower. Alcohol and caffeine should be eliminated. Spicy foods, citrus fruits, milk and dairy products contribute to formation of gout.
Home Remedies and supplements that might help
• Eat lots of cherries and strawberries; these contain chemicals excellent in neutralizing uric acid. Drink fresh squeezed cherry and strawberry (½ pound each) juice unsweetened, three times daily for one week.
• Boil dandelions and drink the tea. You may also apply crushed dandelion poultice to the affected joints, changing every two hours.
• Vitamin C (8 g per day) dramatically reduces blood uric acid levels. Though in some cases, vitamin C may actually increase gout.
• Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA – 1500mg per day) is inflammatory inhibitor.
• The g-linolenic acid in evening primrose oil is anti-inflammatory, and can reduce the aches and pains and other symptoms.
• Devils claw (1-3g three times daily) can help with reducing inflammation and pain.
• Aconite, Belladonna, Bryonia, Colchicum and ledum are good homeopathic remedies. Elophantory, Indian stringbush, aconite, notopterygium, pubescent angelica root, coix seeds, cnidium, ginger, cinnamon twig polished rice, and gypsum and licorice are some of the herbs used to treat gout, depending on the differentiation of symptoms.
You may find these specially formulated Traditions of Tao herbal supplements helpful with gout: “Pain”, “Arthritis/Joint”, and “Blood Builder/Fatigue”. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.