Try some remedies to alleviate the pain of gout

Try some remedies to alleviate the pain of gout

30 November 2011

GOUT is a painful condition caused by excess uric acid in the body, particularly around the joints which leads to inflammation. 

The condition responds very well to nutrition and herbal remedies. Foods to increase in your diet to help with gout include vegetables, especially the green leafy ones such as kale, cabbage and broccoli, and wheat-free wholegrains such as oats, brown rice, buckwheat, millet and quinoa. Wholegrain bread is a better choice than white bread as sugar can make the symptoms worse. Lentils and beans are a great source of fibre and two pieces of fresh fruit a day will help too. Berries are a very effective remedy for gout as they contain active ingredients that help rid the body of the uric acid that causes it. Cherries are wonderful for treating gout as they contain flavonoids that reduce uric acid in the bloodstream. When eating raw fruit and vegetables it is important to eat pesticide-free versions as these chemicals negatively effect the immune system and liver.

Gout tends to flare up when there is an excess of protein in the body from eating too many animal products so keeping these to 10% of the diet is highly effective in overcoming gout. Historically the monarchy tended to suffer from gout due to the large quantities of “rich food” such as meat, cheese, wine and sugar which were not available to the rest of the rural population. The peasants ate mainly vegetables and grains as well as a lot of “weeds” such as nettles and dandelions (green vegetables will do the same job) and gout was virtually unheard of.

Alcohol, coffee and tea also lead to excess uric acid in the body so reducing these can really give positive results. There is a great variety of herbal teas now which are an excellent way to increase your water intake in the winter — the key is to find one or two you enjoy drinking. Green and white tea provide a small amount of caffeine and have amazing health benefits so they are a great alternative to tea and coffee. Drinking plenty of water and eating a fibre rich diet will help to flush uric acid out of the body and give relief from gout. 

A glass of organic cherry juice each morning diluted with water helps dissolve the uric acid crystals and is probably the most effective remedy for gout. If you are prone to gout, drinking a glass of pure cherry juice a day can go a long way in helping you to prevent a flare up — “cherry active” is a great brand as it contains 100% cherries and is sugar-free. Apple cider vinegar is also a wonderful remedy that helps alkalize the body and create a condition that discourages gout.

Try taking a teaspoon of water three times a day before meals or a tablespoon in water once a day. Squeezing half a lemon into warm water and drinking it every day is also a great way to alkalize your body and improve health in general. Taking two teaspoons a day of flaxseed oil or “Udo’s Oil” will have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body and can help with gout as well as fibromyalgia, arthritis and sciatica. Walnuts and avocadoes also contain omega 3 similar to the flaxseed so incorporating these in your diet is a good idea. Although oily fish is a good source of omega 3 there is a connection between gout and seafood so it is best avoided until the condition improves. 

Last but not least, the herb ‘devil’s claw’ is an excellent remedy for gout as it is a natural anti inflammatory — you can take 20 s twice a day in a little water.

Products mentioned can be found in good health shops such as THS at Jacksons, Main St, Saintfield and THS, St Patrickęs Ave, Downpatrick.

n Kim McCreery has worked in the natural health industry for the last six years and is passionate about nutrition and herbal remedies. For more details, e-mail: