(NaturalNews) Gout is a painful swelling in joints that is caused when uric acid builds up in the body and is not eliminated. Uric acid is caused by the breakdown of a chemical found in red meat, fish and poultry. Natural remedies can relieve the symptoms of gout and help restore proper digestion, which prevents the reoccurrence of this painful condition.
High levels of uric acid in the body create a condition called hyperuricemia. The uric acid forms crystals called urates, which are sharp and irritating to joints. It is this irritation that causes swelling and pain in the joints, particularly in the ankles, heels, wrists, knees, elbows and hands.
Some vegetables contain these uric acid forming chemicals, which are called purines. These vegetables include asparagus and mushrooms. Mostly found in animal proteins, purines are especially prevalent in organ meats, such as liver and kidneys.
Purines are dissolved and carried away by the bloodstream and eliminated in the urine in a healthy person. This process is blocked by certain factors, such as gender and genetics. Children whose parents have gout have a 20% higher chance of developing gout themselves, and men are statistically more inclined to develop gout than women. Other risk factors include consuming alcohol and other purine-rich foods.
Natural Herbal Remedies for Gout
Ash has been used in Europe for centuries to treat gout, though there is little clinical evidence.
Agrimony is a plant used to heal wounds and has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory. Again, no research has shown results, but clinical usage has shown results.
Bilberry is a berry used since the 12th Century. Related to the blueberry, bilberry is used in jams and jellies, as well as in alcoholic beverages. Bilberry has long been used in folk medicine to treat gout.
Pineapple contains bromelain, which is a digestive enzyme that works to help digest proteins. Because of this, pineapple, or the bromelain extracted from it taken by itself, can help reduce the swelling caused by gout.
Chamomile tea is a comforting tea that soothes stomach complaints, aids digestion and may help the stomach digest proteins better so that the uric acid is dissolved and not deposited in joints.
Digestive enzymes in general will help the assimilation of proteins. After a heavy meal, particularly a large meat meal late at night, digestive enzymes will speed the digestion and help to eliminate the cause of gout.
With proper eating and the addition of natural foods and herbal medicine, the symptoms of gout can be ameliorated and reduced.
Melanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College. A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks. Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at: http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/2009/04/b... Follow her blog at http://melanie-grimes.blogspot.com/ www.melaniegrimes.com