5 Top Natural Gout Relief Remedies

Though gout is extremely painful and you may therefore think that only drugs can help, there are several natural gout relief remedies that have proven to be very effective. In this short article you’ll discover 5 natural gout relief remedies that you can try at home.

First though, to understand how these gout relief remedies actually work, here is a very short explanation of gout and it’s causes…

Gout is an acute medical condition which is generally characterized by extreme soreness, swelling, stiffness, warmth and redness of the joints. It’s a type of arthritis mostly found in the male population, although women can suffer from it too.

A gout attack is the result of high levels of the uric acid in the blood stream. This uric acid then forms uric acid crystals that accumulate in the joints and tendons.

Your body’s natural defence views these crystals as foreign bodies and triggers its inflammatory response to try to repel them. It’s this response that actually causes the extremely painful symptoms of gout.

But where does uric acid come from? It’s a byproduct of the breakdown of chemical compounds called ‘purines’ that exist naturally in our bodies and much of our food.

Uric acid is generally dissolved in the blood stream and removed from the body by the kidneys through our urine. However, kidneys at times fail to do so, either because they aren’t working properly or the body is producing too much uric acid for our kidneys to handle.

O.K., now that we’ve looked at what gout is, what causes it and what triggers it, let’s get to the 5 natural gout relief remedies I promised…

Natural remedies, where appropriate, are always better options than taking medicines. All drugs have side effects and those for gout are no exception.

Gout Relief Remedies

1. Lose weight if you are overweight: Several studies have revealed that excessive body weight is one of the highest risk factors for gout. Do this through a sensible diet and daily exercise.

2. Drink lots of water: Water can help prevent the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints. Also, water helps the kidneys to flush out excess uric acid from the body.

3. Eat food that has low purine content: For example, eggs, potatoes, yogurt, bread, low-fat dairy, blue berries, strawberries, cabbage and green leafy vegetables. Less purines: less uric acid

4. Apply hot and cold compresses: Three minutes hot then 30 seconds cold increases circulation and provides pain relief. Repeat as necessary.

5. Drink celery seed tea: Celery seeds have lots of anti-inflammatory properties. Add 1 teaspoon of seeds to 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Strain and drink half a cup 4 times daily until the symptoms have gone.

Note: Once having had one gout attack you are now at a very high risk of recurring gout throughout your life. You must take this seriously as this can lead to serious health issues like permanently damaged joints and kidney problems.

Using these types of natural gout relief remedies can help to not only eliminate gout now, but also prevent future gout attacks…

Building an Herbal Medicine Cabinet For the Cold and Swine Flu Season

The headlines are blaring “swine flu.” We hear the horror stories about the at-risk groups, many people don’t want to get a flu shot or give it to their children. What are our choices? No one has talked about natural medicine alternatives much in this heated debate. Yet, my son just got over swine flu and I can tell you that it was not an easy experience. Was he very sick? No. Was he afraid and asking me if he was “going to die?” Yes. He ran a low-grade fever that spiked one day and he had some mild congestion. Otherwise, he slept soundly every night and recovered within a week. While he was sick, he was prescribed TamiFlu (the whole family took it). I also treated him before his illness because I knew it was coming, and I continued to treat him with herbal remedies during his illness to help the healing process along.

Like many other Americans, I have a chronic health condition (migraines), but I’m hyper-sensitive to drugs, so I don’t like to take prescription drugs unless I really need them. Over the last 25 years, I have created quite a library on herbs and natural medicine out of necessity. What I now have is an herbal medicine cabinet that I use frequently to help boost my immune system. I am not a physician, but rather a layperson who has found herbal remedies that work for me and my family. Here’s what I have learned and the products I use for cold and flu season.

Europeans and German Commission E
The Europeans are way ahead of us on the topic of herbal treatments where it’s commonplace to use herbs and traditional medicine in a integrated approach to treat illness. Germany had an herbal equivalent of the FDA called the German Commission E which made it mandatory for all conventional drugs, medicinal plants and phytomedicines (medicines derived from plants) to be reviewed by scientific committees. Over the course of two decades, scientists, physicians and specialists from their pharmacology industry authored 1,000 scientific publications and as of 1997, the German Commission E had listed over 800 substances (mostly herbs) recommending the use and dosage for each one. You can find much of the Commission E findings in a book written by an American botanist named James A. Duke, Ph.D, called The Green Pharmacy. Duke worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for most of his career “mapping” herbs and is considered “the world’s leading authority on healing herbs.”

Brand Quality is Important
Here is what I have learned from The Green Pharmacy and the many other resources I have used over the years, including advice from both traditional and alternative medical professionals, extensive reading and research on the Internet. First and foremost, brand quality is important when buying herbs. One of the best herbal brands on the market is Enzymatic Therapy. Most of the products Enzymatic Therapy makes are combined-use herbal formulas (combining two or more herbs) for specific aliments. My favorite Enzymatic Therapy product is called Air Power, an expectorant that includes guaifenesin and fenugreek. Fenugreek is the key ingredient because it boosts the effect of the guaifenesin. This product thins and loosens mucus and clears the respiratory airways. It is hands-down the best product I have ever found for bronchitis and to clear up any type of chest congestion.

The other brand I use most often is Solaray because it is a great, high-quality brand that is inexpensive, yet works really well. I use the Solaray brand for most of my other herbs, including Golden Seal which is the next staple for any medicine cabinet.

Golden Seal root is an herb used for centuries before the discovery of antibiotics. Clinical research in Germany over many years showed that Golden Seal activates special white blood cells (macrophages) that are responsible for destroying bacteria, viruses, fungi and tumor cells. So you get a one-two punch with this herb because it fights bacterial infections while building up the immune system. If you combine Air Power and Golden Seal root with AirBorne, yes the same AirBorne created by a teacher to boost your immunities, you have an arsenal that can help to combat any respiratory illness.

I was always told that if you have a virus to let it runs its course because there is not much that you can do. Not true. I found that there are many anti-viral herbs that help your body fight viruses by boosting your immunities. The best non-prescription anti-viral I have found is called Blockade. It includes ViraBlock (Elderberry) that blocks viruses from entering human cells and keeps viruses from multiplying. It begins working as soon as it hits your tongue in lozenge form. I actually cured my elderly mother of an oncoming train wreck of an illness last winter after she refused to leave her cold apartment for three days after an ice storm!

Quieting a Cough
A study published a few years ago cited research proving that over-the-counter cough medicines did nothing for a child’s cough. Okay, tell us (mothers) something we did not already know. How many nights have you sat up with your sick child while they coughed until they were, well sicker? Here’s the solution – Frankincense & Myrrh Cold and Flu Prevention Rubbing Oil. Remember your mother rubbing Vick’s Vapor Rub on your chest and how miserable you were all night. This product is a rubbing oil that you massage into your child’s feet (you can use it too). It boosts immunity; it is antibacterial and antiviral and keeps those coughs at bay all night. Miracles do happen.

Flu Remedies
I haven’t had the flu since 1986. I order a homeopathic flu kit every year. You can buy these in several forms, but the one I get contains four vials and you take one single-use vial each week for four weeks and you are done. These kits are not available until mid-October because the companies are creating the formulas much the same way flu vaccines are made – with tiny traces of viruses so that your body will build up immunity to the virus and be able to fight it off. You can find these at http://www.elixirs.com I’m waiting on mine now as I sit and watch quietly while all the hysteria over the swine flu vaccine swirls around me.

Dosage is especially important with herbs and here is where you, the consumer have to do your homework. Remember, herbs are extremely mild when compared to over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs. Through many years of research I found the dosage that works for me – which is three capsules three times a day instead of the directed one to three tablets per day on most labeling. If you don’t take enough the herb won’t work, so ask a healthcare provider and do some research. For every other mixed-formula remedy such as the Air Power, I follow the labeling instructions because mixed-used formulas are higher in potency than single herbs. The most toxic herbs are not on the market and never have been, even in Europe. If you are taking multiple prescription medications, you must ask your doctor about any possible herb-to-drug interactions.

Are Herbs Safe?
I am frequently asked if herbs are safe. I’ll let the expert, Dr. James Duke, Ph.D. speak to that with a direct quote from his book, “To benefit from using herbs, you need to have some basic background information…. This is no different from conventional medicine…First of all get the right stuff. Unless you are absolutely sure of an herb’s identity, don’t take it. This applies mainly to people picking herbs in the wild, of course.” He goes on to say, “Most Americans assume that the pharmaceuticals their doctors prescribe are unquestionably better than herbal medicines… I’ve been a botanist specializing in medicinal plants for most of my 30-year career, and I’ve personally seen medicinal herbs successfully treat conditions that high-tech pharmaceuticals could not touch.”

Why I Use Herbs
People frequently ask me “How do you know all this stuff?” I have two answers; the first is that I have always been a curious sort, and the second is because I have a chronic illness (as I mentioned earlier) I am like a dog with a bone. I searched for years for a solution and along the way I learned a lot about everything related to natural medicine. I still have the occasional migraine, but I have been able to live a much healthier life by using herbs.

And just in case you did not know, Americans spent a whopping $15 billion on herbs and supplements in 2007 (the latest statistics) but that only includes products tracked through health food stores, if you add non-traditional avenues such as grocery store and drug stores, etc., it’s estimated that the herbal market is growing by a whopping 79.5 percent per year! On that note, one more piece of advice is essential – never buy your herbals product from a grocery store or drug store – the brand quality is terrible and you will waste your money.

Are Painkillers Making Your Acid Reflux Worse?

Regardless if you suffer from occasional acid reflux, GERD or Barrett’s Oesophagus, did you know that taking certain common painkillers can actually cause or make acid reflux worse?

Acid reflux that results from medication, whether it is over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drugs, is often called acid drug reflux. The frequent and prolonged use of certain drugs such as aspirin can aggravate your stomach and lead to heartburn. In addition, it’s a fact that when used for a long period of time, these acid reflux inducing drugs cause damage and increase the risk of developing GERD.

The most common types of painkillers that cause acid reflux include, but are not limited to:

NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatroy drugs) – NSAIDs are commonly used for pain relief and include common drugs that many people have in their household such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). NSAIDs are used to relieve headaches, body aches and pains, reduce fevers, and for people who have conditions involving inflammation such as arthritis.

Unfortunately, medical studies have revealed that NSAIDs are frequently the cause of peptic ulcers. It has also been found that they may cause GERD, as well as increase the severity of symptoms people with GERD experience. In fact, a three year study found that those who use NSAIDs were two times as likely to experience GERD symptoms compared to those who didn’t use NSAIDs at all.

That being said, understand that those who take NSAIDs on occasion to treat pain (IE a headache), are less likely to develop a case of acid reflux than those who take these drugs on a regular basis. Thus, due to the fact that NSAIDs is the most common treatment for those with rheumatoid arthritis, those who suffer from this condition are far more likely to be at risk for acid reflux and GERD.

Other Medications – There are other drugs that can lead to GERD and make the disease worse. The following is a list of some of these drugs:

o Antibiotics

o Anticholinergics – Drugs that are used to treat glaucoma, allergies and urinary tract disorders.

o Beta adrenergic agonists – Medication prescribed for asthma and obstructive diseases of the lungs.

o Bisphosphonates – treatment for osteoporosis

o Calcium channel blockers – treatment for angina and high blood pressure

o Dopamine – treatment for Parkinson’s disease

o Sedatives

o Supplements – Potassium and Iron Pills

What can you do?

If you need to take any of the above mentioned medications to treat a chronic condition, or are taking other medication that you think may be causing you to experience acid reflux, talk to your doctor about alternatives.

Your doctor may be able to prescribe or recommend other non-NSAIDs pain medication you can take. Your doctor may also recommend that you take medication in combination with your painkillers to help neutralize the acid within your system. The following are two common types of medicines used to deal with acid problems.

1. Antacids – Antacids are drugs in the form of tables or alkali liquids that are designed to neutralize acid. One dose usually provides the sufferer with fast relief of mild symptoms. Most antacids are sold OTC and include: Maalox, Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids and Alka-Seltzer. Some antacids can also be prescribed.

2. Acid-suppressing medicines – There are two types of acid-suppressing medicines: Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) and Histamine Receptor Blockers (H2 antagonists). These drugs are designed to decrease and suppress the amount of acid production in the stomach. They are often used by those who have severe symptoms and are usually prescribed. Some PPIs include: esomeprazole, lansoprazole, and omeprazloe. Some H2 antagonists include: ranitidine, famotidine, climetidine.