Living with gout means not only living with intense amounts of sudden pain, but also knowing that it’s a lifelong disease. Because it isn’t curable, the medications doctors prescribe to deal with the pain of gout are typically taken for life. With their side effects and cost, many people turn to home remedies for gout. If you suffer from this type of arthritis, and frequently experience uric acid buildups in your joints, try out one of these gout home remedies and see if they’ll work for you.
Try these effective home remedies for gout to relieve painful symptoms.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
One of apple cider vinegar’s many roles as a superfood is treating the pain caused by sudden flare-ups of gout. In addition to creating a more alkaline atmosphere in the body, apple cider vinegar is very acidic, helping to reduce pain and inflammation in the joints. While some prefer to use apple cider vinegar as a topical treatment, it’s more commonly ingested. Drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with water will help with sudden pain, but if taken regularly can also help prevent flare-ups, or make the pain associated with them less severe.
- Stir 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar into 1 cup water.
- Sip slowly.
- Repeat twice a day.
Though cherries have been used to help manage gout symptoms for centuries, it’s only recently that scientists have been able to confirm their efficiency and pinpoint exactly what makes them so great at reducing uric acid levels in the blood. As the Arthritis Foundation reported, there are many different ways to access the benefits of cherries, with different studies being performed on different forms. However, it appears that the old-fashioned way of eating ripe, tart cherries or drinking pure cherry juice are actually the most effective. The best part is, they not only relieve current flare-ups, but are an effective gout home remedy for recurring ones.
– Eat 10 cherries a day.
3. Lemon Juice
Even though they are acidic, lemons actually have an alkalizing effect on the human body. Because gout is caused by an excess of uric acid, studies suggest that drinking a glass of water with lemon mixed in can help with symptoms of gout. The Vitamin C found in citrus fruits like lemons also helps to reduce uric acid levels, making them effective and refreshing home remedies for gout.
- Juice 1 lemon.
- Stir into 1 cup water.
- Sip slowly.
Because ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, it pops up as a home remedy for a lot of different ailments. As a gout home remedy, it helps to reduce the swelling and pressure in joints and improves circulation. Increased circulation helps keep uric acid crystals from forming, reducing pain and helping a gout attack to go away quickly. One study in the Journal of Medicinal Food reported that it is not only just as effective as NSAIDs, but also has fewer side effects, so it can be taken by a much wider range of people with few adverse consequences.
- Slice 1 inch fresh ginger.
- Boil 1 cup water, stir in juice of 1 lemon and ginger.
- Let steep 15 minutes.
- Sip slowly.
5. Baking Soda
Because it is a very basic substance, baking soda works as one of the best home remedies for gout that not only helps pain go away, but works very fast. It is advised that, although this remedy may be repeated several times a day as needed, baking soda is very high in sodium, and may raise blood pressure if consumed too often or in too large of a quantity. It’s generally advised to use baking soda no more than twice a day to keep the symptoms of gout from flaring up.
- Stir 1 tsp. baking soda into 1 cup water.
- Sip slowly.
6. Epsom Salts
While baths are relaxing in general, by adding Epsom salts, they become home remedies for gout. Epsom salts are very high in both sulfates and magnesium, two minerals that can really help when it comes to gout flare-ups. Sulfates help to rebuild joint proteins, while magnesium acts as a pain reliever and regulates electrolytes. Together they work to significantly relieve the pain and inflammation associated with gout. You can take a full-body bath in Epsom salts, or just soak the afflicted areas. Magnesium and sulfates are said to be easily absorbed through the skin.
- Fill bathtub with warm, not hot, water.
- Stir in 1 ½ cups Epsom salts.
- Soak 20-30 minutes or until pain subsides.
7. Celery Seed Extract
Celery contains luteolin, a flavonoid that researchers say helps to block the production of uric acid. This naturally occurring substance is plentiful in fresh celery, but for truly effective home remedies for gout, you’d have to consume a lot of it. Instead, try celery seed extract. It has enough luteolin to help with the symptoms of gout and prevent frequent flare-ups in just a teaspoon. It is available in tablets and capsules, as well, but the liquid extract is most popular.
- Take ½ teaspoon of celery seed extract by mouth.
- Repeat 3 times a day.
Apples are great as home remedies for gout. This is because they contain malic acid. In a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers showed that the malic acid prevalent in apples works to neutralize uric acid. Be prepared to eat a lot of apples, however. You need a large amount of malic acid to keep the pain and inflammation of gout at bay.
- Include apples in your daily diet.
9. Cold Compress
Unlike many of the other home remedies for gout on this list, using cold therapy won’t work to treat it, but it will help with immediate relief. Because gout usually causes poor blood circulation, don’t put ice directly on skin. This can damage nerve endings and cause more uric crystals to form. However, an ice pack wrapped in a towel or cold water bath can reduce inflammation and dull pain. Use cold therapy in conjunction with some other gout home remedies to experience both immediate results and keep flare-ups from recurring.
- Wrap ice pack or plastic bag of ice cubes in towel.
- Apply to afflicted areas.
- Fill tub with cold water.
- Soak painful joints.
Potassium works in home remedies for gout by liquefying uric crystals and enabling them to be passed from the body as waste. According to one study, eating potassium-rich foods creates a very alkaline atmosphere in urine. This not only allows uric crystals to be contained in urine and excreted, but also keeps new ones from forming. While many people take potassium supplements, it is possible to obtain enough potassium from diet alone. Avocados, bananas and spinach are some foods that are very high in potassium, as well as fiber. Fiber helps to reduce uric acid levels in general, meaning these two foods pull double duty when it comes to relieving symptoms of gout.
11. Fish Oil
Fish oil is very high in omega-3 fatty acids. These acids contain natural anti-inflammatory properties. By flooding your body with them during a flare-up of gout, the pressure in joints is relieved and uric acid has a smaller chance of building up. They also help improve circulation, another factor that keeps uric crystals from forming. Most natural sources of fish oil are also high in purines, however, which make uric acid worse. Luckily, rheumatologist James McKoy, MD says that by taking molecularly distilled fish oil supplements, the benefits of fish oil may be obtained without the risk of increasing uric acid.
- Take 1 2000 mg fish oil supplement with a meal.
- Repeat twice a day.
12. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal soaks up uric acid, and is a surprisingly versatile home remedy for gout. It can be administered both internally – in the form of activated charcoal tablets – or externally, in a bath or as a paste. While bathing afflicted areas in a mixture of activated charcoal and water is perfectly safe, consult your doctor before swallowing charcoal tablets. It must also be noted that the charcoal must be of the activated variety. Regular charcoal will still have some effect, but it is far less efficient.
- Fill small tub with warm water.
- Mix in ½ cup charcoal powder.
- Soak afflicted joint or limb 30-45 minutes.
- Make a paste of ½ cup charcoal powder and 1/3 cup water.
- Spread on afflicted areas.
- Leave 30-45 minutes, then rinse off with warm water.
Gout may cause excruciating acute pain, but it is treatable. If you prefer to stay away from pharmaceutical drugs, whether for financial reasons or their large array of side effects, home remedies for gout are the way to go. Nothing prevents gout like a proper diet, plenty of exercise and hydration, but if you do experience a flare-up, try one of the above methods. Do you have your own home remedy for gout? Share it with us in the comments below! We’d love to hear about what worked best for you.