Gout is a form of proactive arthritis, a condition which affects the joints, caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals, as told by Dr. Minakshi Sharma, an Ayurveda consultant at Vedic Vision Health Care Centre. Uric acid is a substance which is formed when the body breaks down purines (important substances which are regarded as the building blocks of DNA, as well as impacting blood circulation, digestion and absorption of nutrients); blood transports the uric acid to the kidney and stamps it out in urine. The condition in which excess uric acid is formed in the body causes gout, also called hyperuricemia. Usually, gout is the problem faced by men, but it triggers in women after menopause. Dr. B.N Sinha, a Delhi-based Ayurvedic expert, says, “Gout is also caused due to the consumption of more proteins and curd, so to avoid that one should lessen the intake of pulses or any other sources of protein and curd in your diet.”
At a time gout can affect only one joint, but if left untreated, it may trigger other joints as well. “There are many symptoms of gout like bitter joint pains which causes inflammation and redness, and commonly affects the toes. It can also affect ankles, knees, fingers and wrists in the long run. Gout can also cause swelling in the joints as well,” says Dr. Minakshi Sharma.
To diagnose gout, doctors conduct a uric acid test to know the level of uric acid in the body. It is also observed that the people with high level of uric acid do not always experience gout whereas some people may notice the symptoms without having high uric acid level.
It is often suggested to go for natural ways to cure any disease rather than depending completely on medicines. Here are some home remedies for curing gout:
1. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek is an herb with light green leaves and small white flowers. Dr. Sharma says, “Consumption of fenugreek seeds can help cure gout as it helps in reducing internal as well as external inflammation of the body.”
How to use: Soak 1 Tbsp fenugreek seed in half cup water overnight and drink that water in the morning and chew the soaked seeds. This will help in reducing the swelling of the joints and can relieve pain.
Garlic is an incredible cure for gout. It helps in removing the excess uric acid from the body.
How to use: Swallow one pod of garlic and if you find it difficult then you can finely chop the garlic and then consume it. It will help cure gout from its roots.
3. Carom Seeds (Ajwain) and Ginger
Both carom seeds and ginger work towards making you sweat, which help in removing the uric acid from the body. Moreover, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which relieve pain and swelling.
How to use: Take ½ Tbsp ajwain and 1 inch slice of ginger, boil with a cup of water. Strain the decoction and consume half of it in the morning and the other half in the evening.
4. Castor Oil
Dr. B.N Sinha suggests taking tolerably warm castor oil and massaging it on the gout affected area or just dabbing it with a cotton ball. It will help in breaking down the toxic deposit and relieving redness and pain.
Coriander helps in improving the gastro intestinal tract with its antioxidant properties, thus decreasing uric acid level. Drinking adequate amounts of water too can work wonders in stabilizing uric acid levels in the body.
How to Use: Take a few sprigs of coriander and mix it in a glass of water and consume. Add it to your food as garnish and have it.
Belonging to the ginger family, turmeric is believed to have lots of potential medicinal value. Turmeric suppresses chronic inflammation, which reduces the activity of Xanthine oxidase (an enzyme which produces uric acid).
How to use: Turmeric can be consumed after mixing it in the milk, Haldi Doodh as it is popularly known in India.
A study conducted by Boston University found that patients with gout who consumed cherries over a two-day period showed a 35 percent lower risk of gout attacks, as compared to those who did not eat the fruit. The findings indicated that consuming cherries (up to three servings, a single serving containing one half cup or 10 to 12 cherries) or cherry extract lowers the risk of gout attack.