Health | Did You Know

10 Natural Remedies That Can Help Alleviate Your Gout Symptoms

There's a reason why at one point gout was referred to as "the rich man's disease." In many cases, the condition, which belongs to the arthritis family, stems from years of no exercise and poor diet heavy in protein, alcohol and foods that are high in purine.

Gout occurs when the levels of uric acid in the body become too high and begin to form crystals on the joints. It affects the joints in the hands and feet as well as body parts like the ankles, knees, wrists and even the ears.

In severe cases, gout can lead to other health complications, so you should always seek proper treatment from a doctor.  

In addition to taking medication, there are some easy and natural home remedies you can try to alleviate the painful symptoms, including swelling and pain, during a gout attack.

1. Cherries

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Cherries are believed to be effective in reducing uric acid as well as inflammation because they contain powerful antioxidants like anthocyanin.

According to research by Dr. Yuqing Zhang of the Boston University School of Medicine, 20 cherries, which is equivalent to two servings or one cup, per day is the magic number.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

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Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is no miracle cure, but it is a powerful remedy for managing a lot of conditions, including gout. The acidity of the vinegar can do wonders for inflammation as well as the pain that accompanies a flare-up.

Start by adding a teaspoon of ACV to a glass of water and drink the concoction two to three times a day. Once your tolerance for the strong taste has increased, you add more of the vinegar to your water.

3. Lemon juice

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Lemon works wonders during a gout attack because it brings relief by alkalizing the body and reducing the level of uric acid in your blood.

Adding lemon juice to your water and sipping it throughout the day can help with the painful symptoms. Reader's Digest recommends combining the juice of one lemon with a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water.

4. Bananas

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If you're someone who suffers from gout, you should eat bananas frequently because the nutrients in the yellow-skinned fruit, including vitamins B6 and C, manganese, pectin and potassium, can reduce swelling and uric acid.

Potassium raises the pH level of the blood, which in turn decreases the amount of uric acid crystals in your body. Eating just one banana a day will give you about 1000mg of potassium, which is enough to keep your blood pH at the right level.

Keep in mind that the riper the banana, the more nutritional it is. Try not to eat more than two bananas a day as they have a high natural sugar content.

5. Epsom Salt

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For almost instant relief, try soaking your gout-affected foot in an Epsom salt bath.

The magnesium and sulfate in the salt are easily absorbed by your skin, which many find helpful in controlling inflammation and pain.  

Add half-a-cup of Epsom salt into a container of warm water and soak the affected foot or joint for about 20 minutes. Repeat this once a week.

If you're unable to soak the area, dampen a towel in the Epsom salt water and apply it to the joint.

6. Activated charcoal

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Activated charcoal (AC) is one of the trendiest products at the moment because it is believed to be effective in removing toxins from the body. For gout-sufferers, activated charcoal also absorbs uric acid before it crystallizes.

There are a few different ways you can reap the benefits of activated charcoal, including soaking your feet in a charcoal and lukewarm water bath, applying the paste to the affected area, or taking supplements.

Just remember to consult your doctor before you start taking the pills because they could have an impact on other medication you may be taking.

7. Apple juice

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Malic acid, which is found in high concentration in apples and pure apple juice, is known to neutralize uric acid in the body.

For relief from gout symptoms, try eating an apple or drinking its juice at least once a day. Just pay attention to the label on the juice to ensure there is no added sugar or artificial sweeteners.

8. Stinging nettle

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The Arthritis Foundation recommends stinging nettle for those looking to get relief from inflammation, aches and pain.

Stinging nettle, which is high in calcium, potassium and magnesium, has antimicrobial, antioxidant as well as analgesic properties that could be helpful for gout.

The powerful remedy is available in capsule, tincture, extract and tea form. Drinking one cup of the tea three times a day or even applying the leaf directly on the affected area can make a difference.

9. Baking Soda

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Like activated charcoal, baking soda has amazing health benefits and can also be used to get rid of the excess uric acid in the body.

Mix half a teaspoon baking soda into a glass of water and drink it four times a day for at least two weeks.

10. Ginger root

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Ginger has been a staple in ancient medicine for thousands of years because of its incredible properties. The root is an anti-inflammatory that can alleviate some gout symptoms when consumed.

Incorporating ginger in your cooking is an easy way to reap the benefits. You can also boil a piece of ginger and drink the liquid once it has cooled down.

Applying paste made with ginger root and water to the affected area for 30 minutes a day can also be helpful.

Do you have gout? How do you manage your symptoms? Let us know in the comments!

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.