The Humorous Herbalist
Dear Humorous Herbalist,
I have recently been diagnosed with gout and was wondering if you had any suggestions as to what herb or juice I may take for this and if these are effective.
Brian (via e-mail)
Gout arthritis used to be known as the ailment of the aristocracy, thanks to their sedentary lifestyle and rich, fatty food diet. Well, thanks to the American diet of processed foods, high fat, deep fried everything and sugar, the Regular Joe now has something in common with the gentry.
The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine in Britain says about gout: “There is a link between gout and the good life.” Unfortunately, we’ve been sold a bill of goods that “the good life” translates into large amounts of alcohol (especially beer), overdosing on red meat, high consumption of starchy foods such as potatoes and bread, indulging in deep-fried battered foods and topping it off with rich, decadent desserts. It may taste like heaven, but when you overdo these types of foods, you’re sure to experience the hellish physical side effects.
I probably sound like a broken record lately, but gout, like so many other acute to chronic conditions, is a result of an overabundance of uric acid, allowing poor protein metabolism and the subsequent depositing of acid crystals around the joints, especially the fingers and toes. Yes, there are herbs and juices to drink that will pull the uric acid from the joints and offer substantial relief of pain.
But I hope you would also STOP filling your system with the antagonizing foods/beverages that have allowed gout to settle into your system. If you can eliminate the acid-contributing foods/beverages and add a few herbs to your daily regimen, I can almost guarantee 100 percent reversal of this condition.
Foods and beverages to avoid all fall under that “acid” category: coffee, alcohol (especially beer), black tea, sweetbreads, organ meats, red meat (especially pork, which is the last thing anybody with any kind of joint problems should be eating), turkey, tuna, rabbit, shellfish, sugar-rich foods (Look for sugar, fructose, corn syrup on labels. … You’ll be shocked to see these ingredients in so many foods and condiments), grains (except for spelt and millet, and these should only be consumed a few times a week), potatoes, pasta, peanuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, most berries (except cranberry) and vinegar … to name just a few.
Foods to eat more of are all alkalizing: green vegetables (especially asparagus, which speeds the release of acid via the kidneys), watermelon, pineapple, onions, wild greens (preferably organically grown), dates, figs, cottage cheese, almonds, chicken breast (several times a week and ONLY from hormone- and antibiotic-free chickens), garlic, watercress, sea vegetables (nori and dulse are wonderful detoxifying agents), celery, sweet whey powder (purchase Bernard Jensen’s “Health-A-Whey” or Bob’s Red Mill Sweet Whey), apples, green tea and grapefruit. There are many more alkalizing foods. I encourage you to do your own research into this so you’ll have a better idea of what you should and should not be eating.
Herbs that are commonly used for gout include buchu tea, stinging nettle (either the tea or the capsules), celery seed (either the tea or the liquid extract) and dulse tablets. All of these herbs detox uric acid through the kidneys. It is imperative that you drink at least two to three quarts of pure water each and every day to flush your system.
Cherry juice is a fairly reliable cure-all for gout. However, it must be taken on a regular basis to be effective. Choose a cherry juice concentrate made with NO sugar and add water to taste. Dynamic Health and Knudsen are two excellent natural brands which can be purchased at most health food stores.
Two supplements come to mind: chlorella and liquid minerals.
Chlorella is one of the most amazing green supplements that pulls acid, toxins, environmental pollutants and heavy metal accumulation from the body. Personally, it wouldn’t hurt everyone to take chlorella every day. It is vital to purchase good quality chlorella, and I think Biotics puts out the best. A one-month supply will cost you just under $20. Their toll-free number is (800) 865-4680.
Liquid minerals are essential to balance sodium, potassium and the necessary calcium/magnesium ratio. The only liquid mineral I recommend is made by Sea Minerals. They can be reached at (877) 835-5555. For gout or any overly-acid problem, I would try either their stinging nettle, hawthorn berry or Supa Boost herbal liquid mineral.
If you can get on a new health program, such as the one I’ve outlined, you may see even greater benefits than just the relief of gout. Increased energy, better mental focus, weight loss, reduced anxiety and other “side effects” could be your payoff.
E-mail your questions to The Humorous Herbalist at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The information in this column is not meant to take the place of your physician, nor is it intended to treat, diagnose or prescribe. Pregnant or nursing women should consult their doctor before using herbal therapy.
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