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 Arthritis  Holistic-online.com


Herbal Medicine

Devil's Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens)

Devil's claw has been used in folk medicine for the treatment of a variety of diseases, including gout and rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical research appears to indicate devil's claw may be of benefit in the treatment of gout; in addition to relieving joint pain, devil's claw also reduces serum cholesterol and uric acid levels.

Dosage: 750 mg 3 times daily of a preparation standardized to contain 3% iridoid glycosides. 

Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale) is the herb from which the drug colchicine was originally isolated and is used as a conventional treatment for gout. The drug colchicine is much more commonly used than are herbal extracts of Autumn crocus. Both the herb and the drug have significant toxicity and for this reason should only be used under the guidance of a physician.

Gravelroot (Eupatorium pu1pureum) stimulate elimination of uric acid.

Dosage Drink an infusion of 2 tsp gravelroot in a cup of water, three times a day.

Warning: Do not take herbal teas if colchicine has been prescribed.

Celery (Apium graveolens) seed: stimulates elimination of uric acid. 

Dosage: Drink an infusion of 2 tsp celery seed in a cup of water, three times a day.

Warning: Do not take herbal teas if colchicine has been prescribed. 


Consuming half a pound (225 g) of fresh or canned cherries per day has been shown to be very effective in lowering uric acid levels and preventing attacks of gout. Cherries, hawthorn berries, blueberries and other dark red-blue berries are rich sources of anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidins. These compounds are flavonoid molecules that give these fruits their deep red-blue color. They are very effective in preventing collagen destruction.

Bilberry contains compounds called anthocyanidins that have proven valuable against gout. These substances reduce uric-acid levels and inhibit tissue destruction. Choose a product containing 25 percent anthocyanidins and take 80 milligrams three times daily.

Hawthorn offers some of the same properties as bilberry. Choose a standardized extract containing 1.8 vitexin-2 rhamnosides and take 100 to 200 milligrams two or three times a day.

Juniper berry is a diuretic herb that helps reduce uric acid. Take 350 to 500 milligrams in capsule form or 1 cup of tea twice daily.

Nettle root increases the excretion of uric acid from the kidneys. Take 250 milligrams three times a day.

Pine-bark and grape-seed extracts act to reduce inflammation, thus easing pain. Take 50 to 100 milligrams of either two to three times daily.

Turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory action. It is used in both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine against gout, arthritis, and other inflammatory conditions. Take 250 to 500 milligrams three times a day.

Herbal Formulae and Combinations for Gout

Herbal teas, juices, tinctures, compresses and baths help eliminate uric acid and ease pain.


Celery, birch leaf and parsley juice are very effective in combating and flushing out uric acid from the tissues.


Drink 1 cup of stinging nettle or horsetail tea three times daily for three weeks . These herbs help eliminate uric acid in the joints.


Drink 1 cup of horseradish juice made by boiling 1 tsp. of grated horseradish root in 1 cup of water . Steep for ten minutes and drink 1 cup on an empty stomach for ten days. Horseradish stimulates elimination of all wastes and toxins from the system.


Dark red or blue berries are an effective remedy against gout because they contain anthocyaniding. Anthocyanidins are flavonoids which have potent anti-inflammatory properties, prevent collagen destruction and neutralize excess acidity, including uric acid. Cherries, blueberries and hawthorn berries are rich in anthocyanidins and should be consumed in large amounts. One published study demonstrated that consuming half a pound of unsweetened cherries a day lowers uric acid and prevents gout attacks. When cherries are not in season, alternatives include hawthorn berries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. 


To reduce pain and inflammation in the affected area and to cool down the joint:
Mix 4 tbsp. of honey with 1 tsp. of comfrey tincture. Heat it in a double boiler. 
Soak a cloth in mixture and apply to parts where the pain is worst- such as hands, elbows, knees and feet. 
Apply in the evening and leave on overnight. 
Place a pack of cherry stones or a camomile compress on top and wrap a warm, dry cloth around it. 
Repeat nightly for several weeks.


When acute pain has subsided, massage with St. John's wort oil to relieve the pain, then apply a crushed raw cabbage leaf poultice before going to bed and leave on overnight.


Oat straw packs can help to alleviate the pain.


The stinging nettle plant is an effective treatment against osteoarthritis and gout. It can stimulate the body to excrete uric acid. Extracts of stinging nettle applied topically can help in reducing the pain from any kind of arthritis.


Place affected area inside a small sack filled with birch leaves for one to two hours daily.


Take a rising-temperature bath with infusions of oat straw, horsetail, nettle or any cut grasses once a week as a prevention.

Next Topic: Homeopathy

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