6. Comforting Compresses, Soaks, Baths
While hot and cold compresses do well in other types of pain, they are not beneficial in gout-relief. Reason. When you use a hot pad around the gout swelling, blood circulation speeds up sending more blood to the area resulting in further inflammation. When you use an ice pack to comfort the gout pain, its low temperature helps in further crystallizing the uric acid leading to even more pain and swelling. Therefore, you need some special compresses, poultice, baths and soaks for your gout problem. Here are some suggestions for you.
Mustard compress: Take one part each of mustard powder and whole wheat flour. Add water to this mixture to get a paste. Place a thick coat of this paste on a clean cloth. Now place this cloth having mustard paste in it on the gout affected region. If needed, use tape to keep it in place. Leave overnight or at least for few hours before removing the poultice.
Castor oil: Warm the casor oil. With the help of a cotton ball, apply the warm oil on your gout affected joint.
Activated charcoal: Activated charcoal can adsorb uric acid so you may take a charcoal bath two or three times a week. Mix well half cup of charcoal powder in some water to make a paste. Place this paste in a tub and add more water to it. Now soak your gout affected joint in this water for 30 minutes. If you can’t soak your joint (like elbow), just apply the charcoal paste there and leave for half an hour. Wash with lukewarm water.
Epsom salt: It is not only good for gout but also for other types of arthritis. Add some Epsom salt (about two cups if having bath in bath tub and a couple of teaspoons if soaking only the affected joint) in warm water and soak your body or the gout affected joint in it. Do it once a week.
Juniper oil: Place a compress made up with juniper on your painful swollen joint to help break down the toxic deposits there.
7. Herbs to Treat Gout
Herbs have been there since ages to help humans to fight off many diseases. Gout too can have benefits from various herbs, especially those having anti inflammatory properties like ginger root, capsicum, devil’s claw, white willow bark, meadowsweet leaves as well as flower-tops and licorice etc. Here is a list of herbs and herbal remedies to help you know how you can get relief for your gout affected joints.
Make ginger root tea and have it once or twice a day.
- Take half a tea spoon of powdered ginger root
- Boil a cup of water.
- Add the ginger root powder in it.
- Have the tea
- Get relief from pain and swelling.
Devil’s Claw is a fine anti-inflammatory herb that can help you get extreme relief from pain. It is one of the first herbs that was used to grant relief from arthritis. However, if you also suffer from diabetes or are taking some blood thinning medicine, you should not have this herb. Those eligible for using devil’s claw can make tea with it.
- Take half teaspoon of powdered devil’s claw root.
- Boil a cup of water.
- Add powdered herb to the water.
- Let it steep for ten minutes.
- Have the tea.
Have this herbal tea at least once a day.
It’s the same herb that is present in coffee too. Chicory has been widely used for over 2000 years for medicinal purposes including arthritis and its one form gout.
- Take one ounce chicory root powder.
- Boil a pint of water.
- Add the herb in it.
- Have the beverage.
What’s even better is that you may make a poultice using chicory too. Apply this poultice to your gout affected joint and leave for some time to get relief from pain and inflammation.
Alfalfa is a very good source of such minerals which help reduce the content of serum uric acid in blood. It also prevents the deposition and future conditions of gout making it an effective remedy for gout.
8. Move your Body but with Caution
When there are gout flare ups, you need to take extra precautions. While exercising is good for overall health and also for preventing gout flare ups, you need to have restrictions on joint movement once there is such a flare up.
- Avoid putting weight on your joints affected with gout. If it’s your big toe, stay off your feet as long as you can and till the time your gout attack subsides.
- As far as possible, keep your affected joint elevated. This simple rule of gravity helps in reducing inflammation by slowing down the flow of blood to your painful joint.
- During gout flare ups, keep your joint immobile for most of the times. Lying still helps. You may also like to build a splint for supporting and immobilizing your joint.
- If gout is in big toe, you better wear comfortable shoes offering a lots of room for the toes otherwise you can worsen your pain.