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Understanding and treating Gout
Gout can be an extraordinarily painful condition and is caused by crystals settling out of the blood stream and depositing in joints. Very often these crystals end up in or around the large toe which probably has something to do with gravity.

The first thing to understand is that Gout is really a kidney problem. The kidneys are responsible to clear waste products from the blood and if they cant keep up with the job this can show in a number of ways. One of the most dramatic of these is an attack of Gout.

We are told that red wine causes gout. It certainly can aggravate it but in fact most people with gout have either damaged their kidneys somehow along the way or they eat too much meat. Meat is very hard on the kidneys and over a long period of time can break them down sufficiently to lead to gout. Henry VIII was famous for his Gout along with his disposition and his many wives. In mediaeval times, meat eating was a privilege of the landed gentry and no one was more landed than Henry. These individuals celebrated their special rights by eating vast quantities of red meat, often washing it down with a great deal of red wine. Carrying too much weight and doing too little exercise probably aggravated Henry's condition.

Once we understand how simple a condition Gout is we can easily reverse the conditions, which allowed it to occur. The following suggestions will give the kidneys a much-needed break and allow them to recover their health;

  • Severely reduce the amount of red meat in your diet. Two or three red meat meals a week are plenty and you should have only moderate portions. There are people who don't eat meat in excess but whose kidneys are badly weakened by other factors in their medical and health history. These people should try a vegetarian diet for a month or so to give the kidneys a break as well as follow the other suggestions below.
  • Prepare a drink made up by boiling a jug of water and putting 4-6 Rosehips Tea Bags in the water and let them brew. This drink is taken cold and should replace all other cold drinks (even water) for a trial period of time. Rosehips is a major Kidney Tonic and Blood Cleanser as well as being an energy boost and high in Iron and vitamin C.
  • If you are a big coffee or tea drinker reduce these beverages drastically by replacing them with cups of hot Rosehips if you don't habitually take much in the way of cold drinks. Both Coffee and Tea contain tannins, which interfere with kidney function.

There is a range of herbs, which I use in a Gout treatment program besides Rosehips and in severe cases I will consider some of the following;

  • Alfalfa as an aid to digestive efficiency and to alkalise the blood which assists in neutralising acidity and preventing the deposition of uric acid crystals causing Gout.
  • Dandelion is another Kidney tonic, which dramatically supports the Liver as well. Harmonising Kidney and Liver function is an excellent way to ensure that once healed the Kidneys don't easily slip back into poor health.
  • Uva Ursi and Buchu are specific herbs, which soothe and restore to good health the structures within the kidneys and urinary tract generally. Inefficient operation and acidity will produce inflammation within these tissues and it is important to address this as well.


Gout then is pretty easy to understand and to treat. If you or a family member suffers from Gout have then take up the do-it-yourself suggestions relating to diet and fluid intake and work hard at it for four weeks. About half way through, start to reduce whatever pharmaceutical Gout medications you are on and then stop them altogether if you don't relapse. These drugs do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about the underlying causes of the problem.

If you have any difficulties you should contact either a suitably experienced herbalist, to make up appropriate supportive treatments in addition or send your details through my online consultation program to allow me to make up a specific treatment for your individual case.

Robert McDowell
Herbalist.
August 2001




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