Natural Support For Preventing Gout

The_gout_james_gillray2Gout is a very painful form of arthritis that usually occurs in the big toe, though it’s possible for it to find a home elsewhere in the body as well. This condition often comes about through diet-related causes in which the food we put into our bodies produces an excessive build-up of uric acid. This dangerous build-up creates the formation of crystals in the body’s joint tissue, thus causing major inflammation - what we see as a case of gout (3).

It’s clear that too much uric acid is a threat to our bodies’ wellbeing, but where does it come from? The first easy answer is alcohol, especially beer. However, the primary sources of uric acid are actually bodily processes. Uric acid is a by-product of the metabolism process for purines (3). Purines enter our bodies through a variety of foods. There is a high concentration of them in foods like anchovies, sardines, and organ meats, but they can also be found in other types fish, as well as yeast (4). The other process through which uric acid builds up is the faulty functioning of the kidneys. It is the kidneys’ responsibility to filter uric acid out of the body, and they do a sufficient job of this when they are working properly. However, when they are not, the uric acid will not be filtered as needed and therefore build up to excess (3).

The first step to fixing these problems and preventing a gout flare-up is simple: drink less beer and avoid foods that are rich in purines. However, there are additional steps that you can take in order to be better armed in the fight against gout, whether that means prevention or easing the pain of symptoms that have already set in.

Cherries are an excellent weapon against gout due to their natural anti-inflammatory properties. These particular properties are what help prevent purines from being converted into uric acid when they are metabolized, thus tackling the root of the problem before it turns into a real problem (3).

Quercetin, a plant pigment found in a variety of foods, is another easy-to-find helpful tool. Healthy doses of quercetin can be found in onions, apples, berries, red wine, green tea, and buckwheat tea, among others, as well as in supplemental pill form. Quercetin is often used as a medicine for its treatment power in a whole array of areas, including atherosclerosis, heart disease, circulation problems, and high cholesterol. It is known for its anti-inflammatory effects because of its major help in the prevention of uric acid production, thus making it also powerful in preventing gout (2).

Finally, one less commonly known remedy for gout is found in the healing power of a medicinal herb called boerhavia. The growth of boerhavia thrives on high heat, which makes sense because the herb is most useful for disorders that involve heat entering the body, including those that affect the kidney and liver. As mentioned above, healthy kidney functioning is essential to the prevention and care of gout. Therefore, consuming boerhavia on a regular basis, whether straight from the cooked leaves of the plant, itself, or via a supplement, will promote kidney health and therefore maintain the proper filtration of uric acid (1).

Though gout is a rather common condition, and it’s not exactly a pleasant one to endure, there are plenty of ways to incorporate foods and supplements into our diets to at least help prevent the condition to the best of our abilities. What’s more, these same preventative measures can be used as relieving responses as well in the occasion that a case of gout makes its way to our bodies anyway. Though the nutrients discussed here are helpful methods of prevention and relief, as with all dietary supplements, we always recommend first consulting with your doctor before incorporating new ones into your diet.

Image: The Gout by James Gillray. Source: The Gout by James Gillray (1756–1815). Published May 14th 1799. Access the original Image information here:

References (click to show/hide)

  1. "Punarnava Herb - Boerhavia Diffusa ::" Punarnava Herb - Boerhavia Diffusa :: N.p., n.d. Web. 06 July 2014. <>.
  2. "QUERCETIN: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions and Warnings - WebMD." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 06 July 2014. <>.
  3. Ventresca, Mike. "Effective Support for Gout." Mimi Vanderhaven n.d.: n. pag. Print. "What Are Purines and in Which Foods Are They Found?"
  4. The World's Healthiest Foods. George Mateljan Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 July 2014. <>.