It’s estimated that between one in every 100 people in the UK are affected by gout and men are typically affected more than women as it is thought the female hormones play some role in the prevention of gout. But it is reported women become increasingly susceptible to gout in their later years, commonly around the time of menopause.
What is gout?
It’s a type of in arthritis, where small crystals form inside and around the joints and can causes sudden attacks of severe pain and swelling. Any joint can be affected but it tends to affect the joints towards the end of limbs, such as toes, ankles, knees and fingers.
What causes gout?
Basically gout is caused by our body producing too much uric acid and our kidneys are unable to filter enough out of our system, the uric acid can build up in our blood stream and cause tiny sharp crystals to form in and around our joints. These crystals can cause the joints to become inflamed and painful.
Our body can produce too much uric acid if we have;
- High blood pressure
- Kidney problems
- Eating too much red meat or seafood
- Drinking high amounts of beer or spirits
What are the symptoms of gout?
A gout attack can occur suddenly by presenting sudden pain, swelling and the feeling of warmth in the joints that are being affected. Your joints may also feel tender that even the weight of your bed cover can be intolerable. These attacks can last three to 10 days and as the attack subsides your joints normally return to normal like nothing has happened but once you have had one gout attack you will experience further attacks but how close these attacks happens differs from person to person.
How can essential oils help with my gout?
Essential oils have been long used throughout the centuries for its powerful pain relieving properties helping to provide relief for all kinds of muscle aches and joint pains as well as having healing properties which help to relieve the symptoms of grout.
There are thousands of different kinds of essential oils, all with varying healing properties but the following essential oils are best ones for helping you heal and ease the symptoms of gout.
- Frankincense – Frankincense is packed full of pain relief properties, which works by blocking leukotrienes, a substance that initiate inflammatory responses in the body, making it ideal for treating gout attacks. This essential oil can also act as a mild sedative, making it great for stress relief.
- Rosemary – This essential oil contains high levels of analgesic properties that help to relieve aches and pains, it also has potent diuretic properties that can remove uric acid from the body, a substance responsible for causing gout.
- Ginger – Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory agents, called gingerols and shogaols as well as having detoxifying properties which helps the body eliminate toxins in from the body that cause gout attacks.
- Tyme oil – Tyme oil contains ursolic and oleanolic acids, which has the ability to treat joint and muscle pain through their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Thyme is also a diuretic which helps to eliminate urine from the body and decreases the chance of uric acid build up.
- Chamomile – Is well known for its relaxation properties but it is also used to help relieve pain as it contains luteolin, quercetin, apigenin, which are known to provide powerful anti-inflammatory effects.
- Basil – Basil oil is packed full of decongestant, antiseptic, muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it great for reducing pain caused by inflammation. Basil oil also helps stimulate the adrenal glands and plays a vital role in relieving mental fatigue.
- Lemon – Lemon oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, while its citrus scent helps to make you feel more energized. Also lemon oil blends well other essential oils such as ginger, basil, and rosemary which are all great oils to use when treating gout.
- Fennel oil – Contains diuretic properties which can help with the elimination of painful uric acid crystals that cause gout.
Here are some ways you can use these essential oils to help heal your gout
Hot Towel Compress
- Add 5 drops of your chosen essential oil and mix with 10 ml of carrier oil (almond, coconut, olive oil etc.).
- Place a towel in a bowl of hot water and leave to soak.
- Soak your inflamed joint in cold water and then pat dry with a towel.
- Massage your essential oil mix into the joint / area that is causing you pain.
- Take your out of the bowel of hot water, ring out and place over the area that is causing you pain and leave there for a few minutes or until the towel is no longer warm.
- Repeat this process as often as you need to throughout the day.
- Take a 10ml dark coloured essential oil bottle and mix;
- 15 drops chamomile essential oil
- 15 drops frankincense essential oil
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 ml Sweet almond and 5 ml oil coconut oil
- Massage into the area you are experiencing gout (you only need to use a small amount of this blend at a time).
- Mix 10 ml of full fat milk with 12 drops of the massage blend above.
- Fill a bowl with hot water (not too hot you can’t put your feet in)
- Add your mixture of milk and essential oil blend and mix into the hot water.
- Soak both your feet in the warm water for around 10 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
Epsom Salt Bath
Mix the following essential oil blend and Epsom salts into your bath as the hot water is running, then lye back and enjoy a relaxing, pain reliving soak.
- 3 drops fennel essential oil
- 3 drops carrot seed or celery seed essential oil
- 3 drops juniper essential oil
- 2–3 handfuls Epsom salt
Precautions you should take when using essential oils for gout
If you are not sure how to use essential oils for gout or are not confident of which oils to use for different symptoms of gout, ask for advice from your local aromatherapist or GP
- If you are pregnant, suffer from hypertension or have epilepsy, you should avoid rosemary essential oil.
- Although reactions are rare with proper use, always perform a patch test before using a new essential oil to ensure you will not have an allergic reaction to it.
- Please remember that before using essential oils topically (on your skin), they must be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut, olive, almond oil etc…
How do you manage your gout attacks?
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