Gout can be pretty painful and their attacks can be very debilitating. Affecting around 4% of the US population, more and more people are getting familiar with the pain and discomfort that comes with gout flares. Needless to say, people are looking for natural remedies and alternative treatments to deal with the pain. We’ll be exploring essential oils for gout pain relief and how to use them.
Here are the best essential oils to use to treat gout:
What Is Gout?
Gout is a form of arthritis that is caused by an excess buildup of uric acid in the body. Uric acid can crystallize in places such as the joints of the big toe of the feet, ankles, knees, elbows, even wrists and can cause a very painful bout of inflammatory arthritis.
Gout attacks usually manifest in the joint being tender, hot, swollen, and red and can last several days or weeks. The pain usually subsides with treatment and when uric acid levels in the body are brought down. However when urates (uric acid crystals) build up on the joints again, this can cause the symptoms of gout to reoccur.
Elevated uric acid levels in the body– hyperuricemia –is the main cause of gout. Factors such as diet, genes, and obesity usually increase the risk factors in developing gout. Males are also generally more predisposed to have hyperuricemia.
Diet plays a big role in increasing the likelihood of developing gout. Regular consumption of red meat, innards, seafood like sardines, trout, tuna and scallops that are high in purines causes the body to break these down to uric acid. Alcohol especially beer and sweeter hard drinks also increase the risk of hyperuricemia.
Pre-existing medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, hypertension, diabetes and kidney problems, liver problems can co-occur and also increase the risk levels of developing gout. Certain medications like water pills or diuretics also make you more likely to have elevated uric acid.
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) and pain killers can help manage the acute pain that comes with bouts of gout flare ups. Colchicine, corticosteroids, and glucocorticoids are also used in certain cases.
Several alternative treatments have also been explored by many people to help in not just managing the pain but to also control the levels of uric acid in the body.
A study has shown cherries can prevent gout attacks. Magnesium supplements and consuming magnesium-rich foods can help in leveling the uric acids in the body.
Teas of ginger, nettle, dandelion, hibiscus have also been said to treat inflammation and decrease uric acid.
Essential Oils for Gout
There are several great essential oils you can use to manage the symptoms of a gout attack.
Lemongrass oil is regarded as one of the best oils to use for gout. It’s potent anti-inflammatory properties help soothe from pain and discomfort and is said to actually help break down urate build up on the joints for long-term relief.
Another anti-inflammatory in the list is frankincense oil. It’s also a powerful analgesic and antioxidant making it a great option to use for gout pain relief.
A popular pain reliever, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory, peppermint oil can help instant relief from gout flare ups. With menthol as its active ingredient, peppermint helps ‘distract’ your pain receptors from the joint pains and instead feel the soothing and cooling sensation of peppermint.
Basil oil is a great antiseptic and it also helps in providing relief from gout attacks by relaxing the muscles.
Turmeric oil is a very potent anti-inflammatory and should be included in your anti-gout essential oil must-haves. Ginger has also been used to treat a handful of other diseases so it’s not a surprise this oil made it to the list in treating gout pain.
Rosemary oil is a powerful analgesic that can help in alleviating gout pain.
Arguably the most popular essential oil, lavender oil also makes its way to this list since it is chock full of therapeutic properties. Aside from its sweet scent that helps calm the nerves, it’s also a potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic making it a great oil to use for gout.
How To Use Essential Oils for Gout Pain Relief
There are several ways you can use essential oils to relieve the pain that comes with gout attacks. Always remember to dilute essential oils to a carrier oil and do a patch test on an unaffected part of your body. If you notice any adverse effects, discontinue using immediately.
For best results, use our recommended brands.
As a topical salve
Blend 3-5 drops of the essential oil or oils of your choice with an ounce of carrier oil. You can use this essential oil blend as a salve that you can directly apply on the affected area and massage.
You can apply this essential oil blend salve and wrap your foot, big toe, elbow, or wrist with a cloth, bandage roll, or gauze to limit movement.
You can also put this blend in a roller bottle so you can easily carry it and apply on-the-go.
On Warm or Cold Compress
Both warm and cold compresses can provide relief from the pain and tenderness that come with a gout flare up. A warm compress helps rush the blood to the affected area to speed up recovery and relax the muscles and blood vessels. A cold compress helps reduce the swelling and alleviate pain.
Pour 1-5 drops of the essential oil/s of your choice in a basin of warm or cold water for a warm or cold compress. Dip the washcloth and wring out excess water; place the washcloth directly over the affected area.
In The Bath
To fully maximize the benefits of essential oils for gout relief, you can also use them in the bath. Put a few drops of the essential oil or oils of your choice in a tub of warm water and get in. Make sure to dip the affected area to get relief.
Gout can be pretty painful when it attacks but luckily there are many treatment and pain management options you can explore like using essential oils.
Remember though that gout is caused by excess uric acid and the best ways to curb this is by doing a few lifestyle changes. Limiting and regulating the consumption of meat and seafood, regularly exercising, watching your weight, and taking supplements to level your body’s uric acid is vital to make sure you avoid developing gout.