Homeopathic Remedies for Gout
Also indexed as: Arthritis (Gout)
Gout is a painful condition resulting from the buildup of uric acid crystals in or around a joint. Diet, genetics, and certain medications may be contributing factors. Homeopathic remedies can provide a measure of relief during painful attacks of joint pain and inflammation. A constitutional remedy prescribed by an experienced homeopath may help to reduce the likelihood of further episodes.
For dosage information, please read the information at the end of this section. See also “Using Homeopathy With Professional Guidance” in What Is Homeopathy?
Arnica: Although this remedy usually comes to mind for injuries, it can also be very helpful for discomfort that comes with gout. Pain is sore and bruise-like, and it hurts to walk. The person may be afraid to be approached or touched, because of pain.
Belladonna: Sudden onset, swelling, throbbing, heat, and intensity are symptoms that suggest this remedy. The joints look red, inflamed, and shiny — with sharp or violent pains that are worse from touch and jarring. The person may feel restless, flushed, and hot.
Berberis vulgaris: Twinges of pain in gouty joints, or stitching pains that are aggravated by changing position or walking, may indicate a need for this remedy. Berberis is often indicated for people who ache all over; some have nagging back pain or a tendency toward kidney stones.
Bryonia: When this remedy is needed, tearing pain is worse from the slightest movement, and the joints are swollen and hot. Areas with swelling and inflammation are painful to touch. The knees can be very stiff and the feet may swell. When Bryonia is indicated, the person is irritable and self-protective, not wanting to be touched or interfered with.
Calcarea fluorica: When this remedy is indicated, the finger joints may become enlarged because of gout, and the knees and toes may be involved. Stabbing pain is experienced, and the joints may make a cracking sound on movement. Discomfort is worse during weather changes, and warmth may bring relief.
Colchicum: Gout in the big toe or heel—so painful the person finds both motion and touch unbearable—suggests a need for this remedy. The joints are swollen, red and hot. Pain is often worse in the evening and at night. Flare-ups may occur in the springtime or with weather changes. Individuals who need this remedy often have a feeling of internal coldness and are very tired.
Ledum palustre: When this remedy is indicated, the foot and big toe can be extremely swollen. Shooting pains are felt all through the foot and ankle, moving upward to the knee. This remedy is especially indicated when cold applications relieve both the swelling and the pain.
Rhododendron: This remedy can be useful for gouty swelling of the big toe joint that flares up before a storm. Other joints may ache and swell, especially on the right side of the body. Pain usually is worse toward early morning and after staying still too long. The person may feel better from warmth and after eating.
Rhus toxicodendron: This remedy can be helpful for joints that are hot, stiff, painful, and swollen. Symptoms are worse in cold, damp weather and improved by warmth and gentle motion.
Sulphur: Painful gouty joints that itch, along with a burning feeling in the feet, suggest the use of this remedy. The knees and other joints may be involved. Problems are aggravated by heat in any form, and are often worse in damp weather and in springtime.
Select the remedy that most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C) should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually printed on the label.
Many homeopathic physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be sufficient.
If no response is seen within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What is Homeopathy? and Understanding Homeopathic Potencies.
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The information presented in Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires September 2008.