Home Remedies for Uric Acid
by Dr. Surya Bhagwati on Jun 06, 2020
No matter what you eat, your body’s digestive system is always working to break it down and extract nutrients, whether it’s protein, fat, vitamins, or minerals. When your body breaks down some foods it also releases waste products, one of which is uric acid. Like other wastes, this too is eliminated from the body through urination and defecation. When levels of uric acid rise in the body rise significantly, uric acid crystals can start to accumulate in the joints giving rise to gout, which is a painful arthritic condition. Crystallization of uric acid can also occur in the kidneys, giving rise to uric acid stones. To safeguard against the risks of gout and kidney stones, you need to keep a check on uric acid levels through dietary and lifestyle changes. Ayurvedic home remedies for uric acid and gout can be particularly effective and will help lower uric acid levels naturally.
Home Remedies for Uric Acid
While a personalized dosha balancing diet is most helpful, general diet recommendations are also important for lowering uric acid levels. The first thing you should do is cut back or limit any intake of red meats, as well as other meats like poultry and seafood. This recommendation is echoed in modern medicine, which identifies purines as the source of uric acid. Purines are primarily found in red meat, organ meats, and some types of seafood. The breakdown of purines releases uric acid, so high intake of such foods can lead to elevated uric acid levels. Ayurved also advocates whole foods over processed foods, which can again help lower uric acid levels as most processed foods are high in fats and sugar. Experts now believe that fat increases retention of uric acid, while sugar is known to have an inflammatory effect on the body.
In addition so strengthening agni and digestion, another goal of an Ayurvedic diet is to improve detoxification – in this context the elimination of uric acid. Consumption of alcohol is therefore advised against as it can cause dehydration and impair waste elimination. Additionally, alcohols like beer and whiskey have a high content of purines.
Adequate hydration is regarded as important for general wellbeing in Ayurved and particularly important for lowering the buildup of ama or toxins, in this scenario – uric acid. Increasing your fluid intake increases urine output, which can help to flush out excess uric acid more efficiently. Aside from water, fruits and veggies with high water content, herbal teas, and soups or broths can also help to boost your fluid intake.
Although Ayurvedic diet recommendations that favor whole foods over processed foods should help raise your fiber intake, you can also take fiber supplements like psyllium husk to ensure adequate fiber intake. Dietary fiber is important for dealing with high uric acid levels as fiber can absorb and aid elimination of some amount of uric acid. It also helps to better regulate blood sugar levels and increases feelings of satiety, making it easier to adhere to your diet plan.
Cherries may be particularly effective as a uric acid or gout remedy as they can lower the risk of gout attacks, which are associated with high uric acid levels. Cherries are a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids that may increase protection from gout. This remedy is also supported by studies, which show that cherry intake can lower the risk of an attack in patients suffering from gout by as much as 35%. What’s even more impressive is that these positive results were observed within just 2 days of the participants starting to consume cherries.
This is a popular Ayurvedic remedy for gout and is believed to detoxify the body and lower uric acid levels. When using this remedy it’s important to only consume freshly squeezed lemon juice, rather than packaged juice with added sugar. Researchers have confirmed the efficacy of this gout remedy, finding that the daily intake of juice from 2 lemons with 2 liters of water reduced uric acid levels in gout patients. They believe that lemon water has a neutralizing effect on uric acid, lowering the levels naturally.
Ginger, also described as sunth in Ayurved, is one of the most important Ayurvedic herbs. It is regarded as a digestive aid that strengthens agni, improving both the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, as well as the elimination of wastes and detoxification of the body. Not surprisingly, it has long been recommended as a natural treatment for gout in Ayurved. Evidence does suggest that these traditional uses of ginger may benefit gout patients and those at risk of gout because of the herb’s strong anti-inflammatory effect. Additionally, studies show that ginger intake can lower serum uric acid levels.
Haldi or turmeric is another herb that has a long history of use in Ayurved and throughout the Indian subcontinent. It’s used in religious rituals and also in medicine to treat a wide range of conditions, from cuts and wounds to infections and heart disease. Today, turmeric is also highly regarded in mainstream medicine as research has shown that its main bioactive compound ‘curcumin’ is a source of various therapeutic properties. Some research suggests that turmeric doesn’t just help control serum lipid levels, but also lowers uric acid levels.
Healthy Weight Loss
While your diet has the most significant impact on uric acid levels, research shows that obesity is also associated with an increase in uric acid levels. This is because fat cells increase uric acid output and the buildup of fat also increases pressure on the kidneys. At the same time, rapid weight loss can also increase the risk of uric acid buildup, making Ayurvedic approaches most effective. In addition to an Ayurvedic diet, you should increase your levels of physical activity, focusing on low to moderate intensity aerobic exercises like walking, swimming, cycling, and so on. Yoga is of course the best choice as it can be customized to suit your fitness levels and also includes meditative practices that can lower stress levels. Stress reduction is known to lower the risk of gout attacks.
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