Modern day arthritis remedies include non-steroidal anti inflammatory medications (NSAID’s), corticosteroids, anti-TNF (tumour necrosis factor) treatment and, obviously, the disease modifying anti rheumatic drugs (DMARD’s), which can be notoriously excelled for their nasty side-effects. This minefield of compounds that we are willingly putting into our ailing bodies certainly can not really be good for us and our delicate constitutions. What would our grandparents believe? What’s more, what would our grandparents do?
The solution is simple, they would enter the pantry or the garden to collect a herb or dig up a vegetable. Here are some of the remedies which our ancestors could have used to ease their aching joints.
- Mustard was a favorite choice of treatment for joint pain. The seeds of yellow or white mustard (sinapis alba) are used make the favorite condiment. Mustard plasters were quite popular for treating arthritis in addition to chest congestion, bronchitis and sore muscles. To make a mustard plaster mix together 1 part mustard powder to two parts flour and mix to a soft paste with warm water. Spread the paste in the midst of a clean towel. Fold the towel in half to enclose the glue, and half again before placing on the affected joint. Leave the mustard plaster to work its magic for about 15 minutes. If the plaster begins to feel uncomfortable at any stage remove it immediately. After the treatment, gently wash the treated area with lukewarm water and pat dry. It’s important to make certain that the mustard paste doesn’t come into contact with the skin; it’s hot on the skin in addition to the palate and has the capacity to cause severe blistering.
- Epsom salts were used in the tub as a general arthritis remedy. Four tablespoons in the tub will decrease stiffness and inflammation in the joints.
- Castor oil has anti-bacterial and anti inflammatory properties. Rubbed into the ailing joints it was also a frequent arthritis treatment. Castor oil was also taken as a medication for gout with two tablespoons of castor oil boiled and added to fresh orange juice. This should be taken daily on an empty stomach.
- Comfrey. Going into the garden we’ll find vegetables and herbs which will soothe arthritis pain. The herb comfrey, also called knitbone, has been used for centuries for a lot of different ailments. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-fungal properties. As a poultice comfrey can help to decrease inflammation and draw toxins out. To make a poultice, chop the comfrey and add to a blender to produce a fine paste. Put the paste into a bowl and add flour and knead to make a rigid doughy consistency. Use old sheets to make the poultice and add the comfrey glue to the centre and wrap to create tidy squares around an inch thick and a comfortable size to the joint you would like to treat. Apply the poultice for 15-45 minutes then wash the area with warm water and pat dry. A wonderful tip is that you may create several and freeze them for later use. Just pop them in a self-sealing tote and bung them in the freezer. Alternatively it is possible to make a lazy poultice simply by bruising the leaves, wrap them around your aching joint and holding them in place with clingfilm!
- Cabbage makes a great poultice for arthritis also. Cabbage is in the same family as mustard and contains anti-inflammatory properties. For a simple cabbage poultice simply bash the leaves with a rolling pin to get the juice wrap the leaves around the joint that you would like to treat. Cover with a gauze bandage and leave overnight. You can also suspend the cabbage leaves and place them directly on the joint for immediate relief.
- Garlic and onion have anti-inflammatory properties. Eaten raw in salads, salsas or sandwiches provides the best results. Strong onions operate better, and also to stop the tears, peel them under running water.
Moving away from vegetables and herbs to apply to joints to vegetables which should be eaten to help alleviate arthritis; olive oil is alkaline and helps to dissolve uric acid for gout sufferers. Peel and cube a potato and leave overnight in a glass of water. Drink the starchy water that’s produced the next morning prior to breakfast. Not so yummy but if you hold your nose as you drink, it won’t taste so bad. This is totally true because your olfactory glands and your taste buds work together.