Sometimes it is hard to know which herbs are best used to treat certain conditions.
In the case of gout, you should consider getting herbs that treat pain, inflammation and swelling in any affected region of your body.
The accumulation of urate crystals in the joints leads to various forms of gout.
One home-based remedy for arthritic pain and inflammation would be garlic.
This flavoring and seasoning plant started its journey in western and central Asia during the Neolithic times and spread to the Middle East and northern Africa.
The most notable ancient records come from Egypt, where garlic was used regularly by nobles, common people and slaves as a food seasoning, medicinal ingredient, antiseptic for curing wounds and preventing gangrene, and even as a direct source of strength.
This highly researched herbal product has been used for a number of health conditions.
It is a widely used and appreciated spice. It can also function as an aphrodisiac and is responsible for various other medicinal purposes.
Garlic and Gout: What Are the Benefits?
Garlic serves as a key aid in strengthening the immune system, treating various disorders that affect the cardiovascular system and the liver.
Garlic has some biologically active ingredients that enable your body to fight diseases.
This herb contains sulfur-containing compounds like alliin, enzymes like alliinase, and products that are made by the enzymatic reactions between alliin and alliinase, like allicin.
The anti-inflammatory properties of garlic was tested in Taiwan, and results showed that diallyl sulfide, a garlic sulfur compound, contains an anti-inflammatory effect on joint inflammation related to gout.
Consuming garlic regularly can help prevent the development of monosodium urate crystals.
Another study that tested garlic in anti-inflammatory promotion isolated a novel sulfur containing a compound called thiacremonone.
It is suggested that the consumption of garlic containing this compound was beneficial for inflammatory and arthritic diseases.
The results of this test show that thiacremonone exerted its anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties through NF-kappaB molecules.
These tests reveal that by inhibiting production of proinflammatory cytokines, prostaglandins and interleukins, major causes of inflammation, garlic can be used effectively as an herbal treatment against inflammatory and arthritic diseases.
According to the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability, garlic is known as an anti-inflammatory herb.
Garlic particularly belongs to the Liliaceae, or lily, family. Garlic has proven to be an antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-arthritic and cholesterol-lowering agent.
Yu-Yan Yeh, professor of nutrition at Penn State University, fed rats Aged Garlic Extract supplements in a test, and after 4 to 5 months the supplements reduced total cholesterol levels by 15 percent.
Garlic is also an antioxidant. According to studies conducted by the University of Malaysia, garlic and garlic extracts contain antioxidant compounds like allyl cysteine, alliin, allicin, and allyldisulphide.
All of these garlic compounds were found to show different patterns of antioxidant activities such as inhibition of lipid peroxidation, scavenging superoxides and hydroxyl free radicals.
In 1999 a clinical study in Russia performed controlled trials of allisate, a preparation of garlic for 30 patients who were suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
This group of students were split into two groups for the study, with 15 being given alisate in a dose of 300 milligrams twice a day for 4 to 6 weeks, and the rest receiving conventional antirheumatic therapy.
The end result was that allisate was tolerated by the arthritis patients very well and had no side effects.
It is worth noting that if you happen to be taking anti-arthritic drugs to treat your pain, consuming garlic extracts can have a reversible effect upon the toxicity of such drugs.
A study in 2015 determined the effects of garlic extracts in treating nephrotoxicity that was induced by the drug Methotrextrate in rats.
Garlic extract was given orally for 1 week before and after the administration of Methotrexate.
It was found that garlic improved renal function and that renal antioxidant enzyme activities were increased.
Being a restorative herb, garlic can also help you get back into a positive state of mind.
Garlic can play a role in balancing a stressful life and a fatigued body. Garlic serves as a tonic that works to actually reduce fatigue and various symptoms of stress in the body.
Dr. Henry Emmons states in his book “The Chemistry of Joy” that raw garlic can enhance production of serotonin, a brain chemical responsible for signal transmission and mood regulation.
Depression is thought to occur, in part, due to an imbalance in serotonin.
Along with depression, anxiety is also a common reaction to stress. If you consume a specific kind of garlic, you can calm your anxiety.
Eating black garlic works as a natural remedy that will calm your nerves, and that includes fighting off any developing feelings of anxiety.
Black garlic also fights insomnia and reduces irritability and bad moods.
How to Use Garlic?
If taken on a daily basis, garlic can work to stimulate the immune system and improve circulation and blood flow.
Sufficient levels of oxygen are required to maintain healthy cells in the body.
Without enough supplies of oxygen in the blood, the body won’t function properly.
You can peel fresh garlic cloves and eat them raw or cooked. In order to get the maximum benefit of this herb’s healing properties, garlic should be roasted or mashed.
Consuming raw garlic can irritate the stomach and digestive tract, so garlic should be roasted to make the digesting of it easier.
Cooked garlic can also be effective in protecting cells against free radical damage.
If it is minced garlic can serve as a key ingredient to many meals, and it is an ingredient that is typically used alongside ginger.
Since garlic and ginger both protect the body from inflammation, it makes sense to use them together.
Garlic is also known to be a popular pizza topping. While it is recommended that you avoid using toppings like tomatoes, which are highly acidic, including garlic in your pizza would be a healthy choice.
Another delicious recipe to consider to help you in your fight against gout would be the one for Aztec Couscous, which can be found in the e-book Gout and You: The Ultimate Gout Diet and Cookbook.
Roasted garlic is one of the main ingredients in this recipe, along with ground cumin, black beans, a finely chopped red onion, olive oil and a minced jalapeno.
Be Careful Around Garlic
While garlic is a tremendous herb with plenty of health benefits, there are side effects to consider before consumption.
A study by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences warns that although raw garlic has high antioxidant potential, higher doses of this herb can be toxic to the heart, liver and kidney.
General consumption of garlic may cause body and breath odor, heartburn or an upset stomach.
These side effects most likely occur when raw garlic is consumed.
Some people can also have allergic reactions to garlic like rashes, itching and swelling, though this is very rare.
One must consult with a doctor if such allergies appear.
In many ways it is wise to treat garlic consumption like how you would consume salt.
In some meal recipes garlic must be included and there will be no way around that, but we can keep track of how much garlic we can consume.
Overall garlic is an herb that provides an abundance of benefits for your body, and can help in your fight against gout.
The positive links between garlic and gout outweigh the side effects.
It is easy to put garlic in many meals especially when it is chopped or minced, and finding a proper balance in consuming this herb is the best way to get the most out of it.
If you specifically have joint inflammation then you have garlic as a proven food that will address such pains.
While it may not be for everyone to consume, as there are some side effects to deal with if you consume garlic in its raw form, it is otherwise very safe to have as part of your own gout diet.
1.Lee, H.S., Lee, C.H., Tsai, H.C., Salter, D.M., January 17, 2009. Inhibition of cyclooxygenase 2 expression by diallyl sulfide on joint inflammation induced by urate crystal and IL-1beta. Taipei, Taiwan. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18573668
2.Ban, J.O., Oh, J.H., Kim, T.M., Kim, D.J., Jeong, H.S., Han, S.B., Hong, J.T., September 30, 2009. Anti-inflammatory and arthritic effects of thiacremonone, a novel sulfur compound isolated from garlic via inhibition of NF-kappaB. Gaeshin-dong, Heungduk-gu, Cheongju, Chungbuk, 361-763, Korea. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19788760
3.Shapiro, J., Koepsell, T., Voight, L., Dugowson, C., Kestin, M., and Nelson, J. (1998). Diet and Rheumatoid Arthritis in Women: A Possible Protective Effect of Fish Consumption. Epidemiology, 7(3), 256-263.
4.Thedford, K. (2008). Assessment of Plasma Homocysteine and Vitamin B-6 Status in Women with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 108(3), 454.
5.Wolman, P., Smith, J., Phillian, L., Lewis, J., and Turner, A. (2005). Prevention and Treatment of Arthritis: The South Carolina Plan for Nutrition and Complementary Care. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 105(8), 32. https://www.nchpad.org/565/2504/Eating~Well~to~Fight~Arthritis
6.Yeh, Y.Y., Liu, L. June 2002. S-alk(en)yl cysteines of garlic inhibit cholesterol synthesis by deactivating HMG-CoA reductase in cultured rat hepatocytes. The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12042421
7.Chung, L.Y., September 2006. The antioxidant properties of garlic compounds: allyl cysteine, alliin, allicin, and allyl disulfide. Lumpur, Malaysia. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16822206
8.Denisov, L.N., Andrianova, I.V., and Timofeeva, S.S. 1999. [Garlic effectiveness in rheumatoid arthritis]. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10515039
9.Ahmed, W., Zaki, A., and Nabil, T. 2015. Prevention of methotrexate-induced nephrotoxicity by concomitant administration of garlic aqueous extract in rat. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26281313
10.Banerjee, S.K., Mukherjee, P.K., Maulik, S.K. February 17, 2003. Garlic as an antioxidant: the good, the bad and the ugly. New Delhi 110029, India. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12601669
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