Joint pains

One of the causes of joint pains is the accumulation of toxins or waste products from food and drink intake that your body cannot cope with. This varies from person to person, but in general it includes foods containing chemicals such as pesticides and preservatives; tea, coffee and alcohol; and individual food intolerances or allergies, commonly dairy or wheat/gluten.

Joint pains may also be caused by acidic reactions in your body which can be due to meat (especially red meat), eggs and dairy products, malt vinegar and pickles, refined sugar, and oxalic acid containing fruit and vegetables such as rhubarb, gooseberries, blackcurrants and spinach.

A study of arthritic patients in the USA, reported in the British Medical Journal in 1981, showed that patients on a dairy free diet showed signs of improvement within 3-4 weeks, by seven weeks all patients had lost their symptoms.

Some people have found that their problem was related to the solanum group of vegetables – this includes potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers and aubergines.

If this sounds too overwhelming you can cut out one item at a time. Most of what we eat is from habit, and habits can be changed if we want or need to.

A diet which would be helpful for joint pains would include:

  • Unprocessed and unrefined foods
  • Organically grown foods as much as possible
  • Whole grains – such as brown rice, millet, pot barley, quinoa
  • Lemon juice and cider vinegar are exceptions to the acidic foods – these are actually beneficial , especially when well diluted in spring water. A good habit is to drink a pint of water with either a tablespoon of cider vinegar or the juice of a lemon in it.
  • Nettle tea is one of the best single herb teas you can take – use 3-6 tops of young nettles per cup of boiling water and infuse for 10-15 minutes. Sweeten if you like with honey. Nettle tea seems to be able to move uric acid crystals which cause painful joints, and it contains a lot of available calcium, necessary for bone repair.

Anything that increases your circulation to the affected area is helpful in both reducing pain and healing damaged joints. This can be achieved by alternate hot and cold baths, showers or packs to the whole body or just the affected area; by exercise; and by massage, especially if you use essential oils (diluted for use) such as wintergreen, rosemary, cajaput, or black pepper, or my arnica and cayenne massage oil which contains lots of healing herbs.

If these self help methods are not enough then professional help may be required. Often I find that people need to do some work on their bowels in order to get to the root of the problem. A bowel cleanse is not difficult, painful or disruptive to do and it may be the key to recovery.

Alongside this a herbal formula may be useful. These contain herbs that may reduce inflammation such as devils claw, willow bark or turmeric; and herbs to help with elimination of toxins such as celery seed and dandelion. Each person has a different requirement so the best formula is one that is made for your particular case. See my contacts list for local herbalists.

Herbs take a few weeks to be effective. You should expect some improvement within a month or two and hopefully only need to take them for six months or so, after which your diet should maintain your health with herbs being used only occasionally when you are under stress.