Gout is a form of athritis, where tiny particles of sodium urate, or uric acid, accumulate around joints, most commonly in in the big toe, however it can occur anywhere in the body. Uric acid is produced naturally in the body during normal metabolism, however we do also ingest small amounts of uric acid in certain foods.
Too much of the uric acid causes it to accumulate in joints where it crystallizes, causing intense pain, redness and inflammation. There are a few different ways to treat gout and gout attacks, including adopting a gout-friendly diet and certain medications. However, many people find relief and symptom reduction from the use of anti-inflammatory and pain reducing essential oils.
How to Use Essential Oils for Gout
While we mentioned eating a gout-friendly diet, essential oils should never be ingested. Treatment of gout using essential oils is typically done using a diluted form of the oil and applied topically to the affected joints. Once you choose an oil - or blend of oils, dilute them into a neutral oil like olive, coconut, jojoba, almond or avocado oil and rub that mixture onto the affected areas.
Making a foot bath with some diluted oils and epsom salts is also a great way to promote circulation and reduce inflammation of the feet.
How to Dilute Essential Oils
Dilution is key for essential oils, as the concentrated oils can cause adverse reactions with skin. Diluting the oils also allows for a little to go a long way, helping the spread of the effective molecules reach everywhere they need to.
Typically, a 0.5-1% dilution is used for topical application. This means, if you have 100ml of carrier oil, you will add 1ml of essential oil. If you only want to make 10ml of diluted oil, use 0.1ml of essential oil, which is typically around 3 drops. Or, use a handy dilution chart to help dilute.
What Essential Oils are Good for Gout?
Now that we know how to use these oils for gout, it’s time to choose which ones to use.
Some studies have suggested that the use of celery seed oil actually work to enhance the effectiveness of gout medications. It boosts the anti-inflammatory effects of the medication and reduce pain and swelling. Dilute it into one of the oils we discussed above and rub away!
Lemongrass is well known to promote blood circulation, which can help clear uric acid crystals from the body. Studies also point to its reduction in pain, inflammation, and potential use for clearing uric acid from the body. Eating actual lemongrass which you get from the grocery store is also a great way to reduce gout symptoms.
Ginger has been used around the world for centuries as a spice, but also as a medicine. It has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, and can possibly reduce levels of uric acid in the body and reduce the pain and other symptoms of gout. Try diffusing ginger essential oil, or brewing tea made with ginger root from the store.
Lavender is well known for its pain-relieving and soothing effects. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties which can help reduce the symptoms of gout. A diluted application topically can help soothe joints.
Tea Tree is another oil with some many uses, and the reduction of pain and inflammation is one of its most important. It also has the added benefit of antifungal and antimicrobial properties, making it a perfect oil for topical application - once diluted.
Remember, that essential oils should never be ingested, and always be diluted before use with skin. And, always try a small amount to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction. You should always consult your doctor before using essential oils as they can interfere with certain prescription medications, or cause other side effects.