The number of herbal and natural types of gout treatment being touted on the internet may seem innumerable. From those that have been shown to be somewhat effective, such as gingeroot for example to others which have nothing but anecdotal evidence and little more to back up their claims. One of the natural remedies being touted for gout treatment is apple cider, in particular apple cider vinegar which has been recently promoted as the type of gout treatment that can be used internally, as a foot bath or a topical treatment for the symptoms of gout.
Essentially, attacks of gout occur when too much uric acid is built up in the blood stream. Normally the kidneys breakdown and filter the uric acid away, passing to the bladder and out of the body. But for a variety of conditions, the kidneys may not be able to filter out enough uric acid. This acid then descends to the lower part of the body and finds it way into the joints in the feet, ankles and knees. There it begins to harden and crystallize, causing inflammation and great pain.
There are plenty of prescribed medicines as well as herbal ingredients that have shown effectiveness in combating the effects of gout. Most importantly, the most effective gout treatment is usually a combination of effective medicine with the drinking of additional fluids, in particular water, to help dilute the uric acid and assist the kidneys in flushing it from the body. Add to that a healthy diet and exercise and attacks of gout can not only be reduced, but even prevented in some cases.
Whether apple cider vinegar dilutes and reduces uric acid in the body has been a matter of anecdotal evidence for the most part. While some have proclaimed its effectiveness, others have questioned the topical use of apple cider on the skin as an effective means of treating the symptoms of gout.
The external use of apple cider vinegar whether as a foot bath or topical treatment is fairly harmless unless it is used against scrapes or cuts where an infection might occur. A foot bath for gout is basically one part apple cider vinegar to four parts hot water. The water itself should not be hot enough to burn or scald the skin, but comfortable enough for the person to keep their feet or affected joints immersed for around 30 minutes twice per day.
Of course, hot water against the skin will have a positive effect on the joints affected by gout in that there is some sensation of relief, although the swelling will not go down. The next method is a topical treatment of apple cider vinegar by soaking a clean cloth with one part apple cider vinegar and four pats water against the affected area for up to one hour. You do not want to press the cloth too tightly against the skin to cut off circulation.
Apple cider vinegar can be consumed, though only in small amounts safely and is best diluted with water. It will not taste good, but one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to three tablespoons of water can be consumed two to three times per day. Before consuming apple cider vinegar you will want to consult with your physician for any potential side effects from other drugs you might be taking.