What is Uric Acid?
Uric Acid is a byproduct of our body’s digestion process. When food gets digested, the body produces many waste chemical substances like urea, uric acid and other salts which get eliminated with urine. Uric acid is produced specially by the digestion of purines which is a colourless organic compound that is crystalline in nature. Purine is found in body’s own cells as well as specific food groups like alcoholic beverages, fish, seafood, anchovies, sardines, dried beans, meats like bacon, turkey, veal, venison and organ meats like liver.
Uric acid needs to be within a specific range (6.8 mg/dl) in the bloodstream and excess of it is called Hyperuricemia.
Uric Acid Causes
Uric acid is dissolved in the bloodstream and then it goes to kidneys to be eliminated in urine. If that does not happen properly, it forms crystals and gets accumulated in the synovial membrane of joints developing painful conditions Gout or Arthritis. Excessive built-up also creates a risk of developing Kidney diseases like kidney stones if urate crystals are formed in the kidney.
Symptoms of Increased Uric Acid
There are two types of conditions caused by an excess build-up of uric acid i.e Gout and Kidney Diseases.
Symptoms of Gout:
- Sudden and severe pain and swelling around the joints. Pain is more extreme in the mornings.
- Joint redness, Swollen and stiff joints, and a sensation of warmth in the affected joint. Sometimes effects more than one joints at a time.
Symptoms of Kidney Stones:
- Difficulty or pain during urination.
- Blood in urine.
- Foul smelling urine.
- Increased urge to urinate.
- Lower Back Pain, Abdomen, Groin or Side Pain.
Ayurveda and Uric Acid
Ayurveda describes Uric Acid as a Vata (Vayu) Rakta (blood) disorder. In ancient times, Gout developed by excess uric acid was also known as the ‘king’s disease’ as it happened to kings and noblemen who had access to food rich in non-vegetarian protein and had indulgence in alcoholism. They also did not have to do any manual work and were sitting most of the times.
Ayurveda suggests that excess uric acid occurs when the diet is misbalanced towards acidic, oily, spicy and sour foods with high protein and low fibre content. Foods like non-vegetarian, eggs, milk, curd, sweets, beer and other alcoholic beverages, tea, coffee, fried foods, and too many pulses are difficult for the body to digest compared to foods with high fibre like green vegetables and fruits. This built-up makes the blood toxic which blocks the Vayu (air) at the joints causing swelling, burning sensation, pain and redness.
Other causes of uric acid and gout can be:
- Consuming non-favourable food combinations
- Stress, Anger, Anxiety
- Accumulation of toxins in body and joints
- Sleeping at irregular times
- High alcohol consumption
- Excess consumption of red meat (especially organ meat like kidney, liver, heart, brain, pancreas, thymus, heart, neck) and seafood.
- Suppressing of natural urges
- Working in extreme climatic condition like excess cold and heat.
High Uric Acid Treatment In Ayurveda
The first thing Ayurveda recommends for treatment of any health problem is to correct your diet. It is recommended to completely stop eating following foods in the acute phase of gout
- Non-vegetarian food (red meat, chicken, seafood, eggs)
- Pulses (all beans)
- Milk and milk products
- Oats (also contain purines in a good amount)
- Reduce tea and coffee to a minimum
- In vegetables also, do not consume the ones with dark colours like Brinjal, capsicum and carrots.
Eat only the vegetables which are light in colour and are easy to digest like Bottle gourd (Lauki), Apple gourd (Tinda), Cucumber (Kheera), Bitter gourd (Karela) and green leafy vegetables preferably organic.
Recommended fruits are Apple, Papaya and Guava. Papaya is especially very helpful in curing uric acid-related diseases.
Increase the intake of water at least 2 to 2.5 litres per day.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Uric Acid – Ayurvedic Medicines
(Note: This information is collected via different sources on the internet. All medications should be taken under the guidance of a known Ayurvedic practitioner)
Following are three types of treatments you can take. Use the first and second remedy together or take the third remedy mentioned without using the first and second.
1. Take a small piece of Liquorice (Mulethi) on empty stomach in the morning. Do this for 45 days. Liquorice is a strong anti-inflammatory herb and is effective in controlling swelling and pain.
2. Prepare a mixture of the following
- Giloy Juice (2 to 3 tsp)
- Fresh Tulsi Leaves (5 to 7 leaves or 1tsp of Tulsi Juice)
- Aelovera juice (4 to 5 tsp)
- Bottle Gourd juice (1/2 cup). Add it only if you can find it or make it at home yourself.
- Water at normal room temperature (1 Cup).
Take this mixture in the morning on empty stomach. Do this for 45 days.
3. Prepare a mixture known as Asthanidhi Peya
Asthanidhi Peya Ingredients
- Giloy (Guduchi)
- Arjuna Bark
- Liquorice (Mulethi)
- Sonth (Dry Ginger)
- Dry Lotus Flowers
- Safed Chandan (White Sandalwood)
- Gokharu (Small Caltrops)
- Kutki (Picrorhiza Kurroa)
Take 100 grams of each ingredient and grind it using a mortar. Take 1.5 tsp of this mixture and boil it with 1.5 glass of water on medium to low heat. Boil it till only half a glass of water is left. Filter it and drink on empty stomach in the morning for 48 days to 2 months.
Apart from bringing the uric acid to normal levels, this treatment also works miracles in reducing bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol. It clears the toxins completely from the blood. It also helps in the treatment of fatty liver disease.