Gout is a form of arthritis that causes sudden, severe attacks of pain and tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling in some joints. It usually affects one joint at a time and most often the big toe. Episodes develop very quickly, and the first episode often occurs at night. Causes include: drinking alcohol, eating protein-rich foods, surgery, sudden, severe illness, crash diets, joint injury, and chemotherapy.
Gout results from a build-up in the body of too much uric acid, which forms crystals that deposit in joints and cause inflammation. Uric acid is a substance that normally forms when the body breaks down purines – the waste products from protein metabolism.
Men over age 40 are most a risk, but it can affect anyone of any age. Women with gout usually develop it after menopause.
Because activated charcoal is known to adsorb uric acid, many people have found charcoal to be a safe and simple remedy for gout when taken orally or when used in a warm foot bath.
On our way to Abemama, we first anchored at the small island of Kuria. When we gathered that evening under the maniaba (a large coconut thatch shelter), the local minister joined us, limping as he came. His face grimaced in obvious pain. He struggled to focus his thoughts, but it was clear that he was in great discomfort. One foot throbbed with such pain, he said, that he had not slept for weeks. His big toe was swollen, reddish, and especially painful. From what he described, and since he had no history of injury, I wondered if he was suffering from gout, a condition in which uric acid crystals form in the extremities.
Knowing that the sick are seldom able to take their own recovery in hand, I decided not to wait till morning. I went back down the trail to where I had seen some burnt underbrush, gathered some charred branches, and brought them back. I scraped the charcoal powder into a basin large enough for his foot, and added warm water. For convenience, I also gave him several activated charcoal capsules to take internally. Next morning, as I approached the pastor’s compound, I found him scraping charcoal into a basin. The pain had been relieved and he had slept. You can imagine his gratitude. He was now prepared to hear how he could modify his diet so as to minimize the production of uric acid. CharcoalRemedies.com page 28
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