Arthritis is a biochemically complex and mystifying disease, which has a long history with mankind, but now has a disturbing trend of dramatically increasing occurrence. Now we can say 1 in 10 Australians are affected, and we are fast moving to the USA level where 1 in 5 of the population are affected. (1) The most common arthritis is osteo-arthritis, the subject of this blog.
I can report some good improvements with arthritis, where patients follow some key rules. Firstly follow an alkaline diet, a daily bowl of beef bone broth, a minimum of 5 anti-inflammatory herbs, 600ml of vegetable juice a day, and take a therapeutic dose of fish oil, for a minimum of 3 months. Prof Rudolph Weiss of Germany makes this clear in his textbook “Herbal Medicine”; “anyone treating arthritis for less than 3 months and with less than 5 herbs is wasting their time” he says. Note that anti-inflammatory drugs, as tablets or creams, and called NSAIDs now available in Coles and Woolworths are not mentioned. Health authorities showed recently (2) that these worsen arthritis in the long term, though they are pain relieving, they are certainly dangerous long term, and best avoided.(3)
In early arthritis a practical treatment I have found is the product Glucosaplex ® formulated by Prof Denis Stewart of Newcastle. This contains 7 traditional natural ingredients for inflammation, from quercetin (apples), bromelain (pineapple), turmeric, green lipped muscle, Vitamin C, Glucosamine and Chondroitin (4) (these 2 together known as beef broth). By taking a range of safe, natural anti-inflammatories like these you greatly increase your chance of successful treatment, and long term improvement. For more severe cases you will need 5 extra herbs as Prof Weiss mentions, from 100’s which are available, these include Boswellia (Frankisense), Guiacum and Willow Bark which our naturopaths can supply in liquid or tablets. For more severe cases joint replacement by a surgeon (Charnley’s operation), is an increasingly used option, but early intervention is much better, and will save you years of worsening agony. Fish oil or fish diets are very safe and effective pain relievers. A therapeutic dose will be about 12 supermarket fish oil capsules, daily, or 4ml of concentrate a day which you can get from Des Lardner’s Organic. This gives 2.7 gm of omega 3 ingredients daily. Always take fish oil, before food to avoid side-effects. Traditional heat rubs are great for arthritis and often circulation improvers such as “Flavoblend” ® are needed too. Several home remedies will ease arthritis and with alkaline diets will be found on the internet and from our staff.
Make an appointment with either Des Lardner, herbalist or one of the naturopaths, Emily Grieger or Ebony Jordan to discuss the right treatment for your arthritis.
- A meta-analysis and systematic review of 23 clinical trials including more than 10,000 patients found that “NSAIDs as a whole* were ineffective for long-term pain relief in osteoarthritis of the knee” 1*(including selective COX-2 inhibitors) Bjordal JM, Ljunggren AE, Klovning A et al. BMJ 2004; 329: 1317-1322
- NEJM estimated 103,000 patients per year hospitalised in USA, plus 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occurred every year in the United States. Wolfe M, Lichtenstein D, Singh G. NEJM 1999; 340: 1888
- GAIT trial showed improvement, with this combination, but noted that the low cost of the trial ($12.5 million!!) prohibited better results. Sawitzke AD, Shi H, Finco MF, et al. The effect of glucosamine and/or chondroitin sulfate on the progression of knee osteoarthritis: a report from the glucosamine/chondroitin arthritis intervention trial. Arthritis Rheum 2008;58:3183–91.