A Brief Explanation of Gout
Gout is an incredibly painful form of arthritis that is believed to be caused by excess amounts of uric acid in the blood. This acid, which is created by digesting some types of food, crystallizes around joints causing swelling and pain. As with most types of arthritis, the symptoms of gout are very difficult to completely alleviate. Diet, medications, and some herbs can aid in both acute care and prevention of future flare-ups of the condition.
How Ladys Bedstraw Works on Gout
Lady’s Bedstraw is mild herbal diuretic and general detoxification herb. These two properties combined can both cut the concentration of uric acid in the blood and encourage the removal of the acid from the body via urination.
In herbology, Lady’s Bedstraw is often overlooked in favor of more powerful herbs. In gout treatment, however, there is not really a defining herb that is effective independently. Mainstream medicine fares little better, and many patients complain of residual pain and swelling even when taking the strongest prescription drugs.
As such, the gentleness of Lady’s Bedstraw, combined with its lack of side effects, makes it the perfect complimentary herbal treatment. It is extremely unlikely that the herb will interact with mainstream medicines and it is as unlikely to interfere with other herbal remedies for gout. Galium Verum, however, is strong enough alone to offer noticeable relief in mild gout flare-ups, and when used with other treatments, may be enough to relieve residual symptoms in more serious cases.
How to Use Ladys Bedstraw
Lady's Bedstraw Tea
¼ cup fresh flowers or 1 tsp dried Galium Verum*
10 ounces of water.
Place Lady’s Bedstraw herb in large cup. Bring water to boiling and remove from heat. Wait until water stops boiling and pour over herb. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes, remove herbs, and sweeten if desired. It is inadvisable to add cream to this tea; Galium Verum curdles milk.
*Commercial dried lady’s bedstraw may contain flowers, leaves, stems, seeds and roots. This will somewhat alter the taste of the tea. Add sugar or honey as necessary for palatability.
Soothing Foot Soak
This herb may also be used to make a soothing foot bath by boiling one cup of stems, flowers and/or roots per one gallon of water. Cool mixture to a comfortable temperature and soak feet for 10-15 minutes. This will not treat the gout itself, but rather temporarily sooth the pain.
Caution: The roots of the Galium Verum plant are commonly used to make yellow and red dyes. Theoretically, it is possible that use of the herb in a foot bath may temporarily discolor the skin.
About Ladys Bedstraw
Scientific Name: Galium Verum
Otherwise Known As: Cheese Rennet, Common Bedstraw, Maid's Hair, Ru Mhuire, Yellow Bedstraw
Appearance: Galium Verum can grow to 4 feet in height, but is more commonly between 2-3 feet high. It has small yellow flowers that grow in clusters on the top of long straw-like stems.
Other herbal and traditional uses: As the name implies, Lady's bedstraw was traditionally used as mattress filling. When dried, the plant smells like a cross between honey and hay, ensuring pleasant smells through the night. It has also been used as an insect repellant, an obvious added benefit to its use in mattresses and pillows.
In addition, roots and flowers from the Galium Verum plant have been used to quicken cheese making and to add color to butters and cheese in many countries. The roots of the plant also produce a brilliant yellow/orange dye.
In herbalism, Lady's Bedstraw is used to increase urine output and treat urinary tract and kidney problems. Externally, the herb is sometimes made into a poultice for mild skin irritation. It is also used in ointments and baths to reduce swelling.
While Galium Verum is generally considered safe, it is impossible to predict its effects--including possible medication interactions--in every person. As such, it is strongly advised to consult a physician before starting to take this herb. In addition, no herbal remedies should be used to treat any condition that has not been formally diagnosed. This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer or contradict medical treatment or diagnosis.