Natural Remedies for Bones
Doctors offer little options for bone conditions aside from calcium, Fosamax and hormone replacement therapy or HRT. In fact, there are a wide range of options available in the holistic community to address every bone issue without the side-effects common with pharmaceuticals. Everything from gout to osteoporosis can be effectively handled with natural remedies ranging from organic cherry juice to nettle leaf. Osteopenia and its’ more advanced state, Osteoporosis are conditions where bones may remain structurally sound in size and shape, but they develop cavities or porousness within, causing the bone to be brittle, fragile and easily broken. It seems to be more common in women, leading to the widely accepted idea that estrogen loss after menopause is a major contributing factor. The reduction in estrogen allows an overproduction of osteoclasts, bone cells which degrade bone. This causes an imbalance in the erosion process, and bone is broken down from within.
Calcium is one thing to consider, and Nettle Leaf is one plant that contains the highest concentration of minerals in solution available. It also is helpful for menopausal women, particularly when combined with Black Cohosh, Wild Yam, Shatavari and Korean Ginseng. For maintaining and restoring bone density, turn first to a combination of high-grade essential fatty acids such as flaxseed oil, coconut oil or fish oil, with vitamin B6, iron-building formulas such as tillandsia, Codonopsis, Ashwaganda and even alfalfa. Vitamin B12 has long been known to strengthen the blood and is essential in bone-building. For calcium building, phosphorus, magnesium, large amounts of protein and many other synergists are essential, while good old-fashioned bone meal can do wonders to provide the collagen matrix essential for proper bone formation.
Often the problem is that there is plenty of calcium outside of bone and none being absorbed into the bone. In fact, soft tissue areas will become saturated with stored calcium, and the blood will deposit calcium in filtration areas of the kidneys, liver and gall bladder. This is the origin of bone spurs and stones. Lack of calcium absorption is really a two-fold problem: lack of intestinal acidity and lack of catalysts for calcium absorption such as Vitamin D, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium. To increase intestinal acidity, sometimes something as simple as one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar 5-10 minutes before meals can do the trick. Otherwise, I like to recommend Cal-Amo tablets and CyroYeast wafers from Standard Process of Wisconsin. For mineral catalyst formulas, their combinations of Calcifood and Bio-Dent are invaluable.
Another issue with bones is arthritis, and it is getting to the point where doctors are advising patients that arthritis is inevitable and even normal with aging. Arthritis has many faces and many forms, such as Rheumatoid, Osteo and Gout. What they all have in common is gradual degeneration and deterioration of the joints, pain, inflammation and from a holistic perspective, toxic accumulation. Arthritis is essentially an example of a deficiency in the support system for the collagen matrix combined with large amounts of toxicity stored in joint spaces and adjoining soft tissues.
So one of the best places to start is with enhancing the health of our cartilage and soft tissue support. Our cartilage structure is comprised of mostly glucosamine sulfate, which is a chemical compound that is a basis for collagen. Unfortunately, our bodies cannot utilize supplemental glucosamine sulfate very easily, since we actually have pathways to convert the precursors to a more bio-available form of glucosamine sulfate. We derive the precursors from sulfur-bearing foods, such as eggs, cabbage, kale, broccoli and spanish black radish. Many older people develop arthritis simply from a diet lacking in sulfur-bearing foods. One way I can tell if there is a problem in an elderly person is if they are constipated as well as suffer from arthritis. Then I will give them Spanish Black Radish and not only address the constipation, but the arthritis will improve dramatically as well.
Gout is the arthritis that is most obviously the result of nutritional and toxic imbalances. Gout is caused by an accumulation of lactic and uric acid primarily in the big toe. This can be a combination of lymphatic congestion and stagnation, kidney filtration insufficiency and dietary issues. In fact, Gout could very well be the national condition of the UK due to the traditional indulgence in organ meats that contain large amounts of saturated fat and metabolic acids.
Diet is key not just for gout, but for all arthritis conditions.
It is also important to reduce the intake of sugar, caffeine and all refined carbohydrates in order to reduce nutritional imbalances that affect arthritis. In order to protect collagen repair, I recommend eliminating potatoes, tomatos, eggplant, peppers and tobacco, which all contain alkaloids. At the same time it is essential to increase Omega 3 oils from Borage, Black Currant and fish. Also if there is any toxicity in the liver, it will have a more difficult time handling sulfur-bearing foods, and extra strain on the liver will cause it to be unable to filter out toxins that are stored in weakened joint spaces. So if they have psoriatic arthritis, a lot of time needs to be spent just in addressing liver weakness before even attempting treatment for the arthritis.
Herbal remedies are available which can address the lymphatic congestion, the accumulation of acidic metabolites and the sluggishness of the kidneys. Burdock, Cleavers, Poke Root and Sheep Sorrel are perfect for getting the lymphatic system drained and go very well with Lymphatic Drainage therapy. Dandelion Leaf and Celery Seed can flush out the kidneys and clear the pathway for toxic elimination. I also find that 2 tsp. of organic cherry juice each day can do wonders in keeping gout at bay by supporting kidney drainage. Reducing inflammation and pain is very important just for daily function. I recommend White Willow Bark which doesn’t have the damaging stomach side-effects of aspirin. California Poppy, Boswellia and Hemidesmus make a great combination for reducing inflammation and pain.
But one of the most important aspects of working with bone and joint issues is mindset and stress level. Many of my patients have indicated that their symptoms not only worsen with stress, but often began during or just after a major life stress. This is because adrenal fatigue plays a crucial role in insulin and calcium metabolism and so adrenal herbal formulas such as Rehmannia, Ashwaganda and Eleuthero may do more for arthritic symptomology than all the calcium tablets in the world.