Updated 31 October 2016

'Boererate' for gout

Gout, often unfairly ascribed to an indulgent lifestyle, is a very painful affliction – but don't despair, one of a number of home remedies may be the answer to your prayers.

Ignorance about gout is widespread and the topic doesn’t come up very often in conversation, but according to sufferers it is one of the most horribly painful things that a human being can ever experience. It has been rated as more painful than childbirth.

Read: Signs and symptoms of gout

According to Arthritis Research & Therapy, gout was first identified by the Egyptians in 2640 BC and was described by Hippocrates in the fifth century BC as the “unwalkable disease”.

Throughout history gout has been associated with a lifestyle that only the affluent could afford and was therefore known as the “disease of kings”.

Gout results from an excess of uric acid in the body. Uric acid is formed when the body breaks down purines, found in many foods. Uric acid may form crystals, which can lead to gout.

Read: Causes of gout

Known remedies

Apart from making dietary changes like avoiding purines, meat and alcohol, there are many home remedies for gout. These remedies work by breaking down the uric acid crystals in the affected joints and decreasing the body’s inflammatory response.

Examples of remedies that lower inflammation are apple cider vinegar, ginger root and cherries. Epsom salt and bicarbonate of soda break down and remove acid from the body.

‘Boererate’ to the rescue

Kruiekraaikoning's Antoinette Pienaar and her mentor Oom Johannes Willemse are well-known on the Afrikaans radio station RSG for their advice on treating a host of ailments using South African herbs.

Their remedy for gout is as follows: Add 1kg garlic (chopped up) to 1l of water. Boil the mixture for 30 minutes on medium heat. Remove from stove and add 250g honey and 1l cane spirit to the mixture while it's still piping hot, so that the alcohol can evaporate.  

When it has cooled down, pour the mixture through a strainer into a glass bottle and store in the fridge. Drink a tot three times a day. Finish the bottle, wait a week and prepare another bottle. You will need to consume six to eight bottles for optimal results. 

The Boererate Facebook Groep recommend a number of remedies for gout, including the following: “Jigsimur”, apple cider vinegar, oats porridge, alkaline powder, cucumbers and a good calcium and magnesium supplement.

They also advise gout sufferers to go easy on meat and seafood and avoid things like citrus fruit, bananas and tomatoes.

A doctor’s advice

If home remedies don’t work and things get serious, it is advisable to see a doctor. Read this article by Health24’s Dr Owen Wiese to find out how a doctor would treat an acute gout attack.  


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Professor Asgar Ali Kalla completed his MBChB (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree in 1975 at the University of Cape Town and his FRCP in 2003 in London. Professor Ali Kalla is the Isaac Albow Chair of Rheumatology at the University of Cape Town and also the Head of Division of Rheumatology at Groote Schuur Hospital. He has participated in a number of clinical trials for rheumatology and is active in community outreach. Prof Ali Kalla is an expert in Arthritis for Health24.

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