Arthritis and Rheumatism
A Holistic Therapy
Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints, while the term ‘rheumatism’ includes a variety of symptoms, such as inflammation, pain, tenderness and stiffness of muscles and joints. These conditions are extremely widespread and most people develop some form of arthritis or rheumatism during their lifetime.
The most common forms of joint diseases are usually classified as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and gout. Apart from joint and muscle pain, rheumatism may also involve the tendons, bones and nerves and may manifest as rheumatic fever, sciatica, lumbago, spondylitis, low back pain, bursitis, neuritis and myositis.
Rheumatoid arthritis affects mainly younger individuals and is three times more common in females than in males. It can persist into old age, progressively becoming more disabling. Early symptoms include redness, swelling and soreness of joints. Often joints are affected symmetrically, that is both wrists or knees are involved. Pain and stiffness may also travel to other joints and affect the whole body. In later life lumps and nodules may appear at the joints and lead to deformities.
Osteoarthritis starts usually after the age of 40. It is also called degenerative joint disease. It develops more slowly than rheumatoid arthritis and does not spread to different parts of the body. Due to chronic inflammation around a joint, the protective cartilage wears away, causing bone ends to rub together, erode and sometimes fuse together (ankylosis).
Gout is characterized by painful joint inflammations, chiefly those in the hands and feet, usually the big toe is prominently involved. There is a high level of uric acid in the blood and tissues. Uric acid and other toxins and metabolic residues accumulating in muscles and around nerves, often in combination with food allergies, cause the inflammations and pain in muscles (myositis) and nerves (neuritis).
The common medical treatment for these conditions consists mainly of anti-inflammatory drugs, pain relief measures and physiotherapy to maintain a degree of mobility in affected joints, but it cannot slow or reverse the progressive deterioration of the disease. As a last resort affected joints may be surgically replaced.
Arthritis is sometimes called the ‘cooked food disease’. A high intake of cooked, sweet and fatty food is usually characteristic in the development of the disease. Alternatively, there is an inability to handle sweet and fatty food. Other main factors are a high incidence of food allergies, nutritional deficiencies as well as an unhealthy intestinal flora.
Rheumatoid arthritis in particular is closely linked to food allergy. Most sufferers greatly improve when they are on a fast or restricted diet, which eliminates the foods to which they are allergic. Cows’ milk products and wheat products are the most common offenders, but there is usually a whole range of foods to which individuals react with a worsening of symptoms.
When aspirin and other commonly used pain relieving drugs are taken, the intestinal wall becomes less effective in blocking harmful partly digested nutrients and frequently a worsening of symptoms occurs in the longer term. The same happens if fruit acids are ingested or sweet food is eaten. The inefficient metabolism of these individuals converts sweet food only partly into energy; the rest forms lactic acid. Acids liberate histamine, which in turn causes swellings and strong inflammatory reactions. Therefore, inflammatory conditions deteriorate if fruit acids or acid-forming foods are ingested, while alkaline-forming foods, generally vegetables and those rich in minerals are beneficial.
Another group of foods to increase allergic inflammations and pain sensitivity are the polyunsaturated oils. These are converted to arachidonic acid (also present in meat) and further into a group of tissue hormones, called prostaglandins, which are pro-inflammatory. Also inorganic iron in supplements and water (brown residues) can trigger inflammations.
The opposite effect, reducing pain sensitivity and inflammation, has another group of oils containing so-called Omega-3 fatty acids. These are mainly present in linseed and fish oils and form prostaglandins, which are anti-inflammatory.
While food incompatibility is a frequent trigger of rheumatoid arthritis, there may also be allergies to inhaled substances, such as gas from a gas stove or heater, car exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, solvent fumes, perfumes, moth balls or any strongly or persistently smelling substance at home or work. Even toothpaste, make-up, detergents in dishwater, synthetic clothing, especially nylon or any environmental, agricultural or food chemicals may contribute to this condition.
All of the factors causing or influencing rheumatoid arthritis can also contribute to the development of osteoarthritis. As the onset later in life shows, there must be another negative factor, which develops over time. As we will see, it is not age itself, which is the real problem, but the declining health of most people with advancing age and that is an important difference.
Joints need to be well nourished to maintain a healthy structure. Vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are required in sufficiently high concentrations to maintain and regenerate the cartilage linings of the joints and the synovial membranes and fluids surrounding them. Most individuals living on a ‘normal’ mixed diet are more or less deficient in one or more of these essential nutrients and this will lead over time to a gradual deterioration of joints, especially those which are heavily used but do not receive an adequate supply of nutrients. Commonly affected are the weight-bearing joints in overweight individuals and also joints with old injuries.
There are various experimental studies, which show the extent of the allergy problems, especially in the causation of rheumatoid arthritis. In one report all 45 patients significantly improved in all seven objective and subjective disease parameters while on a 7-day water fast; a similar result was reported by another author in a study with 25 patients. Subsequent challenges with implicated foods provoked intense reactions with severe deterioration.
Reactions occur mainly against foods, which are overused in a society. While in Australia these are mainly wheat, cows’ milk products and meat, in the United States there is also a high incidence of allergy to corn and soy products. However, the deciding factor is the individual food preference of the affected person. Foods to which we are addicted and like to eat every day are usually the worst offenders.
Another report concerns 6 patients with rheumatoid arthritis who all had remissions of joint symptoms when they went on a low-calorie fat-free diet. When, after 7 weeks, either animal fat or vegetable oil was reintroduced they all experienced return of their symptoms within 72 hours. Chicken, cheese, safflower oil, beef or coconut oil all caused inflammatory deteriorations in their joints.
Foods of the nightshade family frequently have a negative effect on arthritis. These include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and capsicum. In a study with 5000 arthritics who avoided nightshades over 70% reported a gradual improvement over the 7 years of the experiment.
Nightshade foods contain the alkaloid solanine, which is highest in greened potatoes but also to some degree in green tomatoes and green capsicum. It may be assumed that it is mainly the occasional ingestion of green parts of nightshades, which cause the arthritic problems. This may include green capsicum and the green inner parts of some commercial tomatoes. Also damaged potatoes are higher in solanine.
Arthritics frequently do not have sufficient gastric acid for the proper digestion of proteins. This causes deficiencies in proteins, minerals and vitamin B12 as well as over-sensitivity to bacteria in food and water. Of a group of 35 arthritics 28.6% did not have any gastric acid (achlorhydria) while another 17% had only very low gastric acid levels (hypochlorhydria).
Supplementing meals with hydrochloric acid to assist in the digestion does not adversely affect joint inflammations. Such inflammations are aggravated by insufficiently metabolized fruit acids, such as citric acid, but also vinegar. However, with advancing age inflammatory processes decrease to be replaced by increasing calcifications and stiffness. In this situation it is actually beneficial to supply plenty of fruit acids and cider vinegar.
This difference in the reaction to fruit acids results from age-related changes in the metabolism. Initially the ingestion of sweet foods causes overacidity in the tissues through accumulation of lactic acid and metabolic fruit acids from the citric acid cycle. This causes joint erosion by leaching calcium from the bones. With advancing age, on the other hand, the metabolism slows down. Sugars may then cause diabetes or be converted to fat and cause overweight. Now a deficiency of metabolic acids develops. The tissues and fluids around the joints become too alkaline, inflammations fade out, instead calcium starts to deposit around the joints, forming spurs and causing joints to grow together (ankylosis).
The generally low gastric acid levels in combination with an unhealthy intestinal flora may be the major causes for the high incidence of malnutrition in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis. In one study it was reported that nearly 75% of patients in Alabama have signs of malnutrition. Frequently deficient are protein, zinc, folic acid, pantothenic acid, vitamin C, selenium and cystine. Cystine is a sulfur-containing amino acid that is high in connective tissue, skin, nail and hair. In arthritics the cystine content of fingernails was only 8.9% compared to a normal value of 12%. Raw egg yolk is the best source of sulfur-containing amino acids (except if allergic to it). The best supplement for organic sulfur is MSM.
A major contributing factor, especially with rheumatoid arthritis, is an overgrowth of the intestines with undesirable bacteria and fungi. The main cause for this is usually antibiotic treatment, sometimes also the meat from animals reared with routine antibiotic feeding as well as other drugs. The problem is aggravated by low gastric acidity as well as a diet high in sweet foods.
Frequently the intestinal walls are damaged by a high gluten intake as well as by allergenic inflammations and this allows bacterial decomposition products to enter the bloodstream and weaken the immune system as well as aggravate the joint inflammations. Another contributing factor in this process is the use of aspirin and other analgesics that make the intestinal walls more porous.
This invasion of bacterial allergens combined with food allergens not only produces joint inflammations, but also a phenomenon called ‘sludged blood’: the red blood cells begin to aggregate and clump together.
In this condition they cannot be sufficiently charged with oxygen and in addition they clog the blood capillaries in the muscles, leading to oxygen starvation, lack of nutrients and accumulation of metabolic waste products. This results in a generally sluggish blood circulation, which is a major cause of the morning stiffness in arthritis.
The clumped blood cells and the resulting sluggish circulation could be directly observed in the capillaries of the conjunctiva of the eyes of arthritics. This same condition is responsible for a raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate or E.S.R. in the blood with inflammatory arthritis. A raised E.S.R. is usually indicative of a general infection or of inflammatory and widespread immune reactions in the body.
In addition to infections, inflammations and allergies, also a high fat intake induces temporary sludging of the blood. This is probably the reason for the improvement experienced on a low fat diet. Arthritics often have poor liver functions and a slow clearance of fat particles (chylomicrons) from the bloodstream. This makes blood cells stickier, causing them to clump together and the resulting oxygen deficiency increases the pain in the affected area.
It has been shown that sludging of the blood occurs temporarily in an area, which has been traumatized by a sudden impact injury such as a fall or a strong blow. This localized sludgingmay be the cause of the frequently resulting ‘traumatic arthritis’.
Meat and Sugar
Calcium leaching out of joints, bones and teeth is a major cause of arthritis, osteoporosis and tooth decay. There are two commonly used foods, which lead to elevated calcium blood levels and subsequently increased loss in the urine. These are meat and sugar.
Meat stimulates the parathyroid glands to become overactive, due mainly to high phosphorus content. Also many soft drinks are very high in phosphorus. Increased parathyroid activity means raised calcium blood levels and the sources of this additional calcium are the joints and bones. Compared to vegetarians, meat-eaters lose on average two to four times the amount of calcium in the urine; the higher the intake of meat and other animal protein, the greater is the calcium loss.
It is similar with sugar. After ingesting sugar, insulin blood levels are raised and these, in turn, raise the calcium level. When individuals with a normal insulin response ingest 100 g of sugar, the loss of calcium in the urine approximately doubles. However, many individuals have a poor sugar metabolism with an exaggerated insulin response as in hypoglycemia. In these individuals a test load of 100 g sugar increases the calcium loss with the urine about four-fold. It is inconceivable that joints could remain healthy with such huge and continuing loss of calcium.
Another important nutrient for joint health is magnesium, which is also regulated by the parathyroid glands. If calcium is raised in the blood, then magnesium is lowered and vice versa. This means, an increased magnesium intake will lower the calcium blood level and therefore less or no calcium needs to be leached from bones and joints. With sufficient magnesium intake calcium may even be re-deposited into joints and bones. However, experience shows that a high calcium intake in this situation leads only to calcifications in the wrong places, such as spurs, kidney stones, ankylosis and arteriosclerosis.
With these insights we can also understand why the common medical advice for the prevention of osteoporosis – to ingest more milk products and use calcium supplements – is generally ineffective. Clinical statistics show that calcium loss from the bones continues unabated. Instead, the real solution is to minimize the intake of animal protein and sugar and increase the intake of magnesium and boron. In addition, hormonal changes (menopause) play a role as well as vitamin D deficiency which can be prevented by moderate sunbathing.
A diet high in meat and other animal proteins contributes also to the formation of high levels of uric acid. Purines are formed from the breakdown of nucleic acids, which are part of the nuclei of cells. Uric acid is formed from the oxidation of purines, but it can also be synthesized from simple metabolic molecules. While it may not be advisable to eat large amounts of cooked beans and peas due to their purine content, sprouted legumes are still recommended even with gout.
Sugars, especially fructose and the fructose part of household sugar, increase the production of uric acid and possibly the breakdown of nucleic acids. However, an even stronger effect on uric acid production has alcohol, especially in the form of beer. 95% of those affected with gout are males and of these the most common feature is high beer consumption.
Caffeine from coffee and theophylline from tea are methylated purines. While they do not seem to have a direct effect on uric acid levels, they contribute to the loss of calcium and magnesium from the body. 300 mg of caffeine, which may be found in three cups of coffee, doubles urinary calcium loss in both men and women.
Arthritics of all types generally show a wide range of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Often there are abnormalities in the metabolism, which require much higher amounts than normal in order to be effective.
Nicotinamide (also called niacinamide) is most effective with osteoarthritis and especially with knee problems. In one controlled study 663 patients on nicotinamide had a much better range of joint movements than untreated controls. Decreased pain and increased joint mobility are noted in 2 – 6 weeks. The dosage increased gradually to 1 g three times daily and was tapered off once effective. In addition a high dosage B complex was used.
Pantothenic acid, on the other hand, another B-group vitamin, is more effective with rheumatoid arthritis. Acute deficiency of pantothenic acid in the rat produced pathological joint changes, which were like those in osteoarthritis. Supplementation of patients produced a limited variable improvement, which ended when the supplementation was stopped.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis have significantly lower pantothenic acid blood levels than controls and the degree of the deficiency has been shown to correlate directly with the severity of symptoms: the lower the levels of the vitamin, the more severe were the symptoms. After 2 months on 4 times daily 500 mg of pantothenate a group of patients showed significant improvement in morning stiffness, degree of pain and disability.
In another trial a group of patients received a daily injection of 50 mg of pantothenate either alone or with Royal Jelly. Symptoms had improved after 7 days but showed no further improvement with continued injections. When the injections were stopped, blood levels gradually fell to their original low levels with a return of the former symptoms.
Vegetarians generally had higher pantothenate blood levels and responded better to pantothenate supplements. Interestingly, the degree of sludging of the blood and with this the E.S.R. improved with pantothenate supplementation.
Vitamin B6 is mainly beneficial for problems with the hands, fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders. Numbness, tingling, pain, stiffness and weakness commonly improved in 8 – 12 weeks while on 100 – 150 mg vitamin B6 daily. Sometimes doses of 500 mg or more are given daily together with zinc supplements.
Vitamin E is an inhibitor of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins. In this way it should be beneficial in all forms of arthritis. During a 10 day trial with 900 I.U. of vitamin E daily 52% of patients reported a good pain relieving effect.
Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to be beneficial in all forms of arthritis. Guinea pigs with artificially induced osteoarthritis developed severe symptoms on a low vitamin C intake but only mild symptoms on a high intake. Blood and tissue levels of vitamin C are especially low with rheumatoid arthritis. With gout 4 g of ascorbic acid daily increased the urinary excretion of uric acid while a daily intake of 8 g in addition strongly lowered the uric acid blood levels. High vitamin C blood levels reduce histamine levels and with this inflammations. A high intake of niacin or nicotinic acid, on the other hand, may decrease uric acid excretion and provoke an attack of gout.
While folic acid levels are generally low with rheumatoid arthritis, supplements seem to be most helpful with gout. High doses of 10 – 75 mg daily have been used to block uric acid production and have been reported to be more effective than drugs in reducing uric acid blood levels. Additional vitamin B12 may be required with such high folic acid intakes.
Copper has a reputation of being an effective anti-inflammatory agent in arthritis. Medically it is mainly used in the form of copper salicylate. It can increase joint mobility, decrease swellings and pain and normalize the E.S.R. In one study 65% of 620 patients became symptom free, also other inflammatory joint diseases improved for an average of 3 years. Commonly 60 mg of copper salicylate are used twice daily for 10 days, if not available experiment with chelates or gluconate of copper. Copper deficiency causes uric acid levels to rise in gout. Copper blood levels in rheumatoid arthritis are elevated as liver stores are mobilized in response to the inflammatory processes, causing tissue deficiency.
However, arthritis sufferers have found that it is often quite effective just to wear a copper bracelet around the affected limb. This practice has been validated by medical research. When after one month the copper bracelet in a large group of patients was replaced by a placebo (an imitation bracelet) those who had previously improved deteriorated again. The average loss of copper from the bracelets for one month was 13 mg, presumably dissolved by the sweat and absorbed into the skin.
Zinc levels in the blood and cells of patients with rheumatoid arthritis are markedly reduced as compared to controls, however, more zinc than normal is lost with the urine. High-level zinc supplements led to significant improvements in most patients in regard to all disease parameters. However, if very high intakes (e.g. 3 X 50 mg of zinc) are maintained for long periods, say for more than 6 months, copper deficiency may develop with deterioration in symptoms. In addition, high doses of zinc sulfate may irritate the digestive system.
Iron is a problem mineral. Like zinc, it is elevated in the synovial fluid around the joints but too low in the serum. Iron deposits can often be seen in the membranes of affected joints. There are reports of female rheumatoid arthritis patients deteriorating with ferrous sulfate supplements. On the other hand, there is often anemia in female patients which calls for more iron. The suggested solution is to supplement meals with ascorbic acid, which greatly increases iron absorption in an organic form, which is less likely to cause problems.
Selenium levels are depressed with rheumatoid arthritis. The longer the duration of the disease and the more severe the symptoms, the lower are usually the blood selenium levels; conversely, increased selenium levels are also related to improved hemoglobin levels in the blood.
There is a history of taking sulfur baths for arthritis. The beneficial effect of this has been confirmed in medical studies. Blood sulfur levels rise following sulfur baths. Alternatively, patients may take powdered sulfur. This resulted in an improvement in many cases with the generally reduced cystine content of fingernails returning to normal values. Cystine is a sulfur-containing amino acid, which is high in egg yolk. Molybdenum is required to incorporate sulfur into cartilage.
Boron has been reported to be of help to many arthritics. This may be because boron lowers the urinary excretion of calcium and magnesium and raises the blood level of sex hormones, especially in post-menopausal women. Boron occurs naturally in fresh fruit and vegetables or may be supplied as borax or boric acid.
Other Anti-Rheumatic Agents
While polyunsaturated oils from oil seeds tend to produce inflammatory tissue hormones or prostaglandins, fish oils, the linolenic acid in linseed and a rare kind of oil in evening primrose oil (gamma linolenic acid) help to produce anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. Commonly linseed oil, cod liver oil or capsules of fish oil concentrates are used. With evening primrose oil (e.g. 4 times daily) it may take 4 – 12 weeks for benefits to be felt. Some patients who show the best long-term benefits may feel worse during the first 2 weeks. Also other anti-inflammatory remedies are helpful, such as fresh ginger, turmeric, feverfew, golden seal and propolis.
Flavonoids are mainly yellow, orange, pink or purple plant pigments as in various fruits and flower petals. Some of the more potent ones are called bioflavonoids; these include rutin and hesperidin. Flavonoids strengthen the blood capillaries, improve the absorption and action of vitamin C, they are strong antioxidants and have anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties. In this way, they are especially beneficial with inflammatory forms of arthritis. In particular, some flavonoids inhibit the autoimmune reactions around the joints. A good diet contains 1g or more of flavonoids. They are also available as supplements.
The amino acid D,L-phenylalanine can be effective as a pain reliever. It may take up to 3 weeks to get results. Commonly 750 mg 3 times daily has been used; if not effective double the dose for another 3 weeks. Inflammation and swellings may be reduced. A similar beneficial effect has been found with the amino acid tryptophan. Patients who had been treated with tryptophan for depression also had relief from arthritis. Also the amino acid L- histidine may be beneficial.
Mucopolysaccharides , also called proteoglycans, form long chains which are the basis of the cartilage and connective tissue. Normally proteoglycans make up about 80% of cartilage. In arthritic cartilage this may be reduced to 40% or less. Ingesting proteoglycans as food or supplements has been shown to be very beneficial.
These can be supplied from green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus). Several experimental studies have shown significant improvement in most patients with long-term supplementation. In addition, calf cartilage has been used with good results, especially injections of pre-digested cartilage. Now also liquid oral bovine cartilage is available, otherwise you may use shark cartilage, but it is more difficult to digest and absorb. Other foods rich in proteoglycans are Aloe vera, oats, okra, sweet potato leaves, shark fin soup, Irish moss and especially broth of fish heads.
The amino sugar glucosamine is a main raw product for the synthesis of proteoglycans. Supplying sufficient glucosamine, about 1.5 g per day, helps to restore normal cartilage composition and is very beneficial for affected joints, N-acetyl glucosamine is the preferred variety. Also other types of glucosamine may be used, add MSM as well. Another basic building block of cartilage is chondroitin sulfate.
Yucca is one of the few herbs’ that have been scientifically assessed in the treatment of diseases. Of 149 arthritics 61% had less swellings, pain and stiffness. Some required several months of treatment before improving. Encouraging reports are also available for the bitter root of devil’s claw.
Protein-digesting or proteolytic enzymes are well known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Bromelain, an enzyme from pineapple, was found to improve most inflammatory arthritic conditions.
WASTES, TOXINS AND MICROBES
Tense muscles surrounding a joint have a further strong influence on joint deterioration. Such muscle tensions may originate from overwork of this particular muscle group or the cause may be unreleased emotional tensions. If we feel an emotion but do not properly act to release it, then this energy is stored in a corresponding muscle in the form of a permanent contraction of some muscle fibers.
This is called muscle armoring. Unreleased anger may, for instance, affect the shoulder muscles and unreleased sexual tension may amour pelvis and hip muscles. An armored muscle has a permanently contracted core with greatly reduced blood and lymph circulation. This in turn encourages the accumulation of toxins and metabolic wastes in this area. Such armored muscle groups around a joint will also prevent an adequate supply of nutrients from reaching the joint.
Furthermore, armored muscles, because of their lack of nutrients, tend to produce large amounts of lactic acid. This in turn liberates histamine and leads to inflammations. At the same time, these over-acid conditions contribute to the erosion of bones and joints (e.g. osteoporosis). On the other hand, when conditions are too alkaline (e.g. when the metabolism slows down with advancing age) then calcifications will occur as with joint deformities.
While armored muscles will in this way lead to malnourishment of joints and to arthritis, also the reverse is true: an inflamed joint will lead to muscle tension and armoring around it and this in turn will further contribute to the long-term joint deterioration.
In addition to an unhealthy intestinal flora, another main source of endogenous toxins, those produced within the body, are dead teeth. Dead teeth are even more dangerous than mercury amalgam fillings and having two different kinds of metal in the mouth. Teeth with a root canal filling, a post-crown and sometimes also teeth with large fillings or pins are dead.
Dead teeth slowly disintegrate and cause a chronic osteitis with softening and inflammation of the surrounding jawbone. Toxins are continuously released into the surrounding tissue and blood stream. This process may continue even after removal of a dead tooth if the diseased bone is not curetted or scraped out back to the healthy jawbone, or if any fragments of root or metal remain embedded.
In addition, in the acupuncture system each tooth is related to a specific energy meridian, organ and also joint. Therefore, an interference field in a specific tooth can trigger or intensify arthritis in a related joint. To give some examples, number 3 teeth in all locations are associated with the hips, the lower 6 to 8 and the upper 4, 5 and 8 are related to the shoulders and elbows, also to the hands, feet and toes in various locations, numbers 1 to 3 in all locations connect to the feet, back of knees and sacrococcyx and lower 4 and 5 and upper 6 and 7 to the front of knees and the jaws.
To avoid problems, all dead teeth should be removed and any areas of osteitis curetted. If in doubt about the condition of the jawbone with missing teeth consult a therapist who does electro-acupuncture testing as with Vega equipment. As there are no nerves, there may be no pain to indicate osteitis. Many testimonials of former sufferers attest to the benefits of having hidden dental hazards removed.
The P.C. Microbe
As a result of the accumulation of waste products and the chronic release of endogenous toxins in combination with food allergies there is a serious decline in our immune functions, which then allows the proliferation of harmful internally generated microbes.
Virginia Livingston-Wheeler has named this endogenous microbe Progenitor Cryptocides or short P.C. It normally lives in a virus-like form in a beneficial symbiosis within our body cells, but when our immune system becomes too weak, P.C. can leave the cells and start an uncontrolled growth with changes in size and shape to bacterial and fungus-like forms.
In its virulent condition P.C. has been shown by various researchers to be a major factor in the development of the group of collagen and connective tissue diseases. These include rheumatoid arthritis and even cancer. P.C. attacks mainly the areas with the lowest vitality by releasing enzymes, which lead to a localized disintegration of the collagen structure.
This allows any cancer cells, which may be present to become embedded and start growth as a tumor. If this process of connective tissue disintegration starts in the joints the immune system initially contains the damage by infiltrating the attacked area with a large number of white blood cells. These release enzymes, which dissolve the fragments of denatured cartilage resulting from the activity of P.C. and most likely also try to kill P.C. This process looks superficially as if the immune system destroys its own tissue and is therefore called an autoimmune disease.
In animal experiments it has been shown that the injection of large doses of virulent P.C. culture leads to tumor development while lower doses lead to various forms of degenerative connective tissue diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis. Finally, the immune system becomes too weak and the body limits the damage by calcifying the joint.
The most effective treatment for most cases of arthritis, but especially for rheumatoid arthritis are Intestinal Sanitation and Antimicrobial Therapy.
Generally, in arthritis the organs of elimination are weak, leading to mucus congestion of the lymphatic system and to fatty degeneration of organs and muscles.
Uric acid is an especially unpleasant metabolic residue because of its low solubility, which leads to deposits of needle-like crystals. These crystals irritate muscles and joints and greatly add to the pain caused by tight muscles with tension and inflammation. This results in gout and various forms of rheumatism.
High levels of uric acid are formed by a diet high in meat, sugar, coffee and tea. Because uric acid is only slightly soluble, it needs plenty of water and well functioning kidneys to flush it out of muscles and joints and remove it from the body.
Other organs that are usually weak in arthritis are the stomach, the liver, gall bladder and generally the whole of the digestive system. The prominent involvement of the big toes with gout is especially significant as these are the starting points of the acupuncture meridians of the liver. While the sugar metabolism is especially weak with other forms of arthritis, with gout it is mainly the protein and fat metabolism.
Besides the kidneys, other organs of elimination are the bowels, the liver, the skin and the lungs; all of these need to be greatly stimulated to remove toxic and obstructive waste residues from arthritic joints and rheumatic muscles.
The basic arthritis diet consists of plenty of raw food such as sprouted seeds, fresh vegetable juices with plenty of wheat or barley grass and beetroot, also vegetable salads in increasing amounts according to the strength of the digestion. You may cook lentils and brown rice, usually eaten together at the same meal, and also steamed vegetables, especially onions, green beans, okras, sweet potato leaves and beetroot. Generally, sweet vegetables, such as carrots, pumpkin turnips and sweet potatoes are best eaten raw and finely grated as part of a salad. Frequently have raw food days.
Instead of using commercial yeast-baked bread, experiment with sourdough baking. Use free-range raw egg yolk (e.g. as part of a salad dressing), otherwise soft-boiled egg. Fish and seafood are good and especially the broth of simmered fish heads and bones. Liver may be used occasionally except with gout. Other helpful foods are avocado, almonds, pecans, celery, coleslaw, peanuts, peanut oil and extra-virgin olive oil.
The more sensitive the skin is against cold, insect bites and irritants, the less fruit should be used or, alternatively, any fruit acids may be neutralized with sodium bicarbonate. With insensitive skin use a fair amount of fruit, including bananas, before or instead of meals. Mix 1 tbsp. of ground linseed (grind in blender or coffee grinder and refrigerate) and 1 tsp. of lecithin with most meals.
Some arthritis sufferers improve when avoiding foods of the nightshade family: tomatoes, potatoes, capsicum and peppers, eggplant or aubergine. These may contain the toxic alkaloid solanine, especially high in green parts of potatoes and tomatoes.
Best avoid these until sufficient improvement, then introduce gradually with careful self-observation. Use only red capsicum, not green ones. However, raw potato juice and broth of potato peels are helpful to some sufferers and you may experiment with these.
Avoid cows’ milk products, wheat products (except wheat grass juice), and other gluten foods such as rye, barley and oats; sweeteners and sweetened food, salt, red meat, yeast fat, fried products, commercial polyunsaturated oils, margarine or other highly processed food or food containing preservative, coloring or other unbiological chemicals. If sensitive avoid also unneutralized food acids, such as lemon juice and vinegar, fruit juice or dried fruit. Avoid alcohol and smoking; be careful with coffee and tea. Try to avoid chlorinated and fluoridated water for cooking and drinking. Minimize cooked legumes with gout.
Because of the usually weak digestive powers, it is important to have only small meals, chew very well. Have breakfast as the main meal or possibly lunch, but only a light, early evening meal. Ingest any water in which vegetables or brown rice has been cooked. If meat, fish or nuts are used, eat these as the first part of any meal. If possible, lie down after lunch.
While it is important to have plenty of fluid-intake, this should not be taken with or after meals so that digestive juices are not diluted. Drink about one liter of preferably warm water, weak herb tea (peppermint is good) or, most recommended, fresh diluted vegetable juice about 30 minutes before breakfast. Use mainly wheat grass, barley grass, celery, parsley, edible weeds and other green leaves as well as beetroot for a vegetable juice and only a smaller amount of flavoring sweet vegetables (e.g. carrots, pumpkin) and apple. A further glass of water, herb tea or fresh juice may be taken before other meals. Drink juices slowly and spaced out to minimize any rise in the blood sugar level. For further information explore metabolic types and blood groups.
Fasting or cleansing periods are of greatest importance, the more so, the more the disease has progressed. Frequency, duration and food restrictions are to be selected according to the severity of the disease and the sensitivity of the body.
On the average, fast about one week each month until much improved, then gradually less. However, you may start with one-day fasts and then three days before proceeding to a full week. Insensitive individuals and those with gout may often fast on fresh fruits, especially (unsprayed) apples. Sensitive individuals should use mainly fresh green vegetable juices, sprouted seeds and vegetable salads, flavored only with herbs and a small amount of olive or peanut oil.
On the first morning of each fasting period take a tablespoon of Epsom salts in water to clean the bowels. If your digestion is rather weak, use mainly freshly pressed raw vegetable juices; wheat grass or barley grass juice is excellent. The first cleansing period may have added cooked brown rice. After fasting reintroduce new foods gradually and watch for signs of allergy or worsening of symptoms, exclude any reacting food.
Sanitize your intestinal flora by taking a course of cultures of acidophilus and bifido bacteria. Preferably eradicate most harmful bacteria and fungi by drinking one liter of water with the addition of 1 tbsp. of Epsom salts or if this is not tolerated with 1-heaped teaspoon of table salt and also one large crushed clove of garlic.
Drink this first thing in the morning of each fasting day. Then take a suitable acidophilus – bifido culture as yoghurt or as high potency capsules or powders in a large glass of diluted vegetable juice one hour after the last garlic drink. After starting with the cultures use only small amounts of fresh raw garlic to flavor meals, large intakes would kill the beneficial bacteria.
As a basic supplement take a B-complex tablet with each meal. Additions of specific vitamins may be of vitamin B6 used for certain problems, such as 500 mg or more for hand, arm and shoulder problems, up to several grams of pantothenic acid with rheumatoid arthritis and up to 3 g of nicotinamide with osteoarthritis, especially effective with knee problems, all to be taken in divided doses during meals and snacks. Mix half a teaspoon of sodium with each meal and a natural form of vitamin E, possibly as mixed tocopherols.
Minerals that have been found to help are 30 – 50 mg of zinc, 10 – 20 mg of manganese, 600 mg of magnesium, 100 – 200 mcg of selenium and also chromium and molybdenum. The therapeutic dose of boron commonly is 9 mg and the maintenance dose 3 to 6 mg. 50 mg of borax or boric acid contain about 6 mg of boron. To measure this amount, dissolve one level teaspoon of borax in one liter of water. One teaspoonful provides 3 mg of boron. Take this amount initially three times and later twice daily with meals.
In addition use plenty of magnesium chloride. For daily use it will be more convenient to dissolve the magnesium chloride in water. You may fill a jar half full with magnesium chloride flakes and then to the top with water. One teaspoon of this solution three times daily with food or drink provides a daily intake of about 600 mg of magnesium. If you have magnesium oil then use 1 teaspoon of this per day, suitably diluted, to provide 600 mg of magnesium.
Individuals with sensitive taste buds may start using it in tiny amounts mixed with strongly flavoured food and increase doses very gradually. You may start adding one drop to a glass of water or mixed with a meal. If that is alright, then next time add two drops, and then three until it starts tasting unpleasant. Cut back temporarily, but after another week or two you may not taste it anymore and you can start adding further drops until you reach the desired intake. I had many people complaining that they cannot use it because they had started taking it in too high a dose or too concentrated.
If you cannot get used to the taste of magnesium chloride, and also for children you may instead use an eqivalent amount of magnesium citrate.
Chelated or otherwise organically bound copper has been used to reduce inflammations; mainly as copper salicylates (copper salicylates do not appear to cause problems like other salicylates). Often it helps instead to wear a copper bracelet around the affected limb. Sulfur is an important ingredient of cartilage. If one or two egg yolks are not used daily or plenty of onion, use 5 – 10 g of MSM, alternatively the amino acids methionine and cysteine or, if these are not available or affordable, even about 300 mg of powdered sulfur may be helpful.
A drop iodine remedy can increase energy. Alternatively take kelp. Highly recommended is glucosamine, 500 mg before or with each meal, if available also liquid bovine cartilage (1 tsp daily) or possibly extract of green-lipped mussel, about 350 mg 3 times daily. Also try chondroitin sulfate. Cod liver oil is very helpful. You may shake a tablespoonful together with some lecithin and fresh orange juice in a jar, some recommend taking this before going to bed. This provides the essential omega-3 fatty acid DHA and the vitamins A and D. If you suspect fat malabsorption you frequently need to rub cod liver oil into the skin. You may rinse it off several hours later.
If insensitive, elderly or with signs of mineral deficiency (soft fingernails), a hydrochloric acid supplement with meals may be beneficial, especially with protein foods.Hydrochloric Acid.
Also digestive enzymes from supplements or pineapple, pawpaw or ripe Kiwi fruit will be helpful in advanced conditions with cooked food meals. The protein-digesting enzymes bromelain and papain (pineapple and papaya) can also be taken before meals to reduce pain and inflammation. If food or chemical sensitivities remain a problem even after allergy testing and avoiding offenders, then several grams of the amino acid glutamine can help to make the intestinal wall less ‘leaky’.
D-or D,L-phenylalanine (but not L-phenylalanine) reduces pain by blocking enzymes which destroy natural pain-killing hormones in the brain. Start with 500 mg 3 times daily. It may take up to 3 weeks until it becomes effective; possibly increase to 1500 mg per dose, once effective decrease again to a minimum maintenance dose. White willow bark may be used as herbal salicylate for pain relief but is not recommended for long-term use as it may increase allergies, it is much better to use copper salicylate. With gout copper salicylate and 5 mg of folic acid with meals are helpful.
Other beneficial supplements are Royal Jelly (absorb under the tongue), evening primrose oil, octacosanol, spirulina, bee pollen, ginseng and yucca; with rheumatoid arthritis also immune stimulants such as propolis, echinacea, and freeze-dried thymus (absorb under the tongue). Good anti-inflammatory herbal remedies are golden seal, feverfew, ginger, pau d’arco or taheebo and turmeric.
To improve liver functions use Kyolic aged garlic, milk thistle, and after meals half a cup of a bitter liver herb such as centaury, devils claw or gentian. At other times also diuretic herb teas are useful, such as meadowsweet and sarsaparilla which both help to remove uric acid. For osteoarthritis the homeopathic remedies Rhus.Tox and Bryonia taken in alternation may be beneficial.
Increase and decrease high-dosage supplements gradually, such as initially or before and after fasts and with improvement. The more you use fresh green juice, raw food, cleansing and suitable additional therapies, the less supplements will be needed
Blistering, also called counter-irritation, is a direct cleansing method for local conditions and has been used successfully for centuries with arthritis and other rheumatic complaints. It often gives results quicker and more reliably than other methods.
The usual technique to irritate the skin over a painful or stiff joint is by applying a blistering agent. One may also vigorously brush affected joints or even intentionally expose them to insect bites or stings. A folk remedy for arthritis it to hold a stiff or sore joint in an ants nest or let it be bitten by sand flies or mosquitoes, even bee stings have been used. Another folk remedy is beating the affected area with a bunch of stinging nettles.
The principle is to draw the toxins and congesting energies from the inside to the surface. Liniments, compresses and plasters may be used. Vegetable turpentine or kerosene are suitable as blistering agents, but most commonly used are cayenne, mustard powder and Cantharides. Cayenne or mustard powder may be mixed with water to make a paste. This is spread on a linen or cotton cloth and applied to the affected area. Leave it on until the burning becomes too uncomfortable. Preferably a blister should have been raised or pussy pustules may appear. Wash off any remaining paste residues and open the blister with a needle to drain the fluid. For healing the skin keep a fresh cabbage leaf over the blistered area, later rub vitamin E oil onto it.
If Cantharides plaster is available cut out and apply a piece the size of one to several postage stamps. Leave for 12 – 24 hours, depending on the sensitivity of the skin. With rather insensitive skin, the skin must first be pricked in many places or otherwise mechanically irritated over the affected joint before applying the plaster. In long-standing conditions blistering may have to be repeated several times in different places around the joint or along the course of an infected nerve as with shingles.
Blistering can also be used with low back pain, sciatica, myositis, bursitis, neuralgia and neuritis, lumbago, spondylitis as well as with pain, inflammation and infection of inner organs. While in many countries Cantharides plaster is not for sale, in Germany it is freely available in health food shops (Reformhaus). In Germany also a combination of cantharidin and croton oil is available as Oel Braunscheidtii (Pyonex Oil), which is rubbed into the pricked skin (Pyonex Treatment or Braunscheidtismus). Continue the blistering process until the pain or stiffness has disappeared.
I found kerosene very effective. Moisten a cloth with kerosene and wrap it around the affected joint. Possibly cover the cloth with plastic. After some time the skin may start burning but try to keep the pack on as long as you can stand it. This may be less than half an hour with sensitive skin or several hours if the skin is insensitive. After removing the pack, the burning will stop very quickly, but do not wash with water. The skin should be very red as after sunburn and it may start peeling after a few days, just like sunburn.
In addition to the direct elimination of harmful residues through the skin it is of greatest importance to improve the elimination through the bowels and kidneys. Much of the morning stiffness with arthritis is due to water retention. This, can improve by avoiding salt and taking herbal diuretics, such as juniper berries or tea of elder or peach leaves, also meadowsweet, sarsaparilla or sassafras.
Fatty and fat-soluble toxins and wastes are released through the liver and gall bladder into the bowels. Bitter herbal teas as recommended to improve the digestion will also assist in this task. In addition, the bowels must be kept active and open. The cleaner the bowels are the easier and quicker it is to clean the rest of the body. Congested bowels lead to congested lymph, blood and tissues.
Use sufficient laxative food, foremost ground linseed and magnesium chloride, to have 2 – 3 bowel movements daily. In addition, you may take 1 tsp. of Epsom salts with warm water first thing in the morning or at bedtime. A good herbal cleanser is aloe, which may be combined with senna for an occasional thorough cleanout, especially before and during fasting. If available, have initially a series of professional colonics (colonic irrigations).
Packs, Rubs, Baths, Colors
Packs, baths and rubs can be very helpful. As a rub use warm peanut oil. Rub it into affected joints while at the same time and for 5 – 15 minutes afterwards keeping the area warm with an infrared lamp or heater. For more immediate pain relief, you may also add some oil of sassafras, wintergreen or cloves to the peanut oil.
As a pack use Magnesium Chloride (preferable) or Epsom Salts (less well absorbed). Soak a cloth in a saturated magnesium solution or alternatively in very warm water, wring out lightly and cover with a heavy layer of magnesium salts. Alternatively rub magnesium oil directly on the skin. Apply this to a painful or stiff area and keep warm for 1 – 2 hours with a hot water bottle. If the problem is in the hands or feet, make a concentrated magnesium salt solution and bathe the affected part in it while keeping the solution as hot as possible. For the hips or if joints and spine hurt in many places, you may buy a 25 kg bag of magnesium chloride and dissolve 1 – 5 kg in a hot bath, the more concentrated the better. Repeat all of these once or twice a week. Often induce sweating after a bath.
If you like to experiment with color therapy, you may shine a strong blue light at close range onto a painful or inflamed area, while for chronic weakness and stiffness use an orange light. You may use a colored light bulb, or alternatively a color-filter or colored cellophane may be used with a normal light bulb or the sun as a light source. Expose the affected area for about 60 minutes at a time with a colored light bulb as close as possible to the skin but far enough that excessive heat is not a problem. Eliminate other light sources during this time, for instance by covering the colored light source and the irradiated area with a blanket. It may be more convenient just to wrap the affected joint or area with colored cellophane and expose it to normal daylight or sunlight or electrical light.
Deep muscle massage can be extremely effective. Unfortunately it is also rather painful, but if you have the opportunity and courage, I strongly recommend it. If it cannot be done professionally you may ask a friend or relative to press deeply into sore or tight muscles or you may even do it yourself. Also press sore spots in the shoulders for arm problems and in the buttocks for leg problems.
Another method that can bring surprisingly good results in difficult cases is induced vomiting. This not only clears the stomach of any accumulated waste but more importantly, it relaxes the digestive organs and stimulates the solar plexus.
To induce vomiting, drink five or six cups of lukewarm water within a few minutes and then touch or tickle the throat far down. Repeat induced vomiting until the water comes back clear. If this is not successful to induce vomiting, herbal emetic may be used, such as bayberry bark, black root, boneset, horehound, lobelia, mustard, ragwort or vervain. Afterwards drink mint tea to settle the stomach. Best consult an herbalist or herb book about the correct use of herbal emetics.
The best exercises to energize and relax tight muscles are tensing and shaking exercises. Sometimes you may shake the whole body, at other times just the affected parts. You may do this standing, sitting or even lying down. Shake the limbs or the whole body for one minute or longer while at the same time breathing as rapidly and deeply as you can.
Tensing, too, may be practiced in any position. You may either just tense the muscles around a painful, weak or stiff joint or leg, or gradually tense all your muscles, starting with the feet and proceeding towards the top. At the same time inhale deeply. Hold breath and maximum tension for several seconds and then exhale while at the same time relaxing the muscles from the head downward. Do this about ten times and repeat several times during the day. Also isometric exercises may be done: press with the arms or legs against a wall or other unmovable objects. Hold a deep breath while pressing and pay attention to relaxing the muscles afterwards.
If you can walk without much pain, then go for long walks and practice deep breathing in clean air at the same time. If you have difficulty walking, try swimming. As a general health measure, get into the habit of doing suitable yoga exercises, especially those, which strengthen the spine or the back and the intestinal area.
Emotions and Imagination
Unreleased emotions contribute significantly to muscle armoring and with this to the development of arthritis. The most frequent problems are suppressed anger, suppressed sexuality and resentment.
If you have arthritis in the leg joints or hip, violently kick a cushion or something similar for several minutes. If the problem is in the arms or shoulders, hit a cushion or mattress with the fists. If you remember having felt a grudge against a particular person, you may imagine hitting or kicking him or her. Make angry sounds at the same time, you may also cry or shout. You may have to repeat this on subsequent days. When you feel that you have reacted out all the stored resentment, frustration and anger and feel emotionally empty, begin creating an imaginary scene in your mind in which you forgive that person and any others you do remember. Try to send out some kind thoughts in the end.
Even if you do not remember a particular incident or person that caused you to be frustrated and resentful, do the exercise anyway. Some memories may come up while you are doing it. Finally, forgive yourself formally for problems you may have caused to others or which others may have caused you.
Another very helpful exercise is mental imagery. Sit or lie in a comfortable position and do one of the many available relaxation exercises. Then imagine that with each inhalation you draw in a cool blue stream of healing energy, which you mentally direct to any painful area. Imagine the pain as a red fire ball around the inflamed joint. See the blue healing energy washing away at the fireball and with each exhalation a murky mixture of red and blue energy leaving the body. Gradually the fireball becomes smaller and smaller until after several minutes it has completely disappeared. Feel the joint being immersed in the soothing blue healing energy. Repeat this exercise as necessary to control any pain.
If a joint is weak or stiff, you may imagine the healing energy to be orange or golden-yellow and see it washing away any constricting grey or black waste matter or calcifications. Then see the joint in a perfect shape and condition, have a look at an anatomical picture to know what a healthy joint should look like. Finally, see yourself in a mental movie exercising, working and using the diseased joint and also the whole body in a normal way or as you would like to use your body.
There are various other aspects, which may have either a positive or negative influence on your condition. I want to mention briefly just some of them. Keep warm during cold nights. It may be beneficial to sleep in a natural fiber sleeping bag during cold periods. A featherbed, on the other hand, may aggravate symptoms due to static electricity generated between feathers. Have a pillow of some natural material and preferably the same for the mattress. If you want to continue sleeping on a foam rubber mattress, put several natural fiber blankets on top.
Do not sleep or work for long periods close to operating high-powered electric appliances, avoid being exposed to fluorescent lighting for long periods. Do not sleep with the head resting on an arm or sit with your knees crossed. Do not wear synthetic clothing. Preferably have natural fiber carpets and curtains and only a minimum of large synthetic or plastic items in living and work areas.
Minimize wearing glasses, frequently look without glasses at the blue sky and green surroundings; be outdoors as much as possible. Walk barefoot on moist grass. As an elderly male restrict semen loss from sexual activity until much improved. Females should avoid strenuous activity during period time, which may suppress menstruation and worsen arthritis. However, it is fine for the period to stop due to a vegetarian or raw food cleansing diet.
Have any dead teeth removed and osteitis in the jawbone curetted. Preferably have also amalgam fillings replaced with biocompatible composite fillings, if in doubt find a therapist who does electro-acupuncture testing, also called electro-dermal screening.
Try reflexology, it is very effective. Also stimulate the skin with alternating hot and cold showers and with vigorous skin brushing, especially over stiff areas.
Low back pain is often due to problems in abdomen and sexual organs. An excellent therapy for low back problems, beside yoga exercises, is to hang upside down. Special inversion equipment is available from sporting goods stores. However, if you are sufficiently adventurous, you may also hang from a firmly secured ladder. Cushion two upper rungs, sit on the lower of these and let the torso hang down, the feet find safe support behind the upper cushioned rung. Have a helper for support.
As you can see there is so much you can do to help yourself that you may not know where to start. Begin with the most essential items: diet improvement, basic supplements, cleansing, blistering and improving the intestinal flora. By and by as your time, money and energy allow experiment with other recommendations. Your reward will be proportional to your efforts.