Five Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatments For Gout

To resolve a wide range of diseases such as gout TCM or Traditional Chinese Medicine encompasses acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and other lesser-known healing practices. Over 2,500 years old, Chinese medicine is a globally respected alternative and complementary medical system to standard allopathic Western medicine. When comparing the effectiveness of Chinese herbs to Western therapies for gout, Simon Becker TCM practitioner and acupuncturist cited a clinical study done in China that compared the potency of Chinese herbs to Western therapies for gout. In the study, the control group was treated with conventional Western medical care while the other group was given Chinese herbal medicine. The results of the study showed that the group treated with herbal therapy was slightly much better than the control group that received conventional Western therapies. The only known difference between the two groups was that the treatment group did not suffer from any side effects while the control group treated with Western medicine did. When used under the guidance a knowledgeable alternative health care practitioner, Chinese herbs, from Becker’s viewpoint, are without the risk of harmful side effects.

Ermiao wan

The Journal of Ethnopharmacology printed a 1994 study that showed how Ermiao wan, a Chinese herb, decreases edema and swelling. In China, this herb is used to treat people with high levels of uric acid and gout. This herb should only be used by and under the guidance of a qualified Oriental medicine practitioner.

Burdock root

Burdock root decreases swelling and inflammation in the tissues. It is considered a natural diuretic and is prescribed by practitioners to treat edema and swollen tissues surrounding the joints. Use the root as a cataplasm to be topically applied on the problem spots or can be brewed into tea and drank. Burdock root can also be eaten raw or cooked like parsnips or carrots. Urban Herbs report that when the root is used topically, some people have complained of negative reactions. In some instances, it can cause contact dermatitis or a rash.


In both Western and Chinese herbal medicine, this herb is also known to alleviate gout pain. Dandelion is used by herbalists because it has anti-inflammatory and diuretic qualities. It can be used as an herbal cataplasm for topical application or brewed into tea and drank to treat gout. It can alleviate edema and swelling around the joints. Dandelion enhances the elimination of uric acid, the cause of gout.

Blood-letting cupping

This is a form of Chinese medicine that is not much used in the West. In 2010, the Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine reported the cupping or blood-letting is used in China once again to treat gout. In a clinical study involving 34 patients with acute gout, researchers observed that Chinese herbal medicines combined with blood-letting improved the condition of 21 of the 34 patients which is deemed a satisfactory result for gouty arthritis. Never treat gout yourself with cupping. Talk to a licensed or trained practitioner.

Meadow saffron

Meadow saffron contains colchicoside and colchicines, alkaloids that possess both diuretic and painkilling properties that can help treat water retention, edema, inflammation, and gout pain surrounding the affected joints. Standard pharmaceutical medications for gout treatment often contain colchicine. Patients who are required to take colchicine (which is relatively toxic) in any form should properly supervised by an experienced health practitioner.