- 7 Heel Spur Myths and Facts
- #1: Can Heel Spurs Break Off?
- #2: Can Heel Spurs Be Removed?
- #3: Can Heel Spurs Be Dissolved?
- #4: Can Heel Spurs Move Around?
- #5: Can Heel Spurs Cause Back Pain or Hip Pain?
- #6: Can Heel Spurs Break Through the Skin?
- #7: Can Heel Spurs Make Your Feet Go Numb?
- The Truth About Preventing Heel Spurs
- Terry’s Blog
- Bone Spurs Are Not Bone
- Top 10 Home Remedies for Bone Spurs…
- Symptoms of Bone Spurs…
- Bone Spurs be Gone!
- Natural Remedy for Bone Spurs #1… Calcium, Magnesium, Boron & Vitamin D:
- Where to Get Them From…
- Home Remedy for Bone Spurs/Heal Spurs #2… Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):
- How to Take your ACV…
- How to Dissolve Bone Spurs Remedy #3… Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon & Cayenne Pepper:
- Natural Remedy for Bone Spurs #4… Alkaline Diet:
- Best Alkaline Foods/Worst Acidic Foods…
- Home Remedy for Bone Spurs #5… Baking Soda:
- How to Get Rid of Bone Spurs Remedy #6… Epsom Salt:
- Natural Remedy for Bone Spurs/Heal Spurs #7… Fish Oil:
- Home Remedy for Bone Spurs #8… Organic Coconut Oil:
- How to Dissolve Bone Spurs Remedy #9… Borax:
- How to Take Your Borax…
- Natural Treatment for Bone Spurs #10… Exercise:
- Final Word on Getting Rid of Bone Spurs Naturally…
- Relieving Arthritis Pain
- 4 Most Common Types of Arthritis Pain
- Honey and Cinnamon Remedy
- Honey and Cider Vinegar Remedy
- Hot Apple Cider Vinegar
- How apple cider vinegar relieves arthritis
- PsA Natural Remedies: What are Natural Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis?
- Do Cinnamon and Honey Really Cure All Things
- The Chemistry of Honey
- The Chemistry of Cinnamon
- Combining the Two
- Testing It
- The acid test for arthritis
7 Heel Spur Myths and Facts
There’s a lot of mystery and misinformation out there about heel spurs.
The x-ray photos of tiny white shark-fins protruding into the fatty pad of the heel, combined with the idea of a pointy, painful growth suddenly appearing is more than a little alarming, and foot folklore abounds when it comes to what heel spurs are capable of–and how they can be banished.
So, what’s the true story of these stealthy, sharp intruders?
In this post, we’ll separate fact from fiction and explore some of the most common truths and myths about heel spurs. After all, when you know the real truth about heel spurs, you can take the right steps to treat them!
#1: Can Heel Spurs Break Off?
TRUE. While uncommon, heel spurs do break off now and then, separating from the heel bone and becoming embedded in the foot’s soft tissues. When this happens, you may notice “locking” of the foot when you walk, and additional pain and discomfort.
The best way to avoid breakage is to treat heel spurs as soon as they become apparent through pain, discomfort, and a sharp jabbing sensation in the heel, especially during the first few steps in the morning. Wearing Heel Seats, which raise the arch to a healthy position and take the pressure off heel spurs, can also minimize the chances of breakage.
#2: Can Heel Spurs Be Removed?
TRUE. While surgery is recommended only after conservative treatments have been unsuccessful after at least one year, heel spurs can be removed through surgical intervention.
Guided by a tiny camera, a surgeon can use precise instruments to cut away the bony fragment protruding into the fatty pad of the heel. Heel spur removal surgery is often accompanied by plantar fascia release surgery, which detaches part of the plantar fascia from the heel bone, relieving stress and pressure on the arch.
Even when it’s determined that surgery is the best option to treat heel spurs, it’s important to take preventative steps to keep the heel spurs from returning, by supporting the arch of the foot and providing proper cushioning and impact absorption through high-quality footwear.
#3: Can Heel Spurs Be Dissolved?
UNCLEAR: While you’ll find numerous blog posts and supplements that claim to dissolve heel spurs, there isn’t a lot of scientific research to back these claims. Some suggest that simple apple cider vinegar added to the diet will dissolve heel spurs. Others insist that a deficiency in K2 and D3 vitamins are a contributing cause to the development of bone spurs, and that supplementing with these vitamins will allow the body to naturally dissolve the spurs.
While these natural remedies are generally harmless (as long as you stay within the prescribed daily recommendations for any vitamin supplement), it’s also vital to continue proven treatments for heel spurs, such as icing, rest, stretches, and the use of orthotic shoe inserts.
#4: Can Heel Spurs Move Around?
MOSTLY FALSE. Heel spurs are the result of calcium deposits that cause bony protrusions to grow out of the heel bone. In general, they stay affixed to one spot, although multiple heel spurs may develop on one heel bone.
In rare cases, the heel spur may break off from the heel bone, becoming embedded in the soft tissue and causing additional pain.
#5: Can Heel Spurs Cause Back Pain or Hip Pain?
TRUE. While heel spurs won’t directly cause back or hip pain, they can contribute to and exacerbate it. Heel spurs, especially when left untreated, will cause your gait to change, as you attempt to avoid the pain from the sharp protrusions. Over time, this can lead to misalignment and strain to the hips and back.
#6: Can Heel Spurs Break Through the Skin?
MYTH. While the sharp, piercing pain from a heel spur can, indeed, feel as though the tiny protrusion is trying to break through the skin, heel spurs cannot break through the skin.
When calcaneal heel spurs become very large, it may be possible to feel them beneath the skin; However, there’s no need to fear that the bony protrusion will actually break through the skin.
#7: Can Heel Spurs Make Your Feet Go Numb?
FALSE. As a general rule, heel spurs and plantar fasciitis will cause swelling, redness, and sharp, stabbing pains–but not numbness. If you’re experiencing numbness in one or both feet, Tarsal Tunnel syndrome is a more likely culprit.
Often confused for plantar fasciitis or heel spurs, Tarsal Tunnel syndrome is a result of compression of the tibial nerve and causes numbness and a “pins and needles” sensation, rather than sharp, stabbing pain.
The Truth About Preventing Heel Spurs
Now that you know the truth about heel spurs, you can take effective steps to prevent and treat them. The best way to avoid the development of new heel spurs or damage and pain from existing footwear is to support the arch of your foot properly. After all, a lack of arch support is one of the most common causes heel spurs develop in the first place!
Wear shoes that fit properly and give your heels and arches adequate cushioning and support. Add orthotic inserts to provide an additional boost in support and lift your arch to the optimal height, keeping heel spurs at bay and relieving pain from existing spurs.
It’s also important to maintain a healthy weight and rest your feet often when you’re required to stand for long periods of time.
Think of heel spurs as your foot’s prickly response to an overworked, over-strained arch. By taking care of that arch properly, most cases of heel spurs can be resolved with minimal mystery!
Bone Spurs Are Not Bone
Many people actually go under the knife to have bone spurs scraped off the bone where the spur is attached. If not surgery, it is then steroids injected into the site of the bone spur or powerful pain relieving drugs having major side effects. Bone spurs are not bone. Spurs are made up of a collection of calcium and mineral crystals. They are not a hard undissolvable collection of bone. When calcium is leached out of the bone and soft tissue reserves to buffer the acidity of the body which is caused by the typical American diet, this free floating calcium has little ability to be reabsorbed into bone and, therefore, these calcium crystals collect in an area where there’s been an injury or poor blood flow. It’s like debris collecting in a river or stream impeding the flow of water. Many bone spurs can be broken up with proper massage. This is easy to do particularly if the bone spur is on the finger, hands or heel, but when bone spurs collect on the spine or in the neck area it may be difficult to do. The solution to this biochemical malfunction is to increase the acidity temporarily. This can be done with apple cider vinegar which is not the best solution since it’s a very mild acidity at only 5%. A remedy that has been used for many years is the combination of calcium chloride, calcium phosphate, magnesium glycerol phosphate, ammonium chloride and betaine hydrochloride. Adding vitamin C and P-5-P to this combination would make a very powerful formula for dissolving bone spurs such as what is commonly known as heel spurs. All those suffering from osteoarthritis have some calcium deposits. Kidney stones as well can be dissolved with such a formula, but I would suggest with the approval and direction of your physician. Kidney stones are a serious condition and complications can occur if you try to move them or dissolve them without a doctor providing assistance. If and when you are free of kidney stones, P-5-P and magnesium will create a condition which prevents kidney stones from forming.
Top 10 Home Remedies for Bone Spurs…
Here’s a quick relieving home remedy for bone spurs and plantar fasciitis that works like a charm, along with other natural treatments that are guaranteed to get rid of your bone spur or heal spur fast without the need for invasive surgery…
Article by Troy Sawyer (Certified Holistic Nutritionist & Herbalist, Health & Wellness Coach)
Updated January 17, 2020 — This post contains affiliate links
Bone spurs (also called osteophytes) are nasty little “growths” that occur on or near the joints or joint margin. The most common place for a bone spur to develop is on the heal of the foot, however, the spine, hands, shoulders and knees are also areas that can be affected.
Localized inflammation from degenerative arthritis, tendinitis or a condition known as plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the tissues that run from the ball of the foot to the heal) are the main instigators of bone spurs. Lopsided/abnormal walking, running and jumping on hard surfaces, and being overweight are also high risk factors that can cause a bone spur.
Bone spurs aren’t something that happen overnight – they occur over time and stem from repeated injury to adjoing tissues (ligaments and tendons). This recurrent damage eventually causes inflammation of the bone where the tendons attach. The body then tries to relieve the inflammation/repair the damage by laying down extra bone at the trauma site. The subsequent result is the development of a bony growth or bone spur. (See diagram above) 1
Symptoms of Bone Spurs…
Funnily enough, bone spurs don’t always produce symptoms. Many people are in fact unaware (for many years in some cases) that they have a bone spur or have one developing. When these growths do produce symptoms, the symptoms and severity will depend on where they’re located. If the spur begins to irritate nerves, tendons, skin and fat pads then localized pain, numbness and tenderness will be felt.
Heel spurs in particular can cause severe foot pain, tenderness and swelling. These symptoms can of course make it extremely difficult to walk when weight is applied to the foot. When a heel spur occurs at the base of the heel bone, there’s normally inflammation and swelling of the entire bottom of the foot (plantar fasciitis). Heal spurs of this nature are mostly caused by a repetitive strain injury or inflammatory arthritis conditions such as reactive arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, or diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (Forrestier’s disease or DISH). 2
Spurs that develop on the spinal vertebrae can pinch adjacent nerves and cause severe pain, numbness and tingling, along with causing weakness in the area of the body that particular nerve goes to and supplies.
Bone Spurs be Gone!
Thankfully, treating and getting rid of bone spurs permanently is an easy thing to do when using natural and home remedies (yes, it really is). What you must do is treat both the symptoms and the underlying cause. This is the only way you’ll relieve the pain and inflammation and get rid of your bone spur for good. That’s what these 10 home remedies will do.
Many people also confuse bone spurs with plantar fasciitis (it’s easy to do) and are not sure which one they actually have or are suffering from? It doesn’t matter in any case. Regardless of which one you have (or even if you have both), these natural treatments will get rid of both fully in no time. All you need to do is follow the recommendations listed below to-the-letter so you get the most out of them.
So here’s our top 10 “remedies and fixes” for bone spurs that give the best (and fastest) results…
Natural Remedy for Bone Spurs #1… Calcium, Magnesium, Boron & Vitamin D:
The main reason you have a bone spur is your body is severely lacking calcium, magnesium, boron and vitamin D. When you get your levels of these four key nutrients back up to where they should be, bone spurs will be a thing of the past. Why? Because calcium, magnesium, boron and vitamin D are 100% essential for strong bones AND strong ligaments and tendons. Magnesium, boron and vitamin D also regulate calcium distribution within the body (bone spurs are simply “calcium deposits” that grow on the ends of the bones). Degenerative arthritis, tendinitis and plantar fasciitis can all be treated and successfully reversed if you take in the right forms of these nutrients as well.
Where to Get Them From…
Because there are no longer enough of these crucial nutrients in our food supply today (this has been overwhelmingly proven, by the way) – supplementation is essential. The best and most absorbable way is by taking a good quality coral calcium supplement every day. Coral calcium contains calcium and magnesium at the perfect ratio (2:1), along with other minerals and trace elements that are critical for the absorption of these two key minerals.
This coral calcium supplement in particular contains all of the nutrients your bones and tendons need, including added vitamin D, boron, and vitamins C & E, along with vitamin B5, which is crucial for proper nerve function and for accelerating the bone/tendon healing process (celebrity doctor, Dr Josh Axe recommends this nutrient for all bone spur sufferers)… Barefoot Coral Calcium Complete. The great thing about this supplement is everything’s included, so it’s extremely cost effective. And of course, it works a treat for bone spurs!
For dosage recommendations, take one capsule with a full glass of clean, filtered water 20 minutes before each main meal (3 per day in total). You should begin to notice the beneficial effects in around 2-3 weeks from the first dosage, however, just be aware that it will take a good 3 months to fully cure your bone spur and/or joint and tendon problem. And remember, to keep your bone spurs away for good (and for overall good health), be sure to continue to take your coral calcium indefinitely (yes, for the rest of your life!)
Home Remedy for Bone Spurs/Heal Spurs #2… Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV):
While the above treatment is more of a long term and permanent fix for bone spurs and heal spurs, the ACV remedy is a fast-acting relief remedy that begins to work in a matter of hours.
Another cause of bone spurs is acid in the body. Apple cider vinegar balances your pH level to prevent acid build up. It also removes the excess calcium from your bone spur, which in turn helps speed up the healing process. In addition, ACV contains some exceptional anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties that help to quickly soothe the soreness and tenderness.
How to Take your ACV…
There are two ways to use the apple cider vinegar… The first is to drink it every day. Simply mix a tablespoon (15 ml’s) of raw organic ACV liquid with the “mother” (like these ones) in a glass of warm filtered water. Add a teaspoon of unsulphured black strap molasses for extra benefit and taste (BSM also helps dissolve bone spurs), then drink down. Take this concoction twice daily on an empty stomach, preferably first thing in the morning and last thing at night.
The second way is to use the ACV externally. For this, either soak a paper towel, rag or some cotton balls in apple cider vinegar and place on the affected area. Leave on for a couple of hours if possible and don’t wash off until showering. Alternatively, add ½ cup of ACV to a small tub filled with warm water. Soak your feet in this for 15 to 20 minutes, twice daily until your bone spur is gone. What’s really good about this remedy is you get to enjoy some welcome relief from the pain and inflammation the very first time you use it!
How to Dissolve Bone Spurs Remedy #3… Turmeric, Ginger, Cinnamon & Cayenne Pepper:
All of these herbs and spices are super strong pain relievers and anti-inflammatories – and they work like a charm for bone spurs! Dr Andrew Weil recommends you take ginger tablets (500 mg’s three to four times daily) and turmeric capsules (400-600 mg three times a day) if you have bone spurs or heal spurs.3 You can also buy cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon) and cayenne pepper in capsule form as well. Or, simply purchase the powdered forms of these and add them to a morning smoothie (here’s a handy recipe if you’re interested). Remember to always take some black pepper with your turmeric as well. Black pepper increases the absorbability of turmeric by a whopping 2000%!
Natural Remedy for Bone Spurs #4… Alkaline Diet:
Your body is either acidic or alkaline at any one time. The neutral pH level for the body is 7. Anything below this is acidic and anything above this is alkaline. When your body is acidic, you’ll almost always get bone spurs and heal spurs. An acidic environment causes calcium to be sent to the main acidic areas (which is usually the areas where bone spurs develop). This process causes a build-up of calcium or calcium deposits, the result of which is the development of a small bony growth or “spur”.
And why exactly does the body send calcium to the acidic areas?
Because calcium is highly alkaline (think of acid as fire and calcium as water) – so essentially, the body is trying to balance things back out again by doing this. Unfortunately, this produces an unwanted and nasty side effect, namely bone spurs. This is why it’s so critical that you take calcium, magnesium, boron and vitamin D supplements. By doing this, your body will not be acidic and so it won’t need to leach/send the calcium from your bones to any acidic areas, because there won’t be any! Remember too that calcium leached from the bones also causes bone diseases such as arthritis, fractures/brittle bones and osteoporosis, so this is another major reason why you MUST receive enough of these four key nutrients every day.
Apple cider vinegar is also alkaline and acts as a natural buffer to acidity due to its high potassium content (ACV is technically acidic but becomes alkaline once it enters the body). This is why it’s vital that you consume this powerful health elixir every day as well.
Best Alkaline Foods/Worst Acidic Foods…
So following an alkaline diet is extremely important if you want to be free of bone spurs. Certain foods are acidic producing while others are alkaline boosting. You definitely want to avoid the acidic producing foods, and instead, start consuming more of the alkaline boosting foods.
Refined foods, processed foods, junk food, alcohol and processed dairy are all highly acidic. Raw foods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables (this includes healthy “green” drinks and smoothies) are highly alkaline. Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kvass, kimchi, yogurt, kefir and kombucha are also alkaline producing and contain essential good gut bacteria. Lemon or lime water is alkaline boosting as well so adding a couple of slices of these fruits to your drinking water can provide additional alkalinity.
For more information on following an alkaline diet and what’s involved, be sure to check out this informative article… Raw Food Diet: Benefits, Risks and How to Do It.
Home Remedy for Bone Spurs #5… Baking Soda:
Baking soda is highly alkaline to the body, which is why it’s a reputed alternative treatment for cancer (cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment). Baking soda is fantastic for giving your pH level a quick boost. In fact, having half a teaspoon (mixed in a glass of filtered water and drank) right now will put your body in an alkaline state. Once this occurs, relief from your bone spur and the subsequent pain and inflammation will begin to subside very quickly. Continue to have 1/2 a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a glass of filtered water once daily for the next 2 weeks to thoroughly boost your pH level and help bring a speedy end to your bone spur. Baking soda works exceptionally well when it’s combined with the apple cider vinegar and black strap molasses remedy (#2) so be sure to utilize all three and consume them together if you can.
In addition to this, you can also soak your feet (or area where your bone spur is located) in a small tub of warm water with a tablespoon of baking soda for extra benefit and relief. Or, mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda and a slight amount of water to make a paste. Apply this solution to your bone spur/heel spur and secure with some gauze and duct tape. Leave on for as long as possible.
How to Get Rid of Bone Spurs Remedy #6… Epsom Salt:
Epsom salt is another powerful home remedy and relief treatment for bone spurs. The crystals from the salt are made up of magnesium sulphate, and of course, magnesium is essential for healthy bones, tendons and the normalization of calcium within the body. An Epsom salt bath is great for helping to remove the excess calcium from a bone spur, along with proving relief from the pain, swelling and inflammation. Simply add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a tub of warm water and soak in this for 20 to 30 minutes. Do this 4-5 times a week for best results.
Or, instead of using Epsom salts, you can purchase a transdermal magnesium spray (like this) and simply apply a few sprays to the area where your bone spur is located. This also works extremely well and definitely speeds up the time it takes to dissolve/break up a bone spur or heal spur.
Natural Remedy for Bone Spurs/Heal Spurs #7… Fish Oil:
Fish oil contains essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are powerful anti-inflammatory and pain relieving nutrients. This oil is renowned for its ability to help with joint problems such as arthritis, but few people know that it also helps with bone spurs by actively reducing the pain, swelling and inflammation from the inside out. 4-6 of the 1000mg fish oil capsules should be taken in divided amounts throughout the day for best results. Flaxseed oil also contains important omega-3’s and can be taken with, or in place of, fish oil. 1-2 tablespoons per day is the recommended dosage.
Home Remedy for Bone Spurs #8… Organic Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is another very good treatment for bone spurs – particularly heal spurs. It contains beneficial fatty acids (MCT’s) that help with the absorption of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and boron. Coconut oil also contains natural moisturizing and healing agents, so it helps to soften bone spurs and in turn relieve the pain and inflammation.
To get the most benefit out of coconut oil, make sure you take it internally AND use it externally. Consume 1-2 tablespoons orally per day (mixed in your morning smoothie is great), along with massaging some warm coconut oil into the area where your bone spur is located. Make sure you only use organic virgin coconut oil though. Do not use or consume refined (processed) coconut oils as these contain hydrogenated oils and will actually make your condition worse. Here’s what you should be looking for… Natural Organic Virgin Coconut Oil.
How to Dissolve Bone Spurs Remedy #9… Borax:
Natural borax powder is 99% sodium borate (boron). As you now know from remedy #1, boron is crucial for the absorption and utilization of calcium. Boron is also alkaline, so not only does it help to build up and keep the calcium in your bones, it prevents acid build up so you don’t get bone spurs (or kidney stones or gout, but that’s another discussion). When you consume borax (boron) internally and use it externally on your bone spur, it will disappear very quickly. And yes, I can hear you saying “but isn’t borax a detergent”? It’s used for this purpose yes, but as I said, pure borax is 99% sodium borate – a natural mineral salt that forms from the evaporation of saline lakes. It’s perfectly natural, perfectly safe and perfectly good for you!
How to Take Your Borax…
Even though you’ll be getting some boron from your coral calcium mix, you’ll still need to take more as the minimum daily requirement is between 6 and 10 mg’s a day. So to get your daily dose of borax (and boron), here’s what you need to do…
Mix up 5-6 grams, roughly one rounded teaspoon, of 100% pure grade borax (such as this) and 5 grams of Himalayan pink rock salt (pink crystal salt contains essential trace minerals that help with absorption) in one liter of clean filtered water. THIS NOW BECOMES YOUR CONCENTRATED SOLUTION. Store this bottle in your pantry for safe keeping. Take 5 ml’s of this concentrated solution, mixed in a glass of clean filtered water, morning and night (10 ml’s daily). So for clarification, the one liter concentrated solution should last you 100 days before you need to make up a new batch if you’re taking it correctly. Once again, the borax/pink rock salt mix should be taken indefinitely (for the rest of your life) to keep those bone spurs away forever.
For external use, add 1 teaspoon of borax powder to a tub or foot spa filled with 8 cups of warm water. Stir until thoroughly dissolved then soak your feet in this solution for 20 to 30 minutes. Continue to do this daily, or at least every second day, for the next few weeks before bedtime to help break up and dissolve your heal spur.
For more information on borax and why it’s so critical for bone health (and for curing arthritis, osteoporosis, bone spurs, gout, and a whole host of other diseases), be sure to have a read of this amazing article… The Borax Conspiracy – How the Arthritis Cure Has Been Stopped. It’s well worth the read!
Natural Treatment for Bone Spurs #10… Exercise:
Doing some regular, moderate exercise is a great way to increase joint mobility and reduce the symptoms of bone spurs. Doing specific exercises that strengthen your plantar fascia (the ligament that connects your heal bone to your toes) if you have a heal spur or are suffering from plantar fasciitis is extremely effective. Calf stretches combined with plantar fascia stretches 2-3 times throughout the day are best. Just remember to be gentle and start out slowly – do not overstretch. Over time you will be able to increase the stretch, which will then increase the strength and elasticity of your plantar fascia. Gentle foot rotation exercises are also handy. Do these whenever you can fit them in throughout your day.
In addition to this, take up cycling, swimming or aerobics if you can. These three help tremendously with bone spurs by oxygenating the body (boosting your pH), along with helping increase joint mobility. And it doesn’t matter where your bone spur is located. Whether it’s your spine, shoulder, hand, knee or foot – regular bike riding, swimming or aerobics will help with all of these. Walking on a soft surface with well cushioned shoes for 30-40 minutes a day (4-5 times a week) is also beneficial. Just refrain from running or even jogging if you have a heal spur – at least until you’ve fully recovered. You definitely don’t want to make it worse. 4
Final Word on Getting Rid of Bone Spurs Naturally…
So there you have it – the top 10 home remedies for healing bone spurs. There are of course other natural remedies and treatments for bone spurs, but we’ve found that most of them don’t work all that good. ALL of the recommendations listed above work extremely well, especially when combined together. Remember this… a holistic approach to healing a bone spur is what’s required rather than the “magic bullet” approach. By this we mean you need to use multiple remedies if you want to heal that bone spur quickly AND prevent others from forming in the future, rather than looking for that one magic treatment. That’s what the above 10 remedies will do when used in combination with each other.
So what are you waiting for?
Get going and heal that awful bone spur starting right now! The sooner you do, the sooner you can get back to enjoying your life again!
Good luck and all the best to you.
Go from home remedies for bone spurs to best natural arthritis treatments
Go to life saving natural cures and natural remedies home page (and check us out further!)
There are several websites on the internet that tout the amazing health effects of eating a mixture of honey and cinnamon. The reported health benefits of this mixture include cures for heart disease, arthritis, colds, flu, and cancer. It is also claimed that the mixture improves bad breath and promotes weight loss. But according to Snopes.com, these claims have been circulating the internet for a number of years and contain a mixture of fact and fiction. (See http://www.snopes.com/medical/homecure/honey.asp).
The website NaturalNews.com takes are more balanced approach to the subject of honey and cinnamon:
“Folk wisdom still retains knowledge of the healing properties of both honey and cinnamon. Honey and cinnamon are still used as medicine in many situations, especially among people who, because of distance or income, have reduced access to mainstream health care. Honey possesses natural anti-bacterial properties. Honey poured on wounds or burns prevents infection and promotes healing. Regular consumption of honey and cinnamon together, when combined with an overall healthy diet and moderate activity level, can prevent heart disease by clearing clogged arteries. Drinking honey and cinnamon in lukewarm water results in them moving through the bladder and cleansing it, as well as clearing infections there. Drinking this beverage on a regular basis can also relieve, and in some cases entirely cure, arthritis pain. This drink also strengthens the immune system, helping ward off colds as well as some viruses. Applying a paste of honey and cinnamon to infected gums can ease pain and bleeding as well as slow the progression of the infection. When consumed together, honey and cinnamon can ease digestion, helping to prevent gas. Honey and cinnamon also provide energy, making people more mentally alert and ready for physical activity. The two biggest claims for honey and cinnamon are that they enhance the ability to lose weight, and they are effective against some forms of cancer. While these latter two claims are unproven, nature does provide an amazing range of natural healing substances, most of which are untested by medical science. Relying exclusively on honey and cinnamon for either weight loss or eliminating cancer is not advisable.”
From personal experience, I can say that a daily dose of raw honey helps to keep me happy and healthy. Every day I have a cup of herbal tea (Rooibos is my favorite) with a generous teaspoon of raw honey and two level teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar. On average, I get a minor cold once every two years, and my springtime pollen allergies have been largely eliminated. I also had a nasty, second-degree burn in the summer of 2013 when I got into a disagreement with a pot of melted beeswax. When dressing the wound each day, I alternated between fresh aloe and raw honey. I was amazed at how quickly the burn healed, and with almost no scarring. I later learned that the enzyme glucose oxidase, which is found in raw honey, is converted into hydrogen peroxide when exposed to the water and salt produced by your skin. How cool is that? Raw honey actually produces medicine inside the skin wound, where it promotes healing.
So it might be just a bit self serving, but Smiley Honey wholeheartedly endorses the generous consumption of raw honey on a daily basis, for both your health and your happiness! And if you want to add some cinnamon to your honey while you are at it, there is at least some evidence that this mixture promotes good health.
All the best,
-Brian Bertonneau, Owner
Relieving Arthritis Pain
Arthritis, or “joint inflammation” is one of the most common ailments today that can cause excruciating pain in the body. It affects the muscles and specifically the place where two or more bones meet, ie the joint, such as the hip or knee. Arthritis signs and symptoms include joint pain, swelling, stiffness, weakness, deformities, inflammation, and limited movement of joints, which can interfere with the most basic daily tasks such as walking, climbing steps, opening bottles, or brushing your teeth.
4 Most Common Types of Arthritis Pain
There are more than a hundred forms of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. And the four most common types are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, and fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia, or “soft tissue rheumatism” refers to pain in the soft fibrous tissues in the body – muscles, ligaments, and tendons. (Ligaments and tendons connect muscles to bones.) People with fibromyalgia may have other symptoms, such as trouble sleeping, morning stiffness, and headaches, poor memory and concentration. Women are at least four times more likely than men to develop fibromyalgia. And fibromyalgia usually occurs in people over age 50.
Osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease, is the most common form of arthritis. It occurs when the cartilage wears away, causing the bones begin to rub against each other and making movements painful. Cartilage, a slippery and spongy substance, covers and cushions the bones such that it allows a smooth movement of the joints. Osteoarthritis often affects the hands and weight-bearing joints such as the knee, hip and facet joints (in the spine) and occurs as the cartilage degenerates with age. Hence, it is the most common form of arthritis pain amongst the aged.
3. Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating disease that affects commonly the hands, wrists, and knees. The immune system mistakenly attacks itself and causes the joint lining to swell. The inflammation then spreads to the surrounding tissues, and can eventually damage cartilage and bone.
Rheumatoid arthritis does not just affect the joints. Tendons are like ropes which run inside lubricated tubes. The lubricating system is very similar to that in the joints themselves, so it is not surprising that tendons can also be affected by rheumatoid arthritis. In a few people, other parts of the body such as the lungs and the blood vessels may become inflamed. Many people with rheumatoid arthritis have difficulty carrying out normal activities of daily living, such as standing, walking, dressing, washing, and using the toilet.
Gout is a painful condition that occurs when the body cannot eliminate a natural substance called uric acid. The excess uric acid forms needle-like crystals in the joints that cause swelling and severe pain. Gout most often affects the big toe, knee and wrist joints. To reduce the risk of urate crystallizing in the joints it is important to drink plenty of water – if possible as much as 3.5 litres a day. According to recent scientific evidence, drinking a glass of skimmed milk every day may be helpful in getting gout arthritis pain relief. But beer or other alcoholic drinks should be avoided as they could make gout worse.
Some of the factors that are linked to the development of arthritis pain are injury (e.g from sports) and complications from other conditions (such as diabetes), heredity and lack of physical activity. Many studies have also identified a link between obesity and arthritis. Excessive body weight puts an extra stress on the weight-bearing joints (back, hips, knees, ankles and feet). Because of the way joints work, the pressure in your knee joints is many times your body weight when you walk. Even a small weight loss can make a big difference to your joints. Too much body fat may also increase inflammation in the body, making your joints more painful. Joints also naturally degenerate overtime with age; hence arthritis is often associated with older people. However, it is also known that children, though relatively rare, can also develop a condition called juvenile idiopathic arthritis. This involves an inflammatory disorder of the connective tissues, characterized by joint swelling and pain or tenderness. It can also affect organs as the skin, heart, lungs, liver, spleen, and eyes.
Generally, arthritis pain relief can be found in a combination of medication, exercise, rest, weight-management, diet and nutrition. From blood tests and X-rays, your doctor would be able to diagnose which type of arthritis you have and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.
Honey and Cinnamon Remedy
Manuka honey which has been known to have higher antibacterial activity than other types honey is also gaining popularity in treating arthritis pain due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties and healing power. It reduces joint inflammation and provides a natural form of pain relief.
To prepare, mix 2 tablespoons Manuka Honey and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder into 1 cup of warm green tea, consume this honey cinnamon drink daily in the morning and evening.
Honey and Cider Vinegar Remedy
The combination of honey and cider vinegar is also an extremely well known home remedy for arthritis. All over the world, people have so passionately testified about how this cleansing drink has helped them find relief in joint pains. Many nutritionists believe that in this detox drink you can find minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, natural silicon, pectin, and tartaric acids that are effective in fighting body toxins, inhibiting bacteria and helping the body to maintain its vital acid-alkaline balance.
To prepare this health tonic, mix two teaspoons of vinegar and two teaspoons of raw honey into a glass of warm water, and drink this three times a day. It may take several weeks to see the effects. Dr. D.C. Jarvis in his book
Arthritis and Folk Medicine
(Galahad Books,1997) also offered the same folk medicine prescription for arthritis pain. He believes that treatment of arthritis, and many other health problems, must begin in the stomach. Jarvis found that when an apple cider vinegar cocktail is taken daily, calcium deposits are released back into solution in the bloodstream to be re-circulated to the bones, thus obtaining arthritis pain relief and preventing osteoporosis.
Hot Apple Cider Vinegar
Some people also recommend soaking arthritic joints in hot apple cider vinegar. To administer, use a quarter cup of vinegar mixed with one and a half cups of water. One can also soak a cloth in this mixture, put it on the affected area, and wrap a towel over the soaked cloth to keep in the heat. Keep the hot mixture on for only ten minutes at a time, and repeat it after the joint cools for another ten minutes.
End of “Relieving Arthritis Pain”. Back to “Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey Remedy”.
How apple cider vinegar relieves arthritis
- Rethink Chiropractic Care® with Dr. Gavin Carr, D.C.
For thousands of years, apple cider vinegar has been commonly recognized as the most effective natural remedy for arthritis pain.
Arthritis can cause chronic inflammation, pain, and stiffness in the joints of the body such as the fingers, hands, knees, elbows, hips, jaw. ACV Helps with Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Gout, Psoriatic arthritis and more.
How Does A.C.V. Relieve Arthritis Pain?
- ● Mineral deficiencies in the body can make joint pain worse. Because Apple Cider Vinegar contains the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus your body needs, it helps as a supplement and therefore reduces pain.
- ● The magnesium in apple cider vinegar helps bones absorb calcium, which is essential to bone strength.
- ● Apple cider vinegar also contains antioxidants, beta-carotene, and acetic acid. Antioxidants block the damaging effects of free radicals, preventing the cell and tissue damage commonly found with degenerative conditions like arthritis.
- ● It is rich in enzymes and acids that promote proper digestion and the absorption of the nutrients essential to healthy joints.
- ● Arthritis pain is partially caused by metabolic waste that is stored in connective tissues. The pectin, acetic acid, and malic acid in apple cider vinegar help absorb toxins and flush them out of the body.
- ● When consumed, apple cider vinegar reduces the pain and stiffness of arthritis by dissolving the acid crystals that build up in the joints.
- ● Once it is processed, apple cider vinegar leaves behind an alkaline residue that helps balance the body’s pH.
Testimonials of the Power of Apple Cider Vinegar!
“My excruciating arthritis was cured in two weeks… by cider vinegar.” -Linda Faulkner, as told to Daily Mail
“I started ACV to try to take care of heartburn… It has worked WONDERS on my aching hands, feet, joints… After just one week I can feel an amazing difference in how I feel when I first get out of bed in the morning. My mother has had severe RA for over 20 years and I was starting to worry that I was in route to RA. Hope this helps someone who has MAJOR pain in joints… Especially in the mornings…” -Lori, as posted in Earth Clinic
“Our great-grandmother will turn 100 in two weeks. She still kayaks, gardens, and shovels her own snow covered driveway. For over 80 years, she had one recipe for life: 2 Tbsps Bragg ACV and 1 tsp of honey mixed into water. This is the secret, she says, to a life worth living. Five generations of our family will celebrate her 100th birthday Vinegar Drinks!” – The Alvina Sharp Family, Chanhassen, Minnesota
“After using your Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey mix for two weeks along with health ideas expressed in your Apple Cider Vinegar Book, I have noticed remarkable improvement in my joints. It is almost unbelievable how fast this has helped! Thanks”. – Tyrone Robinson, St. Louis, MO
There are far more testimonials of how life changing apple cider vinegar is when it comes to joint pain and muscle pain. Try it yourself to experience its natural goodness.
Here is a step by step guide on how you can use it.
- ● Use the raw, unfiltered variant. This is the cloudy mixture where the so-called ‘mother of the vinegar’ is present.
- ● A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in the morning and the afternoon can do wonders. If you can’t take its taste, you can also mix it with a teaspoon of honey. Honey is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties like the super vinegar.
- ● You can also mix your apple cider vinegar with water. Mix a teaspoon in a ½ glass of water.
Apart from its anti-inflammatory properties, apple cider vinegar is also effective in treating other health issues. Read our next Blog about how it helps with Weight Loss and so much more!
PsA Natural Remedies: What are Natural Treatments for Psoriatic Arthritis?
Hugh Duckworth MD
Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) in 1984 from University of Tennessee School of Medicine
Sep 26, 2018 6 min read
Psoriatic Arthritis Facts and Statistics
A chronic and progressive disease, rheumatoid arthritis, there are quite a few differences, on both the molecular and statistical level. Whereas the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis is greater in woman than men, psoriatic arthritis affects men and women equally. A Rheumatoid Factor (RF) test is conducted to determine if individuals have rheumatoid arthritis. An RF positive test would not indicate psoriatic arthritis; however, the presence of the HLA-B27 genotype is present in 50% of patients with psoriatic arthritis. Though psoriatic arthritis can appear in children, the most common onset of the disease is between the fourth and fifth decade of life. In 85% of cases of psoriatic arthritis, individuals lived with psoriasis before developing arthritic conditions.
85% 85% of Individuals with Psoriatic Arthritis have Psoriasis
An autoimmune disease, psoriatic arthritis attacks healthy joints, causing inflammation and pain. The cause of psoriatic arthritis is unknown; however, genetics and the environment are known to play a role. In the overwhelming majority of cases. Individuals who develop psoriatic arthritis usually have a family member who has also been diagnosed with the condition or who has psoriasis. Environmental conditions, such as a viral or bacterial infection (e.g., strep throat) or stress can be the trigger for the onset of the disease.
While there is presently no cure for psoriatic arthritis, the symptoms are manageable. However, the National Psoriasis Foundation warns that the delay of the onset of treatment for psoriatic arthritis, even by six months, can cause permanent joint damage.
What are the Symptoms of Psoriatic Arthritis?
As with any other type of arthritis, the classic symptoms of psoriatic arthritis are joint pain and joint inflammation. However, those aren’t the only symptoms. There are five types of psoriatic arthritis. The most common types of psoriatic arthritis affect one side of the body and can involve the back and pelvis. Patients affected with rheumatoid arthritis have many of the same symptoms as psoriatic arthritis, however, rheumatoid arthritis almost always affects joints symmetrically. It shows up in the same joints on both sides of the body. That is, if one knee is inflamed, the other knee may also be inflamed.
The following list of symptoms is not meant to be exhaustive; however, it covers many of the most common symptoms of psoriatic arthritis. You may only suffer from one or two of the symptoms, or you may suffer from many of the symptoms listed below.
Common Psoriatic Arthritis Symptoms:
- Joint pain
- Joint swelling
- Joint inflammation
- Joints that are “hot to the touch”
- Stiff joints – especially after prolonged periods of rest (e.g., sleeping)
- General fatigue
- Tendonitis/swelling and pain in the tendons
- Reduced range of motion
- Dactylitis – “sausage-like” fingers and toes
- Nail pitting or any type of nail changes
- Lower back pain
- Heel pain
If you think you have psoriatic arthritis, seek a proper diagnosis from your physician. Your physician will run a series of tests, conduct bloodwork, ask about your family history, and perform a physical exam.
If it is determined that you have psoriatic arthritis, the most common treatment options are drug-related therapies. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are the most commonly prescribed drugs. Both are highly effective at treating joint pain and inflammation. However, if you prefer natural alternatives, there are a number of options for treating psoriatic arthritis.
Natural Remedies for the Treatment of Psoriatic Arthritis
Treating psoriatic arthritis naturally involves both lifestyle and dietary changes. You might also use some of the more common drug treatments in conjunction with these natural remedies to get the most relief from arthritis symptoms.
- Apple cider vinegar: Helps to treat psoriasis – especially psoriasis of the scalp. However, be careful not to apply apple cider vinegar to any psoriasis that is cracked or bleeding.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is widely known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is the active ingredient – curcumin – found in turmeric that relieves joint inflammation. You can ingest turmeric in foods or take turmeric capsules.
- Capsaicin: Capsaicin eases joint pain by blocking pain receptors. It also has been known to ease psoriasis outbreaks.
- Oats: Soothes itchy skin from psoriasis. Take an oat bath or put on oat cream to relieve symptoms.
- Tea tree oil: Eases skin inflammation; however, it may irritate sensitive skin so use caution when applying.
- Epsom salts: An Epsom salt bath can do wonders to relieve joint pain and joint inflammation. The warm water from the bath can help ease stiff joints and the magnesium in the Epsom salts is known to treat itchy skin from psoriasis.
- Oregon grape: Application of creams or lotions with Oregon grape as an ingredient are known to soothe itchy and irritated skin that results from psoriasis.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera has similar properties as Oregon grape. When applied topically, aloe vera can soothe skin irritation caused by psoriasis.
- Fish oil: Omega-3 fatty acids, as found in fish oil, are known to battle joint inflammation and pain. Fish oil can also help minimize painful swelling caused by psoriatic arthritis.
- Ginger: Ginger is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s a common ingredient to ingest for all types of arthritis, just like turmeric.
- Willow bark: Salicin, the active chemical in willow bark is similar to aspirin. In fact, willow bark has earned the title of “herbal aspirin.” Willow bark is known to relieve arthritic pain occurring in multiple types of arthritis.
- Boxberry: Boxberry extract is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Also called “teaberry” and “wintergreen,” boxberry has been used by Native Americans as an anti-rheumatic for years.
- Boswellia: Also known as Indian frankincense, Boswellia has known anti-inflammatory effects for individuals living with arthritis. If you’re treating psoriatic arthritis with Boswellia, make sure you are taking it in capsule form and not as a topical treatment. Boswellia as a topical treatment can irritate psoriasis.
Lifestyle Changes to Treat Psoriatic Arthritis
In addition to the above listed natural remedies for psoriatic arthritis, a number of lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms. Some of the most common lifestyle changes recommended by doctors include:
- Avoid inflammatory foods: If you have psoriatic arthritis, try to avoid eating foods that cause inflammation. These include caffeine, alcohol, sugar, dairy, gluten, shellfish, and trans fats. Anti-inflammatory foods, such as leafy greens, blueberries, pineapple, walnuts, and broccoli, promote healthy joints.
- Exercise: Regular exercise increases your range of motion and decreases joint stiffness. Try to participate in exercises that are joint healthy – such as swimming, biking, and yoga.
- Lose excess weight: Excess weight can cause additional strain on your joints. If you’re already suffering from painful joints because of psoriatic arthritis, you can minimize any additional impact on your joints by maintaining a healthy weight. The more stress on your joints, the more pain you’re likely to feel.
- Use acupuncture: Acupuncture has been found to be very effective in reducing joint pain, back pain, and knee pain – common areas affected by psoriatic arthritis. Acupuncture works by releasing natural painkillers into your body – including endorphins and serotonin. It is also known to trigger anti-inflammatory compounds. This ancient Chinese medicine has proven to reduce pain and inflammation and increase mobility for several forms of arthritis.
- Reduce stress: Stress can be a trigger for the flare-up of psoriatic arthritis symptoms. If you find that stressful conditions tend to bring on bouts of psoriatic arthritis symptoms, you can avoid these types of situations, if possible.
- Take frequent rest breaks: Taking frequent rest breaks is a good lifestyle change to make if you have psoriatic arthritis. Because generalized fatigue is so common with the disease, you can wear yourself out much more quickly than someone not living with the condition. Frequent breaks can minimize your fatigue.
- Utilize hot and cold therapy: Hot and cold packs can reduce inflammation and pain in joints. Hot packs tend to loosen joints and lessen pain. Cold packs help to ease inflammation and joint pain. Alternating between the two types of therapy can be an effective way to minimize psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
- Meditate: Meditation can ease related psychological symptoms of psoriatic arthritis, such as depression and anxiety. The National Psoriasis Foundation also promotes the use of meditation as an anti-inflammatory agent. Levels of interleukin-6, an inflammatory marker, have been shown to decrease after meditation.
Natural remedies and lifestyle changes are abundant when it comes to psoriatic arthritis. If you don’t wish to undergo conventional treatment plans for your psoriatic arthritis symptoms, you can alleviate some of the joint pain and inflammation caused by the disease through the above methods.
Most optimally, you can utilize the abovementioned natural therapies to treat psoriatic arthritis in addition to any drug therapies your doctor prescribes. It’s likely that a combination of all three types of treatments will give the best results. Just keep in mind the sooner you start to treat your psoriatic arthritis symptoms, no matter the treatment plan, the better. If you believe you are living with psoriatic arthritis, but do not have an official diagnosis from your doctor, contact him or her today.
Do Cinnamon and Honey Really Cure All Things
I LOVE busting myths (or backing them up) with chemistry. Today I want to address a topic that has been floating around for a long time. Do cinnamon and honey really cure all things like arthritis, weight loss booster, cold, flu, and more?
The question can be answered with simple chemistry!
And personal testing too.
I can’t tell you the number of times people have come up to me or sent me an article about cinnamon and honey together. Many send me information due to having rheumatoid arthritis, while others wonder if it can really work.
Health claims state that it will help you shed unwanted pounds fast by speeding up your metabolism.
Some claims state that it will cure all your arthritic pain in just a few weeks. There are even articles about it curing cancer! So, the big question is are there any scientific backings to these health claims? Or are they just junk???
To answer this, we have to first look at the science.
The Chemistry of Honey
Honey is a big topic on Chemistry Cachet. I have thoroughly researched it and even tested it for years when it comes to inflammation.
Raw honey has a compound called propolis in it. Propolis is also know as bees glue which is responsible for the stickiness in honey. This chemical compound is a huge anti-inflammatory. It can even be used as a natural pesticide (but that topic is for another day 🙂 )!
Honey is something I personally use for arthritic inflammation, but not just any honey from the store. It has to be raw, unprocessed honey for the benefits. Here is the case study I did.
Although I love honey, it does have sugar in it. So, I’m still mindful of when I use it even though it is a natural sugar. Natural sugars are treated differently by the body versus added sugars. You can read the difference between natural sugar vs added sugar in this article!
The Chemistry of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is another favorite topic on Chemistry Cachet! In fact, cinnamon is big part of my plant care. Read about that here.
Cinnamaldehyde, the chemical found in cinnamon, is responsible for many health related benefits. Not only is it an anti-inflammatory, but it also anti-fungal and anti-microbial!
Not all cinnamon is created equal though. When it comes to your health, ceylon is best. It comes straight from the cinnamon bark and impacts your health the most. You can read more about the research here.
Most of the cinnamon you buy in the store for food flavoring is not ceylon cinnamon. Most cinnamon sold in the US is cassia cinnamon unless it is called ceylon on the label!
So, if you are using regular cinnamon for food flavoring, odds are it is just cassia.
Combining the Two
As you can see, apart cinnamon and honey each have their own health benefits if you are using the right kind. Together?
Together they are the same. You are still getting the same benefits you did if using separate. There is not special chemical reaction that occurs between the two making it more magical for your health!
I have personally tested using honey and cinnamon for my health. Both together and separate. As I have mentioned, honey does so many good things for my rheumatoid arthritis. It helps with inflammation and pain. I can tell such a difference when I am using it versus not taking it at all.
Cinnamon doesn’t really do much for me. I love it for flavoring, but I especially love it in the garden. Other than that, I have not noticed it helping inflammation or pain using it exclusively. I think it is a great addition to smoothies or drinks for the added health benefits (like heart health), but it takes an overall good diet too.
So, yes cinnamon and honey are healthy options used correctly….but based on the chemistry, together they aren’t any different!
Follow on Facebook | Bloglovin | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Hometalk
Linking with Met Monday and !
The acid test for arthritis
And with increasing pressure on the Health Service to fund drugs – last week it was revealed that thousands of severe rheumatoid arthritis sufferers (a type of arthritis in which the immune system starts attacking the joints) may be denied the drug Orencia after the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence said it should not be available on the NHS due to its annual cost of £10,000 per patient a year – people are increasingly looking to alternative therapies to control their condition.
For 54-year-old Gall, osteoarthritis (where joints are damaged through age, wear and tear or injury) meant she was bedridden, in constant pain, unable to sleep and understandably depressed by her condition. A bad reaction to prescribed anti-inflammatory tablets meant that she could not take any drugs to ease it.
“I was emotionally and physically drained, I was crying all the time and the pain was totally crippling – it was like someone was drilling through the base of my spine,” she said.
Desperate to help, Gall’s daughter found a book – Treating Arthritis the Drug-Free Way by Margaret Hills – on eBay.
Hills had developed rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 21, during her first year of nursing training in 1947. She recovered after resting for eight months but then, as she grew older, she developed osteoarthritis before once again succumbing to rheumatoid arthritis.
Feeling that conventional medicine had done little to help, she turned to natural remedies in the early 1960s. After her children grew up, she opened the Margaret Hills Clinic in Warwickshire in 1982, where her daughter, Christine Horner, now continues her work.
Arthritis, which affects nine million people in Britain, is an inflammation of the joints and its causes are not clear.
Hills believed arthritis is caused by the body building up acid, which crystallises and lodges between the joints. The acid crystals become surrounded by fluids, causing swelling, soreness and stiffness. So Hills concluded that the condition would be alleviated by cutting down on acid entering the body.
“By controlling the amount of acid going in through diet we aim to increase the alkaline resources in the body that cause the crystals to break down,” says Horner.
“The overall effect of apple cider vinegar and honey is alkalising and helps to create the right environment in the stomach to start off the digestive process.”
Gall decided to follow the regime strictly – it meant avoiding alcohol, cutting out foods with refined sugar and any citric fruit, as well as taking cider vinegar, mixed with honey, hot water and molasses, after every meal. This was combined with vitamin supplements – including A, B, magnesium and calcium – and a hot bath in Epsom salts.
After a week, Gall began to feel much better and, after a couple of months, she is “pain-free and totally mobile” and can continue to play the church organ. She takes daily exercise but says that the arthritis creeps back as soon as she stops the regime.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes first tried cider vinegar and honey after developing bad arthritis in his hands and his hip 23 years ago.
He did so after seeing the transformation in his mother, Lady Audrey Fiennes, who suffered from arthritis in the lower back. She had turned to the natural remedy when she was 86 and was bed-ridden due to her condition; the family had even contemplated moving her into a care home.
“After six months my mother’s arthritis started getting better,” says Fiennes.
“She got over the problem completely and was able to stay in her house. She died aged 92 but she got an extra six years.”
So, when he found himself developing arthritis, he followed her example. After trying several kinds of cider vinegar, he found that by taking Honeygar – a brand sold in health food shops – his arthritis eased.
Fiennes was the first man to completely cross the Antarctic by foot; he has run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents and was the first to visit both the North and South Poles.
He feels that the natural remedy has helped him to carry on his adventurous lifestyle.
“Without it I wouldn’t be able to have done all the things I have done, as the running and the damp would induce arthritis,” he says.
“It has completely kept my arthritis at bay.”
Despite these individual success stories, doctors doubt the effectiveness of such a diet.
“Unlike some alternative medicine, cider vinegar is harmless,” says Dr Michael Ehrenstein, consultant rheumatologist at University College Hospital.
“However, there have been no scientific trials which prove that cider vinegar works at all.”
And as the causes of arthritis are not clear, Dr Ehrenstein says he is “very sceptical” that a combination of diet, cider vinegar and Epsom salt baths would help.
“The only food that has been linked to rheumatoid arthritis is red meat – and you have to eat a lot of red meat – but we do not as yet understand why red meat causes arthritis,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Arthritis Care said cider vinegar is an old traditional treatment but was unaware of any independent evidence.
“Before taking any purported remedy, it is important to discuss with your GP any side-effects or possibly harmful interaction with prescription medicine,” she said.
However, Christine Horner believes that thousands of arthritis sufferers have been helped through a combination of the acid-free diet:
“Don’t expect results overnight – some people take months to respond, others take years – but we firmly believe that this combination is the key to getting rid of arthritic disease,” she says.