Anthropologists have discovered that even the most primitive people suffered from some sort of joint inﬂammation or wear and tear. In the past, old herbals, family receipt books, and local healers all concerned themselves with potions and remedies for a disease they called “rheumatism “—or what we call osteoarthritis. Everyone seemed to have a touch of it!
The famous ﬁrst-century Greek doctor Dioscorides travelled widely with the Roman army and was a careful observer of the medicine of his time. In his writings, he describes the use of a substance he calls “oxymel,” or sour honey, for arthritis-like pains. Over the centuries, oxymel – a combination of apple cider vinegar and honey – has been widely used to dissolve painful calcium deposits in the body and for other health problems such as hayfever.
Directions: Oxymel is simple to make. Combine equal amounts of apple cider Vinegar and a pure honey. Use a teaspoon or a tablespoon to one cup or glass of pure water. Add eight times the amount of water to the oxymel. It will taste like apple juice. Oxymel can also be sipped throughout the day to calm nervous adults and restless children.
Drinking potato juice water on an empty stomach each morning is a beloved century-old European arthritis remedy.
Directions: Peel an organically grown potato and drop it in the blender with a six- or eight-ounce glass of pure water. Drink the juice. To prepare the remedy without using a blender, cut a potato in slices and soak it in a glass of water overnight. Strain and drink the juice.
For arthritis and other such conditions, old European wisdom recommends the increase of sweating in order to discharge “toxins” from the body.
Directions: Once a week, add a teaspoon of hayﬂower extract or a cupful of Epsom salts to a steaming, hot bath. Then get right into bed after the bath, cover up, and sweat it out. Note these baths have a powerful detoxifying action. Do
not use this remedy if you are pregnant or if you have high blood pressure or heart problems.
Hungarian and other European peasants traditionally used white cabbage leaf poultices to relieve arthritis pain.
Directions: To use cabbage, discard top ribbed leaves. Mince about ﬁve inside leaves into small pieces and place into
a bowl. Add several tablespoons of chamomile or lavender tea water. Roll the mixture in a soft cotton cloth and the
cabbage poultice to the painful area.
Many island cultures discovered that eating fresh pineapple greatly affects arthritis. Bromelain, the enzyme in pineapple lessens the pain of swelling in soft tissues.
Directions: Each day, eat several pieces of fresh pineapple or take four to six tablets of bromelain. The tablets are available in health food stores.