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9 Natural Remedies To Manage Lupus

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9 Natural Remedies To Manage Lupus April 26, 2019

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that mostly affects ethnic groups like African-Americans and Hispanics. This disorder was also found to be more common in women than in men (1). It is often characterized by rashes that occur on the skin as a result of inflammation within the body.

Lupus can be extremely hard to diagnose as its symptoms are quite similar to those of many other disorders. Some individuals may even have to go through many failed prescriptions before a proper diagnosis is made. This may also take years in a few cases. Conventional medications for lupus often help in managing the symptoms and usually come with unwanted side effects. Luckily enough, there are some amazing natural remedies that can help in managing this condition. Read on to know more.

What Is Lupus?

Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that causes the body’s immune system to become hyperactive and strike healthy tissues. This condition is characterized by symptoms like swelling, inflammation, and damage to the skin, brain, joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, and blood.

One of the main symptoms of lupus is a facial rash that unfolds across both cheeks and closely resembles the wings of a butterfly. This symptom is quite prevalent in many cases of lupus that have been reported, but not all.

The exact cause of lupus is yet to be discovered. However, it mainly results from your immune system attacking the healthy tissues in your body. Let’s look into the cause of lupus right below.

What Causes Lupus? What Are Its Risk Factors?

Lupus is often thought to develop in people with a genetic predisposition to the disease, who come in contact with potential environmental triggers. Such triggers may include:

  • Sunlight
  • Infections
  • Certain medications

Some factors that may increase your risk of developing lupus are:

  • Gender – It is more common in women.
  • Age – It can affect people of any age but is more common in those between 15 and 45 years.
  • Race – It is found to be more common in Asian-Americans, Hispanics, and African-Americans.

The signs and symptoms associated with lupus are quite similar to those of other ailments. They may vary depending on the affected body system.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lupus?

The symptoms of lupus can occur gradually or suddenly, may be mild or severe, and may also be temporary or permanent. Most people with lupus develop mild symptoms that may flare-up for a while before improving or even completely disappearing for some time.

The common signs and symptoms that surface with lupus are:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Pain, stiffness, and swelling of joints
  • A butterfly-shaped rash across both cheeks and the nose
  • Rashes on different body parts
  • Appearance of lesions that worsens post-exposure to the sun
  • Breathing difficulty or shortness of breath
  • Dry eyes
  • Pain in the chest
  • Memory loss or confusion
  • Headaches
  • Fingers or toes that turn blue while stressing or when exposed to cold (also termed as Raynaud’s phenomenon)

Lupus needs immediate medical attention to prevent any potential complications. The risks and side effects associated with it are discussed below.

Risks And Side Effects

Lupus can lead to severe complications, such as:

  • Kidney damage
  • Memory problems
  • Anemia
  • Blood clotting
  • Pleurisy
  • Pericarditis
  • Heart attack

The other serious side effects of lupus include:

  • Infections due to a weak immune system
  • Cancer
  • Avascular necrosis or bone tissue death
  • Pregnancy complications, such as miscarriage

Treating lupus is mainly aimed at managing its signs and symptoms. While there are several anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive medications that can help to manage the symptoms, most of them come with side effects. Therefore, many people are looking at natural remedies to manage the condition. The following are the best home remedies that can help you manage lupus while also improving your quality of life.

9 Natural Remedies To Manage Lupus

1. Vitamin Supplements

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Introduction of vitamins E and D in lupus patients was found to help with the progression of the disease. Vitamin D can ameliorate inflammatory and hemostatic markers associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (2). Vitamin E can suppress the production of autoantibodies, which are involved in the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (3).

2. Essential Oils

a. Lavender Oil

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You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of lavender oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Add two to three drops of lavender oil to one or two tablespoons of coconut oil.
  2. Mix well and apply the mixture to the affected area.
  3. You can also breathe in the aroma of lavender oil using a diffuser.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this once daily.

Why This Works

The analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of lavender oil can help in soothing the rashes associated with lupus while also relieving pain (4).

b. Frankincense Oil

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You Will Need
  • 1 drop of therapeutic-grade certified organic frankincense oil
  • 1 glass of drinking water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a drop of therapeutic-grade certified organic frankincense oil to a glass of water.
  2. Mix well and consume.
How Often You Should Do This

You may drink this mixture 2-3 times daily for best results.

Why This Works

Frankincense oil possesses strong immunostimulating and anti-inflammatory activities (5), (6). These activities can help in preventing the deterioration of lupus symptoms.

3. Coconut Oil

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You Will Need

Virgin coconut oil (as required)

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a little virgin coconut oil in your palm.
  2. Massage the oil gently onto the affected areas of your body.
  3. Leave it on until it dries.
How Often You Should Do This

You may do this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Virgin coconut oil exhibits significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that can soothe the inflamed rashes that often accompany lupus (7).

4. Epsom Salt

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You Will Need
  • 1 cup of Epsom salt
  • Water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a cup of Epsom salt to a tub filled with water.
  2. Allow the salt to dissolve completely.
  3. Soak in the Epsom bath for 15-20 minutes.
How Often You Should Do This

You must do this once daily.

Why This Works

The presence of magnesium in Epsom salt imparts anti-inflammatory properties to it, which can help alleviate the inflammatory symptoms of lupus (8).

5. Tulsi Or Holy Basil

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You Will Need
  • ¼ cup of holy basil leaves
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Wash the holy basil leaves thoroughly with water.
  2. Press the leaves against the cup using a spoon.
  3. Add a cup of hot water to the leaves and
  4. cover it immediately with a saucer.
  5. Allow the leaves to steep for at least 5 minutes.
  6. Drink the warm tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You may drink this 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

The immunomodulatory nature of holy basil can benefit those battling lupus as it can help strengthen their overall immunity (9).

6. Flaxseed

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You Will Need

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed

What You Have To Do

Add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your favorite cereal or salad.

How Often You Should Do This

You can consume 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseed daily.

Why This Works

Flaxseed is a rich source of alpha-linolenic acid (alpha-LA) that possess anti-atherogenic properties. It also contains lignans, which prevent the activation of platelet-activating factor receptors, thus preventing inflammation. These properties of flaxseed can help improve renal function associated with lupus nephritis (10).

7. Green Tea

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of green tea
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of green tea to a cup of hot water.
  2. Steep for 5 minutes and strain.
  3. Drink the warm tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You may drink green tea 1-2 times daily.

Why This Works

Daily consumption of green tea can help in managing the symptoms of lupus and also improve certain aspects of the patient’s quality of life (11).

8. Turmeric

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You Will Need
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 glass of hot milk
What You Have To Do
  1. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of hot milk.
  2. Stir well until the turmeric powder dissolves completely.
  3. Drink the warm concoction.
How Often You Should Do This

You may drink this once daily.

Why This Works

The active component of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin reduces the proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in lupus nephritis patients and suppresses the activation of the enzyme that causes inflammation (12).

9. Ginger

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You Will Need
  • 1 inch of sliced ginger
  • 1 cup of hot water
What You Have To Do
  1. Add an inch of sliced ginger to a cup of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil in a saucepan.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes and strain.
  4. Drink the warm tea.
How Often You Should Do This

You may drink ginger tea twice daily.

Why This Works

The immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory nature of ginger can work wonders in managing lupus and its inflammatory symptoms (13).

In addition to trying out these remedies, you also need to follow a few tips to prevent flare-ups.

How To Prevent Lupus

You can’t prevent lupus, but you can surely avoid the triggers that might result in flare-ups and worsening of your condition. Do the following:

  • Limit your exposure to the sun.
  • Always wear a sunblock with SPF 70 or more while going out.
  • Avoid medications that may trigger further sensitivity to sunlight.
  • Manage your stress by practicing yoga or meditation.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Get enough sleep and rest.

Lupus flare-ups can occur any time, anywhere. Early diagnosis and immediate treatment can help you lead a healthy life with lupus. While medication can help you better manage the condition, home remedies can prevent aggravation of the symptoms without any side effects.

Did you find this post helpful? Don’t forget to share your thoughts with us in the comment box below.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Where does lupus affect the body? What are its types?

Based on its types, lupus can affect different parts of your body:
• Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: This is the most common type of lupus that can affect any of your organs, including the skin, joints, kidneys, blood, heart, or lungs. This type is also quite severe as compared to other kinds of lupus.
• Discoid Lupus Erythematosus: It affects only the skin, typically the neck, face, and scalp. It is characterized by the appearance of a rash that may last anywhere between days to even years in the affected individuals.
• Subacute Cutaneous Lupus Erythematosus: This type of lupus leads to the appearance of lesions on the body parts exposed to the sun.
• Drug-Induced Lupus: Around 10% of systemic lupus erythematosus cases occur due to the body’s reaction to prescription medications. About 80 drugs, including medications for thyroid, oral contraceptives, antifungals, and antibiotics, are known to trigger lupus.
• Neonatal Lupus: While most babies born to mothers with systemic lupus erythematosus are healthy, around 1% of women give birth to babies with neonatal lupus. The symptoms usually ease in a few weeks for most babies. However, this disease can lead to congenital heart block in some infants.

What is a lupus rash?

One of the most common symptoms of lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash across both the cheeks of the patient. A purple rash in other body parts, such as the face, neck, or arms, may also be observed.

Is lupus a form of cancer?

No, lupus is not a form of cancer. In fact, it is not related to cancer in any way.

Is lupus curable?

Lupus is a long-term autoimmune disease that cannot be cured. Treatment is usually aimed at managing its inflammatory symptoms.

How to test for lupus?

Lupus is quite tricky to diagnose. A combination of physical examination, signs and symptoms, and blood and urine tests may be required to diagnose lupus.

References

  1. Lupus” Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools, National Institutes of Health.
  2. Role of vitamin D deficiency in systemic lupus erythematosus incidence and aggravation.” Autoimmunity Highlights, US National Library Of Medicine.
  3. The efficacy of vitamin E against oxidative damage and autoantibody production in systemic lupus erythematosus: a preliminary study.” Clinical Rheumatology, US National Library Of Medicine.
  4. Antioxidant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of lavender essential oil.” Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, US National Library Of Medicine.
  5. Chemistry and immunomodulatory activity of frankincense oil.” Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C – A Journal of Biosciences, US National Library Of Medicine.
  6. Frankincense–therapeutic properties.” Advances in Hygiene and Experimental Medicine, US National Library Of Medicine.
  7. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil.” DescriptionPharmaceutical Biology, US National Library Of Medicine.
  8. Magnesium Decreases Inflammatory Cytokine Production: A Novel Innate Immunomodulatory Mechanism” Journal Of Immunology, US National Library Of Medicine.
  9. Double-blinded randomized controlled trial for immunomodulatory effects of Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn.) leaf extract on healthy volunteers.” Journal of Ethnopharmacology, US National Library Of Medicine.
  10. Flaxseed: a potential treatment for lupus nephritis.” Kidney International, US National Library Of Medicine.
  11. A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Clinical Trial Examining the Effects of Green Tea Extract on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity and Quality of Life.” Phytotherapy Research, US National Library Of Medicine.
  12. Curcumin modulation of the activation of PYK2 in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with lupus nephritis” Reumatologia, US National Library Of Medicine.