Afflictions of muscle tendon, joint, bone or nerve, resulting in discomfort and disability from stiffness of the joints or muscles, pain on motion, etc. In this category are often included rheumatoid arthritis, degenerative joint diseases, spondylitis, bursitis, fibrositis, myositis, neuritis, lumbago, sciatica, and gout. [SNH p.41]


Poor elimination causes rheumatism due to toxic matter becoming stagnated in various parts of the body. Thomas Deschauer explains it thus: "Urea should be daily expelled from our body, an ounce every day. Urea, as you might know, is completely changed waste matter, and as such easily expelled. Now if the process of turning the dead tissues into urea is incomplete--it forms uric acid. Certain foods and drinks cause the urea to be left unfinished. Or if the urea is hindered or stopped to be expelled, it also returns into the system and forms uric acid. This can be done by stopping perspiration, by cooling off quickly, by neglect of proper bathing, changing of underclothing, inhaling urea at night while sleeping in ill-ventilated room, etc. Avoid all these things if you want to get well. Some persons have what is known as the uric acid habit, that is, the waste matter does not break down completely. This tendency is due to an extremely abnormal and diseased condition of the blood." [SNH p.41]

Herbal Aids:

General Instructions: Relief of Rheumatism can be helped rapidly by a cleansing program and by the use of burdock root tea, with the burdock root and leaf fomentation (on the painful areas). Use apple cider vinegar and honey to cut the toxic wastes loose and expel them from the body. Use MCP pectin (tsp. three times a day) in water (it tastes like weak lemonade), or chaparral tea (three times a day, a teaspoon to the cup). The bowels and urethral tract should be kept open. A stimulant diuretic for the kidneys will aid in waste elimination and a diaphoretic should be used to assist in eliminating through the skin. [SNH p.41]

Chronic Rheumatism: Use the chronic rheumatism infusion in teaspoonful dose alone or the extract as indicated; or in the infusion in compound with black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) and wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens). [SNH p.61 Chronic rheumatism: See formula using poke berries, elder berries, sumac berries and blackberry. [SNH p.63]

See formula using burdock root, yarrow, buckbean, meadowsweet, raspberry leaves, barberry bark, licorice and cayenne. [SNH p.68]

See formula using burdock root, yarrow, cleavers, figwort, angelica and ginger. [SNH p.69]

Chaparral: Drink the tea (infusion for 3 weeks), after which the capsules or tablets may be used. [SNH p.71] Chaparral tea (not bitter). See formula using chaparral, elder flowers and peppermint.[SNH p.71]

Rheumatism: Use the strong decoction. [SNH p.73] Strong glycero-decoction of Oregon grape root: See formula using Oregon grape root, distilled water and glycerine. [SNH p.74]

Sassafras and Sarsaparilla: Drink an infusion of equal parts sassafras and sarsaparillas (Smilax ornata and 1/2 part Guaiacum officinale). [SNH p.79] Infusion of sassafras bark: See formula using sassafras, glycerine and distilled water. [SNH p.80]

Wormwood: Apply fomentation of the herb; or, use the oil as a liniment. [SNH p.108]
See formula using turkey rhubarb, guaiacum gum and cayenne. [SNH p.187]
Boneset: Give in small, tonic doses- this is one of the best known remedies for this problem. [SNH p.225]

Blue Cohosh: Use the warm decoction. [SNH p.292] Decoction of blue cohosh: See formula using blue cohosh, distilled water and glycerine. [SNH p.292]

Fomentation: See formula using mullein, lobelia and cayenne. [SNH p.318]

Compound Lobelia Capsules: See formula using lobelia powder, lobelia seed, cayenne, acacia vera and anise seed. [SNH p.364]

Strong Decoction of Wild Yam: See formula using wild yam, distilled water and glycerine. [SNH p.403]

Cayenne is used in nearly all fomentation, plasters, and poultices where speed is necessary, or where quick relief (as in arthritis, rheumatism, bursitis, sore muscles and those types or cases) is necessary. [SNH p.408]

Liniment: See formula using cayenne, lobelia, oil of wormwood, oil of rosemary and oil of spearmint. [SNH p.411]

Liniment for Rheumatism: See formula using prickly ash and olive oil. [SNH p.427]

Externally for Rheumatism: See formula using myrrh, cayenne and echinacea. [SNH p.456]

How to Use and Make a Fomentation: Here soak the cloth or Turkish towel application to be used in the herbal compounds that have been prepared in decoctions or infusions or in castor or olive oils, emulsions, essences, fluid extracts, spirits, tinctures juices, onions, garlic, carrots, etc. Here many types of oils are used hot: oil of wormwood, sassafras and peppermint make a very good combination for rheumatism, arthritis, sore joints, muscular spasms, and muscular soreness from exercise you are not accustomed to, and a fomentation with ointment is used occasionally in specific cases. The effectiveness of the fomentation can be speeded by using a hot water bottle during the warm application and alternating this with a cold application in many cases is very beneficial, following again with a hot one. The method to be used will depend on the type of problem, but specifically in sprains and sore muscles, the alternate hot-and-cold applications are very excellent. Generally, fomentation are covered with oiled silk, plastic, or wax paper, and a hot water bottle placed over this to keep the application warm, changing periodically when the potency and value of the tea itself has been absorbed out of the toweling. For a glandular swelling, the preferred procedure is a hot fomentation--always with moist heat. In case a hot water bottle is unavailable, then wrap a hot, wet Turkish towel around heated bricks or rocks, or use an electric heating pad (be sure here that there is no danger of an electrical short, however)--for as long as there is moisture between the body and the dry heat, then it is safe. Along with the fomentation, an internal tea used in combination with the external aid will greatly facilitate the healing process. [SNH p.500]

How to Take an Herbal Bath: For hydrotherapy, we oft times use decoctions, infusions, tinctures, dry powders, etc. in the water to bathe in using herbs (such as ginger, cayenne, mustard, and others). We also use foot baths and/or hand baths in heated apple cider vinegar for arthritis and rheumatism. [SNH p.500]

Steam Baths: One of the most important procedures of water therapy are the steam or sweat baths, and these will bring the poisons out of the body wonderfully. There are various types of steam baths, and these are all very valuable, very invigorating and health giving. This therapeutic procedure is recommended for help with arthritis, asthma, bursitis, colds, flu, hay fever, neuritis, pneumonia, rheumatism, sinusitis, stiff joints, etc. Someday, I hope to see a steam cabinet in every home (not a chicken on every plate and a car in every garage). In sweat therapy, we also have the Cold Sheet Treatment--a positive remedy for colds, flu, and pneumonia--which can be effectively used even in advanced and chronic cases. [SNH p.502]

Clean Out the Bowel: A condition of sciatic rheumatism will always develop where the sigmoid portion of the lower bowel becomes congested, and the toxic poisons from the bowel subsequently flow into the adjacent area, irritating the nerves controlling the sacroiliac and, in turn, throwing it out of place--and so goes the vicious cycle! Hence, a periodic purification and cleansing of the lower intestinal tract is very important. This is your sewage system--and when the eliminative function is efficient and clean, you do not have to worry about sluggishness or toxification in the system. [HHH p.131]

Joint: Dr. Christopher's Arthritis and Rheumatism Formula:  This combination consists of yucca, hydrangea root, Brigham herb, chaparral, lobelia, burdock root, sarsaparilla, wild lettuce, valerian, wormwood, cayenne, black cohosh, and black walnut. Here is a combination of herbs that helps the body to detoxify; act as a solvent for the accepted but not assimilated calcium deposits; herbs that help relieve pain; herbs rich in new acceptable organic calcium that can be assimilated and useful; herbs that help kill fungus and infection and that have the ability to help give wonderful relief. This relief is not immediate because here is a long rebuilding job--gradual relief can come, and full healing, if the program is followed faithfully: a cup two or three times a day (two tablets or capsules in Brigham tea or steam-distilled water).

Use as a hot fomentation over extremely painful or crippled areas (in addition to this formula), Complete Tissue & Bone: Dr. Christopher's Bone, Flesh and Cartilage Formula. Even though one uses these aids yet continues on with improper diet, one may get some help, but not so much as going all the way. Remember the teachings for years have been -- "No healing in this condition." We are giving you hope if you will follow through with these formulas and the mucusless diet. [HHH p.194]

Hyssop: Some have used it externally for rheumatism, being an old country cure for that complaint, both internally and externally. Hyssop baths have sometimes been used for this cure, although you would have to have a large growth of the plant in your herb garden. It is commonly used in perfumery and in the brewing of liquors. [UW-Hyssop]

Kelp: Kelp can be of great help in arthritis and rheumatism. These are due to an excess of certain acids in the system, and are usually associated with faulty kidney function plus a deficiency of the sodium salts. Orthodox medicine treats this problem with massive doses of sodium compounds to counteract acidity. Unfortunately this overdosing ruins the digestion and the kidney functions; arterial disease may also result. Sufferers from these conditions should limit their intake of acid forming foods, such as sugar, white flour products, and overcooked foods. They should eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables--and Kelp--which will help de-acidify the system and provide the necessary salts as well. [UW-Kelp]

Onion: For rheumatism accompanied by shooting pains, bran is boiled in water and the painful part soaked in the solution for fifteen minutes just before bedtime. As soon as the soaking is ended, several onions are separated into leaves and spread on the affected area and bound with a cloth. In the middle of the night, remove the poultice and wash the affected part, replacing the poultice until morning. This is repeated until results are obtained. [UW-Onion]

Gravel Root to Dissolve Minerals: This herb is a natural solvent for inorganic minerals such as calcium and other unwanted inorganic accepted but not assimilable substances. Dead inorganic calcium is accepted into the body but cannot be assimilated. No mineral can be assimilated into the human body unless it has gone through the process of osmosis through plant life (herbs). When an inorganic mineral is accepted into the body it is accumulative and continues to build up. This build-up can cause arthritis, rheumatism, kidney stones, gall stones, hardening of the arteries, cataracts, etc. This "building up" process must be reversed, so here we have an herb such as gravel root that will act as a solvent that will leach off dead inorganic calcium and other minerals in the same state. However, it will not have any influence on live organic minerals that can be assimilated directly into cell structure through the "delivery-system" of the blood stream. A true solvent, such as solvent herbs or steam distilled water acts as a magnet. The magnet will pick up dead inorganic iron and other metals but will not pick up wood, paper or higher vibrating materials. The solvent herbs or distilled water will pick up and leach off dead inorganic minerals, but will not vibrate to live organic minerals that have gone through plant life and can be assimilated into the body's cell structure. Dead, inorganic calcium is the type of material we want to get rid of, because this type of calcium can do us only harm. Some people panic--"What can I do to replace the calcium being leached out?" If you replace what you have just leached out it would be like cleaning out a garbage pail, and then replacing it with more of the same! Instead of doing this, let's replace the dead calcium by putting in a good organic usable calcium. To do this we have included into this formula oak bark, an astringent which is also high in live, assimilable calcium. [NL 1-8]

Juices: Celery & cucumber, carrot, apple, lemon. [NL 3-5]

Calcium Buildup: Dr. D. C. Jarvis, M.D. ...noted that Vermont folk medicine, although they did not distinguish between arthritis, bursitis, rheumatism, gout, osteoarthritis, etc., they were successful in treating all these diseases with two teaspoonfuls of apple cider vinegar and two of honey in a glass of water three times a day. They felt that arthritis treatment began in the stomach where the acid balance prevented putrefaction of food. (Bacteria will not grow in an acid medium.) These bacteria guard the door to proper assimilation of nutriments in the stomach and intestine. One of the body's chief necessities is calcium. If the calcium balance is off, the results will be seen in many ways. There will be frayed nerves, inferior fingernails and hair, and other disorders including susceptibility to infectious diseases and arthritis resulting from altered body chemistry. Calcium enters into solution in an acid medium. The apple cider vinegar creates an acidic medium which is capable of dissolving excess inorganic calcium--even if it is in the form of arthritic deposits in the joints. [NL 3-11]


1. Dr. Christopher's Rheumatism Flareups: During the process of cleansing and rebuilding your body, you can expect what is called a cleansing crisis. Your symptoms may all flare up; you may feel bad all over; you may feel like you have the flu. Just keep going, the cleansing crisis will pass, and you'll feel better than ever. Dr. Christopher used to have recurrent flareups of his rheumatism and arthritis; for a week or two every seven years he would have to go back to his wheelchair. He accepted these crises, as hard as they were to live with, and continued on with the business of cleansing and building. [EWH p.187]

2. Poke: The berries are used as a remedy for relieving the pains of rheumatism and arthritis. The tincture is used for this and it is borne out by Western use. One woman suffered intense pain from arthritis so much that she dreaded the winter months that would bring dampness, cold, and pain. She started taking a teaspoon of Poke berry tincture in a small glass of water twice a day and this completely cured her rheumatism (Luc:Secrets:106). [UW-Poke]

See Also:

Joint: Dr. Christopher's Arthritis and Rheumatism Formula
Herbal Calcium Formula: Dr. Christopher's Calcium Formula
Cayenne: Dr. Christopher's many Cayenne Combinations (Red Sun Balm)
Lower Bowel: Dr. Christopher's Lower Bowel (Colon) Formula

"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"