Cypress tree roots on the St. John River, Florida [source:]

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Image courtesy of

Recent studies show arthritis and rheumatism are preventable, treatable and are not inevitable, as you get older. Before I get into the details, I want to share with you the story of Mr. Red from North Carolina who raked in 100 pounds of pine straw 5 days a week until he was 80 years old. He had his share of aches and pains, but he kept on going. He took a swig of cod liver oil daily and applied his sister’s special herbal rub for “ar-ther-ri-tis” or “tism” pain whenever he needed. He also used oak bark soaks and poultices for swelling. Mr. Red, like many, still felt the affects of arthritis as he matured. But his health regimen which included a daily dose of cod liver oil (an essential fatty acid), physical activity and healthy eating allowed him to maintain an active life far beyond most his age today. Below is an excerpt of Mr. Red's interview, (1998-1999.)

Mr. Red in his backyard, Laurel Hill North Carolina. 1998 photo: Michele E. Lee

“I haul pine straw for a livin’ now. I’m 79 and can rake 100 pounds of straw a day. I go back in da woods in da sandhills to rake dat straw. Throw it in da back of my truck. I put up dat wood (plywood) along da side (of the truck) so it could hold mo straw and won’t fly out. Sometimes I go by myself, sometime my lady friend hep me to haul straw but she been sick. I get out dere ‘bout 8:00, cuz when it gets a li’l hotter, you cain’t handle a load.

Pine tree wooded area in No. Carolina similar to where Mr. Red raked pine straw. photo: Morrow Mountain State Park, courtesy of

"I was an ‘ol man befo’ I ever went to a doctor but I went to one for this ar-ther-ri-tis ‘bout two Saturdays ago, over heah in Laurel Hill. I was hurtin’. What I did dat got me to hurtin’ so bad was I went and got a load of straw dat Wednesday and it got to rainin’. I come out da woods and I come and got dat ‘ol plastic out dere to cover up da straw so it wouldn’t get so wet. You don want it wet, you want it dry. An I mess ‘round out dere trying to cover dat stuff and got soakin’ wet. I could feel da water runnin down my back. I had on my jacket. It wasn’t too cold but I got wet. You cain’t get wet wit dat ar-ther-ri-tis. You gotta stay dry and warm. You cain’t get cold. And I come right in da house, pull off all my clothes, top to bottom. I rubbed on me what my sistah made fo me heah in dis jar. Da next five to ten minutes it gets warm and it helps ease the pain some. I don know what herbs in it, she jus’ give it to me.

Mr. Red showing his arthritis elixir. Laurel Hill, NC, 1998 photo: Michele E. Lee

"It work good for my ar-ther-ri-tis and poor circulation. If yo blood don’ circulate good, my feet will get numb and cold and start to hurtin. I put on dry clothes and I thought it would be alright. Later on dat night, dat thang (arthritis) tore me up, hurt me so bad. ‘Bout eleven or twelve o’clock dem pains was runnin’ up and down from my hip to my toes. When I went to da doctor and he was checkin’ me out and thangs, he say my blood is good.

I tol’ him, “There’s one thang I want to ask you, have you got anythang that can cure the ar-ther-ri-tis?”

“How in da hell can I hep you and I cain’t hep myself? I’m hurtin now!” That’s what the doctor said. “If I can cure you, I can cure myself.”

"I say, 'Well can ya give me anythang to hep me or ease da pain?'”

"The doctor say, 'No, no no. I ain’t got a thang for dat. I cain’t do nuthin’ for you.'”

"I say what’s the matter wit dis doctor, dere outta be sumtin’ for it but he say, 'No we ain’t got a thang for ar-ther-ri-tis. As long as you can stay warm, it won’t bother you much. But if you get cold, it would tear you up.'"

"They had ar-ther-itis back in my Mama’s day. I heard her say several times, “Oh my bones hurt, must be getting ‘ol.

"Maybe befo’ the world comes to an end, somebody will find sumtin’ for ar-ther-ri-tis.”

Mr. Red interview excerpt, 1998-1999


Arthritis may be the oldest known ailment on planet Earth. Mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians have all suffered from inflammation and pain from arthritis. Evidence of arthritis has even been discovered in dinosaurs and it was frequently referred to as the most common ailment of prehistoric peoples.

Image of dinosaur bones that may show arthritis. Courtesy of

The first known traces of human arthritis date back as far as 4500 BC. It has been found in mummies from Europe to Egypt. An estimated 21 million Americans will develop some form of inflammation and joint pain from arthritis. Three out of five of those will be diagnosed with the disease while under 65. The disease is non-discriminatory and according to a growing number of health professionals, it is preventable and manageable.

The book, "Preventing Arthritis: A Holistic Approach to Life Without Pain" by physician Ronald M. Lawrence and health writer Martin Zucker advises readers that arthritis is not inevitable. The book explains how arthritis can be prevented and offers ways people who already suffer from arthritis can find relief.

Preventing Arthritis: A holistic approach to life without pain

According to the authors incorporating the following into your health regimen can prevent or reduce a persons risk of getting arthritis and alleviate the symptoms:

• Healthy eating (a low acid, high alkaline diet rich with green vegetables, whole grains and fruits, proteins like fish, minimal red meat and dairy, and no process or refined foods, see link at bottom of page.)

• Taking the right supplements (like Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) cod, salmon, flax seed or hemp seed oil)

• Moderate physical exercise (particularly focusing on the joints affected by arthritis), stretching, yoga and/or massage, and walking.

• Ample water intake prevents and reduces a person's risk of getting arthritis.


Add Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) in your diet like fish oils (cod or salmon), flax seed oil or hemp oil.

Image courtesy of

Many of our parents and grandparents relied on folk medicine for good health and took a teaspoon of cod liver oil (an essential fatty acid) daily or on a regular basis. Some can remember being made to line up and take "that nasty medicine" as children. It was given to keep the immune system up and keep colds at bay, which it did. Other than a health maintenance and cold prevention remedy, few knew all the critical health benefits they were getting by taking that regular dose of cod liver oil, rich with Vitamin A and D, Omega-3, Omega 6, EPA and DHA. Cod liver oil is the only EFA that has Vitamins A and D.

Image courtesy of

Recent health studies show that including Essential Fatty Acids (cod, salmon, flax seed, or hemp seed oil) in your diet prevents and treats many health conditions including:

arthritis, rheumatism, inflammation and joint pain, osteroporosis, depression, cardiovascular diseases, neurological illnesses like Alzheimer’s and autism, premenstrual syndrome, menopuase, MS, addiction, attention deficit disorder, cancer, constipation, diabetes, diarrhea, earache, edema, fatigue, immune deficiency, obesity, tuberculosis, athersclerosis, and skin conditions such as eczema, neurodermititis, and psoriasis.

Just like you keep your vehicle lubed and oiled up, you must do the same with your body through Essential Fatty Acids. The body does not work well without them. EFA's can’t be produced by our bodies and must be obtained through diet. That’s why they’re called Essential. EFAs contain Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrients that are necessary for proper body functioning like tissue growth and the regulation of critical internal functions. Cod liver oil is the only EFA that has Vitamins A and D.


1. Eat cod, salmon and other fish 2-3 times a week.

Cod in natural environment. Image courtesy of

2. Take cod liver oil, salmon oil, flax seed oil or hemp seed oil supplement. (Recommended dosage: one teaspoon daily to one tablespoon weekly.)

3. Consume foods like Olive oil (extra virgin or virgin), olives, avocados, almonds, peanuts, sesame oil, pecans, pistachio nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, etc. Note: high heat, light and oxygen destroy EFA’s. Olive oil can withstand high heat.

My weekly EFA regimen

Currently, I take a teaspoon of hemp seed oil at least 5 times a week. In the past I’ve taken flax seed oil, cod liver oil and salmon oil. Be in tune with how your body responds to diet changes and supplements. Do your research and find out which oil will work best for your body. For example, I stopped taking salmon oil because I noticed it affected my hormone balance and my menstrual flow. Once I stopped taking the salmon oil, my cycle returned to normal.

Precautions: EFA supplements, particularly fish oil, while generally considered healthy, are not appropriate for everyone. Consult a health professional to see if it will interact with other medicines, and disorders.

For more detailed information on EFA oils and all they do visit


Good Fats

Cod liver oil

Hemp oil

Flax seed oil

Stay tuned. Blog posts will be coming sooner and I'll give more remedies for arthritis and if your 'tism is acting up like: apple Cider vinegar tonics and poultices, castor oil poultices, mullein, acupuncture, massage and more.

Share your arthritis, rheumatism, joint pain and inflammation remedies by clicking on post, or send me an email at


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