Easing joint pain due to arthritis has been a concern for so long that there are scores, if not hundreds, of home remedies to take care of the problem. Just as with the response to pain-relieving medications, individuals vary considerably in the relief they may experience. In addition, side effects may also cause very different problems from one person to another. You can learn more about popular remedies for joint pain in our Guide to Alternatives for Arthritis.
One of the remedies we hear about quite often is “purple pectin:” the plant pectin Certo dissolved in Concord grape juice. Many (though, as noted, not all) readers find it helps alleviate joint pain. Some people report suffering constipation, however.
Pectin and Constipation:
Q. The grape juice and Certo remedy I read about in your column has helped lower my cholesterol. I have found it helps with my arthritis and would like to continue taking it.
Unfortunately, I find I am suffering constipation. Have you had this complaint before? Is there anything I can do to correct this?
A. Certo consists of plant pectin that helps home canners get their jams and jellies to the right consistency. Pectin has long been used to counteract loose stools. The original formula of the diarrhea remedy Kaopectate contained both pectin and kaolin, a type of aluminum silicate clay. (It no longer contains either ingredient, but instead contains bismuth subsalicylate.)
Presumably the pectin was contributing to the anti-diarrheal effect. Taken to an extreme, this could lead to constipation. Most of the medical research published on pectin, however, considers its role as a dietary fiber in counteracting constipation (Progress in Food and Nutrition Science, 1985).
Certo in Grape Juice for Joint Pain:
We first heard about using Certo in grape juice for joint pain in 1998, but the remedy is undoubtedly much older.
Some other readers report suffering constipation just like you. Here is one brief report:
“I tried this arthritis remedy for a few days and stopped because things down south started slowing down.”
What to Do to Avoid Suffering Constipation?
To counteract this effect, we could suggest that you try “hot lemonade”-hot water with lemon juice in it, preferably in the morning. A magnesium supplement could also be helpful, though you may have to experiment to find the right dose. Don’t exceed 300 mg at one time or you might experience diarrhea.
Anyone who would like to learn more about the Certo and grape juice recipe for arthritis can find a video demonstrating its preparation at PeoplesPharmacy.com.