Rickets is a disorder caused due to vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous deficiency. It is one of the most common health problems in children between 6 to 36 months old. Due to insufficient vitamin D levels, our body cannot absorb the calcium and phosphorous from the food. This weakens and softens the bones leading to skeletal deformities.
Lack of sunlight exposure and diet that lacks vitamin D are the main reasons for the development of rickets. Children are more prone to this disease because their bones are still growing stage and cannot fight back against the disease. In some cases, it can be a hereditary disease.
Rickets is curable at the initial stages with simple natural solutions. Treatment mainly focuses on providing vitamin D, other essential nutrients, some exercises to improve the postures and strengthen the muscles as well as bones.
How to Cure Rickets?
Here are few natural solutions to cure rickets without any side effects. These remedies will replenish the vital minerals and vitamins important for bone health. The following remedies can be given to kids, followed by adults.
1. Get Plenty of Early Sun Exposure
Human skin contains a provitamin which synthesizes the vitamin D when exposure to sun rays. It is one of the best methods to tackle the vitamin D deficiency in both children and adults. Though vitamin D doesn’t directly cure the disease by itself, it helps our body to absorb calcium and phosphorous from the food which lead to stronger bones.
- Mild sunrays are best the ways to get more benefits and avoid harmful UV rays. Expose your child to early morning sunrays for not more than 15 – 20 minutes daily.
- Make sure your child is wearing loose fitted and short dresses to let the maximum skin get exposed to the sun rays.
- If your child is darker, then extend the sun exposure for few more minutes than normal time.
- Avoid applying sunscreen lotion as it may block the helpful rays as well. But make sure to apply it when exposed to afternoon sun rays.
2. Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is one of the ancient remedies to treat rickets. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D & A, and other essential nutrients. Vitamin A is helpful for protecting immune system and improving bone health. Vitamin D supports our body to absorb the nutrients present in the food.
- Drink 1 teaspoon of cod liver oil or 1 – 2 cod liver oil capsules daily after your meals. This dosage may vary depending on the child’s age. So consult a doctor to know the right dosage.
Note: Make sure to use only unscented and unflavored cod liver oil for effective results.
3. Calcium Rich Food
Due to vitamin D deficiency, it is obvious that our body cannot absorb calcium from food. Apart from that, when blood contains lower calcium and phosphorous, our body provides hormones which steal them from the bones making them weak. So, in order to maintain the balance, you have to eat calcium rich food. Here are few foods which are rich in calcium…
- Soy Beans and Tofu
- Dairy products of green grass fed animals which include yogurt, milk and cheese
- Leafy green vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and others.
- Fish with edible bones like pilchards and sardines.
4. Oily Fish
Oily fish is one of the few foods containing natural vitamin D. It is very important to consume them regularly to combat the vitamin D deficiency. Here are few oily fishes you can include in your regular diet.
- Fresh tuna
Herbal Remedies for Treating Rickets
Apart from the above 4 solutions, these remedies can be given to kids for curing and preventing rickets. Choose any one of them try it regularly without interruption until the results are achieved.
1. Horsetail Tea
Horsetail tea contains mineral salts which include silica, magnesium, manganese, potassium and other trace elements. The silica present in it will be converted into calcium by our body. It also binds the protein molecules together in the connecting tissues and blood vessels. It promotes and supports skeletal structure.
- Into a saucepan, add 1 teaspoon of Horsetail herb (fresh or dried) and 2 cups of hot water.
- Cover and let it steep for about 3 – 7 minutes.
- Strain and consume the tea after having your meals.
- Repeat the process daily to completely cure the rickets.
Note: Make sure to drink 1 ½ cup of horsetail herbal tea per day after having the meals. You have to divide 1 ½ cup of the tea into 2 – 3 portions and drink them after meals. Avoid drinking more amounts of horsetail tea than mentioned as it can cause serious side effects.
2. Oatstraw Infusion
Oatstraw contains high amount of vitamin A, magnesium, niacin, calcium and other essential nutrients to improve bone health. It is also effective for treating rickets and osteoporosis. 1 cup of oatstraw infusion can provide suggested daily dose of calcium.
- Into a quart jar, add 1 cup of dried oatstraw herb and 1 tablespoon horsetail herb.
- Fill the jar with enough amounts of boiling water.
- Cover and let it steep for 6 – 11 hours.
- Now, strain the infusion with the help of strainer.
- Drink 1 cup of the infusion. You can drink more quantity as well if you wish.
- Repeat the consumption daily to get complete relief from rickets.
Things to Note:
- Remember that the longer you steep the herb in the jar, the best is the infusion. So it is more effective if you left that for overnight.
- Store the remaining infusion in a jar by covering it with a lid in refrigerator for further usage.
- Make sure that you have to use this liquid infusion within 36 hours and avoid using the left over infusion if you have crossed that time.
3. Moti Bhasma
This is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy to treat rickets. Pearls are generally composed of calcium, selenium, zinc, strontium, magnesium and other amino acids. Pearl’s natural components are decreased to their sulphide or oxide forms to make pearl bhasma.
- Combine 60 – 125mg of moti bhasma and 1 – 2 teaspoons of honey.
- Mix well and consume this mixture.
- Repeat the process 2 times in a day until the signs and symptoms of rickets get cleared.
Note: But make sure that you have to take this moti bhasma under the expert’s guidance of the Ayurvedic practitioner.
Dandelion is one of the excellent remedies to treat rickets in infants. The root and leaves of dandelion is a great source of vitamins like vitamin D, C, A and B, iron, zinc, potassium, copper, manganese, boron, calcium and other trace elements.
Process 1: Dandelion Soup
- Take a large Dutch oven and fill its half with water.
- Place it on the stove and bring it to boil.
- Add 1 ounce Dandelion greens (thinly sliced) into the boiling water.
- Cover and cook it for about 2 – 4 minutes and then strain it.
- Using a food processor, blend the blanched dandelion greens until smooth paste.
- Into a 3 – quart saucepan, add 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter into it.
- Cook this until the butter melts properly and then add onions to sauté it for about 3 – 4 minutes.
- Now sprinkle 1.1 ounces of all purpose flour all over the onion mixture and stir it coat.
- Now, add broth and other ingredients into it. Stir continuously with a whisk.
- Then stir the dandelion paste and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer it uncovered for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the flame and serve it with sour cream.
- Consume dandelion soup daily to improve bone health and get rid of rickets.
Process 2: Dandelion Tea
- Into 1 cup of boiling water, add 1 teaspoon dried dandelion leaves.
- Cover and allow it to steep for about 3 – 5 minutes.
- Stir well and leave it to steep for another 1 – 2 minutes.
- Strain the tea and consume it.
- Repeat the process once in day for few months at least to cure rickets.
5. Nettle Herbal Infusion
Nettle herb is rich in magnesium and calcium reserves. It also contains potassium, selenium, manganese, iodine, silica, sodium and vitamins. All these essential components help to treat rickets by improving the bone health and strengthening the immune system.
- Into a jar, add 1 ounce dried nettle herb.
- Add 1 quart of hot water into it.
- Cover and let it steep for 4 – 9 hours.
- Strain and consume it.
- Consume 2 cups of nettle infusion daily to cure rickets.
6. Oatstraw Bath
Having oatstraw bath 2 times in a week soothes the nervous system and provides nutrients to the skin. Prepare 2 liters of oatstraw infusion as mentioned above. Add it into your bath water and soak for 15 minutes. Or else you can try the below process…
- Take dried oatstraw herb and place it in a large water tub.
- Boil 4 liters of water and pour it over the dried herb.
- Allow it to cool down for few minutes.
- Add the solution to your bathwater and soak in it for 15 minutes. Don’t remove the oatstraw in water while taking the bath.
- Repeat the oatstraw bath once or twice in a week to get rid of the rickets.
Dietary Tips to Cure or Prevent Rickets:
Diet that is enriched with essential nutrients is very helpful in curing or preventing rickets. Here are few things you have to consider including in your daily diet.
- Include whole grains and beans like oats, barley, rice, quinoa, black beans, lentils, etc. in the diet regularly.
- Consume more of leafy green vegetables like collards, Spanish, kale, etc.
- Include yellow and orange vegetables which include turnip, squash, carrots, etc.
- Eat cruciferous vegetable such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflowers, Brussels sprouts, etc. in more quantity.
- Consume nuts like walnuts, almonds, cashews as snacks in the morning or evening time.
- Intake of seaweeds such as dulse, kelp, hijiki, etc. in your daily diet will definitely increase vitamin D content.
- Include fresh fruits and dry fruits in your diet that include oranges, figs, banana, raisins, etc.
- Include vegetables such as onions, garlic, tomatoes to boost the nutrients content in your diet.
- Consume dairy products that include yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.
- Have sweets made with honey and maple syrup rather than sugar and other sugary products.
- You can also include foods which are fortified with vitamin D like milk, orange juice and breakfast cereals in the daily diet to get rid of rickets completely.
- Include vitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil, whole eggs (egg yolk), fish (like mackerel, salmon, tuna, etc.).
- Include of phosphorus rich foods like halibut, whole – wheat, chicken, beef and turkey, dairy products (milk, yogurt and cheese), salmon fish and eggs in your diet.
Tips and Precautions:
- While taking dietary supplements you have to choose vitamin D3 rather than D2 because vitamin D2 is not well absorbed by the body when compared to vitamin D3.
- Intake of bananas and other nutritional rich foods regularly especially during the winter. This helps to boost the bone health.
- Apply generous amount of almond oil regularly on the skin and massage it for few minutes. This almond oil helps to cure vitamin deficiencies and relaxes you achy joints with its soothing properties.
- Consult a doctor to fit the legs with some special braces as it helps for proper bone growth.
- If your kidneys are affected by rickets, then undergo proper dialysis treatment regularly until the problem is cleared completely.
- It’s better to undergo the corrective surgery by fixing the fractures and breaks surgically to get rid of the rickets effects. Even though, it doesn’t treat the cause but this surgery is necessary to repair the limbs completely. Also replace the joints which are severely deformed. Never delay to repair any deformities to have proper bone growth in the proper direction (particularly in children).
- It is always recommended to consult the doctor as soon as you notice that your child’s bone is developing abnormally. Remember that the sooner you diagnose the rickets, the better will be the outlook for treating the disease.
- Avoid consuming vitamin D or calcium more than the doctor recommended dosage, as this will result in other health problems.
- Make sure your children’s diet contains enough vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous rich foods in their diet.
- Regularly consume vitamin D supplements if you’re pregnant or when breastfeeding to prevent rickets in babies.
- Taking vitamin D injection every year is very essential for the children who cannot take the supplements by mouth or those who have intestinal or liver diseases.
Now you have an idea of what causes rickets and how you can cure it with simple solutions. If you have any queries or suggestions, write to us in the comment section below. Don’t forget to share your experience as it can help others.
What are the Symptoms of Rickets?
Rickets has to be treated as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage and other complications. Here are few signs to look out if your baby is suffering from rickets.
- Delayed growth
- Pain in swine, pelvis and legs
- Muscle weakness
- Bowed legs and knock knees
- Thickened wrists and ankles
- Breastbone projection
What are the complications of Rickets?
If rickets are left untreated, then it can lead to
- Growth failure
- Curved spine
- Skeletal deformities
- Dental defects
Who are at the Risk of Developing Rickets?
Few individuals are more prone to develop rickets than others due to following reasons
- If mother has vitamin D deficiency while pregnant then the child is at the risk of developing rickets.
- Some children who are born with or develop medical conditions may affect the process of your body absorbing vitamin D. Such disease include celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, cystic fibrosis, and kidney problems.
- Children who live in geographical locations where there is less to no sunshine are a higher risk.
- Babies born before due date are also likely to develop rickets.
- People with dark skin are also at a higher risk. Generally, dark skin doesn’t react strongly to sunrays as the lighter skin does, thus it produces less vitamin D.
What is the treatment for Rickets?
Most of the rickets cases can be treated with vitamin D, calcium and phosphorous supplements. It is very important to follow pediatrician’s guidelines and dosage while taking these supplements. Over consumption of these supplements can lead to other medical diseases. In some cases of spinal deformities or bowlegs, your doctor may suggest special bracing to re-position the baby’s body appropriately. In some severe cases, skeletal deformities may require surgical treatment.
Yoga for Treating Rickets?
Yoga or physical exercise plays an important role in maintaining your bones healthy. Doing yoga for 10 – 15 minutes daily has shown a positive effect on bone health, improves flexibility, strengthens muscles and density of the bones. Initially, the beginners may feel stress while holding to the postures but gradually it decreases and improves your muscle strength. It enhances the growth of new bone cells without depleting the existing ones.
Postures like chair pose, triangle pose, warrior pose, upward facing dog and half spinal twist are helpful for the attaining proper health. Consult a yoga professional to help you out with the postures. Yoga and proper diet is a perfect formula to treat rickets.