14 Useful Diet Tips for Lupus

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

There are many effective home remedies for lupus, including utilizing probiotics, turmeric, vitamin D, ginger, omega-3 fatty acids, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil, sauerkraut, coconut oil, basil, and Epsom salts, as well as behavioral remedies like reducing alcohol, exercise, massage, and lowering stress levels.

Diet Tips for Lupus

Home remedies for lupus include:

Olive Oil

The high concentration of beneficial fats found in olive oil, including omega-3s, can help improve the inflammation so common to lupus patients. Having a relatively low amount of sugar in your diet also helps to prevent lupus flare-ups, and olive oil instead provides a range of phytonutrients, which help protect the body against the effects of chronic disease. [1]


Keeping your stomach health in good order is key to preventing lupus flare-ups. Nutrient deficiency is common in lupus patients, so ensuring proper nutrient uptake is important. Building a healthy bacterial base in the gut with probiotics also helps prevent additional inflammation cytokines from spreading throughout the body. [2]

Reducing Alcohol

If you are on any sort of immunosuppressant drug, drinking alcohol is probably not a good idea. Most of those medications can interact negatively with alcohol, or are significantly less potent if alcohol is also being introduced into the body. [3]

Epsom Salts

This may be an old-school solution, but there are still many people who use Epsom salt baths when they are suffering from inflammation, joint pain, or discomfort. The high mineral content can soak directly into the skin and reduce inflammation and pain, which are two extremely common symptoms of lupus. This isn’t a cure, by any means, but it is a tried and true method to boost your quality of life. [4]

An illustration of a human body suffering from lupus

Lupus is an inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its own tissues. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Coconut Oil

There are a range of health benefits of coconut oil, including balancing the immune system, improving digestion, lowering cholesterol, and preventing the negative immune reaction that lupus stimulates in the body. Clearly, in addition to its other wonderful benefits for the skin, hair, and body, coconut oil is a very effective remedy for lupus. [5]

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

There is so much research being done on omega-3 fatty acids recently that it comes as no surprise that it can also help counter the effects of lupus. The anti-inflammatory nature of omega-3 fatty acids do more than help your heart; they can also improve the condition of your digestive system, general tissue inflammation, and joint pain. [6]


The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nature of turmeric also helps it reduce the inflammation associated with lupus and soothes the negative immune response caused by the disease. It also has effects on blood pressure and digestion, two other areas that commonly suffer during a lupus flare-up. [7]


One of the most ancient and popular forms of alternative medicine is massage. If you want to detoxify the body, lower stress levels, improve metabolic efficiency, and lower inflammation, lay down on a masseuse’s table and let them work their magic. For long-term treatment of lupus, adding massage to your daily or weekly regimen is a wise choice. [8]

Vitamin D

A number of studies have shown a strong correlation between low levels of vitamin D and the occurrence of autoimmune diseases, including lupus. Therefore, to proactively avoid developing this condition, ensure that you get plenty of vitamin D – that magical nutrient that our skin produces via sunlight! [9]


Commonly prescribed for those with arthritis and joint pain (as well as dozens of other health conditions), ginger is particularly powerful for lupus patients, because one of the first and most prevalent symptoms of the disease is swollen, aching joints. Getting relief from this issue can be the first step towards getting back to a normal quality of life. [10]

Lower Stress

 Stress hormones can lower the body’s immune system even further, allowing lupus to have a much easier fight when it attacks health tissues and cells. Cutting down on stress is shown to improve all of the body’s systems, and ensure that your organs and cells operate as efficiently as possible. [11]


Herbal remedies are always good options for fighting chronic diseases, and holy basil is a wonderful option for lupus. With natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant potential, combined with being an adaptogenic herb that helps your body adjust to stress and enzymatic imbalances, holy basil represents a comprehensive approach to protecting your health and making your food delicious at the same time. [12]


The natural endorphin release of exercise, along with its impact on your metabolism and its detoxifying capacity, makes this activity essential if you want to stay healthy and defend against lupus. Regular exercise to get the heart rate up and fend off fatigue can be a great way to ward off the seemingly endless exhaustion that this disease causes. [13]

Apple Cider Vinegar

One of the peculiar side effects of lupus is that it decreases the body’s content of hydrochloric acid, but apple cider vinegar directly stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the body. Maintaining this balance is important, and when added to apple cider vinegar’s detoxification qualities, this home remedy can be very potent indeed. [14]

A Final Word of Warning: Although this can be a chronic, lifelong disease (after it is developed), it is still quite serious, and the threat to your immune system is always real. Seeing a doctor for formal treatment is highly recommended, particularly to get an initial diagnosis and determine what type of lupus you are suffering from. These home remedies may be used in conjunction with some immunosuppressant drugs, but you should discuss possible interactions with a doctor.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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