Reversing Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case Study
Rheumatoid Arthritis

From Onset to Remission

Story in a Nutshell

My name is Faith LaCelle and in 2018 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. If you have RA or another autoimmune condition you’ve been told is irreversible, or that you will have to pay thousands of dollars on health treatments or products, this article is for you. The bottom line: your body was designed by a loving Creator. Your condition? It’s reversable.

In the summer of 2018, I was working a desk job and had recently experienced a tremendous amount of work-related stress. Following this stress event, the onset of symptoms began slowly. I started waking up with trigger finger in one of my index fingers that would disappear after an hour. In time, both hands had trigger finger. Then the joints in my feet started aching. Symptoms progressed to the point that both hands were in pain and both my feet hurt simply from walking. I eventually switched exclusively to cushioned shoes with gel inserts.

I thought my symptoms were unusual considering what I knew of my family medical history at the time, but I was able to receive a much quicker diagnosis than many, thanks to my mother who had worked for a rheumatologist and who encouraged me to get a blood test. I finally convinced my primary care physician to order a blood test. The results came back as follows (my personal data is blanked out for privacy):

Lab results from November 2018. Among the high/abnormal results was my RA factor. Where normal bloodwork ranges between an RA factor of 0.0 – 13.9, mine came high at 156.3.

Though the test results gave me clear indication, I waited two months for an appointment with the only rheumatologist in my city to confirm an RA diagnosis. I knew enough about the available medications to know that I wanted to go the most natural route possible. Voicing this to my doctor essentially revealed that if I chose the natural route, I would be going it alone. There were no dietary recommendations (I was told by doctors that diet would not change my condition), and I was told that there was no natural means of putting my condition in remission. At the time, I had no answers, so I accepted a two-week round of steroids and began taking the mildest of the medications offered me, which was Plaquenil (Hydroxychloroquine).

At this point, I experienced the first of many answers to prayer. It started when friends connected me to a medical missionary couple, Gabe and Jennifer Arruda, who lived near my town and believed in natural healing. They gave me hope when I needed it. This couple had experience putting autoimmune disease (autoimmune liver cirrhosis) into remission and they started me off on my journey to find remission as well.

Flash forward four years and a multitude of prayers later. Over the course of four years, God brought people into my life to encourage me and to share information that helped me piece together the foundation of what I now know about how the body functions and heals. These principles were never discussed in my anatomy and physiology classes in college. My associates degree in science never provided such a picture. The process to “put autoimmune disease into remission”—and any condition, for that matter—involves significant diet and lifestyle changes. These steps helped my body gently detox from toxins, heavy metals, and parasites, while also providing the nutrition my body needed.

To you who are willing to put in considerable effort, try new things, endure the wait (healing takes time), and trust in God’s natural remedies, I am detailing the following steps that allowed me to get off medication and brought me to full remission of my condition. This list is organized chronologically in order of how I learned about and incorporated them. I leave it up to readers to determine where to start and what to try. Know that I consider most if not all of the items in this list to be essential to my own recovery.

1. A Fully Unprocessed, Balanced Plant-Based Diet

I gave up eating meat in 2015 to honor my dad’s request of how his children guard their health. It ended up completely resolving my chronic acid reflux. By 2018 I was weening myself off eggs and dairy, which was helping resolve my acne and severe menstrual cramps. These steps proved invaluable. In 2019, I began learning how to eat a plant-based diet. In late 2020, I started learning from my friend Daniela Soto Wilder about what a fully unprocessed plant-based diet looks like. In 2021, I took this learning to the next level through the guidance of Mercy Ballard, director of Years Restored Lifestyle & Learning Center in California and the co-author of a plant-based cookbook. Mercy’s consistency modeled the kind of strictness to good eating that would prove invaluable to my journey. From her and others, I learned to steer clear of anything GMO and eat as organic as possible. This way of eating is not modeled in modern society. I had no idea how dependent on packaged and processed foods I was until I needed to make my own salad dressings, breads, and spreads. It took me time to learn how to make foods from scratch and to understand which foods have carbs, protein, and fat. It took time to discover what percentage of each help my body operate optimally (for myself: low protein, low fat). I eventually learned how to eat a fully raw-food diet, which provided my body with the most dense nutrition. During the four months I ate entirely raw, I saw the most healing (see the section below specifically on raw food).

Learning to juice celery and carrots in early 2019.

2. Laws of Health to Live By

If you want the best quality of life you’ve ever experienced, I highly recommend the “laws of health.” If you’re sick, the likelihood is that one or more of these laws of health have been neglected. I can quickly identify the laws I broke for years during college and my internship that set me up for my health crisis. These laws summarize the entirety of what the body needs to thrive, and I learned about them in depth through the health lectures taught by Dr. Joyce Choe. The laws of health come in different acronyms to make them more memorizable. I like the acronym WHOLENESS, developed by Dr. Joyce, which goes as follows:

  • Water Intake
  • Healthy Habits
  • Oxygen
  • Love
  • Environment
  • Nutrition
  • Exercise
  • Sleep
  • Sunshine

Remembering this list as an acronym helped me keep track of the aspects of health that I needed to consider each day. For me, healthy habits such as good stress management, getting regular exercise, fresh air, and sunshine are things I need to pay more attention to. The Laws of Health have helped me live with more intentionality and have greatly improved my quality of life. Understanding and putting these laws into practice was the second step I took towards RA remission. It was in following the laws of health that I experienced significant reduction in the number of painful flare-ups I experienced.

3. Juice and Water Fasting

In early 2021, I invested in a slow masticating juicer that was able to juice parsley, cilantro, and salad greens. This tool quickly paid for itself. Green juices are expensive to buy, and while making them yourself is time consuming, it is well worth the effort. I started juice fasting on a quarterly basis, focusing heavily on cilantro and parsley which are both powerful blood cleansers and also help the body detox from heavy metals. Most of these fasts lasted for three days, at the end of which I would ease back into eating with whole fruit and other raw foods. In a given month, I also would take a day or two to fast entirely from food, drinking only distilled water. At the end of these water fasts and juice fasts, I experienced a break from painful symptoms that would last for days and sometimes weeks. Later on, I incorporated fasts for three days with either homemade grape juice (and water) or fresh pressed apple juice (and water). Both of these fruits are incredibly healing and juice fasting with them are highly recommended by Dr. John Christopher and Dr. Richard Schulze. Included in their recommendations is one important step that, if not practiced, leads to issues during juice fasts: chew your juice. Your body needs the enzymes produced when you chew that helps assimilate the nutrients you’re ingesting. It’s worth noting that during these fasts, I experienced increased mental energy and clarity that allowed me to continue working a desk job.

4. Blood-Cleansing Herbs

Up until late 2021, a plant-based diet, the laws of health, and various natural remedies that provided short-term relief were the legs I had to stand on. Thankfully, through a dear friend, I was introduced to Randall LaCelle, a man who knew an incredible amount about using healing herbs. (This man would later become my husband!) Randall shared with me that rheumatoid arthritis is a condition resulting from the body’s inability to adequately purify the blood. My blood-cleansing organs (kidneys) were in need of support, and to help facilitate this, I started taking blood-cleansing herbs. These include, but are not limited to: burdock root, red leaf clover blossoms, chaparral leaf, and neem leaf. At the introduction of daily burdock root teas in November of 2021, (along with black seed oil and wormwood which I mention further on), I had what I needed to successfully taper my medication over the course of several weeks until I was officially med-free. (Note: stronger medications may require longer time over which to taper the doses.)

5. Healing Herbs

At the point at which I began tapering off my medication, I introduced several herbal aids into my routine. These helped my body heal through various means.

Black Seed

Black seed acts as an ionophore, which helps get zinc into the cells to facilitate healing. When combined with raw honey, the two work synergistically[1]BLACK SEED OIL AS AN ADDITIVE TO HONEY. I took a tablespoon of cold-pressed black seed oil daily followed by a teaspoon of raw honey.


Wormwood herb tea is one of the highest sources of bioavailable zinc. This all-natural source is superior to any in supplement form and is one of, if not the highest sources found in nature. I made wormwood tea several times a week early on. Though pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, the body under duress can become sensitive to omega 6 fatty acids. Wormwood provided a good alternative source while I was healing. As my body healed, I was able to eat pumpkin seeds without experiencing sensitivity.

Complete Bone and Tissue with Comfrey

Dr. John Christopher was considered a master herbalist, and a man of faith. He used herbs to help his patients heal from every manner of disease and injury. His Complete Bone & Tissue with Comfrey formula brought milestone success to my healing journey. This formula contains a key ingredient: comfrey.

Japanese Knotweed

After I had stopped taking black seed, wormwood, and the Complete Bone and Tissue formula so regularly, I added Japanese Knotweed tincture into my weekly routine as a natural source of resveratrol. Japanese knotweed is an incredible antioxidant and helps support the liver and kidneys, among many other things.

6. Detoxing Herbs

The body has two main functions. We take in nutrition, and we eliminate waste. Both the proper intake of nutrition and the proper elimination of waste are important in order for the body to heal. While I have tested out the benefits of colonics (enemas), I have found that herbs also provide thorough colon cleansing, and are less invasive. Intestinal Formula #1 & Intestinal Formula #2 are two products which I highly recommend for clearing out the bowels. (Note: I am in no way affiliated with these products and am in no way incentivized to promote them.) It is said adults can have between five and 20 pounds of residual stool in their colon, which can have profoundly negative health effects.

In addition to blood-cleansing and healing herbs, I also took herbs to support detoxing my body. This included Dr. Christopher’s Liver and Gall Bladder Formula and his Kidney Formula (again, I’m in no way affiliated). Herbs to support liver and kidneys are essential when detoxing from an illness as these organs are likely overtaxed and unable to perform as needed. Herbs provide nutrition and specific medicinal properties that help these organs function optimally.

Reverse Rheumatoid Arthritis
Closing in on full remission through eating a fully raw-food diet for four months in early 2022. My weight dropped considerably over time while healing, but following full remission of symptoms, I returned to my ideal weight.

7. Raw Food Diet

At the point at which I started incorporating more herbs into my routine, I was experiencing somewhat painful flareups on occasion and also deep fatigue. Even after a full night of sound sleep, my energy levels felt depleted. It was at this point that I transitioned to a fully raw diet comprised entirely of big salads, green smoothies, and whole, fresh fruit. The impact was immediate and deeply satisfying. My body had been craving the nutrition that these easily-digestible and nourishing foods provided.

For four months straight, with no “cheating”, I ate approximately a pound of greens a day, 8-10 tablespoons of chia or flax daily, and lots of fresh fruit in its season. A word on chia and flax. These two foods provide high quantities of omega 3. Note that I ate no nuts or pumpkin or sunflower seeds during this time, which are valuable sources of omega 6. What is not readily known is that Omega 3 and Omega 6 share the same “pathway” when assimilation takes place, and Omega 6 is given preference on this shared pathway. (I have linked to a short video my husband filmed where he summarizes the research on this subject.) When the diet consists of high amounts of Omega 6 and low amounts of Omega 3, healing becomes handicapped, as Omega 3’s role involves helping facilitate cellular healing.

Another aspect of this diet worth mentioning is in regards to its simplicity. Digesting a wide variety of different foods at a given meal is a task that a healthy body is up to. For those who are ill however, eating a simple diet takes a tremendous burden off the digestive system, which allows the body to allocate more resources specifically toward healing.

8. Parasite Cleansing

Shortly after switching to an all-raw diet, my traditionally large appetite helped me pinpoint another area of cleansing that I was long-overdue on: a parasite cleanse. Having eaten meat in my recent past and having lived around cats and other indoor pets, I was a prime target for parasites. One indicator of parasites was my uncanny ability to eat large amounts of food and still feel hungry while simultaneously never gaining weight. I sometimes felt hungry even after over-eating. The solution of choice was Verm Oust. (I am affiliated with this product—I’m married to the man who developed it.) I took three rounds of Verm Oust over the course of six weeks. Parasites burrow to get away from the herbs that repel them. These sabbaticals encourage burrowed parasites to emerge from hiding. Using the specific herbs in this formula helps effectively sweep away parasite eggs as well. The results were that my appetite reduced to healthier levels, my energy levels improved, and all bloating went away.

It’s worth noting that the presence of parasites is not as troubling as the reason why they are present: toxic material. Parasites are part of nature’s clean up crew, a way of addressing junk. Parasites are associated with disease because of the burden they place on the system. Neither parasites nor the junk they eat are what we want to keep around.

9. Rebounding + Weight Lifting (Exercise)

Rheumatoid arthritis is greatly improved by exercise. Simple movements and gentle weight lifting are a great way to start. The more rigorous the exercise, the more healthy circulation in the body is promoted. Walking is a great means of exercise. There is another form of moving the body that up until 2021 I knew very little about: rebounding. Australian Naturopath Barbara O’Neill talks a great deal about the benefits of rebounding. It is a highly effective way to move the lymph in the body which helps the body’s circulatory process while detoxing. I sometimes combine both rebounding and weight lifting, using just 3 lb. weights. Even 10 minutes on a rebounder several times throughout the day is enough to make a difference.

10. Oranges

When I started eating a restricted diet, the goal was to eliminate anything that would trigger a flare up. While this meant less painful flare ups, it also became a pattern of no progress. It was advised to eat only low-glycemic fruits, but according to a book called Counsels on Diets and Foods, all fruits eaten during the season they are harvested are among the most health-promoting foods we can eat. Apples, berries, pineapple (especially beneficial for RA due to it’s high bromelain content), and oranges were especially health-promoting for me.

Oranges in particular helped me experience a new breakthrough in my healing. One of elevated levels in my bloodwork was for uric acid, something indicative of the body addressing rheumatic-related condition (such as gout). Oranges have a high amount of citric acid, which aids calcium carbonate in breaking up and reducing uric acid, which is a waste product in the blood[2]Lemon fruits lower the blood uric acid levels in humans and mice [3]Lemon Juice Reduces Serum Uric Acid Level Via Alkalization of Urine in Gouty and Hyperuremic Patients- A Pilot Study. While lemon juice also provides similar uric acid reducing capability, eating a half-dozen lemons is less desirable and satiable a remedy than eating a breakfast of oranges.

It is worth noting that the type of flare up I experienced with oranges was much different than that from refined sugar. While foods with refined sugar would bring on both inflammation and sharp pain, oranges brought on inflammation without the sharp pain. I started using oranges as a way to address uric acid build-up in my body and saw tremendous benefit from it. Again I will note: I experienced inflammation from this, but not pain. Inflammation is the body’s way of moving debris and is used by the body as a mechanism for healing. I have come to see inflammation as a necessary part of healing, and this was illustrated quite effectively through these “orange juice cleanses.” I highly recommend eating whole oranges or drinking fresh orange juice with all the pulp, as it contains more fiber and the chewing required helps produce necessary digestive enzymes which we miss out on when we simply drink juice.

11. Distilled Water

A word on water: it needs to be pure, and it needs to be soft. By soft, I mean no hard, inorganic minerals that the body cannot assimilate. Some bottled water companies tout their added minerals. These may enhance flavor, but they do not enhance health. As the body is unable to assimilate these inorganic minerals, the joints become one place where these minerals are stored up. Those with rheumatoid arthritis can greatly improve the condition and appearance of the joints in hands and feet by drinking freshly distilled water without any added minerals. Some believe that distilled water removes needed minerals from the body, but this is not the case. The body is well designed. Distilled water only draws inorganic minerals that the body is unable to use. It will not touch organic minerals derived from plant-based foods. The MegaHome Distiller is the brand of distiller I use and recommend. I also avoid drinking any distilled water that has been housed in plastic.

12. Stress Management

While I no longer experience flare ups, signs of mild inflammation do return under specific conditions, namely emotional stress. In learning how to appropriately handle stress and conflict, as well as experience in giving and receiving forgiveness, I have been able to significantly improve my stress response. I have discovered resources along the way. The Bible is the ultimate source of wisdom on this subject. One book that also helped me was Telling Yourself the Truth by Marie Chapian and William D Backus.

Understanding the Root Cause of Autoimmune Disease

Leaky gut is certainly a contributing factor to gastrointestinal health issues. Yet, it is not the root cause of autoimmune disease. Just as the body is able to heal from external cuts and scrapes, the body is also able to heal internally. Leaky gut is perpetuated by harmful foods, and autoimmune diseases are perpetuated by the presence of toxic substances in our bodies that we have been exposed to and accumulate, in combination with insufficient nutrifying and detoxing. Our detox organs are under heavy burdens, most notably from vaccines and drug medications. Under the right conditions, our bodies are able to heal. The key is understanding what creates the right conditions. It was not until I started using herbs to detox from the heavy metals and toxins from vaccines and drug medications that I experienced complete and lasting cessation of my symptoms, including resolution of all my food sensitivities.

In 2019, I bought a “gut-intelligence kit” to learn about foods I was “sensitive” to. In 2022, I experienced many profound discoveries. One of them was the complete resolution of all food sensitivities. If you have a major health challenges such as chronic inflammation and find that certain foods trigger onset of symptoms, you do not need to buy these kinds of expensive tests. What you need is the nutrition and organ detox support that will help the body heal. The rest resolves itself.

Coaching One-on-One

I believe everyone should have ready access to knowledge of the principles of healing. I am sharing my story and have outlined the basic steps of what I did to put rheumatoid arthritis in remission so that coaching is not necessary. However, some may need additional support. In early 2021, I took a course in health coaching to learn how to work one-on-one with others. My goal is not to amass a group of health coaching clients. My only interest is in helping motivated individuals who are in need of additional guidance. If you have rheumatoid arthritis and need support, I am a resource. I do charge an hourly fee—a way to honor the time I spend with you and away from my other commitments. If you are in need of health coaching, please reach out to me here on


The information provided in or through this website is for educational and informational purposes only. I am not a medical professional. I do not provide healthcare, medical, or nutritional therapy services nor attempt to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease or condition. Those who use the information provided on this site do so at their own discretion and assume responsibility for their own health.

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