Is there an effective arthritis treatment in ayurveda? Can arthritis be cured permanently with the natural ayurvedic medicines?
If you are suffering from arthritis and you are looking ayurvedic treatment for arthritis knee that can help you live a pain free life, look no further. We at ayurvedic expert can help you.
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What Is Arthritis? Why You Should Worry About It?
What scares you about old age the most? For most of us, it is the fact that we would lose our vitality and speed.
Such pain and disability is caused due to progressive joint conditions which are categorized as arthritis (commonly rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis).
Rheumatoid arthritis it is a painful degenerative disorder of the joints in which the joints become inflamed and cause a lot of pain. The person is unable to walk freely. There may be tenderness (pain on touch) and swelling of the joints. Most common site for arthritis are the knees and fingers. But any joint can get affected without an exception.
If you have arthritis, you know that it can have a debilitating effect on you, and may even restrict your movement to a large extent.
Fortunately, the age old science of Ayurveda has some treatment options which offer relief for arthritis.
Understanding Arthritis Through Ayurveda
Arthritis treatment in ayurveda is based on the understanding of the various doshas or humors of the body.
According to Ayurveda, there are four main humors in the body and it is these that govern our health, wellness and our proneness to disease.
According to Ayurveda arthritis is a condition caused due to the aggravation of vata dosha (air). The body produces ama – a toxin that is released as a by product of improper digestion.
When ama is produced, it circulates in the body and gets deposited at sites that have already weakened. So when the vata is already stirring up, ama finds the perfect place to build up. That is why you experience arthritis in fingers or knees.
For most people, arthritis in the knee is more painful than in the fingers because knees are load bearing joints. If you have arthritis in your knees, you will have trouble moving and the range of motion in your joints will be severely restricted.
You may have to depend on people or walking aids to make even the smallest of movements.
Can arthritis be cured by Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an age old treatment therapy. It addresses the problem of arthritis through three main approaches :
Arthritis Management In Ayurveda By Diet Control
Ayurvedic principles of healing is based on three doshas that are present in the body. These are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Whatever we eat has a direct effect on either of these doshas.
Arthritis is caused due to an imbalance in the Vata dosha. In more severe cases Amavata (ama + vata dosha) can accumulate in the joints. The symptoms in this case are similar to rheumatoid arthritis. Ama in ayurveda is nothing but accumulation of toxins and impurities inside the body.
So if you are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (or any other type of arthritis), a Vata pacifying diet should be adopted.
An Ayurvedic diet can help strengthen the digestive system, preventing the formulation of ama. The nutritional plasma that is thus created, is pure and can be assimilated into the body completely and easily.
A healthy, balanced diet can also improve lubrication of joints, effectively preventing arthritis or degeneration of the joints.
These Ayurvedic remedies promote natural healing for arthritis, decreasing the rate of progression of degeneration of your joints and promoting their health.
The following chart explains various types of diets along with things that are good for arthritis and things that are bad.
|Food type||Avoid these foods||Consume these foods|
|Grains||Corn flour, dry oats (granola), polenta and rye.||Amaranth, cooked oats, quinoa, brown rice, barley and wheat.|
|Dairy||Ice cream, frozen yogurt, cold milk.||Warm milk (with pinch of spice like haldi or ginger), butter milk, butter and desi ghee.|
|Sweetening agents||Brown sugar and white sugar.||Honey and jaggery (gur).|
|Nuts / Seeds||Peanuts, cashew and pistachio.||Almonds.|
|Oil||Peanut oil, safflowe and sunflower oil.||Almond oil, desi ghee and Sesame oil.|
|Fruit||Dried fruits, cranberries.||Apple, avocado, banana, cherries, coconut, dates and fig.|
|Vegetable||Cabbage, alfaalfa, sprouts, Taro root (Arbi), bringal.||Peas, beet root, carrot, cooked onion, sweet potato, tomato, water chestnut.|
|Meat||Pork||Chicken (specially desi chicken), fresh water fish, egg, duck.|
|Spices||None||Fennel seeds, basil, clove, dil, fenugreek, garlic, ginger, turmeric, pepper, nutmeg, mustard etc.|
|Beverage||Soft drinks, Juice, packaged bottled water, black coffee, tea.||Warm water, herbal tea, green tea.|
Yoga and Exercise For Arthritis
Yoga is ancient form exercise that focuses primarily on breathing techniques, stretching and light exercise. For over 5000 years, yoga has been referred to as the go to resource for a healthy living.
Yoga improves flexibility, reduce pain, stiffness and swelling, improves body function and lowers stress. There are several yoga poses that targets specific joints and body parts to give relief from arthritis and other joint pains.
The following 5 yoga poses are extremely easy and highly beneficial in reducing the symptoms of arthritis:
Warrior Pose Yoga For Arthritis
Warrior pose is originally known as Virabhadrasana. This yoga pose helps in strengthening the shoulders, arms, back, knees and ankles. Improves flexibility in joints specially hip joint and lower pack.
Steps to do warrior pose
The following video demonstrates how you can do warrior pose at home.
Spine Twist Yoga
Spine twist is an extremely easy and helpful yoga for people suffering from Ankylosing spondylitis.
It stretches the lower back, opens up the chest and shoulders. Spine twist is a great way to increase spinal flexibility. But if you are suffering from inter vertebral disc prolapse (PIVD) then this pose should not be done except if advised by the doctor.
The following YouTube video explains the various steps to do this pose –
Cow Pose Yoga (Bitilasana) For Arthritis
Cow pose is an extremely simple and easy pose that warms up the spine, improves spinal flexibility and eases lower back pain due to AS (ankylosing spondylitis) or herniated disc.
Here is how to do Cow pose correctly –
Angry Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
As the name suggests, a person doing Marjaryasana resembles an angry cat. This pose provides relaxation to a stressed spine, eases nerve compression due to disc bulging and stretches the belly muscles.
How to do angry cat pose?
Bridge Pose (setu bandhasana) For Arthritis
In bridge pose we make a bridge like structure using our neck, chest, lower back, buttock and legs. Bridge pose is very helpful for stretching and strengthening the neck, spine, hip muscles, and hamstrings.
Arthritis Treatment In Ayurveda
Since arthritis is caused due to vata aggravation, the main aim of arthritis treatment in ayurveda is to balance and stabilize vata in the body.
This can be done by strengthening the alimentary canal and the metabolic pathway. This ensures that the circulatory channels are not blocked by impurities and are open and performing well, and that nourishment is delivered to joints.
To achieve this, you may have to drink lots of water and detoxify your body periodically. You may also try various Ayurvedic herbs which are designed specifically to treat arthritis, improving your range of motion and giving you increased mobility. Some of these herbs include aloe vera, green tea, ginger, boswella, eucalyptus and turmeric.
What Herb Is Good For Arthritis?
Ayurveda has several unique herbs that are proven effective against arthritis. Ashwagandha, turmeric, aloe vera, Boswella, eucalyptus, ginger and green tea are some of best examples of herbs for arthritis treatment in ayurveda.
Ashwagandha for Arthritis
Ashwagandha is a rejuvinating herb that promotes health, delays ageing, improves mental health, and reduces inflammation. Ashwagandha has been found to have excellent efficacy against joint pains, specially rheumatoid arthritis.
Ashwagandha’s anti inflammatory action is comparable to modern corticosteroids like hydrocortisone and prednisolone. A 4 week therapy with ashwagandha provides significant improvement in joint inflammation and pain without any adverse side effects. Several clinical studies have already proven this fact.
Turmeric For Joint Pain Relief
Turmeric is a spice cum herb most commonly used in our Indian kitchens. Almost all Indian dishes have some part of haldi (turmeric) in it.
Turmeric contains curcumin which is known for its anti inflammatory properties. It is thought to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Curcumin also has immuno-modulatory action. Recent scientific studies have shown that turmeric is actually effective in reducing joint pain and inflammation.
Aloe vera is a wonder drug. It has such a vast coverage of health benefits that almost every other herbal supplement or beauty product boasts of containing aloe vera in some form or the other.
Aloe vera is great for reducing pain and inflammation in arthritis. It is a skin rejuvinator, a digestive aid, detoxifier, anti ageing agent and excellent laxative. All this makes it one of the most sought after herbs.
Aloe vera is used both externally and internally. When used externally its anti inflammtory and antiseptic properties help in faster healing of cuts and wounds. On the other hand if taken orally, it is known to reduce pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
Boswella serrata is a natural herb. It is believed to reduce pain and inflammation. Boswella is commonly used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and other inflammatory joint diseases.
Boswella reduces the joint stiffness and swelling while also preventing cartilage loss by inhibiting autoimmune process.
In a study published in December 2014, boswella was found effective in increasing the pain threshold and pain tolerance giving relief from pain associated with arthritis. The herb is also completely safe for long term use without any side effects.
Eucalyptus is a tree found very commonly in India. You can find rows of this medicinal tree by the sides of all major highways in north India.
Its oil is used in medicines as an analgesic and anti inflammatory agent. If you are suffering from arthritis, eucalyptus oil can be applied topically over the affected part for pain relief.
A study on eucalyptus oil has shown its effect in reducing pain and inflammation by inhibiting the associated enzymes – interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha.
Ginger is used as a fresh as well as dried herb. Fresh ginger is most commonly used as a spice while dried ginger is used primarily as a medicinal herb.
Ginger contains Gingerol which reduces pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other joint diseases. It is also an excellent digestive aid. Ginger reduces flatulence, indigestion, nausea and vomiting.
In a study published in 2000, Ginger was found to have comparable anti inflammatory action to ibuprofen.
Green tea is most commonly used for weight loss. But did you know that green tea is also very effective against arthritis? Yes, green tea contains polyphenols, a type of antioxidant which can reduce inflammation and pain.
Regular use of green tea prevents cartilage loss, and development of rheumatoid arthritis.
According to a research, the polyphenol epigallocatechin 3-gallate present in green tea can prevent and reverse the loss of cartilage and inflammatory pain in rheumatoid arthritis.
Modern Understanding and Pathology of Arthritis
Arthritis is a an inflammatory condition that could involve one of more of your body’s joints. According to modern medicine, there are several different kinds of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. The main symptoms of this condition is pain and stiffness in the joints. Since this is a progressive disease, it may worsen with advancing age. It could be caused by normal wear and tear of the joints or the formation of uric acid crystals that cause increased friction between the knee joint structures.
Modern Treatment for Arthritis
In modern medicine, the best treatment for arthritis is pharmacological. Medications are prescribed to decrease the progression of the disease. The treatment focuses on improving the symptoms and increasing range of motion in your joints. Analgesics and counter irritants for controlling pain and anti inflammatory steroids for controlling inflammation are the most common treatment methods. Surgery may be required for joint replacement, in case the condition progresses beyond control.
Though modern medicine has advanced a lot, it cannot completely cure arthritis. For those who are looking for long term rehabilitation, surgery is often the only resort. As compared to that, Ayurveda offers natural remedies that are non invasive and effective without any side effects. These remedies treat the underlying cause of the condition and lubricate joints to improve range of motion.
Tips for Ayurvedic Treatment of Arthritis
Ayurveda is just the right thing for you if you are looking for home remedies for arthritis. Ayurveda allows you to use several ingredients from your home for treatment of this condition.
- Begin your day by drinking a large glass of lukewarm water with lemon juice in it.
- Fenugreek is an excellent natural inhibitor of ama and corrector of the vata dosha. It is a natural remedy for arthritis. Use fenugreek seeds in your food. They are slightly bitter in taste, so use them sparingly. Another great way to use Fenugreek seeds is by grinding them and mixing them with mustard oil. Apply this paste on your joints – both on your knees and hands. This will bring warmth and comfort to your joints.
- A hot oil massage of your joints can be really helpful, especially in the winter months. Castor oil and sesame seed oil, both are great for a hot massage of your joints. If your joints are very painful, massage them lightly. Therapists discourage the use of pressure in joint massages in any Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis.
- Meditate for bringing down your stress levels and dealing with anxiety. Stress and anxiety are a major reason for the development of ama in your body. The more relaxed you are, the more efficient your body will be. Yoga has many breathing exercises which initiate you into meditation. When you have control over your breath, meditation comes more easily to you.
- Go to bed on time and wake up early in the morning. Disrupting the natural sleep cycle can aggravate all the doshas in the body and can also result in worry, stress, anxiety and fear. Taking control of your life and your daily schedule will not only help you get rid of arthritis, but also many other ailments that may have been plaguing you. A healthy, natural sleep cycle also prevents obesity, further improving the health of your load bearing joints.
Ayurveda is a completely natural science, with no known side effects. It has been extensively studied for its miraculous results and its many successful treatments. While these general tips on Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis can be helpful, often patients need more personalized treatment plans. Ayurvedic Expert offers you treatment packages designed with great care. We select only the most quality ingredients and convert them into final products after passing them through three stages of rigorous testing. Each of the medicinal ingredients used in our packages has been selected carefully after a lot of researching, experimenting and testing. If you need a little more personalized attention, you can contact our Ayurvedic doctor who can create specific treatment plans that are tailor made for you.
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