By Dr. Greeshma K Nair, Ayurveda
Arthritis is a disorder that is characterized by inflammation of the joints. This disorder usually develops after the age of 65; however, it does not mean that people from other age groups aren’t at any risk whatsoever. Obesity is one of the major triggers of this condition.
Arthritis can be of two types:
- Osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is a condition that is characterized by inflammation and stiffness in the joint caused due to injury, age or obesity.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is a disorder wherein the immune system attacks the healthy tissues and cells of the joint.
The cartilage is a flexible connective tissue present in your joints. Its function is to cushion the joints from pressure and shock. Any drop in the amounts of cartilage present leaves one immensely prone to this condition. While on one hand, osteoarthritis is generally caused by normal wear and tear of the joints, rheumatoid arthritis is caused by the immune system erroneously attacking the healthy cells of the joint.
The symptoms of this disorder are stiffness of the joints, swelling and a sharp stinging joint pain. Arthritis has a tremendous impact on one’s mobility, reducing it to a great degree. The symptoms of arthritis tend to get worse in the morning. Rheumatoid arthritis can also result in significant loss of appetite, because of the inflammation of the immune system. Reduction in the RBC count is also common in case of rheumatoid arthritis.
Ayurveda For Arthritis:
According to Ayurveda mostly pains are caused by the aggravation of vata (air) dosha. Arthritis is a condition which is caused by accumulation of ama and aggravation of vata. (Ama is a toxic by-product of improper digestion). This ama circulates in the whole body and deposits or gets collected at the sites which are weaker. When it deposits in the joints and at the same time there is aggravation of vata , it results in a disease called amavata. This amavata is arthritis.
Since arthritis is caused due to vata aggravation, the main aim of Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis 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 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 home remedies which are designed specifically to treat arthritis, improving your range of motion and giving you increased mobility.
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. Ayurvedic remedies promote natural healing for arthritis, decreasing the rate of progression of degeneration of your joints and promoting their health.
Ayurveda is a holistic system of medicine that focuses on treating the root cause of the problem along with treating the symptoms of arthritis. Unlike conventional treatments, Ayurveda is entirely natural and is free from side effects.
Tips for Ayurvedic Treatment of Arthritis-
- Partial fasting is beneficial in order get rid of these toxins.
- Consuming a cup of lukewarm water mixed with lemon juice and honey early in the morning is recommended.
- Using mustard or sesame oil to massage the body helps in reducing the ‘vata’.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 only help you get rid of arthritis.
- Avoid hot and spicy foods.