Arthritis and Ayurvedic Treatment
Arthritis and Ayurveda: Arthritis is not a new concept for Ayurvedic science. Rather we can tell that Ayurveda is the first medical science to explain arthritis and other joint related problems. We can find references of various type of arthritis which simulate with those explained in the modern texts. Arthritis in Ayurveda is a disease involving the vitiated vata dosha in one or the other form, though the other doshas-pitta and kapha are also invariably involved being disturbed in varying proportions. The main dhatus afflicted are rasa-rakta(blood), mamsa(muscles, tendons, ligaments) and ashti(bone and joints). When these tissues are afflicted by one or more of the above said doshas with predominance of vata arthritis get manifested. Disturbed metabolism(agni dushti), circulating endo-toxins(ama), improper food and activities(mithya ahara and vihara) etc are also the chief causes. This indicates that most of the arthritis according to Ayurveda have a systemic origin).
Types of Arthritis as per Ayurveda: Many conditions resembling various types of the modern day arthritis is available in the Ayurveda viz:
*Amavata: Where ama is involved along with vata to produce a picture resembling an inflammatory arthritis with special mention of Rheumatoid Arthritis.
*Sandhigata vata: Where the vitiated vata enters the joints and occupies them causing swelling, pain etc. This condition indicates the explanation similar to degenerative arthritis w.s.r.t Osteo-Arthritis.
Vata-Rakta: Where the vitiated vata along with the vitiated rakta produce painful conditions of the joints mimicking the picture of crystal arthritis w.s.r.t Gouty-Arthritis.
There are many other conditions explained but the above said are important ones. The notable feature is the mention of the word vata in common in all the conditions.
Treatment of Arthritis in Ayurveda:
The treatment of arthritis can be initiated only after understanding the ailment in detail(nidana panchaka) and after a thorough examination of the patient through Dashavida pariksah(10 fold examination of the patient), Trividha(3 fold examination) and Ashta Stana Pariksha(examination of 8 essential parameters). In general the below said treatment can be implemented as per the type of the arthritis being dealt:
*Langhana(fasting and other forms of treatment which bring lightness in the body), Deepana(enhancing the digestive fire or improving the metabolism),Pachana(digesting the endotoxins and separating them from the association with morbid doshas) etc when ama is associated with the doshas in the pathogenesis of the arthritis. Eg in Amavata
*Shodana(purificatory measures including panchakarma): In the form of :
1.Virechana(purgation) – in all types of arthritis
2.Vasti(medicated enemas) – Kashaya vastis(decoction enemas) and teekshna vastis(strong enemas-evacuatory) in amavata, Ksheera vastis(medicated enemas prepared in milk base) in vatarakta, Anuvasana and matra vastis(oil or ghee enemas) in sandhigata vata etc
3.Rakta mokshana(blood letting) – In vatarakta
4. Snehapana – Intake of medicated oils and ghee – in amavata/sandhigatavata/vatarakta
*Sthanika Chikitsa(Local treatment):
1. Janu vasti(oil pooling around the knee joints in a chamber constructed around the joint using flour so as to accomodate oil) – in sandhigata vata
2.Patra pinda sweda(sudation to the painful joint using medicated leaves tied in a cloth in the form of a bolus) – in sandhigatavata
3. Shastika shali pinda sweda(sudation to the painful joint using processed rice tied in a cloth in the form of bolus) – in sandhigata vata
4. Lepa and Upanaha( annointments and poultices) – in all types of arthritis
5. Abhyangam and swedana(massage and fomentation) – in sandhigatavata
6. Vaaluka sweda(sudation to the painful joint using heated sand tied in a cloth in the form of a bolus) – in amavata
7. Parisheka(sprinkling or spraying medicated fluids) – in vatarakta
8. Sandhi pichu(keeping a cotton pad dipped in medicated oil in contact with afflicted joint and wrapping it with a bandage to keep it in position) – in sandhigata vata
*Shamana Chikitsa: (Palliable treatment in the form of oral medication) – Some of the important medicines useful in various types of arthritis are mentioned below:
Oils for application: Balaguluchyadi tailam, BalaAshwagandadi tailam/kuzhambu, Chandanadi tailam, Dhanwantaram khuzhambu, Karpasasthyadi tailam, Karpooradi coconut oil, Kottamchukkadi tailam, Ksheerabala tailam, Madhuyashtyadi tailam, Mahamasha tailam, Murivenna, Narayana tailam, Pinda tailam, Sahacharadi tailam, Vatamardanam kuzhambu, Vatashini tailam
Oils and ghee for internal consumption: Bala tailam, Dhanwantaram tailam(3 & 101), Gandha tailam, Ksheerabala tailam(3 & 101), Sahacharadi tailam, Gulgulu tiktakam ghritam, Varanadi ghritam etc
Kashayam’s: Amrutottaram Kashayam,Balaguluchyadi Kashayam,Dhanwantaram Kashayam, Gulgulutiktakam Kashayam/Tablets, Kokilaksham Kashayam,Maharasnadi Kashayam/Tablets,Rasnadi Kashayam(small and big),
Tablets: Amruta Gulgulu/Amruta Gulgulu(DS), Dhanwantaram/Mahadhanwantaram Gulika, Kaishora Gulgulu/Kaishora Gulgulu(DS), Shaddarana gulika/Shaddarana gulika(DS), Yogaraja Gulgulu/Yogaraja Gulgulu(DS) etc
Patent medicines from the house of Arya Vaidya Nilayam(AVN):
*Amavatari Kashayam: Contains important ingredients like Amruta, Kokilaksha, Punarnava and Dashamoola. Indicated in – Rheumatoid Arthritis, Auto-immune Collagen diseases, Ankylosing Spondylosis, Gout, Dermato-Myositis, Osteo-Arthritis.