Ayurvedic Treatment for Osteoarthrits
Osteoarthritis is a vata disorder disease, which causes dryness in the joints followed by swelling, pain, stiffness of joints and immobility. The Ayurvedic cure of the disease prevents further deterioration of joints as well as restore the damaged cartilages. Ayurveda stresses on osteoarthritis cure by modifying lifestlye, diet, some light exercises and also advises Purvakarma and Panchkarma detoxification techniques. Some Ayurvedic cures for osteoarthritis are discussed in this article.
Ayurvedic view of Osteoarthritis
The disease is believed to result from vitiation of the vata dosha.
The vitiated vata present in the joints tends to cause deformity or dislocation of the joint, pain and swelling.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Osteoarthritis
Some Ayurvedic treatments for osteoarthritis are given below -
Guggul – This helps bone strengthening. Guggul lessens the inflammation and soothes kapha dosha.
Trikatu – This enhances the balance of pitta dosha and also enhances digestive fire.
Boswellia – Phellodendron bark or Boswellia gum and scute root mixed together and used in combination with fang feng root, myrrh gum and jiao root.
Some Ayurvedic home remedies for Osteoarthritis treatments are as follows -
Warm mustard oil or sesame oil mixed with powdered dried ginger massaged into the joints.
Groundnuts cause a decrease in the vata dosha. Hence, a local massage with groundnut oil is recommended.
Warm some sesame oil or mustard oil and mix the powders of turmeric, garlic and camphor into it. This is an effective massage oil for joint pains.
Seeds and leaves of papaya will decrease pain and swelling. In case of joint pains, warm the leaves and apply as a hot fomentation onto the affected joints, or the seeds can be crushed and mixed into mustard oil for local massage.
Characteristic Symptoms of Osteoarthritis
Tenderness and enlargement of the joint with limitation in its movements.
Pain in the affected joints, which increases on movement and decreases with rest.
Articular stiffness and wasting of the muscles.
The pain might increase with change in the weather.
The treatment can be divided in following categories.
Fresh cooked and hot food should be consumed in regular diet.
Hot soups of lentils, pulses and meat should be taken with powder of ginger, black pepper and long pepper added to them.
Ghee and oils in moderate amount are necessary in daily diet, as these keep the normal joints properly lubricated and also provide lubrication to the dried up joints.
All the spicy, deep fried and very oily and pungent food recipes should be avoided, since these are believed to cause damage to the degenerated joints.
Moderate regular exercise to keep the affected joint mobile and to prevent further damage, should be carried out.
Excessive strain that could damage joints should be avoided.
Local application of various medicated oils such as Mahanarayan Taila, Bala Taila , mustard oil, etc., is very useful in all arthritic conditions.
Hot fomentation by infrared lamp or heated sandbag should be given immediately after massaging the affected joint with any oil.
Decoction of the roots of ten herbs should be given in the dose of 30 ml., thrice daily.
Decoction of the bark and roots of Deodar tree should be taken in the dose of 30 ml., thrice daily.
Decoction of root of caster plant is also helpful in the dose of 30 ml., thrice a day.
Caster oil should be taken in the dose of 5-10 ml., every day in the morning.
Daily use of the Ayurvedic compound 'Triphala choorna' is recommended to cleanse the colon.
Guggul is a very helpful herb for curing arthritis. It is most specific for cleaning and strengthening the bone tissue.
Generic preparations available in market such as -
Dashamularishtam , Triphala guggul, Maharasnadi quath , Vata Vidhwans Rasa etc. can be taken under the guidance of a ayurvedic physician
Herbal Supplements for Osteoarthritis:
Shallaki (Boswelia Serrata): An Ayurveda herb, which reduces pain from joints and rebuilds your cartilages. This is more potent than the glucosamines.
Guggulu (Commiphora Mukul): Ayurvedic herb, restores your Vata level to normal and also helps in the reduction of weight so good for those who are over weight and suffers from the Joint pains.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Well known for its effect on muscles, bones and joints. Reduces pain as well as strengthens the muscles so that they (muscles) can help the joints in proper functioning.
Osteo Arthritis in Ayurvedic View
Osteoarthritis which is known as sandhigatavata in ayurvedic medicine may occurs due to some particular food, poor blood circulation, dryness, over exertion or a low nutrient supply to the joint.
It is an important vata disease described in ayurvedic classicals like Charak samhita and Ashtanga hridaya. It is caused by the inflammation and loss of cartilage and affects the joints of knees, hips, lower spine, fingers and toes.
Vayana vata dosha, one of the five types of vata dosha (dosha of air and empty space) governs the entire body and mind movements, like blood flow, heart pulsation, breathing and the thoughts in mind. The vitation of this type of vata causes rheumatism. Osteo arthritis is essentially a vata disorder, with the involvment of pitha and kapha doshas.
Vata has a dry and light qualities and its vitiation leads to imbalance of kapha dosha, depleting the syniovial fluid, that provides cushion and lubrication to the joints. This depletion leads to osteoarthritis in which the cartilage in the joints wears away causing friction, pain and limited joint mobility and affects the large weight-bearing joints, like the hips and knees, also hands,feet, and spine.
Symptoms of this disease are edema, pain, tenderness, stiffness, pain on work etc. It also starts with ageing and the following factors contributes to the vitiation of vata dosha
Consuming dry, cold or stale food, not regular in sleeping habits, suppressing natural urges.
Getting exposed to asevere cold and dry weather.
Excessive travel, leading a vata aggravating life style and undergoing mental trauma.
Exerting oneself excessively on the joints or any accident which occurs in the joints.
When the food we eat, is not digested properly it causes ama (toxins) which weakens the colon and it circulates through whole body and gets accumulated in the bones and joints.
This toxins will block the body channels and inturn vitates vata dosha.
Ayurveda treats Sandhigata vata by modifying the diet, lifestyle, recommends light exercise, and advises one to undergo Panchkarma and Purvakarma detoxification techniques. It also uses appropriate non toxic ayurvedic herbs which helps in lubricating the cartilages within the joints thereby strengthening it.
It can be managed by
Eating lot of vegetables, freshly cooked foods, hot soups of lentils, pulse, moderate quantity of ghee and oils to lubircate the dried joints. By avoiding oily and deep fried foods.
Doing a regular mild exercise programme to enable the joint to move and prevent further damages also by noti ndulging in any hard job which may damage the joints.
Daily massaging with the mahanaraya oil or specific oils prescribed by an ayurvedic doctor is used to calm down the vata dosha.
Ayurvedic drugs aim to reduce the vitiated vata and also improves the kapha and pitha functions. The main drug that is recommended to treat this degenerative disease is Karaskara. Sahachara, bala, devdar, shallaki etc are also used. Main preparations used are qwath, arishta , choorna, tablets and ghrit.
In order to cleanse the toxins from the colon Triphala, which is a mild laxative is given. Triphala has specific action to pacify vitated vata.
Trikatu is given to enhance the digestive fire and will enhance the equilibrium of pitha dosha.
Guggul helps to strengthen the bone tissue. It reduces the inflammation and edema, pacify kapha dosha.
In order to control inflammation of the joints, Ayurveda suggests Boswellia gum or phellodendron bark and scute root and it is used in combination with myrrh gum, fang feng root, qin and jiao root.
Commonly used medicines are Sahacharadi qwath, Guggul thikta qwath, Maharasnadi qwath, Rasnerandadi qwath, Balarishta, Dhanwantharishta, Karasakar ghrit, Guggul thiktaka ghrit, Shadpala ghrit. Ashwagandha, Bala, Shallaki, Guggul and Rasna are used in pure herbs form.