Ayurveda explains about Asthi dhatu or bone tissue and methods to nourish it. Knowing about these facts help us to prevent diseases like joint pain, osteoporosis, inflammation of bone tissue etc.
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Formation of asthi dhatu
According to texts of ayurveda asthi or bones are formed from the nutrients supplied by medha dhatu through asthivaha srothas. The nutrients in medha dhatu which is meant to nourish asthi dhatu are processed in asthivaha srothas by dhatwagnis. Dhatwagni and bhutagni (vayu, agneya and prithvi Read about these at Pancha mahabhuta in Ayurveda) bring about hardness and heaviness to these nutrients which form asthi or bone.
Functions of asthi according to ayurveda:
In nature we observe that trees are supported by strong solid stems. Same way human body is supported by strong bones. All muscles (mamsa dhatu), tendons and ligaments are attached to asthis (bones). Asthi supports these structures and gives shape to our body.
Asthi Vriddhi Laxana:
What happens when there is an increase of asthi dhatu. ?
Asthi Kshaya Laxanas:
What happens when asthi dhatu decreases. ?
When asthi dhatu or nutrients of asthi dhatu reduces the following diseases may surface.
Asthi toda : Inflammation of bones and joints (like arthritis and gout)
Sadana : weakness
Dwija prapatana : falling of teeth
Srama : weakness
Bhagna : pathological fractures
Phakkaroga : rickets
Asthi Kshaya : thinning of bones like osteoporosis
Asthi Vrana : Osteomyelitis
Symptoms of a Person who has Healthy Bones – According to Ayurveda.
According to ayurveda persons who have healthy bones and skeletal system are known as “asthi sarapurusha”. These persons will have strong bones, teeth and nails. They will be very strong, active and enthusiastic.
Minerals like Calcium, phosphorous, magnesium along with protein and collagen help to build bones. Vitamin D is needed to make bones strong. Hormonal imbalances, increased intake of proteins, salt and stimulants interrupt bone building. Stress and prescription drugs also disrupt the process of bone building. Deficiency of these nutrients leads to osteoporosis, inflammation of joints (arthritis) and painful joints. Deficiency of vitamin D leads to painful joints, stiff neck, hair loss and bone loss.
Tips to Strengthen Asthi Dhatu
* Exposing skin to sun rays makes vitamin D available to body. Oysters, cottage cheese and eggs contain small amount of vitamin D.
* Vitamin C encourages collagen production. Hence adequate intake of citrus food especially amla or Indian gooseberry helps to supplement Vitamin C .
* Cereals, legumes, Leafy greens and yellow, orange, and red vegetables supply good amounts of calcium.
* Dry fruits like raisins (dry grapes) , dates or khajur, figs or anjir etc, Nuts like almond, pistachio, walnut etc , seeds (sunflower, black sesame and pumpkin seeds) and their oils are abundant with vitamins and minerals as well as healthy essential fatty acids such as omega-3-and-6 .
* Regular exercise helps to build strong bones and reduce calcium loss. It makes joints stronger and healthy. Exercises like brisk walk for 45 minutes daily, is best and comfortable exercise.
* Stress reducing techniques like yoga and meditation help to reduce calcium depletion.
* Avoid excess intake of coffee, tea, cola etc.
* Try to maintain normal weight and avoid getting overweight or obese (read ayurvedic herbs, medicine and treatment for obesity)
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