According to texts of ayurveda asthis 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) 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), tendons and ligaments are attached to asthis (bones). Asthi supports these structures and gives shape to our body.
Asthi Vriddhi Laxana:
When asthi dhatu increases more than normal , it leads to formation of adhyasthi (hypertrophy of bone) and adhidanta (formation of extra teeth).
Asthi Kshaya Laxanas:
When asthidhatu or nutrients of asthidhatu reduces the following diseases may surface.
Asthitoda : 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
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. Dificiency of vitamin D leads to painful joints, stiff neck, hair loss and bone loss.
* Exposing skin to sunrays 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 helps to supplement Vitamin C .
* Cereals, legumes, Leafy greens and yellow, orange, and red vegetables supply good amounts of calcium.
* Dry fruits, Nuts , 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.
* 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