Rheumatoid arthritis or amavata is caused due to imbalance of vata dosha leading to generation of ama or body toxin. This toxin when gets lodged in joints causes amavata
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Rheumatoid arthritis in ayurveda
In Rheumatoid Arthritis the lining of joints or lining of internal organs are inflamed . This disease may be chronic ( lasts for a long time ) or may flare up intermittently. The inflammation of lining of joints causes swelling, pain, redness, stiffness and warmth in the affected region . The cells of inflamed lining release enzymes which may harm the related bone and cartilage. This process may cause deformity of joint, pain and may restrict joint movements.
In ayurveda there is very detailed description about Rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis is very well described in ayurveda It is known as “Ama vata“. The description in ayurveda for arthritis goes as follows
“ Sa Kashtaha Sarvarogaanaam yadaa prakupito Bhavet |
Hastha paada shiro gulpha trika jaanu uru sandhishu ||
Karoti sarujam shopham yatra doshaha prapadyate |
Sa desho rujate atyatham vyaviddha iva vrishchkaihi || “
This means ” If the disease “ama vata” (rheumatoid arthritis) becomes chronic the joints ( sandhi ) of hands (Hastha), feet ( paada) , ankles and elbow (gulpha ) , low back ( trika ) , knee ( jaanu ) , and hip ( uru ) become inflamed and painful. The pain in affected joints resembles the pain of a scorpion’s sting.”
Ayurvedic Causes of Rhematoid arthritis or amavata
The exact cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is not known. But immunologists have discovered that Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disease. Some may have a tendency to inherit this disease.
The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is very well explained in ayurveda. The ayurvedic texts say rheumatoid arthritis is caused by formation of “ama ”
(Ama is a toxin that is produced by imbalanced agni or body fire (metabolism) ). The toxin ama is carried by imbalanced vata dosha ( one of the three energetic forces ) and reaches the kapha dosha ( one of the three energetic forces ) dominated places like joints, stomach , chest , brain etc. This toxin becomes sticky due to imbalanced doshas and blocks the vital channels or srotas which nourish the body.
The sticky toxin ama not only affects the joints but also spreads all over the body . The channels ( channels like arteries, intercellular spaces , pores in cells etc are called srotas ) which allow nutrients to flow through and nourish body tissues , cells get partially blocked. This leads to a decreased supply of nutrients to body tissues and cells . Thus the immunity of the body gets lowered , the appetite reduces , the body becomes weak due to insufficient nourishment of body tissues.
The ama which gets harbored in joints acts like a foreign substance and triggers the immune system. This leads to inflammation of linings of joints .
Rheumatoid arthritis symptoms as explained in ayurveda
The locally exhibited symptoms are explained in ayurveda as follows
” Manya prishta kati jaanu trika sandheenvikunchayan |
Sashabdaha srastagaatrashcha aamavaataha sauchyate || “
This means the joints of neck ( manya ) , back ( prishta ) , hip ( kati ) , knee ( jaanu ) , sacral region ( trika ) and other joints get inflamed. The joint movements are often accompanied with sounds . This disease which also makes body weak is known as amavata .
Local Symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are
- pain and Inflammation of joints.
- Swelling .
- Difficulty in moving .
- Pain .
- Usually starts in hands and feet.( wrist and hand joints)
- Can also affect neck, shoulders, knees, hips and ankles.
- Some times affects the same joints of both sides of body.
- Rheumatoid nodules.
- Chronic RA may cause a damage to affected joints.
Systemic symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are
- Loss of energy.
- Loss of appetite.
- General fatigue (early symptom)
- Other body organs may be affected
According to ayurveda the Systemic symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are described as follows.
Angamarda aruchi trishna aalasyam gouravam jwaraha |
Apaakaha shoonataangaanam amavatasya laxanam ||
This means ” the symptoms of amavata are
- Body pain ( angamarda )
- Distaste to food (aruchi )
- Thirst. ( trishna )
- Malaise. ( aalasya)
- Fever. ( jwara )
- Indigestion. ( apaaka )
- Weakness ( shoonata )”
Ayurvedic Remedy and Tips for Rheumatoid arthritis (amavata)
The Ayurvedic Treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis or Amavata. The line of treatment in ayurveda for rheumatoid arthritis involves the following steps.
- Avoiding the formation of ama by increasing the agni or body fire.
- Expelling the already formed ama (detox) .
- Reduction of inflammation in joints.
( By providing natural calcium supplement)
The rheumatoid arthritis or amavata ayurvedic treatment therapy involves the above mentioned steps
Tips to reduce pain in joints
- Weight reduction. ( Read Obesity ayurvedic treatments, medicines and herbs )
- Exercise well moving all your joints. Walking is the best exercise
- Take a warm shower everyday .
Ayurveda tips to reduce pain
- Avoid curd , fish, milk, urad dal, jaggery, and constipating food.
- Consume horse gram, ginger ( Read Health Benefits of Ginger), bitter gourd, drum sticks.
- Remove the sprouts (which will be present inside garlic cloves) of garlic by splitting, Soak these garlic in buttermilk over night. Next day morning wash the garlic with plain water. ground this garlic to thin paste. Consume 1/2 tea spoon of this paste with warm water every day morning in empty stomach.
- Always use hot water to bathe and to drink.
- Avoid cold breeze.
- Do not consume opposite foods.
- Empty bowels regularly.
- Do not control natural urges.
- Avoid late nights and afternoon sleep.
Selfcare for Arthritis
1. In arthritis Gentle exercises like walking , yoga are helpful. Stop any exercise if joints are inflamed and painful.
2. A healthy diet which do not cause indigestion and constipation are advised. Foods which cause obesity should be avoided.
3. Weight should be controlled well.
4. Apply heat compresses to relax muscles and ease pain
5. Manage stress and anxiety by practicing yoga and meditation
Warm Water or Ushnodaka- An Ayurvedic hot water home remedy in joint pain
According to Dr.Shirish Bhate
Knee pains – arthritis, Aamavata – rheumatism, Sciatica – Ranjanvata, pains in waist or neck regions etc. in all such cases, where vata is vitiated the boiled warm water is proven useful. Along with this, diet must be light to digest, avoiding oil and adopting ghee for sautéing of vegetables. The ushnodaka or warm water causes digestion of Ama, Kapha and to expel them through bowels, taking ½ to 1 tsp of Haritaki – Terminalia Chebula ( Harde) powder with warm water is advised. The dose of Harde can be adjusted to the strength of large intestine.
A well known Vaidya, Prabhashankarbhai of Gujarat, India used to cure all joint pains with just fasting and Haritaki, along with Ushnodaka ie.ayurvedic hot water therapy. Today, many of his disciples are propagating the philosophy. The joint pains, if not cured since long time or pain is unbearable, one should try ayurvedic system under the supervision of a nearby qualified ayurvedic consultant.
Whats App or email Dr.Savitha Suri @ firstname.lastname@example.org, + 91 6360108663/ to know more about ayurvedic treatment for arthritis
Author : Dr. Savitha Suri Consultant Ayurvedic Physician
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