How Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Be Managed In Ayurveda?
Waking up in the morning with pain and stiffness in joints, unable to clench fist or difficulty in doing normal daily chores! Well all these can be the signs of Rheumatoid arthritis.
Here arises the question, what is rheumatoid arthritis? RA is a chronic systemic inflammatory disease with classic feature of persistent symmetrical polyarthritis which means swelling of multiple joints like hands, feet equally on both sides. It can occur in any joint but mostly affecting small joints.
Studies shows that women are more affected than men and nearly 40% of patients are registered disabled within 3 years of onset.
Ayurvedic Aspect of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is known as ‘AMAVATA’ in Ayurvedic texts. Ama is basically unripe and undigested food because of agnimandya i.e. low digestive fire and vata is one of three doshas (Vata, Pitta, & Kapha) in the body which are considered as pillars of life in Ayurveda. Ama and Vata, when vitiated causes Amavata. There is an accumulation of Ama and Vata in joints causing various symptoms of Amavata.
Causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder in which body’s defense mechanism starts formation of antibodies without any antigen. This simply means body’s defense mechanism become hostile for own body. It occurs when a genetically susceptible person is triggered with some external factors like stress, any infection, trauma etc.
Ayurvedic Aspect- In Ayurveda, the main causes for Amavata are considered as-
- Viruddh aahara i.e. wrong combinations of food
- Viruddh cheshtha i.e. wrong lifestyle
- Disturbed sleeping habits
- Doing heavy exercises especially after meal
- Holding natural urges for longer period
- Mental health issues like stress, anger etc.
All these factors directly or indirectly form ama in body and disturb tridoshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha).
In the beginning, it mostly shows symptoms like- fever, weakness, heaviness in body, and body ache.
Typical representation includes the following-
- Symmetric pain, swelling and tenderness of joints of hands, wrist and feet, etc.
- Stiffness of joints especially in the morning after waking up. This reduces or subsides after 45 minutes to one hour.
- Limited range of motion of joints
- Excessive thirst.
On later stages- deformities in joints and hampered daily activities can also become the reason.
All these symptoms can be confused with gout and osteoarthritis. The difference between them is, in gout there is increase in uric acid and in Osteoarthritis there is destruction of cartilage over a period.
Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis through Ayurveda
Let’s understand how Ayurveda works in this case. The basic line of treatment is to treat ama and balancing doshas. This can be achieved by various herbal drugs and their effective combinations.
Planet Ayurveda provides various combinations of herbal medicines which do wonders in this disease. This package is the best option for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. These products are 100% natural and free from side effects.
These formulations are
- Guggul Capsules – 2 capsule thrice daily with warm water after meal.
- Joint Aid Plus – 1-2 capsules thrice daily with water after meal.
- Boswellia Curcumin Capsules- 1-2 capsules thrice daily with water after meal.
- Aamvatantak Churna – 1 tsp twice daily with water after meal.
- Rumogin 5 Capsules- 1-2 capsule thrice daily with water after meal.
1. Guggul Capsule
Guggul is a gum raisin extracted from a plant called Commiphora mukul. Guggul is an effective drug which provides strength to the joints, reduces pain also helps in treating inflammatory conditions and degenerative disorders. The ‘ushana’ virya i.e. potency of guggul helps in decreasing Vata dosha resulting in decrease in pain and ‘katu’ and ‘tikta’ rasa is excellent in reducing obesity.
2. Joint Aid Plus Capsules
It is a unique combination of drugs, Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Shallaki (Boswellia serrata), Guggul (Commiphora mukul), sonth (Zingiber officinale), and Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). These all are anti-arthritic and are helpful in reducing moderate to severe inflammations and pain. It’s an excellent alternative to pain killer. It also helps in regaining the strength of joints and controlling the degeneration.
3. Boswellia Curcumin Capsule
It comprises of the extracts of two most effective herbal drugs for reducing inflammation that are Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) and Curcumin (Curcuma longa). Both of these drugs are wonderful for reducing morning stiffness, pain and swelling of joints. It also increases the range of mobility of joints. So, these capsules act as both anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
4. Rumogin 5 Capsules
These capsules contain Haridra (Curcuma longa), Sonth (Zingiber officinale), Shallaki (Boswellia serrata), Maricha (Piper nigrum), and Pippali (Piper longum). These drugs are very helpful in improving digestion and hence, treating Ama related conditions. These capsules balance doshas, thus becomes a complete solution for painful conditions. These also relieve digestive conditions like dyspepsia, flatulence, nausea etc.
5. Aamvatantak Churna
Aamvatantak Churna is the blend of various herbal drugs in powdered form. This comprises of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Methi (Trigonella foenum graecum), Suranjaan (Colchicum autumnale), Gorakhmundi (Sphaeranthus indicus), and Sonth (Zingiber officinale). These are described as the best anti inflammatory and detoxifying herbs in Ayurveda. These are very effective particularly for morning stiffness of joints and severe joint pain. These herbs act in synergistic manner to control acute and chronic pains of joints.
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Dos and Don’ts in Case of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Things which should be included in diet and lifestyle –
- Food items like whole grains, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts (like almonds, walnuts), spices (like turmeric, cumin), peas, beans, garlic, olive oil, omega 3 fatty acid, should be added.
- Increase the intake of warm water.
- Do regular light exercise like walking.
- Fasting occasionally is also recommended for controlling Ama.
- Have healthier sleeping habits.
Things Which Should be Avoided-
- Refined carbs, processed, heavy and fried foods, white sugar, meat, alcohol
Other Remedies for Pain-
- Soak feet or hands in warm water containing salt for half an hour daily.
- Hot compression technique- Take some amount of salt or sand and warm it in a pan. Take a piece muslin cloth and put hot sand or salt in that and form a pocket (potli). Place it on knee or painful joint as hot compression.
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