Treatment of Inflammatory Rheumatism in Ayurveda
What is Inflammatory Rheumatism?
Inflammatory rheumatism or rheumatic disorders are autoimmune disorders, which cause inflammation to joints, muscles, tendons, bones and other internal body parts.
Common Rheumatic disorders or Inflammatory Rheumatism
- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Rheumatic fever
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Ankylosing spondylitis (AS)
- Psoriatic arthritis (PsA)
- Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Infectious arthritis
What Causes Inflammatory Rheumatism?
The main cause of inflammatory rheumatism is an abnormal immune system. Normally immune system attacks invading virus or bacterium, but when the immune system becomes unable to recognize the exact invaders and attacks healthy tissues in the place of germs, bacteria, and viruses, then it leads to the development of rheumatic disorders.
Other rheumatic disorders are caused due to the formation of crystals, such as the formation of uric acid crystals cause gout. Sometimes genetic and environmental factors may also cause these disorders. Environmental factors such as cigarette smoke, pollution, etc can also cause the disease. Gender is also a risk factor of rheumatic diseases as women are more likely to develop these conditions than men.
What are the Symptoms of Inflammatory Rheumatism?
The symptoms of inflammatory rheumatism may differ in every condition.
Osteoarthritis is caused due to the damage of cartilage, the deposition of material on the end of bones. It dissolves your joints, causes pain and makes joints harder to move. The body parts affected by osteoarthritis are hips, neck, knees, neck, fingers, lower back, and feet.
2. Rheumatoid Arthritis:
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that occurs when the immune system functions abnormally and attack healthy tissue in synovial joints. It usually affects small joints found in the hands, knees, ankles, feet, and wrists.
- Joint pain and stiffness, especially in the morning
- Muscle aches
- Weight loss
- Problems in the eyes and lungs
- Formation of lumps (rheumatoid nodules)
Lupus is also an autoimmune disease. This condition can develop at any age in both males and females, but younger women are more prone to develop Lupus than men. It may occur in many organs of the body.
- Joint pain and stiffness
- Skin rashes, including a “butterfly” rash across the cheeks
- Sun sensitivity
- Hair loss
- Kidney problems
- Blood disorders like anemia and low count of white blood cells
- Chest pain
- Ulcers in the mouth or nose
4. Ankylosing Spondylitis:
Ankylosing spondylitis is a rheumatic disorder that primarily influences the lower back and produces pain. It normally involves the joints where the spine and pelvis are attached. It mainly occurs in young men.
- Progressive pain in the lower back and buttocks
- Pain in shoulder blades and neck
- Pain and stiffness in the back
Gout is an inflammatory painful condition of the joint. It develops due to the deposition of uric acid crystals in body tissues. Gout usually affects the big toe, but it can also develop in other joints.
- Severe joint pain.
- Lingering pain and discomfort
- Swelling and redness
- Lack of joint movement
6. Sjogren’s Syndrome:
Sjogren’s syndrome is also an autoimmune disease. It occurs when our immune system mistakenly attacks our body parts. It mainly attacks the glands which release tears and saliva and causes dry eyes or mouth. It occurs more in women than in men.
- Dry mouth
- Dry throat
- Vaginal dryness
- Skin rashes or dryness
- Difficulty in talking and chewing
- Joint pain
- Enlarged parotid glands
Vasculitis is an inflammation of blood vessels. It is a rare but possibly life-threatening condition. It can lead to ischemia, a condition that decreases blood flow to the tissue.
- Red spots
- Painful bumps or ulcers on the skin
- Weakness in your hand, feet, fingers, and limbs
Scleroderma is an autoimmune rheumatic disease that causes chronic connective tissue degeneration. It is generally classified as two types: Localized scleroderma and Systemic sclerosis.
- Calcium lumps below your skin
- Digestive problems
- Dry mouth, skin, eyes, or vagina
- Kidney, heart or lung diseases
- Stiffness, swelling, and pain in joints
- Muscles weakness
- Thickening of the skin on your fingers
Some Ayurvedic herbs for the Treatment of Inflammatory Rheumatism
1. Boswellia herb:
Boswellia is an herbal extract of the Boswellia Serrata tree. Boswellia possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties. This herb is famous for its effective use in the treatment of rheumatic disorder mainly osteoarthritis and muscular pain. These are also very useful in relieving pain, inflammation, swelling or redness associated with epididymal cysts.
Binomial name: Boswellia Serrata
Benefits of Boswellia herb:
- Treats Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid Arthritis
- Treats Inflammatory Bowel Disorder and Asthma
- Promotes Natural Healing
- Improves Female Reproductive Health
- Maintains skin health
- Acts as a potent aphrodisiac
- Treats cancer
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a perennial herbaceous plant used as Ayurvedic medicine because of its various beneficial effects.
Turmeric possesses potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, due to which is it is used in the treatment of rheumatic disorders.
Other benefits of Turmeric:
- Anti-cancer effects
- Anti-aging effects
- Promotes liver health
- Treats Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal conditions
- Supports cardiovascular health
- Relieves menstrual discomfort
- Treats skin infections
Ginger (Zingiber Officinale) is very popular as a spice and widely used folk medicine.
It is known to promote bone health and provides relief from joint pain, which is caused due to arthritis. The constituent of ginger named as gingerol possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Due to this, ginger is very effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and knee inflammation.
Other benefits of Ginger:
- Reduces Muscle Pain and Soreness
- Relieves Nausea
- Treats Cold and Flu
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Improves digestion
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is known as the most potent herb in Ayurveda. This herb promotes joint health. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties which provide relief in the joint pain and swelling. Ashwagandha is also beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis and arthritis.
Other benefits of Ashwagandha:
- Increases Muscle Mass and Strength
- Reduces Blood Sugar Levels
- Anti-Cancer Properties
- Relieves Stress and Anxiety
- Improves Brain Function
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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