Rheumatoid arthritis, an inflammatory disease that affects the joints of hands and feet, particularly the synovial joints, causes acute pain and swelling, ultimately resulting in joint deformities and bone erosion. It is an autoimmune disorder which is triggered when the immune system of our body mistakenly starts attacking our tissues. Apart from the joints of hands and feet, rheumatoid arthritis can also affect the organs including skin, eyes, lungs, and blood vessels. Although arthritis is commonly found among those beyond the age of forty, it needn’t be the same in every case.
According to Ayurveda mostly pains are caused by the aggravation of vata dosha. Arthritis is a condition which is caused by accumulation of ama and aggravation of vata. (Ama is a toxic by-product of improper digestion) This ama circulates in the whole body and deposits or gets collected at the sites which are weaker. When it deposits in the joints and at the same time there is aggravation of vata, it results in a disease called amavata. This amavata is arthritis.
Ayurvedic remedies to treat arthritis
- As Ama and Vata are the main causative factors, a long term remedy for arthritis should include some in-depth treatment methods to digest Ama and reduce Vata. The digestion should slowly improve from time to time, thus reducing the production of Ama, so that no further Ama is created in the long run. This is a slow, steady, and gradual method, and involves a series of authentic ayurvedic treatments.
- Fasting is highly essential to boost the digestion of Ama. Fasting can either be complete or be partial.
- Light exercises should complement the daily ayurvedic treatments. The amount and intensity of exercises can vary from person to person, depending on their limits.
- Liberal intake of fruit juices that are rich in Vitamin C will help enhance the effectiveness of the ayurvedic anti-arthritis treatments. Vitamin C is highly essential to reduce skeletal pain.
- Commiphora wightii, commonly known as Guggal, is a highly effective herb to cure arthritis. Based on its availability, Guggal can be taken in one to three gram doses, twice a day, with warm water, right after meals. But make sure to note that Guggal is not recommended for those with kidney diseases or allergies.
Anti-inflammatory foods that are beneficial for arthritis patients
Certain precautionary measures
- Include fishes in your diet particularly herring, salmon, mackerel, and sardine, as they are rich on omega 3 fatty acids that help reduce the symptoms of arthritis to a huge extent.
- Arthritis patients should never fail to include ginger in their food, as it can help cure various rheumatic, neurological, and musculoskeletal illnesses. Having around 5 grams of fresh ginger, about three times a day, can help boost digestion, and thus reduce the formation of Ama.
- A primary compound in turmeric, curcumin has strong anti-inflammatory effects that help avoid morning stiffness and joint swellings, along with boosting the walking capacity of arthritis patients. According to experts, about 2 weeks of curcumin supplementation (roughly 1200 mg per day) can guarantee better results when compared to the after-effect of having phenylbutazone for two weeks (about 300 mg of phenylbutazone per day).
- Garlic is widely used in several Ayurvedic medicines, particularly in the anti-arthritis drugs that help relieve the symptoms of arthritis markedly. According to ayurvedic experts, garlic is highly effective in reducing arthritis pain, as it can help prostaglandins control the inflammation and subsequent pain.
Avoid eating hot, spicy and fried foods, sweets, wind forming foods like cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, okra and potatoes should be prohibited. Avoid taking too much tea, coffee, alcohol, white sugar, yogurt, chocolate and cocoa, excessive smoking, sleeping during day time, staying up late in the night and mental tensions like worry, anxiety, fear, stress and grief etc., should be given up. Regular physical exercise and every day massage with oil, once or twice a week, should form an important part of life style.