Inflammation and resultant pain in the joints are usually the basic tenets of Arthritis. This joint disorder can be painful and often, a debilitating one. It can also make the joints stiff. There are many ways of dealing with this problem, but with Ayurveda, one can get to the root cause of the ailment and its presence. This helps in taking a well rounded holistic approach towards treating it with ancient know how that revolves around herbs and other natural substances which have great medicinal value, lifestyle changes, diet, exercise and Yoga, oil massages, and other methods. Arthritis is known as Sandhivata in Ayurvedic jargon.
Read on to find out how Ayurveda can help in dealing with Arthritis.
- Herbs: One can make use of various herbs that contain Linoleic Acid to help in providing lubrication to the joints so as to prevent pain and stiffness. These herbs include Borage seed oil which is extracted from Borage seed, Evening Primrose oil, Blackcurrant seed oil, Capsaicin, Curcumin, Feverfew, Flaxseed oil and a standard Ayurvedic concoction that combines Ashwagandha, Gugulla, ginger, cumin and haldi or turmeric. These substances can help in treating the joints that are suffering from the pain of Arthritis.
- Diet: In Ayurveda, to treat ailments like Arthritis, it is usually recommended that a patient should start by flushing out the body toxins from within. Diet is one of the ways in which this can be done. A detoxification diet to clean the colon would be one of the foremost ways of doing a cleanse. Further, in one’s daily diet, there should be a good dose of vegetables, fruits and other juices. Also, one must have plenty of herbs and spices, which can be used to season the food. Curd should generally be avoided and garlic should be used liberally. The various properties that help in an inside out cleanse that will help the system function in a better manner so that the treatment of ailments is also effectively supported.
- Exercise: In Ayurveda, a certain amount of daily exercise, which spans at least 45 minutes to one hour, is a must. A pattern of healthy eating, restful sleep and exercise is what usually helps in treating ailments like Arthritis. For this ailment specifically, light exercise like walking is recommended. Various Yoga asanas that involve sitting, standing, balancing and lying down poses as well as restful poses will also help in treating knee, shoulder and lower back pain specifically. Also, mustard oil massages can help in reducing the pain.
Treatment includes overall body treatment and focused treatment of the affected joint. Oral medicines, oils and external applicants, detoxification and rejuvenation through panchakarma, diet changes, healthy lifestyle are all part of the treatment regimen. Oil and external application on the overall body and affected joints will help lubricate the joints and will allow easy movement. This will help reduce stiffness and improve range of motion.
Dietary changes: Reduce fats, sugar, salt and alcohol. Include a lot more of fish, soy, olive oil, low-fat dairy products, broccoli, green tea, citrus fruits, whole grains, beans, garlic and nuts and seeds. In addition to protein, these have various ingredients, which are useful for bone health and act as anti-inflammatory agents.
Some common panchakarma treatments include:
- Choorna Kizhi, where the person is made to assume different positions and mixtures of various herbs are applied to make the person sweat profusely.
- Abhyangam is a special oil massage lasting 45 minutes that the patient undergoes for 14 days. In addition to arthritis, it also helps control body ache, fight obesity, revitalises the whole system, induces sleep, and helps fight stress.
- Njavarakizhi is similar to the earlier Choorna Kizhi, various oils are used to massage the whole body while the patient is made to sit in different positions. There is also a Njavara rice that is cooked in milk to make a porridge and fed to the patient. This again is continued for 14 days.