Wednesday, February 27, 2013

OSTEOARTHRITIS AND AYURVEDA



Introduction to Osteoarthritis:

Osteoarthritis (OA) or sandhi vaata as it is known in Ayurveda, is a degenerative joint disorder. This means that the protective cartridge and soft tissues covering the bones in the lower part of our body start breaking due to some cause or the other. This condition makes the joints stiff and they pain after any activity or after prolonged periods of rest. In addition to the allopathic treatment for osteoarthritis, there is also ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritis.

Causes of Osteoarthritis:

Ayurveda states that there are three bio-energies or doshas which control the various functions of our body. These doshas are vaata, kapha and pitta. When a person suffers from any disease, it is because of the imbalance in these doshas. Osteoarthritis is caused due to an imbalance in the vaata dosha by the following reasons: 
  • Too much consumption of dry food stuffs
  • Poor eating habits for a prolonged duration
  • Too much involvement in sexual activities
  • To stay up late at night and to remain hyperactive without taking enough rest
  • Chronic indigestion and malnutrition
  • Excessive travelling
  • Lot of physical or mental stress
  • Trauma or excessive bleeding
  • Suppressing natural urges
  • Getting exposed to severe cold and dry weather 
Signs and Symptoms of OA: 
  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Tenderness
  • Limitation of movement
  • Crepitus (a crunching sound or feeling)
  • Swelling
Ayurvedic CARE for OA:

The Ayurvedic herbs which have shown great results in OA are: 

  • Guggul: To strengthen the tissues.
  • Triphala: To clean the body of toxins.
  • Ashwagandha: Relax the body and mind and boost the nervous system.
  • Bala: To increase the blood circulation in the body, to reduce pain, to heal the nerves as well as to stimulate the growth of tissues in the body.
  • Shallaki: For its anti-inflammatory properties and the properties of being able to repair tissues close to the bones of the body.
  • Tvaka: For its powerful anti-microbial activity that reduces cytokines which are associated to arthritic pain.
  • Haridra: For its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties that help to alleviate pain.
  • Deodaru: For its anti-arthritic properties that diminishes swelling and pain of the joints. 
Various ayurvedic medicines are available in the market, which will help in proving relief and cure from osteoarthritis. However, it is essential to consult an ayurvedic doctor first, since he will be able to give you the right medicines according to your prakriti (constitution of body).

  • Abyangam
  • Vasthy
  • Janu vasthy
  • Kadee vasthy
  • Lepanam
  • Swedanam
  • Njavarakizhi
  • Valuka pottali swedanam
  • Sarvang ksheera dhara
Case Study:

Mrs.Agnes Vaz, 77 year old, had been suffering from Osteoarthritis in both her knees. She had been to her doctor on many occasions and had gone through the array of NSaids. Some gave her relief but she feared the side-effects. Without medication she struggled to bend her knees and walk which became problematic. So she decided to try with Ayurveda as she believed that it will cure her from the root cause and will create no side effects. She came to see us at VishwaCARE. She was given ayurvedic medicines and panchkarma therapies.

Agnes’s morning stiffness drastically improved such that she could wake up in the morning without pain. She was also able to walk without pain. She is now on a maintenance dose of ayurvedic medicines and is enjoying a more 'normal' life.

Ayurvedic home remedies for OA: 
  • Have half a tsp of Cinnamon powder with 1 tsp of manuka honey early morning, before breakfast.
  • 3 ml of lemon juice mixed in 100 ml of water taken thrice daily helps the kidney to detoxify.
  • 30 ml of French bean juice is also said to be effective in Osteoarthritis. It has to be taken for at least 30 days as one course.
  • Cherries play a vital role in improving the anti oxidants in the system. Some naturopaths recommend 10 fresh cherries a day to keep Osteoarthritis in control.
  • Carrot juice mixed with the juices of beet and cucumber acts as diuretic hence it is recommended for Osteoarthritis.
  • A charcoal bath is a good home remedy for Osteoarthritis. In an old basin, mix one half cup of charcoal powder with water until a paste is made. Place affected foot into the basin and add water until the foot is enclosed. Keep your foot in the charcoal bath for thirty to sixty minutes.
Preventive Care for OA:

The following measures may reduce the risk of developing OA, Ayurvedically:
  • Protecting an injured joint from further damage;
  • Exercising;
  • Losing weight;
  • Avoiding excessive repetitive motions;
  • Correct diet;
  • Using appropriate herbs;
  • Hospital treatment as a last resort.
Diet chart  for OA:

Do’s:
  • Include ghee and oil in regular diet, in moderate quantities since they will help lubricate the tissues and joints.
  • Eat a wholesome diet made up of freshly cooked and hot foods.
  • Have hot soups of lentils or pulses like green gram, black gram and horse gram
  • Add Epsom salt to your diet instead of table salt or sea salt
  • Eat a lot of vegetables and fruits that has carotenoids like carrot, peaches, yellow figs, pumpkins, papaya, onions, garlic, ginger, pomegranate, apples, avocado, and soya, etc.
  • Drink hot water or boiled water instead of refrigerated water or packaged water.
 Don’ts:
  • Avoid packaged foods, tinned foods or any preserved foods.
  • Avoid soft and fizzy drinks at all costs since they harm the bones and joints of the body.
  • Avoid very oily, spicy, salty, pungent and astringent food.
  • Avoid eating dry and cold food items.
  • Avoid pulses and cereals like barley, chickpeas, Bengal gram, kidney beans, etc.
Lifestyle guidance for OA:
  • Walk daily for 30 to 40 minutes.
  • Do mild exercises program regularly to enable the joints to move and prevent any further damage.
  • Do not over exert yourself or indulge in any hard job which may damage the joints.
  • Both excessive use and reduced use of your joints is bad for you.
  • Weight is a main cause in the destruction of your joints, so keep your weight optimum.
  • While losing weight, try to increase your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Don’t go for excessive fasting as it will aggravate Vaata dosha.
  • Don’t suppress the natural urges of urine and stool.
  • Avoid exposure to too much of cold atmosphere.
  • Massage your joints with warm sesame oil or mustard oil daily, followed by hot fomentation or Epsom salt hot water bath.


(P.S: As every human being is different according to Ayurveda, all have different cures. So, kindly consult us or an Ayurveda doctor before taking any herbal medicines.)

This post is written by Dr.Jaina Patwa who is a Chief Ayurvedic practitioner based at Vile Parle, Mumbai, India. She is available as an online Ayurvedic Consultant on Skype. Skype ID - vishwacare

VishwaCARE offers Ayurvedic treatment globally for all chronic and refractory health problems. Dr.Jaina Patwa uses high quality organic herbal extracts which are easy to take, effective and completely safe for long-term use.

For authentic ayurveda treatments or queries, kindly email us on vishwacare.jaina@gmail.com or contact us on +919833998817