Osteoarthritis can be compared to Sandhigata vata as described in Ayurveda.
It is one of the eighty diseases caused due to vitiated vata dosha.
Old age is natural phase of Vata dominance. Due to the (Ruksha) dry quality of vata dosha, it causes wear and tear of the joints in this age which leads to osteoarthritis in old people.
But when this disease is seen in comparatively younger generation following could be the causative factors:
- Excessive exercise or lack of exercise
- Lack of proper sleep
- Vega vidharan( not attending to bladder, bowel movements)
- Exposure to cold
- Eating dry, astringent, bitter spicy food etc.
- Eating stale food
These are the factors which cause vata dushti or vitiation of Vata dosha. Also due to improper eating habits and unhealthy daily routine Aama is formed. This Aama is substituted instead of healthy kapha dhatu and is circulated in the body by vitiated vata dosha. When this Aam reaches the joints it settles there and causes pain and inflammation of the joints . This Aam along with vitiated Vata dosha causes various other musculoskeletal disorders such as Rheumatoid arthritis, tendinitis, Carpel tunnel syndrome, Fibromyalgia etc.
The main stay of Ayurved treatments in these conditions is Aampachan, Vata shaman.
Guggulu and Shallaki with various herbal combinations are used in Ayurved to treat Arthritis. The guggulu (Commiphera mukul ) and Shallaki (Boswelia serrata) are excellent anti inflammatory medicines which reduce the swelling and pain in the joints. These medicines help in Aampachan and thus reduce the pain and swelling .
Various heat treatments such as Patrapottali swedan, Bashpa swedan, Valuka pottali swedan help to reduce the stiffness in the joints and relieve the musculoskeletal pain.
Leaves of Nirgundi, Eranda, Shigru, etc. are used to give the heat treatments.
Following things can be included in the diet
- Kulith ( Horse gram)
- Udad ( Black gram)
- Shali rice
- Padwal ( Snake gourd)
- Shigru ( Drumstick)
- Sleeping very late at night
- Vega vidharana (not attending to bladder , bowel movements)
- Excessive exercise
- Chanak (Bengal gram)
- Green peas, Dried green peas
- Astringent spicy and bitter food
- Exposure to cold winds and water
- Drinking cold water, cold drinks etc.
Can Arthritis be avoided
The natural wear and tear of joints according to age cannot be avoided completely. Measures should be taken from younger age to avoid excessive degeneration which leads to early onset of joint diseases.
Try to follow the lifestyle with:
- Moderate and regular exercise
- Good eating and sleeping habits
- Low mental stress levels
- Oil massage and Basti (Enema treatment) to be taken at regular intervals especially in the cold season and rainy season. This helps to keep the joints healthy.
Dr Aditi Gadgil
Somaiya Ayurveda Centre
For appointments contact :
Somaiya Ayurveda Centre – 022 – 61494700