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The Agony of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cure with Ayurveda

Dr. Charminder Kaur

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Current Treatment Approaches

  • Lifestyle
  • Medications
  • Surgery
  • Routine monitoring and ongoing care

Principles of Ayurvedic Treatment

  • Use of AamaPachak herbs (Anti- endotoxics-carminatives and digestive) is most beneficial in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Fasting (Langhan), hot fomentation (swedan), purgation (virechan), oleation (snehpan) and douche (vasti).
  • Use of herbal analgesics to reduce pain while remaining active.
  • Cope physically, emotionally, and mentally.


  • Dietary regimen seems to be a useful supplement to conventional medical treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Salt, strong spices, and preservatives should be avoided - likewise alcoholic beverages, tea and coffee.
  • Fasting for seven to ten days - taking only herbal teas, garlic, vegetable broth, decoction of potatoes, and juice extracts from carrots and beets
  • Drink water medicated with pippali, pippali mool, chavy, Chitrak and sonth.
  • Drink 5 ml castor oil daily at nighttime with 20 ml milk.
  • Eat high fibrous diet.
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Research suggests ginger root inhibits production of prostaglandins and leukotrienes, which are involved in pain and inflammation
  • Turmeric (Curcumin longa) is used lavishly for color and flavor in Indian cuisine. Studies show it inhibits prostaglandin production and stimulates the creation of cortisol, which relieves inflammation. It seems to act like capsaicin, an active ingredient in cayenne pepper, by depleting nerve endings of the neurotransmitter substance P. When turmeric was taken internally along with cayenne pepper in an animal study, it significantly lowered inflam- mation. Capsaicin is usually used in ointments that are applied externally to aching joints. One researcher suggests turmeric might also work applied externally, but there are no studies to show this.
  • Aloe vera: It has been recognized for many years that some aloe Vera-derived products have significant anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) comes from a tree that yields gum when its bark is peeled away. In animal and test tube studies, it inhibited the production of leukotrienes, which cause inflammation.
  • Ashvagandha (Withania somnifera) is an Asian plant of the potato family. Its roots have long been used to treat "rheumatism," high blood pressure, immune dysfunctions, er**tion problems and also to ease inflammation. Because of all this, it’s sometimes called the "Indian ginseng."
  • Barley, horse grams, rice, ginger, garlic, along with curd, etc., are advised for patients of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Very oily, dry, cold food: excessive exertion and totally sedentary life style should be avoided.

Yoga and Arthritis

Arthritic joint pain is a big discouragement to do any exercise or move the body at all, but without exercise the joints become stiffer and lose range of motion that exacerbates the progression of the disease. There is no known cure for arthritis, but several studies have shown yoga effective for reducing and even eliminating the symptoms of this disease.

Perform Dirga, Shtiali, and Sitcari pranayama.

Asana: Half Wheel (ardhchakr asana), Bow (bhujang asana), Plough (halasan), Head Stand (shirishasan), Backward Bend (shalabh asana)

Rest and Exercise

People with rheumatoid arthritis need a good balance between rest and exercise, with more rest when the disease is active and more exercise when it is not. Rest helps to reduce active joint inflammation and pain and to fight fatigue. The length of time for rest will vary from person to person, but in general, shorter rest breaks every now and then are more helpful than long times spent in bed. Exercise is important for maintaining healthy and strong muscles, preserving joint mobility, and maintaining flexibility.

Stress Reduction

People with rheumatoid arthritis face emotional challenges as well as physical ones. The emotions they feel because of the disease-fear, anger, and frustration-combined with any pain and physical limitations can increase their stress level. Although there is no evidence that stress plays a role in causing rheumatoid arthritis, it can make living with the disease difficult at times. Stress also may affect the amount of pain a person feels. There are a number of successful techniques for coping with stress. Regular rest periods can help, as can relaxation, distraction, or visualization exercises. Meditation and humming any mantra to pacify feelings is the best way.

Useful Ayurvedic Medicines

  • Powders (Churn)
    • Shati adi churn
    • Hing adi churn
    • Nagar churn
    • Shatpushpa adi churn
    • Trivritadi adi churn
    • Chitrak adi churn
  • Decoctions (Kwath)
    • Rasna panchak kwath
    • Rasna saptak kwath
    • Dashmool kwath
    • Rason adi kwath
    • Shatya adi kwath
  • Ras
    • Aam vatari ras
    • Aam vateshwar ras
    • Vatgajendrasingh
  • Guggul
    • Vatari guggul
    • Yograj guggul
    • Shiva guggul
    • Singhnad guggul

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