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 Arthritis  Holistic-online.com

Ayurveda

The ayurveda suggests that arthritis is caused primarily by an excess of ama and lack of agni. This can be caused by poor digestion and a weakened colon, resulting in the accumulation of undigested food and the buildup of waste matter. Poor digestion allows toxins to accumulate in the body, and problems with the colon allow the toxins to reach the joints.

So, the way to treat arthritis is to stimulate the digestive fire (agni) and to suppress the ama.

Ayurveda distinguishes three categories of arthritis, corresponding to vata, pitta, and kapha. To treat this condition properly, it is vital to carefully diagnose which type you have.

Types of Arthritis according to Ayurveda

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

General Treatment of Arthritis

Treating Vata-type arthritis

Treating Pitta-type arthritis

Treating Kapha-type arthritis

Types Of Arthritis

Vata

If arthritis is due to vata, your joints will crack and pop. They become dry and are not swollen as they may be if excess vata is not the cause.

See: Treating Vata-type arthritis

Pitta

The arthritis is characterized by inflammation. The joint becomes swollen and is painful even without movement. It often looks red and feels hot to the touch.

See: Treating Pitta-type arthritis

Kapha

In kapha-type arthritis, the joint also becomes stiff and swollen, but it feels cold and clammy rather than hot. A little movement, rather than aggravating the pain, tends to relieve it.

See: Treating Kapha-type arthritis

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General Treatment of Arthritis

Depending on a person's lifestyle, diet, and emotional pattern, either vata, pitta, or kapha goes out of balance. Then that particular dosha slows down agni (digestive fire), resulting in the toxic, sticky by-product of inadequate digestion known as ama.

Vata, the main active dosha, brings the ama into the colon, and from there it travels through the system and lodges in the bone tissue and in the joints, giving rise to the stiffness and pain characteristic of arthritis.

Ayurveda attempts to remove the ama from the joint and bring it back to the colon, and then to eliminate it. To do this, we need to keep the colon clean. It is best to determine the type of arthritis and manage it for the remedies recommended for the specific type. If you do not know whether the arthritis is vata, pitta, or kapha arthritis, take 1 teaspoon triphala at night with 1/2 to 1 cup warm water.

If you know positively which type it is, you can use the following (1/2 to 1 teaspoon with warm water):

bulletHaritaki for vata-type arthritis
bulletAmalaki for pitta-type
bulletBibbitaki for kapha-type arthritis

Ayurveda recommends general techniques for increasing the intensity of the digestive fire (agni) in order to burn up the toxins that are harming the body.

Use of selected foods and herbs

Hot, spicy foods and herbs, including galangal and cayenne are frequently used.

Detoxification diet

A three- to five-day detoxification diet is often prescribed. Vegetables, juices, spices and herbs are taken during the fast, which lasts until the body shows signs that the digestive fire is burning strong. These signs include a return of the appetite, a feeling of lightness and a clear coating to the tongue.

Use of Enemas/ Cleaning Colon

Enemas and other means of cleaning the colon are often used to help detoxify the body.

Gemstone Therapy

Ruby, garnet or other "hot" gems set in gold are used for all three types of arthritis.

Use of herbal, medicinal or essential oils

Various oils may be applied to the skin in order to help the body clear toxins, relieve pain and restore mobility.

Mahanarayan oil improves flexibility, stiffness, muscle fatigue, and removes pain. It is mixed with sesame oil (1:1) and applied to the painful areas. This oil also breaks up blockages and begins to heal locally. After oil application, warm heat, yoga, bath, or mild exercise further improves this situation.

Narayan oil is good for muscle and joint pain, lower body circulation, and reversing imbalances caused by aging. 

Avipattikar churna is good to ingest for rheumatism.

Heat Therapy

The patient may be asked to sit in a sauna, or may have steam applied directly to the afflicted areas.

Use of herbs, spices and bitters

A variety of herbs, spices and bitters are used in ayurveda. These are often applied externally or ingested. These are believed to cleanse the body and to relieve pain and stiffness. Mint, ephedra, golden seal, gentian, nirgundi, eucalyptus leaves, prasarini, quassia, coptis, scute, phellodendrom, aloe, guggul, du huo, ligusticum, Siberian ginseng, myrrh, and yucca are some of the herbs used.

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Treating Vata-type arthritis

Diet

In addition to the general treatment, Vata-type arthritis responds well to a three- to five-day detoxification diet and an anti- Vata diet. This diet includes warm, heavy and moist foods that give one strength.

Visit Ayurveda Supersite in Holisticonline.com for more information about vata pacifying diet.

Herbs, Essential Oils

bulletTake yogaraj guggulu, 1 tablet 3 times per day. it cleanses bone tissue, strengthens bones, and improves flexibility. 
bulletTake 1/2 to 1 teaspoon Haritaki with warm water
bulletApply mahanarayan oil on the affected joint, followed by application of local moist heat. For example, apply the mahanarayan oil into the affected joint, rub it into the skin, and then soak your foot in warm to bearably hot water. Add a "teabag' of brown mustard seeds to the water. (Wrap 2 tablespoons of mustard seeds in a handkerchief or cheesecloth to make the tea bag.)
bulletCastor oil or triphala help keep the colon cleansed.

Visit Herbal Medicine Supersite in Holisticonline.com for more information about herbs.

Yoga

Helpful yoga postures:

bulletForward Bend
bulletChest-Knee pose
bulletMaha Mudra
bulletHalf Bridge pose

Visit Yoga Supersite in Holisticonline.com for more information about Yoga postures

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Treating Pitta-type arthritis

Pitta arthritis often has more pain and inflammation associated with it than other types. 

In addition to the general treatment, Pitta-type arthritis responds well to a five- to seven-day detoxification diet and an anti-Pitta diet. Specific herbs for Pitta arthritis include guggul, sandalwood, aloe, saffron and chaparral. Apply ice packs on the inflammed part to quell the "fire."

Diet

The anti-Pitta diet consists of cool, slightly dry, and heavy foods.

Visit Ayurveda Supersite in Holisticonline.com for more information about Pitta pacifying diet.

Useful Ayurvedic Herbal Formulas

bullet

Take 1 tablet of kaishore guggulu (350 mg.) 3 times a day

bullet

1/2 teaspoon sudarsban twice a day, washed down with warm water.

bullet

Brahmi and sandalwood oils (mixed together) are very beneficial

bullet

Other useful herbs:

bullet

Musta and nirgundi relieve pain.

 

Miscellaneous

Externally, apply cool castor oil or coconut oil to the painful area.

Apply a cooling substance, such as sandalwood powder paste to the affected part. Make the paste by taking 1 teaspoon of sandalwood powder and adding sufficient water to make a paste. Rub it gently onto the joint.

If the joint is hot and inflamed, put an ice-bag on it. This will help to ease the pain and inflammation.

Yoga

Helpful yoga postures:

bulletBoat
bulletBow
bulletCamel
bulletCow
bulletLocust
bulletMoon Salutation

Visit Yoga Supersite in Holisticonline.com for more information about Yoga postures

Perform shitali pranayama, as follows: 
Make a tube of your tongue. Breathe deeply through your mouth down into your belly. Hold the breath for a few seconds, then exhale through your nose. Do about 12 repetitions.

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Treating Kapha-type arthritis

Arthritis is classified as kapha when the joint is painful, swollen, stiff, and feels cold and clammy to the touch. 

Diet

In addition to the general treatment, Kapha-type arthritis responds well to a one- to two-week detoxification diet. The anti-Kapha diet is light, dry and warm. Avoid cold, oily, and heavy foods.

Visit Ayurveda Supersite in Holisticonline.com for more information about Kapha pacifying diet.

Herbs

Pure guggul is best for this condition.

Punarnava guggulu tablets (250 mg.). Take 1 tablet 3 times a day.

Apply a paste of vacha (calamus root) powder externally to the joint. To make the paste, add sufficient warm water to 1 teaspoon of powder to make a paste.

If the joint fills with fluid, make an paste of equal amounts of punarnava powder and ginger powder. Mix 1 teaspoon of each with enough warm water to form a paste, and apply on the joint.

Hot herbs are also helpful, such as cinnamon, dry ginger, turmeric, trikatu. 

Musta and nirgundi relieve pain.

Visit Herbal Medicine Supersite in Holisticonline.com for more information about herbs.

Yoga

Helpful Yoga postures

bulletTree
bulletTriangle
bulletForward Bend
bulletSpinal Twist

Visit Yoga Supersite in Holisticonline.com for more information about Yoga postures

See Also: Ayurvedic Remedies for osteoarthritis

Ayurvedic Remedies for rheumatoid arthritis

Ayurveda Supersite in Holisticonline.com

Tests for determining your doshas

Next Topic: Bach Flower Remedy

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