Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease in which the cartilage at the end of the bone loses elasticity and wears away. Without the cushioning of the cartilage, the bones start rubbing against each other causing pain, stiffness, inflammation and loss of movement.
Osteoarthritis usually appears in the body joints of hands, knees, spine, hips, neck and lower back.
Signs of Osteoarthritis
The symptoms of osteoarthritis develop gradually and may worsen with time. Some of the commonly observed symptoms include:
Ayurveda describes a condition known as Sandhigat Vata, which closely resembles the condition of osteoarthritis. In this disease, the Vata dosha gets vitiated and settles into the bone and the bone marrow, leading to the typical stiffness and pain in the joints along with loss of muscle strength and impaired movement of the affected parts.
Aggravation of Vata occurs due to various factors such as over exertion, intake of cold items, improper diet and ageing; this can lead to a drying up of the synovial fluid that normally lubricates the joint capsule. As a result, the joints get degenerated and the cartilage can get destroyed, leading to pain and inflammation.
Ayurveda treatments recommends various therapy to reduce the pain in osteoarthritis. Some of the most important ones include:
Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Message):
Abhyanga is a type of Ayurvedic full body massage with medicated oils such as sesame oil, mustard oil or Mahanarayan oil, followed by hot fomentation using a heated sandbag.
Svedana ( Herbal Steam Bath):
This is a form of steam therapy where the entire body is exposed to steam that is infused with the aroma of medicated oils. This treatment induces sweating that causes the expulsion of toxins from the body through the sweat.
This refers to the use of a medicated enema prepared using herbs. The herbal preparation is introduced into the rectum and it helps to eliminate the colonic contents, helping to rid the body of toxins and bringing vitiated vata dosha back to balance.
Janu Basti is an ayurvedic therapy done by recollecting the specific chosen warm medicated oil above the painful knee joints. Janu basti helps to restore the joints, muscles and soft tissues around, aims to recover circulation and empower one to recommence back activities.
Herbs like turmeric, Boswellia Serrata, Ginger, Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), Commiphora myrrha, Triphala, and Asparagus Racemosus(Shatavari) have been used traditionally in ayurveda to treat osteoarthritis.
Ayurvedic herb Boswellia Serrata, also known as Indian frankincense can help alleviate joint pain and inflammation. It blocks an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase that plays an important role in the formation of leukotrienes, which are chemicals that stimulate and perpetuate inflammation.
An extract of the Withania somnifera plant is known to possess effective anti-inflammatory effects. It helps to suppress the production of pro-inflammatory molecules; TNF-alpha and two interleukin subtypes.
Turmeric is a rhizome from Curcuma longa, traditionally used as a spice and colouring agent in cooking, especially in south and East Asian cooking. It has antiseptic properties and is also effective against inflammation due to the presence of the pigment, curcumin. Curcumin, is effective in inhibiting the inflammation-producing enzymes like cyclo-oxygenase, lipo-oxygenase, and phospholipase A2.
Although it is more known for its digestive properties, ginger obtained from the rhizome Zingiber officinale, also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent. It impairs the functioning of cyclooxygenase, an enzyme that is involved in the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
Triphala is a product that has been used effectively for thousands of years for treating Osteoarthritis. It consists of three myrobalans, Emblica officinalis (Amalaki), Terminalia bellirica (Bibhitaki), and Terminalia chebula (Haritaki). This fruit has been proved to have anti-inflammatory effects.
This is the oleoresin obtained from Commiphora guggul and it acts as a potent inhibitor of inflammation. Guggul contains phytoconstituents called guggulsterones and gugulipids which are capable of neutralizing the action of factors that lead to inflammatory reactions.
The aerial parts of the Asparagus racemosus plant have a cooling, soothing, and lubricating influence on the body. This herb also works as an inhibitor of inflammation creating chemicals, such as TNF-alpha, and IL-1B.
Ayurveda Natural Medicine For Osteoarthritis
The following ayurveda medicine mentioned in ayurvedic texts are known to work in oesteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis and Yoga
Some yoga postures such as Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Virbhadrasana (Warrior Pose), Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) and Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) may be effective in increasing mobility in osteoarthritis.
Along with therapy, it is also helpful to follow a healthy lifestyle and diet to have relief from the pain of osteoarthritis. Here are a few tips to be observed.
Osteoarthritis is a painful disease and the chronic nature of this condition may often leave a person irritable or depressed. If you are looking for relief from these symptoms through natural ways, explore Ayurveda as a healthy alternative. To know more about how Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic can help you, contact our ayurvedic consultants in Melbourne today.
If you wish to enquire more information on Osteoarthritis in Ayurvedic Natural Treatment in Melbourne, you may contact us at Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic.
Dr Gurnam Saini (Ayurvedic Doctor)
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine from India
MD in Alternative Medicine from India
Certificate in Ayurveda Panchkarma Detox form India
Certificate in Ayurveda Pulse & Tongue diagnosis India
Post Graduate Diploma in Mental Health Nursing from Melbourne
Member of AAA (Australasian Association of Ayurveda)
Organising Secretary of AYUSH MELBOURNE CONFERENCE, 2018
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Disclaimer: The information on ayurvedic products and medicines on our website is for educational purposes only. One should not buy these products over the counter. These should only be taken after ayurvedic consultation with an ayurvedic practitioner. The uses and indications of these herbal products are based on Traditional Ayurvedic text books. These herbs should be supplemented with appropriate diet and lifestyle to get beneficial effects. Although there is a lot of research done on Ayurveda these days, yet these herbal products might not hold enough current research based evidence.
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease