Dr. Kranthi R Vardhan

Rheumatoid arthritis

Ayurvedic Medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common word which many of the patients might have heard who are suffering from joint pains. The pain might be in hand finger joints, knee joints or other body joints. This disease has been described as a chronic autoimmune that mainly impacts joints and reduces movement and strength. Ayurvedic Medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis has gained immense popularity in recent times. 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a critical condition, in which the immune system of the human body accidentally attacks its own tissues, particularly the lining of the joints. Because of this, patients suffer from joint pain, swelling, discomfort, and inflammation. Over the period of time this disease causes progressive joint damage, deformities, and limits the movement of the particular body parts. 

1. Causes of Rheumatoid arthritis

The exact causes for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are still not known completely. But scientists think that the development of this condition is influenced by a mix of immune system, environmental, and genetic variables. The following are some possible causes and RA contributing factors:

  • Genetic Factors:

    Specific genes that raise the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis have been found. The chance of acquiring RA may be modestly increased by a family history of the disease.

  • Autoimmune Response:

    Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune illness. The patient’s immune system unintentionally targets the body’s own healthy tissues, notably the synovium (the lining of the joints). Medical professionals are trying to find out the exact reason for this inflammatory reaction, but it is thought to be a mix of genetic and environmental factors.

  • Environmental Triggers:

    Certain environmental variables, including infections (caused by bacteria or viruses), hormonal changes (such as those that occur during pregnancy or menopause), and exposure to particular chemicals like silica or asbestos, may play a role in the development of RA. However, the specific stimuli and their mechanisms are still being researched.

  • Immune System Abnormalities:

    In rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system incorrectly interprets synovium components as foreign invaders and mounts an immunological attack on them. As a result, there is ongoing inflammation and damage to the joints, cartilage, and surrounding tissues.

The above characteristics are linked to a higher chance of getting rheumatoid arthritis, but not everyone who has these risk factors will experience the disease. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can be a complex and multifactorial disease; therefore, additional research is necessary to fully comprehend its causes.

Ayurvedic Medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis : fingers

2. Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis

  1. Joint Pain:

    Joint pain is the most prominent symptom of RA. It frequently affects multiple joints, usually symmetrically (on both sides of the body). More than an hour of morning discomfort is a common occurrence.  

  2. Joint Swelling and Warmth:

    Inflamed joints may look swollen, red, and feel warm to the touch. The joint enlargement is the result of inflammation and fluid accumulation.

  3. Joint stiffness:

     Joint inflexibility is a hallmark symptom of rheumatoid arthritis. It can last for several hours and is most pronounced in the morning or after periods of inactivity. Additionally, stiffness may result from prolonged sitting or immobility.

  4. Fatigue and Weakness:

    Numerous patients with rheumatoid arthritis experience persistent fatigue, a sense of exhaustion, and a lack of energy. Muscular weakness may also be present. 

  5. Joint Deformities:

    If untreated, chronic inflammation in the joints can result in joint deformities which leads to lesser movement and function in those joints. RA can result in joint injury, cartilage and bone erosion, and joint deformities, especially in the hands, feet, and digits.

  6. Rheumatoid Nodules:

    In certain instances, firm pimples or masses known as rheumatoid nodules may develop beneath the epidermis, typically near pressure points or affected joints.

  7. Other Symptoms:

    RA can also affect the body beyond the joints, causing systemic symptoms such as low-grade fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, and a general sense of malaise. These symptoms may occur in conjunction with flare-ups or persist over time.

It is essential to note that RA symptoms can vary from person to person, and that the disease can affect various joints and body systems. In addition, the severity and progression of symptoms can vary from person to person.  

Ayurvedic Medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis : knee

3. Ayurvedic Approach to Rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is described and “Aamavata” in Ayurveda. It is a combination of  two words: “aama,” which refers to undigested poisons in the body, and “vata,” the Ayurvedic dosha responsible for movement and control.

According to Ayurvedic principles, the accumulation of aama, or impurities, in the body can disturb the equilibrium of the doshas, especially vata. These toxins trigger a variety of health problems, including inflammation and discomfort in the joints, similar to the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Aamavata is a particular form of vata disorder characterised by the presence of aama in the joints.  Because of bad digestion or other reasons, the aama builds up in the joint tissues and triggers an immune reaction, which causes inflammation, swelling, and pain.

4. Ayurvedic Medicine for Rheumatoid Arthritis 

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system, offers a holistic approach to the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) by emphasising on the harmony of the body, mind, and spirit. The goals of Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis are to reduce inflammation, alleviate discomfort, increase joint mobility, and restore general health. Here are a few of the most common Ayurvedic remedies for rheumatoid arthritis:

4.1 Panchakarma: 

It is a collection of Ayurvedic therapies for detoxification and rejuvenation. These treatments are intended to eliminate toxins, balance the doshas, and promote general health. The following Panchakarma treatments may be beneficial for RA patients:

  • Virechana: This is a purgation therapy that assists the body in eliminating contaminants and excess Pitta. It can be utilised for anti-inflammatory and detoxifying purposes.
  • Basti: It involves administering medicated enemas to eradicate impurities and restore Vata dosha balance. It can alleviate joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness.

4.2 Herbal Treatment: 

Ayurvedic herbal preparations can be used to promote joint health and reduce inflammation. These botanicals are frequently used to treat rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Turmeric: The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can reduce joint pain and inflammation.
  • Guggul:  It  resin is frequently used in Ayurvedic formulations to alleviate RA-related joint pain and inflammation.
  • Ashwagandha: This herb has immune-modulating properties and may aid in reducing inflammation and promoting overall health.

4.3 Ayurvedic Diet:

Dietary modifications serve an essential role in the Ayurvedic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Consuming warm, readily digestible foods that balance Vata dosha is emphasized. Among the dietary recommendations for RA:

  • Incorporating anti-inflammatory seasonings into meals, such as turmeric, ginger, and cumin.
  • Consuming cooked and heated foods while avoiding raw, chilly, and dense foods.
  • Avoiding processed foods, refined carbohydrates, caffeine and alcohol in excess.

4.4 Ayurvedic Massage and External Therapies: 

Therapeutic massages and external therapies can reduce pain, increase joint mobility, and induce relaxation. Some examples of Ayurvedic therapies for RA include:

  • Abhyanga: It is a full-body massage that reduces pain, rigidity, and inflammation using tepid herbal lubricants.
  • Pinda Sweda: This massage is a treatment in which heated botanical poultices are used during massages into the joints to relieve pain and stiffness.
  • Lepa: The anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving application of herbal pastes are used on affected joints during this therapy.

It is essential to note that Ayurvedic treatments are completely personalized based on the patient’s health condition and his/her previous medical history. Consultation with an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner is essential for determining the best suitable treatment plan, as they can assess your unique constitution and tailor treatments accordingly. If you want get your Rheumatoid arthritis treated in a natural way without side effects contact Vardhan Ayurvedic Hospital, Hyderabad

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