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Osteo Arthritis - Ayurvedic Management with Medicines

Dr Rajesh Nair

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Osteoarthritis which is known as sandhigatavata in ayurvedic medicine may occurs due to some particular food, poor blood circulation, dryness, over exertion or a low nutrient supply to the joint. It is an important vata disease described in ayurvedic classicals like Charak samhita and Ashtanga hridaya. It is caused by the inflammation and loss of cartilage and affects the joints of knees, hips, lower spine, fingers and toes.

It can be managed by

  • Eating lot of vegetables, freshly cooked foods, hot soups of lentils, pulse, moderate quantity of ghee and oils to lubircate the dried joints. By avoiding oily and deep fried foods. Doing a regular mild exercise programme to enable the joint to move and prevent further damages also by noti ndulging in any hard job which may damage the joints. Daily massaging with the mahanaraya oil or specific oils prescribed by an ayurvedic doctor is used to calm down the vata dosha.
  • Ayurvedic drugs aim to reduce the vitiated vata and also improves the kapha and pitha functions. The main drug that is recommended to treat this degenerative disease is Karaskara. Sahachara, bala, devdar, shallaki etc are also used. Main preparations used are qwath, arishta , choorna, tablets and ghrit.
  • In order to cleanse the toxins from the colon Triphala, which is a mild laxative is given. Triphala has specific action to pacify vitated vata.
  • Trikatu is given to enhance the digestive fire and will enhance the equilibrium of pitha dosha.
  • Guggul helps to strengthen the bone tissue. It reduces the inflammation and edema, pacify kapha dosha.
  • In order to control inflammation of the joints, Ayurveda suggests Boswellia gum or phellodendron bark and scute root and it is used in combination with myrrh gum, fang feng root, qin and jiao root.

Commonly used medicines are Sahacharadi qwath, Guggul thikta qwath, Maharasnadi qwath, Rasnerandadi qwath, Balarishta, Dhanwantharishta, Karasakar ghrit, Guggul thiktaka ghrit, Shadpala ghrit. Ashwagandha, Bala, Shallaki, Guggul and Rasna are used in pure herbs form.


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