Rheumatoid arthritis is an auto-immune disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its joints. It creates an inflammation that causes the tissue in the lining of the inside of the joint which we also refer to as synovium and can result in swelling in and out of the join. If this inflammation goes unchecked, it can damage the cartilage and reduces elasticity. Over some time, there may be a loss of cartilage and the joints between the joints can become smaller, they may become loose, unstable, and they lose their mobility and in the worst case, it can also lead to joint deformity. Rheumatoid arthritis usually affects the joints of the hands, the wrists, the elbows, the knees, and the ankles. The incidence of this is increasing day by day due to unhealthy habits and the modern lifestyle. Prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis is approximately 0.8% to 2.1% population of a country.
Ayurveda originated from the Sanskrit words Ayu which mean life and Veda which means knowledge. It revolves around the idea of treatment of bodily ailment in relevance to how life works. In Ayurveda, the symptoms of arthritis can be correlated to vitiated Vata dosha and Ama or undigested food essence in the body which are the main culprits for the disease.
Symptoms of Amavata
Experts believe that a sedentary life leads to the formation of ama which are the direct contributors of diseases and inflammation such as arthritis. The symptoms of amavata include body ache, tastelessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, heaviness in the body, and feverishness. Early morning stiffness in the joints and pain in the joint, which is referred to in the classical text is like being stung by a scorpion, is the extent to which the pain in amavata. Part of the complaint system includes constipation, indigestion, the fullness of the abdomen, and lack of sleep.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Arthritis in Kerala
Purification – Kerala is known for its good standing and effective treatments in all sorts of ailments. Ayurvedic treatment for arthritis in Kerala has grown for years and has become a worldwide basis of natural healing, not only for rheumatoid arthritis but also in other types of diseases. The different forms of treatment include correction of digestion and metabolism, with immune-modulation. The treatment for joints is done with Panchakarma therapy, Ayurvedic medicines and purification therapy, all of which plays a major role in the treatment of amavata. Ayurveda proves that the human body can achieve its full recovery in its healthiest state if all toxins and negative elements have already been washed out of the body through a normal, healthy, and natural purification process.
Herbs – Apart from the purification process, Ayurvedic treatment also includes the consumption of healthy herbs and supplements as part of the process of treatment. Some suggested herbs in Kerala that are known to have given positive effects to patients are garlic, castor oil, ginger, and even the famous Indian frankincense which is called Boswellia serrata. Ayurvedic experts also remind the practitioners that they inform their doctors of any allergic reactions which they may encounter upon the intake of these herbs and concoction may give you more complications than cure and prevention.
Diet – As part of a healthy process of Ayurveda treatment, the patient is advised to be on a strict and healthy diet. The patient is advised to stay away from unhealthy lifestyle and vices such as unhealthy intake of alcohol, excessive consumption of spicy food, too much eating of fast food which contains a high amount of salt. Also, food which may be too sour and too sweet is to be refrained from. On the other hand, Ayurvedic experts advise that one takes enough amount of soup which contains barley and rice. Along with the strict diet, fasting with castor oil is also recommended by Ayurvedic practitioner. Such oil contains a natural laxative ingredient, allowing the body to naturally let go of excessive toxins in the body. Again, this must be taken in moderate amount since anything that is taken excessively is also not healthy.
Exercise – Along with a healthy diet comes an active lifestyle. Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle may lead to ama which are the primary contributors to diseases and inflammation such as arthritis and osteoarthritis. Ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritis in Kerala highly suggests doing yoga at least three times a week. It is suggested due to its calming and soothing effect on one’s body and mind. The mental state of an individual also plays a very crucial role in Ayurvedic treatment. The mind controls the entire functionality of an individual and having yoga is of great help in achieving a healthy state of mind. Physically, one may exercise by running or enrolling in a fitness gym. It is also important that the muscles and joints are stretched and used properly to be able to function well. It is suggested that you incorporate an exercise or routine which makes use of the affected area. For example, if it is the joints in your knees that are affected with arthritis, you may ask for a routine which helps stabilize them and makes them healthier. However, one has to make sure that you start with light exercise and gradually increase the level of difficulty as you go linger in your fitness regime. You just have to make sure to not involve in too much strenuous physical exercise since this may result in tearing of the joints and muscles. Now, we don’t t that to happen, do we?
Amongst various therapies prescribed by your Ayurveda doctor, another one to correct your digestive fire and removing the ama is by fasting. Fasting doesn’t mean starving. It means to consume light food. With internal medications, the body becomes prepared for its upcoming purification processes. Once the ama is removed, external massages are included to cure the disease. Once the therapy is over, the patient is given decoctions or powders to be taken for a period of time, depending on your condition. Apart from this, a controlled regimen and lifestyle modifications are also advised.
All in all, while ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis may be new for some, it has been practiced all over the world, most especially in India. Although America and other western countries have tried to incorporate Ayurvedic treatment in their health facilities, there are no known regulations of Ayurveda in such countries yet. India, on the other hand, has many known Ayurvedic training regulations, one of which is in Kerala. It may not be the typical allopathy kind of treatment, but it offers you guaranteed relief if you follow its steps religiously. Researches all over the world have already given good results. One good example is a study conducted in 2018 whose results showed that 75 participants were able to relieve their rheumatoid arthritis through Ayurveda. To add, not only was their arthritis relieved, but they were also able to improve their fitness, state of mind, as well as their overall quality of life.