Ayurvedic management of Rheumatoid Arthritis

Ayurvedic treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis(RA):
Amavata (Ayurvedic terminology), Rheumatoid Arthritis, RA

The disease ‘Amavata’ is clinically co-relates with ‘Rheumatoid Arthritis’ of modern practices.
Causative factors:Indulgence of incompatible foods and habits or does more physical work immediate after having meal and those who have very weak digestive power even normally also, produce ‘Ama’ (unmetabolised food particles/toxins) in the body. At the same time if the same person takes ‘Vata’ provoking diet and activities (e.g. diet having cold and dry properties; having much stressful activities like excessive walking, excessive talking, excessive physical work etc.), then such ‘Ama’ gets associated with vitiated ‘Ama’ and starts circulating in the body and produces this disease.

Premonitory symptoms:
1)      Sudden weakness
2)      Feeling of heaviness in chest region
3)      Severe bodyache

According to Madhava Nidana, the initial symptoms of the RA is, acute pain all over the body and joints, anorexia, excessive thirst, lack of enthusiasm, feeling of heaviness in the body, fever, indigestion and oedema on the body.
If patient is not diagnosed properly in the initial stage of RA or he is not treated well then the disease become gradually settle down and it invlves joints. At this stage the main symptom of this disease is a fleeting type of pain in the big joints. The inflammation and pain shifts from joint to joint very rapidly. The painful swelling can be found in the joints of hands, feet, cervical region, pelvic and shoulder girdle, knees and thighs. The affected part is extremely painful, as if bitten by scorpian.
When the heart gets involved, usually the mitral valve is affected and there is either stenosis or regurgitation type deformity. Hence it is called that this disease ‘bites the joints and leaks the heart’.

Ayurvedic treatment for RA:
The main treatment is to destroy ‘Ama’ (unmetabolised food particles/toxins) circulating in the body. For achieving this state, ayurveda suggests fasting, fomentation, use of bitter and pugent herbs for detoxification of ‘Ama’, medicated purgation, internal oleation and decoction enemas.
The swollen joints should be fomented by dry heat using hot sand in a piece of cloth.
One should not use the ayurvedic massage oils  except in excessively pain arise.
During excessively painful condition, castor oil is very useful. 2-4 teaspoons of castor oil should be taken internally with dry ginger tea.
Choice of ayurvedic herbs for this disease are dry ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, bhallatak (fruit of semecarpus anacardium), vishtinduk(Strychnos nuxvomica), rasna(Pluchea lanceolata), vatsnabh(Aconitum ferox), dhatura(Dhatura metel), guggula (Commiphora mukul) and dashmoola (A famous ayurvedic herbal combination made by roots of ten different herbs).

Some of the famous ayurvedic formulations for the treatment of RA:
During initial stage, when ‘Ama’ (unmetabolised food particles/toxins) starts to circulating in the body . During this stage, use the ayurvedic formulations given below.
For internal use:
Churna (Powders): Vaishwanar churna, Ajamodadi churna
Vati (Tablets): Sanjeevani vati, Vishtindukadi vati, Kalingadi vati
Kwath (Decoctions): Guduchyadi kwath, Abhayadi kwath, Nagaradi kwath, Sunthi (Dry ginger) & Dhanyak(Coriander seeds) kwath.
Medicated wines: Mustarishta, Amritarishta, Abhayarishta, Dashmoolarishta, Jirakadyarishta.
When ‘Ama’(unmetabolised food particles/toxins) is going to settle down in joints and started swelling in the joints , one should use the below ayurvedic formulations in addition with above preparations.
For internal use:
Vati (Tablets): Navak guggulu tablet, Sihnad guggulu tablet
Decoctions: Dashmoola kwath, Rasna saptak kwath, Rasna panchak kwath, Rasna erandadi kwath
For external use:
Paste of ‘Sandhan lepa’ (Jark pharma).
Paste of ‘Sunthi’ (dry ginger powder mixed with warm water and make a paste form).
Hot fomentation (by using hot sand in a piece of cloth)
During excessive painful condition , one should massage of ‘Vishgarbha oil’ externally on the painful organ and then do fomentation locally.
Diet Plan and Advice:
Complete bed rest is essential until ‘Ama’(unmetabolised food particles/toxins) is detoxified. During this state, patient should take only soup of moong beans and rice. Whenever the patient is thirsty, he should drink luke warm water mixed with dry ginger powder or herbal tea made by dry ginger and tulasi leaves.
Patient has to be advice for fasting and hot fomentaion.
Patient should be given barley, ginger, garlic along with food substances containing wheat and small amount of rice. Fresh buttermilk with ‘Trikatu churna’ is advisable.
Castor oil beneficial. 2-4 teaspoons of castor oil mixed with dry ginger tea is advised.
Avoid foods having cold potency like curd, cheese, banana, guava, watermelon, cold drinks, cold water also with working in damp and cold atmosphere.
One should follow the ‘Ayurvedic life-style’(described on the home page of this website) during entire treatment.