By Bansi Gir Gau Veda
Ayurveda takes a holistic view of Arthritis - triggers include vitiation of one or more dosha’s, aam (toxins), accidents or mental factors. We discuss lifestyle changes and supplements which can provide relief…
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is one of the most common and rapidly spreading disorders in modern society. The word is derived from the Greek word Arthro- meaning “joint” and -itis meaning “inflammation”. It involves pain and inflammation of the joints, bones or muscles among other symptoms. There are over 100 types of Arthritis with some of the most common being Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout, etc. Modern medicine offers us very limited understanding of the causal factors of this major cause of disability. Arthritis is also described as an ‘auto-immune disorder’ where a person’s immune system inexplicably malfunctions and attacks the body’s own healthy tissues. Allopathic lines of treatment often include the use of non-steroidal or steroidal pain relieving or anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy or surgery.
How does Ayurveda look at disease?
Ayurveda offers a comprehensive and holistic understanding of the causes of disease, including this painful condition. Ayurveda believes that every individual is a microcosm of the Cosmos, and made up of the same panchmahabhoot (5 primal elements) – Agni (Fire), Prithvi (Earth), Akaash (Space), Vayu (Air) and Jal (Water) that make up the Universe. When the individual is in harmony, these 5 elements are in balance, and the individual feels peace, energy and happiness. But when one or more of these 5 elements are disturbed, the individual experiences disease. The disease may take the form of 3 primary dosha’s (defects) – Vata (which corresponds to Air and Space), Pitta (corresponds to Fire and Air) and Kapha (corresponds to Water and Earth).
So what does Ayurveda say about Arthritis?
When it comes to Arthritis, causal factors according to Ayurveda can be simply classified along 4 main categories –
1) Vitiation of vata, pitta or kapha – A combination of one or more dosha’s can be created in the body due to improper diet, lifestyle, poor digestion, specific prakriti or other general weaknesses. This can lodge itself in the joints of the body and damage the tissues. When Vata is dominant, a patient may experience higher pain. When Pitta is dominant, a patient may experience higher burning and inflammation. Similarly when kapha is dominant, patient may experience higher stiffness and fluid retention. A Vaidya would need to evaluate every patient’s symptoms and naadi, and determine the combination of dosha’s which are causing the painful condition. External factors can also create tridoshic imbalances in the body. For example, accidental injury or trauma can disturb the body’s natural equilibrium and create vata, pitta or kapha imbalance which would need to be treated to relieve the patient’s suffering.
What can you deal with this condition more effectively?
An Ayurvedic Vaidya evaluates a patient along the principal causal factors and prescribes specific herbs to target the doshas, accumulation of toxins or ‘manasic’ factors. Ayurveda has powerful herbs to help improve digestion, address specific dosha’s or purify the blood or the body’s channels. As a patient, you may find it valuable to keep in mind the following tips as you deal with any lifestyle disease like arthritis –
1) Being Conscious of your Self and your Body – It is important to have good food, sleep and exercise habits in order to avoid or minimize the impact of chronic and painful diseases like arthritis. Simply being more aware of what is affecting your body can go a long way towards ensuring good health. Our physical being has its own way to communicating with us, and often gives us smaller signals before the onset of significant diseases. Minor digestive issues, aches or discomforts may be your body’s way of telling you that you need to take corrective actions. Meditation, yoga, walking, gentle exercises or Zen mindfulness practices can help you attain higher degree of awareness towards your mind as well as body. Daily Ayurvedic practice of ‘Nasya’ can be helpful to reduce mental stress and bring elements of ‘Sat’ (Truth) and ‘Chit’ (conscious awareness) into your daily life. Nasya calms the mind and clears respiratory pathways making it possible to become more aware of changes in your body, its prana or life energies.
What kind of supplements can help?
We have seen excellent results with Arthritis patients who were put on some of the following supplements / ‘aushadhi’ at our Gau Adharit Chikitsa Clinic at Bansi Gir Gaushala –
1) Asthigir Ghrit – a powerful combination of Asthi Shrunkhala and Gau Ghee of a very special breed of Gir Gaumata, which is extremely effective in joint pains and all sorts of Vata related disorders.
2) Asthi Churna – This powder is extremely effective in treating Vata related disorders and removing toxins. Incidentally, it is also helpful to treat fevers, cold and cough.
3) Sunthamrut capsules – combination of Ginger and Gau Ghee, which calms the digestive system, promotes apetite and healthy digestion. It also removes ama (accumulated toxins) and cholesterol.
4) Phalamrut capsules / Hadamrut capsules / Kabjamrut churna – One of these can also be prescribed to a patient depending upon each individual ‘prakriti’ and the need to detoxify the body and improve digestion.
5) Nasya (nasal drops) – contains Gau Ghee of a special breed of Gaumata. It calms the brain, clears nasal passages and is extremely effective to heal sleeplessness and depression. This can help with some of the Manasik or psychosomatic factors of lifestyle diseases.
So dear readers, if at all you get hit by a chronic disease like arthritis, do not panic. Understand your body, enjoy wholesome food & rest and if needed seek out a good Ayurvedic physician!
We also welcome you to our Gaushala clinic where we offer Gau Adharit Ayurvedic Chikitsa which has achieved very encouraging results with patients suffering from joint pains and arthritis.