Ayurveda has very detailed description about Rheumatoid arthritis (Ama vata). It has been described as: if the disease “Ama vata” (rheumatoid arthritis) becomes chronic the joints of hands, feet, ankles and elbow, low back, knee, and hip become inflamed and painful. The pain in affected joints resembles the pain of a scorpion’s sting.
Rheumatoid Arthritis inflames the lining of joints or lining of internal organs. This disease may be chronic or may flare up intermittently. The inflammation of lining of joints causes swelling, pain, redness, stiffness and warmth in the affected region .The cells of inflamed lining release enzymes which may harm the related bone and cartilage. This process may cause deformity of joint, pain and may restrict joint movements.
The exact cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is not known. But immunologists have discovered that Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto immune disease. Some may have a tendency to inherit this disease.
According to Ayurveda rheumatoid arthritis is caused by formation of “Ama “.Ama is a toxin that is produced by imbalanced body fire (Improper cellular metabolism). The toxin ama is carried by imbalanced vata ( one of the three functional energy ) and reaches the kapha ( one of the three functional energy ) dominated places like joints, stomach, chest ,etc. This toxin becomes sticky due to imbalanced doshas and blocks the vital channels which nourish the body.
The sticky toxin Ama not only affects the joints but also spreads all over the body. The channels (channels like arteries, intercellular spaces, pores in cells etc) which allow nutrients to flow through and nourish body tissues, cells get partially blocked. This leads to a decreased supply of nutrients to body tissues and cells. Thus the immunity of the body gets lowered, the appetite reduces, and the body becomes weak due to insufficient nourishment of body tissues.
- Inflammation of joints
- Difficulty in moving.
- Rheumatoid nodules.
- Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis may cause damage to affected joints.
Sites of RA-
Usually starts in hands and feet, Affect neck, shoulders, knees, hips and ankles.
- Loss of energy
- Loss of appetite
- Generalized weakness, etc.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis.
The line of treatment involves the following steps.
- Avoiding the formation of Toxic material (Ama ) by increasing the body metabolism and following Do’s & Don’ts.
- Expelling the already formed Ama
- Reduction of inflammation in joints
- Rejuvenating the affected joints and body organs.
Above things can be achieved with the help of treatments like –
Purgation therapy (Virechana)- Very specific herbal medications are used for expulsion of toxic material (Ama) from the body.
Provide strength to Immune and Hormonal system
Medicated Enemas (Basti )- This therapy helps to clean blocked micro circulating channels by expelling out toxins, reducing inflammation and providing strength to bones, joints, nerves and organs of the body.
Heat therapy (Pinda sweda) / Steaming with herbal medicines –Reduces inflammation in joints, Restore elasticity in cartilages & ligaments of the joint.
Shirodhara – Tackles stress, which is one of the causative factor for RA.
Herbal medications –Increase body metabolism and defense mechanism.
Other treatments are given to the patient depending upon the condition of the disease and patient. With the help of above treatments even the joint deformities which is a result of complication of RA can be corrected up to some extent.