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The Ayurvedic term for rheumatoid arthritis is Amavata. Ayurveda says the reason for this disease is formation of Ama (toxins) in the body due to poor digestion, followed by vitiation of all Dosha i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Ama is formed in body due to incomplete digestion of foods. It is cold, slimy and heavy. This toxic-poisonous waste produced by digestive weakness is said to clog the channels in the body (the shrotas), giving rise to disease. Ama is first localized to Kapha regions (chest, stomach, joint) and then vitiated by Vata, Pitta and Kapha and circulates in whole body causing joint problems, stiffness, lethargy, dullness, lack of mind clarity, confusion, and heaviness.
In Ayurveda, it is believed Amavata develops due to intake of incompatible foods, chronic indigestion, intake of rough, cold, dry, unclean, and difficult to digest foods, faulty habits of living, lack of exercise and doing exercise after taking heavy meal.
Amavata is a chronic disease that leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues. It can also affect other organs.
Symptoms of Amavata
The main symptom of Amavata is pain in joints and deformity of joints. Other important symptoms include:
- General debility
- Severe pain in joints in morning
- Shifting pain
- Stiffness of joints
- Chest heaviness, pain in sacrum
- Increased body temperature
- Difficulty in body movements
- Deformation of joint
- Weak digestion
- Loss of appetite
- Bad taste in mouth
- Thirst, lethargy, swelling
- Bloating, gas, pain, contractions
In case, there is dominance of Vata Dosha, person feels pain in body, gas, bloating, giddiness and stiffness of joints. The pain in joints is severe.
In Kapha dominance, there are heaviness in body, digestive symptoms like vomiting, indigestion, low appetite etc. and itching and loss of movement.
When there is dominance of Pitta Dosha, person may have fever, digestive symptoms, giddiness, confusion, burning sensation and redness of the affected joints.
Ayurvedic Medicines used in treatment of Amavata
There are many medicinal herbs which are used in treatment of Amavata. The most important herbs include Guggul, Giloy, Eranda / Castor, Nirgundi (Vitex negundo), Prasarini, Rasna (Pluchea lanceolata), Rasona / Garlic (Allium sativum), Shallaki (Boswellia serrata), and Shunthi. The decoction prepared from these herbs in various combination shows beneficial effect in disease. The decoction of Dashmula helps to reduce swelling. Decoction of Rasna, Giloy, Eranda and ginger gives relief in Amavata.
Below is given name of some classical Ayurvedic herbal medicines which are indicated in this condition.
Kwath / Decoction / Kadha
- Rasnasaptak kwath
- Dashmula Kwath with eranda taila.
- Rasnadi Kashayam
Churna / Powder
- Ajmodadi Churna
- Panchkol Churna
- Shunthi Churna
- Vaishvanara churna
- Nimbadi Churna
- Simhanad guggulu / Singhnad Guggulu
- Yogaraj guggulu
- Amritadi Guggulu
- Rasnadi Guggulu
- Amavatari rasa
- Rasraj Ras
- Amrita Ghrita
What to eat
- In Amavata, eat easy to digest foods, bitter vegetables (Karela, Parval), digestive stimulants, pungent and appetizing foods.
- Yava (barley), kulattha (horse gram), Raktashali (rice), Shigru (drum sticks), Punarnava, Ardrak, Sonth (ginger), Garlic, all are Pathya.
- Drink hot water.
- Panchkola Churna taken with hot water is beneficial.
- Giloy, Ginger medicated Ghee is useful.
- Pranayama, yoga, meditation helps in this condition.
What not to eat
- Do not eat curd, fish, jaggery, milk, flesh of aquatic animals, heavy food, lour of mash (black gram), ice creams sweets, junk food, uncooked food, salty, spicy, oily food.
- Do not drink cold water and cold beverages.
- Daytime sleeping, suppression of natural urges, exposure to cold, wind, use of Air Conditioners A.C. should be avoided.