Rheumatoid Arthritis – An Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurvedic Treatment for Rheumatoid Arthritis
As we all know, nature has given us an invaluable resource in the form of plants. In form of herbal remedies, they help us get rid of various ailments. Basically Ayurveda is all about testing the valuable properties of these herbs in treating various diseases. We can also say that Ayurveda is the science which has helped human beings stay away from diseases, over so many centuries.
We have already had a discussion on rheumatoid arthritis but due to shortage of time we were not able to complete our section of questions and answers. Lets continue our discussion today to learn answers of few more questions related to rheumatoid arthritis. Let’s welcome our Ayurveda expert Dr. Parmeshwar Arora.
Q. Since we could not complete our section of question-answers in our earlier episode, I would appreciate if you could briefly tell us something about rheumatoid arthritis.
We discussed in our earlier session about rheumatoid arthritis as to what are the symptoms on the basis of which we can identify this disease. I would like to repeat them once more. Victims of this disease has pain and swelling in small joints like finger joints and wrist joints, accompanied with a feverish and fatigue feeling or some noticeable deformities like bent fingers, or inside turned hands, or severe difficulty in walking. Most distinctly, the victims of this disease have a tough morning in terms of stiffness (morning stiffness). When the patient gets up in the morning, stiffness in his joints continue for half an hour to one hour and gradually ease, as he resumes his routine work. These are some of the symptoms which the patient can himself observe. Besides this, if his blood sample is tested, his RA factor comes out to be positive. Similarly, the doctor can decide on the basis of X-ray findings of the patient. Such symptoms indicate towards probability of the sufferer being a patient of rheumatoid arthritis.
Let’s now start our segment, named sawal – jawab (question-answer).
Q. This query is from Shipra, who is aged 42 years. She says that she has pain and swelling in her upper finger joints, due to which she is unable to do work properly with her hands. She wants to know a treatment.
As she says, she has pain and swelling in small joints of fingers. Thus, it’s a clear case of rheumatoid arthritis. Shipra, if you have seen our earlier episode, you would have learnt that rheumatoid arthritis originates due to improper digestion. In other words, poor digestive system initiates this disease. First of all, I would advise you to enhance your digestive power or agni (fire). The method for doing this is very simple. Consume1/2- 1 teaspoon of Trikatu Choorna, which is a combination of dried ginger powder or “sonth”, black pepper and Balinese pepper or “peepli” (in equal proportion), twice a day( morning and evening). This will boost your agni or digestion and wherever there is accumulation of indigested juice, that will be sorted and you will get relief from your problem.
Take care to keep your stomach clear. For this, take 1-2 spoons of “ajmodadi churna” with warm water, at bedtime. In the form medicines, we have “aamvatari ras” which you can take as two tablets each in morning and evening. You can consume “sanjeevani vati” as one tablet each in morning and evening. Apart from this, you should also take some dietary precaution. Avoid rich food items like black grams, kidney beans, brinjal, curd etc. So, watch your digestive system and try to improve it. Also, take regular medicines and follow the remedies and you will get relief soon. Possibly you will even get rid of this disease.
Q. Our next question is from Pawan Mishra, who is aged 38 years. He says that he initially had pain in joints of both hands and now this pain has gone up till shoulders. He is facing a lot of problems due to this. Please suggest him, a treatment.
Pawan, when the joints of hands are involved, the probability of rheumatoid arthritis, increases. Whether you have you got your blood tested for RA factor or not. Though, it does not matter much because we sometimes have sero-negative cases of rheumatoid arthritis also, where a patient says that his RA factor is negative but can he still be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Your symptoms indicate towards rheumatoid arthritis. As I had told Shipra, I would advise you also to enhance your digestive power. Take “aamvatari ras” as two tablets each in morning and evening. Also, take 1 tablet of “sanjeevani vati” , each in morning and evening. You will definitely get relief. In case you don’t get relief, you may like to get in touch with me.
Q. Next question is from Meenakshi Rawat, who is aged 33 years. She has pain in toe-joints. The pain is accompanied by swelling and redness, too. She is having problem in walking, due to this pain. Suggest her a treatment, if there is any.
Meenakshi, the symptoms which you have stated, point towards the probability of gout. Generally, if someone has pain in joints of toes, there are chances that his blood has higher uric acid level, i.e. gout. We call it “Vaat rakt” in Ayurveda. In your case, it is important that you get a blood test done for uric acid. And if it is diagnosed, get a treatment accordingly.
Q. Next question is from Vijay Goel. He is aged 28 years. He says that he has severe pain in his knee joints. As he goes to bed at night the pain aggravates so much that he is unable to even sleep. He is quite distressed. Please suggest him a treatment. One more thing, he had also mentioned that he is a patient of arthritis.
See Vijay, since you have mentioned pain in knees, probably you are a patient of osteoarthritis. I would recommend that you get an X-Ray done for both your knees. And then meet a good doctor with your X-Ray reports. Since I assume that you could be suffering from osteoarthritis, Physiotherapy, some normal medicines and oil massage will be very helpful in your case.
Q. Doctor Arora, our next question is from Meenakshi, who is aged 36 years. She says that she has pain in elbow joints. There is swelling as well as redness in the area. Suggest her some treatment.
Meenakshi, you have mentioned elbows but you did not tell us about the condition of your wrist joints. But anyway, you can note it down. Since swelling is involved, “Dashmularisht” will be effective. It is easily available at chemist stores. You have to take 4 spoons of dashmularisht with an equal amount of water after lunch and dinner. Along with this, you can take “Punarnawa Mandoor”( this medicine is also easily available at stores) as 2 tablets each twice a day(morning and evening). If this is not effective, I will mention one more medicine for you i.e. “Mahayograj guglu” with “Maharasnadi kwath” to be taken in morning and evening. If you regularly take these medicines for 1-2 months, you will get rid of your disease.
Q. Next question is from Anjali Agarwal, who is aged 64 years. She says that she has severe pain in knees and her knees make a sound like “tak” on walking or even very small movements. She is not able to understand her problem and wants you to help.
The sound that you mentioned, is crepitus and is seen in cases of osteoarthritis. But considering her age, here osteoarthritis can be present with rheumato-arthritis. See, it is not like, if someone has osteoarthritis, he would not develop rheumato-arthritis or vice-versa. Same person can possibly be suffering from both the forms simultaneously. Since osteo-arthritis is a degenerative phenomenon, it develops in almost in everyone (in old age). Thus, there is very strong probability of an rhemato-arthritis patient, developing the condition of osteo-arthritis. In her case, she has neither mentioned pain in smaller joints, nor her body weight. I request all the viewers…..whenever you ask a question, please mention your weight along with age, how old is your disease and which all joints are affected. All of these carry great importance in preparing a diagnosis. Anyway, Anjali you can still note a remedy. Mix 1g of ashwagandha churna( or Indian ginseng powder) with 500mg of “shilajeet”( or “asphalt”) and 500mg of sonth or dried ginger and if you can source it, also add 50mg per dose of pure kuchala (or Nux-vomica). Consume the mixture with milk in morning as well as evening. This formula is effective in both rheumato-arthritis and osteo-arthritis.
Besides this, reduce your weight in case you are overweight, ensure that you have clear bowel and strong digestion. For boosting your digestion you can take 1/2- 1 teaspoon of Trikatu Choorna, which is a combination of dried ginger powder or “sonth”, black pepper and Balinese pepper or “peepli” (in equal proportion), twice a day (morning and evening) with hot water. In fact, I would say… anyone who has any kind of joint pain (whether it is related to osteo-arthritis or rheumato-arthritis) can take trikatu churna without any fear. By doing so, they will get relief from pain as well as swelling and even the root cause for joint pains will be eradicated.
Q. Next question is from Shahid Ahmed. His age is 29 years. He says that he has pain in joints due to which he can’t fold his legs and can’t walk properly.
He mentioned pelvis. Generally, rheumatoid arthritis does not affect pelvis. But there is a condition called fibromyalgia which is a condition of rheumatism where pelvis is affected. Somehow, I feel that he should visit a doctor a get a proper diagnosis done but still you can start some Ayurvedic medicines which will benefit you. Take 1 tablet each of “Ekangvir Ras” in the morning and evening. Also, take 1 tablet each of “Vatgajankush ras” with milk in morning and evening. Along with this, if you take “rasna qwath/ rasna saptak qwath or maharasnadi” (preferably in dry form), it is very effective. The method of its preparation is also very simple. Add two spoons of rasna saptak qwath in 2 cups of water and boil the solution (with open lid) till it is reduced to half cup. Now filter it and take 1 tablet each of ekangvir ras and vatgajankush ras with it. This will relieve you from any kind of pelvic pain.
Q. As you just said that generally rheumatoid arthritis does not involve pelvic pain but you mentioned a particular condition in which a patient can have pain in pelvis. Please tell us about that condition in detail.
There is a disease called Fibromyalgia. This is a type of rheumatism and involve low backache as its primary symptom. If we talk about symptoms, while rheumatic arthritis is indicated by pain in small joints like interphalangeal joints, wrist joints etc., feverish feeling, difficulty in walking, morning stiffness etc., Fibromyalgea is indicated by low backache. So, they are easily differentiable.
Q. Our next question is from Shivani Pathak, aged 41 years. She says that she has pain and swelling in finger and elbows and now her fingers have started to become deformed. She wants you to suggest a treatment.
The symptoms that you have written about are indicating towards rheumatoid arthritis. You haven’t mentioned the duration of your illness. But anyway, I would recommend that you should have controlled diet. You have to avoid all those things which increase ‘kapha’ and weakens digestive system like black gram, kidney beans, brinjals, green leafy vegetables, curd. Also avoid eatables of cold property and increase intake of eatables of hot property so as to boost your digestive power. Also decrease the quantity of your diet. For example, eat 1 bread if you are eating 2. Increase the intake of things which are easily digestible and decrease the intake of things which are difficult to digest. As I had mentioned in our earlier session, “langhan” or “fasting” has a very important role in treating this disease. You will have to free( or spare) your metabolism or agni (digestive power) so that the accumulated toxin in the form of undigested food can be digested. Once this toxin is removed, you automatically come out of the condition of rheumatic arthritis. Shivani, you can note down the medicines. I will again name “rasnadi kadha, mahayograj gugul. Since you have swelling, I will also name dashmularisht (4 spoons of dashmularisht with an equal amount of water after lunch and dinner), punarnawa mandoor ( 2 tablets each in morning and evening.
It is important that you keep your bowels clear. For digestion, you can take “ajmodadi choorna” (2 spoons at bed time with hot water. If you take these medicines regularly, you would get rid of your problems. If anybody is using these medicines but not getting results, please don’t get disappointed as we have “panchkarma treatment”. This is a treatment which is capable of curing any type of diseases. You can visit an Ayurvedic center and ask for panchkarma treatment. We have given “Vasti treatment” (which is an enema treatment) to some of our rheumatoid arthritis patients and we have very good results. In this procedure, we inject various herbal concoctions to the large intestine through anus. There are different types of vasti like karm vasti, yog vasti, kal vasti. So depending on the patient, severity of his disease, his symptoms etc. the doctor decides as to whatever is best suited to him. It gives very good results. I would like to tell it to all my viewers that if there is anybody who says that he has tried all sort of medicines and is still disappointed, please for at least once visit an Ayurvedic center and try panchkarma. I am sure you shall definitely be benefited.
Q. You have mentioned Ayurvedic concoctions. So, which types of concoction are effective in case of rheumatoid arthritis?
As this disease is named “Aam Vaat”, so, anything which eliminates “aam” ( i.e. undigested food) which starts acting as a toxin or antigen, against which antibodies are produced and an autoimmune phenomenon is initiated) and suppresses vayu (which is obstructed due to “aam”) can used to prepare a concoction and consumed. For digesting “aam” there is nothing better than trikatu churna (which is a combination of dried ginger powder or “sonth”, black pepper and Balinese pepper or “peepli” (in equal proportion). And for suppressing “vayu”, “rasnasaptak” is the supreme medicine. Thus you can use them.