Osteoarthritis & Reumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Treatment in Ayurveda 

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. The disease usually begins with fatigue, morning stiffness, muscle aches, loss of appetite, and weakness, followed by joint pain, Joint pain may affect the wrist, knees, elbows, fingers, toes, ankle or neck. In some patients with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic inflammation leads to the destruction of cartilage, bone, and ligaments, causing deformity of the joints. According to Ayurveda, Rheumatoid arthritis is known as “Ama vata“.
In Ayurveda following are the lines of treatment for Amavata (Rheumatoid arthritis):

  • Langhanam (Fasting)

  • Sodhana chikitsa (Purification of the body)

  • Shamana chikitsa (Treatment for subsiding the symptoms)

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Langhanam (Fasting)


It is done by means of complete absence of food, or by giving green gram / rice / barley soups.



Shodhana is done through Panchakarma therapy. Usually treatment is long term and various procedures are done according to the patient condition and presentation. Therapies like Snehapanam, Vamanam, Manal kizhi, Virechanam, Podikizhi, Elakkizhi, Pizhichil, Vaitharana / Kshara basti, Navarakizhi etc are done to get the maximum results.



Shaman Chikitsa


It is done by using very effective and time tested Ayurveda formulations like kashaya, asavarista. Choorna, vati, taila, Rasoushadi etc.Strict diet and lifestyle changes are also recommended.

Apart from these therapies, strict dietary and lifestyle changes are also recommen


Ayurvedic Treatment For Osteoarthritis (OA)

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Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disorder, which commonly affects the knee joint. It is caused by damage to the joint's cartilage. Cartilage is a firm, rubber like substance that covers the ends of bones in the knee joint. Cartilage reduces friction in the joint and acts as a shock absorber.
When cartilage becomes damaged , it limits the knee's normal movement and can cause significant pain.. Osteoarthritis can range from very mild to very severe, and most commonly affects middle-aged and older people. It affects hands and weight-bearing joints such as knees, hips, feet and the back. Knee


Osteoarthritis involves the entire joint, including the nearby muscles,
underlying bone, ligaments, joint lining (synovium), and the joint cover (capsule). Over time, the joint may lose its normal shape. Also, small deposits of bone—called osteophytes or bone spurs—may grow on the edges of the joint. Bits of bone or cartilage can break off and float inside the joint space. This causes more pain and damage.
The similar condition to Osteoarthritis that has been described in ayurveda is Sandhigatavata ,in which the vitiated Vata afflicts the joints and causes degeneration and destruction of the cartilages and reduction in the Synovial Fluid inside the joint capsule, leading to swelling which results into painful movement. Vata is the governing factor in the maintenance of equilibrium in the body. As age advances, the influence of Vata Dosha progresses, resulting in the process of gradual degeneration of the body. Sandhigatavata (osteoarthritis) is one of the consequences of this process, which is common in the elderly people. This is one of the major causes of chronic disability, affecting the quality of life.


Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain

  • Tenderness

  • Stiffness

  • Loss of flexibility

  • Grating sensation.

  • Bone spurst


1. In old age it is normal to have some osteopathic changes because of degeneration of bones and cartilage
2. If it happens in early age it may be due to several factors which aggravates vata like


  • Consumption of dry, cold or stale food,

  • Irregular sleeping habits,

  • Suppression of natural urges, and

  • Exposure to severe cold, and dry weather

  • Non consumption of Ghee, which is very common now a days.

  • Over fasting - nowadays people go for crash dieting to reduce weight which leads to vata aggravation.

  • Over exercise also leads to vata aggravation

  • Staying awake at night.

  • Stress, depression, too much of worry etc.

3. Excessive strain on the joint or overuse of the joins like people who have long hours at a standing job.
4. Any kind of injury to the joint, are the frequent causes of arthritis.
5. Osteoarthritis of the knees is often associated with excess upper body weight, with obesity, or a history of repeated injury and/or joint surgery.


Physical examination of joints by doctor, X-ray or MRI will confirm osteoarthritis.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Osteoarthritis

As per the involved Dosha, progression of disease and after detailed clinical examination, different treatments are advised by Experienced Ayurvedic Consultant Dr. Tarun Gupta at SKK Ayurveda and Panchakarma center, Delhi .Ayurvedic treatment of Osteoarthritis prevents further deterioration in the joints and rejuvenates damaged cartilages. Vata-alleviating treatments through specific herbs and panchakarma therapies are suggested for lubrication and strengthening of joints.

Panchkarma is very important in the management of osteoarthritis. A number of procedures are planned as per the chronicity and grade of he osteoarthritis. Duration of treatment may vary from 2 weeks to 4 weeks. In grade 4 the treatment is repeated every year for 3 to 4 times.

Best Ayurvedic treatment for Osteo-arthritis are:

Abhyanga – It includes full body massage or local massage over the affected joints with medicated oils, oils are selected as per the patient. Abhyanga improves circulation, pacifies vata thus reducing the pain and strengthens the muscles and joints.


1.  Janu basti – It is the procedure in which specific medicated lukewarm oil is made to stay over the affected joint, inside around circle made with masha pisti for 30 to 40 minutes. Janu basti restores the lubricating fluid in the joint and maintain integrity of the structures involved in the joint, Protects knee joints from age related changes, increases blood circulation; thus strengthens and nourishes the knee joints, and improves the mobility of the knee joints.


2. Janu Dhara - It is preferred in conditions where there is too much of tenderness and swelling.


3. Lepa – Application of medicated paste over the joint and wrapped with bandage. Paste is retained for 3 to 6 hours depending on the season and condition of the patient. It reduces joint stiffness, pain, tenderness and relaxes muscle around the joint.


4. Nadi Sweda – It is nothing but fomentation by nadi sweda The effect of sveda is similar to that of lepa.


5. Patra pinda sweda - First the medicated oil is smeared on the affected joint, then the therapist massages the affected joints by moving his palm in a circular fashion. Heat is applied to the joint by using this heated herbal packs. Patra Pinda Sweda, is a form of sweat therapy used to provide relief from pain and rejuvenate and strengthen the soft tissues, joints, and muscles in the body.


6. Shastika Shali pinda sweda -.Helps in preventing the degeneration of joint tissues and wasting of muscles provides lightness in the joints, soft tissues, and muscles by inducing sweat.Enhances flexibility and movement of joints


7. Basti – Basti has a commendable role in management of osteoarthritis. It includes Ksheera basti and anuvasana basti. In ksheera basti, milk is the main ingredient and oil in anuvasana basti along with other medicines. These nutrients are absorbed through the gut wall and nourishes the degenerated joints.


8. Agnikarma- Medical Cauterization is done to manage pain.


9.Leech therapy- In cases where there is pitta aggravation in joints, we need to use Leech therapy.


Different Panchkarma treatments are planned as per the condition/grade/stage/symptoms of patients.


Medicinal Treatment

The medicines keep on changing as per the symptoms of the patient. Commonest medicines are:


Maha Rasnadi Kashyam, Mustadi Marma Kashyam,Dhanwantram Kashyam, Dashmool Kashyam, Rasna panchak Kashyam, Yograj Guggulu, Punarnavadi Guggulu, Mahayograj Guggulu, Laxadi guggulu, Gandh tail ,Dhanwantram tail,Aswagandha Ghrit etc
But its always advised to take medicines and treatments after consulting an Ayurvedic doctor.