Ayurveda Treatment in Rheumatoid Arthritis


Ayurveda is an ancient yet trustable healing science, especially in chronic disease conditions. The basic treatment principle of Ayurveda is to address the root cause of the disease and either try to eliminate the cause or to adopt healthy lifestyle changes to reduce the morbidity of the condition. Arthritis is one such chronic condition which negatively impacts the quality of life of the affected.

Image of hands depicting rheumatoid arthritis in an elderly woman

Arthritis is the technical term for joint inflammation, which in simple words is pain, stiffness, swelling and restricted movements of the joints. Joints are complex structures where two or more bones are connected in the human skeletal system. A synovial joint, also known as a diarthrosis, is the most common and most movable type of joint in a human body. In these joints, the contiguous bony surfaces are covered with articular cartilage and connected by ligaments lined by synovial membrane. The joint may be divided, completely or incompletely, by an articular disk or meniscus, the periphery of which is continuous with the fibrous capsule while its free surfaces are covered by synovial membrane. The motions of the joints include spinning, swinging, gliding, rolling, and approximation.

Various reasons like the age, heredity, constitution, nutrition, climate, occupation, lifestyle and other diseases can lead to or cause arthritis. There are more than 100 different forms of arthritis and related diseases. The most common types include Sandhigata Vatam-Osteoarthritis (OA), Amavatam-Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Kushtajanya Vataraktham-Psoriatic arthritis (PsA), Vatavyadhi-Fibromyalgia and Vataraktham-Gout. All these are efficiently manageable with Ayurveda


Rheumatoid Arthritis: Rheumatoid Arthritis (known as Amavata in Ayurveda) is an auto-immune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints as well as in other organs in the body. Rheumatoid Arthritis is referred to as a systemic illness and is sometimes called rheumatoid disease.

Causes: Overeating, heavy food, weak metabolism, irregular meal times, over dosing of dairy and proteins, sedentary lifestyle and heredity are some of the causes elicited in Ayurveda text books as the causes of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Common Symptoms: Thirst, Swelling, Lack of Appetite, Indigestion, Lethargy, Pain and Stiffness in the joints and Heaviness

Ayurveda pathology of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Improper food habits and sedentary lifestyle can lead to impairment of AGNI-metabolism thereby destabilizing the metabolic activity which precipitates accumulation of AAMA (toxin) and vitiation of Vata (macro and micro movements in the body). The deposition of AAMA in the joints causes symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis in the joints. The circulation of the same throughout the body causes rheumatoid Disease.

Ayurveda Treatment/Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Ayurveda treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis starts with correction of the metabolism or improving the Agni with DEEPANA PACHANA treatments.
  • Once the metabolism is corrected the next stage is to eliminate the toxins with PANCHAKARMA SHODHANA (Detoxification and Purification) Therapy followed by medication and lifestyle modification. Vamana, Virechana and very importantly Vastis are the usual procedures followed.
  • The Panchakarma therapy is preceded by the SNEHANA-SWEDANA (internal and external oleation and sudation) with therapies like Snehapana, Kizhi, Pizhichil, etc
  • The treatment process is followed by RASAYANA or Rejuvenative/Rehabilitative therapy to maintain the health of the joints and mitigate disease progresssion
  • In initial stages or in the physically/mentally weak patients rheumatoid Arthritis is managed by elimination of the toxins with medications Shamana (medication and lifestyle modification)
  • Snehana, Swedana and Panchakarma massage therapies are quite useful in reducing pain and improving mobility in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients.

Diet in Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Barley, Horse gram, Green gram, honey, Celery seeds, Cumin seeds, Dried ginger, Garlic and Bitter gourd are some of the diet suggestions in Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Avoid deep water/shell fish, red meat, yogurt, deep fried food, refrigerated food and beverages
  • Avoid too much of dairy, protein and fats in food
  • Eat an early light warm dinner
  • Drink warm water as directed by your doctor

Lifestyle in Rheumatoid Arthritis:

  • Maintain correct posture
  • Exercise daily and maintain an active lifestyle
  • Practice Sooryanamaskara daily
  • Avoid stress
  • Keep the skin lubricated especially in temperate climate
  • Avoid staying awake till late night and sleeping till late morning
  • Avoid suppression of natural urges of the body
  • Avoid direct exposure to cold winds and temperatures below normal body temperatures
  • Medically supervised Fasting once a month is a good practice

Relevance of Ayurveda in rheumatoid Arthritis: Studies have proven that though allopathic treatment of RA is improving, remission remains rare and treatment remains unsatisfactory. Therefore, the search for effective alternative and additional therapies for Rheumatoid Arthritis ends at Ayurveda.

Rheumatoid Arthritis at Harivihar: At Harivihar Heritage Homestead Ayurveda Centre Rheumatoid Arthritis is managed with an integrated approach of allopathy and Ayurveda in a healing green ambience dotted with medicinal herbs and trees. The de-stressing mobilising Yoga, the vegetarian healthy diet and the perfect tailor made traditional Ayurveda therapies prescribed and supervised by experienced Ayurveda doctors of Sakalya Ayurveda together provide a near complete solution for a person seeking a remedy for Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Panchakarma Therapies are performed by skilled empathetic therapists of Sakalya Ayurveda who impart cure with their healing hands and the medications they blend and dispense. To sum up Harivihar Ayurveda resort is committed to assist a guest with Rheumatoid Arthritis walk out from our premises into a quality life agile, happy, healthy and smiling.

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