HERBS

RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS

ABOUT THE DISEASE

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic and chronic inflammatory disease. It is an autoimmune disorder.

Autoimmune disorders are those diseases in which body’s own immune system is misdirected and it attacks its own body cells. In case of RA, body’s own defense system destroys bones and cartilages.

Autoimmune disorders are those diseases in which body’s own immune system is misdirected and it attacks its own body cells. In case of RA, body’s own defense system destroys bones and cartilages.

ETIOLOGICAL FACTORS

The exact cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is still at large unknown. Certain genes (HLA DR4) have been studied that increase the risk of Rheumatoid arthritis.

Various environmental factors like stress, obesity, unhealthy gut are known to be triggering factors in already genetically susceptible individuals and are under study.

PATHOLOGY

When the immune system is triggered, it leads to activation of defence cells of body like T-lymphocytes and macrophages which cause inflammatory changes in the synovium and joints . It causes destruction of joints and cartilage which later on is replaced by a fibrous tissue called Pannus, which is responsible for ankylosed joints. It also affects other connective tissues of organs like heart, eye etc. which is why it is called as systemic disorder.

CLINICAL FEATURES

It involves multiple joints especially small joints of hands & feet followed by ankles, Knee joints, Wrist joint, elbow and then shoulder joints.

The signs and symptoms includes:-

  • Weakness and Malaise.
  • Low grade fever.
  • Stiffness in the body especially in the morning.
  • Decreased movement of the affected joints.
  • Severe pain in the multiple joints, nature of pain is flitting which means travelling from one joint to another.
  • Bony deformities one of which is called as “swan neck deformity”.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

In Ayurveda, this condition can be correlated well with “Aamvata” disease. It was firstly described independently by Acharya Madhavkar.

In Aamvata “Aam” (toxins created in the body due to low metabolism) and "Vata” dosha gets accumulated in the joints and create stiffness in the body leading to occurrence of Aamvata.

NIDANA (CAUSATIVE FACTORS)

  • Intake of incompatible diets
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Low digestive power
  • Excessive intake of oily food
  • Exercising directly after intake of oily food

PATHOGENESIS

The intake of etiological factors lead to Agnimandya (poor metabolism) which in turn leads to creation of Aam Dosha. Aam dosha causes aggravation of all three doshas in body. Aggravated Vata dosha carries Aam to kapha predominant places like joints, heart tissue, stomach. Character of Aam dosha is very similar to that of Kapha Dosha. It is Heavy (Guru), Smooth (Snigdha), And Cold (sheeta) in nature. So Aam accumulates with Kapha Dosha in its locations making it more thick and sticky and causes symptoms like stiffness in the body, muscle and joint aches, low grade fever resulting in Aamvata.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

General clinical features are Bodyache, Loss of appetite, Excessive thirst, fatigue, Heaviness in body, fever, Indigestion, Swelling in different parts of body, Pain in lower back, difficulty in movements of joints.

General clinical features are Bodyache, Loss of appetite, Excessive thirst, fatigue, Heaviness in body, fever, Indigestion, Swelling in different parts of body, Pain in lower back, difficulty in movements of joints.

If Pitta Dosha is dominant then symptoms are excessive burning sensation of body, Tenderness in affected body part, excessive thirst

If Pitta Dosha is dominant then symptoms are excessive burning sensation of body, Tenderness in affected body part, excessive thirst

PRINCIPLE OF TREATMENT

The main line of treatment includes Deepana chikitsa to increase the Agni (Metabolic power), Pachana chikitsa to digest the accumulated Aam Dosha (toxins), Swedana (Therapeutic fomentation) in order to clear the obstructed channels. Panchakarma procedures like virechana and Basti Chikitsa are also used routinely in aamvata cases as it helps in detoxifying the body and improving Agni.

MEDICINES

1. Single Herbs – Erand oil, Giloy, Shunthi, Bhallatak, Kuchla, Rasona, Nirgundi, Rasna, Punarnava, Gokshur, Ajmoda, Ashwagandha, Shilajeet, Arka, Guggulu, Pippali

2. Churna (Herbal powders) – Alambhushadya churna, panchkola churna, Amritadi churna, vaishvanar churna, Punarnavadi churna, Nagaradi churna, Trikatu churna, Ajmodadi churna, Giloy churna

3. Vati (Tablets) – Agnitundi vati, Sanjivni vati, Chitrakadi vati, Yograj guggulu, Maha Yograj guggulu, Sinhnaad guggulu, Amritadi guggulu, Vidangadi lauha, Navayas Lauha

4. Rasa (Herbo mineral preparations) – Aamvatari rasa, Vatagajendra Rasa, Vatagajankush rasa, Godanti Bhasma, Mukta Pishti, Prawal bhasma, Tala Sindoor

5. Kwath (Herbal Decoctions) – Rasonadi Kwath, Rasna Panchak Kwath, Rasna Saptak kwaath, Maharasnadi kwaath, Dashmoola kwaath,

6. Asava/ Arishta (Alcoholic preparations) – Dashmoolarishta, Punarnavarishta, Amritarishta

HOME REMEDIES

1. If suffering from Acute case of Rheumatoid arthritis then dry fomentation of joints is very beneficial . Take handful of Ajwain (Carom) seeds and roast them in a pan. Wrap these seeds in a cotton cloth and make a pottali of this . fomentation with this pottali is very beneficial in joint pain and stiffness due to RA. You can also add ginger and garlic cloves in this pottali. Pottali made of dry sand is also very beneficial.

2. Include the intake of ginger and turmeric in your diet as these herbs are anti inflammatory in nature and help in reducing pain and tenderness of joints and muscles.

3. Regular aerobic exercises like walking, cycling, stretching exercises help in fighting stiffness in body and also increases the range of joint movements

4. As this disease is directly related to the digestive system therefore pay attention to what you eat. Avoid oily spicy and preserved food. Always eat fresh and easily digestible food. Keep you gut clean. If suffering from constipation then you can take 1 tsf triphala powder with luke warm water at night. If problem not relieved then consult an Ayurvedic physician for the same.

5. Intake of 10-20 ml of castor oil with milk at night helps in reducing joint pains (mild to moderate). It also works as a good laxative

Disclaimer

The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.