Rheumatoid arthritis which is described as “Amavata” in Ayurveda is a joint disorder which affects multiple joints a various sites. ‘Ama’ means toxic which is produced in the body due to weakening of digestive fire. This ‘Ama’ is then carried by ‘Vayu’ and travels throughout the body and accumulate in the joints, which is the seat of ‘Kapha’ As this process continuous, all the joints are gradually affected, which results in severe pain and swelling in the joints. When ‘Pitta’ also gets aggravated, it causes burning sensation around the joints.
(a) Ahara (Diet) - Vegetarian food to be consumed. Dairy products, sweets, oily foods, junk and fast foods, salty and sour foods, jaggery, black gram, fish, cold drinks and ice creams are to be avoided.
(b) Vihara (Life Style) - One should avoid cold breeze and excessive wind. Warm water bath is recommended. Take a gentle walk after consumption of food.
(c) Aushadhi (Drugs) - Guggulu is the most effective drug in treating ‘Amavata’. Also herbal preparations of Ashwagandha, Haritaki, Rasna, Sunthi, Pippai and Trivrut are helpful.
(d) Panchakarma Therapy - This is purification process by which toxins are eliminated from the body
Snehana: Internal and external oleation to the body / affected parts is given as a preliminary process.
Swedana: This is done by application of steam on the affected parts. It helps in reducing inflammatory conditions in the body.
Virechana: By the process of Virechana, the ‘Ama’ is eliminated from the body. Also the bowel is cleansed, which results in absorption and assimilation of the medicinal preparations properly.
Vasti: This is done by administration of herbal enema. It is helpful in chronic cases.
Along with treatment, physiotherapy, organized lifestyle, vegetarianism, suitable physical exercises, yoga and meditation should be practiced. Ayurvedic treatment, a holistic approach for Rheumatoid Arthritis has been designed identifying the fact that the power of mind can overcome any physical aberrations.