4 Ayurvedic Secrets to Reduce your Rheumatoid Arthritis Symptoms Today

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the efficacy of holistic traditional medical systems like Ayurveda in the treatment of chronic inflammatory condition, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Ayurvedic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis uses a combination of dietary changes, herbal medications, supplements, and exercise. Studies sponsored by the World Health Organization involving a collaboration of allopathic and Ayurvedic physicians have found Ayurveda to be so effective that they recommend further research and the use of Ayurvedic approaches as a complementary therapy that can support ongoing allopathic treatments. Here’s how you can use some Ayurvedic principles in your everyday life to better manage and reduce rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

Turmeric

Because of its wide use in Indian cuisine, we often overlook therapeutic benefits of turmeric or haldi, regarding it more as a culinary ingredient. However, the herb is highly valued in Ayurveda for its anit-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help in the management of inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. These benefits are linked to bioactive compounds in the herb called curcuminoids, the main one being curcumin. Some studies suggest that curcumin from turmeric can be just as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs for arthritic pain relief.

Although turmeric can be added directly to your diet, curcumin absorption is poor, but this can be remedied by consuming it with black pepper. Research shows that piperine in black pepper enhances absorption by as much as 2,000%! Alternatively, you could use supplements to ensure you get a dosage of 1,000 mg of curcumin daily.

Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is regarded as a rasayana or rejuvenating herb in Ayurveda and may play an important role in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Based on research, the herb is classified as an adaptogen, which means that it can better manage physiological responses to stress, lower cortisol levels, and other inflammatory triggers. The herb can help relive rheumatoid arthritis pain through both its analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, with a study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research pointing to its efficacy.

Researchers observed improvements in rheumatoid arthritis with a daily supplementation of 5g of ashwagandha powder twice a day. You can consume the herb as a supplement or in powder form along with warm water or milk. There is inadequate research on the safety of higher doses, so check with your physician before increasing intake of ashwagandha.

Avoid Nightshades

Some patients may also find benefits from eliminating or restricting the intake of nightshade foods such as eggplants, potatoes, bell peppers, and tomatoes, among others. Although generally regarded as healthy and nutritionally rich, these foods can exacerbate inflammatory immune responses in some individuals. This may be linked to the presence of alkaloids like glycoalkaloid solanine, which can have a pro-inflammatory effect in some patients.

Yoga & Meditation

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The idea of taking up yoga or any exercise may be daunting when you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, but staying inactive can severely exacerbate the symptoms. With its gentle movements and easy adaptability, yoga is perhaps the best form of exercise for rheumatoid arthritis patients. Just make sure to learn and practice poses in sequences that are shown to help with the condition. Yoga is not just recommended in Ayurveda, but is now often included as an adjunct treatment in conventional medicine. Research shows that arthritic patients can benefit from yoga, with improved mobility and fitness, as well as reduced stress levels.

For more comprehensive Ayurvedic treatment options, you should consult an Ayurvedic practitioner and consider undergoing panchakarma, which help to detoxify the body. You can also get more precise information on dosage requirements and safety of various Ayurvedic supplements and medications to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Dr. Surya Bhagwati
Dr. (Mrs.) Surya Bhagwati (BAMS, DHA, DHHCM, and DHBTC) is the lead Ayurvedic physician at Dr. Vaidya's. She is a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner who brings a wealth of experience spanning over 25 years in the science. Prior to Dr. Vaidya's, she has worked at the prestigious Saifee Hospital in Mumbai where she still continues her association in a consulting capacity. Her expertise lies in the prevention of chronic ailments.
Dr. Surya Bhagwati

Latest posts by Dr. Surya Bhagwati (see all)

Krishna, Kumar P R. “The efficacy of Ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis: Cross-sectional experiential profile of a longitudinal study.” International journal of Ayurveda research vol. 2,1 (2011): 8-13. doi:10.4103/0974-7788.83177

Chandran, Binu, and Ajay Goel. “A Randomized, Pilot Study to Assess the Efficacy and Safety of Curcumin in Patients with Active Rheumatoid Arthritis.” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 26, no. 11, 2012, pp. 1719–1725., doi:10.1002/ptr.4639.

Shoba, Guido, et al. “Influence of Piperine on the Pharmacokinetics of Curcumin in Animals and Human Volunteers.” Planta Medica, vol. 64, no. 04, 1998, pp. 353–356., doi:10.1055/s-2006-957450.

Bhattacharya, S.k, and A.v Muruganandam. “Adaptogenic Activity of Withania Somnifera: an Experimental Study Using a Rat Model of Chronic Stress.” Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior, vol. 75, no. 3, 2003, pp. 547–555., doi:10.1016/s0091-3057(03)00110-2.

Kumar, Gajendra et al. “Efficacy & safety evaluation of Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powder & Sidh Makardhwaj) in rheumatoid arthritis patients: a pilot prospective study.” The Indian journal of medical research vol. 141,1 (2015): 100-6.

Moonaz, Steffany Haaz et al. “Yoga in Sedentary Adults with Arthritis: Effects of a Randomized Controlled Pragmatic Trial.” The Journal of rheumatology vol. 42,7 (2015): 1194-202. doi:10.3899/jrheum.141129

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This article is intended for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Sepalika.com strongly recommends that you consult a medical practitioner for implementing any of the above. Results may vary from person to person.

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