Health Tips

How to keep your joints healthy through Ayurveda?

Healthy joints

Ayurveda for joints

Skeletal is the important Anatomical structure of human body to give shapes and support. All together there are 206 bones in body.  Joints hold the bones together to provide movement within skeletal. The main function of bone is to support while the joints allow flexibility and movement to the structure. There is synovial fluid is inside the synovial joints that act grease for perfect mobility and rotation.

The ligaments, tendons and connective tissue together form the anatomical structure. According to the Ayurveda these supportive structure are Kapha doshas where there is space is Vata dosha. The inter bones space or joint capsule is for synovial fluid which is kapha substance which lubricates and prevent wears and tear. The nerve impulse are transmitted to the muscle through the ligament that is vata doshas.

The imbalance state of doshas is the diseased condition. According to ayurveda, vitiated or disturbed vata dosha can create imbalance within the joints resulting in pain and discomfort. Most commonly affected joints are knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, fingers and toes. When there is an imbalance in the joints, it is important to discern whether or not the imbalance exists with or without ama, a sticky toxic substance.

The dryness of vata can deplete the lubricating qualities of kapha and joint surfaces can become rough and brittle. Common symptoms of vata imbalance in the joints are dryness, popping and cracking, and muscle tics and spasms. Some common causative factors are jogging, jumping, excessive exercise, injury, consuming too many dry foods, living in a cold, dry climate and irregular eating habits and lifestyle. Entering the vata season of life of fifty years and older will also increase vata dosha throughout the body. Particularly during the vata season of autumn and winter, when the temperature becomes cold and the wind begins to blow, symptoms may become aggravated. Ayurveda offers simple guidelines and herbal remedies for supporting healthy function of the joints.

A few lifestyle therapies for balancing excess vata in the joints are:

  • Maintain a regular schedule, sleeping and waking at the same time each day.
  • Abhyanga, self-oil massage every evening. Choose organic sesame or vata massage oil.
  • Massage medicinal Mahanarayan oil locally into sore, stiff joints.
  • Follow vata pacifying diet, taking meals at regular times each day.
  • Practice gentle yoga.

A simple test can be done with organic sesame oil. Massage the oil into the joint. If the symptoms are aggravated, then there is ama present, a condition known as amavata. If the symptoms are alleviated by the oil massage, or stay the same, then the treatment will begin with the removal of the causative factors and balancing vata dosha.

The primary causes for accumulation of ama are improper diet, excessive exercise, exhaustion due to overwork, extreme worry, and the use of alcohol. It commonly occurs in cold, damp climates. For the condition of amavata, removing the causative factors and eliminating ama from the body are paramount. Treatment to balance the doshas and rejuvenate the joint and bone tissue ensues.

Here are some additional lifestyle guidelines to help reduce ama and restore balance:

  • Favour warm, nourishing, easy to digest meals such as Kichari (rice and lentil soup).
  • Include ghee or flax seed oil in your diet as both are nourishing and anti-inflammatory.
  • Avoid white sugar and alcohol.
  • Use unprocessed, raw honey (uncooked) to help gently scrape away ama.
  • Avoid dairy, particularly ice cream and cheese.
  • Apply castor oil to sore joints and then apply a heating pad to help reduce inflammation and scrape ama.
  • Keep the colon clean and empty bowels regularly each day.
  • Sip hot water and tea made from dry ginger root (or ginger tea bags).
  • Practice deep, abdominal breathing exercises (pranayama) to gently help to move toxins from the body.
  • Meditate daily for clarity.
  • Address any psychological disturbances or unresolved emotions.

 Herbs traditionally used to help increase the body’s digestive fire and enable cleansing and expulsion of ama, while reducing inflammation and rejuvenating the joints include:

  • Guggulu – an anti-inflammatory with strong purifying and rejuvenating properties. Indicated for arthritis, rheumatism, gout, lumbago, disorders of the nervous, respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems.
  • Guduchi – a broad spectrum pitta-reducing herb that destroys toxins and strengthens immunity.
  • Triphala – Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki – the three fruits for detoxifying and tonifying the body.
  • Vidanga – a powerful herb which destroys ama (toxins).
  • Ashwagandha – an adaptogenic rejuvenative herb with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Gokshura – an anti-inflammatory and rejuvenative.
  • Turmeric – an anti-bacterial and powerful blood purifier with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Trikatu (ginger, black pepper and pippali) – a powerful digestive aids that increases agni (digestive fire), helps burn ama and promotes circulation.

About the author

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari

Experienced holistic doctor, healer, teacher, and writer
Specialized in Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Trained in India and Nepal, the original lands of Ayurveda
Graduate in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from the Institute of Medicine at Tribhuwan University in Kathmandu.
Professional member of Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA)
Owner of Sunshine Ayurveda


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