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Ayurvedic Management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation and severe pain in the joints and surrounding tissues. The main characteristics of Rheumatoid arthritis are spontaneous attacks on the peripheral joints and surrounding tissues, and organs.

What is autoimmune disease?

Autoimmune disease is a condition that occurs when the body’s tissues are mistakenly attacked. by their own cells, due to an overactive immune system.

Rheumatoid arthritis is called Ama Vata in the Sanskrit language. According to Ayurveda, Amavata is a condition in which Vata Dosha and accumulation of Ama takes place in the joints.

What is Ama?

The word Ama refers to toxins within the body.

Ama in simple language means mal-digested products that are not homogenous for the body. Ama is the product of incomplete transformation processes in the body.

Causative factors:

The actual cause of Rheumatoid arthritis is still unknown to modern medicine. According to Ayurveda, Rheumatoid arthritis happens due to the formation of Ama in the joints and surrounding tissues. When Ama gradually spreads all over the body and circulates in various channels, it will cause obstruction in the channel and stop the flow of nourishment of the corresponding tissues. This obstruction causes the immune system to slow down and progress to chronic arthritis.

The other cause of Ama formation in the body are poor digestive fire or Agni, consumption of incompatible food and preserved and processed food, sedentary lifestyle and imbalance of the Doshas or bodily humours.

Symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis

The initial symptoms of Rheumatoid arthritis is indicated as follows

  1. Angamarda – General Body ache and pain
  2. Aruchi – Anorexia and lack of taste
  3. Trishna – Thirst
  4. Alasya – Lethergic and weakness, fever
  5. Jwara – increase in body temperature
  6. Apaka – Indigestion or weak digestion

In the later stages of the disease it spreads to the joints and multiple tissues, and organ damage can occur. The symptoms of chronic Rheumatoid arthritis are

  1. Saruja sopha- painful swelling in the hand, foot, ankle, sacrum, knee and neck joints
  2. Vrikhika damshavat peeda – pain that feels like scorpion stings
  3. Agni dourbalya – progressively sluggish digestion
  4. Daaha – burning and inflammation
  5. Nindra viparayaya – lack of sleep or sleeping disturbance
  6. Hrid graham- feeling of tightness of chest
  7. Sandhi Vikruti – joint deformity

Ayurvedic Management

The main aim of the treatment is to reduce Ama by stimulating the digestive fire and balance the Vata Dosha, the cause of pain, through therapies and Vata pacifying herbs.

Each and every person is unique and hence the treatment for any person must be also unique. The team at Sunshine Ayurveda take the personalized approach, which includes both internal and external herbs and therapies.


The first line of Ayurvedic management is Panchakarma detox.

The treatment is always individual – according to the condition of the body, the presence of disease, age, etc., as well as the type of arthritis. The personal approach makes the treatment very diverse, and successful. This detox therapy should be performed under supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic Doctor and never to be experimented without supervision.

An Ayurvedic Doctor will prepare a personalised Panchakarma program after your initial consultation. The program will consist of therapies, natural herbs, Yoga-exercise, and dietary recommendations.

Basic principles of Panchakarma detox involves:

  • Langhana – Diet plan or personalised fasting
  • Swedana – Herbalised fomentation or steam therapy
  • Virechana – Therapeutic purgation
  • Vasti – Therapeutic medicated enemas
  • Other external therapies include:
  • Abhyanga – Therapeutic ayurvedic massage
  • Pinda swedana – Massage with a bolus, packed with either medicated powder, fresh herbs, sand/soil, etc.
  • Upanaha – Herbalised poultices

Ayurvedic Herbs for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Here are the common ayurvedic herbs and medicine described in the ancient text books of Ayurveda for the management of Rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Yogaraja gugulu vatika
  • Kaisora gulgulu vatika
  • Rasnadi choornam
  • Dasamoola kashayam
  • Dhanwantharam 101 capsules
  • Aswagandharishtam
  • Dasamoolarishtam
  • Thriphaladi choornam
  • Gulguluthiktakam kashayam

Some medicinal oil for massaging the joints

  • Mahamasha thailam
  • Kottamachukkadi thailam
  • Dhanwantharam thailam
  • Sahacharadi thailam
  • Pinda thailam
  • Murivenna oil
  • Karpooradi thailam
  • Bala thailam

Note – This article is composed for the general awareness of arthritis management in Ayurveda. Please do not use this information for self-diagnosis, treatment and prevention measures without the supervision of an Ayurvedic Doctor. Our Ayurvedic Doctor at Sunshine Ayurveda is available for consultation and provides personalised programs for your health and wellness.

Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari
Dr. Ram Mani Bhandari


Registered Member of AAA

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