Arthritis and Ayurveda

Author: Linda Sinden   Date Posted:24 July 2019 

While commonly thought of as a degenerative disease, arthritis is not an illness that affects only elderly individuals. Symptoms include inflammation of a joint usually accompanied with pain, swelling, and stiffness. Infection, trauma, metabolic processes, as well as degenerative changes are all causes of arthritis.



The term arthritis implies an inflammatory condition of one or more joints. The features of inflammation are pain, swelling, overlying redness, stiffness and heat.

In making a diagnosis to find out if a disease is present, there are three questions your doctor may ask:

  1. Is only one joint affected? 
  2. Is the patient otherwise well or is there a disease causing arthritis? e.g. ulcerative colitis or a risk factor for infection, diabetes, renal failure, immuno-suppression (decreased function of immune system), drug abuse.
  3. What is making the joint swollen?
  4. Your doctor may take some fluid from the joint.


Do you know the difference?

Most common types of arthritic conditions are called osteo-arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Possible causative factors depend on the type of arthritis involved. Causative factors can be age, trauma (osteo), infection such as gout, inflammation and auto-immune disorders, Vata and Pitta imbalance and imbalance of Asthi and Majja Dhatus, which help govern bone formation.



Your doctor will explain that osteo-arthritis may cause deformities and decreased size of joint contact. You may suffer joint pain at rest, pain on movement and joints may be thickened, but not usually inflamed. There may be crepitus (crackly feeling) when the joint is moved. The most likely joints involved are the large joints such as hips and knees. Your doctor will take an x-ray which may show decreased joint space, sclerosis (areas of bone thickening), cysts and ostephytes (overgrowth of bone).

This form of  Arthritis is more governed by Vata dosha when impurities from incomplete digestion mixed with the qualities of Vata imbalance, such as dryness, spread from the gastrointestinal tract to the joints. Here they settle and the body knowing them to be an invader responds with an immune response to help the body protect itself.  


Helpful Herbals 

Osteo Relief gives nutritional support for your bones, nerves and joints helping to balance Vata dosha and supporting the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Take single to double dose as per bottle.

  • Applying Joint Soothe II oil over the joints (as per bottle) and then applying the warmth of a hot water bottle, or heat pack is also very helpful.
  • Bio Immune to support a gentle cleanse while helping to nourish your immune system.


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Your doctor will explain that rheumatoid arthritis is an immunological event which causes release of cartilage degrading enzymes. This is an auto-immune disease. There may be swelling, stiffness and destruction of the joint. The fingers may develop a typical "swan neck" deformity (meaning it looks like a swan's neck) and the thumbs may develop "Z deformities" so they are not straight. The knees may also be involved as well as the feet and neck, particularly where the head joins the spine. The central nervous system, cardiovascular system, lungs, skin and eyes may also be involved. Rheumatoid arthritis is a connective tissue disease which results in degeneration of the joints it affects.


Helpful Herbals

Joint Assist is traditionally said to ‘scrape out ama’ thereby helping the body to ease soreness and stiffness in the muscles and joints.

Applying Joint Soothe II oil over the joints as per bottle and applying the warmth of a hot water bottle or heat pack is also very helpful.

Bio Immune to support a gentle cleanse while helping to nourish your immune system.


Please note

Having good digestion and eating when hungry, and taking main food in the middle of the day is essential when wanting to help your body prevent or ease symptoms. Avoid cold food and drinks, packaged, frozen or canned foods as they produce a lot of impurities and thus will lead to pain and dis-ease.  Take sips of hot water (that has been boiled for 10-20 minutes) regularly throughout the day. Aim to have sips every 15-30 minutes as regualr sips are more effective.

If you have a long term condition you may like to have a consultation which can provide a personalised and more in depth programme for  you.


Wishing you the bliss of balance..

Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our weekly Insights. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity.

Email: Skype: Linda.Sinden 
Mobile: +64 212237525


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