Caring for your joints

Author: Maharishi Ayurveda   Date Posted:24 April 2017 

Joint ease and comfort

Do you notice increased stiffness or pain in your joints when the weather is damp or cold? If yes, then read on to understand why and what you can do about it.

Ayurveda explains that stiff, heavy, swollen joints are the result of too many toxins or impurities in the body disturbing the healthy function of Shleshaka Kapha. When the sticky, toxic waste of incomplete digestion accumulates in the joint it first creates stiffness and heaviness and longer term swelling and pain, with symptoms worsening in damp, cold weather.

What is Shleshaka Kapha?
Shleshaka Kapha is one of the five sub-doshas of Kapha and is located in the joints throughout your body.

  • Shleshaka Kapha governs lubrication of every joint in your body and helps to keep your skin soft and supple.
  • Imbalance is linked to painful or loose joints and joint disease, weight gain and oily skin.
  • Causes of imbalance are lack of exercise, poor digestion, eating too heavy at night, eating cheese or yoghurt in the evening, lack of good oils in the diet and fasting.

When impurities from incomplete digestion settle in the joints and sit there for some time, an even more toxic form of impurity that is irritating and reactive is formed. This causes the joint to become inflamed, swollen and painful. When the impurity in the joint mixes with the lubricating fluids around the joint then circulation in the joint and mobility are disturbed. If this is left unattended, over time the structure of the joints and the bone itself become damaged.

To address this imbalance at any stage of the process, restoring healthy digestion and removing impurities from the joints and body as a whole is necessary.


5 Step Action Plan

  1. Start the day with a gentle de-tox breakfast
    For your first food of the day on rising stew or bake a fresh apple or pear along with 8 prunes. Taking these stewed fruit and prunes is an important part of restoring your normal bowel function. If you are hungry, you may need to take some cereal, 1-2 cups of hot, cooked whole grain cereal, seasoned with cinnamon or cardamom.
    Note: Wait for about 30 minutes after the stewed fruit before having the warm cereal.
    Baked or stewed apple or pear
    Put the whole apple or pear in the oven and bake at 176 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes or until soft. For best results, insert three whole cloves around the circumference of the apple or pear before baking. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool before eating.
    Follow your apple or pear with eight prunes, or a combination of figs and prunes that have been soaked overnight. To stew, simmer one sliced apple or pear in two cups of water with three whole cloves for about thirty minutes or until soft. Cooking the prunes and figs with the apple or pears is also beneficial. Remove from heat and eat at a comfortable temperature for you.
  2. Sip hot water  that has been boiled for 10-20 minutes with slices of root ginger (strength according to your preference). Take 1-2 sips or ¼-½ a cup if thirsty. The aim is to take regular sips every 15 minutes from rising until 7pm.
  3. Take the following powerful herbals for 1 to 6 months or until  you feel completely comfortable.
    1. Joint Soothe
      Supports joint mobility, suppleness and lubrication; detoxifies the joints; supports normal functioning of the joints, muscles and tendons
      Take 1-2 tablets 15-30 minutes prior breakfast, lunch and dinner.
    2. After meal herbals
      15-30 minutes after breakfast, lunch and dinner take 2 capsules of Organic Tumeric and 2 tablets of Triphala Guggul. Select each link to learn more about each of these powerful herbals.
  4. Joint Soothe II Oil
    Joint Soothe II Oil is a combination of two traditional oil formulas. It consists of 56 herbs that are processed  on a low fire for many hours to retain the potency and intelligence within the herbs. It quickly penetrates the many layers of the skin and heats the channels of circulation where it is applied. It aids normal lubrication of the joint and helps improve circulation and elimination of accumulated toxins.
    Gently rub the oil over stiff or sore joints 2-3 times a day. You can also apply a dry heat pack to the affected area. Avoid areas of skin that are reddish in colour or inflamed.  
  5. Your food choices
    Favour Kapha pacifying diet if you expereince loose or watery joints with swelling, have a tendency for weight gain, or are a Kapha type.
    Favour Vata pacifying diet if you experience stiffness or osteoarthritis like symptoms and have a moderate to slender build.
    Favour Pitta pacifying diet if you experience rheumatoid arthritis-like symptoms.
  6. Eat your main meal at lunchtime most days
    Establishing a regular pattern of eating especially at lunchtime is key to nourishing your joints and protecting them from further degeneration. Your body’s ‘master clock’ and every organ has its own ‘clock cells’ that synchronise bodily rhythms such as appetite, digestion and elimination. If this cycle becomes confused then both appetite and digestion start to overlap and leads to incomplete digestion, gas and bloating. Ayurveda recommends that you adopt a regular pattern of eating your main meal of the day at lunch time with a light evening meal by 7pm.

It can seem quite magical when pain that you have adjusted to ‘living with’ reduces. So take it one step at a time and allow your body space to recover. This type of imbalance can be years in the making and can be a few months in the healing process.

If you consider personal help is needed to tailor a programme to your needs then be in touch to set up an appointment time either in person or via skyupe or phone.


All the best!

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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