Osteoarthritis and Ayurveda – know your herbs right

Osteoarthritis is named Sandhivata in Ayurveda. Sandhivata is a blend of Sandhi, that means the joint, and Vata, that stands for Vata Dosha.

The increased activity of Vata inside the joints (Sandhis) is collectively named Sandhivata.
When activities of the Vata increase inside the Sandhis (joints), it is known as the Sandhivata. Vata is generally dry in nature, thus having built a strong reason to absorbs the fluids from every part of the body possible. In addition, it is catabolic and degenerative in nature. As a result, Vata justifies the damage of the cartilages it causes and the depletion in the Synovial fluid inside the joint capsule.

Enough of the Ayurveda. In general English, Osteoarthritis, shortly addressed as OA, is a chronic condition of the joints where the cartilage bolstering the ends of the bones gradually lose its elasticity and tears off. Unaccompanied by the protective cartilage, the bones start to rub against each other, ergo causing aches, stiffness, rigidness, inflammation, and finally loss of movement.

OA is the most common semblance of arthritis ubiquitous. Its symptoms range from minor discomforts to debilitation. It can occur in any part of the joints in the body, however, the most common is its development in the hands and the weight-bearing joints like hips, knees, and spine (usually in the lower back and neck).

For people dealing with advanced osteoarthritis, the effects are not just physical but also emotional because of the pain and decrease in mobility can limit their ability to work, become part in daily activities with their family and friends. Their life will become majorly indoors.

In a nutshell, the symptoms of Osteoarthritis are

– Deep, aching pain in the joints
– Strain in gripping objects
– Complexity in dressing and combing hair
– Extreme difficulty in sitting or bending forward
– High levels of Fatigue and prolonged strain
– Joints will be warm when touched
– Morning rigidness
– Severe pain while walking
– Continued stiffness even after resting
– Swelling of the joints

Your doctor will take the final call of OA in you after doing a physical examination of your joints by taking an X-ray or an MRI scan. You will be asked to be in a very strict diet so as to keep things under control. Because of its chronic nature, you may have to be very patient and follow your diet regime so as to keep the pain at ease and not let it overtake you.

There are a lot of ayurvedic and home remedies for treating OA. The most important and common herb remedies are listed herewith.

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatments

Ayurveda has proved anti-inflammatory conditions for OA without any side effects. A herbal Ayurvedic therapy was recently proved to be treating knee osteoarthritis as a commonly prescribed medication (Celebrex) and glucosamine with very minimal side effects.

The herbs Turmeric, Boswellia, Ashwagandha, Triphala, Ginger, Guggulu, and Shatavari have all proved to decrease inflammation by colliding with the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body.


The most common spice found in all the homes for cooking is a traditional Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of ailments, maximum of which are related to inflammation. The key ingredient Turmeric – Curcumin – has proven to impede key inflammation-producing enzymes (lipo-oxygenase, cyclooxygenase, and phospholipase A2), thus depleting the inflammatory cascade at three different stages.


Also called Indian Frankincense, alleviates inflammation and joint pain. This herb blocks an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase that plays a very important role in the formation of chemical – that stimulates and perpetuates inflammation – called Leukotrienes. The herb when consumed with Ashwagandha, zinc, and turmeric reported less pain and enhanced mobility and strength.


Ashwagandha – Withania Somnifera – possesses extreme anti-inflammatory effects. The extract of Ashwagandha suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory molecules (TNF-alpha and two interleukin subtypes).


The Ayurvedic herb Triphala has been in use for more than thousands of years for treating osteoarthritis in India. Triphala is a formula of three mixed herbs that are Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki.


The popular anti-inflammatory effects of Ginger (Zinziber Officinale) produces inflammatory chemicals in the body by interfering with an enzyme (Cyclooxygenase). Ginger has a moderately beneficial effect on knee osteoarthritis.


The herb Guggulu – Commiphora Guggul – has shown to be a forceful inhibitor of the enzyme NFKB, which is responsible to regulate the body’s inflammatory response. There are proofs that showed lessened inflammation and joint swelling after management of extracts of Guggulu resin.


Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus) is a vital Ayurvedic herb that has a soothing, lubricating, and a cooling effect on the body.

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