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How do I Use Ayurveda for Arthritis?

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  • Written By: Donn Saylor
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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To use ayurveda for arthritis, you must determine the type of arthritis you have according to ayurvedic medicine and then adhere to the herbal, dietary, and exercise plans outlined for the type you possess. According to ayurvedic therapy, arthritis is caused by a buildup of ama, or toxins, and a lack of agni, or metabolic "fire." There are three forms of arthritis in this school of herbal medicine: vata, characterized by cracking joints; pitta, distinguished by inflammation of tissues; and kapha, in which joints are rigid and swollen but cold to the touch.

The first step in utilizing ayurveda for arthritis is concluding which of the three types of arthritis you have. Ayurvedic medicine is based on the principles of dosha, or your body-mind type, which can be determined by taking any number of tests, many of which are available online. Once you know your dosha and the kind of arthritis you have, you can set out to heal your arthritis with ayurveda.

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If you have vata arthritis, your joints pop frequently and are typically dry and not swollen. Using ayurveda for arthritis of this type entails a plan of herbal medicine, diet, and exercise. Herbs like yogaraj guggulu and haritaki are highly recommended by ayurvedic experts; rubbing mahanarayan oil on the arthritic area and consuming castor oil or triphala will also help treat your vata type arthritis. A three- to five-day detox diet is strongly encouraged, wherein you should consume plenty of fresh juices, vegetables, and heavy spices. Certain yoga postures like chest-knee pose and half-bridge pose are also very beneficial.

To utilize ayurveda for arthritis of the pitta type, a longer detoxification diet will be necessary, typically five- to seven-days. Herbs such as kaishore guggulu, musta, nirgundi, and sudarsban are ideal for relieving pain and inflammation. Ice packs are another popular method for treating arthritis of this form. You may also consider yoga poses like the bow, the camel, the locust, and the moon salutation.

Using ayurveda for arthritis of the kapha variety necessitates a one- to two-week detox diet. Guggulu in its purest form is the most beneficial herb you can use, while a paste made of vacha — calamus root — powder applied directly to the swollen area will greatly ease discomfort. As with pitta, musta and nirgundi can be used as pain relievers. The tree, forward bend, and spinal twist are powerful yoga poses that can help you employ ayurveda for joint problems of this type.

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