Saturday, 4 January 2014

Home remedies to fight arthritis

This is poised to become the biggest epidemic of the country and more than fifteen per cent of Indians suffer from it in one form or another.
This year, it had emerged as the most common ailment and both the young and significant numbers of  both the old and the young suffer from it.
While it is Osteoarthritis in people aged 65 years and above, the younger lot are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
There are more than 160 million recorded cases of arthritis in India.
Recent surveys have indicated that 70 per cent of people above the 65 years of age are suffering from arthritis in India.
Some of the most common causes for arthritis in India is obesity, bone fractures or faults around the knees, trauma to knee and  meniscus tears or ligament damage.
Initially, arthritis leads to stiffness of knees and swelling of joint. If knee replacement surgery is one of allopathy’s cure to arthritis, Ayurveda too has an answer.
Ayurvedic treatment is a rather long treatment but there are absolutely no side effects. Generally, Ayurveda prescribes a combination of Panchakarma treatment, change in diet and lifestyle and oral medication to combat arthritis.
But what very few people know is that our kitchen too could be harvested productively in our fight against arthrites. Regular consumption of  some kitchen ingredients such as methi (fenugreek), jeera (cumin) and dhaniya (coriander) can help in the fight against arthritis.
If  Methi helps in controlling degenerative disorders. Jeera improves digestion and thereby controls obesity. Dhaniya is an age-old antacid and it is highly effective in fighting gas trouble.
Ayurveda practitioners have found that a combination of methi, jeera and dhaniya is one of the best home food to fight arthritis. What is more, they can also be consumed in raw or green form.
 Cinnamon (Dalchini) ground into paste and applied on the swollen are found to be the ideal home remedy.
Consume these kitchen ingredients and opt for regular oil massages to lessen the pain and also simultaneously reduce wear and tear of joints. Food rich in Vitamin E, calcium and oil can help prevent arthritis.
Fruits, green leafy vegetables and milk products apart from fish is generally recommended to fight arthritis. Drinking lots of water also helps.
Vegetable juices and soups are supposed to be excellent sources of strength. Juices of carrot, beat root and cucumber mixed together has been found to be beneficial. Fruits like apples, oranges, grapes and papaya have been found to contain elements that help fight arthritis.
Cooked vegetables like squash, zucchini and pumpkin and cooking with spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, asafetida, garlic, fennel and turmeric has been found to be ideal.
Ayurveda practitioners also recommend medicines and home products like ginger or shunti, bela, Kusta which is herb found in the Himalayas, shalyaki, guggulu, sahachar, rasna, nirgundi and even dattura for the battle against arthritis.
Since Vitamin D and B12 are as important as calcium to fight arthritis, exposure to sunlight every day is recommended. Direct sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D, which maintains calcium levels in your body, and B12. Milk and milk products (fat-free) and green leafy vegetables help to strengthen bones and joints.
Ayurveda says pains in the body are caused by the aggravation of vata (air) dosha. It says Arthritis is a condition which is caused by accumulation of ama, a toxic byproduct due to improper digestion,  and aggravation of vata. The ama deposits at certain sites in the body. When ama deposits in the joints and there is simultaneous aggravation of vata, it results in amavata.
To effectively combat amavata, Ayuuveda stresses diet. It says once a proper diet is followed, no further ama is produced. Another method to cure ama is by fasting.
Ayurveda recommends avoiding eating hot, spicy and fried foods, sweets and beverages such as tea, coffee, alcohol, yogurt, chocolate and cocoa.
Copenhagen University, Denmark, in a research project, found that  73 of the 230 patients with joint pains given a mixture of one tablespoon honey and half a teaspoon cinnamon powder before breakfast were relieved of pain and within a month most of the patients who could not walk or who had limited mobility, walked without pain.
Thus we see that a change in the dietary and food habits will lead to better management against arthritis. We can make use of local Indian herbs, medicines, spices and fruits and vegetables to lead a more balanced and healthy life.

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