Diseases and Their Treatments

OsteoArthritis

Osteoarthritis (OA) or Sandigatavata as known in Ayurveda is a degenerative joint disorder. It is caused by aging joints, injury, and obesity. Symptoms of Osteoarthritis include joint pain and stiffness.
Ayurveda Treatment for arthritis aims to control pain, minimize joint damage and improve or maintain quality of life. Arthritis is treated with a combination of medications, patient education and support. The treatment is a combination of oral medication, Panchakarma treatment, physical therapies, diet and lifestyle changes.
Ayurvedic therapies for joint pains may include Panchkarma treatment procedures mainly:

  • Basti karma(therapeutic enema)and
  • Virechana karma(therapeutic purgation) and
  • External therapies for joint pains may comprise of treatments like Abhyanga, Patra Pinda Sweda, Shastika Shali Pinda sweda, Dhara, Lepa, Janu basti and Pichu.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. While inflammation of the tissue around the joints and inflammatory arthritis are characteristic features of rheumatoid arthritis, the disease can also cause inflammation and injury to other organs in the body. It is triggered by a faulty immune system (the body’s defence system) and affects the wrist and small joints of the hand, including the knuckles and the middle joints of the fingers. According to Ayurveda, Amavata or Rheumatoid arthritis occurs when an individual indulges in factors that aggravate Vata dosha and Ama (Toxins) in the body.
Treatment for Amavata (Rheumatoid Arthritis) may include:

  • Internal Medicines(kashayams, arishtams, gulikas, lehyam, and choornam)
  • Specialized Oil Therapies (Oleation) or Dry Fomentation using sand or medicated powders etc.
  • Upanaha(Poultice)
  • Purifactory therapies(Panchakarma chikitsa): Basti(Medicated enema),
    Virechana (Therapeutic purgation)
  • External application of analgesic herbal pastes(lepa)
  • Kashayadhara(Continuous pouring of medicated decoction over the affected part )
  • Dietary and Lifestyle modification.

Obesity

Obesity or sthoulya as it is known in Ayurveda is a medical condition involving abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight. This excess weight may have a deleterious effect on health leading to increased health problems and/or reduced life expectancy. A stressful life coupled with improper dietary habits and life style is the root cause for metabolic disorders like obesity. It may also be due to genetic factors, abnormalities in endocrine functions, psychological factors and certain medications.
Various treatments are prescribed in Ayurveda for the management of obesity including:

  • Internal medication
  • Detoxifying procedures like Udvartana (Massage therapy using herbal powders or pastes),
  • Swedana for the whole body (Steam bath),
  • Vamana (therapeutic emesis),
  • Virechana (therapeutic purgation),
  • Basti (enema therapy of lekhana variety)
  • Appropriate dietary reccommendations
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Regular Yoga

Psoariasis

Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune skin disease. It occurs as reddish patches on the skin associated with itching, can present on any part of the body but typically occurs on the knees, elbows, and scalp, and it can also affect the torso, palms, and soles of the feet. Gradually, the lesions are covered by crusty, silvery scales. Psoriasis gets better and worse spontaneously and can have periodic remissions (clear skin). Psoriasis may also be associated with psoriatic arthritis which leads to pain and swelling in the joints.
Special treatment procedures like:

  • Lepana (application of ointments),
  • Abhyanga (oil massage),
  • Snehapana (taking medicated ghee),
  • Pizhichil (full body massage),
  • Swedana (medicated steam bath),
  • Shirodhara (pouring oil on head),
  • Virechana (purgation) and
  • Vamana (emesis)

These treatments are administered based on the requirement of the patient. The duration of treatment may range from 7-21 days depending on the severity of the illness.
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Allergies

Allergies, also known as allergic diseases, are a number of conditions caused by hypersensitivity of the immune system to something in the environment that usually causes little or no problem in most people.
Allergies represent the immune response to certain allergens such as pollens, dust, smoke, animal dander, moulds etc. As the body tries to eradicate these perceived threats, various symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing, headaches, irritation in the throat, cough, watery eyes may be experienced.
Ayurveda believes that a good Agni(Digestive fire) is responsible for the normal metabolism of the body. Poor digestive fire will lead to poor digestion and eventually affect the immune system. Ayurveda therefore aims at boosting up the immune system through various treatment methods like:-



  • Abhyanga(Oleation)
  • Swedana(Fomentation)
  • Vamana(therapeutic emesis),
  • Virechana(therapeutic purgation),
  • Nasya(Instilling medicated nasal drops in the nostrils)
  • Dhumapana(medicated fumigation)
  • Dietary and Lifestyle changes
  • Yoga- Neti, Pranayama
  • Oral medications

Lumbar Spondylosis

Spondylosis refers to degenerative changes in the spine such as bone spurs and degenerating intervertebral discs. Lumbar Spondylosis (spinal osteoarthritis) is an age-related degenerative disorder of the lumbar spine that may cause loss of normal spinal structure and function due to the degeneration of the inter-vertebral discs, which advances with advancing age. Spondylosis often affects the lumbar spine in people over the age of 40. The lumbar spine is affected the most as it is the weight bearing region of the whole body.
Lumbar spondylosis involves symptoms such as lower back pain, stiffness, numbness or weakness in the legs, buttocks or bowel and bladder movements. These symptoms according to Ayurveda are produced due to the predominantly present vata dosha in that region that gets vitiated producing dryness, loss of elasticity in the vertebral joints and degenerative changes (wear and tear) in the intervertebral disc space that may further reduce the disc space and may at times lead to intervertebral disc prolapse.

Ayurveda treatment for Lumbar Spondylosis may include:
Panchakarma and Rejuvenating therapies:-

  • Basti (therapeutic enema),
  • Abhyanga (therapeutic oil massage), Shastika Shaali Pinda Sweda( bolus prepared from rice boiled in a medicated decoction)
  • Dhanyamladhara(pouring of warm medicated decoction over the entire body), Sarvangadhara(pouring medicated oils or decoctions on the entire body)
  • Swedana(medicated steam bath),
  • Patra pottali swedana(bolus using combination of different leaves of medicinal herbs and oil)
  • Choorna pinda sweda(bolus using combination of dry powders of different medicinal herbs and oil)
  • Kati basti (oil treatment done locally in the lumbar region),
  • Internal medications
  • Yoga and Physical therapy
  • Appropriate diet and lifestyle changes  

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical Spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis, is a common, age-related condition that affects the joints and discs in your neck. It develops from wear and tear of the cartilage and bones found in your cervical spine, which is in your neck. While it’s largely due to age, it can be caused by other factors as well. According to Ayurveda the Vata, the principle of movement is the predominant function with the skeleto-muscular system and the nervous system.
The signs and symptoms of cervical spondylosis are: A stiff, painful neck, shoulder, arm or chest pain, Tingling and pin prick sensations in the arms, hands, legs or feet; Numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet; Lack of coordination, Difficulty walking.
Ayurveda treatment for Lumbar Spondylosis may include:
Panchakarma and Rejuvenating therapies:-

  • Basti (therapeutic enema),
  • Abhyanga (therapeutic oil massage), Shastika Shaali Pinda Sweda( bolus prepared from rice boiled in a medicated decoction)
  • Dhanyamladhara(pouring of warm medicated decoction over the entire body), Sarvangadhara(pouring medicated oils or decoctions on the entire body)
  • Swedana(medicated steam bath),
  • Patra pottali swedana(bolus using combination of different leaves of medicinal herbs and oil)
  • Choorna pinda sweda(bolus using combination of dry powders of different medicinal herbs and oil)
  • Grivai basti (oil treatment done locally in the lumbar region),
  • Internal medications
  • Yoga and Physical therapy
  • Appropriate diet and lifestyle changes.