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Rheumatoid Arthritis


Publication: Ayurveda - The Science of Traditional Medicine
Author: Vaidya Bhagwan Dash / Suhasini Ramaswamy

Rheumatoid arthritis begins by affecting the joints which become swollen and painful and spreads to other parts of the body.


This disease may cause deformity if not treated immediately.  In the initial stage, Mahayogaraja guggulu is useful.  In winter, a larger dose is taken than in summer.  A medicated oil, namely, Mahanarayana taila should be used for a gentle massage over the joints.  In the beginning, this disease affects the small joints in fingers.  Stiffness of the small muscle of the hands generally comes next and the fingers tend to get bent and ultimately become frozen.  The infection then spreads towards the trunk involving the wrist joints, ankle joints, elbow joints are affected then Brihadvata chintamani, another recipe of medicinal plants, is used.  The dosage depends on the intensity of pain and duration of disease.  Castor oil should be taken as a purgative every evening.  Apart from its purgative effect, castor oil has a therapeutic effect on the patient’s joints.

Diet and Regimen

Anything sour including curd, pulses and preparations of pulses, fried food and constipating foods are to be shunned.  Garlic and ginger are extremely useful.  Five cloves of raw garlic should be taken daily, along with the day’s food.  Bitter vegetables like bitter-gourd, drumstick, and neem flowers are advisable.  Rice should be avoided.

Because of the inflammation, the patient is advised to restrict movement.  But the joints should not remain immobilized, as this may result in permanent deformity.  Light and gentle exercise is always needed.  Exposure to cold winds or rain and cold water baths are to be avoided.  A gap of about three hours should elapse between supper and bedtime.