Joints are the parts of our body where the bones meet. They are the structures that connect two or more bones in the body. They provide support and help us move freely. Joints are surrounded and protected by soft tissues. Any damage to the joints through any disease or injury can interfere with our movement and cause pain. Joint pain refers to discomfort, aches and soreness in any of the body’s joints.
Arthralgia or Sandhi shoola is a condition in which the person suffers pain in one or more of his joints and will have difficulty in walking and running. It is a typical situation where there is pain in the joints with or without inflammation.
According to Ayurveda, mostly joint & muscle pains are caused by the aggravation of vata (air) dosha. Ayurveda says that Arthralgia is caused by excess of Ama (toxins) and lack of Agni (digestive fire). In order to treat Arthralgia, the digestive fire has to be ignited and Ama has to be suppressed.
Here are few effective ancient remedies for Sandhi shoola or joint pain:
- Take few Adusoge leaves (vasaka or Malabar nut) and lakki leaves (five leaved chaste). Add them to a bowl of water and boil for few minutes. Take out the leaves from water and place them on a clean white cloth and tie it. Press the cloth on the part where there is pain and swelling. For best results, do this after applying ‘Eranda taila’/Gandharvahasta*
- The pain/swelling in between the joints is Sandi Shotha. Sometimes, due to severe pain, there can be fever too. In this condition, consume castor oil. It helps to pass stools/loose motions for 4-5times a day. This in turn can reduce pain as well as fever
- Take handful of castor seeds* and remove its outer part/layer. Grind it to paste adding little water. Boil about a bowl of water adding the grinded paste. Stir continuously till it forms a thick mixture. To this add 60 ml milk, 12grams rock candy and mix well. Cook this on a low flame stirring continuously for few minutes. When you get a nice aroma like that of boiled milk, switch off the flame. This is called as castor seeds payasam which is very beneficial in joint pain. Prepare this freshly every morning and before going to bed and consume regularly
- Grind castor leaves* and seeds (remove the outer layer of the seeds) together. Place the paste on a clean cloth and tie. Heat it and apply on joints. If the pain is a prolonged one, then do this for about 4-6weeks. While doing this, malapravrithi (defecation) may happen for more than 2-3times a day. When malapravrithi comes to normal, prepare castor seed kheer and have it as said above. You can increase the quantity of castor seeds and milk while preparing the kheer. Make sure you boil the milk properly. If not symptoms like vomiting, loose motions etc. can happen
- Prepare juice from amrita balli stems and take about 30ml of this and mix it with ½ teaspoon ginger juice and 2teaspoon honey. Mix well and consume this three times a day. This gives relief from Sandhi Shotha/joint swelling
Note: Before taking these medicines, do consult an Ayurveda Doctor.
This medicine can be taken for diseases like chirakari Pakshagata (prolonged hemiplegia) and Parshuvayu (stroke). For best results, the person should continuously take this for longer period of time to cure the disease.
While taking this medicine, avoid eating fried items, foods that increase vata, cold items, left over foods etc. Along with all these, one should also have a good sleep. If all these are taken care, then the medicine will work positively on the pain/diseases.
- Using a mortar pestle, pound tamarind leaves along with little turmeric. Sprinkle water little by little and make a paste. Warm this paste by keeping it under sun or on a stove top for few minutes. Apply this warm/hot paste on the joint swelling. When it cools, tie it with cotton. Do this morning and at night regularly. Every time, wash the swelling part with warm water and remove the applied paste. Wipe it off using a clean cotton cloth and then apply the paste freshly. This will help to reduce burning sensation and pain in the joints.
- Add 1tsp methi seeds in a cup of hot water overnight. Drink the next morning on an empty stomach. Do this for 3-4months continuously. Give a break for 10-15days and then repeat for another 3-4months.
External application or massages using medicinal herbs gives much relief from joint pain and swelling. This type of therapy or practice is called as Poultice. It focuses on relaxing, nourishing and strengthening the muscles around the joints which helps in proper functioning of the joints
Here are few effective poultice therapies for joint pain and swelling:
- Take equal proportion of goat milk, madagunike leaves juice, adusoge flour or wheat flour. Add everything to a heavy vessel and mix well. Bring it to boil until it thickens. Take it out from the stove and allow it to slightly get warm. Make medium sized round balls and place them on a clean cloth. Apply this on the swelling of joints.
- Instead of madagunike leaves, its unripe fruits can also be used. Grind these and make a ball of it. Apply like a poultice on the swellings of the joints
- If both the above said ways cannot be followed then, get few madagunike/datura/thorn apple leaves and apply little ghee on it. Warm slightly and keep on the joints and tie.
For joint swellings, if you are unable to prepare any of the above said methods, you can apply an Ayurveda oil called “Kanaka Taila” made from madagunike/datura. This is available at all Ayurveda stores. Use the oil on joint swelling and get relief from pain.
Recommended Diet and Lifestyle:
- Avoid eating too dry, cold, packaged and preservative foods. Always consume fresh and warm homemade food
- Ghee and oil in moderation are necessary to the body as it keep the joints properly lubricated. Ghee/oil lubricates the dried up joints. Pure cow ghee and cold pressed oils are recommended
- Avoid sleeping during day time and staying awake till late in the night
- Watch your body weight and keep it optimum. Drink lots of water and keep your body well hydrated
- Do not stop the natural urge to urinate and to pass stool. These increase vata in the body which in turn causes pain/swelling in bones
- Moderate exercise liking walking is beneficial to keep the affected joints movable. Walking also prevents further damage to the joints and muscles. But however, too much strain can damage the joints. Hence make sure you move around slowly least for 30 minutes daily
- Eranda taila: Castor oil in Ayurveda is known as Eranda taila or Gandharvahasta. This is one of the most used oil since ages for healing conditions like asthma, tumor, constipation, piles, arthritis, wrinkles, ovarian cysts etc. Castor oil can also enhance sperm quality, memory power, skin health, digestive ability, immunity and it also helps in cleansing vagina and abdomen
- Poultice: It is a treatment where a piece of clean cloth is covered with warm herbs, clay or flour which is tied around the body part or joints to get relief from injury, soreness, swelling and inflammation. This method of treatment improves the blood circulation, releases trapped nerves and also helps in the easy movement of joints. Poultice treatment is effective for conditions such as osteoarthritis, back pain, neck pain, obesity, paralysis, insomnia etc.
- Castor seeds: Castor seeds are highly beneficial in treating joint pains, unhealthy skin, arthritis etc. It is widely used in Ayurveda for both internal and external treatments. Castor seeds are purified by swedana-fomentation* process. The seeds are fomented in coconut water for three hours and then washed and dried for preparing medicine
(Castor seed’s outer skin/layer is highly poisonous and hence should be avoided taking internally. It is advised to avoid self-medication with castor seeds and do consult a professional Ayurveda practitioner before taking any medicines with castor)
- Castor leaves: castor plant is one of the most important herbs in Ayurveda treatment to cure many ailments. Both fresh and dried castor leaves are used as medicine in Ayurveda. These leaves are used to treat jaundice, arthritis etc. Castor leaves are also applied externally in the form of poultice to cure boils and sores.
The information & Remedies provided on the website is for informational purpose only and has to be approved by your doctor before proceeding for self-medication. Any remedies and its benefits and uses given are believed to be accurate, however, should not be relied on in any way in making a decision whether to treat any common ailments you or your family members may suffer without consulting a certified Ayurvedic practitioner or Doctor.
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