Arthritis is a very painful condition that usually becomes worse in winter. According to the western concept, there are three kinds of arthritis: osteoarthritis – also called old age or degenerative arthritis; rheumatoid arthritis – an inflammatory form of arthritis; and gout – which involves the big toe of the foot, and is due to uric acid imbalance.
According to Ayurved, joint pains are the result of accumulation of toxins in the joints. These toxins are made when we eat foods that are incompatible with each other, and a rich diet that includes lots of dairy, fried and refined foods, non-veg, and alcohol.
When these foods are eaten on a regular basis, they overwhelm the digestive system. As a result, the toxins rot in the colon, spread all over the body through the blood, and ultimately accumulate in the joints.
In this philosophy, there are three kinds of arthritis, Vata arthritis (dry cracking joints with limited mobility); Pitt arthritis (swollen and painful joints with a burning sensation); and Kaph arthritis (due to overeating and combinations of incompatible foods).
To treat arthritis, the first step is to detoxify the colon. In this phase, avoid heavy cereals and stick to a diet of fruits and vegetable juices, tulsi tea/ herbal tea.
Take triphala daily to detoxify the system (triphala is not just a laxative, it is also a colon tonic). Haritaki is recommended for those who suffer from vat arthritis; amlaki for pitt arthritis, and bibitaki for kaph arthritis.
Avoid irregular meals, cold foods like white rice, curd, cucumber, radish, ice creams, and sherbets. Instead, eat cooked oats, whole-wheat porridge, soups and spices with hot. Avoid pulses there not easily digestible.
Avoid all fermented foods, curd, alcohol and wine, aged cheese and animal proteins. Cut down on the quantities of food you eat, and avoid fried and refined foods. Colonic detoxification helps this group the fastest. This group is also prone to food and other allergies. Bitter herbs like bitter gourd benefit this group immensely.
This occurs due to obesity, which stresses the joints, this group should not only lose weight, but also reduce the quantities of food they eat, as well as cut down on rich foods.
Research has shown that herbs such as ginger, turmeric greatly reduce the pain associated with arthritis.