Osteoarthritis is considered to be a chronic condition that takes place in the joints. Here, the cartilage that cushions the bone ends loses gradually its elasticity to wear away. The bones without the presence of protective cartilage start to rub against one another. Thus, it causes loss of movement, inflammation and stiffness.
Conventional medicines are found to come with potential side effects and shows only moderate effectiveness to treat osteoarthritis. Ayurveda does have cure to help treat osteoarthritis along with other disorders through yoga, meditation and herbal treatments.
Ayurvedic herbal treatments
Osteoarthritis can be treated through several herbal remedies. Some plants are documented for their anti-inflammatory properties and do not come with any side effects that are generally noticed in the conventional medicines. Ayurveda does offer effective and safe treatment alternatives to cure osteoarthritis. Few herbal remedies are given below:
- Boswellia: Boswellia Serrata is also known as the Indian frankincense. It helps to alleviate inflammation and joint pain. It successfully blocks 5-lipoxygenase (enzyme), which is said to play a significant role in chemical formation known as leukotrienes that perpetuates and stimulates inflammation. People suffering from this disease on taking boswella, zinc, turmeric and ashwagandha have enjoyed increased strength, mobility and less joint pain.
- Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): It comes with interesting anti-inflammatory effects. The herbal extracts helps to suppress pro-inflammatory molecule production (two interleukin and TNF-alpha subtypes). Ashawagandha’s anti-inflammatory effect can be compared to that of taking steroid hydrocortisone.
- Turmeric: This spice is used commonly in cooking in East and South Asia. It is also topically and orally used. Ayurvedic medicine prescribes treatment of different types of ailments, of which most are associated with inflammation. Curcumin and turmeric are known to have active ingredients that inhibit key inflammation producing enzymes like phospholipase, cyclo-oxygense and lipo-oxygenase, thereby disrupting at 3 different stages the inflammatory cascade. It is also found to protect stomach from NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories).
- Triphala: It is being used for over thousands of years to treat osteoarthritis. This formulary comprises of three main herbs namely, bibhitaki, haritaki and amalaki. Triphala herbs come with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Ginger (Zinziber officinale): It is well known for its anti-inflammatory effects and interferes with cyclooxygenase (an enzyme) which produces inflammatory chemicals within the body. It also has moderate beneficial effect upon osteoarthritis on the knee region.
- Guggulu (Commiphora guggul): It is a potent inhibitor of enzyme NFKB and regulates inflammatory response of the body. Several studies have been conducted which shows reduced joint swelling and inflammation after administering guggulu resin extracts.
- Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): It is a popular ayurvedic herb regarded to offer the body with the much needed lubricating, cooling and soothing effect. According to studies, it comes with inhibitory effects upon chemicals which in turn create inflammation on the body like IL-1B and TNF-alpha.
Therefore, going the Ayurveda way can help treat the disease without having to worry about the huge expenditure involved, undergoing the knife or staying in the hospital for several days.