Winter is usually a difficult season for majority of our elderly folks. This is the season of the year when their Arthritis pain will be at its peak. Arthritis refers to joint pain or joint disease, due to inflammation of joints, affecting one or multiple joints.
Symptoms of arthritis are often seen in adults over 60 years of age. The cold weather further adds to excessive pain, stiffness and swelling in joints. Although there is no permanent cure to this condition, Ayurveda recommends some herbs that can help relieve joint pain. These herbs stem inflammation and help the body in its detoxifying efforts.
According to Ayurvedic experts, hot water fomentation is an excellent therapy to relieve Arthritis pain, as it soothes your joints and helps in better functioning. But, this may help only in mild cases. Although, the kind of medicines or herbs to be used may vary from one individual to another, depending on their severity and other health conditions, given below are some common herbs used by the majority for management of arthritis pain.
This is among the most common herbs used for relief from joint pain. The plant also helps in reducing inflammation and excess pain, as it has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-convulsing properties. The leaves of the plant carry medicinal value, followed by the stem and seeds. Nirgundi oil can be applied on joints. Or, make a paste of the leaves and apply, or make a decoction with the leaves. But, Nirgundi oil is the most effective form for arthritic pain. Apply the oil on affected area and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes before washing in lukewarm water. It is more beneficial to apply nirgundi oil before bath to reduce inflammation and pain.
Burdock Root (Arctium lappa)
Burdock contains fatty oils, apart from the presence of sterols and tannins, which makes it a good anti-inflammatory. You can add burdock in your stir-fry recipes, or make decoction (by adding the root to boiling water and allowing it to simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and drink this lukewarm water thrice or four times a day). The herb is also available in capsule form.
There is no herb, which is as effective as an anti-inflammatory herb, as turmeric. It is also a great pain reliever. It contains curcumin, which decreases inflammation. This anti-inflammatory effect is also the reason behind turmeric being often recommended for treatment of cancer, cataract and Alzheimer’s. However, to get the full medicinal benefits of turmeric, you will have to take it as a supplement, apart from adding to your daily diet. The herb can also be used topically to relieve pain.
Ginger, which is usually found in every household, has excellent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps reduce joint pain and swelling. It improves blood circulation too. So it would do good to sip on ginger tea regularly. Also, its essential oil can be applied externally for relief from pain and inflammation.
Ajwain (carom seeds) is a natural aid to arthritis pain, as it has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. The presence of anaesthetic properties in ajwain helps in relieving excessive pain during winter. Add a spoonful of carom seeds into a tub of hot water. Soak your aching joints in the water and sit for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help ease pain and inflammation. This will help in cases of mild pain. Another option is to crush the seeds, make a paste and apply on the affected areas. You can do this, along with drinking ajwain water every day.
Dashmool is a mix of ten medicinal herbs that helps cure variety of ailments. Dashmool (also known as dashamoolam) is an effective anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, and sedative, and helps cure joint pain effectively. It is available in the form of oil and powder.
The herb keeps your joints strong and relieves pain and inflammation. It improves mobility too. It is used by Ayurvedic physicians as a substitute to pain killers. It is available in the form of essential oil and in the form of powder.
Eucalyptus oil is a popular herbal remedy for arthritis. The tannin, present in the leaves of the plant, helps reduce inflammation and pain associated with arthritis. Moreover, the aroma of eucalyptus oil has a calming effect on the brain, while the oil helps relieve the pain and swelling in the joints.
Due to the presence of Omega-3 in abundance in flax, it helps build immunity and fights inflammation. Include two tablespoons of flaxseeds into your daily diet. However, people with digestive conditions like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), should avoid it, as it may aggravate their condition.
Note: Although these herbs help in relieving pain associated with arthritis, it is important to consult your doctor before taking any ayurvedic medicines.