Janu Shool

Osteoarthritis, a condition affecting millions worldwide, has garnered attention not only in modern medicine but also in traditional systems like Ayurveda. In this article, we delve into the depths of osteoarthritis through the lens of Ayurvedic perception, exploring its definitions, causes, diagnostic methods, and holistic treatment approaches.


I. Introduction


A. Brief Overview of Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis, commonly known as wear-and-tear arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that affects the cartilage and underlying bone. It often leads to pain, stiffness, and reduced joint mobility.

B. Importance of Ayurvedic Perspective

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, offers a unique perspective on osteoarthritis, considering it in the context of dosha imbalances, digestive issues, and overall lifestyle.


II. Understanding Osteoarthritis in Ayurveda


A. Ayurvedic Definition of Osteoarthritis

In Ayurveda, Osteoarthritis is referred to as “Sandhivata,” where “Sandhi” means joints and “Vata” represents the air and space elements in the body. Sandhivata is characterized by the vitiation of Vata dosha, leading to the degeneration of joint tissues. According to Ayurvedic principles, this degeneration occurs due to an imbalance in the three doshas, especially an aggravated Vata, causing dryness, roughness, and reduced lubrication in the joints. The resulting friction leads to pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the affected joints.


B. Causes of Osteoarthritis 

According to Ayurveda, the causes of Osteoarthritis, known as “Sandhivata,” are rooted in the imbalance of the three doshas, primarily Vata. The specific factors contributing to Osteoarthritis include:

  1. Imbalance in Vata DoshaThe primary cause is an aggravation of Vata, which governs the movement and lubrication of joints. When Vata is imbalanced, it can lead to dryness, stiffness, and degeneration in the joints.
  2. Ama (Toxins) AccumulationThe presence of ama, or toxins, in the body can contribute to joint inflammation and compromise the nourishment of joint tissues.
  3. Poor Digestion and MetabolismWeak digestion and improper metabolism can lead to the accumulation of undigested food particles (ama) in the joints, aggravating Osteoarthritis.
  4. Inadequate Lubrication of JointsInsufficient lubrication of joints due to Vata imbalance results in increased friction, leading to wear and tear of the joint tissues.
  5. Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of regular physical activity and sedentary habits can contribute to joint stiffness and reduced circulation, exacerbating Osteoarthritis.
  6. Improper DietConsuming foods that aggravate Vata, such as dry and cold foods, can contribute to the imbalance and progression of Osteoarthritis.
  7. Age-Related FactorsThe natural aging process can lead to a gradual degeneration of joint tissues, making individuals more susceptible to Osteoarthritis.
  8. Hereditary FactorsGenetic predisposition may play a role in the development of Osteoarthritis, making some individuals more prone to the condition.
  9. Previous Joint InjuriesInjuries or trauma to joints, if not adequately healed, can contribute to the development of Osteoarthritis in affected areas.
  10. Excessive Physical or Mental StressChronic stress, whether physical or mental, can contribute to the aggravation of Vata dosha, impacting joint health.

IV. Ayurvedic Diagnosis of Osteoarthritis


A. Nadi Pariksha (Pulse Diagnosis)

Ayurvedic practitioners use pulse diagnosis to assess dosha imbalances and identify the root cause of osteoarthritis.


B. Asthivaha Srotas Involvement

Ayurveda recognizes the involvement of asthivaha srotas (bone tissue channels) in osteoarthritis, guiding treatment strategies.


C. Modern Diagnositic tools

X-ray and MRI helps in find exact condition happening in joints and also helps to determine further treatments.

V. Ayurvedic Treatment Approaches

A. Dietary Recommendations

Ayurvedic dietary recommendations for managing osteoarthritis aim to balance the doshas, especially Vata, and promote joint health. Here are key guidelines:

  • Warm and Nourishing FoodsFavor warm, cooked, and easily digestible foods to pacify Vata and provide nourishment to the joints.
  • Ghee (Clarified Butter)Incorporate moderate amounts of ghee in the diet, as it is believed to lubricate the joints and reduce dryness.
  • Spices for DigestionUse digestive spices such as ginger, turmeric, cumin, and coriander to enhance digestion and reduce inflammation.
  • Herbal TeasInclude herbal teas like ginger tea or turmeric tea to promote anti-inflammatory effects and soothe joint discomfort.
  • Whole GrainsOpt for whole grains like quinoa, oats, and brown rice, providing sustained energy and supporting digestive health.
  • Cooked Vegetables: Choose well-cooked, easily digestible vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, and spinach to balance Vata.
  • Healthy FatsInclude healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, and seeds to support joint lubrication.
  • Protein-Rich FoodsConsume adequate protein from lean sources like lentils, beans, and small portions of well-cooked meat to promote tissue repair.
  • Avoid Cold and Raw FoodsMinimize the intake of cold and raw foods, as they can aggravate Vata and contribute to joint stiffness.
  • HydrationStay well-hydrated with warm water or herbal teas to support digestion and flush out toxins.
  • Moderate DairyInclude moderate amounts of warm dairy products like milk and ghee to nourish the joints without causing excess mucus.
  • Limit Stimulants and CaffeineReduce or avoid stimulants and excessive caffeine, as they can potentially aggravate Vata.

B. Herbal Remedies

Ayurvedic herbal remedies for osteoarthritis, or “Sandhivata,” focus on reducing inflammation, alleviating pain, and promoting joint health. Here are some commonly recommended herbs:


  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa): Known for its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric is often recommended to reduce joint pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale): Ginger possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate pain and improve joint function. It may be consumed in various forms, such as tea or as a spice in meals.
  • Boswellia (Boswellia serrata): Boswellia is valued for its anti-inflammatory effects, particularly in reducing joint swelling and improving mobility. It is available in supplement form.
  • Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera): Ashwagandha has adaptogenic properties and is believed to support joint health by reducing inflammation and promoting overall well-being.
  • Guggul (Commiphora mukul): Guggul is known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it beneficial in managing osteoarthritis symptoms. It may be consumed as a supplement.
  • TriphalaTriphala, a combination of three fruits, is used to detoxify the body and reduce ama (toxins) accumulation, which is essential in managing osteoarthritis.

C. Panchakarma Therapies

Ayurvedic therapies for osteoarthritis, or “Sandhivata,” aim to alleviate symptoms, reduce inflammation, and promote joint health. Here are some commonly used Ayurvedic therapies:

  • Abhyanga (Ayurvedic Massage): Abhyanga involves a full-body massage with warm herbal oils, promoting relaxation, improving blood circulation, and easing joint stiffness.
  • Swedana (Herbal Steam Therapy): Swedana includes therapeutic steam baths with herbal infusions. This helps to reduce stiffness, enhance joint mobility, and alleviate pain.
  • Udvartana (Herbal Powder Massage): Udvartana is a massage using herbal powders to exfoliate the skin, stimulate circulation, and enhance joint flexibility.
  • Pizhichil (Oil Bath): Pizhichil involves the pouring of warm medicated oil over the body, providing nourishment to joints, improving flexibility, and reducing pain.
  • Basti (Enema Therapy): Basti involves the administration of medicated herbal enemas to detoxify the body and address Vata imbalance, which contributes to osteoarthritis symptoms.
  • Janu Basti (Knee Basti): In Janu Basti, a well of dough is created around the knee joint and filled with warm herbal oil. This localized treatment is effective for knee osteoarthritis.
  • Patra Pinda Sweda (Bolus Bag Massage): This therapy involves massaging the body with boluses containing herbal leaves, providing warmth, reducing stiffness, and promoting joint flexibility.

VI. Yoga and Exercise in Ayurvedic Management

A. Suitable Asanas for Osteoarthritis

For individuals dealing with osteoarthritis, incorporating suitable yoga asanas can play a crucial role in promoting joint flexibility and reducing stiffness. Here are some gentle yoga poses that are generally considered beneficial for those with osteoarthritis:

  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose): A foundational pose that improves posture, balance, and strengthens the legs without putting excessive strain on the joints.
  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose): Stretches and strengthens the legs, hips, and spine, promoting flexibility and relieving tension in the lower back.
  • Marjarasana (Cat-Cow Stretch): A gentle flow between arching and rounding the back, promoting flexibility in the spine and easing stiffness.
  • Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose): Strengthens the muscles around the hips and lower back, enhancing flexibility and supporting joint health.
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend): Stretches the spine and hamstrings, providing relief to the lower back and promoting flexibility in the hips.
  • Vrikshasana (Tree Pose): Focuses on balance and stability, helping to strengthen the legs and improve concentration without straining the joints.
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose): Strengthens the back muscles and promotes flexibility in the spine, beneficial for those with osteoarthritis in the lumbar region.
  • Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose): Builds strength in the legs, opens the hips, and stretches the arms, offering a full-body workout with minimal impact on the joints.
  • Dandasana (Staff Pose): A seated pose that helps improve posture and flexibility in the spine without putting excessive stress on the knees.
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose): A seated twist that promotes spinal flexibility and can be adapted to accommodate the individual’s comfort level.

B. Importance of Regular Exercise
Regular exercise is paramount for individuals with osteoarthritis, offering multifaceted benefits. It enhances joint functionality, strengthens supporting muscles, aids in weight management, and promotes the health of joint cartilage. Exercise helps alleviate pain, reduce stiffness, and improve overall joint function. Beyond the physical aspects, it positively influences mental health by reducing stress and enhancing mood. The production of synovial fluid during movement contributes to joint lubrication, preventing stiffness and maintaining flexibility. Tailored exercise plans, developed in consultation with healthcare professionals, ensure individual needs are met. Ultimately, regular exercise is a cornerstone in the holistic management of osteoarthritis, fostering overall well-being and a better quality of life.

VII. Lifestyle Modifications

A. Ayurvedic Daily Routine (Dinacharya)
Embracing Ayurvedic daily routines, known as Dinacharya, is integral for sustaining overall well-being. This includes practices like tongue scraping, oil pulling, and self-massage with herbal oils. These routines align with the body’s natural rhythms, promoting balance among the doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Such harmonization is crucial in the context of osteoarthritis, as it contributes to a holistic approach to health by addressing root imbalances.

B. Stress Management Techniques

Stress management holds paramount importance in Ayurveda, recognizing its potential to exacerbate dosha imbalances and contribute to the progression of osteoarthritis. Incorporating stress-relief techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises (Pranayama), and mindfulness practices can effectively mitigate the impact of stress on the body. By cultivating mental resilience, individuals can positively influence their doshas, fostering a more conducive environment for joint health.

C. Sleep Hygiene
Prioritizing sleep hygiene is emphasized in Ayurveda as a fundamental pillar of health. Quality and sufficient sleep facilitate the body’s natural healing processes, crucial for supporting joint health and mitigating the impact of osteoarthritis. Establishing a consistent sleep routine, creating a conducive sleep environment, and practicing relaxation techniques before bedtime contribute to improved sleep quality, aiding in overall well-being.


Ayurvedic treatment can be beneficial in various stages, but individual responses may vary. Consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner is advisable.

Ayurveda suggests avoiding processed foods, excess caffeine, and refined sugars. A personalized diet plan is best discussed with an Ayurvedic expert.

Results vary, and factors like adherence to recommendations, severity of the condition, and individual response play a role. Patience is key.

Ayurveda is holistic, encompassing herbal remedies, dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and stress management for overall well-being.

Uniqueness of our therapies  

At Arogya Mandir – Shri Siddhanath Ayurvedic Hospital, Miraj, we delve deeply into the ayurvedic examination of each patient. Utilizing noninvasive Ayurvedic diagnostic tools such as Ashtavidha Parikshan and Nadi Parikshan, we precisely determine the pathogenesis of the disease and then prescribe therapies tailored to the specific condition. This approach leads to expedited results.

Our therapies boast the following distinctive features:
– Tranquil and hygienic therapy rooms staffed with trained therapists in a positive environment.
– Selection of appropriate massage oil based on the patient’s Prakruti and the condition of the disease.
– Complimentary Prakruti and Dhatu Sarata examinations before the commencement of therapies.
– Authenticated procedures for each therapy.
– Judicious use of herbal medicines and instruments during the therapy sessions.
– Specialized rooms equipped with all facilities for inpatient care.

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