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By: Culbert Campbell
Arthritis, in the most simplistic terms, affects the joints and bones. Some specialists believe that living in a damp, cold climate increases the likeligood of becoming afflicted with this very painful and debilitating condition; others ascribe it to overuse, for example typists whose fingers become knotted, athletes with swollen knees and troublesome hips, ballerinas with painful feet. Occasionally it can be caused by a bad fall, a severe jolt or the trauma of an accident. One of the interesting aspects of arthritis is the higher proportion of women to men who suffer from it and it is reasonable to believe that this is as a result of the hormonal changes which take place during the menopause, causing not only a physical decline but leading also to emotional upheavals which in turn may lead to a state of unhappy introspection.

It was at one time believed that poisons in the system were created by bitterness, intolerance and the brooding desire for revenge and that as this type of unhealthy ange could not thrive in an atmosphere of love and forgiveness the antidote should be religious ritual in the form of confirmation, as many times as was necessary , to rid the body of its evil arthritis-forming toxins! I cannot help but feel that this was a bit hard on the poor old vicar who must surely have despaired at finding that his sermons upon ‘loving thy neighbour’ were persistently falling on deaf ears. Nevertheless it is true to say that emotional strees and anxiety do leave their physical mark upon the body and perhaps we should not scoff at those chauvinistic old psychologists of yesteryear.

Home Remedies for Arthritis

* Devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) This strange thorny plant from Africa gains its name from its vicious habit of impaling unwary travelers. It is believed to cure arthritis and it can be bought in both tablet and tea-bag form.It is wise before embarking upon any course of treatment to take careful note of the instructions or to consult a homoeopathic practitioner.

* Aspirin This still seems to be the only true, tried and tested anodyne for arthritis.

* Oil of evening primrose It is now believed that if women start taking evening primrose oil during and after the menopause they will never suffer from arthritis. It is also thought to be able to arrest an existing condition.

* Cider vinegar and honey One teaspoon of each in hot water taken first thing in the morning will reduce the chances of arthritis.

* Honey and lemon Some fruits should not be eaten by arthritis sufferers but lemon juice has a beneficial effect. Take daily the juice has a beneficial effect. Take daily the juice of 1 lemon in hot water sweetened with honey. One of the best home remedies for arthritis.

* Agrimony tea or willow bark tea An infusion of either taken daily and persevered with over a long period of time will bring relief. Agrimony and willow both contain a fair amount of salicylic acid which is the vital component of aspirin.

* Nettle and sage tea or catnip tea Both are excellent and pleasant-tasting teas which have a mildly sedative and regenerative effect, relieving tension and improving the state of mind.

* Swimming One of the bst ways of ensuring a lithe and healthy body is to swim daily. Taking a bathe daily or as often as is possible will relieve arthritis. Spa treatments, where one can swim and is fasted on natural spring water are considered by many to be far better than any other treatments and can be repeated regularly ir circumstances allow, without adverse side effects. Indoor heated swimming pools and a self-inflicted fast, drinking only a good quality bottled mineral water, may not be so luxurious but will bring the same benefits.

Oils, Liniments and Poultices

* Compresses Try a red flannel wrapped gently around a painful joint or alternate hot and cold compresses left on overnight as soon as the twinges start.

* Olive oil A gentle massage with warm olive oil as soon as the pain starts is cheap and effective.

* Garlic, juniper, lavender, cajuput, sage, rosemary, thyme, or sassafras Any one of these oils diluted in the proportions of one part to 10 parts of olive oil and used to massage the painful joint will bring immense relief.

Arthritis Diet

There are many conflicting theories which arise over how much the diet creates or affects arthritis. Nevertheless it would be safe to say that when the condition becomes more painful an examination of the diet may reveal certain adverse factors. Red meat and dairy produce are destructive whilst a vegetarian diet, or one including fish, with plenty of raw fruit and vegetables can do nothing but good. There are those who swear that stewed fruit creates havoc whilst others believe that chocolate or refined carbohydrate have an equally devastating effect. An extra supplement of calcium, zinc and vitamin C is often recommended and worth trying at an early stage.

* Cabbage juice This surprisingly pleasant drink is also frequently suggested to alleviate catarrh so that one cannot help but wonder if the two conditions are connected.

* Garlic Stringing garlic bulbs about the afficted limb was a strong device offered by the wise women. Several garlic cloves chewed daily are an excellent idea but if this is too ghastly to contemplate try garlic perles or capsules.

* Celery All parts eaten raw are considered to be effective. Celery contains a fair quantity of minerals and it is also a valuable diuretic.

* Potatoes There is an ancient recipe, one of many which come from the Fenland region of Britain where they undoubtedly suffered from a high percentage of damp-induced ailments, which suggests drinking the juice of raw potatoes seasoned mightily with crushed mustard seed! view eating raw potatoes with severe misgivings and would suggest instead that potatoes baked in their jackets and filled with cottage cheese, tinned tuna, parsley and dill will do you far more good.

* Nettles Nettle tea is an excellent idea and so is the following recipe.

Introduction and Definition

In simple words, Arthritis is nothing but a swelling or an inflammation of the joints. The condition may occur anywhere in the body. This is the major problem affecting mostly to elderly people. Pain and stiffness of this disease are troublesome condition for them. There are many types of arthritis like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gouty arthritis etc.

Ayurveda believes that the Dosha involved in the arthritis is Vata Dosha. One of the main seat for Vata Dosha is joints of the body. Vata Dosha targets the joints when they are in vitiated state and produces the disease called arthritis. In Ayurveda, this is known as Sandhivata. Sandhi refers to the joint and Vata is Vata Dosha, one of the body humors. Combination of this is known as Sandhivata.

The simple definition stands for arthritis is “It is an inflammation of the joint”. This has symptoms of pain, stiffness and swellings. This is caused by an infection, degenerative changes in the human body, trauma, metabolic disorders and lot many other causes. Ayurveda believes a Vata Dosha condition and describes this as the Vata Dosha condition in which, there is a difficulty in walking, running and climbing (stairs etc).

Types of Arthritis

There are many types of the arthritis. Some of the main types of arthritis are given below.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

When the Vata Dosha combines with the aama (indigestible material or bad toxins), it gets seated in different joints of the entire body and produces a disease called as ‘Aamvat’. Aamvat is nothing but rheumatoid arthritis. This falls under autoimmune disease as per the modern medical science’s classification. The RA factor (rheumatoid arthritis factor, the test performed to diagnose the disease) is positive in this case.

Osteoarthritis

This is the type of arthritis, which is generally develops in elderly. This is characterized by chronic degeneration of the cartilages of the joints and therefore also labeled as degenerative joint disease.

Ayurveda believes this to be ‘Asthigata Vata’. Asthi means the bones and Vata means the arthritis condition in which, Vata Dosha is involved. When the Vata Dosha gets disturbed and takes place deep into the bone, this situation arises.

Gout

The gout refers to the group of metabolic disorders. In these disorders, the crystals of the sodium urate (sodium salt of uric acid) get deposited in the tissues of the body. This results in the raising of uric acid level in the blood. Ayurveda describes this situation as ‘Vatarakta’. Vatarakta is the condition in which, the blood and Vata Dosha both get vitiated and troubles an individual. The typical gouty condition catches the small joints of the body first.

Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis is the form of arthritis in adolescences and children. For some, it may be mild problem, but for some children, this becomes very dangerous condition in which, it damages tissues and joints.

There is no perfect test in the laboratory that confirms the juvenile arthritis. The only criteria that labels juvenile arthritis at first sight is looking that one or more joints are affected for more than six weeks in a child. This is to be treated as soon as possible and should not leave untreated as it may bring hazardous condition to the child causing severe damage.

Causes of arthritis

As we know, excessive Vata Dosha produces this condition. Those factors that aggravate the Vata Dosha are commonest cause for the arthritis. Certain factors like age in elderly people and weight in obese person do participate in producing the arthritis. The profession of a person is also considered to be major factor in producing the arthritis.

Modern medicines believe that an infection or degenerative changes can get you arthritis. It also affects the synovial fluid and can damage the synovial membrane. Ayurveda says too much walking; exercises, eating too dry food, roaming in cold atmosphere etc are the causative factors for arthritis.

Symptoms of arthritis

Symptoms differ from case to case or a person to person. Generally arthritis arises from the tissues around the joints like muscles, fats, ligaments and therefore, one feels severe piercing type of the pain in the affected areas. Distress, fists and exhaustions are commonly seen in arthritis. There will be swelling and the joints lose their functions and become immovable or difficult to move. It is painful to bend them in any direction.

Prevention of arthritis

There are some precautions to be taken to avoid arthritis attack on the body. The first and foremost is exposure to the cold by any means. Let it be the atmosphere or the air conditioning. Massage over the joints on regular basis is indeed beneficial. One should avoid the Vata Dosha aggravator foods. These foods include grams, pulses, dry and cold foods etc. Cold drinks and carbonated water is to be restricted. Spicy food, junk food, packaged food etc may shoot up the factors that can bring the arthritis.

Over exercises, fast walking, running, sitting and sleeping in wrong postures may also contribute in development of arthritis.

Diet in arthritis

Sugar and salt are to be restricted as prior regimen. Avoid grams and pulses. These increase the Vata Dosha and so the arthritis condition. One can have green leafy vegetables into the diet. Fast food and junk foods are to be avoided. Restrict restaurant soda and outside foods that are high in calories and having no energy at all. Starchy foods are also considered to be bad for arthritis.

Fried food and red meat are best to be avoided. One can include Vitamin E in diet. This is helpful in treating the arthritis according to the latest researches. Grains like wheat may help in arthritis. Milk products are not so bad in arthritis condition. Try to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Fruits like banana, apple, chickoo are good to have for arthritis.

Treatment for arthritis

There is no sure shot that can treat arthritis in the modern medical science. Here, some of the drugs like NSAIDs, pain killers and analgesics are useful but for short term. On the other hand, they have bad effects on stomach.

Ayurveda has answer for arthritis. The treatment that decreases the Vata Dosha is considered to be useful in treating various types of the arthritis. However, the treatment differs from type to type but overall with some internal (like guggulu, sallaki, rasna etc Ayurvedic drugs) and external therapies (like massage, powder massage, oil pouring etc), arthritis can be controlled very well.

Arthritis is an incredibly common condition that affects about eighty per cent of the adult population at some time in their lives. While there are many types of arthritis, they all cause pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. People with arthritis may have trouble getting out of bed in the morning or bending over to tie their shoes. In some cases, the joints get so stiff and achy that even fastening a button can seem like an impossible task.

Even though there are more than one hundred kinds of arthritis, the two most common forms are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, occurs when cartilage in the joints breaks down – as a result of injuries or too much weight, or even simple a lifetime of repeated bending, flexing and shifting. When the cartilage is damaged, bones begin rubbing against each other, causing pain. This can make even the simplest tasks, such as opening a jar, difficult.

Rheumatoid arthritis also causes cartilage to weaken and bones to rub. However, it’s not simply caused by wear and tear. For reasons that aren’t yet clear, rheumatoid arthritis causes the immune system to begin attacking the joints, wearing away cartilage and causing the joints to become inflamed and very tender.

Even though the different types of arthritis act in different ways, many of the remedies are the same. There are many things you can do to alleviate pain and swelling and to help keep your joints mobile.

Relief is as close as your kitchen . You wouldn’t think that what you put on the menu would have any market effect on arthritis, but research suggests that some foods, like asparagus, garlic, and onions, can help. These foods contain sulfur compounds, which can help your body repair damaged tissue throughout the body, including the tissue in the joints.

Get more vitamin C . This all-purpose nutrient has been shown to help relieve a variety of problems, including arthritis. Vitamic C is an antioxidant, which means it helps block the effects of harmful oxygen molecules in the body. It has also been shown to help the immune system work more efficiently. This can help ease inflammation in the joints and arthritis pain.

You can get plenty of vitamin C by eating a variety of fruit and vegetables, including citrus fruits, broccoli, and peppers. Many doctors also recommend taking a vitamin C supplement to maximize your in take.

Help from a special fat . Most of us are trying to cut back on the amount of fat we eat, but one type of fat, gamma linolenic acid (GLA), can help fight swelling in the joints as well as calm the immune system in people with rheumatoid arthritis. You can find this fatty acid in oils, nuts, and fish. To get the most benefit, experts recommend eating cold-water fish, such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, sardines, and bluefish, at least twice a week.

You can also find this fatty acid in primrose oil, borage oil, and black currant oil, which are available in health food stores. When taking these or other fatty acid supplements, read the label to make sure you’re getting the proper amounts.

Consider cayenne. Cayenne contains a substance called capsaicin, which has been shown to block chemicals in the body responsible for transmitting pain signals to the brain. Of course, you’d have to eat a lot of cayenne pepper to get the benefits. An easier strategy is to take cayenne pepper to get the benefits. An easier strategy is to take cayenne capsules, which are available in health food stores.’

Put it on ice. One of the quickest ways to stop arthritis pain is to simply apply cold to your aching joints. You can use cold packs, or simply wrap ice cubes in a washcloth or towel and apply it for fifteen or twenty minutes, several times a day. A shortcut is to use a bag of frozen peas.

Or try some heat. Hot towels or a heating pad on painful joints will help increase blood flow, which can relieve pain and ease swelling and stiffness.

Keep your weight in check . If you’ve wanted to lose weight but haven’t, here’s another reason to try again. Carrying extra weight puts additional strain on your joints, increasing their wear and tear, and making them more likely to hurt when arthritis flares. In fact, there’s some evidence that extra body fat increases arthritis even in joints that don’t bear body weight.

Keep your joints moving . Regular exercise is a powerful ally in fighting arthritis pain as well as in preventing it in the first place. Exercise helps in several ways. It helps strengthen muscles surrounding the joints, so they provide more support. Keeping the joints moving also increases their internal lubrication so they move more easily and with less strain.

Taking walks once or twice a day is superb exercise for people with arthritis. Not only will walking strengthen muscles, it is relatively low impact, so it puts very little stress on the joints. Swimming and bicycling are also good for easing and preventing arthritis pain.

When starting an exercise program, be sure to start out slowly. Doing too much all at once will only make your joints hurt more. As a rule, doctors recommend exercising three or four times a week, for twenty to thirty minutes each time. And don’t forget to warm up by stretching for several minutes before putting your body in motion. This will help keep muscles and joints limber, so you don’t hurt yourself along the way.

Make simple changes . When arthritis flares, even the simplest things – like cleaning or raking the yard or opening a door – can be painful. There are many small things you can do that will make life easier. For example, replace door knobs (which can be hard to turn) with easy-to-life levers. But an electric can opener to replace your hand-held model. Some people even shop for clothes with zippers instead of buttons. Little changes, yes, but over time they can make life a lot more comfortable.

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