Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis seen in older people. It is a joint disorder caused by the breakdown of cartilage. Healthy cartilage acts as a cushion between the bones and allows the bones to glide over one another and absorb energy from the shock of physical movement. In this disease, the cartilage breaks down and wears away. Due to this, the two bones rub together and cause pain, swelling and stiffness in the joints.

It can occur in any joint of the body but most often it develops in the hands and weight bearing joints, including the knees, hips and sine usually in the neck and lower back.


  • Excessive consumption of dry, cold or stale food
  • Exposure to severe cold and dry weather
  • Excessive use of any joint
  • Obesity
  • Due o any kind of injury in the joint
  • Hereditary
  • Old age


  • Pain in the joints. Pain aggravates with movement and subsides by rest.
  • Stiffness in the morning or after being inactive for more than 15 minutes.
  • Swelling and tenderness in the joint
  • Crepitations (crackling noise when the joint moves) present in the joint
  • Restricted movement
  • Muscle weakness
  • Increased local temperature of the affected joint


According to Ayurveda, osteoarthritis occurs due to the vata dosha imbalance mainly Vyana vayu. It is compared with sandhigata vata.

When the food we eat is not digested properly, it causes the production of ama which weakens the colon and gets accumulated in the bones and joints of the body. These toxins then block the srotas in the body and inturn vitiates the vata dosha.

Vitiation of the vata dosha causes imbalance in the pitta and kapha dosha. Vata, being dry in nature, absorbs the fluid content from the body and as a result destroys the cartilage & reduces the content of synovial fluid in the joint. This depletion leads to osteoarthritis in which the cartilage in the joint wears away causing friction, pain and limited joint mobility.

Panchakarma therapies that are indicated in this case are:-

  • Sarvanga Abhyanga
  • Patra Pinda Sweda
  • Parishek
  • Anuvasana Vasti
  • Niruha Vasti

Single ayurvedic herbs that are beneficial in this case are:-

  • Shallaki
  • Turmeric
  • Ashwagandha
  • Garlic
  • Triphala
  • Guggulu
  • Ginger
  • Coriander
  • Guduchi
  • Sarshapa
  • Sesame
  • Trikatu

Ayurvedic formulations that can be recommended in this case are:-

  • Vata nashak vati
  • Brihat vata Chintamani rasa
  • Maha vata raja rasa
  • Vata Vidhwansan rasa
  • Maharasnadi kwatha
  • Triphala Guggulu
  • Ashwagandha Churna
  • Dashmoola kwatha
  • Mahanarayan tailam
  • Bala tailam
  • Sahcharadi tailam


  • Consume fresh cooked and hot food in regular diet.
  • Hot soups of pulses with powder of ginger, black pepper and long pepper should be taken.
  • Include cow’s ghee and oils in your diet.
  • Avoid spicy, deep fried, very oily and pungent food stuffs. These food items further cause damage to the degenerated joints.
  • Perform moderate regular excercises to keep the affected joint in motion and to prevent further damage.
  • Avoid excessive strain to the joint.
  • Avoid exposure to extreme cold and dry weather.


  • Wash and cut an unpeeled potato into thin slices. Soak them in water overnight. Strain the water in the morning. Drink it first in the morning on an empty stomach.
  • Heat one cup of mustard oil and add 10 grams of camphor. Heat this till camphor dissolves completely. Massage with the oil when lukewarm. This increases the blood supply and reduces inflammation and stiffness.
  • Take 100 ml of water. Soak one teaspoon of black sesame seeds in it overnight. Consume this mixture in the morning.
  • Take one teaspoon of cinnamon powder and add one tablespoon of honey. Mix w ell and have this on an empty stomach every morning.
  • Put one teaspoon of fenugreek in a cup of water and set it aside overnight. Then next morning, mix well and drink.
  • Boil 8-10 slices of ginger in 8 cups of water for about 5 minutes and let it steep for another 10-15 minutes. Drink this tea at a warm temperature throughout the day.


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