What is Arthritis?
It simply means swollen joints with pain and stiffness. There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions. People of all ages, sexes and races can and do have arthritis.
How does it develop?
According to siddha system, arthritis develops when someone regularly eats:
a) foods which are devoid of nourishing attributes such as calcium etc.
b) foods which are aggravating in nature like too sweet, oily or excessively dry in nature.
c) incompatible foods .
d) When someone has weak digestion.
This could lead to the formation of undigested material called “Amam”. Amam is the name for the toxins that have accumulated in your body. These toxins could then get absorbed back into the system, and have the potential to localize in your joints and cause arthritis.
How to manage:
Are your joints aching more today than on other days? Try to remember what you’ve been eating and try to find a pattern. Specially heavy or difficult to digest foods like high protein such as kidney beans, high in sugar or gas (vata) forming tend to worsen the pain.
Avoid these foods!
Cold water and cold beverages
Jaggery/ sugarcane products
(Curd and milk, though sources of calcium may be avoided till detox).Include these foods for a wholesome diet:
Drumsticks or moringa (try looking for this vegetable at a store like Whole Foods)
Such food items are easily digestible. They help restore digestion power and detox the body.
Tips to reduce the risk of being prone to arthritis:
Exposure to a cold or humid climate can aggravate the pain in joints. Avoid the cold weather by covering up your body well.
With age, a tendency of degenerative changes in joints occurs. You can regularly massage your joints to help strengthen them (There are different types of arthritis according to Ayurveda, so you should consult an Ayurveda practitioner before you start the massage. In some types of arthritis, applying oil is beneficial, however in some others, it does not help).
Sleep well (on time, for an adequate length etc). It gives your body the time to repair itself. Avoid sleeping during the day, however.
Try to get some regular light exercise as advised by your primary care physician.
Some Natural therapies like Herbal pain relieving medicines, joint massages with particular oils and Varma therapieshelp a lot.
You can also take an herbal dietary supplement to support natural care of joints. Consult with your Siddha practitioner to find the appropriate supplement.