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An Ayurvedic Perspective on Arthritis

Written by Sebastian Pole

The seasonal change that takes place moving from the heat of summer to the coolness of Autumn can aggravate chronic conditions such as arthritis that may have remained dormant during the summer months.

A brief history of arthritis in Ayurveda

The Ayurvedic cannon details very specific treatments for bone and joint diseases. The earliest texts of Charaka Samhita (150BCE-100CE) and Sushruta Samhita (50-500CE) detail various symptoms associated with joint pain as part of other diseases involving fever (jwara) and neurological vata disorders (vatavyadhi). Vaghabata in his Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (600CE) mentions a disease named vatashonita meaning ‘vata in the blood’ which is associated with intense joint pain and has symptoms similar to gout. Madhava Nidana (c650-950) in his classic on pathology is the first to mention amavata as a disease in its own right. Amavata literally means ‘toxic vata’ and is commonly associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Ama is a term used to describe all unmetabolised wastes that have cold, heavy, wet and sticky qualities infamous for obstructing the channels and causing degeneration of health. Vata relates to the functional principle in the body associated with all movement and is associated with the qualities of cold, dry, lightness and irregularity. Vata  is also associated with the experience of pain so commonly felt in bone and joint diseases.

Sebastian Pole
I am a registered member of the Ayurvedic Professionals Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and a Fellow of the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners. I qualified as a herbalist with the aim of using the principles of Ayurveda (the ancient art of living wisely) and the Herbal tradition to help transform health. I have been in clinical practice since 1998.

Having co-founded Pukka Herbs in 2001 I have become experienced in organic herb growing, practitioner grade quality and sustainable value chains. I am a Trustee of the FairWild Foundation, a Director of The Betonica School of Herbal Medicine and an Advisor to The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and The Sustainable Herbs Project. Fluent in Hindi, a qualified Yoga therapist and passionate about projects with a higher purpose, I am on a mission to bring the incredible power of plants into people’s life. And that is why I started Herbal Reality and what it is all about.

I live in a forest garden farm in Somerset growing over 100 species of medicinal plants and trees. And a lot of weeds!

Author of Ayurvedic Medicine, The Principles of Traditional Practice (Elsevier 2006), A Pukka Life (Quadrille 2011), Celebrating 10 Pukka years (2012) and Cleanse, Nurture, Restore with Herbal Tea (Frances Lincoln 2016).

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