← Back to Insights

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.

Sign up to our Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the very latest in herbal insights.