Amavata (Rheumatoid Arthritis Care)
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of Joints that causes pain, swelling, stiffness and loss of function in affected joints. Unlike the common arthritis, it is an autoimmune disease, that is, our own immune system mistakenly attacks our healthy cells as in infections, wounds, and foreign objects. In addition to joints, it can also affect other body organs like eyes, heart, lungs etc.
According to Ayurveda, the disease is known in the name of Amavata. In ayurveda, there is very detailed description about rheumatoid arthritis or “Ama vata”. ‘The pain in the affected joints resembles the pain of a scorpion’s sting,’ it is said.
The exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not known. But immunologists have discovered that rheumatoid arthritis is an auto immune disease. Some may have a tendency to inherit this disease. The cause of rheumatoid arthritis is very well explained in ayurveda. It is caused by the formation of ‘ama’, (a toxin that is produced by imbalanced body fire). The toxin ama is carried by imbalanced vata (one of the three energetic forces) and reaches the kapha (one of the three energetic forces) dominated places like joints, stomach, chest, brain, etc. This toxin becomes sticky due to imbalanced doshas and blocks the vital channels which nourish the body.
The sticky toxin, ama not only affects the joints but also spreads all over the body. The channels (like arteries, intercellular spaces, pores in cells, etc. are called srotas) which allow nutrients to flow through and nourish body tissues and cells get partially blocked. This leads to a decreased supply of nutrients to body tissues and cells. Thus, the immunity of the body gets lowered, the appetite reduces and the body becomes weak due to insufficient nourishment of body tissues. The ama which gets harbored in joints acts like a foreign substance and triggers the immune system. This leads to inflammation of linings of joints.
Rheumatoid symptoms according to Ayurveda:
• Body ache, lethargy, heaviness
• Stiffness in knees, back, finger and toe joints. Joints make crackling sounds, joint pain with swelling.
• The pain in the joints is similar to sting bite by scorpion!!
• Constipation, indigestion, fullness of abdomen,
• Lack of sleep, altered sleep patterns etc.
• Apart from these symptoms, there will be specific symptoms relating to the dominance of Dosha.
• Based on disease manifestation in heart and other organs, specific symptoms like stiffness in heart etc are mentioned.