Category: Arthritis / Bone / Joint Health

Management of Osteoporosis in Ayurveda – Natural Treatment

Introduction

Osteoporosis, which is also known as brittle bone disease is characterized by fragile, porous and easily breakable bones. According to WHO, osteoporosis holds the second place after heart diseases among the most popular diseases. October 20th is regarded as World Osteoporosis Day.

A bone mineral density less than – 2.5 is considered to be chronic osteoporosis.

CAUSES

  • Inadequate calcium intake
  • Menopause and ageing
  • Tobacco consumption
  • Alcoholism
  • Excess consumption of carbonated beverages & coffee, salt & chocolate
  • Inactivity
  • Prolonged use of anti inflammatory corticosteroids
  • Inherited factors
  • Health conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, hyperthyroidism & Cushing’s syndrome

Osteoporosis

SYMPTOMS

  • Osteoporosis is generally asymptomatic. Increased risk of fracture is the main characteristic due to low mineral density. Delayed union of fractures can also be noted.
  • Females are more at risk as compared to males. Estrogen (females) plays a crucial role in keeping bone mineral density. In males this role is taken care of by testosterone.
  • Towards menopause and aging, hormone levels decreases owing to bone demineralization.

DIETARY MANAGEMENT AND HOME REMEDIES

Adequate calcium & vitamin D and optimum protein intake are the cornerstones of dietary management.

  • Milk & milk products – milk, paneer, curd, soymilk etc.
  • Lean chicken and eggs
  • Berries & cherries – strawberries and blue berries
  • Green leafy vegetables – spinach, water cress, spirulina, turnip greens, kale. Kale is regarded as the king of vitamins.
  • Green vegetables – broccoli, cabbage, green peas. Cabbage is abundant in vitamin k, vitamin c and calcium.
  • Sour fruits – orange, kiwi, grapes, plums. These are rich in vitamin c. Vitamin c aids in calcium absorption. Plums are best when used in dried form (prunes). Prunes have high concentration of polyphenols (anti-oxidants) which can prevent fractures and maintain adequate bone density.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids – fish oils, salmon, sardine, walnuts, hemp, chia seeds. Omega 3 fatty acids help to keep the bone strength.
  • Seeds – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Sesame seeds – high in calcium content. It contains magnesium, manganese, vitamin k and vitamin D. Snack on a handful of roasted sesame seeds anytime a day.
  • Apple & apple cedar vinegar – these are rich in antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids. These allow the body to retain calcium. Try to include the skin while eating apple.
  • Pineapple – rich in manganese, which is vital in preventing osteoporosis.
  • Virgin coconut oil – this brings magic to women with estrogen deficiency. Virgin coconut oil helps to reverse and stop the loss of bone density. Have 3 tsp of virgin coconut oil daily.
  • Almond milk – they are rich in calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants. Keep 1 cup of almonds at water overnight. Peel off the skin and blend well with 2 cups of water. Add a dash of cinnamon and honey. It can be taken twice a day after staining.
  • Coriander – it is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. 2 tsp of coriander is boiled with 1 cup of water. This is cooled to room temperature. It can be taken twice daily with honey.
  • Green tea – rich in antioxidants and can be taken daily.
  • Food to avoid – sweets, carbonated beverages, alcohol, excessive salt, coffee, artificial colors, sweeteners and canned foods.

EXERCISE AND OSTEOPOROSIS

  • It is a fact that exercises increase bone density.
  • It is a natural process that bone density will decrease with age.
  • It is better to keep your bone density intact before old age.
  • As we all know, prevention is better than cure.
  • So start exercising from today.
  • Male bones are skilled to increase its bone mineral density till the age of 33 and for females it is 28.
  • Weight bearing exercises are best suited for osteoporosis. Aerobics, brisk walking, jogging, skipping, climbing stairs, hiking, tennis etc can be added to the account.
  • All exercises should be done in accordance to your strength and tolerance level.

YOGA POSTURES FOR OSTEOPOROSIS

Yoga Postures for Osteoporosis include

  • Padangusthasana
  • Adho mukha svanasana
  • Uttitha hastha padangusthasana
  • Uttitha parsvakonasana
  • Uttitha trikonasana
  • Ardha chandrasana
  • Parivrtta parsvakonasana
  • Uttanasana
  • Urdhwa dhanurasana
  • Veerabhadrasana

Practice yoga under the strict supervision of a trained yoga instructor.

Soorya Namaskara

Ayurveda also mentions to practice soorya namaskara daily in the morning.Exposure to sunlight for at least 20 minutes a day is recommended for vitamin D, which aids in calcium absorption in the body.

OSTEOPROSIS AND AYURVEDA

  • In Ayurveda view point, osteoporosis comes under the category of vatika roga. When the vata aggravates in the body (due to imbalanced life style and ama dosha), it accounts for the DHATU kshaya (asthi kshaya) in the body.
  • Santarpana therapy (nutritive therapy) is advised in these conditions. Also it is mentioned in Ashtanga Hrdaya sutra stana that decreased state of asthi dhatu is to be treated with vasthi (enema) using milk, ghee, and tikta rasa dravyas (bitter taste drugs)

Natural Treatment for Osteoporosis

Medications Used Are

  • Bone Support – capsule consisting of boswellia serrata (asthishringala), laccifera lacca (laksha), moringa, arjuna (terminalia arjuna), and pravala pishti. Boswellia is an excellent choice of remedy for fractures. It is a natural pain killer and fastens the reunion of bones. It helps to inhibit the bone mineral density loss. Laksha is mainly used to increase the bone density.
  • Lakshadi Guggulu – it helps to calm down the aggravated vata and is excellent for fracture healing. It also helps to reverse the bone density loss and helps n the Management of Aches and Pains associated with osteoporosis.
  • Pravala pishti, akik pishti, Mukta pishti, giloy satwa, Jahar mohra pishti etc are also used. These can be used for Natural Calcium Supplement, which helps to strengthen the bones and joint.
  • Arjuna Capsules – terminalia arjuna bark extracts are used to prepare this capsule. 34% of calcium carbonate is present in arjuna. Also it contains sodium and magnesium. Arjuna has powerful healing properties.

Top 7 Pain Relieving Remedies in Ayurveda Without Aspirin

Painkillers or analgesics are one of most widely categories of medicines. Analgesics are used at every instance, either it is traumatic or other complications. These are used for a variety of health conditions such as joints pain, migraine, arthritis, stomach pain, toothache etc.

As per modern classification, there are two categories of analgesics:

  • Narcotics
  • Non-narcotics

The basic principle of these painkillers is that they break the message transmitted from the affected part to the brain through neurons. Analgesics either break the pain signals arriving from the body parts to the brain or interrupt the brain to receive the message by neurons transmitting the pain signals. The side effects of these analgesics are obvious such as nausea, diarrhoea, pruritus (itching sensation), tenderness, jaundice and severe pain in the right upper quarter of the abdomen.

It has been proved in the research that the treatment with a product containing diclofenac sodium as topical applicants is linked with liver dysfunction, resulting in severe hepatic reactions, liver transplantation or even death.

Pain Relief Remedies

Management of Pain according to Ayurveda

  • Ayurvedic approach to pain is holistic and looks to place the root cause of the disease, in contrast to simply dealing with the symptoms only.
  • The classical Ayurvedic text specifies about the species of plants that are used for muscularity relaxants and for other pain management.
  • Ayurveda uses single drug or multiple drug mixtures of herbs as well as mineral compounds for relieving pain.

Ayurveda Categorises The Painkillers into 3 Groups

  1. Local Analgesics
  2. Central Analgesics
  3. Body-ache medications

Local Analgesic : These analgesics are topically applied to a particular part of the body and include paste preparations such as Belladonna.

Central Analgesics : These analgesics are more powerful than local analgesics and sometimes are combined with strict dietetic restrictions such as Dhatura.

Body-ache Medications : These analgesics are used in Ayurvedic practice to fight against stress and fatigue. There are more than 100 plants in Ayurveda that are recognised to have pain relieving properties such as Patala and Balam.

Various Herbs and Plants Described in Ayurveda as Natural Painkillers are

Ayurvedic Remedies for Pain Relief

Garlic for Earache:

  • Garlic has been traditionally used in rural India for earache.
  • Garlic contains certain active ingredients such as sulphur, selenium and germanium which have positive physiological effects on pain.

How to use: Pour 2 drops of warm garlic oil into the affected ear for 7-10 days until it is completely cured.

Honey for Mouth Ulcers:

  • As a part of lifestyle, Ayurveda suggests honey gargle for mouth sores.
  • It is recommended for better voice, improved speech and to prevent all types of infections and inflammation.
  • It is very effective in decreasing painfulness and heals the tissues as well.

Vinegar for Acid Reflux and Heartburn:

  • In a research, it was concluded that there are good results of vinegar in heart burn and acid reflux particularly the Apple cider vinegar.

How to use: Take 30 ml vinegar mixed with water after a heavy meal to make digestion and metabolism smoother.

Clove for Toothache Relief:

  • Cloves have been used by Indians since thousands of years. It contains eugenol which works as anaesthetic and has anti-bacterial effects.
  • It has also been reported that the consumption of 2 gm clove powder improves the cholesterol level and maintains pH in the gastro-intestinal tract that in turn avoids all kinds of oral infections.

How to use: Apply clove oil to the affected tooth or chew 1-2 cloves.

Ginger Root for Muscle Pain:

  • Ginger has positive effects on reducing swelling and stiffness as well. The main element of ginger is Gingerols that is effective in treating muscular pain.

How to use: Include 5 gm fresh ginger or 2 gm dried ginger as a part of your diet to prevent muscular and joint pains.

Treatment of Diabetic Pain with Turmeric:

  • Ayurveda suggests the use of turmeric as a part of diet to avoid the problems of diabetes as well as pain associated with it. It is considered as one of the most effective natural pain relievers known to exist and also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. It contains curcumin as an active ingredient which is responsible for its properties.
  • Turmeric decreases the pain and irritation experienced by patients suffering from arthritis, fibromyalgia, IBS, arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Buttermilk for Pre-Menopause:

  • Ayurveda suggests buttermilk for pre and post-menopausal syndromes as well as for menstrual pain. It is also effective in curing vaginal infections as well as itching. It is also effective in curing yeast infection. It is quite favourable in treating gynaecological conditions.

How to use: Take a plain glass of buttermilk with cumin seeds. You can buttermilk twice or thrice a day.  The calcium content in buttermilk dispassionate the physical and psychological irritability associated with PMS.

Cherries:

  • Cherries are packed with certain anti-oxidants known as anthocyanins which are responsible for giving them red colour and for relieving pain.
  • Research has indicated that anthocyanins, an active element in cherries is ten times more beneficial in lowering pain than common painkillers such as Ibuprofen without causing any side effects.

Epsom Salt Bath for Leg Pain:

  • Epsom salt that is rich in magnesium, is an excellent pain reliever. This remedy is also helpful for patients suffering from arthritis as it soothes leg pain. Salt also possesses anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which makes it effective in relieving pain. Regular soaking of infected parts in warm salt water acts better than topical painkillers and antibiotics.

Massage/Snehana:

  • In the world of Ayurveda, oil massage or sneham is considered as a very rewarding therapy for treating pain and other ailments. It pacifies Vata, mobilises the toxins, maximises circulation and therefore relaxes the overall body.

Cumin:

  • Cumin is an aromatic spice and mild pain reliever.

How to use: For stomach pain, make a mixture of 1/3 tablespoon of cumin powder, a pinch of asofaetida and a pinch of rock salt. Mix and chew it thoroughly followed with a drink of warm water