Panchakarma Treatment for Arthritis

— Dr. Karthu Satheesh B.A.M.S

Panchakarma provides an unique approach in the field of Ayurveda with specially designed five procedures such as Vamana(emetic therapy),virechana( purgation therapy), kashaya vasthi( decoction enema), anuvasana vasthi(oil enema) and nasya(nasal instillation).

Panchakarma aims at the bio cleansing of the body by the expulsion of waste materials through the nearest possible route. Snehanakarma or oleation therapy is one among the main treatment modality of vatavyadhi. It can be in the form of snehapana( drinking of medicated or non medicated oily substances for a stipulated time along with following strict pathyas). Before that, rukshana therapy should be done according to the presence of amavastha present in the rogi and rogavastha. It is attributed to ousadas(medicines), aharas( food) and viharas( regimen).

Dryness attained internally by drinking medicated decoctions, consumption of medicated powder along with buttermilk, etc.It can be obtained externally by special procedures like udwarthanam( powder massage). It is a type of massage using medicated powder which is applied on the body with an affordable pressure in pratiloma gati( that is opposite to that of hair follicles). Its benefits can be enumerated as body cleansing,skin brightening, improving peripheral circulation,etc and mainly the reabsorption of inflammatory products.

Bahya snehana( external administration of oily substances) such as abhyanga( oil massage), taila dhara( pouring of medicated oil over the body),and local measures like external vastis( retaining of slightly warm medicated oil over a painful area using a frame). It gives symptomatic relief quickly by improving the peripheral circulation by vasodilation of vessels along with long term effects such as anti aging ,strength promoting and thereby gives longevity.

After attaining oiliness in the body, next we have to move towards the swedana karma( sudation therapy). Perspiration induced by certain procedures like potali massage( heat introduced through a bolus filled with medicinal leaves, powders, etc), upanaha(bandage by medicated paste), njavara theppu(induction of perspiration through applying a paste of slightly warm shashtika shali rice), nadi sweda( applying heat through a long tube), etc.

The main attractive feature of sudation therapy is quick symptomatic relief. Like oleation therapy,it also improves peripheral circulation by improving vasodilation of blood vessels. Which improves joint mobility by maintaining the proper strength of muscle and tendons. Proper sudation administered after oleation therapy makes the body flexible as the dry stick becomes soft, elastic and flexible.


Vamanakarma ( emetic therapy) is one among the panchakarma which mainly concentrated on the expulsion of kapha dosha. In case of joint inflammation, it has less importance. When it is associated with skin manifestations ( psoriatic arthritis) it has greater importance than any other therapy. The accumulated kapha which is stuck on the body channels get expelled out easily by emetic therapy.

Virechanakarma( purgation therapy) is the procedure of emptying or draining the stomach using oral medications. It is the most commonly employed shodhana therapy. Agni dipthi( improving digestive fire) and vatanulomanam( normalcy of the deranged vata dosha) are the gunas of virechana. Most of the low back ache is related to pakvasa gata vata. For correcting the functions of pakvasa gata vata, virechana karma is essential.

Vasthi karma ( enema) is the supreme treatment for the deranged vata dosha. Medicated decoction or oil administered through the anal route using enema can can be defined as vastikarma. It has neurological,vascular and detoxification action. Pakwan Sayagata vata spectrum of diseases, vata predominant diseases, neurological diseases, low back ache spectrum of diseases, degenerative diseases, rheumatic spectrum of ailments are considerably cured by the vasti karma.

Nasya Karma or installation therapy is the installation of medicated oil , medicated juice of drug or medicated powder through the nasal openings. It has action mainly on utha manga( above the neck). Even Though it has action on the whole body also by its preventive and curative aspects of action. It is also helpful in chronic degenerative and rheumatic ailments.


Ayurvedic remedies for Arthritis

Ayurveda is the science of life with the aim of attaining health and curing the ailments. Main aim of ayurveda is to attain dharma(pious acts), artha( wealth), kama(desire) and moksha( salvation) by health. Balanced state of dosha,dhatu and mala along with pleasant sense organs contributes to a healthy life. This can be attained by following proper ahara and viharas. Ahara hasbeen given the prime importance since vedic periods. As per ancient literature,ahara can be considered as maha bhaishajya and it is responsible for the development and enhancement of ojas.

According to Charakacharya,the sareera as well as rogas are formed by food. Pathya and apathya aharas( wholesome and unwholesome foods)are responsible for happiness and misery respectively. So, we have to give prime concern to the food which we take. Weight loss and maintaining healthy weight reduce the risk of developing arthritis.

The wholesome food are

  • Fresh fruits
  • vegetables
  • Meat soup added with ghee
  • Milk boiled with panchamula
  • Calcium supplement foods such as egg, milk, etc

Unwholesome food includes

  • Barley
  • Betel nuts
  • Seeds of white beans
  • Seed pulp of palm fruits
  • Bitter gourd
  • Unripe palm fruits
  • Dried meat
  • Sour and bitter eatables
  • Incompatible meals
  • Cold water, cold food items
  • Alcohol, beer, wine

Along with these food items,one should follow wholesome regimens such as sufficient sleep, voiding of natural urges without any suppression, adequate exercise according to the strength of an individual can reduce the symptoms considerably.


Dheemahi Ayurvedic Centre for Arthritis Treatment

Dheemahi is a well established ayurvedic centre surrounded by a mind soothing environment. Here, we have specialised doctors with five generation experience who follows the ancient ayurvedic treatment modalities. Broad-spectrum of degenerative rheumatological ailments are managed by providing appropriate treatments while assessing the condition of the patient and disease through a detailed consultation. Along with these medications and therapies, we provide the best quality food which is wholesome to the body and disease by following the rules of ashta ahara vidhi.

While there is no complete cure for arthritis, the right treatment at the right time can reduce the symptoms and it’s complications considerably to an extent. In addition to the treatments, make lifestyle modifications and that may help to manage Arthritis.