Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic inflammatory and symmetrical polyarthritis.
Rheumatoid arthritis correlates with the condition of amavata in Ayurveda as the features of amavata are pretty much identical to RA.
In amavata,there is an aggravation of Vata dosha and the accumulation of ama in the joints.
In this disorder, whenever ama gets localized in the body tissue or joints, it can lead to pain, stiffness, swelling or tenderness.
Ideally, foods for rheumatoid arthritis should ignite the digestive fire (agnideepan), enhance digestion of undigested material (amapachana), should be carminative (vatanulomaka), and should pacify Vata (vatashamaka).
Here are some foods for rheumatoid arthritis or amavata.1,2
Grains like long grain rice, red rice (rakta shali) or rice harvested within 60 days or short grain rice (shasthika), barley (yava ) and millets (kodo or fox millet) are good for RA.
These foods are light and easy to digest. Barley kernels and other products made from barley lowers inflammatory markers.
In particular, chickpeas and horse gram are good foods for rheumatoid arthritis. You’re probably familiar with chickpeas, as hummus and other snacks are widely available in the U.S.
Horsegram is a hearty grain full of fiber and you can find it at Indian markets.
If you’d like to learn more about Ayurveda and how it can help with the management of autoimmune diseases, check out Dr. Akil Palanisamy’s course below.
Drink lukewarm water or ginger tea/ginger water. This helps in digestion and the removal of metabolic toxins (ama).
Regularly drinking hot water can help in bringing lightness to the joints and improves flexibility in rheumatoid arthritis.
Green leafy vegetables and fruits contain a variety of polyphenols, bioflavonoids, catechins, carotenoids, vitamin C, riboflavin, vitamin E, and low molecular weight compounds.3
These constituents have antioxidant, fibrinolytic and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Vegetables with a bitter taste like neem (Azadirachta indica), bottle gourd, bitter gourd, pointed gourd, eggplant, drum stick and goosefoot (chenopodium) are recommended. You can also find the bitter taste in arugula, dandelion greens, radicchio, and kale.
Fruits like berries (strawberries, tart cherries, red raspberries), avocados and watermelon are beneficial foods for Rheumatoid arthritis.
Beneficial spices include ginger, turmeric, and garlic, which help in preventing arthritic changes in the bones.
Spices add flavor to your food and also have antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties besides their digestion promoting impact.
Two garlic cloves with 2 ounces of buttermilk is an excellent daily drink and home remedy for rheumatoid arthritis.
Meat of Jungle bush quail prepared with traditional buttermilk is an excellent food for Rheumatoid arthritis.
In modest amounts of course.
Mix a tablespoon of castor oil into a glass of milk and take it at bedtime. Castor oil is a purgative. Be forewarned, its a natural laxative and can cause diarrhea.
Please consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before trying the remedies and foods for rheumatoid arthritis mentioned in this article.
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