Ashwagandha is one of the most frequently used medicinal herbs in Ayurvedic Medicine.It is known as a ‘Rasayana’. Rasayana is a Sanskrit word which means ‘path of essence’.
Holistic properties of Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha has holistic medicinal properties and has proven beneficial actions on several body systems, notably the reproductive, nervous and respiratory systems. The active constituents of Ashwagandha include the alkaloids, steroidal lactones and saponins.
Ashwagandha or its botanical name With aniasomnifera has a wide range of health benefits and hence has been used for over 5,000 years as holistic healthcare treatment.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)is a chronic autoimmune, progressive disease that causes pain in the joints and its surrounding structures.
Ashwagandha powder is used in Ayurveda for Rheumatoid arthritis pain treatment as it enhances physical function by relieving joint pain. This mode of action is due to its holistic and synergistic effects as Ashwagandha has anti-inflammatory, anti-stress and immuno-modulatory properties making it a unique herbal medicine for Rheumatoid arthritis pain relief.
A significant clinical trial carried out in 2015 by Kumar et al demonstrated the efficacious use of Ashwgahndha for Rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers recruited 86 Rheumatoid arthritis patients for the study. The participants were administered 5 grams of Ashwagandha powder twice a day for three weeks with lukewarm water or milk. Thereafter, they were given 100 grams of SidhMakardhwaj (another Ayurvedic formulation) daily with honey for the next four weeks. Significant improvements were observed in the patients’ tender joint counts, swollen joint counts, ESRs, physician’s rating of disease activity, physical function and pain.
While these results cannot be wholly attributed to Ashwaghandha, we do know that Ashwaghanda possesses anti-inflammatory activity by blocking H2 histamine receptors (Tyler 2012) and inhibiting NF-κB and AP-1 transcription factors (Singh et al 2007) which are pivotal regulators of inflammation in Rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis.
Integrative healthcare approach
Ashwagandha is a wonder-herb for arthritic pain. However, an integrative medicine/ healthcare approach is required for optimal results.It is best taken in combination with other herbs, but the inclusion of dietary changes, lifestyle changes and appropriate exercise regime such as gentle yoga is essential for efficacious results.If you suffer from chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis,it is best to consult a practitioner of integrative medicine or CAM practitioner so that a treatment plan can be devised that is specific for the individual as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for Rheumatoid Arthritis has limitations. If you do not have access to an integrative healthcare practitioner then please contact Apple A Day RX for a personalized treatment plan and practitioner grade complementary medicines. It can improve your Quality of Life dramatically.