Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic and degenerative diseases. Yet, modern drug therapy has had minimal success with arthritis pain treatment.
To reiterate the message from previous Apple A Day RX blogs, there is no single-cure or ‘magic pill ‘ that can cure arthritis. Therefore, an Integrative Medicine approach is required for effective arthritis treatment. A key component in an integrative medicine protocol is diet therapy. Ayurveda, has one of the best nutritional treatment programs for arthritis.
Ayurvedic philosophy states that nutritional treatment of disease is complex as it is influenced by many factors such as climate, geography, emotions and much more. Furthermore, there is no one-size-fits-all diet for any disease as every disease state varies from person to person. However, listed below are some general Ayurvedic eating guidelines that can be of value in the treatment of arthritis.
- Meals should be small, frequent and regular
- Food should be cooked and warm
- Avoid fast foods
- Mild spices are recommended such as cinnamon, dry ginger and galangal
- As emotions affect the digestion, it is important not to eat when nervous, anxious or angry
- Avoid nightshades such as eggplant, tomatoes, peppers
- Sip hot water throughout the day as it can improve digestion
- Eat Bitter gourd (Bitter melon) as it improves digestion, and is a good source of Vitamin B1, 2 & 3. It is a good detoxifying herb and is traditionally advised by Ayurvedic practitioners for rheumatoid arthritis.
This is only a brief glimpse into the Ayurvedic nutritional treatment of arthritis. The Ayurvedic diet is prescriptive for the type of arthritis a patient presents. For example, if the patient suffers from inflammation then salt or spicy foods will be contraindicated as excess salt and spice irritates the digestive tract and causes increased inflammation.
Nutritional treatment is a key Integrative medicine intervention but there are several other important targeted complementary interventions for arthritis pain treatment. Complex diseases require a multi factorial and targeted approach which is typified by the integrative treatment of arthritis.