Statistics show that 7 out of every 10 people in the world have visited a doctor atleast once in their lifetime for joint pain complaint. In developing countries, rheumatoid arthritis, better known as ‘Amavata’ in Ayurveda, is the leading cause of joint pain problems, especially in middle aged and elderly women. Do you frequently have swollen and painful joints? That feeling of stiffness which lasts half an hour on waking up every morning? That ‘heaviness’ of body while doing work? That constant unwell feeling? Well you might be on your way to rheumatoid arthritis. But worry not! The solution to all these problems lies not in some expensive speciality clinic, but in your own kitchen!
Without stretching your curiosity further, we declare the name – its the good old dry ginger, or ‘Sonth’ that you use in everyday cooking, which has magical properties in relieving joint pain and inflammation. ‘Shunthi’, as it is called in Sanskrit, has very good painkiller and swelling reducing properties, known since ancient times. 15th century Ayurved guru Vangasen has described drinking of Sonth decoction daily morning on empty stomach as useful for Amavata patients.
For the geeky type of you who like to go in scientific details, Sonth, or Zingiber officinale contains vital constituents, namely the sesquiterpinoids and gingerols, that act systemically suppressing interstitial fluid collection in joints and restrict inflammatory cellular infiltration at site to reduce the swelling that leads to painful aching joints.
In a study published in the International Ayurvedic Medical Journal, it was found that only a regimen of ‘Shunthyadi Kwath’, a combined decoction of Shunthi and Gokshur, taken twice daily at home before meals, reduced painful swelling of joints by 67%, WITHOUT any supportive therapy or side effects. The use of hot compressions on the knees, using heated sand poured in cotton cloth (known as ‘Vaaluka Pottali Sveda’ in Ayurveda) in combination with the above therapy, further increased the relief by 5% in all patients.
Already thinking of trying it out at home? Here’s the recipe!
Recipe – Mix 10 to 15 gm (2-3 heaped teaspoons) dry ginger powder in 320 ml water (roughly one big glassful) and allow to boil on medium heat till it remains 1/8th in volume (40 ml or roughly half a cup). Consume with or without filtering, as you like.
Are you too lazy for this? Here’s the shortcut! (A bit slow in results, though.)
Shortcut – Add 2-3 heaped teaspoons of Sonth to a glassful boiling hot water, steer, cover with lid and allow to cool fully. Then drink WITHOUT filtering.
What’s more? Bonus Points!
Some tips, tricks and precautions to enhance the results of this remedy –
1. Try taking a teaspoonful of castor oil with this decoction. Constipated people can take more teaspoons as per their habit, but this tip is NOT for those who have loose motions very easily.
2. Try adding an equal amount of Gokshur powder available from any Ayurvedic medical shop, in making the decoction. It will give even better results.
3. Note – Use only DRIED ginger (Sonth) and not wet one (Adrakh) for the decoction.
4. DO NOT add sugar for taste. This medicine has to be sour only.
5. Consume the decoction within 2 hours of preparing. It has 24 hours expiry even on refrigerating.
6. Store in steel or glass container only, not plastic or aluminium.
7. Avoid working immediately after taking meals. Stop napping during the day. Ban fish, curd, jaggery, paneer and black gram from your diet. All these things increase the disease severity.
8. Rest your swollen joints, but give some light exercise to the body in morning everyday, specially after taking this decoction. It can work wonders for your digestion and dullness problems too.
Stay healthy, live Happy!
Have anything more to ask? We shall be glad to answer your queries posted in the comments section below.
About the Author – Dr. Harshad Rajandekar holds an Ayurvedacharya degree from Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, writes for the Dr. Herbz blog, and runs a special consultancy in Ayurveda for chronic disorders.
Disclaimer – This article is for informative and home remedy purposes only, and NOT intended to replace professional medical advice in very severe illness. Diagnosis of Amavata / Rheumatoid arthritis should first be established properly before trying the remedies described in this article.