Arthritis (osteoarthritis/ rheumatoid arthritis): causes, diet and some home remedies

There are two kinds of arthritis:

  1. Rheumatoid Arthritis
  2. Osteo Arthritis
Hands affected by rheumatoid arthritis
Hands affected by rheumatoid arthritis

 Causes of Arthritis (Osteoarthritis/ Rheumatoid Arthritis)

Rheumatoid arthritis is due to an inflammation of the synovium or the lining of the joints. It may be caused by hormonal disbalance, physical and emotional stress, infection, severe fright, shock, and injury.

Bouchard's nodes and Heberden's nodes may form in osteoarthritis
Bouchard’s nodes and Heberden’s nodes may form in osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis results from structural changes in the articular cartilage in the joints, usually those that are weight-bearing, such as spine and knees. Hereditary factors may also be the cause of this disease. The increased acid level in the human blood, causes calcium to be excreted from the bones to restore the body’s pH balance. This calcium depletion results in osteoporosis.

Diet for Arthritis

Avoid overeating, excessively rich diet, especially meat and fish, heavy fried foods, highly processed and refined food, white flour (maida), dairy products, tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco and foods which are acidic in nature.

Light vegetarian meals are the best. A gluten-free vegan diet full of wild rice, corn, buckwheat, soybeans, amaranth, millets, nuts, sunflower seeds, fruits ease symptoms of arthritis. Use dates, honey or jaggery for sweetener.

Lunch should be taken before 12 noon and dinner should be before 7 p.m. and very light. Missing a meal or fasting one day a week will ease the pain, especially during acute phases.

Note: Arthritis can never be cured if you are constipated. Constipation aggravates the disease.

1. Water Therapy:

Water cures and also prevents arthritis. Arthritis is fiery inflammation of the joint, without adequate hydration around the joints, once the inflammation starts, it runs rampant just like a forest fire. When the body has plenty of fluid, both the lubricating fluid and the cartilage that covers the end of the bones glide smoothly on each other. And only water can rectify the dehydration completely.

The procedure for water therapy:

  • Drink about 3-4 glasses of water as soon as you wake up in the morning. Do not eat or drink anything for the next one hour.
  • One glass of water should be taken one hour before meals and no water during meals.
  • The rest of the quota (minimum 3 ltr. can be more depending on the water loss due to the temperature) should be taken at regular intervals throughout the day.

2. Oil Pulling Therapy:

Acute arthritis and stiff joint pains can be successfully treated by means of oil pulling therapy. Oil pulling therapy is an ancient therapy that is prescribed by Ayurveda. The oil pulls all mucous, bacteria and toxins from the body through the saliva. According to Ayurveda medicine, mucous is a poison that must be removed. The benefit of this therapy is that it heals the whole body.


The oil pulling is done first thing in the morning before brushing. Take one tablespoon of oil (sunflower, sesame or olive oil, preferably cold compressed) in the mouth, do not swallow. Keep the chin tilted up so that the oil gets to the back molars. move the oil slowly in the mouth as in rinsing and swishing. Sip, suck, chomp and pull through the teeth for fifteen to twenty minutes. As the process continues, the oil becomes thin, white and foamy. Then spit it out after 15 to 20 mins and rinse the mouth thoroughly with water. After this, you can brush normally. This should be followed by drinking 2 to 3 glasses of water.

Note: Worsening of symptoms is an excellent indication that the disease/ ailment is being cured.

Some home remedies for Arthritis

  • Aloe Vera: It is effective in the treatment of arthritis. 3 to 4 glasses of this drink can be taken starting from the first one in the morning, empty stomach.
  • Apple: It contains boron, which maintains healthy bones and it helps to cushion the joints.
  • Beetroot: It strengthens the bones and also prevents constipation.
  • Clove: Chew 2 cloves a day.
  • Copper: Drinking water kept overnight in a copper container accumulates traces of copper, which strengthens the musculoskeletal system.
  • Castor oil: Two tablespoons of castor oil boiled over a burner and added to a glass of fresh orange juice should be taken before breakfast till completely cured. It is important that the diet should be exclusively alkaline (pure vegan diet) during the treatment otherwise its value will be lost.
  • Garlic: Raw or cooked garlic cloves (4 to 5) taken during meals is effective against arthritis inflammation.
  • Green Tea: It keeps the knee in good condition. Green tea improves the endothelial function.
  • Ginger: Intake of ginger powder may reduce symptoms by blocking prostaglandin that causes swelling in people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. About 5 grams of fresh ginger or half a gram of dry ginger powder should be taken thrice a day.
  • Lemon: Though the lemon juice is sour in taste, its reaction in the body is alkaline. It prevents the deposit of uric acid in the tissues.
  • Potato juice: This is one the most successful treatments for arthritis. Cut a medium sized raw potato with the skin into thin slices and place it in a glass of water overnight. The water should be drunk in the morning empty stomach.
  • Sesame seeds: A tablespoon of black sesame seeds soaked in a quarter cup of water and kept overnight, when consumed is effective in preventing frequent joint pains.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric powder should be used liberally while cooking food.
  • Vitamin D: Adequate intake of vitamin D in the form of sun exposure ( at dawn before 8 a.m. and at dusk) or sprouted seeds, give relief from any kind of bone and joint pains, especially in osteoarthritis.
  • Wheat Grass: Chlorophyll effectively reduces inflammation. Thus it can be used to help counteract the effects of inflammatory conditions like arthritis.The fresh juice should be taken empty stomach and should be taken slowly and mixed with the saliva very well.
  • Mustard oil: Heat mustard oil around 500 ml, add 15 garlic cloves and 2 teaspoons of bishop’s weed( ajwain seeds). Let it cool. This oil can be used to massage every day, especially in winter.


There are certain yoga asanas which are very helpful but has to done under expert supervision.


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