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Ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritis: Herbs that can help

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include a cracking sound when you move your joints, an enlargement in a bone region and pain and stiffness of the joints. @Shutterstock

Ayurveda has many herbs and formulations that can offer relief from the debilitating pain of osteoarthritis. Read on to know more.

Written by Jahnavi Sarma |Updated : December 10, 2020 9:44 AM IST

Osteoarthritis is a painful condition that gives you stiff joint. This happens because the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones tend to lose its elasticity over the years and gradually wears away. When this happens, the bones rub against each other and this causes stiffness in the area, inflammation and loss of movement. It is a common condition that affects mostly the elderly over the age of 60. But it can sometimes affect younger people too. Usually your genes are responsible for this condition that makes even simple movements difficult. But with a healthy and active lifestyle, you can overcome the difficulties associated with this condition. Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include a cracking sound when you move your joints, an enlargement in a bone region and pain and stiffness of the joints. Early treatment is essential to control the symptoms and life a healthy and normal life.

There are many medications that can provide relief from the debilitating pain of this condition. Today, because of the limitations of modern medicine, many people are leaning towards more traditional and natural forms of treatment for many ailments and osteoarthritis is no different. Traditional therapied like Ayurveda, naturopathy and Chinese traditional medicine, to name a few, do claim to hold formulations that can help. In India and across the world today, many people look at Ayurveda for relief. This ancient form of therapy uses many herbs to treat osteoarthritis naturally.

Here, we reveal some of these amazing herbs that are easily available near you. These herbs help to bring down inflammation by interfering with the production of inflammatory chemicals in your body.

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This herb provides a cooling sensation and sooths the joints. It also induces lubrication of the stiff joints and thereby improve mobility. It also inhibits the production of chemicals that trigger inflammation in the body.

Haldi or turmeric

This is a common spice that can be found in every Indian household. It comes with some amazing properties that can help with a range of condition. For osteoarthritis, you can use it for topical application to sore joints or have it orally. This helps to bring down inflammation. The curcumin in turmeric inhibits inflammation-producing enzymes like lipo-oxygenase, cyclo-oxygenase and phospholipase A2.

Boswellia or Indian frankincense

This herb blocks an enzyme (5-lipoxygenase), which is responsible for the production of leukotrienes, a chemical that stimulates and drives inflammation in the body. Ayurveda says that when this herb is taken in com bination with ashwagandha, turmeric and zinc, it increases strength of the joints and leads to increased mobility. There is also significant reduction in pain.


This is another Ayurvedic herb with potent anti-inflammatory properties. It inhibits the release of the pro-inflammatory molecules TNF-alpha and two interleukin subtypes. It can also reduce your pain by preventing pain signals from traveling along the central nervous system.


This is an ancient Ayurvedic treatment for osteoarthritis. It is basically a formulation that contains three herbs, amla or Indian gooseberry, haritaki and bibhitaki. All these herbs have anti-inflammatory properties.


This is especially good for osteoarthritis of the knees. It contains extraordinary anti-inflammatory properties and interferes with the enzyme cyclooxygenase, which stimulates the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body.


This herb inhibits the enzyme NFKB, which is responsible for the body's inflammatory response. Regular use of this herb will significantly bring down inflammation and swelling of the joints.

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