Rheumatoid arthritis refers to a chronic, inflammatory disease that affects the joints and the surrounding tissues. The condition attacks the lining of your joints, especially in the legs and arms, known as the synovial membrane. This leads to painful swelling, and may eventually result in joint deformity and bone erosion.


Early Signs of Rheumatoid Arthritis –

The initial symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis include the following –

  • Swelling, warmth and tenderness in the affected joints
    • Morning stiffness that may persist for long
    • Firm bumps of tissues – known as rheumatoid nodules – beneath the skin of your arms
    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Unintentional weight loss


Siddha Approach to Rheumatoid Arthritis –

According to traditional Siddha system, the signs of rheumatoid arthritis bear resemblance to two diseases – Vazhi azhal keel Vayu, and Uthiravatha suronitham. This has been mentioned in Siddha literature.
Uthiravatha suronitham occurs results from derangement of the humour Vatha. Symptoms include swelling and pain in smaller joints, loss of appetite and mental distress.

Vazhi azhal keel Vayu is caused due to derangement of Pitta and Vatha humour. Symptoms involve abdominal discomfort, lack of sleep, pricking pain, swelling and redness – particularly in the ankle and wrist joints.
Siddha system resides on the principle that consumption of certain foods, like potatoes and raw unripe bananas produce more vayu in the intestine, which eventually causes inflammation in the joints. Exposure to rain and cold air also aggravate the Vatha and Pittham humour.


Treatment and Management –

Treatment in Siddha is particularly aimed at restoring the balance of elevated Vatha and Pittham humour through medication and purgation. A healthful diet is recommended to rejuvenate the physical constituents.

  • Avoiding cold and sour food items, such as curd and tamarind can help balance Vatham and prevent progression of the disease
    • Salt intake and non-vegetarian foods, especially red meat should be avoided strictly
    • Avoid alcohol consumption, smoking and tobacco – it promotes inflammation of the joints

Besides dietary changes and restrictions, Siddha treatment largely relies on medicines prepared from natural plant extracts and herbal oil. Some of these medicines are consumed orally, while others may be applied to affected joints to counter rheumatoid arthritis.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a debilitating condition that is likely to interfere with your daily activities and functional abilities in the long-term. Siddha treatment approach can offer relief from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and improve your quality of life