Yogic treatment & Natural Remedies

20. Rheumatism

Symptoms: Swelling and contractures of the muscles or of different joints, acute pain or deformity of the swollen parts, etc., are the symptoms of this disease.

Causes: The causes of this disease are just like those of acidity. That is to say, rheumatism occurs when the váyu bodily air is disturbed due to excess of poisonous acids in the body.

Treatment: Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, Mayúrásana, Padahastásana, Ud́d́ayána Mudrá, Agnisára Mudrá and Ágneyii Práńáyáma.

Evening – Agnisára Mudrá, Utkat́a Pashcimottánásana Sarváuṋgásana and Ágneyii Mudrá or Ágneyii Práńáyáma.

Rheumatism patients should drink a sufficient quantity of water (say four to five seers a day, but not much at a time), and should also observe the bathing and sun-bathing procedures. First the diseased limb should be exposed several times to the rays of the sun, and finally the entire body. The prescribed procedure for sun-bathing should be carefully followed, i.e., exposing the particular limb or the entire body to the sun for fifteen to twenty minutes at a stretch at the time fixed for summer or winter months (see Appendix). When the particular limb or the entire body, as the case may be, has become sufficiently warm, the patient should retire to the shade and wipe the area with a wet towel. This can be repeated several times.

Diet: When a person’s system becomes acid-dominated, rheumatism is the consequence. Hence the more a patient takes alkaline types of food, the better. If three-fourths of the food is alkaline, it will cure rheumatism completely within a very short time. That is to say, all kinds of sweet and sour fruits, and roots, are good for a rheumatism patient. Fasting with lemon juice and water on Ekádashii, Púrńimá and Amávasyá days must be observed. Instead of cooked rice, it is better to take relatively dry food like rut́i at night. But it is always better for rheumatism patients to take as little as possible starchy and acidic food such as rice, rut́i, luci, etc., and instead to take fruits, roots, vegetable soups, etc., which are alkaline.

Dos and don’ts:
Just as for acidity; special care must be taken to clear the bowels regularly.

Some special remedies: All remedies prescribed for acidity are also applicable in this disease. In addition –

1. When rheumatism first starts expressing itself, a mild purgative will cure it quickly. 10 or 12 tender leaves of sodála fried in ghee.

2. 10 or 12 tender leaves of bichuti fried in ghee – either of the two eaten with rice, will yield good results in the initial stages of rheumatism.

3. Castor oil with a little salt.

4. Ákanda gum with a little salt; rubbed on the rheumatic limbs, will give good results.

5. Rheumatism can be cured by placing a warm solution of sajne gum mixed with water and a little asafoetida (Ferula foetida Regel) on the affected limb, or by applying.

6. Garlic, ginger and the root of apámárga, pounded together, to the affected limb.

7. Fry some pork in mustard oil and rub that oil on the limbs. This will ease the pain.

8. Tiger fat rubbed on the limbs will work similarly.

9. Either anantamúla extract with honey.

10. Gulaiṋca extract; duly cooled and taken in 5 tolas’ quantity every morning, will yield good results within a very short time.

11. Boil 2 tolas of triphalá in half a seer of water; and when it has boiled down to 1/8 seer and is still warm, add 2 tolas of ginger extract. Drinking this for three days will surely cure rheumatic fever as well as to elephantiasis, filaria, or any similar condition.