Gut and Joint Interconnections: A Reappraisal to Ayurvedic Understanding of Joint Diseases

  • Sanjeev Rastogi
  • Ranjana Rastogi


Being an ancient health-care science, Ayurveda is profoundly rich in culture-based philosophical contexts. Its methods of understanding health and disease often swing around intricate terminologies and explanations, not well understood in contemporary context. Ama, for example, has been one pathogenic proposition from Ayurveda which is linked with numerous manifestations ranging from local gastrointestinal to systemic musculoskeletal disorders.

While thinking of evidence-based understanding of a pathology and then to its management, this is important that the classical context should be reappraised critically and didactically into a more elucidative manner. Reappraising ancient thoughts of Ayurveda into the contemporary knowledge without distorting their intellectual component is one important step towards evidence generation. This chapter reviews the concept of Ama, as is perceived in Ayurveda, and links it to the contemporary understanding of membrane pathologies related to gastrointestinal tract initially and to various joint pathologies finally, a thought which is highly acclaimed, endorsed, and practiced in Ayurveda. In this way, it tries to bridge between concepts of Ayurvedic and modern rheumatology for their better integration and application onto an evidence-based health-care model.


Joint Disease Intestinal Barrier Enzymatic Secretion Architectural Change Joint Pathology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Rastogi S, Singh RH (1999) Identifying the stress area for future research in Ayurveda—a demographic study. New Approaches Med Health 6:20–28Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Rastogi S, Hemchandra RR, Singh RH (2006) Institutional practice of Ayurvedic system of medicine: survey analysis to discuss the strategies for its optimal utilization. Ayush Tomorrow 1:1–19Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Rastogi S (2009) Principles and practice of Ayurvedic rheumatology. Chaukhambha Sanskrit Pratishthan, DelhiGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rastogi S (2009) Special features of rheumatoid arthritis in patients visiting an Ayurvedic hospital. New Approaches Med Health 17:23–29Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Malviya AN (1994) Prevalence of rheumatic diseases in India: results of a population survey. J Indian Rheum Assoc 2:13–17Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hicklin JA et al (1980) The effect of diet in rheumatoid arthritis. Clin Allergy 10:463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Panush RS et al (1986) Food induced arthritis. Arthritis Rheum 29:220–226PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kroker GP, Stroud RM, Marshall RT et al (1984) Fasting and rheumatoid arthritis, a multicentric study. Clin Ecol 2:137–144Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kremer J (1985) Effects of manipulation of dietary fatty acids on clinical manifestation of rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 1:184–187PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Darlington LG (1986) Placebo controlled, blind study of dietary manipulation therapy in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 1:236–238PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jenkins RT (1987) Increased intestinal permeability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: as side effect of oral NSAID therapy? Br J Rheumatol 26:103–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Baghel MS (2005) Researches in Ayurveda. Mridu Ayurvedic publication and sales, JamnagarGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rastogi S (2009) Development of diagnostic criteria for Amavata: inferences from a clinical study. J Res Ayur Siddha 30:1–10Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Upadhyaya YN (ed) (1993) Madhava Nidana. Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, VaranasiGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rastogi S, Singh RH, Ramchandani MH, Chiappelli F (2011) Global warming in 21st century: propositions from Ayurveda, a traditional health care system. In: Cossia JM (ed) Global warming in 21st century. Nova science publishing Inc, New York, pp 143–163Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bennett EJ, Tennant CG, Piesse C, Badcock CA, Kellow JE (1998) Level of chronic life stress predicts clinical outcome in irritable bowel syndrome. Gut 43:256–261PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Soderholm JD, Perdue MH (2001) Stress and the gastrointestinal tract II. Stress and intestinal barrier function. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 280:G7–G13PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cordain L, Toohey L, Smith MJ, Hickey MS (2000) Modulation of immune function by dietary lectins in rheumatoid arthritis. Br J Nutr 83:207–217PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Hvatum M, Kanerud L, Hallgren R, Brandtzaeg P (2006) The gut joint axis: cross reactive food antibodies in rheumatoid arthritis. Gut 55:1240–1247PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Liener IE (1986) Nutritional significance of lectins: properties, functions and applications in biology and medicine. Academic, OrlandoGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pusztai A (1993) Dietary lectins are metabolic signals for the gut and modulate immune and hormone functions. Eur J Clin Nutr 47:691–699PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Sjolander A, Magnusson KE, Latkovik S (1986) Morphological changes of rat small intestine after short time exposure to concanavalin A or wheat germ agglutinin. Cell Struct Funct 11:285–293PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Sjolander A, Magnusson KE, Latkovik S (1984) The effect of concanavalin A or wheat germ agglutinin on the ultrastructure and permeability of rat intestine. Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol 75:230–236PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Tripathi BN (ed) (1991) Charaka Samhita, Sutra Sthana 26/81. Chaukhambha orientalia, VaranasiGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Albani S, Carson DA (1996) A multistep molecular mimicry hypothesis for the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Immunol Today 17:466–470PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Kjeldsen-Kragh J, Haugen M, Borchgrevink CF, Laerum E, Eek M, Mowinkel P, Hovi K, Forre O (1991) Controlled trial of fasting and one-year vegetarian diet in rheumatoid arthritis. Lancet 338:899–902PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kjeldsen-Kragh J, Mellbye OJ, Haugen M, Mollnes TE, Hammer HB, Sioud M, Forre O (1995) Changes in laboratory variables in rheumatoid arthritis patients during a trial of fasting and one-year vegetarian diet. Scand J Rheumatol 24:85–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Fujita A, Hashimoto Y, Nakahara K, Tanaka T, Okuda T, Koda M (1999) Effects of a low calorie vegan diet on disease activity and general conditions in patients with rheumatoid arthritis [article in Japanese]. Rinsho Byori 47:554–560PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Muller H, de Toledo FW, Resch KL (2001) Fasting followed by vegetarian diet in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review. Scand J Rheumatol 30:1–10PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Michalsen A, Weidenhammer W, Melchart D, Langhorst J, Saha J, Dobos G (2002) Short-term therapeutic fasting in the treatment of chronic pain and fatigue syndromes—well-being and side effects with and without mineral supplements [article in German]. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 9:221–227PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mashelkar RA (2008) Second World AAyurveda Congress (Theme: Ayurveda for the Future)—Inaugural Address: Part I. Evid Based Complement Altern Med 5:243–245. doi: 10.1093/ecam/nen014 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Valiathan MS, Thatte U (2010) Ayurveda: the time to experiment. Int J Ayur Res 1:3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Vaidya AB, Raut AA (2006) Evidences based Ayurveda sorting fact from fantasy. In: Ayurveda and its scientific aspects—opportunities for globalisation. Department of AYUSH and C. S. I. R, New Delhi, pp 1–39Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.PG Department of Kaya Chikitsa, State Ayurvedic CollegeLucknow UniversityLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyVatsala HospitalLucknowIndia

Personalised recommendations