Subscribe and track India like never before..

Get full online access to
Civil Society magazine.

Already a subscriber? Login


Comment here

Soothing painful joints

Published: Mar. 01, 2017
Updated: Oct. 25, 2017

My 56-year-old mother has been complaining of pain in her knees for the past three months. She finds it difficult to get up from her chair or to go for her usual evening walk. So she stays indoors most of the time and moves around restrictedly. She has been taking calcium tablets and medicine has been prescribed but it is not helping much. Please advise.

Shubhra Ganguly


Why knees hurt:

Complaints of knee pain after 50 would usually be osteoarthritis — a common form of arthritis which afflicts millions of people throughout the world. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of our bones wears down over a period of time, that is, the condition results from the breakdown of joint cartilage and the underlying bone. 

The most common symptoms of osteoarthritis are joint pain and stiffness. Joint swelling and decreased range of movement may also be present in many cases. The symptoms worsen with time. Staying active, maintaining a healthy weight and regular treatment may help in slowing the progression of osteoarthritis and, in turn, alleviate pain and improve joint functions.


What you can do:

Some of the risk factors for osteoarthritis like heredity, age and gender make it difficult to prevent its onset. However, some lifestyle modifications may help in halting its progression:

Exercise will help patients of osteoarthritis to improve their condition and move better. Walking, jogging, aerobics, cycling and swimming are the best. Also, do exercises that strengthen the quadriceps. Perfect your posture —maintain the two natural curves of your spine, whether sitting or standing. Yoga, when practised regularly, reduces pain associated with osteoarthritis.

Being overweight can increase the stress on weight-bearing joints such as knees and hips. Even a little weight loss can relieve pressure and reduce pain. Repetitive motions should be avoided as far as possible. Diabetic patients must control high blood sugar as it may be a risk factor for osteoarthritis.



Eat foods rich in calcium and Vitamin D — milk, fish, eggs and cereals. Ginger reduces joint inflammation. Asafoetida, onions and garlic are helpful.


Herbal supplements like Shallaki, Shigru and Hadjod (available as tablets from Himalaya) are very effective in relieving joint and muscle pain and support normal joint function. Ashvagandha, Shatavari and Haridra are other herbs that can be taken long-term. They strengthen the joints.


Heat applications are useful for joint stiffness. Also, cold applications help patients with muscle spasms and pain. Knee braces can be helpful in knee osteoarthritis.

Therapeutic oil massage: Any of the following oils may be used for gentle massage for 20-30 minutes on the afflicted joint/s followed by fomentation, twice daily.

The oils are Dhanvantaram taila, Pinda taila, Mahanarayana taila, Sahacharadi taila, Murivenna or Kottamchukkadi taila (manufactured by Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal or Nagarjuna) or Pain-relief oil (Himalaya Wellness).

Non-sticky liniments like Rumalaya liniment (Himalaya) and Myostaal liniment (Solumiks) can be used in place of oils which feel sticky.


A combination of any of the following medicines, depending on the actual condition of the patient, will be helpful:

Maharasnadi Kashaya/Rasnasaptakam kashaya /Dhanvantaram Kashaya/ Dashamoola Kashaya (Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal or Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala, Trichur) — 10 ml taken with 30 ml boiled and cooled water twice daily, before meals.

Yogaraja guggulu/Lakshadi guggulu (Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal) or Rumalaya forte tablets (Himalaya) or Rheumartho gold plus (Baidyanath) — two tablets three times daily, after meals.


In specific cases of fatigue and weakness, Ashvagandharishta and Balarishta — 10 ml each with 20 ml of water, twice daily, after meals.

For severe stiffness and joint pain, Guggulu tiktaka ghrita /Amritaprasha ghrita / Indukanta ghrita (Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal) — 5 ml on an empty stomach followed by half a cup of hot water, twice daily for three-four months will gradually provide relief. 


Dr Srikanth is a postgraduate in Ayurveda and has been a consulting physician for the past 17 years. He is currently  National Manager, Scientific Services  at The Himalaya Drug Company.


  • Ashok Khanna

    Ashok Khanna - Nov. 16, 2019, 9:58 p.m.

    Sincere advice, it was very helpful.

  • M. Pathak

    M. Pathak - July 19, 2019, 1:47 p.m.

    I am 41 years old, female. Have been experiencing mild pain in my knees and ankles. But heavy burning sensation in the soles of my feet. Burning sensation near the ankle area is really terrible when getting up from sleep in the morning. I have read about Himalaya's Shallaki and Shigru. I would like to try out some ayurvedic remedy for this pain. Please advise.

  • Sukhendu Das

    Sukhendu Das - April 2, 2019, 11:51 p.m.

    My mother aged about 80 years is confined into bed due to weakness of lower limbs for about 7/8 years. For last 5/6 years , a large umbilical hernia grew over her abdomen at the naval region and now it is so large that we are afraid it might get ruptured after some time. We are totally upset as it is not possible to seek surgical procedure and perhaps ayurvedic treatment is of some help, if any, at all.

  • Sudipto Mukherjee

    Sudipto Mukherjee - April 2, 2019, 11:39 p.m.

    Please be kind to let me know about medicinal ayurvedic trratment for nasal polyp of a 08 year old child. The child suffer from occasional headache which allopath doctor always treat as migraine. I think it is due to less supply of oxygen for obstruction in nose.

  • Vasant awarr

    Vasant awarr - Dec. 12, 2018, 11:38 p.m.

    I have pain and stiffness in my neck as well as right new joint pl suggest medicine

  • Ram

    Ram - Oct. 26, 2018, 7:49 a.m.

    I have had a back problem for 15 years. For the last 5 years I have joint pain in my wrists and knees also. I want to try shallaki/shigru or similar products which are said to be relatively safe. Is this a correct approach? If yes, what should be the course duration? Can I have both shallaki and shigru on a daily basis? Thanks

  • Shashi

    Shashi - April 2, 2018, 11:48 a.m.

    Sir pls tell ur clinic in East Delhi. I have sprained in my left knee last 2 months. I also wear knee brace. What should I do.

  • sunil

    sunil - Jan. 26, 2018, 1:57 p.m.

    very good and informative article. thanks

  • Sreekanth S R

    Sreekanth S R - July 19, 2017, 11:45 a.m.

    There is widespread problem related to flu such as Dengue and Chikungunya all over the country. Please advise on what preventive, during and post infection recovery medication should be used by families.

  • Sharada barimar

    Sharada barimar - April 28, 2017, 6:54 a.m.

    Very good and useful information

  • Suresh M V

    Suresh M V - April 27, 2017, 7:42 p.m.

    Thanks Dr Srikanth the information was really useful.

  • Bhagyalakshmi

    Bhagyalakshmi - March 10, 2017, 7:16 a.m.

    Dr . Thanks for the information ????

  • lux

    lux - March 9, 2017, 12:10 p.m.

    I am having premature hair graying at the age of 26 though I do not have hereditary problem am already using badam rogan for hair massage and anti hair fall shampoo please share further treatment...

  • Sudheer

    Sudheer - March 9, 2017, 11:13 a.m.

    Very good, helpfull article.

  • Srinivasa Upadya G

    Srinivasa Upadya G - March 9, 2017, 7:24 a.m.

    Good,Srikanth, carry on further.