Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word which is made up of combining two words “ayes” and “Veda”. Ayus means ‘life’ and Veda indicates science or knowledge; thus Ayurveda means the science of life. This science which developed during ancient times is still widely in use to treat many diseases effectively. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest forms of medicine in history. It has the power to cure and heal almost any disease and illness. The main motive of Ayurvedic medicine is to heal diseases and illness. It aims in protecting the body and human health from diseases and to prolong life, to eliminate waste materials from the body.
What is Muscle Cramp?
A muscle cramp, also known as night time cramp, is a common problem faced by every gender, at any age. It is a kind of intense pain which occurs at the contraction or tightening of muscles. The unbearable pain lasts for seconds or minutes. The leg is the common body part affected by muscle cramp. Though it is not a threatening problem, the regular occurrence of such pain can be truly disturbing. In Ayurvedic term, a muscle cramp is known as Khaali Vaata.
Why Cause Such Cramps?
The occurrence of muscle cramp does not happen due to any one specific reason, but a group of interrelated reasons. However, some activities or conditions in which cramps happen generally are listed below:
- Muscle stress or over-exertion
- Poor blood circulation
- Wearing wrong shoes
- Insufficient amount of minerals, potassium or calcium in the body.
Other reasons can be – standing for a long period, walking too long or working continuously without any break, work pattern, or taking of pills and medicines.
Ayurveda Reasons for Cramps
Ayurveda medicine pays a significant contribution to the treatment of muscles cramps. According to Ayurveda, muscles cramps are caused due to Mamsagata Vata and Mamsasthita. Vata Dosha makes muscles stiff and hard due to cold or rough exercise and hence it goes spasm. Vata Dosha includes factors like food, medicine, habits, age, weather and climate, geographical area etc. Vata Dosha is followed by Kapha Dosha. Depending on the location of Mamsagata Vata the part is affected. The reason for the cause of pain is Aama which is an Ayurvedic term. When unwanted and waste minerals are not flushed or eliminated from the body, the waste minerals are stored between the nerves and muscles tissues which create pain.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Muscle Cramps
Khaali Vaata is the Ayurvedic term for muscles cramp. The function of muscles is regulated by Vyaana Vaata. When pain is felt, the condition is called Pindikodveshtana. There are many medicines and treatment for muscle cramps these days but one does feel better for a few days or months. It should last longer, Ayurvedic treatment is the best form to heal the pain as it has been practising since ancient ages. According to pain in muscle cramps, treatment and measures are undertaken.
In Ayurveda, there are three kinds of Dosha. They are
- Vata Dosha- It includes air and space elements. This is related to nerve impulse, circulation and respiration.
- Pitta Dosha – It includes elements related to the fire. Pitta is responsible for metabolism and transformation of food into nutrients.
- Kapha Dosha- It includes elements which are related to earth and water. It features for growth and development of the body and protection as well.
Kapha Kshaya helps in strengthening the muscles tissues. Pitta Dosha also contributes to curing the muscles cramps indirectly. Pitta is involved with the help of Manda which means slow and Sthira which means stable as drug substances. The most popular method is Rasavana; there are many oils to apply in Ayurveda. Lakshadi Taila, Ashwagandha Bala Lakshadi Taila, Ksheerabala Taila, Mahanarayana Taila, Masha Taila etc. are few oils which can be used. Sinhanaada Guggulu is the most recommended drug for the treatment.
Drugs Beneficial in Muscle Cramps
Ayurvedic medicines have no side effects in human health and body. In fact, they are considered the best medicines and drugs for proper growth and development. Here are the few Ayurvedic medicines which are beneficial for the treatment of muscles cramps.
- Bala-Sida Cordifoila
- Kooshmanda-Ash Gourd
- Shunthi-Dry Ginger
- Rasna-Pluchea Lanceolata
- Gokshura-Tribulus Terrestris
- Jeevanti-Leptadena Reticulata
- Amrita-Tinospora Cardifolia
- Chandana-Sandal Wood
- Vidari-Ipomea Tuberose
Vata Dosha is pacified by Oleation and mild sudation. Patrapinda Sweda with Vata and Pittahara Dravyas such as Chincha (Tarmind), Nirgundi (Vitex Negundo), Eranda (Castor) helps to pacify Vata to stabilize it.
Use of Ayurvedic Oil
Ayurvedic oil is recommended as one of the best ways to cure any type of pain, including muscle cramps. Ayurvedic oil has been used for thousands of years. It is prepared by natural herbs and extracted oils according to the traditional recipe. It is the mother of all healing science.
Apply the oil by warming at room temperature and then massage it for 5-10 minutes over the muscles and leg. Massaging by using oil is the best way as it helps in healing by penetrating through the cells of the skin. Use of oil will relax the muscle and its fibre improves blood circulation. Regular use of oil will be beneficial and strengthen the muscles and bones. It also calms the body and smoothen the skin and also helps in relaxing the mind from stress, anger, anxiety and depression.
Here are the names of Ayurvedic oil formulations which is useful for curing muscles cramp-
- Lakshadi taila
- Ashwagandha bala lakshadi taila
- Ksheerabala taila
- Mahanarayana taila
- Masha taila
Another method to cure muscle cramp is through steam Therapy. Gentle steam therapy is also beneficial for treatment. Here are few steam therapies which can be used-
- Mahamasha taila
- Narasimha rasayana
- Balaguduchyadi kashaya
- Ksheerabakla taila (101 avartana)
- Maharaja prasarini taila
- Yogaraja guggulu
- Goksuradi guggulu
Make a routine of consuming easily digestible food, rich in protein, sour and sweet food and beverages, milk and milk products etc. Besides all this, drink plenty of water, keep your body hydrated, do proper and regular exercise, increase the intake of minerals and potassium and calcium in your meal, stretch muscles while working out. Avoid spicy food, caffeine or alcoholic drinks and do not stay awake till late night, avoid stress and heavy exercises. A combination of Ayurveda and these lifestyle changes can help you to get rid of frequent muscle cramps and related issues.