Joint Health Supplements
We may not stop to fully appreciate our bones, joints, ligaments, and the freedom of movement they allow us—until they begin to complain. As children we start out with flexible joints, cushioned by healthy cartilage and ample synovial fluid, and supple muscles and their equally supple connective tissue. As we age, many of us stop moving the way we moved as children. We stop running, skipping, and playing tag. We stop jumping rope, climbing trees, and hula hooping. All these things we did so effortlessly as children supported a healthy growing musculoskeletal system and circulatory system as well, and we didn’t even know it. One thing is certain—our bodies were made to move. And our bodies were made to move not only when we are young, but throughout a lifetime. The best way to improve bone health is still to exercise. And the best relief for tight muscles is still to stretch them. And the best way we can support our joints is by keeping our muscles and bones strong. We can further support this activity by a wholesome diet, herbal allies, and joint and bone-health supplements.
How to Improve Joint Health
Because our joints act as an intermediary between our muscles and bones, it would make sense that supporting our musculoskeletal system is also supportive of our joints. From a practical perspective, the stronger the muscle, the stronger the joint. Our joints were not actually made to work on their own; their function is mostly dependent on the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments which permit their movement. Weak muscles allow for more strain or stress to be put on the joint, as the surrounding muscles aren’t able to support it properly. This opens the possibility for further joint strain or damage. Conversely, whenever we are putting stress on our bones in the form of exercise, via muscle factors, we are sending a signal to the osteocytes (the cells responsible for new bone tissue) to form stronger bones, thus the importance of exercise and the interconnectivity of these systems cannot be overstated. From an Ayurvedic perspective, the bones and joints are connected to vata dosha. Consider that osteoporosis means “porous bone,” a bone with too much space and too much air. And the joints themselves also contain empty space, especially without the lubrication of synovial fluid and healthy cartilage. In Ayurvedic terms, these empty spaces are one place that ama, or toxins, tend to accumulate. And, over time, this can lead to cranky joints. At the core of Ayurveda, health begins and ends with a strong digestive fire or lack thereof. Thus, supporting our joint health means paying attention to a healthy digestion as well. For an in depth look at joint health, you will appreciate reading An Ayurvedic Guide to Joint Health.
Diet & Herbal Supplements
One way to encourage a healthy digestion is to eat foods that are best suited to your particular constitution. If you are unsure about your constitution or current state of being, our Ayurvedic Profile™ quiz can help you get started with product suggestions and a slew of helpful resources specific to your unique doshic makeup. With regards to herbs, because the health of our joints is so manifold, there are various approaches one may take. The first is supporting a healthy digestion. Triphala is the quintessential Ayurvedic formula to offer overall assistance to the digestive system, especially promoting assimilation and elimination. Triphala is also considered rejuvenating to the GI tract. To support the digestive process overall, you might try one of our digestive formulas—Vata Digest, Pitta Digest, and Kapha Digest. These are all formulated to meet the individual needs of each dosha. Easy Digest is a tridoshic formula offered as a liquid extract, perfect for traveling or throwing in your purse when dining out. For joint health supplements, our Joint Support tablets offer the nourishing qualities of ashwangandha and guduchi, the cleansing properties of guggulu and amalaki, and the characteristically heating qualities of boswelia, turmeric, ginger, and pippali. These herbs can also be taken individually or in addition to the Joint Support formula. For bone health supplements, our Healthy Bones formula is one of the best, with coral calcium and the synergistic elements of arjuna, ashwagandha, and ginger. And with all the exercise you are going to be doing, you just may want some sore muscle relief. Look no further than our Balms page to find Muscle Balm, used with gentle massage to promote healthy circulation and movement of lymph. You will also find Joint Balm, a wonderfully warming and soothing balm to be massaged into cranky joints. Used with our Mahanarayan Oil, or alone, provides a truly beneficial and nourishing experience.