In Ayurveda rheumatoid arthritis is known as amavata and was described in great detail by Madhava.
Amavata is named after the two involving pathological factors – Ama and Vata and is the condition where stiffness of the body occurs due to lodgement of Ama and Vata in the joints.
When Ama combines with the Vayu it then gives rise to vibandha/ constipation, mandagni/ impaired digestion, stambha/ stiffness, antra kujana/ gurgling sound, vedana/ pain, shopha/ oedema and a pin prick sensation which gradually affects the body parts one after the other.
The etiological factors are considered to be incompatible diet, erroneous habits, diminished digestive fire, sedentary lifestyle and exercising soon after having a meal.
Treatments are langhana/ fasting, swedana/ sweating, virechana (Panchakarma), agni chikitsa and patra pinda sveda. Castor oil is used for the purgation. Ayurvedic preparations such as Simhananda guggulu has shown positive results in reducing inflammation and pain.

Health is the condition of wisdom and the signs of happiness
Charaka Samhita

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