Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

  Exercise: Gentle, daily exercise for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week can help to treat osteoporosis. Walking is excellent and quite sufficient, but you may do swimming, gentle jogging or whatever suits your constitution and level of fitness, and the condition of your bones.

  Some people recommend weight-bearing exercise, even including weight lifting for bone building. While this is good in general, for a person with osteoporosis it can be quite dangerous - even a slight injury may crack the fragile bones of a person with osteoporosis. Therefore a good, safe way to begin an exercise program is to do some underwater exercise. As the bones become stronger, weight-bearing exercise, even including some gentle weight lifting, may be acceptable and effective.

   Calcium: It is important to get a plentiful supply of calcium from natural food sources, such as sesame seeds, soybeans, soy milk, cow's milk, cheese, carrots, and coconut. Calcium supplements, such as oyster shells, may also be helpful. Your daily dose should include about 1200 mg. calcium, along with 600 mg. magnesium and 60 mg. zinc for maximum absorption and effectiveness.

   Almond milk also contains a significant amount of calcium. Soak ten almonds in water. In the morning, peel them and blend in the blender with a cup of warm milk. (You can use goat's milk or soy milk if you prefer them to cow's milk.) Pour into a glass, add a pinch each of ginger, cardamom and saffron. Drink twice a day, before breakfast and before bedtime.

   Daily chewing a handful of white sesame seeds in the morning provides at least 1200 mg. of natural calcium. These seeds won't create clogged arteries, as dependence upon calcium from dairy products may. This is an effective way to help prevent osteoporosis in menopausal women.

   However, merely taking calcium may not be sufficient. Along with it you need to bring some physical stress to the system through exercise.

   Be Careful With Yoga Postures: If osteoporosis has begun to develop, yoga exercises should be done gently, with great care, as there is a real danger of breaking a bone.

   Herbal Helpers: Certain herbs can help to make up for estrogen in the metabolic cycle. Try the following formula:

shatavari 5 parts
vidari 3 parts
wild yam 2 parts

These herbs are food precursors of estrogen and progesterone. To this formula you can  add 1/8 part each of shanka bhasma (conch shell ash) and kama dudba (coral shell ash). They contain a natural source of calcium bicarbonate, which can help to prevent osteoporosis.

Take 1/4 teaspoon of this mixture twice a day with warm milk, whether cow's, goat's, or soy milk. Treat this as a daily maintenance dose, and take it indefinitely to help prevent osteoporosis.

- Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc.
"The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies"

Please consult your physician before starting any exercise program or making dietary changes.