Managing Pain with Ayurveda

Managing Pain with Ayurveda

by Julie Wardwell March 23, 2023


Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine from India, recognizes pain as a symptom of an underlying imbalance in the body's doshas. Vata dosha is considered the main culprit behind pain, and each area of pain is associated with one of the five movements of vata. Pain that is generalized is linked to vyana vayu, headache to prana vayu and vyana vayu, abdominal pain to samana and apana vayu, and chest pain to prana vayu and udana vayu.

  • Prana vayu – governs inhalation
  • Udana vayu – governs exhalation
  • Samana vayu – governs digestion
  • Vyana vayu – governs circulation
  • Apana vayu – governs elimination

Charaka Samhita, one of the classic texts of Ayurveda, categorizes pain-relieving herbs as Vedanasthapana, these herbs help manage vitiated vata. Some common Ayurvedic herbs for pain include dashamula, brahmi, haritaki, guduchi, hingu, lavana, ajwain, gokshura, varuna, nirgundi, guggulu, turmeric, ginger, and ashwagandha. These herbs are used externally for Abhyanga, an herbal oil massage which is followed by svedana, or steam therapy. This Ayurvedic therapy plays a significant role in removing impurities from the tissues which helps to relieve pain.

Ayurveda offers a holistic approach for managing pain, this includes herbs, dietary changes, regular exercise, stress reduction, detoxification, digestion improvement, and following a regular daily routine.

Ayurvedic protocol that can help manage pain:

  1. Herbal remedies: Ayurveda suggests various herbal remedies to manage pain, such as ginger, turmeric, dashamula, ashwagandha, and guggulu. These herbs have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  2. Massage therapy: Ayurveda also emphasizes massage therapy for managing pain. Ayurvedic massage, known as Abhyanga, involves the use of warm oils and herbal preparations to soothe and relax the body. Massage therapy can help improve circulation, relieve muscle tension, and reduce pain.
  3. Yoga and meditation: Ayurveda recommends yoga and meditation as a part of pain management therapy. Yoga postures can help stretch and strengthen muscles, while meditation can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, which in turn can help reduce pain.
  4. Diet and lifestyle modifications: Ayurveda recommends certain dietary and lifestyle modifications to manage pain. These include avoiding inflammatory and processed foods, consuming warm and nourishing meals, getting enough rest, and avoiding activities that increase pain.

Ayurveda's non-addictive and effective natural pain management techniques emphasize the importance of a balanced lifestyle that includes a wholesome diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, and detoxification. By addressing the root cause of pain, Ayurvedic remedies aim to alleviate pain and improve overall health and wellness.

Kottakkal Ayurveda offers various herbal formulas to help reduce pain.

  1. Mahanarayana Oil: this oil is made from a blend of several Ayurvedic herbs and is used for joint and muscle pain. It helps reduce inflammation and stiffness and improves circulation.
  2. Dhanwantaram Oil: this oil balances and nourishes vata dosha, supports vata related disorders of the muscles, bones, nerves, and joints.
  3. Karpuradi Oil: this oil balances kapha dosha, the main herb is karpuram which supports all kapha related disorders of the chest, throat and nose.
  4. Yogaraja Guggulu Vatika: the main herb is guggulu and these tablets help balance both vata and kapha dosha, improve appetitive and digestion, remove ama from the joints, and helps to lower swelling and inflammation from the joints.
  5. Dhanwantara Arishtam: this liquid formula balances both vata and pitta dosha, the main herbs are dasamula and ashwagandha which support and nourish the muscles, nerves, and bones, and helps reduce inflammation and pain.
  6. Pain Balm: this nongreasy paste contains the herbal formula dasamula and helps support muscle and joint pain.

If you have any questions about how to use Kottakkal products, you may schedule a free 15-minute consultation here.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and information are not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention of any disease. If you have serious, acute, or chronic health problems, please consult a trained health professional. If you are seeking the advice of a trained Ayurvedic professional, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at We will provide you with information to consult with Ayurvedic professionals. Always check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.


Julie Wardwell
Julie Wardwell

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