Our amazing bones protect our organs, support our body, store essential minerals, produce red and white blood cells and remove heavy metal toxins. Like all our tissues, bone continually turns over and rejuvenates itself. If any of the nutrients needed for bone turnover is lacking, they will begin to lose density, often leading to osteoporosis.
Unfortunately, most people will not know they have poor bone density until they suffer a fracture from weakened bone tissue, which may result in chronic pain.
Common causes of bone loss are poor digestion, accumulation of toxins (ama), chronic inflammation, insufficient exercise, excess stress, eating processed foods, nutritional deficiencies, exposure to chemicals, drinking caffeine, alcohol, and smoking. Other risk factors include family history, a thin frame, hormonal imbalance, and the use of certain medications.
In Ayurveda, the loss of bone tissue is called Asthi Dhatu Kshaya and is caused by excess vata and poor digestion.
Excess vata may lead to a deficiency of nutrients in the bone, so the tissue does not have the building blocks needed to build strength and flexibility. Poor digestion (agni) leads to inflammation which further depletes the bone and the creation and accumulation of toxins.
Fortunately, Ayurveda offers many options for strengthening bone, preventing bone loss and supporting the building of new bone. This is accomplished by first identifying and eliminating the causes and by focusing on a vata-pacifying routine along with methods to improve digestion.
How to Boost Your Bone Health
Choose Fresh Foods
Choosing mostly plant-based, organically grown and minimally processed foods will give you the nutrients needed for rebuilding healthy tissues. Favor a grounding and warming vata-pacifying diet. Cooking with spices like ginger, cumin and cinnamon, and herbs such as basil, rosemary and oregano also add needed nutrients. Avoid strong flavors, and eat fewer bitter, pungent, and astringent foods. Include good fats, especially ghee, and high-quality olive oil.
Healthy Gut and Strong Digestion
A healthy gut and strong agni are essential to adequately absorb and assimilate the nutrients needed while not adding to the toxic load. Digestion can be strengthened by eating only when hungry, thoroughly chewing food, drinking very little liquids during meals, being mindful while eating, and not eating when upset. Adding a little bit of fermented foods daily will also support a healthy gut.
Your body can either be in a state of stress or in a state of healing. Chronic stress uses more resources than the body can supply leading to issues like bone loss. Managing stress is one of the most important ways to strengthen bones. Making meditation and mindfulness a part of your daily life is crucial to your health: 10-20 minutes of meditation twice a day is a good place to start.
Exercise will not only reduce stress but is essential for building and maintaining bone. Find types that you enjoy so you are more likely to include it into your daily life.
Perhaps a walk in the morning and yoga in the afternoon may work for you. Weight bearing exercise is important (such as walking uphill) to challenge the bones to grow stronger. Aim for at least thirty minutes of exercise a day.
Oil Massage (abhyanga) has many benefits, most of all for soothing vata, reducing stress and nourishing your entire system. It is best to give yourself an oil massage at least once a week but daily is even better for you. Kottakkal offers many excellent medicinal oils to use to specifically help reduce vata and nourish your bones.
Kottakkal Products for Low Bone Density
- Dhanwantaram Oil
- Kshirabala Thailam
- Kshirabala (101) SoftGel Capsule
- Dhanwantaram (101) SoftGel Capsule
- Gandha Oil SoftGel Capsule
- Shankha Bhasmam Capsules
Panchakarma offers supportive, cleansing, and nourishing protocols and treatments for balancing the doshas and eliminating toxins. Basti (medicated enemas) are particularly useful for the treatment of bone loss.
When low bone density becomes chronic and is accompanied with weakness and pain, your best option is to enlist the expertise of an Ayurvedic practitioner. An in-depth Ayurvedic health consultation will offer you a fresh look at your condition and help you with the best Ayurvedic protocol.
Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Kottakkal Ayurveda products and this information is 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 medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic practitioner or doctor, call (800) 215-9934 or email us at email@example.com and we will provide you with one of our affiliated Ayurvedic professionals. Check with your doctor before taking herbs when pregnant or nursing.