Shotha – Swelling and Inflammation:  Top 9 Reasons and Ayurveda Remedies

Shotha, as per Ayurveda, is the ancient Sanskrit word for swelling or inflammation. You will also see it referred to as Shopha or Shvayathu in the texts. Basically, it covers everything from regular local swellings to those internal inflammations. Think if any condition that ends with an “-itis” and you are looking at an inflammation. Think if conditions like dermatitis, appendicitis, gingivitis , meningitis.

Shotha Samprapti – How Does Shotha Occur?

Here’s the behind-the-scenes story of how Shotha gets its groove on. The mischievous Vata dosha decides to mess things up and throws the vitiated Rakta (that’s affected or imbalanced blood), Pitta, and Kapha energies into the circulation channels. But wait, it gets worse!  Vata gets even more irritated by these troublemakers, causing them to pile up between the skin and muscle. And voilà, you have swelling – that’s Shotha, folks!

Types of Shotha – Flavors

Shotha comes in different flavors, like ice cream! Well, not as tasty, but you get the idea. Here they are:

  1. Vataja shotha – Expect pain in joints to be the main feature. Imagine a party where pain is the superstar. That’s Vataja Shotha for you! It loves to target your joints, and the swelling it brings will be soft, with rough and coarse skin on top. You might experience some numbness, and the swelling might come and go like it has a mind of its own. It’s like a party guest who shows up and leaves whenever it feels like it. And guess what? The swelling gets worse during the daytime.
  2. Pittaja shotha – These will be soft, smelly and might even come with some fever and sweating action. Pittaja Shotha swelling will be soft and might even emit some odor – yikes! Expect fever, giddiness, sweating, and other signs of inflammation.
  3. Kaphaja shotha – These will be hard and heavy, and you might have issues like lack of appetite and low digestion. will be hard and heavy, and the color might be pale. You might have nausea, sleepiness, mandagni, impaired digestion, and other signs of Kapha misbehaviour.
  4. Vata-pittaja shotha – When both Vata and Pitta decide to gang up. Double trouble, folks!
  5. Pitta-kaphaja shotha – When Pitta and Kapha join forces. This can get interesting.
  6. Kapha-vataja shota – When Kapha and Vata team up. Well, this is just more trouble, isn’t it?
  7. Traidoshaja shotha – When Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, all decide to have a party. Yeah, not fun at all.
  8. Abhighataja shotha – Swellings caused by trauma. Ouch! The swelling will be hot to touch, red in color, and just as annoying as you can imagine.
  9. Vishaja – Swellings caused by contact with poisons and chemicals. Watch out for that!

inflammation shothaCauses of Shotha – The Swelling Culprits

Shotha isn’t just a random party crasher. It’s usually triggered by some bad diet and lifestyle habits or exposure to certain things like an accident or injury. Here’s what might lead to a Shotha showdown:

  • Excessive alkaline foods think foods with baking soda in it, sour foods like ferments and lemon juice, oily, heavy foods, spicy foods – basically, food that doesn’t play nice.
  • Heavy-to-digest foods like yoghurt, kefir, curd, raw foods, unclean food (yes, you read that right!), green raw vegetables, and contaminated or poisoned foods. That’s a bad combination for sure.

So, if you’re not careful with what you eat and how much, Shotha might just show up to the party uninvited!

Diet Do’s and Don’ts – Ayurveda Style!

Ayurveda has some cool guidelines on what to eat and what to avoid when you have Shotha. Ayurveda is definitely your personal food coach! So here’s the scoop:

Wholesome Diet and Habits for Shotha– Yum Yum!

These are the goodies you want to munch on when you have Shotha inflammation:

  • Old rice, barley, horse gram, green gram: Grains that bring a smile to your tummy.
  • Chicken meat: Yep, don’t hate me, its written in the Samhitas. They’ve got some unique meat options for you, I won’t list them here to shock you, but yeah they were not joking!
  • Old ghee: Puraana Ghrita is medicinal and has a million soothing properties to heal blood.
  • Butter milk: helps to improve metabolism.
  • Alcohol: Drinks that play nice with your system, yup yup, alcohol dries and will draw out swelling but there are some inflammation where it is contra-indicated so don’t open that bottle yet.
  • Honey, fermented drinks, peas and beans, bitter gourd, drumstick, tender radish, carrot, Indian gooseberry amla : Fresh and healthy probiotic produce to keep you going.
  • Dashamoola is a powerful medicine made of ten herbs for inflammation.

inflammation shotha

Unwholesome Diet and Habits for Shotha – Beware!

Now, let’s talk about the party crashers – the stuff you need to avoid:

  • Meat of domestic animals, meat of animals living in marshy lands: Say no to those marshy meaty delights!
  • Salt: excessive salt will increase water retention.
  • Raw and dry, old vegetables: have the freshest veggies and not dried old veggies.
  • Freshly harvested rice: Might taste good, but they aren’t party-friendly according to Ayurveda. Get aged red rice instead.
  • Alcohol prepared from jaggery, curd with milk, contaminated water, sour substances: Sorry, but they can ruin the fun.
  • Pork meat is not allowed when having inflammation.
  • Excessive food intake, heavy-to-digest food, unwholesome food, burning sensation-causing vidaahi food like yoghurt: Nope, not the vibe we’re going for.
  • Day time napping: Yep, Ayurveda even has something to say about your sleep habits. Party responsibly, even in dreamland

My recommendation for inflammation

My favorite inflammation fighting herb is Shunthi or Dry Ginger with Jaggery, either with ghee or as a strong tea.

I also encourage clients to apply Shunthi with castor oil on their painful joints, if no swelling is present.

If swelling is present then apply a paste of Shunthi with Sesame seed paste or Tahini for binding and holding the Shunthi paste in its place. You can cover with a light gauge bandage.

So there you have it – the Ayurvedic guide to inflammation friendly diet and lifestyle.


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