Osteoporosis is a disease marked by a reduction in bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue. Regardless of gender, the prevalence of osteoporosis and fractures increases with age. The reason for this is a reduction in the bone formation and resorption process. Osteoporosis is known to be a significant health concern in developed countries, affecting about 12% of men and 30% of women at some point in their lifetime. Hip fractures are a common complaint among women aged 80 and more.

According to Ayurveda, vitiation in the levels of vata is the cause for asthi sushiria or osteoporosis. In Ayurveda, performing snehana (oil therapy) using different medicated oils like dashamoola (10 roots) taila and mahanarayana taila is considered to be an effective technique for managing osteoporosis. Shunthi (dried ginger), eranda (castor), rasonam (garlic) and other herbs are useful in treating osteoporosis. Drugs like pravala pishti and yoga asanas provide relief from pain and reduce the chances of fractures. Furthermore, ayurvedic doctors suggest a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet early in life to prevent osteoporosis in older age.

  1. Ayurvedic view of osteoporosis
  2. Ayurvedic treatment for osteoporosis
  3. Ayurvedic herbs and medicines for osteoporosis
  4. Dietary and lifestyle changes for osteoporosis as per ayurveda
  5. How effective are ayurvedic medicines and treatments for osteoporosis
  6. Side effects and risks of ayurvedic medicine and treatments for osteoporosis
  7. Takeaway
Doctors for Ayurvedic medicine, treatment and remedies for Osteoporosis

The asthi dhatu is made up of bones, cartilages, teeth, etc. It is essential for maintaining your body’s structural shape and frame and protecting the vital organs of the body. The conventional treatment of osteoporosis is not devoid of side effects. It only provides relief from some of the symptoms. 

According to Ayurveda, the nidanas (causes) for osteoporosis are- consuming dry vegetables, exercising too much, having irregular dietary habits like fasting too often and dieting, worrying too much and staying awake at nights. Additionally, menopause causes an imbalance of hormone levels in women, putting them at a higher risk of osteoporosis. 

Sandhi shaithilya (loosening of the joints); asthi bheda (injuries or fractures in the bones); rukshata (dryness); falling off and diseases of the teeth, hair and nails; delayed healing of fractures; deformities like scoliosis and kyphosis; and asthishula (pain in the bones) are the symptoms of osteoporosis mentioned in different samhitas (vedic books/collection of mantras).

  • Snehana
    • Snehana process involves massaging the body with medicated oils. For the treatment of vitiated vata doshas, oils are warmed up before use. Massage is done with firm and gentle strokes. Usually, sesame oil and castor oil are used for people with vitiated vata dosha, coconut oil or ghee for people with vitiated pitta dosha, and mustard oil is used for people with vitiated kapha dosha. Chandana bala lakshadi taila, mahamasha taila, mahanarayana taila and dashamoola taila are the oils used in the snehana process for osteoporosis treatment. Different massaging techniques including abhyanga are employed. Snehapana (consuming ghee or oil) is usually recommended along with snehana.
    • Oil therapies help protect and lubricate body tissues. They also enhance body secretions and make way for toxins to exit. Various health conditions like arthritis, eye problems, alcohol addiction, tremors, constipation and paralysis are treated using snehana. Snehana is not recommended in people with stiff thighs, distended abdomen, overactive or weak digestive system, anorexia, throat diseases, and those who have an increased kapha.
  • Basti (enemas)
    • Basti is one of the primary therapies used for treating asthi-related disorders. According to some Ayurvedic physicians, this therapy helps strengthen bones. It is mainly used to treat diseases that are caused due to excess vata in the body. This therapy works on the entire colon.
    • Along with faeces, the ama (toxins) in body also get eliminated in this treatment process. This, in turn, helps restore tissue and organ function, especially that of the colon. Basti is used to treat many diseases including arthritis, rheumatism, lower back pain, constant constipation and gout. It also helps to heal mental conditions like mental retardation, epilepsy and sensory disorders. Majja basti is specifically effective in people with osteoporosis.

 Ayurvedic Herbs for Osteoporosis

  • Nirgundi (five-leaved chaste tree)
    • Nirgundi acts as a pain reliever. It treats vitiated vata dosha, thus providing strength to bones. Nirgundi has an effect on the circulatory, nervous and female reproductive systems. It also reduces swelling in the joints and helps treat acute rheumatism. The heated leaves or poultice of nirgundi is used for treating sprained limbs.
    • The roots, leaves and even flowers of this plant are useful in treating diseases. Nirgundi can be taken in the form of a decoction, tincture, or powder either along with honey, water or sugar or as per your physician’s direction. A poultice made from the fruit of this plant can be applied on joints to relieve swelling and pain.
  • Eranda
    • Eranda shows a positive effect on the urinary, digestive, excretory, nervous and female reproductive systems. It treats vitiated vata dosha and has analgesic and purgative (laxative) properties. This herb is mainly used to reduce swelling and induce purgation in the body. The oil form of eranda provides relief from joint pain and bone pain in osteoporosis. It also strengthens bones by destroying the vitiated vata dosha.
    • Other health conditions like inflammation in the bowels, diarrhoea, jaundice and articular rheumatism are also treated using eranda. This herb is available in pastes, infusions, decoctions, and oil forms. Eranda oil can be taken along with boiled milk or tea or as per your physician’s direction.
  • Shallaki (Indian frankincense)
    • Shallaki is known for its anti-inflammatory properties in Ayurveda. The gum extracts of this plant have been used for many years to treat inflammatory conditions. Along with being an anti-inflammatory agent, shallaki also has anti-oxidant, cardioprotective and anti-bacterial properties. This plant is useful in treating skin conditions like dermatitis, bone conditions like osteoporosis, bone resorption and other joint diseases, along with cancers of certain body parts including the breast, prostate and bladder. It also provides relief in cardiovascular diseases, mouth sores, diarrhoea, allergies and migraine.
  • Shunthi
    • Shunthi has digestive (improves digestion), stimulant, aphrodisiac (increases libido) and analgesic (pain relieving)  properties. It primarily affects the respiratory and digestive system. Shunthi is typically used to reduce kapha and increase agni (fire) in the body. It helps cure many diseases including incontinence, asthma, vomiting, constipation, eye diseases, and constant rheumatic pain.
    • It also has osteoprotective effects. Shunthi prevents bone mineral density loss and reduces inflammation, thus healing the bones and reducing bone pain.
    • Shunthi is available in infusion, fresh juice, powder, paste, decoctions and pill forms. It  is also useful when mixed with other herbs, for example, shunthi with black pepper is used as a purgative, shunthi mixed with ghee is used for indigestion, and shunthi mixed with castor oil is used to relieve stomach pain.
  • Rasna (Indian camphorweed)
    • Rasna contains flavonoids, triterpenoids, lactones, sterols and other phytoconstituents that make it useful in treating a variety of diseases. The plant is known to have anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it useful for people with inflammatory diseases and bone-related conditions like osteoarthritis.
  • Rasonam
    • Rasonam has anti-parasitic (removes parasites), aphrodisiac, stimulant, rejuvenating and disinfectant, and expectorant (increases expulsion of phlegm) properties. It acts on the circulatory, nervous, reproductive, digestive and respiratory systems.
    • Rasonam stops bone resorption after oophorectomy (removal of ovaries), thus reducing bone mineral loss in hormone deficiency-induced osteoporosis.
    • Rasonam is known as a cleansing herb; it cleanses out toxins from the body. It is useful in treating rheumatism, arteriosclerosis, heart disease, impotence, high blood pressure, tremors, high cholesterol, tuberculosis, cough, hysteria and tumours. It is available in the form of medicated oils, powders, juices and infusions.

Ayurvedic Medicines for Osteoporosis

  • Laksha guggulu
    • Laksha guggulu provides relief from the primary signs and symptoms of osteoporosis including knee joint pain, stiffness, movement restriction and tenderness. This medicine can be delivered via the swedana and snehana process.
    • Laksha guggula contains 5 parts of guggulu (Indian bdellium tree), 1 part of nagabala (snake mallow), 1 part of asthisanharaka (veldt grape), 1 part of laksha (lac), 1 part of ashwagandha (Indian ginseng), and 1 part of arjuna.
    • Nagabala is a rasayana (tonic) and asthisanharaka has sandhaniya (mends broken bones) properties while ashwagandha has rejuvenating and relaxant properties.
  • Pravala pishti
    • Pravala pishti or red coral powder belongs to the ratna varga (jewel category) in Ayurveda. Its chemical constituent is calcium carbonate, and it is obtained from coral reefs (formed by tiny sea animals). As 99% of the bone content is made of calcium, pravala pishti makes an important medication for people with osteoporosis.
    • Pravala pishti is also useful in treating menopausal syndrome in women. Pravala is known as one of the best and easily digestible sources of calcium. It also has antacid, laxative (improve bowel movement), astringent (constricts tissues) and diuretic properties.
  • Mahayogaraj guggulu
    • Mahayogaraj guggulu contains pippalimula (long pepper root), shunthi, chavak (choi jhal), pippali (long pepper), roasted hingu (asafetida), kutki, guggulu, and other ingredients. This medicine is specifically useful in the treatment of long-standing diseases that are caused due to vitiated vata.
    • The herbs used in this formula help destroy ama in the body. It improves digestive system and acts as a stimulant. Also, Mahayogaraj guggulu helps bring the imbalanced vata dosha to a balanced state. It provides nourishment to the asthi dhatu and aligns it, thereby treating osteoporosis caused due to malnourished asthi dhatu.
  • Muktashukti bhasma
    • Muktashukti bhasma is a combination of mauktik and shauktik bhasma, made from the ashes of a pearl and its shell, respectively. They balance out the vitiated vata and pitta levels in the body.
    • Mauktik bhasma strengthens the weakened dhatus by providing nourishment to them, especially asthi dhatu
      Since weakenin of asthi dhatu is a primary cause of osteoporosis, Muktashukti bhasma is an effective treatment option for this disease. Along with the asthi dhatu, mauktik bhasma also nourishes the rakta and mamsa dhatu, providing overall strength to the body.
    • It is also very useful in providing relief from heat stroke and headaches.
    • Shauktik bhasma has properties similar to mauktik bhasma. However, in addition to the above benefits, it helps distribute strength and nourishment equally in the entire dhatu sequence. It mainly acts on the rakta, rasa, asthi and mamsa dhatu.

As treatments vary according to and an individual’s prakriti, consult a qualified Ayurvedic doctor to get appropriate medications and treatments for your specific complaints.

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  • Reduce excess body weight. (Read more: Weight loss diet chart)
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat easily digestible and nutritious foods. (Read more: Balanced diet benefits)
  • Take care of your mental health, avoid stress.
  • Include fruits like grapes, pomegranates and mangoes in your diet.
  • Perform asanas to improve joint flexibility
  • Relax well and get enough sleep.
  • Include mulak (radish), kulattha (horse gram), shunthi, mung beans, ladyfinger, rasonam, and kushmanda (wax gourd) in your daily diet.
  • Avoid sleeping during the day.
  • Quit smoking and consuming alcohol. (Read more: How to quit alcohol)


  • Do not eat, salty or pungent foods.
  • Do not have too much coffee.
  • Do not suppress your natural urges like belching and burping.
  • Do not over exercise.
  • Do not walk too much.

In a clinical trial, majja basti along with asthi shrinkhala capsules was found to be effective in relieving osteoporosis symptoms. Along with the treatment, these patients were asked to follow certain lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol, dry meats and vegetables, heavy exercises, and smoking.

According to research studies, some arachidonic acid-derived eicosanoids obtained from shallaki are effective in improving osteoporosis. They improve bone resorption process by strengthening the bond between osteoclasts and mononuclear accessory cells present in bones.

When a polyherbal formula including rasna, rasonam, nirgundi, eranda, gandha prasarini (stink vine) and other herbs was tested on rats for 10 days, it reduced fever and inflammation. The formulation also delivered anti-arthritic and analgesic effects.

Laksha guggulu has been found to possess anti-arthritic and chondrocyte-protecting properties in various research studies.

  • Basti should not be used in people with rectal bleeding, diarrhoea, fever, colon cancer and certain types of diabetes. It should be avoided in babies as well.
  • People with infections in the kidneys, intestines, and bile duct should not consume eranda oil. Those with dysuria or jaundice should also avoid using eranda oil.
  • Shunthi may increase pitta in the body and cause ulcers, fever, bleeding and inflammation of the skin; hence, it should be used with caution in those with pitta Prakriti.

Ayurveda targets the vitiated asthi dhatu and imbalanced vata to treat osteoporosis. The herbs and medicines used in treating osteoporosis strengthen bones, improve bone quality, and reduce pain and swelling around bones. Performing majja basti and snehana along with consumption of various herbs and medications gives better results in osteoporosis treatment. Staying physically active and eating nutritious and easily digestible foods is the key to improve bone health as well as the overall health of your body.

Dr Prashant Kumar

Dr Prashant Kumar

2 Years of Experience

Dr Rudra Gosai

Dr Rudra Gosai

1 Years of Experience

Dr Bhawna

Dr Bhawna

5 Years of Experience

Dr. Padam Dixit

Dr. Padam Dixit

10 Years of Experience


  1. Centre Council for Research in Ayurvedic Science. Osteoporosis. New Delhi; [Internet]
  2. Swami Sada Shiva Tirtha. The Ayurveda Encyclopedia. The Authoritative Guide to Ayurvedic Medicine; [Internet]
  3. Ajay K. Gupta et al. Effect of Majja Basti (therapeutic enema) and Asthi Shrinkhala (Cissus quadrangularis) in the management of Osteoporosis (Asthi-Majjakshaya). Ayu. 2012 Jan-Mar; 33(1): 110–113. PMID: 23049194
  4. Science Direct (Elsevier) [Internet]; Pluchea lanceolata (Rasana): Chemical and biological potential of Rasayana herb used in traditional system of medicine
  5. Kshipra Rajoria et al. Clinical study on Laksha Guggulu, Snehana, Swedana & Traction in Osteoarthritis (Knee joint). Ayu. 2010 Jan-Mar; 31(1): 80–87. PMID: 22131690
  6. G. S. Lavekar. Mahayograj guggulu: Heavy metal estimation and safety studies. Int J Ayurveda Res. 2010 Jul-Sep; 1(3): 150–158. PMID: 21170206
  7. Sanjeev Rastogi. Ayurvedic PG education and Panchakarma. Year : 2013 Volume : 34 Issue : 1 Page : 129-130
  8. Prasad, Koteeshwara M. Evaluation of anti arthritic and anti-inflammatory property of the polyherbal formulation sudard. Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences; Karnataka
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