The month of Karkkidakam is generally a bad time for all and it can be more or less a ‘testing time’ for arthritis patients due to the coldness of the air, rain and chilling wind due to climatic changes. Arthritis is variously interpreted and classified according to their cause and symptoms, but a general characteristic is that it is common among people who have crossed 40-50 years of age. The ailment makes its first appearance as a very mild swelling on the joints of the fingers or toes. It can be painful and sometimes it can affect one of the knees which can make walking somewhat difficult. These conditions can reappear or can become worse during the month of Karkkidakam (July/August).

A simple daily routine, if followed, strictly as per the following directions, can help anybody with any kind of arthritis to pass the month of Karkkidakam with health and happiness:

1.    A complete shifting towards vegetarian food is mandatory during this month. The day must be started with juice made from any of the following which is to be taken in empty stomach. The ‘stem’ of plantain (vazhappindi), ash-gourd (Kumbalanga) or bottle-gourd (Churaykka) can be used for this. Juice made from any one of these must be diluted with one glass of water and has to be taken before sunrise.


2.    Carefully select vegetables and fruits that are less acidic in nature and try to include them in the diet. For example, orange, grapes and other fruits that taste sour must be avoided. Even in the case of banana, avoid varieties like Palayankodan, Rasakadhali, Chenkadhali etc., and replace them with Monthanpazham, Pachachingan (‘green’-varieties like ‘Robusta’, ‘Morris’) etc.


3.    Limit grain-food for noon time only. The meals should contain those items that can stimulate digestion and enhance movement of the bowels. For this fibre-rich items such as ‘stem’ of plantain (vazhappindi), ‘fruit-tip’ of plantain (vazhakkoombu), grains with bran can be used. Green gram (Cherupayar), black gram (Uzhunnu), chickpea (Kadala) also can serve the same purpose, if they are used with the ‘coat’.


4.    Rice which is not ‘whitened’, means with the bran not removed, must be preferred for mid-day meal. It is better to use Champa rice. Chappathi made using wheat can also be used instead of rice. Aviyal and Mangachammanthi can be used as a side dish or if mango is not available tomato that is half-ripe can be ground to make Chammanthi.


5.    Buttermilk mixed with the extract of Curry-leaf (Kariveppila) is ideal for taking along with mid-day meal. Tea and coffee must be totally avoided. These can be replaced with the traditional drink made using palm-jaggery mixed with powdered coriander. Water mixed with honey can also be taken and always ensure to drink plenty of water.


6.    Strictly follow the rule of not having any solid food after sun-set. Avoid grains in the food for the evening. Fruit-diet must be followed without fail. Fruits like apple, guava fruit, dates, pomegranate, carrot, papaya, pineapple, salad cucumber can be used for preparing this. Any two fruits from these will be enough which can be mixed with fresh coconut pieces.

The above said fruit diet is ideal for every person as it can keep the body to keep the balance between acid and base. The accumulating acidity in the body will be reflecting as indigestion, ‘gas’, chest congestion etc., initially. It is simply an indication that it i the time to act. Shifting towards acidic nature is the root cause of problems like arthritis. Also try to limit fatty food or reduce the amount according to the daily activities of the body. Milk, milk products, fish, meat, egg etc., if taken excessively can increase the chances of arthritis. Sun-bath (Sooryasnanam), and enema using fresh water also be beneficial for arthritis patents.


Dr. R. Gopimani

Retd. Professor in Agriculture

and Expert in Naturopathy


Phone: 0471-2443394

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