Efficacy & safety evaluation of Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powder) in rheumatoid arthritis patients: A clinical study


by Forest Raga January 30, 2021


The present study was carried out to investigate the efficacy and safety of the  evaluation of Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powde) in rheumatoid arthritis patients

Objective: To examine the Efficacy & safety evaluation of Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powder & Sidh Makardhwaj) in rheumatoid arthritis patients


In the traditional system of medicine in India Ashwagandha powder and Sidh Makardhwaj have been used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. However, safety and efficacy of this treatment have not been evaluated. Therefore, the present study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powder and Sidh Makardhwaj) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatment Offered   

One hundred and twenty-five patients with joint pain were screened at an Ayurvedic hospital in New Delhi, India. Eighty-six patients satisfied inclusion criteria and were included in the study. Detailed medical history and physical examination were recorded. Patients took 5g of Ashwagandha powder twice a day for three weeks with lukewarm water or milk. Sidh Makardhwaj (100 mg) with honey was administered daily for the next four weeks. The follow-up of patients was carried out every two weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was based on the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20 response. Secondary endpoints were ACR50, ACR70 responses, change from baseline in disease activity score (DAS) 28 score, and ACR parameters. Safety assessments were hepatic function [alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bilirubin, and ß2 microglobulin], renal function (urea and creatinine and NGAL) tests, and urine mercury level.



The study was completed by 90.7 percent (78/86) of patients. Patients with moderate and high disease activity were 57.7 percent (45/78) and 42.3 percent (33/78), respectively. All patients were tested positive for rheumatoid factor and increased ESR level. Ashwagandha and Sidh Makardhwaj treatment decreased the RA factor. A significant change in post-treatment scores of tender joint counts, swollen joint counts, physician global assessment score, patient global assessment score, pain assessment score, patient self-assessed disability index score, and ESR level was observed as compared to baseline scores. ACR20 response was observed in 56.4 percent (44/78) patients (American College of Rheumatology criteria) and moderate response in 39.74 percent (31/78) patients [European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) criteria]. Ayurvedic treatment for seven weeks in rheumatoid arthritis patients showed normal kidney and liver function tests. However, increased urinary mercury levels were was observed after treatment. The results showed a significant decrease in post-treatment levels of ESR and RA factor as compared to baseline levels in males and females (Table I).

Table I

Clinical features in rheumatoid arthritis patients (male=33, female=45) on Ashwagandha and Sidh Makardhwaj treatment

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<h2 style=Conclusion

The findings of the present study suggest that this Ayurvedic treatment (Ashwagandha powder and Sidh Makardhwaj) has the potential to be used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. However, due to the small sample size, short duration, nonrandomization, and lack of a control group as study limitations, further studies need to be done to confirm these findings.

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