Relieving Pain – The Ayurveda Way

“I wish no living thing to suffer pain”- the memorable line from a famous poem- could well be the mission statement of traditional systems of medicine to promote universal wellness. But pain is not always an evil as it sometimes serves to red flag a deeper malaise that needs urgent remedying.  
Ayurveda regards Vata as the main Dosha causing and spreading pain, while pain in a particular region is attributed to a particular fraction of Vayu likewise generalized pain is linked to Vyana Vayu, headache to Prana Vayu and Vyana Vayu, abdominal pain to Saman and Apana Vayu and chest pain to Vyana and Prana Vayu.
In a regimen, that is effective and non-addictive, Ayurveda prescribes herbal remedies, diet changes, regular exercise, de-stressing, detoxification, digestion improvement, and conformity to daily routine as pathways for pain relief.  Charaka Samhita classifies pain-relieving drugs as Vedanasthapana drugs. Since pain indicates preponderance of Vayu, all pain-relievers have features to control vitiated Vayu. Common Ayurvedic remedies for pain include Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi (D.Don) DC.), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri (L.) Pennell), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula Retz.), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia (Thunb.) Miers) for headache; Hingu (Ferula asafoetida L.), Lavana (salt), Yavani (Trachyspermum ammi(L.) Sprague ex Turrill) for gases; Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris L.) and Varuna (Crateva nurvala Buch.-Ham.) for renal colic; Nirgundi (Vitex negundo L.), Guggulu (Commiphora wightii (Arn.) Bhandari), Dashamula (root of ten herbs) for arthritis. Likewise, herbal oil massages play a significant role in removing impurities lodged in tissues to relieve pain.