The skeletal system is an internal framework that supports the entire body. Bone tissue is 25% water, 25% protein, and 50% mineral salts. It contains a reservoir of minerals from which the body can deposit and withdraw from as needed for metabolism. Osteoblasts are cells that add minerals to the bone from the blood stream and Osteoclasts are bone cells that absorb minerals from the bones and deposit them to the blood stream. Mineral absorption is the key to healthy bones.
As we age, the skeletal system begins to lose some of its density and can become weakened due to an increase in vata forces. According to Ayurveda, the air energy (vata) is heavily present in the bones. Osteoporosis and arthritis is common when excess air begins to dominate.
During a person's life span, there exists doshic cycles. Vata is predominantly air, Pitta is fire, and Kapha is earth.
From ages 0 to 25: Kapha stage of life. Kapha is anabolic. The cells of the person are constantly multiplying and increasing in quantity.
From ages 13 to 50: Pitta stage of life. Pitta represents transformation. Fire is heavily present starting with hormonal changes at puberty and continue until around 50. Nature planned it this way as fire is needed for motivation and for success in life.
From ages 50 and on: Vata stage of life. Vata qualities are cold, dry, and light. Bones can become porous at this time. Wrinkles appear as your skin loses some of its moisture. Digestive enzymes begin to weaken.
6 Strategies For Excellent Bone Health
1. Digestive fire (agni) must be strong in order to absorb nutrients. Malabsorption is the bone system's enemy. The minerals will simply not reach their destination and the bones will weaken. Some signs of malabsorption include hair loss, brittle nails, joint pain, and fatigue. Check with your Ayurvedic practitioner to see if you are absorbing well.
2. Use nourishing herbal infusions for a powerhouse of nutrients much needed by the bones. These herbs contain a good quantity of protein along with vitamins and minerals. Large quantities can be taken as there are little to no volatile oils present. Nettles, Oat Straw, Comfrey Leaf, Red Clover, Chickweed, and Horsetail are some of your more nourishing herbs. Instead of using extracted vitamins and minerals in a pill form, use a nourishing herbal infusion instead.
This is the more natural way to get your nutrition.
To Make Nourishing Infusion: Take 1 oz of nourishing herb or herbal blend and pour 1 quart of boiling water and cover. Let sit for a least a couple of hours to extract the nutrients. Then simply strain and drink 2 to 3 cups per day.
3. Lubrication of the joints is vital as they are the transfer points of much needed minerals. Ghee, Bone Broth, Omega 3 fatty acids (sardines, salmons, nuts, and seeds), supplements like chondritin, and msm can all contribute to healthy joint fluid (shleshaka kapha). Osteoarthritis is sure sign of poor lubrication.
4. Mineral rich foods such as seaweeds (kelp, kombu, wakame, chlorella) are crucial when it comes to bone health. In Japan, studies have shown that osteoporosis and bone health issues are dramatically lower than other countries. They enjoy their seaweeds and use them in large quantities.
Celtic sea salt is a great salt substitute which contain over 82 minerals. It is superior to Himalayan pink salt because it contains 3 extra magnesium molecules which help with nutrient absorption. It tastes great as well, giving your food extra flavor.
5. The number one mineral supplement in Ayurveda is called Shilajit. This is a tar that oozes out of the Himalayan mountains. It contains over 85 trace minerals and has fulvic acid. This acid acts like a charged battery in the cells and helps absorb nutrients. It is good to use Shilajit with other herbs if you want those herbs to reach their destination. Shilajit is also used for adrenal fatigue, hypothyroid, infertility, impotence (called Indian viagra), and for losing weight.
6. Finally, one of the most important things you can do for strong bones is resistance training. Light training is enough to keep your bone density and this also builds a little muscle necessary for good cushioning. You don't need to become a body builder. A little resistance training goes a long way.
Take this information and begin applying it little by little to your daily routine. Start using nourishing herbs, eating mineral rich foods, and using smart supplementation to see a great improvement with your bones. Osteoporosis, arthritis, and other skeletal system issues can be reversed with time and patience.