Category Archives: Disease

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Kidney Failure

kidney diseaseOverview

Kidney function may be impaired by diseases or drugs that effect the Kidney parenchyma, by extra Kidney disorders such as acute circulatory failure or as a result of conditions in which there is obstruction to outflow of urine. The deterioration of kidney function that ensues may be acute or chronic and of varying degree of severity.

Causes

Acute Kidney failure is caused by diseases like acute glomerulonephritis, bilateral pyelonephritis, severely high blood pressure and systemic lupus erythamatosus while chronic Kidney failure may result from conditionslsuch as progressive glomerulonephritis, chronic pyelonephritis, polycystic disease of kidneys and tuberculosis of kidneys.

According to Ayurveda, kidneys are the roots of madovaha srotas (channel of fat tissue) and are made up of rakta and meda dhatus (blood and fat tissues). So diseases arising out of these dhatus (tissues) can affect kidneys and cause their failure. Madhumeha (diabetes) is well-known for it.

Symptoms

Nausea
Vomiting
Collection of fluid in lungs
Anaemia
Body swelling
Itching on skin
Ayurvedic View
According to Ayurveda this disease is caused by the blockage of minute body channels called srotas. The body channels involved in this case, known as mutravaha srotas, carry urine and are responsible for the flow of liquid into and out of the kidneys. If there are blockages in the incoming srotas the kidneys are denied fluids and shrinkage occurs. However, if the outgoing channels are blocked, swelling occurs. There are very effective Ayurvedic herbs, such as punanarva that can clean these channels and reduce swelling and rejuvenate the kidneys. Ayurvedic treatment aims at strengthening the kidneys, restoring its filtration capacity and general functioning of the kidneys. This line of treatment can eliminate the need for reliance upon dialysis.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

  • Controlling blood pressure, blood sugar level, cholesterol level, body weight, smoking and alcohol consumption is important to avoid kidney damage.
  • To restrict sodium intake, salt is minimized from diet. So avoiding salty food articles like sea food, wafers etc is necessary.
  • Potassium intake is regulated in kidney failure and so low potassium containing food sources like carrots, cabbage, apples etc are preferred.
  • Protein intake too is regulated and low protein sources like cereals, vegetables and fruits are recommended.
  • Fatty, oily and fried foods are avoided.

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Jaundice

Overview

Jaundice is a condition where the skin and the whites of the eyes take on a yellow tint. Modern medicine does not consider it to be a disease but a symptom of liver disorders like liver infection, gallstones and cirrhosis of liver. In Ayurveda, Jaundice is known as Kamala.

Causes

Increased intake of oily, spicy, sour, salty, alkaline, penetrating and very hot foods; alcohol; and sesame oil cause Pitta (Ayurvedic humor representing Fire) aggravation. The aggravated Pitta then impairs the blood and the muscle tissue of the liver, causing blockage in the channels of the liver and thus Pitta (in the form of bile) is thrown back into the blood leading to discoloration of the eyes and skin. Sleeping in the daytime, excessive physical work, overindulgence in sexual activity, suppressing the natural urges of the body, and psychological factors like lust, fear, anger, and stress can also be causative factors in cases of Jaundice.

Symptoms

Drowsiness
Weakness
Fatigue
Yellowish discoloration of the eyes, skin and nail
Flatulence
Lack of appetite
Burning sensation in the body
Low-grade fever
Indigestion
Excessive thirst
Loss of libido

Ayurvedic View

Ayurvedic treatment of Jaundice involves pacifying aggravated body energies using herbs that stimulate the function of the liver and increase the flow of bile in the bile duct. Digestion is also restored with the help of a customized diet plan to ensure efficient metabolism.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

Avoid hot, spicy, oily, and heavy foods; eat a vegetarian diet. Avoid refined flour, polished rice (white rice), mustard oil, mustard seeds, asafetida, peas, canned and preserved foods, cakes, pastries, chocolates, alcoholic beverages, and aerated drinks.

Increase intake of whole-wheat flour, brown rice or parboiled rice, mangoes, bananas, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, Indian gooseberries (amla), grapes, radishes, lemons, dried dates, raisins, almonds, and cardamom. Avoid unnecessary exercise and stressful conditions such as anxiety or anger. Take complete rest. Avoid working under the sun or near boilers and furnaces.

Home Remedies

Mix 1 teaspoon of roasted barley powder with a glass of water. Add 1 teaspoon of honey to it and have this twice a day.
Add 1 teaspoon paste of basil leaves to a glassful of radish juice. Have this juice twice a day for 15-20 days.
Take one teaspoon pulp of Indian Aloe Vera with black salt and dry ginger powder every morning for a period of 10 days.
Mash bitter gourd and extract its juice. Take one-fourth cup of the juice in the early morning daily.


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Diabetes

Category : Disease

Overview

Diabetes Mellitus is a chronic metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to make proper use of glucose, resulting in the condition of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Excess glucose in the blood ultimately results in high levels of glucose being present in the urine (glycosuria). This increases the urine output, which leads to dehydration and increased thirst.

Glucose comes from the food we eat and is also made in liver and muscles. The blood carries glucose to all the cells in our body. Insulin, a chemical (or hormone) produced in the pancreas, is responsible for the uptake of glucose into cells for energy. Decreased levels of insulin affects this mechanism leading to increased glucose in the blood stream.

Causes

Factors that are often responsible for causing diabetes are excessive intake of foods which are difficult to digest, such as fried foods, creams, etc. Lack of exercise, mental stress and strain, excessive sleep, overeating and consequent obesity, excessive intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates, Overloading of proteins and fats can also lead to diabetes. Hereditary factors also play role in causing diabetes.

Symptoms

Fatigue
Weight loss or weight gain
Frequent urinary tract infections
Blurred vision
Excessive sweating
Excessive thirst
Excessive hunger
Frequent urination in large quantity

Ayurvedic View

In Ayurveda, Diabetes Mellitus is known as Madhumeha (Madhu means ‘honey’ and Meha means ‘urine’). Medhumeha is categorized as Vataj Meha (a problem caused by aggravation of Vata or Air). Vata is an Ayurvedic humor symbolizing wind and dryness. Deterioration of the body is a characteristic that indicates impairment of Vata. Maximum deterioration of dhatus (body tissues) occurs in this type of disease and this is the reason why all vital organs are affected by Diabetes. The other prime cause of Diabetes Mellitus is impaired digestion. Impaired digestion leads to accumulation of specific digestive impurities which accumulate in the pancreatic cells and impair the production of insulin.

Ayurveda does not regard Diabetes as a disease that can be treated by mere medicine or by a dietary regimen. Madhumeha is classified as a Maha Rog (Major Disease) because, if not treated in time, it can lead to several complications in the body, including eye problems, joint pains, impotency, kidney failure, sexual and urologic problems, and more. Diabetes is a metabolic disorder and it cannot be merely treated by controlling sugar levels. The treatment recommended in Ayurveda – as against modern medicine – is aimed at rejuvenating the body to not only balance sugar levels, but also ensuring that no further complication is caused.

The Ayurvedic treatment for this disease is based on an entire change in the lifestyle of the person. Along with medication and diet, the patient is also advised to lead a healthy lifestyle and live an active life. Dietary and lifestyle changes rejuvenate the body’s cells and tissues, allowing them to produce insulin properly. Even mental aspects of the disease are stressed upon in Ayurveda. The medicines that are administered are therefore meant to keep the brain in its right manner of functioning.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

Include whole grains in the diet, such as wheat bread/pasta and brown rice. Cheese and yogurt prepared with skimmed (nonfat) milk may be taken. Use garlic, onion, bitter gourd, spinach, raw banana, and black plum. Make a flour mixture of 1 part barley, 1 part black chickpeas, and 4 parts whole-wheat flour and use this to form pancakes and bread.Avoid sweet, sour, and salty foods, potatoes, sweet potatoes, colocasia (taro), yams, fresh grains and pulses (legumes), whole yogurt (high in fat),  and heavy, oily and spicy foods. Avoid sweet fruits like pineapple, grapes, mangoes, etc. Start doing some light exercise, such as brisk walking. Build up to a brisk walk of 30-40 minutes in the morning and again in the evening. Avoid sleeping in the daytime as it increases Kledaka Kapha.

Home Remedies

Dry the leaves of mango tree and grind to a powder. Mix 1 teaspoon dry powder in a glass of water and drink it daily to reduce high blood sugar levels.
Take 2 teaspoons of bitter gourd (karela) juice once a day. One can also increase its use as a cooked vegetable.
Take 1 teaspoon of Indian gooseberry (amla) juice mixed with 1 teaspoon of bitter gourd juice twice a day.


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Asthma

Overview

Asthma is a disease of the human respiratory system in which the airways narrow, often in response to a trigger such as exposure to an allergen, cold air, excessive exercise or emotional stress. This narrowing causes symptoms such as wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and coughing.

Causes

Aggravated Kapha (water) accumulates in the airways, leading to their narrowing and obstruction. This causes an interruption in the flow of the air in the lungs, causing shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. This happens because of increased intake of vata (air) and kapha aggravating foods, internal weakness of lung tissues, and various diseases affecting the lungs. Factors like living in a cold and damp atmosphere, having cold or stale food or drink, eating foods that are not easily digestible, and ama (mucus) formation that blocks the respiratory channels also causing difficulty in breathing.

Symptoms

Cough
Chest pain
Tightness in breathing
Wheezing
Shortness of breath

Ayurvedic View

Ayurveda regards Asthma as a disorder caused by impaired digestion. A malfunctioning digestive process causes hypersensitivity to certain substances, such as dust and pollen that triggers the asthma attacks. Deposits of ama (mucus) in the lungs and respiratory tract create obstruction in breathing and cause wheezing or coughing. Ayurvedic treatment of asthma focuses on restoring digestion with herbal preparations and the right diet and lifestyle changes. The medicines primarily work on pacifying Kapha and cleansing toxins from the body. In addition, specific herbal combinations are also supplemented to boost the body’s immunity.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

Pulses like old rice (rice which is stored for at least one year is called old), wheat, barley, kulattha, mung beans, arhar beans, etc . should be consumed. Honey, warm drinks like herbal teas, spice teas are also okay. Sprouts, nuts and seeds can be taken in moderate amount. The heavy foods and those which make ama should be avoided. This mainly includes milk products like cheese, curd, butter milk, creams, and banana, etc. Oily, greasy and fried foods which are difficult to digest should be avoided. White flour and white sugar products should be avoided. In addition, try to avoid the cold foods, cold drinks and other refrigerated things. Avoid excessive or physically demanding exercise. Yoga and Pranayama can be helpful.

Home Remedies

Prepare a mixture of powdered dried ginger root, black pepper and long pepper in equal amounts and store in an airtight container. Have ½ teaspoonful of this powder mixed with ½ teaspoonful of honey twice a day with lukewarm water.
Take 11 guava leaves, 11 black pepper, 1 cup milk and one cup water. Put all of them in pot and boil it well, when it reduced to one cup, drink in empty stomach. Take this daily for at least six months or a year.
Boil cumin seeds in water and inhale the steam. It helps dilate the bronchial passage.
Take 5 gm of ginger, black pepper, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, turmeric and 30 gm of sugar. Grind the mix to a powder. Take half to one teaspoonful and mix it nicely with honey. Take it twice a day.


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Anemia

Category : Disease

Overview

The word ‘anemia’ actually comes from the word ‘mia’ which means blood. Anemia means absence of blood and refers to the reduction of hemoglobin level in body. Normal level of hemoglobin in adult females is between 12 to 16 g/dl while in adult males it is between 14 to 18 g/dl. When hemoglobin level falls below the minimum parameter, anemia ensues. In Ayurveda anemia is compared with Pandurog.

Causes

Diminished production, increased destruction or severe loss of red blood cells leads to anemia. Defficiency of iron, thyroxine, vitamins B12, C & folate results in diminution of RBC production while various infections, toxins, antibodies and congenital structural abnormalities lead to their increased destruction. Apart from this, diseases like hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, intestinal worms, various types of cancers, liver & kidney diseases and excessive bleeding (due to any reason) can cause anaemia.

Symptoms

Headache
Loss of appetite
Fatigue
Weakness
Breathlessness
Hemoglobin level below normal
Giddiness
Swelling around eyes
Whitish tint on skin, nails & eyes
Palpitations
Sleeplessness

Ayurvedic View

In Sanskrit ‘panduta’ means whitish colouration. Since anaemia is characterized by whitish tint on skin, eyes & nails, it is called Pandurog in Ayurveda. It is caused by improper diet, weak gastric fire, malnutrition, worms, loss of blood and eating soil. All such factors cause production of ama (toxins) in stomach which then blocks the channels of rasa dhatu. This results in paleness and other symptoms of pandurog. Depending upon which particular Dosha is vitiated, pandurog has been classified into Vataj, Pittaj, Kaphaj and Sannipatik types in Ayurveda. Vataj pandurog (caused mainly by vitiated Vayu) is marked by pale, blackish, dry skin, bodyache and constipation. Pittaj pandurog (caused mainly by vitiated Pitta) causes pale, yellowish skin, fever, giddiness, thirst, excess sweating and sour belching. Kaphaj pandurog (caused mainly by vitiated Kapha) displays itself through pale, whitish skin, heavines & swelling in body, vomitting, and breathlessness. Sannipatik pandurog is caused by vitiation of all three Doshas and therefore have mixed characteristics.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

Attention should be paid to gastric fire in anemia to avoid indigestion. Heavy, spicy, fried food is prohibited. Non-veg items, eggs are also not allowed. Light meals, rice, lentils, soups, vegetables and fruits like pomegranate and melons are particularly recommended. Food articles cooked in iron pots are good in iron deficiency anemia. Problems like bleeding piles and excessive menstruation should be attended immediately as they often lead to anemia.

Home Remedies

Take half cup of apple juice and half cup of beet root juice. Mix apple juice with beetroot juice. Add honey to this and stir well to mix. Have this juice twice a day.
Take one teaspoon of black sesame seeds, milk (1 cup), Honey or jaggery (-1-2 tsp) and warm water to soak sesame seeds. Soak sesame seeds in warm water for 2 hours. Grind it to get a paste. Strain and mix it with a cup of milk. Add honey or jaggery and mix well. Have this sesame flavored milk daily.
Take 1 teaspoon of turmeric juice mixed with honey daily.


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Acne

Category : Disease

Overview

Acne is a skin condition in which there is excess production of oil from the sebaceous glands leading to the blockage of hair follicles. It is the most common problem of adolescents, and is therefore known as Yauvanpidika in Ayurveda; yauvan means ‘adolescence’ and pidika means ‘pustules or papules’. Acne usually affects the face, back and shoulders and other areas that are densely populated with sebaceous glands. Acne presents either as blackheads, whiteheads, pimples or nodules.

Causes

The primary cause is impairment of all the three doshas, predominantly the pitta dosha, which further vitiates the rakta and meda dhatus (blood and fat tissues). Vitiated doshas produce toxins that block the energy channels of the face leading to pimple formation. The condition of acne can also be aggravated by excessive intake of oily, spicy, salty and sour foods.

Symptoms

Whiteheads
Blackheads
Pimples

Ayurvedic View

Ayurveda has a singular approach to all forms of acne as this problem appears due to imbalance of the three doshas — vata, pitta and kapha. However, the main cause is the aggravation of the pitta dosha, an Ayurvedic humor that symbolizes heat or fire. Pitta dosha manifests in the skin and causes accumulation of heating toxins. These heating toxins accumulate in deep tissues like rasa (nutrient plasma), rakta, (blood), mamsa (muscles) and lasika (lymphatic). These toxins cause contamination of deeper tissues, leading to the condition of Yauvanpidika. Because acne is deep-rooted, use of local creams, antibiotics and lotions only masks the symptoms. Thus, specific Ayurvedic treatment is advised which includes right diet, lifestyle and some specialized herbal combinations that tackle the disease from its root cause.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

Avoid spicy, oily and sour foods, Eat fresh, unprocessed food, Increase the use of herbs that have cooling effects on the body like fennel, coriander seeds, Indian gooseberry (amla) and aloe vera, Increase intake of water to about 8-10 glasses per day, Wash your face frequently with mild herbal soaps, Avoid irritant cosmetics, Do not squeeze the acne lesions.

Home Remedies

Prepare a powdered mixture of coriander seeds, fennel, basil, turmeric and Indian gooseberry (amla) in equal parts. Take ½ teaspoon of this powder 15 minutes before lunch and dinner.
Have 1 teaspoon of powdered Indian gooseberry fruit (amla) in morning and evening with water.
Take one teaspoon of coriander juice mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder. Drink twice daily.


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