I am prone to Jaundice, since childhood. My liver tends to get upset even with a slightest of changes in standards of food. And the formula which I use for myself is nowhere mentioned in the traditional books for ayurvedic treatment of Jaundice. It happened when I was dining at the International Airport New Delhi, with my colleagues at 2 am in the morning. We ordered a ‘’masala dosa’’ from one of the caterers. I found it stale and had it replaced. But even the new one was not so good. Since I was very hungry, I just had it in haste. Just when I was having the last morsel, I had a feeling that it was a wrong choice. Within half an hour I had to rush back home with a feeling of nausea and fever. By the morning, I was lying completely pale on my bed. Initial reports suggested jaundice and later, typhoid. All this happened very fast because my liver is very weak, and in those days I was doing continuous night shifts with excessive work load and irregular sleep patterns. The only thing which helped me during this was a combination of coconut water, kiwi and the juice of leaf of papaya. I was on them for fifteen days and my liver became healthy again.
Reasons for Jaundice
According to ayurveda jaundice appears essentially after anemia, hence in many treatments the herbs for anemia and jaundice are same. Jaundice is caused by predominance of Pitta dosha, which is yellow in color. Ironically jaundice is also identified when skin eyes and urine are excessively yellow. Researchers are still uncovering the connection between pitta and the bilirubin. Ayurveda classifies jaundice into
- One which has epicenter in the gastro intestinal tract
- One which is dominant in the peripheral tissues
- The advanced stages of jaundice is called kumbha kamla
The treatment differs in the above said jaundice. Let us identify these two types of Jaundice and then understand the main line of treatment. In my personal experience, in both the jaundices, patients have a tendency to over-think. Either they are extremely aggressive or their creative tempo is always on high. They need to settle down, before the ayurvedic treatment can show its results.
Signs of Jaundice (Gastro based)
- If the patient suffering from anemia indulges in Pitta aggravating diet , the Pitta so involves blood and Muscle tissue in the whole eitiology to cause this particular Jaundice.
- It causes yellowish discoloration of sclera of eyes, yellowish skin, nails and face
- Urine turns red or yellow
- Complexion of a frog appears
- sense organs are impaired and
- hands and feet get a burning sensation
- indigestion and anorexia follows along with weakness and body ache
If treatment is not started at this point, it quickly changes into a progressed stage where stool turns black( a sign of blood in stools) There is excessive oedema all over the body
Blood appears in the vomit, urine, eyes and face .The patient gets tremors even at rest.
There is complete lack of hunger, unquenchable morbid thirst, severe constipation, drowsiness and fainting (even at rest). I have seen many patients die after this stage due to lack of proper intervention. Yes, jaundice is a life threatening disease.
Main line treatment of Ayurveda
- The patient suffering from jaundice is given medicated purgation therapy of mild potency and bitter taste. Since its preferred to have the medicines under expert supervision, I am omitting detailed explanations of purgative medicines right now.
- After the intestinal tract is cleansed, patient is given semi solid food containing one year old rice, barley and wheat mixed with the vegetable soup of green gram, pigeon pea and lentils.
- Meat soups of animals belonging from arid climate are preferred.
- One of the branches for ayurvedic treatment of jaundice mentions use of the following medicated ghees. These are Panchagavya Grutha, Kalyanaka- Ghruta and Maha-Tikta Ghruta, which can be taken just one tea spoon empty stomach every morning.
- Ghee prepared by cooking grapes in ghee is a very potent medicine for jaundice
- Another potent ghee is prepared by cooking Turmeric, trifala and neem in it.
Beneficial herbs and old recipes in Ayurvedic treatment of Jaundice
1.The patient who is suffering from jaundice should make it a habit to take the decoction of Triphala, Guduchi, Devadaru or Neem in the morning after cooling and sweetening it with honey.
2. The patient can also take the decoction of haritaki, bibhitaki and amlaki along with cow’s urine for 1 week
3. The tender branches and soft leaves of Matulunga are burnt and then immersed in cow’s urine. The paste thus prepared is then strained. The liquid obtained, is an excellent remedy for jaundice.
Signs of Jaundice (periphery based)
In many practical seen cases in children, I have found it directly connected to the habit of eating mud/chalk/bricks. Further this correlates directly to the obstructed jaundice. Here the main sign is that the stools are white in color. Apart from this there is pain in the ribs, hiccup, difficulty in breathing, loss of appetite and fever.
Ayurvedic treatment of Jaundice (periphery based)
The treatment here is diet specific, and is to be continued till the color of the stool turns normal (brown/yellow). Here food should be pungent, chilly, salty and extremely sour.The juice of Matulunga mixed with honey, pippali, black pepper and ginger comes in this category.
The soup prepared of meat of partridge or cock or a peacock, sizzled with sour and pungent spices are again beneficial in this.
Those who are vegetarians can take the soups of dry radish and Kulattha.
Note: I have witnessed the life threatening outcomes of jaundice. Panchakarma is one of the best treatments and basti is one of the most essential panchakarma. One must go for it if an ayurvedic physician is at hand. Further the choice of drug, if nothing else is helping, is Giloya Satwa with Abrak Bhasma(a mineral compound).