Hepatitis from the point of view of Ayurveda
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. It is most commonly caused by a viral infection. In Ayurveda, the liver is called “Yakrit”, and the predominant dosha for the liver is Pitta. Most liver disorders are caused by aggravated conditions of Pitta dosha. Kamala is the term in Ayurveda to describe a wide range of liver diseases including Hepatitis. Kamala occurs due to impairment of Pitta dosha and Rakta dhatu (blood tissue). There are five main types of hepatitis viruses – A, B, C, D and E, but hepatitis can also be caused by toxins like alcohol, some medications, some industrial organic solvents and plants, other infections and autoimmune diseases. Types B and C cause chronic diseases, and are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. Hepatitis A and E are usually caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water, and hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of parenteral contact with infected body fluids. Common forms of transmission of these viruses include recieving contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment, and the transmission of hepatitis B from mother to child at birth, from family member to child, and through sexual contact.
How Ayurvedic doctors treat Hepatitis
Acute hepatitis occurs when it lasts less than six months, and chronic hepatitis occurs when it remains longer. Some types of hepatitis pass without causing permanent damage to the liver. Other types can remain for many years and cause liver scarring – cirrhosis. This is the most serious condition that leads to the loss of liver function (liver failure), which can be fatal.
Ayurvedic treatment for hepatitis includes Shodana chikitsa (detoxification through Panchakarma procedures), as well as intake of Ayurvedic supplements. Diet restrictions and lifestyle modifications are also the essential key factors practiced to obtain the best possible results in treatment of hepatitis.
Various Ayurvedic medicines and herbs like: Bhumyamalaki, Guduchi, Haritaki, Kalmegha, Kutki, Musta, Pippali, and Punarnava can be used in treating liver diseases like hepatitis A, B and C. The medicinal importance of Tulsi has been well documented in ancient times. The medicinal value of bee’s honey is also clearly mentioned in the ancient texts. Each remedy is recommended to be used only under the supervision of Ayurvedic doctors.
More tips for prevention and Ayurvedic treatment of Hepatitis:
- Eating well improves liver function
- Eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
- Get enough sleep
- Massage helps relieve stress
- Meditation is a way to focus and allow both your brain and body to relax
- Yoga increases the effectiveness of treatment and helps to eliminate pain