The Times of India/TNN
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Bnglaru (Bangalore), Karnataka, India
Doctors in Karnataka will advise the Liberian government on using traditional Ayurveda to tackle modern-day scourge Ebola.
State health minister U.T. Khader confirmed correspondence between his office and Liberian counterparts on this subject. "A month ago, we received mails from Liberia about it and I had discussions with Ayurveda specialists in Belagavi. The doctors are working on it."
According to Ayurveda, pitta (in the form of bile juice) becomes concentrated and dries up leading to corrosion in cell walls resulting in bleeding when a person is infected with Ebola. Ayurvedic medicine prevents denaturing of pitta from liquid to dried acidic form and neutralizes toxins released by the Ebola virus.
Doctors from AyurVAID hospitals, a chain of Ayurvedic hospitals, had sent a proposal to the Karnataka government on possible treatment for Ebola. The government has also discussed Ayurvedic treatment with the doctors at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Chest Diseases where a quarantine unit has been set up for Ebola-suspect cases. "As of now, there's no treatment for Ebola. We discussed methods of treatment with AyurVaid doctors. I've written to the government that if we get an Ebola-suspect case, we'll take up a combined therapy of allopathy and Ayurveda," said Dr Shashidhar Buggi, director, RGICD.
Ebola is transmitted through bodily fluids, blood, contaminated medical material such as needles or syringes, or even infected organisms. It's not transmitted through the air. The symptoms show up 2-3 weeks after contraction and include nausea, fever, sore throat, muscle pain, and headaches. In extreme cases, there could be internal bleeding and the intestinal tract is badly affected.
Ebola and Ayurveda
Dr Ajit Kumar, head of communicable diseases, AyurVAID, who has researched Ebola extensively, says, "In the initial stage of the fever corresponding to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), according to Ayurveda, vata-pitta doshas and rakta dhatu (blood and plasma) gets affected leading to the haemorrhagic phase or Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever (EHF) with symptoms including excessive thirst, skin rashes, blood in spit, burning sensation, redness of body, giddiness and delirium. As per Ayurveda texts (Charaka Samhita), one complication of the fever is rakta-pitta resulting in bleeding from mouth, rectum, and other orifices. This is also happening in EHF victims."
"Studies reveal that symptoms of Ebola are similar to that of dengue fever and India has been able to tackle severe illnesses effectively. We have to create a hostile environment for the virus to contain it," says Rajiv Vasudevan, CEO, AyurVAID. He has conveyed this to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta. "To stop the virus from spreading from one affected to person to others, we also suggest quarantine," adds Dr Ajit Kumar.
Medicine in Ayurveda
Ayurvedic protocols include diet, lifestyle, medicines, and therapies applicable to different stages of the disease. Medicine prepared from astringent foods items are favoured at intermediate stage and these include figs, gooseberries, white pepper, cucurbita, jamun fruit, walnut, dry mango seed/aamchur, raw woodapple, vastuk (bathwa), leafy vegetable, badri (berries), bamboo shoots, dates, lotus stem/stalk, charoli (chironji) to be administered in liquid form.