Friday, July 12, 2013

Filariasis (Elephantiasis) - Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Filarial parasites cause skin lesions in a condition known as filariasis or elephantiasis, and affect the lives of millions of people, especially those living in tropical countries. The spread of this disease is usually through mosquito bites. Symptoms involve a swelling and thickening of the skin and lymph glands, which can in some cases be considerable. Skin lesions usually persist for a long time. The acute infection usually causes nocturnal fever and local tenderness. Chronic lesions are usually painless.
The Ayurvedic treatment of filariasis is aimed at controlling the infection and treating the symptoms of this disease. The herbal medicines, Guggulu (Commiphora mukul) and Kachnaar (Bauhinia variegate), are considered to be the main stay of treatment for this disease. Medicines like Nityanand-Ras, Kanchnaar-Guggulu, Arogya-Vardhini, Triphala-Guggulu and Punarnavadi-Guggulu need to be given in high doses for prolonged periods in order to reduce the swelling and thickening of the skin lesions. Medicines like Sukshma-Triphala, Gandhak-Rasayan, Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha, Chandraprabha-Vati and Trivang-Bhasma are used to treat the basic parasitic infection responsible for this disease. Patients who do not respond satisfactorily to these medicines can be given additional medicines like Ras-Sindur, Malla-Sindur, Sameer-Pannag-Ras, Ras-Manikya and Abhrak-Bhasma. In order to reduce swelling, medicines like Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Gomutra-Haritaki, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Dashmool-Qadha, Ikshumool (Saceharum officinarum), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Apamarga (Achyranthus aspera) and Sahinjan (Moringa pterygosperma) are used.
Local applications on the skin lesions are also quite helpful to reduce swelling and thickening of the skin. Ointments containing Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Ras-Sindur and Gandhak (Purified sulphur) are used for this purpose. Traditional herbal formulations like Dashang-Lep and Shoth-Har-Lep can also be used for this purpose. Blood-letting from the affected lesions with the application of leeches is also helpful in reducing symptoms.
Filariasis has a wide range of clinical manifestations in different tropical regions ranging from mild to very severe forms of the disease. Appropriate modifications in treatment need to be made according to the presentation of symptoms.

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1 comment :

  1. Oh! it really seems a matter of serious concern. I have never heard of this type of skin infection or disease before. So thanks for sharing it..