World Tuberculosis Day: Ayurvedic Treatment For Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Panaimaram

A person can get tuberculosis (TB) by breathing in air droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person . TB is a global health crisis. About 25 per cent of the world's TB cases are found in India . TB continues to remain as the number one killer infectious disease in developing countries even today.

Apart from modern scientific medication and techniques, Ayurveda too has shown some promising and interesting approach towards providing a solution to the effective treatment of TB. On this World Tuberculosis Day, read on to know how Ayurveda can be used in the management of pulmonary tuberculosis.

In Ayurveda, pulmonary tuberculosis has been compared with Rajayakshma. Rajayakshma is primarily associated with Dhatukshaya (tissue emaciation or loss). Dhatukshaya initiates pathogenesis in TB patients. Rajayakshma also sees inevitable metabolic dysfunction (Dhatwagninasana) . In this Rasa (tissue fluid), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscle), Meda (adipose tissue) and Sukra (generative tissue) are lost. Eventually, the ultimate deterioration of immunity (Ojokshaya) happens .

The unusual metabolic change that occurs during Rajayakshma leads to the loss of various Dhatus (tissue) such as Ojokshaya, Sukra, Meda Dhatus followed by loss of Rasa Dhatu (process referred to as Pratilomakshaya) .

Ancient Ayurvedic Acharyas have classified causes of Rajayakshma into the following four categories :

1. Vataj Rajayakshma - hoarseness of voice, pain in flanks

2. Pittaj Rajayakshma - fever, blood mixed sputum, burning in the body, diarrhoea

3. Kaphaj Rajayakshma - cough, anorexia, heaviness in the head

1. Trirupa Rajayakshma (first stage of the disease): This stage includes the following signs and symptoms :

2. Shadarupa Rajayakshma (second stage of the disease): This stage includes the following signs and symptoms :

3. Ekadash Rupa Rajayakshma (third stage of the disease): This stage includes the following signs and symptoms :

1. Sanshaman Chikitsa - Performed when the patient is weak

2. Sodhan Chikitsa - Performed when the patient is healthy

Several studies have been conducted to equalize the effect of anti-TB drugs with that of Ayurvedic formulations. The Rasayana compound used to manage patients with Rajayakshma is composed of :

This Rasayana is usually made available in a capsule form. It was reported by several research studies that this Rasayana compound could decrease cough (about 83 per cent), fever (about 93 per cent), dyspnea (about 71.3 per cent), hemoptysis (about 87 per cent) and increases body weight (about 7.7 per cent) .

Studies were also conducted to research the efficiency of Bhringarajasava as Naimittika Rasayana in treating pulmonary tuberculosis. Bhringarajasava is available in the liquid form and is composed of the following:

The above formulation was identified as being the perfect treatment for Amsaparsabhitapah (pain in costal and scapular region), Samtapakarapadayoh (burning sensation in palms and soles) and Jwara (pyrexia).

As TB is a major public health crisis for developing nations, including India, there is an urgent need to find ways to tackle the spread of this disease. With an increase in the strains of the bacterium causing TB, medical experts now do look into ways other than the conventional medications to find a cure for this infectious disease - Ayurveda being one of them.

பனைமரம் - Panaimaram