Monday, 28 July 2014

World Hepatitis Day: Hepatitis and Ayurveda


World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of Hepatitis. World hepatitis day is celebrated annually to provide an opportunity to all focusing together on this issue and  raise common public awareness about various forms of the hepatitis including means of transmission.

As per Dr. Partap Chauhan, Ayurvedacharya and Director Jiva Ayurveda Hepatitis is one of the most dangerous diseases plaguing the world today. With more than 500 million people worldwide suffering from this liver disease, it has become imperative to tackle the root cause of the problem, which according to Ayurveda, lies in the body’s immunity. On this World Hepatitis Day, Jiva Ayurveda strives to increase awareness about the importance of the liver and the ways to keep it safe and strong.

Dr. Chauhan says, “Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to jaundice, poor appetite and malaise. Hepatitis is acute when it lasts less than six months and chronic when it persists longer. Worldwide, hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of the condition, but hepatitis can be caused by other infections, toxic substances that comprises notably alcohol, certain medications and autoimmune diseases.

There are five main types of hepatitis that are caused by a virus, A, B, C, D, and E - plus types X and G. Hepatitis A is caused by eating infected food or water. Hepatitis B is an STD (sexually transmitted disease). Hepatitis C is usually spread through direct contact with the blood of a person who has the disease. Only a person who is already infected with hepatitis B can become infected with hepatitis D. A person can become infected by drinking water that contains HEV (hepatitis E virus). If hepatitis cannot be attributed to the viruses of hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E, it is called hepatitis X. Hepatitis G is a type of hepatitis caused by the hepatitis G virus (HGV). Initial symptoms of hepatitis are flu-like and may include diarrhea, fatigue, loss of appetite, mild fever, aching, abdominal pain, vomiting, and weight loss.

As per Dr.Chauhan, “Liver – The busiest organ of the body. Liver, the largest glandular organ in the body, performs more functions than any other human organ. It plays a pivotal role in human metabolism and is responsible for the following functions:

1.      Production and secretion of bile that is used to break down and digest fatty acids
2.      Production of blood protein and hundreds of enzymes for digestion and other functions of the body
3.      Converting toxins and wastes into less harmful substances and then eliminating them from the body, etc.
4.      Because of the significant role the liver plays in maintaining our health, we must do all we can to keep it functioning properly.

Considered to be the liver’s ‘worst enemy’, Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver – a condition characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. Some common symptoms of Hepatitis include excessive weakness and fatigue, loss of appetite, digestive problems, nausea, yellowish tinge in the eyes, tongue, skin and urine, hypoglycemia, high cholesterol, allergies, etc. The disease may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to jaundice and anorexia (poor appetite).

 According to Dr. Chauhan, the world’s oldest science of healing, Hepatitis is caused due to weak immunity or ojas. The resistive power of the body, known as Immunity, depends upon the maintenance of the equilibrium of body energies (doshas) and the healthiness of tissues (dhatus) and channels (srotas). If your immune function is weakened, your body is subject to illness and cannot ward off infections. People who suffer from liver infections are usually victims of weakened body immunity, and therefore more susceptible to the Hepatitis virus that carries itself through common transmissible sources like blood, sexual contact and food, among others.

 In Ayurveda, Pitta (Ayurvedic humor representing Fire) aggravation is also considered as a primary causative factor of Hepatitis and other liver disorders. Increased intake of oily, spicy, sour, salty, penetrating and very hot foods; alcohol, tobacco, meat, etc. cause aggravation of Pitta in the body. The aggravated Pitta then impairs the blood and the muscle tissue of the liver, causing inflammation. This results in blockage of bile channels and thus, the aggravated Pitta (in the form of bile) is thrown back into the blood, leading to discoloration of the eyes and skin. Sleeping in the daytime, excessive physical work, overindulgence in sexual activity, suppressing the natural urges of the body, and psychological factors like lust, fear, anger, and stress can also be causative factors in cases of liver problems.

 Diet & Lifestyle Advice

1.      Avoid hot, spicy, oily, and heavy foods; eat a vegetarian diet.
2.      Avoid refined flour, polished rice (white rice), mustard oil, mustard seeds, asafetida, peas, canned and preserved foods, cakes, pastries, chocolates, alcoholic beverages, and aerated drinks.
3.      Increase intake of whole-wheat flour, brown rice or parboiled rice, mangoes, bananas, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, Indian gooseberries (amla), grapes, radishes, lemons, dried dates, raisins, almonds, and cardamom.
4.      Avoid unnecessary exercise and stressful conditions such as anxiety or anger.
5.      Take complete rest.
6.      Avoid working under the sun or near boilers and furnaces.

Some Home Remedies
·         Mix 1 teaspoon of roasted barley powder to 1 cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon of honey to it and have this twice a day.
·         Add 1 teaspoon paste of basil leaves to a cup of radish juice. Have this juice twice a day for 15-20 days.
·         Have a cup of sugarcane juice with ½ teaspoon of basil leaves paste twice a day. Juice should be prepared in hygienic conditions so as to avoid contamination from dust or other substances.

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