Category: Ulcerative Colitis

Benefits of Terminalia Arjuna in Treating Ulcerative Colitis

Overview

Ulcerative Colitis is the inflammation and ulceration in the colon and rectum. This problems begins in the rectum and spreads to the entire colon. We can say it is the combination of ulceration and inflammation which leads to discomfort and results to frequent emptying of the colon. Ulcerative Colitis is caused because of the unusual and abnormal response of our immune system. People of any age group can be diagnosed with it.

ulcerative colitis treatment in ayurveda

What are the causes which lead to inflammation of the colon that results to Ulcerative Colitis?

  • Autoimmune factors
  • Food allergies
  • Collagen disorders
  • Genetic factors
  • Infection

When one is suffering from Ulcerative Colitis what are the sign and symptoms seen?

  • Irregular bowel movements
  • Undigested food particles in stool
  • Diarrhea
  • Diarrhea with blood
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Unpleasant body odor
  • Weight loss
  • Distended abdomen
  • Poor appetite
  • On and off rectal pain
  • Burning sensation-chest and throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Low-grade fever
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Skin lesions
  • Sounds from the abdomen

The symptoms and causes of ulcerative colitis lead to complications which really needs attention and to be managed.

  • Severe bleeding
  • A hole in the colon (perforated colon)
  • Severe dehydration
  • Liver disease (rare)
  • Bone loss (osteoporosis)
  • Inflammation of your skin, joints, and eyes
  • An increased risk of colon cancer
  • A rapidly swelling colon (toxic megacolon)
  • Increased risk of blood clots in veins

According to Ayurveda

  • According to Ayurveda ulcerative colitis is Pittaj Grahani. Ayurveda says it is a complication due to vitiated Pitta Dosha, with the involvement of Vata. With consumption of foods that are Pitta-aggravating and the lifestyle followed damages rakta dhatu (blood tissue) and mamsa dhatu (muscle tissue), which results to the formation of ama that gets deposited in the intestines.
  • Due to it, the Vata Dosha is also aggravated and it blocks the Pitta and Kapha channels, resulting in inflammation, mucus accumulation, and edema. Ulcerative Colitis when treated by Ayurveda, involves removing the ama and restoring the healthy digestion.
  • Our nature is full of herbs and there are many herbs which help in managing and controlling the causes and symptoms of ulcerative colitis. But today we will discuss Arjun ( Terminal arjuna) the herb which has the potency to balance all the three doshas- Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. Arjun is loaded with properties which makes it useful and beneficial in Ulcerative colitis.

The Ayurvedic medicinal property of Arjuna which tells its qualities are-

  • Rasa (Taste) – Kashaya (Astringent)
  • Guna (Qualities) – Rooksha (Dryness), Laghu (Lightness)
  • Vipaka – Katu- Undergoes pungent taste conversion after digestion
  • Veerya – Sheeta – cold potency

The properties and the qualities of Arjun which makes it helpful in Ulcerative Colitis are-

  • Anti-inflammatory— The use of Arjuna help in reducing the inflammation in the colon which is the cause of ulcerative colitis.
  • Antioxidant– Helps in repairing the damages made to the body by the ulcers and inflammation.
  • Wound healing- Arjuna helps in healing the ulcers which are formed in the colon
  • Antacid- helps in controlling acidity and gastritis.
  • Antiulcerogenic– As per the property it gives a soothing effect to the ulcerative patients and helps in healing the ulcers as well.
  • Mucolytic– This property of Arjuna helps in controlling and treating the formation and excretion of mucus through stool.
  • Astringent– This property of Arjuna helps in controlling and managing the blood loss in the ulcerative Antitoxin– Arjun helps in removing the accumulation of toxins in the form of Ama.
  • Antihemorrhagic– Helps to control the excessive bleeding in the ulcerative patients.

Health Benefits of Arjuna

  • As Arjun is cooling, strengthening, soothing, and nutritive by nature which makes it helpful and useful in pacifying the aggravated Pitta Dosha. It also helps in gastritis and severe burning. The use of Arjuna increases the metabolism, production of enzymes which are required and are helpful in digestion, restores and refreshes the functioning of the liver.
  • Arjuna tree has calcium, copper, magnesium, and zinc which are inbuilt in it which gives it the properties of healing wounds Hence it stop the bleeding, heal the ulcers in the digestive tract, control diarrhea, improve hemoglobin levels in the blood, remove toxins from the body, reduce inflammation, and make the body strong.

Along with ulcerative colitis it is also useful in many other health issues and they are-

  • Coronary artery disease.
  • Heart failure.
  • Hypercholesterolemia.
  • Hemorrhages.
  • Edema due to heart disease.
  • Asthma.
  • Leucorrhea.
  • Obesity.

Heartburn

  • Due to the formation of Ama the digestive fire is affected which disturbs the digestive system causing heartburn. Intake of Arjuna will remove the Ama and ease the heartburn problem.

Gastritis

  • Due to poor digestion the food is undigested which leads to the formation of gas Arjuna helps in it.

Peptic ulcers

  • The use of Arjuna in it will control the bleeding, heal ulcers and remove the toxins.

Wounds & Skin Ulcers

  • Terminalia arjuna is used for treating wounds and skin ulcers. The use of the herb kills microbes, especially several strains of bacteria, and promotes wound healing.

Dysentery

  • Terminalia arjuna is very helpful in treating dysentery when given in combination. This herb reduces bleeding in stools, the frequency of defecation, and eradicates the infection.

Atherosclerosis

  • Terminalia arjuna herb has anti-atherogenic and hypolipidemic properties which makes it useful in reducing low-grade inflammation of the blood vessels and the antihyperlipidemic action of the herb lowers down the serum concentration of total cholesterol. It also reduces the atherogenic index.

Hemorrhages & Bleeding Disorders

  • Presence of astringents substances in Arjuna Bark has anti-hemorrhagic property, which helps to reduce the bleeding. Arjuna herb is commonly used in Ayurveda for treating bleeding disorders with a combination of other herbs.

What foods to avoid if you have Ulcerative Colitis

Overview

Ulcerative colitis is referred to as the inflammation of the colon that includes characteristic of ulcers, or open sores. The inflammation affects the whole area.

It affects both males and females and of any age group can have ulcerative colitis. 15-30 years is the age group when people are more prone to ulcerative colitis because of their life style.

It is considered as an intermittent disease with periods of exacerbated symptoms, and periods that are relatively symptoms free.

ulcerative colitis treatment

The ulceration and inflammation starts in the rectum and in the lower section of the colon, but as the disease progresses, it spreads through the entire colon.

If not treated and diagnosed early, it may result in various complications that can affect the daily life of an individual.

In modern medicine, there is no satisfactory treatment available till date but according to Ayurveda, it is managed naturally by avoiding certain foods in the diet.

What are the causes of Ulcerative Colitis according to Ayurveda?

Ulcerative Colitis is known as Grahni dosha in Ayurveda. It was mentioned in Sushruta Samhita 3000 years ago that ulcerative colitis affects Pitta dominant people.

Intake of foods that imbalance the Pitta dosha in the body further aggravates the condition.

Excessive intake of food such as:

  • Processed food
  • Intake of fried, hot and spicy food
  • Artificially flavored foods such as artificial sweeteners, colors etc.
  • Intake of food made of refined flour
  • Junk food.

Ulcerative colitis treatment in Ayurveda

What are the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?

The symptoms usually begin in the lower part of the colon and then spread upwards.

Symptoms are:

  • Increased urgency to move the bowel
  • Cramping pain in the abdomen
  • Blood and mucus in the stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Low-grade fever
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Distended abdomen
  • Lesions in the skin
  • Rectal Pain
  • Rectal bleeding

What Diet Should Be Followed in Ulcerative Colitis?

  • Diet plays an important role in the treatment of ulcerative colitis because it is caused due to wrong eating habits. People who eat non-vegetarian food and tend to draw most of their protein need from meat are more prone to ulcerative colitis.
  • The diet which is rich in astringent principles should be followed. The ulcerative colitis may vary from person to person depending on the patient’s Prakriti.
  • Proper diet and nutrition play an important role in the management of ulcerative colitis so as to prevent weight loss.

What Foods to be avoided in Ulcerative Colitis

1.Pitta Aggravating Food

Avoid Pitta aggravating food such as red chilies, tea, coffee, alcohol as they can aggravate the symptoms.

  • During an active flare, it is best to avoid spices and stick to plain foods to heal the colon as well as to minimize the symptoms.
  • Use of only mild spices is recommended to avoid the irritation of the digestive tract.
  • Certain Pitta aggravating foods such as- cold drinks, fried foods, alcohol, ghee, and sweets should be avoided.
  • Tomatoes should be avoided as they aggravate Pitta dosha in the body.
  • Foods such as soy protein, onions should be avoided as they tend to cause excessive acid formation and irritate the gut.

2.Dairy Products:

Certain dairy products such as- milk, buttermilk, cottage cheese should be avoided as people with ulcerative colitis are generally lactose intolerant.

  • The sugar present in milk and dairy products is known as lactose.
  • In some patients of ulcerative colitis, the small intestine lacks the digestive enzyme known as lactase.
  • Lactose intolerance causes symptoms such as- abdominal pain and diarrhea. So, avoid dairy products to reduce these symptoms.
  • Moreover, dairy products contain a lot of saturated fat which cannot be digested properly.

3.Carbonated Beverages:

The carbonated beverages are rich in carbonic acid which causes gas formation and abdominal discomfort.

  • These beverages also contain caffeine which can worsen diarrhea.
  • So, carbonated drinks should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis.

4.Nuts and Seeds:

Nuts and seeds are hard to digest so these should be avoided by ulcerative colitis patients.

  • In ulcerative colitis, there are active flare-ups. So, it is best to eat foods that are easily digestible and those foods which don’t irritate the further lining of the intestines.
  • So, avoid foods which are high in fiber such as- nuts, seeds, raw vegetables.

5.Alcohol

  • Alcohol may affect different parts of the body but in ulcerative colitis, it stimulates the intestines and causes diarrhea.
  • So, consumption of alcohol should be avoided as it damages the liver too.

6.High-Fat Foods:

  • High-fat foods such as- butter, cream, fried or greasy food should be avoided as body’s digestive fire is not balanced, so these foods are not digested properly and act as a load on the system.

7.Vata dosha aggravating food:

The foods which form more gas formation or causes Vata imbalance should be avoided.

  • Certain foods such as- sprouts, cabbage, sweet corns, broccoli should be avoided.
  • These foods cause excessive wind formation in the gut.

8.Whole Grains:

High-fiber foods are hard to digest and are the cause of bloating, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

  • Fiber rich food should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis as the body is not able to digest whole grains during flare-ups.
  • So, avoid food products which are rich in fibre.
  • Limit the intake of fibre rich vegetables such as- broccoli and cabbage which can cause excessive gas formation.

9.Processed Foods:

Processed foods contain refined carbohydrates and excessive amounts of sugar.

  • Sugars may cause the over-growth of yeast infections and can trigger ulcerative colitis.
  • So, processed foods should be avoided by the patients suffering from ulcerative colitis.

It is important to know that ulcerative colitis patient has different food intolerance because of their parkriti. The intolerance to milk while and sensitive to high fibre food again depends on Prakriti of one.

In addition to diet, stress is also a causative factor of ulcerative colitis. Stress also triggers a flare-up of the disease as chronic stress weakens the immune system making system more susceptible to ulcerative colitis.