Category: Porphyria

Dietary Recommendations for Porphyria


Porphyrias are a group of problems that affect the metabolism in a person. It is therefore a metabolic disorder and is a difficult condition to cure. Porhyrias occur due to an increased concentration of Porphyrins in the blood. The porphyrins are an important component that contribute to the formation of the Haemoglobin. There are various enzymes which help in the conversion of porphyrins into hemoglobin.

Due to the defective functioning of the various enzymes, there are four main types of porphyrias namely, ALDA Porphyrias, Acute intermittent porphyrias, variegate porphyrias and hereditary porphyrias. As per the nervous or cutaneous symptoms involved, porphyrias can be classified as acute or cutaneous.

In both the conditions, the acute symptoms need immediate treatment and hence, they should be monitored closely for better results.The diet in any case of porphyria should be formulated so as to reduce the risk of an acute attack which may include severe abdominal upset or any neurological outburst like paralysis or even heart arrhythmias. Here are a few things to remember for all patients of porphyrias in terms of the type of food and lifestyle they are consuming.


Patients of porphyrias should be consuming ample amounts of carbohydrates. This does not mean that this consumption should be in excess of the daily requirement of calories by the body. A balanced diet with easily digestible carbohydrates are ideal for consumption.Prolonged fasting and starvation can precipitate an attack. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Consumption of simple carbohydrates like honey and fruits, helps in reducing the levels of porphyrins in the blood. Complex carbohydrates however, should not be totally neglected. Try incorporating whole wheat breads for your daily dose of complex carbohydrates.


Nausea and indigestion are a common feature in most patients. To control them, it is therefore, very important to eat light and frequent meals. Acidic and nauseating food products should be avoided to as far as possible.

Caffeinated drinks, sodas, soft drinks etc. should also be avoided.


Alcohol has been reported as a common trigger for an acute attack of porphyrias which may manifest itself in many ways. Alcohol intake should be limited to a minimum. If you do not drink, try and not become an alcoholic. For people who do drink, try and refrain yourself from drinking liquors with a high percentage of alcohol like red wine, whisky etc.


Common abdominal symptoms in porphyrias is a frequent constipation or diarrhea. For patients who feel constipated, there are many herbal remedies and dietary modifications that can help a lot in maintaining normal bowel movement.

  1. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Begin your day with a glass or two of warm water on an empty stomach. You can also add a little lime or honey in it.
  2. You can also consume soft fibrous fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, beans etc.
  3. 1 – 2 tea spoon full of Vara churna at night can help in the smooth evacuation of stools at night.


Regular exercise is a very common condition that has to be maintained in order to maintain physical health as well as regular bowel movement. Sedentary lifestyle, is another factor that can aggravate your disease so you have to be regular with your workouts and take out time for yourself.

Light exercises like walking, light jogging can be done regularly to maintain fitness levels. You can choose an exercise routine that suits you best as per your Age and fitness levels.


Cholesterol levels need to be managed and the amount of fat in diet should be restricted to not more than 300 mg per day accordingly. Salt restriction is not a direct indication. It depends up on the involvement of other disorders like hypertension.


Iron levels in blood should be especially managed to maintain optimum Hemoglobin levels in blood. People who deal with the acute on chronic attacks of Porphyrias, need to manage for any anemic conditions that may develop in them.

It is especially necessary to monitor Hb levels in women who suffer from heavy menstrual flow and blood loss due to other reasons. Calcium levels should also be maintained especially in female patients of porphyria.

These are some of the basic guidelines that are applicable to most patients of porphyrias in general. The rest of the specific details of the disease vary from person to person for which individual guidelines need to be formulated.

Porphyria- Causes, Symptoms, Complications & Herbal Remedies


Porphyria is a disorder that results from a build-up of natural chemical known as porphyrin in human body. The Porphyria is disorder of heme biosynthesis is caused by a deficiency of one of the enzymes necessary for the production of heme for haemoglobin, myoglobin, cytochromes, and other heme-containing proteins.  These enzymes are found in every organs in the body and are arranged accordingly in a pathway.

It is most active in the bone marrow and liver.  Any enzyme deficiency results in the accumulation of certain pathway intermediates, which are either porphyrins or porphyrin precursors.  Excess porphyrins cause skin photosensitivity and excess porphyrin precursors are associated with neurological manifestations. Porphyrins are essential for the function of haemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that links to porphyrin, binds iron, and carries oxygen to the organs and tissues. High levels of porphyrins may cause significant problems. Porphyria mainly affects the nervous system and skin.


  • Genetic risks
  • Certain drugs like barbiturates, sulphonamide antibiotics, birth control pills, psychoactive drugs.
  • Chemicals
  • Dieting or fasting
  • Smoking
  • Physical stress, such as infections or other illnesses
  • Liver disorders
  • Emotional stress and anxiety
  • Alcohol
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Excess iron


  • Abdominal pain, swelling
  • Constipation or diarrhoea
  • Insomnia
  • Palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Anxiety or restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Mental changes, such as confusion, hallucinations, disorientation or paranoia
  • Breathing problems
  • Muscle pain, tingling, numbness, weakness or paralysis


  • Dehydration
  • Breathing difficulties and muscle weakness
  • Low sodium in blood or Hyponatremia
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Liver damage
  • Permanent skin damage, abnormal appearance, scarring and colouring
  • Paralysis, coma, respiratory failure, hair loss and gall stones

Herbal Remedies for Porphyria

Ashwagandha Capsules

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is the most vital herb in Ayurveda with its miraculous medicinal and therapeutic powers. Ashwagandha is a short woody shrub belonging to the Solanaceae family and native to the Indian subcontinent. Ashwagandha is a central component in Ayurveda.

It helps in the rejuvenation of the health and skin. This medicine is perfect for the cure of various health issues. Porphyria is considered as incurable to various physicians whereas the Ashwagandha along with some other herbs can heal it. It has a quality to cure the porphyria from the depth. It also seizes out the problem from other organs as well as helps the sensations to be cured. It makes the brain to work in the proper manner. Ashwagandha boosts immunity and helps the body in coping with stress, anxiety which is one of the prime cause for porphyria. It also treats insomnia and protects the brain cells from the deleterious effects. Ashwagandha is beneficial for various skin ailments such as premature aging, rough- dry skin, wound healing. It also stimulates collagen production and reduces cortisol level.

Dosage: One to two capsules per day, with water after meals

Pack size: Each bottle contains 60 capsules

Brahmi Capsules

Brahmi (Bacopa Monneiri) belongs to Scrophulariaceae family. It is a pure extract preparation made from the best quality Brahmi herb in the herbal capsule form. Brahmi literally means the energy or strength. It has mind enhancing and nervous system soothing effects. It calms down vata, redirects the flow of vata downwards, reduces mental illness, rejuvenates nervous system, promotes energy, promotes sleep and alleviates skin conditions.

Brahmi is very soothing to the skin and scalp. It is useful in clearing aggravations of the skin. Brahmi is recommended when an underlying nervous imbalance is involved. Applying herb to the scalp has the added advantage of a close proximity to the brain and central nervous system, where the herbs are well positioned to inspire many of the above-mentioned benefits. It promotes proper healing of wounds and minimal scarring, while helping to cleanse, soften and protect the skin. Brahmi curbs every ailment associated with nervous system and hence it is very beneficial in treating porphyria.

Dosage: One to two capsules with milk or water after meals.

Pack size: Each bottle contains 60 capsules

Navkarshik churna

It is comprised of nine vital herbs such as Amlaki, Haritaki, Babhitaki, Vacha, Neem, Manjistha, Katuki, Giloy and Daruhaldi. All these herbs act together to remove toxins from the body in a synergistic manner and are effective in treating swollen and painful joints.

Herbs present in navkarshik churna are the best liver detoxifying herb which helps the liver to clear the toxins from the system. The liver works hard to clear the toxins from blood but these herbs helps the hepatic cells to clear the toxins quickly. It helps to purify the blood and corrects the metabolism of the body and is useful in relieving every type of pain. Since liver disorders are one of the main causes of porphyria, navkarshik churna helps to curb the disease due to the presence of liver cleansing herbs.

It can also relieve various skin diseases. Navkarshik Churna has various therapeutic properties. It is an immunomodulator and improves immunity. It also acts as an anti – inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-infection. It helps to relieve pain with ease. Navkarshik churna helps to balance body metabolism, helps to purify the blood and also relieve various skin diseases.

Dosage: 1 – 2 teaspoonful’s of Navkarshik Churna, two times in a day with plain water after meal.

Pack size: 100 g per Jar

Aloe vital Capsules

It contains aloe vera extract. It effectively treats mild to severe skin conditions or reactions. Aloe Vitals Capsules are one of the most powerful sources of Aloe vera which helps in relieving several ailments. It improves the health naturally. In earlier times, aloe vera was a popular herb to relieve several skin problems. It is also used for fairer and younger looking skin. Aloe vera not only helps in skin ailments but also in an array of health concerns like blood cleansing, liver problems, cancers, kidney ailments, female health problems, irregular menstruation, PMS and ovarian cysts . Ayurvedic properties of Aloe vera are cooling, cleansing, bitter, improves eye sight, and helps to reduce excess weight, rejuvenating, stamina increasing, and strength promoting, aphrodisiac for both men and women. Aloe vera works to clear skin diseases including eczema, porphyria, dermatitis and psoriasis. It helps to keep the skin moistened and hydrated.

Overall aloe vera acts as an antibiotic, rather than as a topical ointment. Aloe wonderfully subside the pain and discomfort, instantly. Aloe has an excellent healing capabilities. As a result, aloe should be used until the rash is completely diminished, not just until the pain and redness has subsided.

Aloe contains an extremely strong anti-inflammatory component called B-sitosterol. Aloe is also full of vitamin E, which is wonderful for the skin. Aloe naturally contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. While combining the natural healing properties with its chemical anti-inflammatory, aloe proves to reduce redness, inflammation, itch and discomfort.

Dosage: One or two capsules along with plain water, two times a day after the meals

Pack size: Each bottle contains 60 capsules

Aarogya vardhini vati

It is an excellent remedy for blood purification. It is a mixture of 12 essential ayurvedic medicines such as Shuddh Parad, Shuddh Gandhak, Lauh Bhasma, Abhrak Bhasma, Tamra Bhasma, Haritaki, Babhitaki, Amalaki, Shuddh Shilajatu, Shuddh Guggulu, Chitrak Mool and Katuki. These are useful in relieving liver disorders and various skin diseases. It also enhances immune system.

Arogyavardhini vati helps in the treatment of skin diseases naturally. This herbal remedy can be consumed every day to boost up the immune system. It is also an excellent remedy for liver disorder. Some skin conditions such as porphyria which may occur due to liver disorder can be treated with this formula. It not only helps in blood purification but also enhances the body immunity to prevent the recurrent signs and symptoms of skin diseases. Arogyavardhani vati may be taken regularly to enhance the body immunity and to prevent skin diseases. It is a useful natural remedy for all types of skin diseases. It works naturally and helps to get rid of skin diseases by blood purification. Skin diseases are common in people having liver disorder. It is a traditional remedy that has been used for the treatment of skin diseases such as psoriasis, dermatitis and porphyria. Regular intake of this herbal remedy provides long lasting results without producing any negative effects on any other parts of the body.

Dosage: 2 tablets of Arogyavardhini Vati two times in a day after meals with plain water.

Pack size: Each bottle contains 120 tablets