Colitis is a sub-acute or chronic disease of the colon and rectum of variable aetiology and unpredictable prognosis. It is a specific and non-specific inflammatory disease of the large bowel which is confined to mucosa. It affects the inner most lining of the large intestine. Symptoms usually develop over time, rather suddenly. As the materialisation is increasing, the incidence of ulcerative colitis is encountered more frequently in hospitals. In modern medicine, many drugs are available for the treatment of ulcerative colitis like—Sulfasalazine, etc. having both anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties but these drugs have gigantic list of possible side effects.
Even after taking steroids and sulfasalazine, patients suffer from the disease. So, the patients are always seeking some alternative therapies that promise more effective and safer outcomes as modern medicine has no known cure for this disease. Allopathic treatment only reduces the signs and symptoms of the disease but Ayurveda offers comprehensive treatment of the disease including diet, medication. Panchkarma therapies and home remedies for ulcerative colitis.
Ayurvedic treatment is a fine conservative and remedial method for the treatment of ulcerative colitis without having side effects. So, there is a need to come across ancient system of medicine which has no side effects. Reports say that ulcerative colitis is affecting 10-15 new people per 1,00,000 population every year, equally affecting both the genders. Most patients are in between the age group of 20-40 years.
- Ayurvedic physicians found excellent results in the patients suffering from Ulcerative Colitis with certain Ayurvedic treatments, home remedies and modifications in the diet. The Ayurvedic treatment significantly corrects bleeding in stool and bleeding frequency which are the cardinal features of ulcerative colitis and also acts upon the psychological stress thus curing the disease by acting on the cause.
- According to Ayurveda, ulcerative colitis is a disease having Pitta origin having varying degrees of Vata involvement. The excessive consumption of Pitta aggravating foods damage both Rakta dhatu and Mamsa dhatu. It is a disease of Purishvaha strotas.
- Raktatisara is mentioned as an advanced stage of Pittatisara. Sushruta mentioned about this disease 3000 years ago that “Pitta” type people are more prone to Ulcerative Colitis. When Pitta dosha gets imbalanced, it vitiates intestines and causes “Pittaja Grahani”. Pittaja Grahani produces the classical symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis but vitiation of Pitta when reaches extreme causes severe inflammation, ulceration and rectal bleeding (active phase).
Causes of Pittaja Grahani disease according to Ayurveda
- Mandagni (low digestive fire leading to poor digestion and poor appetite)
- Consumption of heavy to digest foods in diet
- Improper and irrelevant diet habits.
- Intake of Pitta aggravating diets like—excess spicy, pungent, acidic/sour foods
Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis
- Diarrhoea with blood or pus
- Rectal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Dark patches under the eyes
- Urge to defecate
- Ongoing diarrhoea that doesn’t respond to over the counter medications
- Diarrhoea that awakens you from sleep
- Take the powder of Bael fruit with equal quantity of jaggery three times a day.
- Include fresh pomegranate juice in your diet on regular basis.
- Cumin seeds and tender leaves of Guava are taken and fine paste is prepared. 20 gram of this paste is taken along with buttermilk twice daily. It helps in reducing the frequency of episodes of bowel habit.
- The fruit cover of Pomegranate is rubbed with lemon juice and fine paste is made. This should be taken twice daily with warm water. It helps in restoring the capacity of intestine.
- Mix the sandalwood powder (5 grams) with non-refined sugar (3 grams) and honey (3 grams) and make a paste. Take this paste with rice-washed water twice a day. This remedy helps in relieving bleeding and diarrhoea.
- Take 5 grams of connessi bark (Kutaj bark) and 5 grams of pomegranate bark. Add 2 cups of water and boil until one cup of water is left. Filter it and take this drink with little honey. This remedy is helpful in blood in stools.
- Banana is rich in astringent principles so it acts as a natural styptic and helps in controlling diarrhoea and bleeding per rectum.
- Honey is rich in astringent principle. It has wound healing property and has soothing effect on the wall of intestine. In addition, it adds nutritional value to the diet as the patient suffering from ulcerative colitis has the problems like—mal absorption and dehydration.
- Nutmeg—It soothes and heals the wounds of intestines.
- Cumin seeds—Cumin seeds improves digestion as well as these seeds are not spicy.
- Neem—Decoction of neem is useful in healing the intestinal wounds. It is also a powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
- Bael fruit—It is natural anti-inflammatory and styptic.
A strict diet rich in astringent principles helps to keep the disease under good control. Diet plan is crucial in the treatment of ulcerative colitis because of its higher chance of recurrence.
- Eat small, frequent meals and over-eating must be avoided.
- Drink plenty of buttermilk
- Avoid dairy products like—milk, cheese, curd, meat, fish, eggs as they are prone to irritate the colon and rekindle inflammation.
- All white flour products like—refined flour, white sugar are extremely harmful.
- Foods which have detoxifying and cleansing effect on the intestines such as—bottle gourd, turmeric must be included in the diet.
- Crohn’s disease often leads to mal-absorption syndrome. As a result, patient has inadequate level of nutrient elements like—zinc and iron. Hence, it is advisable to take Yashad Bhasam or Lauh Bhasam as per doctor’s advice.
- Kutaja (Halorrhena antidysentrica)
- Pomegranate, Bilva (Aegle marmelos)
- Musta (Cyprus rotundus)
- Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa)
- Daruharidra (Berberis aristata)
- Patha (Cissampelos pareira)