Hepatitis and Ayurveda
Hepatitis and Ayurveda
Health is the main concern of people living in the 21st Century. The WHO’s dream of ‘Health for all by the year 2000’ remains an unachieved goal. People are under the impression that health can be bought with money. Today , approximately there are more than 300 different varieties of viruses that can cause various disease. Among these viruses there is one virus that is active only in the human being namely Hepatitis B virus that is causing serious liver disorders in lakhs of people. The peculiarity of the Hepatitis B virus is that the symptoms do not appear till the patient is in a serious state. The HbsAg (Surface antigen) test is the only test available to detect the presence of infection. Generally people do not go for the HbsAg test until they have reached an advanced stage as only then the symptoms appear. Hence we are unable to detect the virus at an early stage. Even though this is the truth, there are thousands of new cases of young people reported every year. Principally there are three ways by which Hepatitis B infection is found out.
Health check up for visiting foreign countries
Screening after blood donation
Check up during pregnancy
The above three ways only represent a small percentage of the total volume of infected people. A higher percentage of men have Hepatitis-B, but a fair percentage of women also are infected.
WHAT IS HEPATITIS?
Man is the only animal that is infected by this virus. There are five different types of viral hepatitis infection, A, B, C, D & E. A & E are spread through contaminated water and food. B & C through blood and semen. Twenty per cent of the people suffering from serious liver ailments have Hepatitis E virus as its cause and Hepatitis D virus has an ability to catalyse the infection from other types and make the patient reach an advanced stage in a short time. Annually Hepatitis B is the cause for the death in about 2 million people across the world. A patient infected by Hepatitis B virus will mostly die of liver cirrhosis or liver cancer. In patients that have a weak immune system B-virus starts as a carrier and ultimately the patient dies as a victim of Hepatitis-B. If a person has a strong immune system then he can withstand the attack of the virus and live a normal healthy life.
Hepatitis B is seen in two different ways in patients.
1. Liver enlargement with jaundice
2. Asymptomatic but infected in the blood.
In the first case, being symptomatic, it makes the treatment easier. In the second case since it is asymptomatic, treatment is difficult.
In 1976, Dr. V.S. Blumberg received the Nobel Prize for discovering Hepatitis-B virus. Only after this did we knowledge the seriousness of the disease. This disease has been prevalent in the world much prior to this discovery. Yet the clear picture came into being only after the discovery. Statistically more than 40 crores of people across the world have the disease. Total number of infected people worldwide is 200 crores. This disease is most commonly seen in Third World countries. After China, India has the highest percentage of infected people.
PERCENTAGE PREVALENCE OF HBV WORLDWIDE
0 1% : North America, Western Europe, Australia
2 5% : South east Europe, Middle east countries, West Asia, Indian Sub continent, South Central America
5% & above: Africa, East Asia Pacific, Asia minor, Caribbean islands.
In developed countries, the number of Hepatitis B cases are less, but the maximum cases are seen in younger people. At the same time, in underdeveloped countries, most of the cases are children. This has made the seriousness of the matter worse, as 90% of the infected children are unable to save themselves from the disease. Whereas in youngsters, 90% of the patients can be saved. In developed countries, there is a continuous drop in the percentage of people infected with Hepatitis-B. In comparison to this, in underdeveloped countries, including India, there is a continuous increase in the percentage. As per the survey, the present percentage of carriers is 4.5 to 5% of the total population. That means 4.5 to 5 crore Indians are infected by HBV.
One in two cases of chronic liver disease and eight in ten cases of primary liver cancer is due to Hepatitis B infection. It is recorded that liver disease due to Hepatitis B infection is considered to be the fourth or fifth important cause of death in an individual’s most productive period of time (15 to 45 years). Even in a small state like Kerala, the percentage of people infected by HBV is not at all far behind the national level, i.e 5% (carriers).
1. How does one get infected by Hepatitis-B virus?
Man is the only known reservoir of this virus. It is transmitted through infected blood and other body fluids such as semen, vaginal secretion and wound exudates.
There are 4 major routes of transmission:
Parenteral / percutaneous : During transfusion of infected blood and through infected needles.
Horizontal : Between person to person (accidental contact with infected blood and other body fluids)
Vertical : From infected mother to child at birth.
Sexual : Between sexual partners
Accidental contact with such carries who are unaware of the virus they are harboring, can transmit the virus to others.
2. What are the symptoms of Hepatitis-B infection?
The majority of infants and children infected with Hepatitis-B do not show any symptoms of Hepatitis-B infection. In the case of adults, a small number of individuals may not show any symptoms at all. The others initially develop symptoms such as loss of appetite, tiredness, chills, mild fever, headache, body ache, vomiting and internal pain on the side where the liver is located. Later jaundice or jaundice like symptoms (pale faeces, dark urine, and yellowness in the eye) may develop.
In youngsters vomiting and pain will be comparatively more in the beginning, but after developing jaundice, they disappear. Their eyes, skin, urine and the skin under the tongue develop yellowness. In most of the patients, the spleen gets enlarged, the liver shrinks and fluid accumulates in the stomach. These symptoms indicate the chronic condition of the disease. Faeces will be either whitish or blackish and there will be itching all over the body. The disease can be detected by testing the blood.
3. Who is an HBV carrier?
An HBV carrier has no symptoms of the disease, but when tested is found to be HbsAg Positive.
4. Prevention of spreading of Hepatitis
1. Check blood used for treatment.
2. Sterilise all medical instruments like syringes etc.
3. Do not have more than one sexual partner.
4. Take Kamilari (a medicine manufactured by M/s. Nupal, Cochin 20, for viral Hepatitis) 2 caps 2 times daily for one month every year, this will ensure prevention.
5. Who are at high risk?
1. At high risk due to profession
All medical and Para medical personnel such as doctors, nurses and people working in pathology labs, blood banks, dialysis units and cancer units because their profession exposes them to the risk of dealing with blood and body fluids of patients who may be carriers.
2. At high risk due to illness
a. Patients like thalassemics and haemophilics who receive blood or blood related products.
b. Patients on dialysis
3. At high risk due to sexual or social habits
a. Heterosexuals with multiple sexual partners
b. Homosexuals and sex workers
d. People who undergo tattooing.
a. Infants born to Hepatitis B infected mothers.
b. Family members of Hepatitis B Virus carriers.
Hepatitis-B is seen with or without jaundice. The patient can be treated in the normal way as we do for jaundice. In my experience, Drakshadi kwath padavala kadurohinyadi kashayam & Kamilari (‘Kamilari’, is clinically proven for viral Hepatitis by trials done at Kashturba Medical College, Manipal) and can cure 80% of the Hepatitis-B patients completely.
As in the case of treatment of other chronic diseases, as per Ayurvedic treatise, for Hepatitis-B also, there are three stages.
a. Sukha sadhyam : can be easily treated
b. Krichra sadhyam : can be treated with difficulty
c. Asadhyam : cannot be treated
Eighty percent falls into Sukha sahyam and the remaining 20% falls into Krichra sadhyam and asadhyam. Hepatitis-B is not a disease that kills suddenly. It takes 15 to 20 years to develop as cirrhosis or cancer and then the patient dies. Advanced (Asadhyam) stage of Hepatitis-B can be compared with Ayurveda’s Kumbha Kamila, alasam & lagharakam.
The 20% that falls into Krichyarasadhyam and asadhyam can also be treated effectively with certain additional medicines namely, Hepin, Elates Drops, Abhaya lavanam & Udaramritham kwath (developed by M/s. Nupal, Cochin 20). Upto 15% of the 20% that fall into Kricharasadhyam and asadhyam can be saved. In short, we can effectively treat upto 95% of Hepatitis-B cases.
Proper diet is an absolute must. Timely food and medicines as per prescription must be strictly followed. Stick to a bland diet., Eg: Carrot, tender coconut water, orange, grapes. Use rock salt instead of common salt. Oil is to be avoided.
“Marunnillenkilum rogam pathyam kond shamichidum
Pathyamillenkil marilla nooru nooru aushadhangalal”
Even if you do not take any medication, by proper recommended diet control alone, the disease can be cured. But without proper diet control, if you take hundreds ofmedicines, the disease will not be cured.
The co-operation of the patient and his lifestyle according to the treatment is the most important aspect. Medication with a haphazard life style will not give the desired result. The common belief that Hepatitis-B cannot be cured is not 100% correct. We have ample evidence to prove that Hepatitis-A, B, C & E patients treated from our clinic have been cured and supporting documents to this effect are available with us./ It is not fair to say that there is no cure for Hepatitis-B, as the modern western system has not found a solution. My humble request to all concerned both in the western system of medicine and the holistic system of medicine is to co-operate with the research done in Ayurveda.
N.K. Padmanabhan Vaidyar dislikes knives, Needles too. Knives are for cutting vegetables and needles are for sewing, he says. What about hypodermic needles and surgeons’ knives? “Well… if you can do without them, who needs them”, is his answer.
It was precisely this question that spurred him to undertake a mission for 40 years. The mission? To rid the world of liver diseases with a drug and thus save millions of patients from surgeons’ knives and hypodermic syringes.
“The liver is the master organ in the body”, the 75 year-old Vaidyar says. “No virus or foreign body in the whole world can strike the immune system if the liver is healthy”, he discloses.