Ayurvedic Treatment for Amoebiasis concentrates in bringing the harmony of digestive fire in the body. Amoebiasis is an infection affecting the human gastrointestinal tract. The disease has a worldwide distribution but is most common in developing countries (especially in places with poor sanitation, especially in the tropics).
It is caused by a protozoan named Entamoeba histolytica. It is caused by the ingestion of cysts that can remain viable for weeks to months.
Transmission occurs via:
- Feco oral route – Directly by person to person contact, or indirectly by ingestion of food or water contaminated by feces.
- Sexual transmission – oral-fecal route especially in male homosexuals
- Vectors – Like flies, cockroaches, or rodents
The ingested cysts, on reaching the ileum, multiplies to form trophozoites which then colonizes the large intestine. These trophozoites then undergo encystation and are later released through the feces.
- Most people with the infection are asymptomatic. Only 10-20% of them become sick.
- The incubation period is commonly 2-6 weeks, but it may range from a few days to years.
- Dysentery – With the daily passage of 10–12, foul-smelling, loose watery stools consisting mostly of blood and mucus.
- Flatulence and abdominal cramping are common
- Fever occurs in some patients (less than 40%)
- In chronic amoebiasis gastrointestinal symptoms along with fatigue, weight loss and occasional fever may be present
- On physical examination, tender hepatomegaly, tenderness over the caecum, ascending colon and left iliac fossa (Manson-Barr point) may be present
- Flask shaped ulcers with normal surrounding mucosa may be revealed on Sigmoidoscopy.
- Amoebic liver abscess – This is the most common extraintestinal manifestation, presenting with fever, right upper quadrant pain, and intercostal tenderness on the right side. These patients do not have active colitis. The abscess may rupture through the diaphragm into the pleural cavity, peritoneal cavity, or the lungs.
- Fulminant amebic colitis – Characterized by more profuse diarrhea, severe abdominal pain with peritoneal signs, and fever. This is more common among young children, pregnant women, and patients taking glucocorticoids
- Massive hemorrhage
- Perforation and peritonitis
- Post dysenteric colitis
- Pleuropulmonary amoebiasis
- Amoebic pericarditis
- Cutaneous amoebiasis
- Rectovaginal fistula
- Stool examination – Examination of a fresh sample of stool demonstrate the motile trophozoites
- Sigmoidoscopy -sigmoidoscopy may reveal the characteristic ‘flask-shaped’ ulcers with normal surrounding mucosa. The aspirated material or scrapings from the ulcer or biopsy of the ulcer may demonstrate the trophozoites.
- Amoebic serology – Detection antibodies is in the blood via
- Indirect hemagglutination test
- These tests are of more use in extraintestinal amebiasis.
- Chest radiography and ultrasound for amoebic liver abscess
- The latest methods include the detection of E.histolytica antigen or DNA in the stool sample.
- Amebic colitis is treated first with a nitroimidazole derivative and then with a luminal agent to eradicate colonization.
- Amebic liver abscess can be cured without drainage by using metronidazole followed by treatment with a luminal agent.
- In severe cases with hypovolemia – IV fluid replacement therapy
Ayurveda considers all the diseases to be the result of the defective digestive power – agni. The food we eat is converted to the dhathus (body tissues) with the help of agni. Thus, the proper functioning of agni is highly dependent on healthy food habits. Intake of such materials that are harmful to the body is rejected by the agni. Even the normal foods, that are taken in excess – beyond one’s digestive capacity, can produce the same outcome. The undigested or partially digested material formed as a result of these is called the ama. Ama thus formed cannot be the part of the body system, so it has to be eliminated as soon as possible. The body itself initiates this process, either by increasing the body temperature – called jwara (fever) or trying to eliminate the ama either through the upward or downward routes – chardi (vomiting)/atisara(diarrhoea).
Amoebiasis comes under the purview of Atisara in Ayurveda, more precisely Raktatisara.
The vata dislodges the watery elements and leads it downwards. Pitta causes ulcers in the walls of pureeshasaya. This results in bloody stools along with mucus.
Aa a general rule, in acute conditions, which are invariably associated with ama, drugs or therapies to stop the purgations shall not be given (provided, i) the health status of patient is good and ii) excessive fluid and blood loss is absent)
Then amapachana oushadhas may be given.
Some yogas which can be given are
- Pachanamrutham kashayam
- Amruthotharam kashayam
- Drakshadi kashayam
- Guduchyadi kashayam
- Vilwadi gulika
- Sudarshanam gulika
- Chiruvilwadi Ghrutham
Diet during the initial stage
- During this stage patient should take easily digestible food like kanji. The kanji should be treated with drugs that are appetizing in nature like pepper or ginger powder. Kanji can also be prepared in water boiled with shadanga churna which has amapachana property.
- Green gram soup
- Vegetables having bitter taste
If the purgations are still present after amapachana, formulations like the following can be given.
- Vilwadi lehyam
- Dadimashtaka churna
- Vatsakadi churna
- Narayana churna
Picha vasti – If there is excessive blood or fluid loss, picha vasti can be done which will arrest the purgations.
Diet during the later stage
- Nourishing food in lesser quantities may be taken
- Fruit juices like Pomegranate juice
- Tender coconut water
According to Ayurveda, the first line of treatment is the elimination of causative factors. Amoebiasis occurs as a result of unhygienic practices. Proper sanitation is the key to the prevention of this disease.
- Wash the hands properly before eating
- Thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetables before eating them raw
- Always drink boiled water
- Cook the fruits and vegetables adequately
The only way to prevent E. histolytica infection is by improving the sanitation facilities with measures for proper sewage disposal and treatment. For an individual with the infection, ayurvedic treatments can provide better relief along with the prevention of complications
EFFECTS OF AYURVEDIC TREATMENT ON AMOEBIC COLITIS
THERAPEUTIC MANAGEMENT OF PRAVAHIKA (AMOEBIC DYSENTERY) THROUGH AYURVEDIC REGIMEN: A CASE STUDY