Due to changing lifestyle and changing eating habits, abdominal problems like- gastritis, constipation, bloating, belching are becoming quite common. These problems looks quite simple to handle but if not diagnosed or treated early may lead to a disease known as “Ulcerative Colitis”. There is a rise in number of patients suffering from ulcerative colitis from the past few years. Unfortunately, it is considered as incurable disease by modern physicians. It is also known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which is regarded as a chronic ailment of colon. Modern physicians believe that intake of certain medicines for a long duration, food allergy, intake of antibiotics for a longer time may lead to the development of this disease.
Ulcerative colitis according to Ayurveda
- There is no cure for ulcerative colitis according to modern medicine but in Ayurveda this problem has a solution as Ayurveda believes in curing the disease from the root. According to Ayurveda, it starts with mild diarrhea, then stools with Ama(Kacha ras), sometimes patient feels constipated, sometimes loose stools followed by Kacha ras.
- This condition if not treated early leads to the formation of ulcerative colitis. It is known by the name ‘Pittaj Grahani ‘ in Ayurveda. There is a mention of this disease in the 19th chapter of Charak Chikitsa Sthana. According to Ayurveda, irregular eating habits, eating the food over previously undigested food, incompatible food, eating late at night leads to inflammation of colon.
- Modern medicines prescribes various anti-inflammatory drugs which further lead to increase in Pitta in the body leading to more bloody stools. Undigested food leads to fermentation in the intestines which ultimately leads to the formation of Ama (toxic substances). Diet and lifestyle changes are the main causes of this disease. If one wants to prevent ulcerative colitis, good eating habits must be maintained. Ayurveda prescribes cooling and astringent herbs which aids digestion and also maintains Pitta imbalance. Various herbs which are astringent and cooling and thus aids digestion are prescribed by Ayurvedic physicians in ulcerative colitis.
- It has been seen that now a days majority of the young population is suffering from ulcerative colitis due to the wrong eating habits. It is the time period of one’s age when the digestive fire must be good. The digestion of the people must be strong enough during young age. Suffering from such digestive problems in the young age is a cause of concern. Unfortunately, due to the lack of knowledge youngsters keep on mugging junk food which ultimately increase the ‘Pitta’ level in the body. Junk food mainly contains maida (rerfined flour) which is one of the major cause of ulcerative colitis.
What are the causes of Ulcerative Colitis?
Modern medicine believes that cause of this disease is unknown but Ayurveda believes that this disease is caused by-
- Regular intake of junk food in diet like- food made of refined flour
- Intake of fermented foods
- Consumption of alcohol
- Spicy, hot foods in diet
What are the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?
- Intermittent rectal bleeding
- Cramps in the abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Bloody stools with increased bowel frequency
- Weight loss
What are the complications of Ulcerative Colitis?
- Kidney stones
- Liver disease
- Joint Pain
A strict diet rich in astringent principles helps to keep the disease under control. Diet which is not very heavy and which aid in digestion is beneficial in ulcerative colitis.
- Turmeric- It is one of the best anti-inflammatory herb. Take 1-2 gm of turmeric with plain water empty stomach.
- Buttermilk- Take buttermilk 1-2 times a day. It aids in cleaning the colon.
- Consume at least 2-3 bananas a day to decrease irritation of the colon.
- Coconut water is a natural coolant. It helps to reduce increased Pitta levels in the abdominal area. Take coconut water on regular basis.
- Ginger- The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger keeps the symptoms of ulcerative colitis at bay. Include ginger in your diet.
- Fenugreek Seeds- Fenugreek forms a defensive coat along the digestive tract. Boil fenugreek seeds in water. Take a cup of this water until you observe the effects.
- Nutmeg is soothing and heals the wounds of intestines.
- Licorice- Boil half-ounce of licorice root in 2 cups of water. Strain and drink it.
- Fresh coriander leaves balance Pitta because it is a natural coolant.
- Bael fruit is a natural inflammatory.
- Fresh pomegranate juice is a miracle in controlling ulcerative colitis.
Diet plays a major role in managing this disease. Intake of Pitta provoking foods like- processed foods containing preservatives, hot, spicy foods, sour food, food made of refined flour worsen the disease. It is advisable to include coolant, easy to digest,carminative, astringent foods in diet.
- Consumption of dairy products must be avoided.
- Quit smoking and alcohol consumption.
- Refrain from processed foods, carbonated beverages, non-vegetarian food.
- Excess intake of Tea, coffee must be avoided.
- Junk food made of refined flour like-bread, biscuits, burger, noodles, pizza, pasta, momos, spring rolls must be strongly avoided.
Various Ayurvedic medicines like- Kutajghan vati, sanjeevani vati can be taken alongwith astringent and cooling diet for ulcerative colitis as diet plays a major role in this disease. Medicines are of no use if proper diet is not followed.
It is strongly advised to take fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables in the diet and say a big NO to refined flour (maida), alcohol, hot and spicy junk food. As this disease is a result of unhealthy eating habits only, so it can be corrected by making changes in the diet. By taking healthy food, our body feels fresh and energetic thus we can work better.
It is unfortunate that even in country like India from where Ayurveda originates, there are many people suffering from ulcerative colitis due to the lack of awareness. India must not follow the path of west from where concept of junk food originated which is destroying the health of our young generation.