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Ulcerative colitis is a very common form of inflammatory bowel disease nowadays, due to change in food habits and lifestyle. It occurs in 1 to 20 people per 100,000 per year, and about 8 to 246 per 100,000 individuals globally. It may affect at any age, mostly between ages 15-30 years and then again at age 50-70 years.
According to Ayurveda healthy digestion plays an important role in the well-being and proper health. Ulcerative colitis is known as a Pitajja Grahani.
Grahani is the Sanskrit term which indicates a particular part of the gastrointestinal system. Normally, the Grahani holds food until, it gets digested and then released it. But when it is deranged due to weak digestive enzymes, it releases the ingested material in the undigestive condition only. It is a severe prolonged inflammation of the colon or large bowel in which ulcers form within the wall of the colon. The symptoms are as follows:
- Urgency for stools
- Cramping pains in the abdomen
- Watery stools (diarrhea)
- Rectal bleeding
The following herbs used to get relief from ulcerative colitis:
Kutaz (Holorrahena dysentrica)is a wonderful herb which has a power to stop all sort of diarrheas. It acts as an anti-oxidant, which helps to remove the toxins (ama) from the body. This herb helps to stop the inflammation and heals ulcers. It also helps to improve the functioning of the digestive system. Being ruksha, tikta, kashaaye and sheeta, it helps to balance the pitta dosha in the body.
Bilva (Aegle marmelos)is one of the main ingredients of the Dashmoola (moolo means roots) dravya. It has an anti-inflammatory property that helps to heal ulcers. This herb is very well known as traditionally.
Giloy satva (Tinospora cordifolia) is very beneficially in balancing the Pitta dosha in the body. It helps to remove the toxins from the body, hence act as an anti-oxidant. It also provides the immune strength to the body system. It helps to reduce the inflammation.
Vasaka (Adhatoda vasaka)vasicine is one of the extracts obtained from the plant which contains medicinal properties. It helps to reduce the pitta dosha in the body, hence balance all doshas in the body. It is also helpful in controlling the bleeding. Overall, Vasaka provides strength to the immune system.
Arjuna (Terminalis arjuna) is kashaya, katu, rooksha and sheeta properties. It is very effective for curing ulcers and also helps to improve the count of red blood cells in the body.
Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus)roots are also called mustak or motha. This herb is tikta (Bitter), kattu (Pungent) and kashaya (Astringent) in taste, light, dry in properties and has a cooling effect. It is packed with good digestive and carminative properties. It is quiet effective to stop chronic mucus diaarhea.
Lajjalu (Mumosa pudica)is kashaya (Astringent) and tikta (Bitter), kattu (Pungent) in the post digestive effect and has cold potency. There is a presence of the alkaloid, mimosine. It acts as an anti-diarrheal and helps to bind the stools. It has an aphrodisiac property.
Anar (Pomengrate)contains anti-oxidants and polyphenols. Anti-oxidant helps to remove the toxins from the body and polyphenols serve as host of actions, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial agent. Anar seed extracts help to increase the hemoglobin level.
Sheesham (Dalbergia sisoo)is another herb which is very helpful to reduce the inflammation and heals the ulcers. It helps to stop the bleeding and diarrhea. It acts as an anti-oxidant and analgesic.
- Diet plays an important part in the treatment of ulcerative colitis.
- One should eat frequent and small meals.
- One should take Papaya or carrot juice which is highly beneficial.
- One should take soft cooked or steamed vegetables, brown rice, dahlia, sprouted seeds, and grains.
- One should take ripened fruits like banana, papaya, yogurt and homemade cottage cheese.
- One can take coconut water or glass of buttermilk, these are very beneficial.
There are few recommendations which are helpful, to reduce the symptoms:
- One should avoid intake of certain foods like cabbage, broccoli, beans and spicy food
One should avoid white sugar, bread, and flour. One should replace these white products with the brown products.
- One should add multivitamins to the diet.
- One should avoid alcohol, beverages and cigarette smoking.
For more information, ask your health queries to Dr. Vikram Chauhan and Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan at: [email protected]