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Ayurveda & AIDS
AIDS- MODERN CONCEPT
is an acronym for the 'Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome'. AIDS is
not a single disease but it is a syndrome- a set of diseases, which
results from the destruction of the body's defenses by human immune
deficiency virus, HIV.
The virus that causes
' Aids' - HIV belongs to a family of viruses known as retroviruses. HIV
looks like a rolled up porcupine. It contain two snakes like single
strands of RNA along with reverse transcripts firmly wrapped up in a
core, giving HIV its characteristic appearance.
On entering the white
blood cells known as CD 4 cells, HIV produces its own DNA and sees to
it that this gets inserted into the DNA of the host cell. The viral DNA
has enough power and information to direct the destiny of the cell. It
can force the cell to manufacture several new copies of HIV. However
due to certain trigger and regulatory mechanisms, the viral DNA lies
dormant in the host cell for several years before it begins to do the
People infected with HIV may take 7 - 10 years to develop AIDS.
AIDS AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE
to Ayurveda the AIDS disease may be correlated with "Kshaya' or
"Ojakshaya' meaning loss of energy. The Symptoms and causative factors
and treatment for the latter are found mentioned in many ancient
Ayurvedic tests like, Charaka Samhitha, Bhavaprakasha,Vaidyachintamani
and Chakradatta etc., Shosha is another condition, which results from
loss of energy that is similar to AIDS.
The disease is caused
by the dominant kapha dosha along with the other doshas tends to block
the path for the flow of rasadi dhatus in their respective locations
thus resulting in the deterioration of saptha dhatu Rasa(plasma), Rakta
(blood cells),Mansa ( muscular tissue), Meda (adipose tissue), Asthi
(bony tissue), Majja (bone marrow) and the Shukra (reproductive
tissue). thus resulting into the disease.
The major symptoms are:
- loss of appetite, drastic loss of weight-emaciation
- fatigue and lethargy
- susceptibility to allergies and contagious diseases
- skin irritations
- bronchial disorders, often leading to tuberculosis of the lungs
- damage to intestinal flora resulting in diarrhoea, dysentery, gastritis and
- wide fluctuations in body temperature. prolonged fever
- sleeplessness etc.
TREATMENT OF AIDS ACCORDING TO AYURVEDIC SYSTEM:
All seems not lost for the HIV infected persons as the
Ayurvedic supplements are proven to be harmless without any side
effects and there can only be improvement and not deterioration.
Initially, the patient
is given tonics and rejuvenators (Rasayanas) to boost immunity levels
and to strengthen the system and stimulate appetite.
After gaining some strength, shodhana
(elimination) techniques are used to expel toxins from the body through
enemas, purgation and emesis. The medications administered at this
stage are not hard or drastic, but soft, ghee-based so that the patient
withstands them with ease.
Secondly the blood is purified with appropriate medications. Liver corrective measures also play an important role.
A strengthening diet
along with medicated ghee preparations and soups is recommended. But
spicy, oily and acidic foods are to be avoided. A little alcohol is
recommended as anupana (carrier) to aid the digestive process, and also
remove blockages in the flow of Rasadi dhatus, i.e. srothorodha.
Patient is advised to
do regular exercise. If the patient is incapable of exercising or
running due to weakness, then steaming (swedanam) is also recommended.
reason behind this is 'Heated blood is said to weaken, and even
destroy, the virus in some cases'.
Experience has shown
that certain herbo-mineral compounds prepared as per the formulae
prescribed by sages like Agasthya, Charaka, Sarangadhara and others for
the treatment of Kshaya have brought about significant results in
improving the condition of AIDS patients. The Rasayana and Vajikara
effects of the these medicines are good for the patients.
Some of the
propritery ayurvedic medicines achieving good improvement in the
quality of life of patients include 'Chyavanprash', 'Raktavardhak' for
Immunity building and 'Sookshma triphla tabs' to keep awaythe the
An example of an Ayurvedic remedy which may be of use in the treatment of
persons diagnosed with AIDS is 'Chyavanprash'.
'Chyavanprash' is most useful and most popular rejuvenator tonic(Rasayana) of Ayurveda.
This is an Ayurvedic herbal formula which increases ojas, and restores the
digestive, eliminative, respiratory and sexual systems. It is frequently
employed in wasting conditions where it has been clinically shown to
improve health and assist with weight gain. The main ingredient in
Chyavanprash is 'Amalaki'- the Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), which has the
highest yield of natural source vitamin C, with 3000 mg per fruit. It is
also a rich source of naturally occurring anti-oxidants including
bioflavonoids, vitamin B-complex and carotenes (vitamin A). Studies
suggest that this berry possesses antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral
properties. It assists digestion, lowers high blood pressure and lowers
blood cholesterol. Clinical research has shown that it accelerates repair
of muscle and skin and enhances natural anti-inflammatory substances.
Chayvanprash also contains about 35 others herbs which amplify and augment the
effects of its main ingredient; such a powerful formulation may indeed be
helpful in the treatment of persons who have been diagnosed with AIDS.
We have made available' Chyavan prash' at the 'Ayurvedic Drug store' on our website.
Readers can also use it as general rejuvenating Ayurvedic tonic irrespective of their constitution.