Ayurveda can treat many diseases for which modern medicine suggests surgery, if they are diagnosed early. Here are some of those ailments:
The swelling of the tonsils at the back of the mouth leads to this condition. In normal cases, mild medicines used for treating infection can solve this problem. But when the swelling appears regularly, the patient is unable to sleep well, the infection spreads to other areas, there is difficulty to eat food and snoring occurs, surgery is suggested.
Even though removal of tonsils will provide a partial relief, it could lead to some long-term problems like damage to the immune system. So, it is better to treat the disease and retain the tonsils.
Ayurveda treatment, when carried out diligently, can help protect the tonsils. However, this may not be possible with a single drug, but a combination of medicines modified for each patient would help. The medicines suitable are ‘muyalcheviyan’, ‘karinochi’, ‘thazhuthama’ and ‘chittaratha’.
It occurs owing to the inflammation of the appendix. If it is not diagnosed early, the infection spreads to other areas of the intestine and may even cause bleeding. When antibiotics fail to give relief from pain, surgery is resorted to. The surgery is not generally risky but after some time, some patients develop a condition termed Crohn’s disease.
Surgery is not needed in case the pain subsides quickly on using antibiotics. People in this situation may suffer from diarrhoea, vomiting and lack of appetite. Ayurveda will help treat these symptoms. Traditional medicines will strengthen the muscles in the areas near appendix. The main remedies used are ‘vazhuthina’, ‘kadukkathodu’, asafoetida, ‘vayambu’ and ‘trikolpakonna’.
Inflammation of the prostate gland
This condition is common among men after a certain age. Surgery is prescribed after scanning. The procedure is supposed to cure conditions such as difficulty in passing urine and severe pain. But if Ayurveda treatment is resorted to during the early stage, the condition will not become severe.
The drugs ideal for the condition are ‘thavizhama’, castor and ‘moonja’. Procedures like ‘avagahaswedam’, ‘utharavasthi’, ‘kashayavasthi’ and ‘thailavasthi’ are also beneficial. Some yoga postures too offer relief.
The veins in the legs swell and protrude in this disease. Most patients do not suffer from conditions such as pain. But when itching, pain and wounds that do not heal bother them, treatment is sought. The disease is caused by the increase in pressure felt by the valves in the veins and the reduction of efficiency of the arteries. By Ayurveda treatment, the muscles around the veins can be strengthened and surgery can be avoided in many people.
The drugs ideal for the condition are, ‘karinkurinji’, ‘devatharam’ and dried ginger. ‘Kashayams’ and oils with these drugs have proved effective. In addition, yoga is helpful.
This condition is owing to muscles in the anal region weakening and the arteries bulging into the anal tract. The symptoms of piles include pain in the anal region, arteries protruding out of the anus and bleeding in the area. Surgery is needed when the excretory function becomes impossible and excessive bleeding occurs.
Ayurveda stresses on controlling the ‘apana vayu’ that influences the functioning of the internal organs in the waist area. Procedures like ‘avagaham’ and ‘abhringyam’ as well as minor surgeries like ‘ksharasoothram’ are carried out. Along with it, a suitable diet is suggested. Yoga too helps treat the disease. Drugs like wild yam, pounded rice, ‘thazhuthama’, ‘koduveli’, ‘cherkuru’ and ‘kadukkathodu’ are prescribed. Having curd along with food and consuming shallots which were sauteed are good for a relief from this condition.
Gall bladder stone
The stone is formed in the gall bladder, located adjacent to the liver, when secretions solidify inside it. Symptoms include vomiting, stomach ache and pain on the right shoulder. If these symptoms do not intensify, Ayurveda drugs can dissolve the stone and purify the gall bladder.
Later, the patient can consume food that is low on fat and engage in regular exercise. This would reduce the weight of the body and prevent the formation of the stone again.
Drugs suggested for the disease are ‘kashayams’, ‘choornams’ and ‘bhasmams’ of ‘adakkamaniyan’, ‘kadukkathodu’, ‘vayambu’, ‘kayam’, ‘chittamrithu’ and the bark of neem.
Inflammation in the uterus
The unusual growth on the walls of the uterus is a major problem faced by many women. The swellings could be minute to very large and may appear together. When medicines cannot contain the bleeding and pain, surgery is carried out.
However, Ayurveda treatment during the early stages and in less harmful conditions helps control the growth of the swellings.
‘Triphala’, ‘gulgulu’, ‘avanukku’, ‘chittaratha’ and ‘chittamrithu’ are ideal as drugs.
Polyps in the nose
A patient suffering from this disease loses the faculty of smell. Sneezing, blocked nose, snoring and sleeplessness are also seen. These symptoms would vanish when a surgical procedure called polypectomy is carried out. However, in over 60% of the people, the symptoms reappear. The main cause of the disease is malfunctioning of the body’s immune system. These conditions have to be treated for which Ayurveda offers solutions. ‘Ksharakarmam’ which can burn away the polyps and medicines derived from plants are suggested under Ayurveda. The main drugs are ‘venkunni’, ‘vayambu’ and garlic. Further treatment depends on the physical features of the patient and other symptoms.
When the disc between the vertebrae protrudes out and compresses the blood vessels to the leg, back pain, numbness on the feet and burning sensation are felt. The surgical procedures suggested are microdissectomy, laminectomy and laminotomy. Relief from pain is felt for people who have undergone these surgeries but many of them later find that moving the leg effortlessly is not possible. Others have problems carrying out daily ablutions.
The main reason for this condition is weakening of the muscles around the spine. Ayurveda suggests treating patients in 3-4 levels. In the first step, ointments and ‘dhara’ reduce the pressure felt in the spinal cord. In the second level, procedures like ‘kashayavasthi’, ‘thailavasthi’ and ‘kadivasthi’ are suggested. ‘Abhringam’, ‘ilakkizhi’ and ‘njavarakkizhi’ strengthen the vertebrae. Yoga can make the functioning of the muscles efficient. All this can normalize the posture of the vertebral column.
The main symptom of urinary stone is a severe pain starting from one's back to genital region. There could be an urge to vomit and a frozen feeling may develop in the stomach. In some people, a burning sensation is felt while passing urine. Other symptoms include an urge to urinate often and a bloody appearance in the urine. When infection occurs, the patient may develop fever.
In case small stones develop, drinking plenty of water would help dissolve them. Surgery is needed when these stones block the passage of urine.
Several Ayurveda drugs can dissolve the stones and a surgery could be avoided. In case the stone is present at a spot which would not pose much danger, Ayurveda treatment can be tried. ‘Kallurukki’, ‘neermathalam’, castor and wild brinjal are the traditional drugs ideal for treating the condition.
(The author is Assistant Professor, Government Ayurveda College, Pariyaram, Kannur. email: firstname.lastname@example.org)