Diarrhoea is defined as frequent passage of liquid or unformed stools. It is one of the most common disorders of Gastrointestinal system.
If the duration of Diarrhoea is less than 2 weeks then it is called as Acute Diarrhoea, and if the duration of Diarrhoea exceeds 4 weeks then it is called as chronic Diarrhoea.
If the duration of Diarrhoea is more than 2 weeks and less than 4 weeks then it is called as Persistent Diarrhoea.
90% cases of acute Diarrhoea are due to infections (Bacterial, Viral or Fungal) which are mainly transmitted through mouth (feco oral route). Such type of Diarrhoea is usually accompanied by vomiting, fever and abdominal pain.
Other causes include – Certain medications, any toxic substance intake or any intestinal disorder.
Causes of chronic diarrhoea include – inflammation of intestines like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, other organic disorders like liver cirrhosis or disorder of pancreas, intestinal obstruction, chronic use of laxatives, high sorbitol intake, lactose intolerance or any other disease in mucus membrane of intestines.
In acute infectious Diarrhoea, common symptoms are profuse watery stools, abdominal cramps with minimal or no fever. Vomiting may also be present in some cases. In some cases of Diarrhoea (like infection from Rota virus, Haemorrhagic E Coli), bloody Diarrhoea may also be present.
Symptoms of chronic Diarrhoea include watery and large volume stool passage generally without abdominal pain, sometimes stool may be greasy due to high fat content in it and often associated with weight loss and other nutritional deficiencies.
The main consequence of Diarrhoea is dehydration which if not managed properly can be fatal also.
Diarrhoea has been described in Ayurveda as “Atisaar”
In Sanskrit “Ati” means excessive and “saar” is derived from “sarana” word which means moving or flowing out.
Hence excessive passage of liquid stools is called as “Atisaar”.
Causes as described by Ayurvedic Acharyas are as follows:-
1. Excessive intake of Heavy, Oily, Spicy, Cold or Coarse food.
2. Eating meals when suffering from indigestion, overeating or eating improperly cooked food.
3. Drinking dirty or polluted water or excessive drinking of water.
4. Drinking improperly made alcohol (like methanol preparations).
6. Psychological causes like Depression, Phobias, Anxiety etc.
7. Holding natural urges like passing of stools, urine and gas.
8. Krimi (Worm infestation and infections from microorganisms like Bacteria, virus).
9. Improperly done Panchkarma Therapies can also lead to Diarhhoea.
10. Excessive water sports.
11. Haemorrhoids and Grahni Dosha (Irritable bowel disease) can also lead to Atisaar.
Due to the earlier mentioned causes, all three Doshas gets aggravated (mainly Vata Dosha) and lead to Agnimandya (low digestive fire) which causes Aam formation (toxin) in the body. Aam irritates the intestines which lead to their excessive movement followed by increased frequency of liquid stool.
The main line of treatment in Atisaar is to ignite the Agni (Digestive power) of the body. While managing Diarrhoea, stool examination is very must in Ayurveda. If the stool is sticky, semi solid or mucoid with excessive foul smell then it is called as “Aam Atisaar”. In this condition patient feels incomplete Bowel evacuation and feels heaviness in abdomen and stiffness in the body and have less or no appetite.
If nature of stool is opposite to above condition then it is called as “Pakwa Atisaar”.
If suffering from Aam Atisaar then it never should be stopped through medications, in fact mild laxatives should be given to clean the Aam (toxins) from the body. Also patient should be given light food or observe fasting to improve the digestive capacity of body (Agni).
If suffering from Pakwa Atisaar then it should be treated to stop.
1. Take proper rest and take plenty of liquids to avoid Dehydration.
2. For Aam Atisaar –
(a) Single herbs – Haritki (Terminalia chebula), Pippali (Piper longum), Shunthi (Zingiber officinalis), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Dhanyak (Coriandrum sativum), Kutaja (Holarrhena antidysenterica).
(b) Powders - Tryushnadi churna, Shiva kshar pachan churna, Lavan Bhaskar churna.
(c) Tablets – Sanjivani vati, Shankh vati, Rason vati, Hingwadi vati, Kutaj Ghan vati.
3. For Pakwa Atisaar -
(a) Single herbs – Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Dhatki (Woodfordia fruticosa), Lodhra (symplocos racemosa), Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum), Moch Rasa resin of Salmalia tree (Salmalia malabarica), Bilwa (Aegle marmelos), Jayphala (Myristica fragrans), Ahiphena (Papaver somniferum), Dadima (Punica granatum).
(b) Powders – Gangadhar Churna, Narayan churna, Jatiphaladi churna, Dadimashtak churna, Laghu Gangadhar churna, Kapitthashtak churna.
(c) Tablets - Jatiphaladi vati, Nripatiballabh rasa, Rambana rasa, Chintamani Rasa, Kutajastak vati.
(d) Asava/Arishta (Alcohol preparations) – Kutajarishta, Karpoorasav, Jeerakarishta.
1. Take proper fluid and electrolytes to avoid dehydration.
2. Rice preparations like Maand (Rice water) or khichdi, Coconut water, Shikanji, Buttermilk, mashed riped Banana , Pomegranate juice and Moong dal are light easily digestible meal options for providing electrolytes and nourishment in case of acute Diarrhoea.
3. Take curd along with rice cooked with lentils (Khichdi) which help in controlling Diarrhoea and improves the appetite.
4. Khichdi prepared with Black sesame seeds and one pinch dry ginger powder served along with curd helps in controlling loose motions.
5. Take Dry ginger powder, Jamun seed powder and Mango seed powder in equal quantities and mix them well. Take half teaspoon of this powder with honey and rice water twice daily. It is very helpful if suffering from Diarrhoea with stool of excessive foul smell, excessive thirst or drying of mouth, and burning sensation in abdomen.
6. Goat’s milk is very beneficial for bloody Diarrhoea.
7. Juice of unripe Bael fruit or dried Bael fruit powder with rice water (Maand) helps in managing incomplete defecation and passage of semi solid stool problem.
The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.