Dysentery is an infectious intestinal disorder. It is usually caused by bacterial, parasitic or Protozoal infection. The main presentation includes pain, fever and diarrhoea often mixed with mucus and blood.
Dysentery is more common in places with inadequate sanitation, where food and water become contaminated with pathogens and fecal matter.
Also known as Amoebiasis. It is caused by Amoeba – Entamoeba histolytica. It spreads in the humans in the form of cysts.
The cysts of Amoeba are ingested in water or uncooked food contaminated by human feces. These cysts travel to intestine where it opens and releases amoeba. The amoeba enters into the walls of intestines and cause small ulcers (Flask shaped ulcers). Amoeba can also infect liver and create liver abscesses. The main characteristic of Amoebic ulcer is chocolate colored pus filled abscess.
Frequent urge to defecate, straining during defecation, passage of low volume of loose or watery stool containing blood or mucus, Abdominal pain during passage of stools, stools have a foul odour, Pain in right lower part of abdomen.
Bacterial infection of dysentery is generally caused by Bacteria of genus Shigella.
It includes mild pain or discomfort in the lower quadrant of abdomen, mild to moderate fever, fatigue, increased frequency of urge of defecation, passage of foul smelling low volume of stool along with mucus or blood. The symptoms generally persist for 1 week.
In Ayurveda, dysentery can be correlated to the disease “Pravahika”. The disease is named on the main presenting feature of this disease “Pravahana” which means strain. There is an increased urge to defecate but patient passes low volume of stool even after straining which leads to a sense of incomplete evacuation.
The causative factors mentioned earlier lead to Agnimandya (Low digestive fire) which leads to formation of Aam (toxins) in the gut. Accumulation of Aam in gut, leads to Kapha and Vata Dosha aggravation. Accumulated Aam sometimes irritate the intestinal walls which lead to discharge of blood along with stool. Aggravated Kapha Dosha binds with the stool giving it a mucoid nature. Aggravated Vata Dosha causes repetitive urge to defecate. As a result, even after repetitive straining small quantity of stool is passed.
According to Acharyas following are the clinical features of Pravahika :
The main line of treatment for Dysentery is to improve the Agni (metabolic capacity), digestion of toxins and to balance Vata and Kapha Dosha of the body. If passage of mucus is present along with stool, the patient should try antidiarrhoeal measures to stop defecation. Firstly, digestion of Aam should be cured and mild laxative should be given for proper excretion of toxicated Kapha Dosha.
In Ayurveda, various herbs are available which are scientifically proven to have anti bacterial and anti amoebic effect. Use of these drugs helps in quick relief from infection and intestinal inflammation.
Panchakarma procedure like Pichha Basti helps in faster relief from dysentery and also protects the intestinal walls from damage through the infection.
1. Take proper rest and take plenty of liquids to avoid Dehydration.
2. Single herbs – Pippali (Piper longum), Shunthi (Zingiber officinalis), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Dhanyak (Coriandrum sativum), Kutaja (Holarrhena antidysenterica). 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).
3. Powders- Tryushnadi churna, Jatiphaladi churna, Dadimashtak churna, Laghu Gangadhar churna, Kapitthashtak churna, Nagkesar churna.
4. Tablets – Kutaj Ghan vati, Sanjeevani vati, Jatiphaladi vati, Nripatiballabh rasa, kutajastak vati.
5. Kwath (Decoction) – Kutajastak kwath, Vatsakadi kwath.
6. Asava/Arishta (Alcoholic preparation) – Kutajarishta, Mustakadyarishta.
1. Take home made freshly prepared easily digestible foods and drink boiled water only.
2. Take 1-2 glass of Buttermilk mixed with roasted cumin seed powder, grated ginger and Rock salt. This will help improving the digestion, soothe the inflamed intestines and manage the loose stools.
3. Use of turmeric powder half teaspoon daily is very helpful in dysentery and diarrhea, as it a natural antibiotic and also helps in healing of intestinal ulcers naturally. One can use turmeric powder mixed with either buttermilk or curd.
4. If there is too much straining during defecation then take Harad Powder (Terminalia chebula) 5gm at night with luke warm water or take 10 ml castor oil with like warm water or milk. This help in smooth passage of stool without straining.
5. If suffering from pain in abdomen during defecation or just before defecation then take 4-5 neem leaves and 4-5 Peeple tree leave buds and boil them in 2 glass of water till half of the water remains. Intake of this decoction twice daily kills the infection of intestines and removes the cramps.
6. Unripe Bael fruit juice or dried Bael fruit powder with rice water or buttermilk helps in effectively managing both acute and chronic dysentery.
7. Green Tea prepared only from fresh ginger and Tulsi leaves taken twice daily helps in managing acute dysentery due to its antibacterial and antiprotozoal activities.
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.