Ayurveda treatment of Crohn’s disease by prescribing illness specific medicinal herbs and dietary recommendations
Crohn’s disease is a disorder of the digestive system and it can be referred as a type of inflammatory bowel disease. Its very much different from ulcerative colitis which is related to colon and we shall here try to explain all information in depth. This disease is also closely related with regional enteritis and ileitis. Inflammations in our tissues are caused by high pitta factor and so if patient’s pitta dosha is aggresively high and imbalanced, certainly the probabilties of developing crohn’s disease are much higher.
In Ayurveda, Crohn’s disease can be understood through the lens of disrupted dosha balance, impaired agni (digestive fire), and the accumulation of ama (toxins) in the gastrointestinal tract. Ayurveda views health as a balance between the three doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Crohn’s disease is often associated with an aggravated Pitta dosha, leading to inflammation and disruption of the natural functions of the digestive system.
- Pitta Aggravation: Crohn’s disease is considered a result of increased Pitta dosha. Pitta governs digestion and metabolism, and its aggravation can lead to inflammation, irritation, and compromised intestinal function.
Agni (Digestive Fire) Impairment:
- Weakened Agni: Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of strong agni for proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients. In Crohn’s disease, impaired agni leads to incomplete digestion, accumulation of undigested food, and the formation of ama in the digestive tract.
Accumulation of Ama (Toxins):
- Ama Formation: The incomplete digestion and weakened agni result in the formation of ama, which is a sticky, toxic substance. Ama accumulation in the gastrointestinal tract contributes to inflammation, compromises the absorption of nutrients, and disrupts the normal functioning of the intestines.
- Vata Imbalance: While Pitta aggravation is prominent, Vata dosha may also play a role in Crohn’s disease. The aggravated Vata can cause dryness, irregular peristalsis, and contribute to the variability of symptoms seen in Crohn’s patients.
Individual Constitution (Prakriti) and Vikriti:
- Personalized Approach: Ayurveda recognizes the importance of individual constitution (Prakriti) and the current state of imbalance (Vikriti). Treatment approaches are personalized based on the unique constitution of the individual, considering factors like dominant doshas, digestive capacity, and overall health.
Ayurvedic Treatment Approaches:
- Pacifying Pitta: Cooling and Pitta-pacifying herbs are recommended to reduce inflammation. These may include herbs like aloe vera, licorice (Yashtimadhu), and Shatavari.
- Agni Restoration: Ayurvedic formulations and herbs that enhance agni, such as ginger (Adrak), cumin (Jeera), and fennel (Saunf), may be beneficial.
- Detoxification (Panchakarma): Panchakarma therapies, including Virechana (therapeutic purgation), are employed to eliminate accumulated ama and toxins from the body.
- Strengthening Digestive System: Herbs like Triphala, which consists of three fruits (Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki), are used to tonify and strengthen the digestive system.
It’s crucial for individuals with Crohn’s disease to consult with an experienced Ayurvedic practitioner who can tailor the treatment plan based on their specific imbalances and needs. Ayurveda aims not only to alleviate symptoms but also to address the root cause and restore balance to the entire system. Additionally, individuals should continue to work closely with their conventional healthcare providers for comprehensive management of Crohn’s disease.
While Ayurveda can provide supportive measures for individuals with Crohn’s disease, it’s essential to note that this condition requires professional medical attention. Ayurvedic home remedies can be used as complementary approaches to ease symptoms and support overall well-being. Always consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating new remedies, especially if you are undergoing conventional medical treatments. Here are some Ayurvedic home remedies for Crohn’s disease:
- Easy-to-Digest Foods: Consume easily digestible, cooked foods. Favor well-cooked grains like rice and oats, and cooked vegetables to ease the digestive process.
- Herbal Teas: Drink soothing herbal teas such as chamomile or licorice tea to help calm the digestive system.
Aloe Vera Juice:
- Fresh Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties and can be beneficial for digestive health. Drink a small amount of fresh aloe vera juice diluted in water.
Ginger and Turmeric:
- Ginger Tea: Prepare ginger tea by boiling fresh ginger slices in water. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that may help soothe the digestive tract.
- Turmeric Milk (Golden Milk): Turmeric contains curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Mix turmeric with warm milk and consume before bedtime.
- Triphala Infusion: Mix Triphala powder in warm water and drink the infusion. Triphala helps in detoxification and supports digestive health.
- Chew Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds can help alleviate digestive discomfort. Chew a small amount of fennel seeds after meals.
- Fresh Mint Infusion: Boil fresh mint leaves in water to make a soothing infusion. Mint can help ease digestive symptoms and reduce inflammation.
- Licorice (Yashtimadhu) Powder: Consume Yashtimadhu powder with honey. Licorice has anti-inflammatory properties and may help in managing symptoms.
- Bilva (Bael) Juice: Drink fresh Bilva juice, which is known for its digestive benefits.
Yoga and Meditation:
- Gentle Yoga Poses: Practice gentle yoga poses to promote relaxation and reduce stress. Avoid strenuous exercises during flare-ups.
- Meditation and Deep Breathing: Incorporate meditation and deep-breathing exercises to manage stress, which can trigger or exacerbate symptoms.
- Curd (Yogurt): Consume homemade curd (yogurt) with live cultures to support gut health. Probiotics can help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria.
- Coriander Water (Dhania Water): Boil coriander seeds in water and drink the infused water. Coriander is known for its digestive properties.
It’s crucial to monitor your symptoms and consult with both your Ayurvedic practitioner and conventional healthcare provider to ensure a comprehensive and personalized approach to managing Crohn’s disease. Ayurvedic remedies can be integrated into a broader treatment plan to support overall health and well-being.