Blood and liver disorders

1. Blood and liver

According to Ayurveda, the liver and the spleen are derived from blood, in the foetal life. According to modern medicine, blood is formed by the liver and spleen in early foetal life. This illustrates the close association between blood and the liver since foetal life. Ayurveda refers to only the cells in the blood as blood (rakta dhatu). The plasma i.e. the fluid in the blood is included in body fluids (rasa dhatu).

Ayurveda refers to blood as jiva (life) – ‘रक्‍तो जीव इति स्‍थिति:’. Five thousand years ago, Ayurveda mentions that oxygen is carried by blood cells – ‘प्राणा: शोणितं अनुवर्तन्‍ते’. In anaemia, when the haemoglobin content in the blood decreases, the functions of all the body cells are affected as they do not get adequate oxygen. In India, 70% pregnant women and children and 40% adult males suffer from anaemia. This affects their working output and body resistance.

Anaemia is called as panduroga in Ayurveda. The word pandu means white. In anaemia, the skin and the mucous membranes lose their red colour and appear whitish. Bleeding disorders are called as raktapitta in Ayurveda. The detailed description and treatment of both anaemia and bleeding disorders according to modern medicine as well as Ayurveda are given in this book.

1.1 Liver – the vital organ of the body

Liver is called yakrut in Ayurveda. Both the words are meaningful. It is said that life depends on the liver. Here the word liver is used with a double meaning, that is liver as an anatomical organ of the body and liver which implies one who lives, i.e. the lifestyle of an individual. The word yakrut is derived from ‘yaha’ i.e. one and ‘krut’ which literally means ‘does’. Thus liver is one which performs important functions of the body.

The book elucidates the functions of the liver and description of jaundice according to modern medicine as well as Ayurveda. In India, laymen who are not qualified in Ayurveda prescribe one or two herbal medicines for the treatment of jaundice. Patients suffering from jaundice should not take treatment from such people as they are not conversant with the varied causes of jaundice and its complications.

Alcohol is toxic to the liver. Drinking alcohol in excess can give rise to acute alcoholic hepatitis, fatty liver, alcoholic intoxication and cirrhosis of the liver. It is difficult to overcome addiction to alcohol as in several cases, the addict is possessed by the soul of a deceased individual who fulfills his desire to drink alcohol through the medium of the addict.

The book also describes in detail hepatosplenomegaly, cirrhosis of the liver, oedema and ascites as per Ayurveda as well as modern medicine.

The book gives a list of Ayurvedic medicines which have proved to be useful in liver disorders by carrying out experiments on animals or clinical trials on patients. The book also gives measures to prevent liver disorders.

This book will prove useful not only to patients with blood and liver disorders but it will also be useful to haematologists, gastroenterologists, vaidyas, doctors, medical students and nurses. Everyone shall benefit by reading the book in keeping his blood and liver healthy.

2. Contents of the book

  • 1. Blood (rakta) – Ayurvedic concept
    • 1.1 Qualities of blood
    • 1.2 Functions of blood
    • 1.3 Qualities of a person with ideal blood
    • 1.4 Increase in quantity of blood – Polycythemia (raktavruddhi)
    • 1.5 Decrease in quantity of blood – Anaemia (raktakshaya)
    • 1.6 Vitiation of blood (raktadushti)
    • 1.7 Blood – Modern concept
    • 1.8 Components of blood
    • 1.9 Sites of blood formation
    • 1.10 Development of blood cells

     

  • 2. Anaemia
    • 2.1 Red blood cells (R.B.C.s)
    • 2.2 Nutritional and other requirements of red blood cells
    • 2.3 Normal values of haemoglobin and red blood cells in various age groups
    • 2.4 Anaemia
    • 2.5 Causes of anaemia
    • 2.6 Iron deficiency anaemia
    • 2.7 Daily requirement of iron in various age groups
    • 2.8 Iron content in common food items
    • 2.9 Why does an infant more than 5 months old develop anaemia when fed on breast milk alone ?
    • 2.10 Symptoms of anaemia
    • 2.11 Prevention of iron deficiency anaemia
    • 2.12 Ayurvedic medicines containing iron
    • 2.13 Diet rich in iron
    • 2.14 Treatment in anaemia where iron deficiency is not the cause
    • 2.15 Diet beneficial in anaemia according to Ayurvedic concept
    • 2.16 Treatment of anaemia with hepatosplenomegaly
    • 2.17 Spiritual therapy (karmavipak)
    • 2.18 Microcytic and megaloblastic anaemia
    • 2.19 Other causes of anaemia
    • 2.20 Haemolytic anaemia
    • 2.21 Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia
    • 2.22 Aplastic anaemia

     

  • 3. Leucocytes (white blood cells)
    • 3.1 Types of leucocytes
    • 3.2 Normal values of various types of leucocytes in different age groups
    • 3.3 Neutrophils (polymorphs)
    • 3.4 Eosinophils
    • 3.5 Basophils
    • 3.6 Lymphocytes
    • 3.7 Monocytes
    • 3.8 Total white blood cell count
    • 3.9 Increase in white cell count (leucocytosis)in pathological conditions
    • 3.10 Eosinophilia
    • 3.11 Lymphocytosis
    • 3.12 Monocytosis
    • 3.13 Neutropenia and agranulocytosis

     

  • 4. Bleeding disorders (raktapitta) – Ayurvedic concept
    • 4.1 Causes
    • 4.2 Types of bleeding disorders
    • 4.3 Symptoms
    • 4.4 Types of bleeding disorders according to the predominant humour (dosha)
    • 4.5 Complications of bleeding disorders
    • 4.6 Prognosis of bleeding disorders
    • 4.7 Treatment
    • 4.8 Beneficial diet and other measures
    • 4.9 Medicines useful in bleeding disorders

     

  • 5. Bleeding disorders (raktapitta) – Modern concept
    • 5.1 Blood factors required for blood clotting
    • 5.2 Process of blood clotting
    • 5.3 Epistaxis (bleeding from the nose)
    • 5.4 Haemoptysis (blood in the sputum)
    • 5.5 Haematemesis (blood in the vomitus)
    • 5.6 Bleeding per rectum
    • 5.7 Haematuria (bleeding from the urinary tract)
    • 5.8 Bleeding from the vagina
    • 5.9 Bleeding following increased blood pressure
    • 5.10 Treatment of bleeding according to the increased humour (dosha)
    • 5.11 Ayurvedic medicines useful to control bleeding
    • 5.12 General treatment in bleeding disorders
    • 5.13 Rasayana treatment for bleeding disorders
    • 5.14 Spiritual therapy (karmavipak)
    • 5.15 Diet in bleeding disorders

     

  • 6. Liver (yakrut)
    • 6.1 Life depends on the liver
    • 6.2 Close association of blood and the liver in foetal life
    • 6.3 Functions of the liver
    • 6.4 Why does the tummy of an infant appear bulging ?
    • 6.5 Why is liver disease commonly suspected in infants and children ?
    • 6.6 Causes of liver disorders
    • 6.7 Causes of jaundice (modern concept)

     

  • 7. Viral hepatitis caused by hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E
    • 7.1 Mode of virus entry
    • 7.2 Infective hepatitis caused by hepatitis A virus
    • 7.3 Infective hepatitis caused by hepatitis B virus
    • 7.4 Infective hepatitis caused by hepatitis C virus
    • 7.5 Infective hepatitis caused by hepatitis D virus
    • 7.6 Infective hepatitis caused by hepatitis E virus
    • 7.7 General care of a patient suffering from jaundice

     

  • 8. Jaundice – Ayurvedic concept
    • 8.1 Concept of germs in Ayurveda
    • 8.2 Classification of jaundice
    • 8.3 Ruddhapatha kamala (obstructive jaundice)
    • 8.4 Koshtha shakhashrita kamala
    • 8.5 Should one take medication for jaundice from laymen who give free medicines?

     

  • 9. Alcohol
    • 9.1 Properties of alcohol
    • 9.2 Constitution and alcoholic drinks
    • 9.3 Quantity of alcohol
    • 9.4 Alcohol and seasons
    • 9.5 How should one drink alcohol ?
    • 9.6 Contraindications for drinking alcohol
    • 9.7 How to overcome addiction to alcohol ?

     

  • 10. Diseases caused by excessive consumption of alcohol for a prolonged period
    • 10.1 Alcohol is toxic to the liver
    • 10.2 Pathogenesis
    • 10.3 Acute alcoholic hepatitis
    • 10.4 Fatty liver (medomaya yakrut)
    • 10.5 Alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver
    • 10.6 Madatyaya (intoxication by alcohol)
    • 10.7 Why is it difficult to get rid of addiction to alcohol ?

     

  • 11. Hepatosplenomegaly (enlargement of the liver and spleen)
    • 11.1 Causes of enlargement of the liver and spleen
    • 11.2 General Ayurvedic treatment
    • 11.3 Rasayana medicines (tonics)
    • 11.4 Spiritual therapy (karmavipak)
    • 11.5 Liver abscess (yakrut vidradhi)

     

  • 12. Cirrhosis of the liver (yakrutodara)
    • 12.1 Causes of cirrhosis
    • 12.2 Symptoms
    • 12.3 Diet according to modern medicine
    • 12.4 Hepatic coma
    • 12.5 Liver transplant
    • 12.6 Ayurvedic treatment

     

  • 13. Oedema (shotha)
    • 13.1 Causes of localised swelling
    • 13.2 Causes of generalised swelling all over the body
    • 13.3 Pathogenesis
    • 13.4 Premonitory symptoms
    • 13.5 Ama stage of oedema
    • 13.6 Symptoms
    • 13.7 Complications of oedema
    • 13.8 Prognosis
    • 13.9 Principles of treatment
    • 13.10 Treatment during the ama stage
    • 13.11 Treatment during the nirama stage
    • 13.12 Diet in the ama stage
    • 13.13 Diet in the nirama stage
    • 13.14 Classification of oedema according to the predominant humour (dosha)
    • 13.15 Vataja oedema
    • 13.16 Pittaja oedema
    • 13.17 Kaphaja oedema
    • 13.18 Vatapittaja oedema
    • 13.19 Kaphavataja oedema
    • 13.20 Tridoshaja oedema
    • 13.21 Diet in oedema
    • 13.22 Spiritual therapy (karmavipak)

     

  • 14. Ascites (jalodara)
    • 14.1 Causes of ascites
    • 14.2 Classification of udara
    • 14.3 General treatment of ascites
    • 14.4 Diet in ascites
    • 14.5 Spiritual therapy (karmavipak)

     

  • 15. Drugs useful in liver disorders
    • 15.1 Best medicine in diseases of blood and liver
    • 15.2 Prevention of liver disorders

     

  • 16. Preparation of Ayurvedic recipes

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