(Last Updated on : 19/09/2011)
Anaemia usually means `without blood`. This is defined as a qualitative or quantitative deficiency of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a molecule inside red blood cells or RBCs. As hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Anemia leads to hypoxia i.e. lack of oxygen in organs. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences.
The three main classes of anemia include excessive blood loss, excessive blood cell destruction or deficient red blood cell production or ineffective hematopoiesis. Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few.
Causes and Symptoms
: Anaemia may be caused by loss of blood through excessive menstruation, injury, childbirth, bleeding from the gastro-intestinal tract. Certain diseases like purpura and haemophilia, which are characterized by bleeding, can also be the cause. Defective blood formation because of infections, toxins, and drugs and also inadequate intake of iron and defective absorption of substances in the diet, which enrich the blood, are the causes. Some anaemias are due to a combination of more than one of the causes enumerated above.
The most striking symptom of anaemia is the pallor of the skin, hence the Ayurvedic name of the disease is Pandu Roga. The best guide, however, is the colour of the internal lining of the eyelid. There is weakness and giddiness, the breathing is shallow, the pulse rapid, and the blood pressure is often becomes low. In severe cases, the tongue is often sore and the nails of the fingers brittle and concave instead of being convex. If the disease is ignored, it may turn into pernicious anaemia, which is more difficult to cure. In some severe cases, the patient may have to be given a blood transfusion to make up the loss of blood. Usually blood transfusion happens in traumas like severe haemorrhage due to injury or bursting of an ulcer in the abdominal region.
Medicines & Prescriptions
: The exact cause of the malady should be ascertained before starting the treatment. If it is of a mild nature and has been caused by insufficient nutrition, massive doses of the substances lacking could cure it. But if it is due to malfunctioning of the liver, the stomach, or the bone marrow, Punarnavadi Mandura or Punarnava Mandura are the medicines of choice. One gram of Mandura should be given with honey four times a day. For children, the dose can be suitably reduced. The main ingredient of the drug is punarnava i.e. Boerhaavia diffusa which has rejuvenating qualities. If given to healthy persons, it acts as an elixir.
Vyoshadi Ghrita, Phahrikadi Kashaya, Pandu Panchanana Rasa and Lauhasava are some of the other drugs and standard Ayurvedic preparations that are useful in anaemia.
: Fresh liver of goat, which is lightly cooked, is a good solution. Fresh blood of goat or rabbit can immediately help in fighting the severity of anaemia.
Diet and Other Regimen
: Fruit juice, milk, meat soup, green vegetables, and light foods free from fats and sour substances are recommended for a patient suffering from anaemia. Sweet mango is like nectar for such a patient. If the patient is constipated, purgatives are indicated because anaemia is born of pitta, which can be corrected through purgation. Triphala water i.e. the three myrobalans soaked in water are the best remedy for such constipation.