(Last Updated on : 31/01/2014)
In the natural cure of anaemia, diet is of supreme significance. Almost every nutrient is needed for the production of red blood cells, haemoglobin and the enzymes, required for their synthesis. Refined food like white bread, polished rice, sugar, and desserts prepare the body for the much required iron. Iron should always be taken in its natural organic form as the use of inorganic can prove harmful, destroying the protective vitamins and unsaturated fatty acids, causing serious liver damage and even miscarriage and delayed or premature births. The common foods rich in natural organic iron are wheat and wheat grain cereals, brown rice, green leafy vegetables, cabbage, carrot, celery, beets, tomatoes, spinach ; fruits like apples, berries, cherries, grapes, raisins, figs, dates, peaches and eggs. It has been proved that a generous intake of iron alone will not help in the regeneration of haemoglobin. The supplies of protein, too, should be adequate. The diet should, therefore, be adequate in proteins of high biological value such as those found in milk, cheese and egg.
Copper is also vital for the utilisation of iron in the building of haemoglobin. Vitamin B12 is a must for preventing or curing anaemia. This vitamin is usually found in animal protein and especially in organic meats like kidney and liver. A heavy meat diet is often associated with a high haemoglobin and high red cell count, but it has its disadvantages. One cause of anaemia is intestinal putrefaction, which is primarily brought on by a high meat diet. There are, however, other equally good alternative sources of vitamin B12 such as dairy products, like milk, eggs and cheese, peanuts. Wheat germ and soyabeans also contain some B12. Vegetarians should include sizeable amounts of milk, milk products and eggs in their diet. For prevention of anaemia, it is essential to take the entire B-complex range which includes B12, as well as the natural foods mentioned above.
A liberal intake of ascorbic acid is necessary to facilitate absorption of iron. At least two helpings of citrus fruits and other ascorbic acid rich foods should be taken daily. Mention must be made of beets which are extremely important in curing anaemia. Beet juice contains potassium, phosphorous, calcium, sulphur, iodine, iron, copper, carbohydrates, protein, and fat, vitamins, B1, B2, niacin B6, C and vitamin P. With its high iron content, beet juice regenerates and reactivates the red blood cells, supplies the body with fresh oxygen and helps the normal function of vesicular breathing.
Water treatment is also an important part of Indian Naturopathy. A cold water bath is among the most valuable curative measures in anaemia. The patient should be given carefully graduated cold baths twice daily. Hot Epsom salt bath for five to ten minutes once a week and an occasional cabinet steam bath are also recommended. Full sun baths are especially beneficial as sunlight stimulates the production of red cells. There are other important factors which are helpful in curing anaemia. Deep breathing and light exercise like walking and simple yoga asanas
should be undertaken to tone up the system. Massage therapy
also helps to keep the blood level high.