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Dengue, also called dandaka jwara in Ayurveda, is an acute viral fever caused by the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquito. Dengue is mainly characterised by high fever, severe pain in the joints and muscles, and reduced platelet count. Depending on the severity of the condition, there may be other symptoms such as rashes, nausea, vomiting, bleeding, cramps etc.

Ayurveda describes various treatment procedures to manage dengue fever, which includes langhana (fasting), deepana (appetising), pachana (digestive) and mrudu swedana (mild sudation or sweat therapy). Herbs used for dengue treatment include papaya leaves, guduchi (heart-leaved moonseed), amalaki (Indian gooseberry), wheat grass, rasonam (garlic), tulsi (holy basil) and neem.  Ayurvedic herbs prevent mosquito bites and boost the immune function thus helping in the prevention and treatment of dengue. Medicines that are used for the management of dengue include tribhuvan kirti rasa, guduchyadi kashaya, sanjivani vati, vasantsukumar, sootshekhara, sudarshan churna, vasavaleha, lakshagodanti churna and padmakadi taila.

  1. Ayurvedic view of dengue
  2. Ayurvedic treatment for dengue
  3. Ayurvedic herbs and medicines for dengue
  4. Dietary and lifestyle changes for dengue as per ayurveda
  5. How effective are ayurvedic medicines and treatments for dengue
  6. Side effects and risks of ayurvedic medicine and treatments for dengue
  7. Takeaway
  8. Doctors for Ayurvedic medicine, treatment and remedies for Dengue

As per Ayurveda, jwara (fever) is a common condition, which can occur as an independent disease or as a symptom of another condition. It can affect both body and mind. Fever can also affect all the dhatus and doshas of the body.

Dengue is a sannipataja (originating in all three doshas) disease caused due to pitta dominance and is mainly seen in the form of high fever and aggravation of rakta dhatu. Vata symptoms like joint pain and body pain and kapha symptoms like cough and coryza are also seen in dengue.

The primary causes for the spread of dengue include increased breeding grounds of mosquitoes due to urbanisation, inadequate supply of piped water, and increased population, and the development of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.

The various prodromal signs and symptoms of dengue fever are:

  • Angamarda (generalised body ache)
  • Klama (malaise)
  • Aruchi (loss of taste and appetite)
  • Utklesha (nausea)
  • Avsada (depression)

The signs and symptoms of dandaka jwara are breakbone pain or excruciating joint pain, sore throat, cough, back pain, eye pain, vomiting, headache, rashes and coryza. Platelet depletion is one of the most important symptoms in dengue, and some individuals may experience bleeding from some or all orifices of the body as a result of the decreased platelet count.

Dengue is an acute condition which causes severe weakness. Panchakarmas (five therapies), i.e., virechana (purgation), vamana (medical emesis), basti (enema), nasya (insufflation) and rakta mokshana (bloodletting therapy) are not advised in acute fevers, weakness and debilitating conditions, hence, are not recommended for the management of dengue fever. Ayurvedic therapies used to treat dengue are:

  • Langhana
    • Langhana is one of the primary treatments for jwara (fever). Langhana is performed either by complete abstinence from food or by eating less or light food with deepana medicines. The prakriti (constitution) of the individual is the deciding factor for choosing langhana method for the treatment of any disease.
    • During this procedure, the individual is made to fast until they start feeling hungry. They are then given light and easily digestible food along with boiled water containing ginger or long pepper.
    • Langhana causes digestion of ama (toxins) and vitiated doshas in the body, which are the root cause of most fevers. By treating the underlying cause of the fever, langhana helps bring lightness to the body.
  • Deepana and pachana
    • As individuals with dengue are weak and have reduced digestive and metabolic fire, deepana and pachana herbs and medicines are used to improve appetite and stimulate digestion. This assists in providing proper nutrition to the body and improving the overall condition.
    • Ghrita (clarified butter) stimulates agni (digestive fire) and aids in proper digestion of food. Medicines like shunthi ghrita, dashmoolarishta, pippalyadi ghrita, chitrakadi vati, etc. are recommended to increase hunger and aid in digestion.
  • Mrudu swedana
    • Swedana (sudation or sweat therapy) involves the use of various methods to induce sweating. Individuals with dengue are very weak; therefore, strong methods of sudation should be avoided in this condition.
    • Mrudu swedana is a mild form of swedana, in which, blankets and woollen clothes are used to induce sweating.
    • Drinking warm water is also recommended in mrudu swedana.
    • Shunthi (dried ginger) lepa on the forehead is useful in treating dengue fever.

Ayurvedic herbs for dengue

  • Papaya leaves
    • Papaya leaves have antiviral activity against the DEN-2 virus, which is one of the causes of dengue.
    • Juice of papaya leaves is known to increase platelet count; hence, it can be used in improving dengue symptoms. Papaya leaves are also a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, which provide nourishment, boost immunity and help in quick recovery.
  • Guduchi
    • Guduchi removes toxins from the body, reduces inflammation, alleviates pain and treats dengue fever by acting on the digestive and circulatory systems.
    • It boosts immune function and is thus helpful in clearing out the infection from the body. Guduchi is also used in the management of skin diseases, jaundice, malaria, tuberculosis and cancer.
  • Wheatgrass
    • Wheatgrass eliminates dengue virus from the body along with body fluids without affecting the hydration level of the body. Elimination of the virus helps in the rapid and safe treatment of the condition.
  • Amalaki
    • Amalaki acts on the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems and it also rejuvenates the body.
    • Amalaki has a high vitamin C content, which is responsible for its therapeutic action. It helps in building blood, bones, cells and tissues and is useful in the management of fever, liver and spleen weakness, and tissue deficiency. This herb also increases red blood cell count in blood.
    • Being an immunity boosting herb, amalaki assists in preventing secondary infections in dengue patients.
  • Rasonam
    • Rasonam acts on various systems of the body including nervous, respiratory, circulatory, digestive and reproductive systems. It eliminates ama and rejuvenates body systems.
    • Garlic reduces the multiplication of dengue virus, preventing its progression.
    • It is also used in managing conditions such as cough, convulsions, haemorrhoids, paralysis, and rheumatism.
  • Tulsi
    • Basil acts on the digestive, respiratory and nervous systems and has antibacterial, antispasmodic, pain-relieving and antiseptic properties.
    • It is an excellent remedy for fever, cough and cold since it destroys ama, and boosts immunity 
    • Tulsi also reduces pain and swelling. It can be used in the form of a juice, infusion, powder or ghrita.
  • Neem
    • Neem acts on the digestive, urinary, circulatory and respiratory systems of the body and purifies and detoxifies blood. It is useful in the management of pain and inflammation of the muscles and joints, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
    • It cleanses liver, slows down the replication of dengue virus and stops the progression of the disease.
    • In addition to dengue, neem can also be used in the treatment of malaria and jaundice.

Ayurvedic medicines for dengue

  • Tribhuvan kirti rasa
    • It is a herbo-mineral medication containing several ingredients. Some of the herbs in this mixture are tulsi (holy basil), dhattura (devil’s snare), and adraka (ginger).
    • Based on dosha dominance, it is used in combination with other medicines for e.g., in conditions with kapha dominance, tribhuvan kirti rasa can be given with bhasmas (calcined preparations) of godanti (gypsum), shringa (deer horn), or abhrak (mica); in conditions with pitta dominance, it can be given with abhrak bhasma.
    • Tribhuvan kirti is useful in treating fever by inducing sweating and relieving pain. Besides, it can also help in the management of various other conditions such as pharyngitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, migraine, influenza, laryngitis, measles and tonsillitis.
  • Guduchyadi kashaya
    • This formulation consists of guduchi, Brazil wood, neem, coriander, raktachandana (red sandalwood).
    • It is used in the management of fever and vomiting, which makes it an effective therapeutic remedy for dengue. It is also helpful in the treatment of burning sensation, skin disorders and fainting due to excessive heat.
  • Sanjivani vati
    • It is an Ayurvedic tablet-like formulation containing ingredients such as shunthi, triphala (a combination of amalaki, vibhitaki [belleric myrobalan], and haritaki [chebulic myrobalan]), guduchi, yastimadhu (mulethi), bhallataka (Indian nut tree) and vatsanabha (Indian aconite).
    • Sanjivani vati has antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties. and it is useful in the management of fever, headaches and abdominal disturbances.
  • Sudarshan churna
    • Sudarshan churna is a powder mixture prepared using 48 herbs. The primary herb in this formulation is chirayata (bitterstick). This Ayurvedic medicine is known to be beneficial in the treatment of all types of fevers. It was named after the sudarshan chakra seen on the index finger of Lord Vishnu.
    • Sudarshan churna has traditionally been used to treat intermittent fever and fever due to imbalances in doshas and dhatus. It is also effective in the treatment of malaria.
    • This herbal formulation is also available in the form of sudarshan ghana vati, which is a concentrated form of the medicine used as a tablet.
  • Vasavaleha
    • It is a traditional Ayurvedic formulation and consists of vasa (malabar nut), pippali (long pepper), sugar, ghrita and honey as its primary ingredients.
    • Vasavaleha increases platelet count, thus being useful in improving dengue symptoms. It also helps in improving the overall condition of dengue patients.
  • Sootshekhara
    • Sootshekhara is prepared from various ingredients, which include bhasmas (calcined preparations) of tamra (copper), shankha (conch) and lauha (iron), shunthi,  gandhaka (brimstone), and cinnamon.
    • Sootshekhar is a hridya (cardiotonic) medicine. It pacifies doshas and reduces the stress on the circulatory channels and heart, thus relieving weakness in individuals with dengue.
    • Sootshekhara is useful in the treatment of fevers that are associated with delirium. It is especially effective in the treatment of high fever with an aggravated pitta dosha, e.g. dengue.
  • Vasanta kusumakar
    • Some of the ingredients of vasanta kusumakar are bhasmas of suvarna (gold), raupya (silver), naga (lead), abhraka, mauktik (pearl), and herbs like haridra (turmeric), chandana (sandalwood) and vasa.
    • Vasanta kusumakar boosts immunity, strengthens the body, and is used in the treatment of diseases that cause weakness in dhatus. Since dengue affects the rasa and rakta dhatu and weakens the body, vasanta kusumakar can be effective in hastening the recovery process.
    • It is also useful in the management of various conditions such as tuberculosis, cough, diabetes and vata diseases.
  • Lakshagodanti churna and padmakadi taila are used to stop bleeding, if it occurs, in dengue patients.

As treatments vary according to numerous factors and an individual’s prakriti, consult a qualified Ayurvedic doctor for the appropriate medications and treatments for your specific complaints.

Do’s

  • Include light and nutritious foods in your regular meals.
  • Consume milk daily as it will help boost immunity.
  • Include green gram soup and chicken soup in your daily diet, which will supply sufficient proteins and energy.
  • Drink coconut water for adequate hydration and to eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Consume barley water to promote detoxification of liver.
  • Orange juice can be taken daily as a source of vitamin C
  • Plant/grow mosquito-repelling herbs like tulsi, garlic, peppermint, rosemary, etc., in your home.
  • Repairing leaks and avoiding water retention can help prevent mosquito breeding.

Don’ts

  • Do not eat heavy meals and incompatible food.
  • Do not eat spicy foods.

A research study, including a group of dengue patients, was conducted to test the efficiency of papaya leaf juice, in managing dengue symptoms. The individuals were given two tablespoons of papaya leaf juice, thrice a day at a regular interval of six hours. Blood reports were studied pre- and post-treatment, and it was found that the juice of papaya leaves increased platelet count by 8,000 to 11,000 in all the test subjects. Also, there was a significant improvement in health within 24 hours of consumption of the juice. The study concluded that papaya leaves are safe and effective in the management of dengue fever.

Ayurvedic medicines are essentially safe and do not pose any health risk. However, some herbs, medicines and treatments may not be suitable in some individuals due to their clinical condition or the predominant dosha. Risks of Ayurvedic herbs and medicine should always be taken into consideration to make the right choice of therapy. E.g., rasonam and tulsi should be used in moderation in individuals with aggravated pitta; rasonam should also be used with caution in individuals with hyperacidity and toxic blood heat.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease and controlling the vector is an effective method of prevention. Dengue causes generalised weakening with reduced immunity, which may make the individual prone to other diseases and infections. Ayurveda mentions immunity boosting and anti-viral herbs and medicines for the treatment of dengue fever. These traditional remedies not only manage symptoms but also treat the root cause of the condition and increase overall strength.

Dr. Hariom Verma

Dr. Hariom Verma

आयुर्वेदा

 Dr. Sarita Singh

Dr. Sarita Singh

आयुर्वेदा

Dr. Amit Kumar

Dr. Amit Kumar

आयुर्वेदा

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