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Fever also referred to as jwara in Ayurveda, is considered to be the lord of diseases. According to western medicine, fever is the elevation in body temperature above  37°C. The distinctive feature of fever is rise in normal body temperature and a group of diseases fall in this category. Other symptoms commonly observed along with a fever are cough, cold, pain in the body, loss of appetite and constipation.

As per Ayurveda, treatments like vamana karma (medical emesis therapy), virechana karma (purgation therapy), basti karma (enema therapy) and nasya karma (nasal insufflation therapy) can be used in the management of fever. These will help in removing ama (toxins) from the body and uprooting the cause of the fever. Herbs like guduchi (giloy), amalaki (Indian gooseberry), vasa (malabar nut), adraka (ginger), bhumiamalaki (stonebreaker), pippali (long pepper) and mustaka (nut grass) are used to treat fever. The medicines commonly prescribed by the physicians for fever are sanjivani vati, mrutyunjay rasa, tribhuvan kirti rasa and sitopaladi churna (sitopaladi powder)

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

Ayurveda states that multiple factors can lead to jwara. However,  the causative factors of jwara are classified into eight categories. Seven of these include various combinations of doshasvata, pitta, kapha, vata-pitta, vata-kapha, pitta-kapha, and sannipatika (vata-pitta-kapha) External factors like grief, anger, passion, germs, injuries and affliction by supernatural bodies is considered to be responsible for jwara. To sum up- vitiation of any of the doshas or external factors can lead to fever.

As per Ayurveda, the site of origin of fever is stomach, and jwara primarily affects the agni in the stomach (digestive fire), which leads to generation of ama (toxins) and vitiated doshas. Circulatory channels then carry ama to the site of manifestation via the rasa dhatu.

There is little or no sweating during fever; thus, inducing sweating helps in treating fever. Identifying the dosha involved in causing fever and balancing it using various methods like fasting or consumption of light food and digestive stimulants is advised by Ayurvedic physicians for the treatment of fever.

  • Langhana
    • Langhana (fasting) makes the main line of treatment for jwara. Fasting helps in digestion of ama and vitiated doshas in the body, thus treating the root cause of most fevers. This therapy aims at bringing lightness to the body.
    • Fasting is of two types – complete abstinence from food and eating less or light food with deepana (hunger increasing) medicines. Fasting method is chosen on the basis of the prakriti (constitution) of a  person. The individual is allowed to fast until they start feeling hungry. They are then given easily digestible, light food and boiled water with ginger or long pepper in it.
  • Vamana karma
    • It involves inducing vomiting to cleanse the stomach by removal of ama (toxins) and mucous from the naadis (channels) and chest.
    • In patients with fever, mild emetic herbs should be used. Vamana should only be given after langhana treatment when the ama in the body has been digested by fasting. This procedure helps balance the vitiated kapha dosha.
    • It is not recommended in pregnant women, weak individuals, children and elderly. It should also be avoided in individuals with heart diseases and high blood pressure.
  • Virechana karma
    • It is one of the main panchakarma (five therapies) techniques, which involves the consumption of laxatives for clearing bowels.
    • These purgatives clear the excess pitta from gall bladder, liver and small intestine. Individuals with kapha disorders especially benefit from this procedure as they have an excess of fat, phlegm and bile.
    • Patients in whom ama is completely digested or those with chronic fevers can be given mild purgatives to remove the excess vitiated doshas.
  • Basti karma
    • Although it is similar to the western enema therapy, a significant advantage of basti is that it acts on the entire length of the colon and rectum and not just on the rectum and sigmoid colon.
    • The nirooha and anuvasana types of basti are given to those with chronic fevers and those in whom the ama is digested completely after langhana.
    • It should not be used in patients with rectal bleeding, diarrhoea, polyps and colon cancer.

Ayurvedic Herbs for Fever

  • Guduchi
    • Guduchi mainly helps in the prevention and treatment of digestive and circulatory system diseases.
    • It is an immune-boosting herb that pacifies all three doshas and is useful in the management of pitta diseases, fever, kapha jaundice, and chronic malarial fever. It helps improve digestion and also purifies blood.
  • Pippali
    • It acts on the digestive, respiratory and reproductive systems and relieves the common symptoms associated with fever such as pain, cold and cough. It also acts as a carminative and antihelminthic (worm-destroying).
    • Pippali is effective in improving the digestive fire (reduction in which causes fever) and helps in the treatment of commonly associated symptoms of fever like cold, cough and pain. It also aids in removal of toxins from body. Other disorders that can be treated using pippali are abdominal tumours, asthma, gout, rheumatic pain, kapha disorders and sciatica.
    • Pippali causes an increase in pitta dosha. Thus, it should be used with caution in individuals with pitta dominance.
  • Vasa
    • It acts on the respiratory, circulatory, nervous and digestive systems and produces diuretic, antispasmodic (relieves muscle spasms)  and expectorant (expels phlegm) actions.
    • The diuretic action leads to an increase in the frequency of urination, thereby, clearing ama and alleviating fever.
    • Vasa is also used in the management of cough, bronchial asthma, kapha disorders, diabetes and bleeding gums.
  • Amalaki
    • Amalaki acts on the circulatory, digestive and excretory systems. It is a nutritive tonic, rejuvenator and appetite-increasing medicine that pacifies all three doshas.
    • It is useful in the management of all pitta diseases, fever, gout, weakness, eye and lung inflammations, liver disorders and disorders of the digestive tract.
    • Amalaki may cause acute diarrhoea and should be used with caution during pregnancy.
  • Adraka
    • Adraka acts on the digestive and respiratory systems of the body. It relieves pain and produces carminative (reduces bloating), digestive and expectorant actions; thus, it helps in the management of associated symptoms of fever.
    • It is useful in the management of diseases caused by vata, pitta as well as kapha imbalance. Shunthi (dried ginger) increases agni and reduces kapha.
    • It aggravates pitta in the body and should be used with caution in individuals with bleeding diseases and ulcers.
  • Mustaka
    • Mustaka acts on the digestive and circulatory systems. It produces carminative, stimulant, diuretic, appetite-increasing, antifungal and antihelminthic actions.
    • The diuretic properties of mustaka are especially helpful in the management of fever since it increases the frequency of urination and eliminates ama from body.
  • Bhumiamalaki
    • Bhumiamalaki is useful in the management of disorders of the digestive, reproductive and urinary systems.
    • The diseases that can be treated with bhumiamalaki include jaundice, external inflammation and swelling, and bleeding gums. These conditions are clinically associated with fever. By alleviating these conditions, this herb is helpful in the management of fevers.

Ayurvedic Medicines for Fever

  • Mrutyunjay rasa
    • It consists of various ingredients like shuddha (pure) hingula (cinnabar) churna, shuddha vatsanabha (Indian aconite) churna, maricha (black pepper) churna, pippali churna, shuddha tankana (borax) and shuddha gandhaka (brimstone) in fixed proportions.
    • It is useful in the treatment of many bacterial infections that manifest themselves in the form of fever.
  • Sanjivani vati
    • It contains various ingredients including shunthi (dried ginger), triphala (a combination of amalaki, vibhitaki [belleric myrobalan], and haritaki [chebulic myrobalan]), guduchi, yastimadhu (mulethi), bhallataka (Indian nut tree) and vatsanabha. Vatsanabha is a known anti-pyretic herb.
    • It is useful in the management of typhoid fever, headaches and abdominal disturbances.
  • Tribhuvan kirti rasa
    • It is a herbomineral medication containing many ingredients, some of which are shunthi, maricha, pippali, tulsi (holy basil), dhattura (devil’s snare), and adraka.
    • Based on the dosha dominance, it is used in combination with different bhasmas (calcined preparations) like godanti (gypsum) bhasma, shringa (deer horn) bhasma, and abhrak (mica) bhasma.
    • It is useful in treating a fever by inducing sweating and relieving pain. It can help in the management of various other conditions such as migraine, influenza, laryngitis, pharyngitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, measles and tonsillitis
  • Sitopaladi churna
    • Sitopaladi churna is a combination of mishri (rock sugar), vanslochan (bamboo resin), chhoti pippali (a smaller variety of long pepper), chhoti elaichi (green cardamom) and dalchini (cinnamon) in fixed proportions.
    • It is effective in the treatment of fevers, flu, migraine and respiratory disorders. Symptoms of flu are relieved in the initial three to four days, and the condition is treated within eight weeks.
    • It is also helpful in relieving headaches caused due to accumulation of kapha in the head in case of cold. 

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 old rice (sali), barley and porridge in your diet.
  • Include fruits and vegetables like paravala (pointed gourd), bitter gourd, shigru (drumstick), guduchi, jivanti, grapes, kapittha (wood apple) and pomegranate in your diet plan.
  • Take light meals.
  • Massage and rest can help in improving the condition.

Don’ts

  • Do not include chickpea, sesame and junk foods in your diet.
  • Do not drink contaminated water.
  • Do not eat heavy foods or foods that cause acidity and burning sensation in the stomach.
  • Do not suppress natural urges.
  • Avoid bathing and sleeping in the daytime.
  • Keep a proper gap between meals and avoid overeating.

(Read more: What to eat and what not to eat in fever)

A clinical study involving participants in the age group of 20-50 years with a fever of 101°F and a positive Widal test were given sanjivani vati and kiratadisapta kashaya churna along with diet and lifestyle changes. The duration of the treatment was 21 days. Various parameters were observed, which included fever, red rashes over the neck, headache, sweating, abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhoea. Significant improvement in all the symptoms including fever was observed at the end of the treatment It was concluded that sanjivani vati and kiratadisapta kashaya churna are useful in the treatment of typhoid fever.

Even though these The above-mentioned medicines, herbs and treatments are being used since ancient days and are found to be effective in the management of fever due to vitiation of various doshas. However, they have their own precautionary measures based on the clinical condition of the individual. For example, vamana karma and nasya karma should be avoided in pregnant women, virechana karma and basti karma should be avoided in rectal ulcers and bleeding, and pippali and vasa should be used with caution in pitta-dominant diseases.

Fever is the most typical symptom observed in many diseases such as typhoid and dengue. Many different medications are now available for the treatment of different types of fever, but, holistic Ayurvedic treatment has been used since Vedic times. Ayurvedic treatment including single herbs and various combinations of herbs prescribed by an Ayurvedic physician helps in the management of all the eight types of jwara. Also, the role of an Ayurvedic physician in the management of fever is pivotal as the treatment methods and herbs used for fever vary depending on the clinical condition of an individual.

Dr. Gurpreet Virmani

Dr. Gurpreet Virmani

Ayurveda
1 Years of Experience

Dr. Shradha Chaubey

Dr. Shradha Chaubey

Ayurveda
4 Years of Experience

Dr. Sunil Kilaniya

Dr. Sunil Kilaniya

Ayurveda
3 Years of Experience

Dr. Tanushri Yeole

Dr. Tanushri Yeole

Ayurveda

References

  1. Ministry of Ayush. [Internet]. Government of India. Ayurvedic Standard Treatment Guidelines.
  2. Swami Sadashiva Tirtha. The ayurveda encyclopedia . Sat Yuga Press, 2007. 657 pages.
  3. Vaidya Bhagwan Dash and Acarya Manfred Junius. Handbook of ayurveda. pp 195-196 , 1987, Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi.
  4. Gandhidas Sonajirao Lavekar. Classical ayurvedic prescriptions for common diseases. Ministry of Health, Govt. of India.
  5. L.D Kapoor. Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Herbal Reference Library. 1st Edition. 424 pages.
  6. Agrawal Sachin. et al. Anti microbial study of Mrityunjaya Rasa. International Ayurvedic Medical Journal. ISSN:2320 5091.
  7. Saurabh Parauha. et al. Comparitive Clinical Study in the Management of Typhoid Fever through Shramnaushadi. International Ayurvedic Medical Journal. (ISSN: 2320 5091) (April, 2017) 5(4).
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