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Ayurveda and HIV/AIDS

M.D. (Ayurved)

An unconventional lifestyle is the prime cause for various ailments in the 21st century. The dimensions of diseases are increasing with increasing modernization. Hence, health care industry is the most flourishing industry. Though globalization has limited the extensive nature of devastation by the growth of the healthcare industry, some of the diseases still scare the world (economy). The State and modern science is spending multi-billion dollars per to control AIDS by treatment and research program, with minimum or insignificant success. This expenditure is increasing exponentially but management of AIDS is still obscure. Even the conventional medical scientist, accept the fact that there is a lot more to explore further in the case of AIDS.

AIDS therefore, is a challenge for health preservation, and poses a threat to the nation. The young generation, the backbone of the nation is ailing, and is the worst hit. In general it affects the economy but hygiene, education and growth of a country.

AIDS, the acquired immune deficiency syndrome, was noticed for the first time in the United States in 1981. It is caused by the human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) RNA virus. HIV is classified mainly into two types viz. HIV 1(A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, O) and HIV 2 (A, B). Among the various traits of HIV the HIV 1 C is widely present in India. Approximately 5.1 million are suffering from HIV / AIDS in India.

Ayurveda, the science of life, a complete healthcare and treatment system originated in 300 B.C. envisaged various symptoms categorically which otherwise appear during manifestation of HIV/AIDS. Since ages AyurvedaPhysicians are successfully treating the symptoms originating as the symptoms of HIV/AIDS. Fever (Jvara), Weight loss (Dhaatu Kshaya), Diarrhea (Atisaara), Wasting (Maamsa Kshaya), Herpes Zostar (Visarpa/Kakshaa), and persistent generalized Lymphadenopathy(Lasikaa Granthi S`hotha), Oral Candiasis(Mukha Paaka), AphthousUlcer (Mukhagata Vran`a), Bells Palsy (Ardita), and Tubercular Ascietis(Jalodara) are in the list. Several AyurvedaPhysicians categorize the group of above symptoms (AIDS) as Oja KshayaDhaatu KshayaDhaatugata JvaraPratiloma KshayaS`hosha and Sampras`hosha. All the above-mentioned symptoms selectively appear in Dhaatugata Jvara. Hence according to the author Although HIV/AIDSis a new disease not described by that namein Ayurvedic texts, a striking similarity is observed in the clinical picture ofHIV/AIDSand Dhaatugata Jvara as described in the Charaka Samhitaa.

Ayurveda propagates immunodeficiency as the cause of the above disease. Immunity is defined as the phenomenon that prevents the manifestation of disease and provides strength to fight the disease. Chakrapaan`i classifies immunity (Vyaadhikshamatva) into Sahaja (Congenital), Kaalaja (Seasonal) and Yuktikrita (Therapeutic). Yuktikrita is further classified into Aahaara (Immunity due to Diet therapy), Chesht`aa (Immunity due to daily exercise) and Yogajam (Immunity due to Rasaayana).

Rasaayana is considered as the prime therapy for achieving immunity. The substance, which destroys or (eradicates) disease (s) of old age, is known as Rasaayana. According to Ayurveda Rasaayana re-establishes youth, strength, life and brain power and is capable of removing disease (s).

The Rasaayana therapy is further classified in Dravya (Medicinal) and Adravya Non-material- behavioral i.e. Aachaara Rasaayana (code of conduct). Counseling is one major component in management of HIV/AIDS that critically follows the guidelines of Aachaara Rasaayana.

Concentrating on Aachaara Rasaayana the therapeutic target depends on the following factors:

  1. Stopping the viral replication and preferably eliminating the virus from the system
  2. Restoring the disrupted immune system.
  3. Prevention and treatment of associated occasional/opportunistic Infections and other associated symptoms.

Out of the above facts tissue-building facilitating method (Santarpan`a Chikitsaa) successfully restores the deficient immune system and prevents the associated opportunistic infections/symptoms. There are further possibilities for compliance with the 1st criteria that need further scientific explorations with Phytomolecules.

Treatment plan for HIV / AIDS

  1. Aachaara Rasaayana
  2. Santarpan`a Chikitsaa
  3. S`hodhana Chikitsaa

* Author suggests S`hodhanatherapy to only those who are asymptomatic. Even with due indication, one should not advise S`hodhana Chikitsaa. The author also specifies that one must adopt only Santarpan`a Chikitsaa along with Aachaara Rasaayana for treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Santarpan`a Chikitsaa:

  1. Diet: It is considered as the most important part of therapy. In todays conventional science, though it propagates a high fiber diet and low fat diet as a healthy eating guideline unlike for HIV/AIDS that may promote weight loss and alter the immune system. But Ayurvedasuggests a balanced diet to consist of Sneha (Ghee, milk etc), which is vital for health and for immunity also.
  2. Medicine:
    1. Herbs useful for treatment are:
      Balaa, as AshvagandhaaAamalakeeGud`oochiJat`aamamseeBrahmeeS`hankhapushpiNimbaS`hataavareeBhoomyaamalakeeMusaliTulsiRasona etc.
      These herbs can be used singly or in combination
    2. Vasanta Kalpa like Suvarn`amaalineeMadhumaalinivasantaLaghu maalinivasanta etc. and also (Vasanta Kusumaakaar.
    3. Rasaayana (Kvaatha) decoction, Ashvagandhaarisht`aAmritaarisht`aKumaariAsaavaDhaatreeRasaayanaAamalakeeBraahma RasaayanaChyavanapraas`ha etc.

Author also specifies following regimen with respect to location of symptoms (Srotas): ref. Elaboration of Srotas

Praan`avahaPimpleeAbhraka BhasmaYasht`himadhu

Annavaha: S`hun`t`heeBhallaatakaParpat`ee Kalpa





AsthivahaPravaalaBaboola gum, Tiktarasa






Accomplishment / Prognosis of the therapy must be monitored with the following guidelines as described in Charaka Samhitaa.

EúɪÉÈ vÉÉiÉÖºÉɨªÉÆ, iɺªÉ ™üIÉhÉÆ Ê´ÉEúÉ®Éä{ɶɨÉ:* {É®ÒIÉÉ i´ÉºªÉ-¯þMÉÖ{ɶɨÉxÉÆ, º´É®´ÉhÉǪÉÉäMÉ:, ¶É®Ò®Éä{ÉSɪÉ:, ¤É™ü´ÉÞÊrü:, +¦ªÉ´É½ýɪÉÉÇʦəüɹÉ:, ¯þÊSɮɽýÉ®EúÉ™äü, +¦ªÉ´É¾ýiɺªÉ SÉɽýÉ®ºªÉ EúÉ™äü ºÉ¨ªÉMVÉ®hÉÆ, ÊxÉpüÉ™üɦÉÉä ªÉlÉÉEúÉ™Æü, ´ÉèEúÉÊ®hÉÉÆ SÉ º´É{ÉîÉxÉɨÉnü¶ÉÇxÉÆ, ºÉÖJÉäxÉ SÉ |ÉÊiɤÉÉävÉxÉÆ, ´ÉÉiɨÉÚjÉ{É֮ҹɮäiɺÉÉÆ ¨ÉÖÊHú:, ºÉ´ÉÉÇEúÉ®è¨ÉÇxÉÉä¤ÉÖrüÒÎxpüªÉÉhÉÉÆ SÉÉ´ªÉÉ{ÉÊkÉÊ®ÊiÉ ** C.Vi.8/89

Similarly one must regularly monitor the following criteria:

  1. F.B.C. (Full blood count)
  2. E.S.R. (Erythrocyte Sedimentation rate)
  3. M.T (Mantouxtest).
  4. X-ray Chest (P.A. view)
  5. CD4/ CD8 tests
  6. Viral Load (RT-PCR)

Reference ______________

  1. C.Chi.3/76
  2. C.Chi.3/77
  3. C.Chi.3/78
  4. C.Chi.3/79
  5. C.Chi.3/80
  6. C.Chi.3/81
  7. C.Chi.3/82
  8. C.Su.21
  9. C.Chi.3/45
  10. C.Su.23/27
  11. S.Chi.24/68

Last updated on March 8th, 2021 at 07:17 am

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