Best Alternative Treatment for Giardiasis in Ayurveda
The increased prevalence of parasitic diseases is associated with the poor sanitary conditions. Parasitic disease affects the larger population of the world as it occurs at rapid spurt. There are more than 3000 kinds of parasites that have been identified. Such a water borne parasitic disease is Giardiasis. In this article we are going to discuss the giardiasis, along with a brief in its causes and clinical features and the choice of drugs used for the treatment of Giardiasis in both Allopathic and Ayurvedic medicine.
Giardiasis is an infectious condition caused by the parasite named as Giardia lamblia. This parasite usually enters in the system through the intake of unhygienic dietary habits and contaminated water. Giardiasis is one of the most common waterborne diseases. The disease is characterized by abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea, watery diarrhea, and weight loss. Whereas in a few cases, the patients don’t develop any symptoms for many days even after getting this parasitic infection.
The main causes of the disease is the parasitic infection by the Giardia lamblia parasite. And this parasite got into the body of the person through the recurrent consumption of contaminated food and water, or from the physical contact of the infected person if the person’s hands are contaminated with the parasite through his fecal matter. The transmission of giradiasis also take through the anal sex. The workers of nursing homes, parents of children who regularly in touch or changing the diapers, people who swims in rivers, drinking contaminated water from well, person with impared immune system, and already having some other complication like cystic fibrosis, crohn’s disease, or other disease which affects the digestive system.
Sign and Symptoms
The clinical manifestations of the disease include the fatigue, watery and foul-smelling diarrhea that may have greasy and soft stools in an alternate manner. Gas accumulation, abdominal bloating and stomach cramps are also common. Weight loss is also found in the patients of Giardiasis. The disease persists for a longer duration and it may not be a fatal condition but it can lead up into complications such as lactose intolerance, failure to thrive, dehydration.
Ayurvedic Perspective of Giardiasis
In Ayurveda, the supreme digestive fire i.e., jatharagni is responsible for the maintenance of the digestion process and pacification of the toxins. The Jataharagni in normal state plays a main role in restricting the accumulation of metabolites (free radicals and endotoxins). But due to disturbed personal hygiene or overconsumption of contaminated food and water may lead to the weakening of the digestive fire which results in the undigested food which promotes the formation of ama (endotoxins), which provide the adequate environment for the various harmful parasites to reside in the abdomen and manifest the features of Krimi roga (Giardiasis).
Tinidazole and Metronidazole are the choice of drugs used for the treatment of Giardiasis in allopathic mode of treatment. Both of these medicines belong to the group of antibiotic and anti-protozoan medications.
Mode of Action
- Tinidazole is an antibacterial and antiprotozoal agent. The cell extracts of Trichomonas are responsible for reducing the nitro group of tinidazole. And this free nitro- radical which was being generated as a result of reduction is the main factor responsible for the antiprotozoal activity.
- Metronidazole upon diffusing in the organism causes the inhibition of protein synthesis by interacting with DNA of the parasite and results in the strand breakage or loss of helical DNA structure. Therefore, helping in causing the cell death in susceptible organisms.
Side Effects of these both Allopathic medicines include indigestion, dizziness, metallic taste of the mouth of the patient which results in the impairment of the taste, constipation, fatigue and low energy, reduced appetite, headache and nausea and darkness in the urine of the patient. These are the commonest side effects, further the regular use of these medications can lead to the death of healthy gut flora along with digestion which result in the chronic digestion related issues.
The main aim of treatment is to restrict the formation of these ama (non- processed metabolites) that is leading to the pain and other manifestations in Giardiasis and make the environment of the belly unsuitable for the survival of these harmful parasites. In Ayurveda, Mahashankh vati and Sanjivani Vati are the choice of drugs for the treatment of Krimi roga.
Planet ayurveda is the herbal manufacturing unit that formulates the herbal/herbomineral medicines with strict adherence to ayurvedic texts and principles. The formulations made here are obtained from 100% natural sources and are being made with ancient time tested formulas.
There are several herbal formulations indicated to treat the krimi roga, out of which Sanjivani vati, Mahashankh Vati and Wormistop Capsule are having better results than tinidazole and metronidazole. These three formulations are made up of multiple herbs and few detoxified minerals obtained from natural sources. Herbal remedies are being suggested by Planet Ayurveda’s experts for the treatment of Giardiasis. Let’s discuss the ingredients, benefits and therapeutic uses of these three formulations in detail-
- Mahashankh Vati
- Wormistop Capsule
- Sanjivani Vati
1. Mahashankh Vati
Mahashankh Vati is the classical poly herbomineral medication. The ingredients of this tablet formulation include Shunthi (Zingiber officinale), Tamarind bark, Shankha Bhasma (clax of conch shell), rock salt, Shuddha Vatsanabha (detoxified form of Aconitum ferox), Pippali (Piper longum), sea salt, rock salt, black salt etc.
Mahashankh Vati is the best Ayurvedic remedy for the various abdominal discomfort such as indigestion, abdominal bloating and pain in abdomen etc. The herbs present as ingredients in these formulations have multiple properties like analgesic, appetizer, antipyretic, and anti-rheumatic etc.
- The ingredients of Mahashankh vati includes the herbs having hot potency such as Chitraka (Plumbago zeylanica), Shunthi (Zingiber officinale), Pippali (Piper longum), Maricha (Piper nigrum), Hingu (Ferula asafoetida)- these herbs will help in stimulation of the weakened digestive fire which makes the digestion better and make the environment of the gut unsuitable for the living of the harmful parasites, the enhanced digestion will slows down or eliminates the formation of ama (endotoxins), that promotes the speedy recovery of the diseases. Also, these herbs are having the analgesic effects and help in pacifying even the cramping of pricking abdominal pain.
- The other ingredients include the lavan panchak (five types of salts) i.e. Vida lavan (Black salt), Samudra lavan (Common salt), Saindhav lavan (Rock salt), Audhbidh lavan (Earthen salt), and Sauvarchal salt (mineral salt), along with Chincha (Tamarindus indica)- these salts along with tamarind helps in digestion, appetizer. These help in removing the excess gas accumulation from the stomach and thus help in bloating and gas related disorders.
- Amla (Emblica officinalis) is another ingredient which has rejuvenating properties and helps as an immunomodulator helping in making the immune system better for preventing the various parasitic infestations.
- Saikharika (alkaline extract of Achyranthes aspera) helps in expelling the aggravated doshas by its antimicrobial and antiparasitic action.
- Shudha Vatsnabh (detoxified form of Aconitum ferox), is used for its antipyretic properties and help in treating the various infectious fever related conditions associated with worm infestations.
- The mineral ingredients of this formulation includes the Gandhak (detoxified and processed form of sulphur), Shankh bhasma (Clax of conch shell), Rasa (purified form of mercury), these mineral medicines have the property to catalyse the action of the herbal medicines along with it to show a fast and pronounced action of the medicine.
It has been also indicated in a variety of ailments including the indigestion, malabsorption, abdominal pain, piles, acidity, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, dyspepsia, and other worm infestations. This tablet maintains the adequate balance of tridosha by pacifying the aggravated vata and pitta dosha. It possesses stomachic, carminative, and digestive properties which makes it the perfect medication to be used in the treatment of Giardiasis.
Dosage: 1-2 tablets twice or thrice daily with lukewarm water.
2. Sanjivani Vati
Sanjivani Vati is the classical polyherbal formulation used for treating the parasitic infestation and other digestive system related disorders. The ingredients of this formulation include Vidanga (Embelia ribes), Pippali (Piper longum), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Vacha (Acorus Calamus), Shuddh Bhallataka (Purified form of Semecarpus anacardium), Shuddha Vatasnabh (purified form of Aconitum ferox) and Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) like herbs. Sanjivani Vati is the ancient formulation that helps in the ignition of the digestive fire and help in the elimination of the accumulated toxins out of the system to provide the abdomen a healthy environment. The ingredients of this formulation having properties like-
- Vidanga (Embelia ribes) and Vacha (Acorus calamus), which are considered as the best anti-parasitic medications used since ages. This action will help in killing the parasites, deworming the gut and enhancing the growth of healthy gut flora.
- Shuddha bhallataka (purified Semecarpus anacardium) along with shuddha vatsanabha (detoxified Aconitum ferox) helps in reducing the temperature of the body by their antipyretic property, and helps in ignition of the digestive fire that aids in the pacification of the excessive dosha.
- The role of Shunthi (Zingiber officinale) and Pippali (Piper longum) is well known due to its hot potency, these helps in improving the digestive fire and analgesic effects helps in decreasing the pain in Giardiasis and other worm infestations.
- Further, the Triphala included in the formulation i.e. Haritaki (Terminilia chebula), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica) and Amalaki (Embilia officinalis), has the therapeutic purgative actions, helps in detoxification of the gut , the dead worms, the unprocessed metabolites (free radicals and other endotoxins etc), which will make the environment of the abdomen well.
- Atlast the immunomodulatory function of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), adds up to functions of the formulation. This will help in improving the immunity and pacify the excess of the vitiated dosha.
Dosage: 1-2 tablets twice or thrice daily with lukewarm water.
3. Wormistop Capsules
This is the polyherbal medicine made by Planet Ayurveda’s experts for deworming the harmful intestinal parasites. The ingredients of this formulation include Vidang (Embelia ribes), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Sonth (Zingiber officinale) and Palaash (Butea monosperma). The ingredients of this formulation having properties like-
- Vidanga has already discussed are having the best wormicidal and anthelmintic activity. This is a useful herb that is used for the treatment of various worm infestations which includes the roundworms, threadworms and other varieties of worm infestations, due to its krimighna guna (wormicidal property). It also helps in controlling the indigestion, nausea, flatulence and vomiting due to its ushna virya (hot potency). Its rechan (laxative) property makes it very much beneficial for relieving the constipation associated with the worm infestations.
- Tulsi is another hot potency drug which helps in improving the bowel moment and overall gut health by flushing out the excess toxins from the body. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties add up to improve the digestive health. The immune modulatory action of tulsi is due to the richness of antioxidants in it.
- Sonth is also known as universal medicine (vishva bheshaj), due to its multiple therapeutic benefits mentioned in Ayurvedic texts. It is very much beneficial in giradisis in managing the abdominal cramps, bloating and other symptoms which are formed as a result of vitiated vata dosha. It acts as a digestive stimulant and appetizer thus enhancing the activity of the digestive fire and reducing the ama formation which will gradually make the environment of the gut unsuitable for the survival of harmful parasites (in this case Giardia lamblia) and help in killing them.
- Palaash is the Ayurvedic herb having antimicrobial, antihelminthic, antiinflammatory, analgesic and diuretic properties. Specifically, the used part of the thesis plant is seeds which are having the anti-parasitic activity and help in the treatment of Giardiasis and other worm infestations.
Dosage: 1-2 Capsules twice daily, with plain water, after meals.
As, already discussed tinidazole and metronidazole are the Allopathic most popular drugs for the treatment of Giardiasis but the series of side effects can be arisen from the regular consumption of those medications whereas with Ayurveda, along with slight modifications in dietary regimen and lifestyle, the regular use of herbal formulation is the best way to treat giardiasis and making the digestive health also good side by side and that too with relatively lesser side effects.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan
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