Herbal Medicines to Relieve Ascites

Introduction

Ascites is the accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity which causes swelling of the abdomen. Ascites is not the disease it is just a symptom of an underlying cause. The fluid retention can be caused by heart failure, liver disease like- liver cirrhosis, kidney failure, etc. The prognosis of ascites depends on the underlying causes.

Types

  • On the basis of the amount of protein present in the fluid ascites is classified into two types, they are exudative and transudative.
  • Another classification has been described on the basis of the amount of albumin present in the ascites fluid compared to albumin present in the blood (serum
  • A high gradient > 1.1g/dl indicate ascites due to portal hypertension.
  • A low gradient <1.1g/dl indicate ascites of non-portal hypertensive as a cause.

Ascites

Causes

The causes of high SAAG or Transudative ascites are -

  • Cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Heart failure
  • Hepatic venous occlusion
  • Kwashiorkor.

The Causes of low SAAG or Exudative Ascites are -

  • Cancer
  • Pancreatitis
  • Serositis
  • Nephritic syndrome.
  • Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis.

Other Rare Causes are

  • Meigs syndrome
  • Vasculitis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Renal dialysis
  • Abdominal tuberculosis
  • Mastocytosis.

Signs and Symptoms

The people suffering from ascites generally complain of abdominal distension, bloating, shortness of breath, swelling, the heaviness of the abdomen, gynaecomastia, hematemesis, etc. There are also some mental changes that occur due to encephalopathy. The person with ascites having cancer may complain of chronic fatigue and weight loss. Those having ascites due to heart failure will complain of shortness of breath and wheezing.

According To The Signs and Symptoms Ascites Can Be Classified Into 3 Categories

  • If the ascites condition detects only during USG and CT scan then it comes under grade 1.
  • If there is the detection of bulging in the flank region along with shifting dullness then it comes under grade 2.
  •  if ascites is visible and fluid thrill test is positive then it comes under grade 3.

Diagnosis

  • Complete blood count
  • Liver function test and kidney function test.
  • Ultrasound
  • The color Doppler image can help in the determination of portal and splanchic vein thrombosis.
  • Ultrasonography
  • CT scan – this is a more accurate method to visualize the condition.
  • Fluid analysis.

Treatment

  • Diuretics; Helps to eliminate extra water and salt from the body.
  • Paracentesis – This technique involves the removal of extra fluids from the peritoneal cavity with the help of injections.
  • Surgery like – Liver transplantation and shunts implantation is a choice of treatment in severe conditions. As Per Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, it can be treated with herbal medicines which are naturally safe and have lesser side effects.

Herbal Supplements

Herbal Supplements

1. Indian Echinacea

This is a very useful herb having properties that maintain the immune system. It also improves overall health. It prevents inflammation and also helps to control infection. This medicine has wonderful diuretic properties which are very helpful in the treatment of ascites. Its antimicrobial property helps in the treatment of several infections.
Dose: 2 capsules twice daily with plain water after meals

2. Yakrit Plihantak Churna

It is the best medicine to support liver health. It helps in supporting and maintaining liver as well as the digestive system, spleen, and other abdominal organs.. If liver is the main cause of ascites this medicine works wonderfully.
Dose: You can boil 1 teaspoonful of this powder in 400 ml of water until it remains 50 ml, strain it and drink it Take it twice daily and make it fresh, every time.

3. Phyllanthus Niruri

This herb maintains liver function as well as digestion. This is natural herb supplement to maintain proper functioning of liver, spleen and other abdominal organs. That’s why if ascites occurs due to liver dysfunction, this medicine is an appropriate choice.
Dose: 2 capsules twice daily, after a meal

4. Liver Detox Formula

It contains kutki, punarnava, kalmegh, makoy, kaasni, biranjasipha, jhavuka, himsara and haritaki. This helps in the treatment of liver cirrhosis which is the most common cause of ascites. The capsule is purely herbal and are free from gelatin, 100 percent safe to use and free from side effects.
The assessment of ascites is measured by regular monitoring of abdominal girth and weight.

Complications of Ascites

  • The spontaneous bacterial infection leads to inflammation of the peritoneum.
  • Hepatorenal syndrome.
  • Thrombosis likes-  In these conditions, the portal vein thrombosis and splanchnic vein thrombosis occur. This leads to portal hypertension and blood flow reduction. If the patient having liver cirrhosis suffering from thrombosis then it is possible to perform liver transplantation in such cases.
  • Pleural effusion.
  • Hypertension.

Diet and Regimen for Ascites

  • Salt restriction is helpful in the treatment of ascites.
  • Avoid the use of canned foods, processed meat, frozen meals, sauce, pickle, etc as it is having high content of salt.
  • Take fresh food, self-prepared food, vegetables, etc.
  • Use lemon, garlic onion, etc to improve the flavor of food
  • Take adequate sleep.
  • Take proper bed rest in most severe conditions.
  • Garlic;
  • It plays an important role in the treatment of ascites; the patient can take the extract of garlic
  • Bitter guard; bitter guard’s juice is helpful in the treatment of ascites.
  • In some conditions, water restriction may be needed.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise is helpful in the treatment of
  • Avoid too much starch. Which is harmful to the ascites.

Prevention

Ascites can be prevented by avoiding the risk factors such as;

  • Avoid alcohol intake: alcohol causes liver cirrhosis which is a common cause of ascites.
  •  Avoid overuse of medicines which can affect the liver.
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Dr. Vikram Chauhan
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an expert Ayurveda consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.