Ayurvedic treatment for food poisoning
Ayurvedic treatment for food poisoning is a topic that brings up various doubts and questions in the minds of many people, due to the general impression that Ayurveda is not having emergency care. As we all know Food/Ahara is the primary source of energy for Human beings, that is essential to sustain their life, In Ayurveda, Acharya’s has given prime importance to Ahara by mentioning it as one among “Thrayo-upasthamba’s” which means three main pillars essential to sustain life. and it is considered as the best medicine for maintaining the health of an individual. In Ayurveda Ahara is often discussed under different topics, including
10 General rules pertaining to food intake like
- Always consume freshly cooked warm food
- Always try to consume food items that are unctuous in nature
- Always take food in proper quantity ( Here it has been especially mentioned that only one part of the stomach should be filled with food, one part should be filled with water and one part should be left free.
- Should not have food, if the previously taken food doesn’t get properly digested
- While having food, make sure that all the dishes are compatible with each other
- Should not speak, laugh while having food
- Should not take a prolonged duration for having food
- Should not take food in a hasty way
- Be Calm and pleasant while having food
- Always have your food from an area that is pleasant to your mind
How Body and Ahara is related ?
Ayurvedic Science explains that each and every matter has its own combination of Panchamahabhuta in it, so is our Body. All the 6 tastes and 3 Doshas have their own combination of Panchamahabhuta in it. The 6 tastes are Sweet, Sour, Salt, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent.
By virtue of Panchamahabhuta combination, the doshas in our body and all the tastes exhibit their own properties. So in a therapeutic way we can say that, the food we eat can alter the 3 Doshas in the body. A theory named Samanya Visesha Sidhantha says that when two things of similar properties combine together , it will accumulate with a quantitative & qualitative increase. According to Ayurveda, diseases occur when there is change in equilibrium of 3 Doshas (Aggravation or alleviation) in the body. If we can customize Diet based on Prakriti or Disease or 3 Doshas, it will definitely help us to prevent and manage many Diseases.
Ashta ahaara vidhi vishesha ayatana
They are the eight factors pertaining to food intake which are to be strictly followed, if not they may lead to harmful or toxic effect to the body
1. Prakriti (natural quality of food)
2. Karana (Processing the food)
3. Samyoga (Combination of substances)
4. Rashi (Quantity of food)
5. Desha (Place where the food is grown and cultivated)
6. Kala (Time of intake of food)
7. Upayoga Samstha(Rules of taking food)
8. Upayokta (The person who consumes the food).
Food poisoning is caused by the consumption of contaminated food items, it can either result in an infection or a disease. Food poison can be due to different type of infections like bacterial, viral or parasitical. Every year, about 2 million deaths are caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water. The underlying reason for food contamination can be mostly due to improper handling, cooking and packing of food particles, other reasons are toxic combination, metallic contamination and food allergy.
On Comparison raw food items often results in food poisoning, since Pathogens are mostly killed when they are cooked properly.
In Ayurveda food poisoning (anna vish badha) is explained as Garavisha (Artificial poisoning). Garavisha(Artificial poisoning) is prepared artificially by the mixture of various substances and it produces various diseases. Consumption of incompatible food,following bad food habits and adulteration of food lead to Gara visha. . It is mainly classified two types,
1. Nirviṣha dravya samayogaja viṣha – which is combination of two non-poisonous substances,
2. Saviṣha dravya samayogaja viṣha- it is combination of two or more than two poisonous substance.
As a result, Gara visha is a collection of various artificial substances that produce a toxic effect on human body.
According to Ayurveda Garavisha symptoms develop within 7 to 8 hrs after intake of Garavisha or poisonous food. The symptoms include:-
- Pandu (pallor skin)
- Krisha (Emaciation)
- Mandagni (Poor digestion)
- Udararoga ( Abdominal disease)
- Edema on hands and feet
- Gulma (Abdominal tumor)
- Kshaya (Wasting)
- Jwara (Fever)
- Kasa (Cough)
- Swasa (Dyspnoea)
- Daurbalya (Loss of strength)
People who should be taken care of
- Pregnant women : change in metabolism and circulation in pregnancy may increase the risk of food poisoning.
- Old age people : In old ages generally immunity becomes low, there are chances that Patients may become very weak if they get food poisoned
- Infants : Similar to old age people even infants have weak immune system.
- Chronic disease : It will be unbearable to Patients who are already suffering from Chronic Disease e.g. Diabetes, blood pressure etc…
Ayurvedic way of management include elimination of visha or poison from the body, which can be termed as Purification Therapies. Even internal medicines can be given to Pacify Visha from the Body. Ayurvedic treatment mainly focus to improve strength of digestive fire.
- Vaishwanara choorna
- Ashta choornam
- Vilwadi gutika
- Vilwadi lehya
- Abhayarishta etc.
- Vamana (emesis therapy) – External Ayurveda therapy in which Visha or toxins are eliminated through oral orifice
- Virechana (Purgation therapy) – External Ayurveda therapy in which Visha or toxins are eliminated through Anal route
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)
- Ashwagandha (Withamina Somifera)
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
- Amla (Emblica offincinalis )
- Pippali ( Pippali longum)
- Kutaja ( holarrhenia dysentrica)
- Ardraka( zingiber officinale)
- Haridra ( curcuma longa)
These herbs are prepared in the form of tablets (vati) or powder (churnas).
Ayurveda always emphasise on prevention of disease, food poison is usually caused due to carelessness
- Cover food items or raw materials properly, so that it is not infected by Houseflies
- All the utensils, vessels, food preparation surfaces should be disinfected and cleaned before and after food preparation
- Hands should be washed properly using soap before and after food preparation.
- Avoid food items that that has expired
- Avoid food items that has foul smell and unpleasant tastes
- Eat light and small amount of food (satwik aahara).
In treatment perspective Ayurveda considers that each individual is different from the other one based on their Prakruthi. Also the same disease may be developed by different doshas. So a similar medication may not act in the same way in case of two people with the same symptoms.
That is why in Ayurveda it is important for the physician to consider the nature of disease, severity of disease and Sareera prakriti (body constitution) with proper diagnosis.
Self-curing is harmful because of wrong – diagnosis, even your diet and daily regimens should be changed according to the disease for getting easy recovery from the disease. A qualified physician can judge the proper dosage needed for a patient, only he can provide you with the proper diet and regimens depending upon the disease that you have.