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Jaundice in newborns - Ayurveda treatment
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Jaundice in newborns

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Half of all newborns develop jaundice; a yellowing of the skin and eyes. Most often, jaundice isn't a concern, but severe cases can cause serious complications.

Jaundice itself isn't a disease. In most cases it occurs because your baby's liver isn't mature enough to metabolize a molecule called bilirubin, which normally forms when the body recycles old or damaged red blood cells.

In the first few days of life, more than half of all full-term babies and as many as 80 percent of premature infants who are otherwise healthy develop jaundice, a yellowish discoloration of the skin and eyes. Although some babies are jaundiced at birth, most develop the condition during the second or third day of life. That's why you may not notice it until after your baby is home.

Jaundice treatment with Ayurveda

Jaundice (Kamala)

Jaundice or kamala is a condition in which there is discoloration of the skin because of deposition of bile pigment in its deeper layers.

Causes and Symptoms:
Jaundice may be caused by inflammation of the liver which is known as hepatitis, an infection, or an obstruction of the bile ducts due to cirrhosis. It can also be caused by ingestion of certain poisonous substances, the morbidity of which the liver is unable to deal with. Whatever the technical name, many diseases of the liver result in jaundice.

The yellow colour first appears in the white of the eyes and then spreads to the whole skin. Excess of bile pigment-pitta-circulating in the blood gives the skin its yellow colour. The bile does not go into the intestine as it should, and so, the stools of the jaundiced patient lose their typical brownish colour, and in severe cases, are almost whitish. There is loss of appetite and impairment of digestion. The liver is unable to digest fat and there may be a sense of fullness at the time. Nausea may also be present in certain cases because of defective digestion. If the liver is inflamed, there is also pain in the region of the organ and it is tender to touch.

Medicines & Prescriptions: The treatment of jaundice must start with purgation. The basic theory is that no burden be placed on the liver and for that, a daily purgative (allopaths recommend a saline purgative) is recommended. A diuretic may also be administered to encourage the flow of urine which will expel most of the bile from the system.

Trivari (Operculina turpenthum) and katuki (mentioned earlier while dealing with cirrhosis of the liver) are the two major drugs with which the treatment of jaundice should start. One to two teaspoonfuls of the powder of the drugs may be administered with hot water twice daily. A well-known combination of drugs used by Ayurveda for the treatment of jaundice is Avipattikar Churna and Arogyavardhini Vati. The Churna should be given in one-teaspoonful doses twice a day with hot water. Arogyavardhini Vati is available in 250 mg strength, and two tablets should be given thrice daily with hot water or with honey. Other drugs used in the treatment of jaundice are: Vasaka (Adhatoda vasica), Kakamachi (Solanum nigrum), and triphala (the three myrobalans). Any or all the above drugs may be prescribed depending upon the condition of the patient.

Home Remedies: A popular method to encourage the flow of copious urine in a patient suffering from jaundice is to soak a piece of tender bark of the peepul tree (2"xl"x6") in water overnight and drink the water in the morning.

Diet and Other Regimen: Sweet substances and liquids like sugarcane juice, fruit juice, and dry grapes should form the mainstay of the patient's diet. Spices, fats, alcohol, and tobacco are contraindicated. Buttermilk is the best drink for a patient suffering from jaundice. The patient is advised complete rest.

Jaundice in newborns > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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Last Modified : 03/15/08 01:14 AM