Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis are the common forms of inflammatory bowel disorders (IBD). It comprises of a group of diseases that damage the gastrointestinal tract. Natural and alternative ayurvedic treatment for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can help to protect the digestive tract against damage and prevent the development of further complications of these diseases.
Ulcerative colitis occurs due to the inflammation of the inner mucosal lining of the colon and rectum. This results in the erosion of the mucosa leading to the formation of tiny ulcers or sores. Over a period of time, the sores deepen to form large ulcers. In severe cases, there is bleeding and discharge of mucus and pus from the ulcers.
In most cases, this condition initially affects the rectum and then, spreads upward to the colon. The involvement of the small intestine is rare. Most of the time when it’s limited to rectum only, it’s called “Proctitis”.
Ulcerative colitis, (based on western medicine) occurs as a result of an abnormal response by the immune system, food allergies or genetic disorders. It is caused due to the faulty response of the immune system that stimulates the destruction of the lining of the intestine by the immune cells.
Crohn's disease is also a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting the digestive tract. Though Crohn's disease usually affects the ileum and the proximal part of the colon, it may affect any part of the digestive tract, from the oral cavity to the anus. The extent of ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine.
Also, ulcerative colitis usually affects the superficial lining of the mucosa, while Crohn’s disease can affect the entire thickness of the intestinal wall. Additionally, in Crohn’s disease, the inflammation is characterized by the patches of normal tissues between the damaged or inflamed patches of the mucosa. But, ulcerative colitis results in the formation of continuous patches of inflamed tissues without any interspersed normal tissues.
What are the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
If not treated properly, ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease can increase the risk of colon cancer. Some other complications of this disease include sepsis, thickening of the intestinal wall, severe dehydration, toxic megacolon, and intestinal bleeding. The complications caused by Crohn’s disease include bowel obstruction, anal fissures, and fistula on the wall of the stomach and intestine. The use of Crohn's natural remedies can provide relief from the symptoms of these diseases, ease the digestion, and prevent the complications.
The allopathic treatment for ulcerative colitis includes merely the use of medications like sulfasalazine and steroids to ease the signs and symptoms. This approach may provide mild relief in the beginning, but then needs higher dose of same drugs, which are not ideal because of their side effects. Allopathic treatment for Crohn's disease too involves the use of medicines to relieve the inflammation in the intestine. However, these medications can only relieve the symptoms temporarily and do not provide long-term results.
Also, in severe cases of inflammatory bowel diseases with complications or long-lasting symptoms, the patient may have to undergo surgery.
Ayurveda offers natural treatment for inflammatory bowel disorders that helps to cure the condition by using herbs and panchakarma detox that control inflammation and correct the abnormal response of the immune system. The Ayurvedic medications also provide relief from the symptoms and assist in the natural repair of the damaged tissues.
The Ayurvedic doctors also advise the patients to follow a specific ulcerative colitis ayurvedic diet that includes foods, which can soothe and improve the functions of the digestive tract.
In Ayurveda, “Inflammatory bowel disease” is known as “Grahani” in its mild to moderate stage, and in severe stage when bleeding starts, is called as “Rakataatisara”.
Ayurveda has clearly mentioned that Colon is the site for:
Based on Ayurvedic principles, inflammatory bowel disorders occur because of Ama toxins (cause of autoimmunity), Pitta and Vata doshas imbalances. (1)
Ayurveda explains, after regular use of injudicious food (tined food, frozen or proceed meals etc) and faulty life style (stress, lack of sleep etc.), initially there is weakening of digestive fire (Pachaka Pitta), leads to mal-absorption of nutrients or expel of digested or mal-digested substances (due to damage of colon). At the same time holding capacity of colon is compromised and ama accumulation (cause of autoimmunity) starts, followed by imbalance of Vata dosha (Apana & Samana). In the severe stages, Rakta dhatu (blood tissues) also gets vitiated.
Thus, the Ayurvedic approach to reverse any form of inflammatory bowel disease is based upon these principles:
1. Enhancing the week digestive fire- with ayurvedic herbs and diet changes.
2. Ama detoxification to regulate the lymphatic system and immunity- with herbs or panchakarma detox
3. Pitta and vata dosha balancing- with food or herbs or therapies
4. Blood purification- with herbs
5. Ulcers healing- with herbs and detox
6. Bowel regulator- with yoga, food and herbs
7. Ayurvedic dietary support- Pitta or Vata ayurvedic diet.
8. Mental, emotional and spiritual support- with therapies likes shirodhara etc
9. Dietary and lifestyle modification.
The herbal remedies for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis help to keep these conditions in control and improve the digestion and overall health of the patient.
Bilva (Aegle marmelos): Bilva has the ability to heal ulcers and repair the damaged tissues. It also improves digestion and reduces the symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and blood in stools, loose motions, and constipation.
Research shows that Bilva extract has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and mast cell calming effects proving protecting effect in inflammatory bowel disease. (2)
Vacha (Acorus calamus): Vacha is a commonly used herb for the natural treatment for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces inflammation and ulceration of the mucosa of the intestines. It also has antioxidant properties, which help to protect the delicate mucosa from the damage caused by free radicals. It also has anti diarrhoea and dysentery effects. It is good Central nervous system calming and blood purification effects.
Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia): Giloy is one of the best Crohn's home remedies. Its therapeutic action in the management of inflammatory bowel diseases can be attributed to its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. It boosts the digestion and prevents ulceration. It also calms the Pitta dosha and Vata doshas. It has been tested positively for its immunomodulatory activity, antioxidant activity, calming effect on nervous system. (4)
Vaividang (Embelia ribes): Vaividang offers a safe and effective cure for Crohn's disease by producing an antipyretic, and anti-inflammatory action. It also possesses anti-carcinogenic properties, which help to prevent colon and rectal cancer. The antioxidant potential of this herb helps to prevent the progression of these diseases by destroying the free radicals. Research shows that vai-vidang increase the digestive fire, ease the movement of intestinal contents, improve appetite, relief gas, bloating and abdominal pains. (5)
Mulethi (Liquorice root): Mulethi contains isoflavonoid alkaloids, which possesses powerful antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. This helps in preventing inflammatory changes in the bowels and reduces the risk of sepsis or infection in the digestive tract. It also helps to prevent ulceration in the mucosal lining of the colon and rectum.
The research findings of Nahida Tabassum et al point towards the anti-inflammatory properties of Glycyrrhiza glabra. Diammonium glycyrrhizinate, a substance isolated and extracyed from licorice have been shown to improve intestinal inflammation in rats.
Same research paper mentions the uses of bilva (Aegle marmelos) for the digestive system. It soothes the digestive system and helps in relieving digestive disorders like colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. It helps in the overall functioning of the digestive system.
Daruharidra (Berberis aristata): Daruharidra provides relief from the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. It can also be used to boost the metabolic processes in the body. It helps to improve the breakdown, absorption, and assimilation of foods and thus, reduces the risk of malnutrition.Pharmacological studies revels that daruharidra has anti microbial, anti stress, anti diarrhea, anti depressant and immunity enhancing properties. (6)
Kutaj (Holarrhena antidysenterica): Kutaj helps to treat inflammatory bowel diseases by reducing inflammation and ulceration. It also eases digestion and reduces constipation and pain in the abdomen caused due to these diseases.
In a case study presented by Mahima S B et al on ulcerative colitis mentions about the benefits of kutaj. It is one of the important constituents (besides others like Sariva, Shalmali, Bilwaphalamajja, Dhataki, Priyangu, Chandana and Rakta chandana) in making basti dravya that helps a great deal in the treatment of this disease.
Mustak (Cyperus Rotundus): Mustak is a natural anti-inflammatory herb, which helps to relieve the symptoms of inflammatory bowel diseases by controlling damage to the mucosal lining of the intestines. It also removes the toxins from the body and reduces the frequency of stool.
Mochrasa (Bombax ceiba Linn.): It has an active component called Tannin, which has anti-dysenteric and anti-diarrheal effects. It also protects ulcerated areas of gut. It can be used orally, or as medicated enema with milk. (8)
Ayurveda offers natural remedies for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which help to cure the ailments by correcting the imbalance of the Pitta dosha. According to the concept of Tridosha, inflammatory bowel diseases occur as a result of an imbalance in the Pitta humor. The Crohn's disease alternative treatment using herbs helps to restore the balance of the three doshas and control the symptoms of the disease. It also helps to prevent the complications of these disorders.
The herbs and panchakarma detox, improve the overall health of the patients by boosting the digestion and absorption of food and thereby, improving their nutritional status. The natural remedies during Crohn's flare up prevent inflammatory changes in the colon, rectum, ileum, and other parts of the digestive tract. The therapy is aimed at providing a holistic treatment to the patient to ensure effective and long-term results.
Contact today the most sought Ayurvedic Clinic in Melbourne and find out best-tailored treatment plan.
Dr. Gurnam Saini
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery
MD Alternative Medicine
Panchkarma Detox Expert
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease