Termed ‘Pandu’ in Ayurveda, this is a very common ailment, where the hemoglobin and RBC (red blood corpuscles) counts fall from their normal levels of 15 gm of hemoglobin per 100 ml of blood and approximately five million red cells per cubic millimeter of blood. Please note that the ranges may differ in accordance with genders.
Ayurveda and Anemia
In Sanskrit, the word ‘Pandu’ means pale (swetapeet varna). So the disease in which, the whole body becomes pale (skin, nails, eyes) due to rakta alpata (deficiency of blood) is called Pandu roga.
The pathology of anemia finds its root in the imbalance of Agni (Fire element), which leads to the formation of Ama (toxin). This disruption is caused by Pitta dosha (biohumor associated with blood and Fire element) that is circulated around the body by aggravated Vata (biohumor associated with circulation and Air element).
Pitta dosha usually gets aggravated by eating foods that are too sour, salty, spicy or hot, eating uneasy food combinations (viruddh ahar), exercising or having sex during the process of digestion, suppression of natural urges, and negative emotions like fear, jealously or anger.
This circulating Pitta imbalances the Pitta in the heart (Sadhaka Pitta) and liver (Ranjaka Pitta) which slackens and weighs down the tissues, especially affecting the blood, muscles and Ojas (vital fluid) with its sharp and hot qualities. Vata and Kapha doshas can also cause anemia and therefore Pandu Rog is classified according to the dominant dosha.
Types of Pandu Roga
Caused by Vata dosha – Vataj
Caused by Pitta dosha – Pittaj
Caused by Kapha – Kaphaj
Caused by all three doshas – Sannipataj
Caused by eating clay – Mrttika bhakshan janya pandu roga
Characteristics of the Various Types
- Vata-type anemia: Dark and pale-yellow complexion, rough and dry skin, aches and pain, tremors, distaste in the mouth, cracking of joints, swelling, prickling pain, constipation, weakness and malaise
- Pitta-type anemia: Yellowing of the eyes, fever and burning sensation, excessive thirst, sweating, develops a liking for cold things, pungent taste in the mouth, sour belches, indigestion, bad breath, sensitivity to light and loose stools
- Kapha-type anemia: Swelling (edema), cold and clammy skin, drowsiness, heaviness of the body and mind, vomiting, whitish complexion, chills, giddiness, laziness, anorexia, cough, obstruction in speech and voice, sweet taste in mouth and whitishness of urine, eyes and feces
- Tridoshic anemia: Mixed features of all the three kinds stated above
- Anemia due to mud eating: Edema in the cheek, eye sockets, feet and pudendum, worm infection, loose motions and breathlessness
Symptoms of Anemia
The symptoms of anemia may differ according to the type and underlying cause, but mostly will include the following:
- Weakness, dizziness and quick exhaustion
- A haggard look, lined with premature wrinkles
- Eyes stripped off their shine, reflecting fatigue
- Failing memory
- Shortness of breath and palpitation on exertion
- Occasional, disturbing headache
- Slow healing of wounds
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Cramps (especially in the calves)
- Shedding of hair
- Brittle nails
- Pale skin and mucus membranes
- Strange cravings to consume items that aren’t food like clay or dirt
- Cold hands and feet
- Swelling of the tongue or soreness
- Behavioral changes like irritation, getting angry often, speaking less, etc.
- Racing or irregular heartbeat
- Sexual dysfunction
Root Causes of Anemia
- Loss of blood from the body i.e. hemorrhaging by injury, bleeding piles, bleeding from nose, mouth, lungs, anus, genital tracts or excessive menstruation in case of women
- Inadequate supply of blood-forming ingredients in food taken
- Destruction of red blood corpuscles inside the body after they are formed
- Deficiency in the production of blood because of defective functioning of liver and / or bone marrow
- Lack of hydrochloric acid in stomach, needed for digestion of iron and proteins
- Presence of hookworms, pinworms, round worms and tapeworms that feed on the supply of blood as well as on vitamins
- Family history of inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia
- First 6 months of pregnancy; called Garbhini-Pandu in Ayurveda
- Modern drugs like aspirins and nsaids can cause blood loss
Ayurvedic Treatment for Pandu
|Herbs||Amla (Phyllanthus Emblica): The amla fruit is not very rich in iron but it is extremely useful as a natural remedy for anemia because it is loaded with Vitamin C. This is of utmost importance if you want to how to beat anemia naturally because Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron and this is why Ayurveda treats amalaki as a ‘blood builder’ which has a pacifying effect on Pitta dosha. This, in turn, supports the nourishment of the blood. Eat the fresh fruit or drink amla juice with honey on a daily basis to get your iron levels up. Eating amla murabba is also said to be very beneficial in this condition.
Ghrit Kumari (Aloe Barbadensis): This herb stimulates the bone marrow to produce more blood cells. Drink aloe juice daily to combat anemia due to iron and Vitamin B12 deficiency. Mix onion and aloe juice in proportion 1:3 and take 1-2 tablespoons every day for curing anemia fast.
Punarnava (Boerhaavia Diffusa): Punarnava is one of the most beneficial herbs for anemia, especially for Kapha-type anemia where there is swelling. Mix 5 parts of punarnava + 5 parts of gokshura + 2 parts of kutki and consume half a teaspoon twice daily. You can also combine with some honey and wash it down with a glass of warm water.
Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum Graecum): Fenugreek or methi is an excellent natural cure for anemia. One can consume the fresh leaves or have the fenugreek-rice combination. Soak 2-3 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds overnight. Add the fenugreek seeds to a cup of raw rice the next morning. Cook this mixture in a pressure cooker. Add salt to taste and eat the fresh fenugreek rice daily. Continue to do this at least for a month for best results.
Pyaaz (Allium Cepa): Onion is one of the best home remedies for anemia as it is rich in iron, sulfur and copper. It can be eaten in raw or cooked form. Another way to benefit from onion for anemia is to have half a cup of the juice with a teaspoon of honey in it.
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