Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver – a condition in which tissues of the liver are infected or injured. It is a fatal disease of the liver and is not only caused by the family of hepatitis virus but may also occur due to various other reasons like intake of toxic substances, autoimmune disorders. This disease results in short-term and long-term infection. Long-term infection of Hepatitis may lead to scarring (fibrosis) and Cirrhosis of the liver.
Besides being the biggest gland in the body, the liver is also the most crucial organ in the body. Every organ of our body interacts with the liver in some way and therefore, the liver is considered the mother of all glands. Although various vaccinations are available for prevention of hepatitis, there is no complete cure.
In Ayurveda, Hepatitis diseases and their symptoms are correlated with Kamala Roga. Various Pitta pacifying herbs are used in this condition which helps to prevent and treat Hepatitis. The Ayurvedic system of medicine has sufficient and efficient resources to cure Hepatitis.
Facts about Hepatitis
- 325 million people all over the world suffer from chronic hepatitis mainly Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C
- Every year, 1 million deaths are caused by viral Hepatitis
- Every year, approximately 41,000 people in the US are diagnosed with Hepatitis
- Viral Hepatitis is considered under sexually transmitted disease
- There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis E is widely spread in Europe and its reservoirs are wild boars and pigs. Its infection in Europe is acquired and transmitted through the consumption of not properly cooked contaminated pork meat.
- Around 8 lakh people every year die due to Hepatitis B that leads to Liver Cirrhosis.
- Hepatitis B is 60-100 times more infectious than HIV.
- Although a vaccine is available for Hepatitis B, it kills 1 person every minute globally.
- Hepatitis A is at the 7th number in infectious diseases in the US
- 1.4 million cases of Hepatitis are reported every year worldwide.
- Every year 100 deaths occur in the US due to Hepatitis A.
Types of Hepatitis
There are 6 types of Hepatitis. However, there is one thing that is common in all types of Hepatitis – that it adversely affects our liver health and makes it inflamed.
Hepatitis A (HAV)
Cause: It is caused by the intake of food and water that is contaminated by the feces of someone who is also infectious.
Hepatitis A Symptoms:
- Abdominal discomfort
- Use of recreational drugs
- Dark color urine pass
Hepatitis B (HBV) Causes
It is caused by:
- Contact with infectious body fluids
- Contact with an infectious person
- From mother to fetus during birth
- Using contaminated needle
- Unprotected sex
Hepatitis B Symptoms
- Mild illness
- Light color feces
- Joint pain
Hepatitis C (HCV) Causes
Hepatitis C exists in different forms known as genotypes. Till now 7 genotypes and 67 subtypes of Hepatitis C have been identified.
It is caused by:
- Contaminated blood contact
- Contaminated needle
- Inadequate sterilization of medical equipment
- Permanent tattoos
- Body piercing
- Different sexual partners
- Infections from sexually transmitted diseases
- The person on kidney dialysis
- Organ transplant before July 1992
Hepatitis C Symptoms:
- Pain in abdomen
- Joint pain
- Weight loss
- Itchy skin
- Yellow eyes and skin i.e., Jaundice
- Clay or grey colored stool
- Swelling in lower limbs
- Spider like blood vessels in limbs
- Dark yellow color urine
Hepatitis D (HDV) Causes
It is also known as Delta Hepatitis
The causes are the same as those of Hepatitis B.
Hepatitis D Symptoms:
Symptoms of Hepatitis D are as follows:
- Stomach upset
- Frequent vomits
- Pain in the upper right abdomen i.e over the liver
- Joint pain
- Dark urine
- Swollen ankles
- Unexplained weight loss
Hepatitis E (HEV) Causes
It is caused by:
- Intake of undercooked meat from infected animals
- Contaminated food and drink with stool
- Pregnant women to their fetus
- Poor handwashing habits
Hepatitis E Symptoms:
- Dark pee
- Yellow eyes and skin
- Pain in belly
- Skin rash
- Mild fever
- Liver enlargement
- Acute liver failure
Hepatitis G (HGV)
Very little is known about the Hepatitis G virus strain.
Hepatitis G Causes:
- Blood contact
- Sexual contact
- Individuals having clotting disorders
Hepatitis G Symptoms
Often hepatitis G showed no symptoms.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Hepatitis
As discussed, earlier Hepatitis is correlated with Kamala, which is mainly due to the vitiation of Pitta Dosha.
- Shodhana (purification therapy) specially Rechan (Purgation)
- Shaman Chikitsa in which various herbs and formulations are used which are like Pitta Utejaka (liver stimulant), Pitta Rechan (choleratic), Shothhara (anti-inflammatory), Jvarahara (anti-pyretic), etc.
Herbs for Hepatitis
- Katuki (Picrorrhiza kurroa)
- Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia)
- Neem (Azadirachta indica)
- Vasa (Adhatoda vasica)
- Kirattikat (Swertia chirata)
- Triphala (Terminalia chebula, Terminalia billerica, Phyllanthus emblica)
- Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
- Bhabhitaki (Terminalia bellerica)
- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
- Kalmegh (Andrographis paniculata)
- Mustak (Cyprus rotundus)
- Nagarmotha (Cyperus scariosus)
- Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri)
- Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa)
Dos and don’ts of Hepatitis
- Avoid alcohol
- Do not share injections
- Do not share your inhaled drugs with anyone and keep them clean.
- Do not donate blood if you are suffering from Hepatitis
- Avoid taking acetaminophen without a doctor’s prescription
- Avoid taking Iron supplements in case of Hepatitis C
- Include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your daily diet
- Always use polyurethane and latex condoms during sexual activity
- Replace intake of all kinds of hydrogenated oil with olive oil, flaxseed oil, canola oil
- Include healthy proteins in your diet like lean protein, eggs, soy products, etc.
- Avoid trans and saturated fats like red meat, whole milk, full-fat dairy products i.e., cheese, butter, etc.
- Avoid processed food, fried food, and junk food
When to see a doctor:
If you have many sexual partners, have a history of STD, or live with someone who has Hepatitis, suffer from belly pain, yellow skin, and white of the eye, use illegal injected drugs, and receive kidney dialysis frequently, it’s time to consult your doctor once to prevent yourself from getting Hepatitis.
The liver is involved in various life-sustaining functions and is known as the mother of all glands. Hepatitis is one of the fatal diseases of the liver and is still an incurable disease according to the western system of medicine. Ayurveda brings out the best remedies for Hepatitis. Many Ayurvedic herbs and formulations, as mentioned above, have positive effects on the liver as these herbs have liver protective as well as liver stimulant properties.
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