Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease, which causes inflammation and ulceration of inner lining of the colon and rectum. The inflammation usually begins in the rectum and spreads upward to the entire colon. This disease can occur at any age but its onset is most common among people between ages of 15 – 40. Ulcerative colitis also appears to run in some families.

Causes

Autoimmune factors, food allergies, collagen disorders, genetic factors and infection are some of the factors that cause inflammation in cases of Ulcerative Colitis. According to Ayurveda, all the factors that imbalance Pitta are responsible for this problem. These include eating while watching TV or walking, excessive heat or exposure of the sun, excessive alcohol and smoking, excessive mental activity, skipping meals, spicy, sour or stale and infected foods, etc.

Symptoms

·         Weight loss

·         Lack of appetite

·         Occasional rectal pain

·         Burning sensation in chest and throat

·         Irregular bowel movements

·         Bluish or yellowish undigested stool

·         Abdominal cramps

·         Unexplained fatigue

·         Unpleasant body odor.

Ayurvedic View

Known as Pittaj Grahani in Ayurveda, Ulcerative Colitis is primarily a disease of Pitta Dosha, with varying degrees of Vata involvement in some cases. The excessive consumption of Pitta-aggravating foods and lifestyle initially damages both rakta dhatu (blood tissue) and mamsa dhatu (muscle tissue), leading to formation of ama that gets deposited between the villi in the intestines, forming a smooth coating that impairs the normal function and immunity of the intestines. Vata Dosha in the lower colon is also aggravated and in the early stages blocks the Pitta and Kapha channels, causing inflammation, mucous accumulation and edema.

Ayurvedic treatment of Ulcerative Colitis involves gently eliminating the ama, restoring healthy digestion and creating a bacterially-friendly environment in the body. After the basic strength and immunity of the body is restored, the treatment focuses on natural healing of the ulcers.

Diet & Lifestyle Advice

·         Have soup prepared by boiling split gram (split legumes), buttermilk, and yogurt prepared from skimmed milk and goat’s milk.

·         Increase use of cumin seeds, coriander, and celery seeds in cooking.

·         Avoid whole peas and beans, broccoli, potato, garlic, jaggery, yam, sweet potato and other indigestible foods; fried, oily and highly salted foods; and fermented and packaged foods.

·         Improve eating habits by having food in calm surroundings without watching television, listening to music, or working on the computer. Chew the food properly and completely. Eat slightly less than your appetite.

·         Avoid tea, coffee, and alcohol.

Home Remedies

·         Have 1 glassful of buttermilk with ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder, a pinch of roasted cumin seed powder, and rock salt to taste. Have this twice a day with breakfast and lunch. (Avoid having it with the evening meal.)

·         Mix powdered dried ginger root, black pepper, and long pepper in equal amounts. Take ½ teaspoon of the powder with water twice a day.

·         Make a powdered preparation of cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom, and asafetida. Have 1 teaspoon of this powder twice a day with water.

·         Make a preparation of ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg powder, ½ teaspoon powdered Indian gooseberry fruit and ½ teaspoon of celery seeds. Have this at bedtime with water.