Ayurvedic treatment of Diseases of the Kidney and Bladder
Kidneys are nature’s remarkable filters which filter about 300 liters of fluid each day and reabsorb 299 litres of it, pushing it back into the blood stream and leaving 1 litre of fluid to be explled out of the body as urine. Diseases involving kidneys and the urinary system may be briefly indicated below
- Kidney or bladder injuries leading to peritonitis
- Stones in the kidney
- Strictures or narrowing of the urinary passages
- Kidney infection (Pyelonephiritis)
- Bladder infection or cystitis
- Uraemia (Toxic conditions involving kidney failure)
Whenever diseases are evidently caused by bacterial infection whether in Nephritis, Pyelonephritis, Prostatitis, Cystitis or Urethritis, the best course of treatment without doubt, is through administration of antibiotics. Treatment available under modern Allopathy has excellent means of pathological testing and diagnosis which identify the specific strain of bacteria which cause the disease. Corresponding to the specific type / strain of pathogenic bacteria, we have a wide range of antibiotics with many having broad spectrum action for dealing effectively with these conditions.
But there are certain conditions which virtually defy cure under allopathic treatment with antibiotics. Enlarged prostate, especially in old age is one such condition. Chronic nephritis is perhaps another condition. In Prostatitis antibiotics sometimes foil and the enlarged portion of the prostate gland has necessarily to be removed by surgery. Stones in the kidney is yet another ailment for which there is no chemotherapic agent in Allopathy.
Surgery is the only method of treatment. Chronic uraemia in itself is a symptom caused, inter alia, by nephritis, bladder obstructions, injuries and partial failure of the heart. In this case also, in spite of the administration of best treatment available under Allopathy many chronic cases do not get well. In all these cases, alternative medicine is helpful. Homoeopathic drugs like Cantharis 30, Arsenicum album 30 etc. have in many cases of kidney/ urinary system diseases found to be extremely useful. But a patient has got to be very lucky to get a proper Homoeopathic drug without much trial and error and expenditure of time.
It would now be expedient to examine how far Ayurveda can help in the successful treatment of all these above diseases.
Some of the proven and tested home remedies are given below.
- Take a few matured saplings of wheat and from them remove the grains. Thereafter burn or char them to ash. To this ash, add about 4 to 5 times water and mix thoroughly. Filter the water through a fine muslin cloth. Take the clear filtrate and boil it in an iron pan. When the water has dried, take off the pan and remove the white precipitate that has deposited on the wall of pan. Grind this white precipitate to a powder and filter it. The resulting powder is called `wheat-alkaloid’. 1 to 1-1/2 gram of this `wheat-alkaloid’ taken every morning and evening with water cures kidney stones.
- Juices of oranges or lemon are excellent tonics for kidney functioning and are helpful in the treatment of almost all kidney ailments.
- The seeds of Pistachio are very useful in conditions of kidney malfunctioning. The seeds of almond and chilgoza are equally useful.
- Seven seeds of almond (peeled off) and seven pieces of small cardamom may be ground together in half a cup of water. The mixture may be filtered and some crystalline sugar added. This liquid, taken four times daily cures burning in urination
- Four seeds of munakka (dried large grape seed) along with four grains of black pepper may be orally taken every night. Within a few days, problem of difficult urination because of strictures or any other disease will be cured.
- An apple a day keeps the doctor away and two apples a day keep kidney stones away. Apples can be taken as preventives or curatives.
- Pain in the kidney because of infection or any other cause is cured by seeds of mash-melon. Dried seeds should be boiled in water for about 1 1/2 hr. (Ideally 10 gram seeds in 150 ml of water). Cool and filter. Then sweeten the filtrate and take it orally for at least 10 days.
The list is not exhaustive. Ayurveda offers many more remedies and also professionally prepared formulations which have proved to be of great use in effective cure of kidney ailments and especially prevention of surgery for removal of kidney stone. Success has been achieved even in Homoeopathic practice in preventing this surgery. Before concluding, another valuable home remedy for successful treatment of kidney diseases and kidney stone may be mentioned as below.
Extract of fresh radish, sweetened with crystal sugar (mishri) may be taken first thing in the morning. The quantity of the extract or juice may be 75 to 100 ml.
Ayurveda emphasizes on prevention more than cure of disease. The role of proper dietary and other lifestyle regulation remains important in every case and every situation. Without lifestyle correction, complete cure cannot be achieved. Identification of the types of dominant dosha as per `prakriti’ and as per disease picture and prescription of the lifestyle regimen for restoring the balance of that dosha is important. For example, in almost all cases of kidney stone, it is the pitta dosha that is dominant and needs to be corrected.
As already indicated at many places earlier, it is a sort of crisis of faith that has led to an overwhelming confidence and obsession with the Allopathic system of medicine. Many unnecessary and virtually avoidable surgeries can be prevented if only people were not biased against Ayurveda and other alternative systems of medicine. The writers are witness to a case in which a 30 year old man suffering from chronic kidney infection was advised to have his affected kidney surgically removed urgently for fear of uraemia. The patient confused and tense, came in contact with us and we advised him to have his surgery deferred and try Homeopathic and simple home based Ayurvedic remedies for a few days. Today that same patient is hale and hearty with both his kidneys intact.
Similarly umpteen cases of persons suffering from kidney or bladder stones can be cited who, after brief course of Homoeopathic or Ayurvedic treatment found their stones expelled via urinary passage, thus again sparing the trouble of surgery.
Below are mentioned accounts of certain specific disease of kidneys and bladder (urinary system) from the point of view of application of traditional Indian remedies.
Dysuria which is the technical name given to painful and difficult urination can be very effectively treated by specific herbs or home based remedies some of these are given below
- Sandalwood (5 to 10 drops) mixed with a decoction in water of Bishop’s weed (Ajwain) (5 to 10 drops) should be given to the patient twice a day. The dosage is to be gradually increased upto three times when improvement becomes visible.
- Prepare a decoction of 12 seeds of black pepper and orally administer to the patient. This daily dose is to be continued till complete relief is obtained.
- Pure caste roil (50 gms) mixed with warm water should be given to the patient for oral intake once daily. It may be pointed out that above said remedies are useful only for symptomatic treatment of Dysuria. When Dysuria is because of some more serious disease like urethritis, enlarged prostate, cystitis, gonorrhoea kidney, there disease need to be corrected first.
Haematuria is characterised by discharge of blood alongwith urine. As per modern medicine, many causes are assigned to this condition. These are – Cystitis, Bright’s disease and kidney stones. Therefore these underlying causes need to be corrected for complete and lasting cure Haematuria. As the disease is believed by Ayurveda to be caused by vitiation of pitta in the blood, a pitta regulating diet and lifestyle regimen is necessary for proper treatment of this condition. Alcohol and sexual activity are strongly forbidden. Some simple home-based remedies for treatment of Haematuria are given below.
- Powdered seeds of the herb Goksura (Tribulus rerrestris) 5 gms mixed with honey should be given for oral intake twice daily.
- Mix some sandalwood paste with a little quantity of crystal sugar (mishri) and this mixture may be orally taken alongwith water in which rice has been cooked. Alongside this treatment, boiled milk with cereal should be taken as a meal.
Prostate enlargement (Prostatitis)
Enlargement of the Prostate gland lead to obstruction in the outward flow of urine through the urethra. This condition which often occurs in old age is very troublesome as the patient has to strain himself to pass the urine. Cancer of the Prostate is a common complication. Allopathy treats Prostatitis by surgery. Drawing from the vast pharmacopeia of traditional Ayurveda, some simple remedies for this condition are presented below
- Shilajit mixed with milk should be orally taken every day.
- The extract of the root of the herb Kateri should be orally taken daily for a few days.
- A cooled decoction of the dried herbs Gokhru , Dhania (Coriander), Amla mixed with honey and ghee is also a useful remedy for Prostatitis.
There are many more remedy and also equally or more effective pharmacological formulations in Ayurveda that are of proven value in the treatment of Prostatitis. But since Ayurveda believes and rightly so that no medicine can provide 100% cure on its own and the role of medicine and lifestyle regulation has been fixed at 50% each in the curative treatment of every disease, it is considered desirable to indicate below the lifestyle regulation needed for cure of this very common and widespread ailment of modern times.
- Excessive roaming in hot sun is to be avoided
- Do not suppress the desire of urination and defecation
- Avoid overwork and physical or mental overstrain
- Avoid sexual intercourse with partners suffering from sexually Transmitted Disease
- Do not consume hot, spicy, sour foodstuffs
- Take plenty of water and also fresh juices of sweet (not citrus) fruits like sugarcane.
Kidney stones is yet another common disease among the general population and especially so among the urbanities. The reasons for the development of kidney stones are mainly the vitiation of pitta. As such pitta prakriti or pitta dominant prakriti individuals are most susceptible to this disease when they indulge in pitta vitiating diet and other lifestyle. Allopathy depends on surgery for removal of kidney stones. But Ayurveda has a professional plan of treatment which can bring about a certain cure of if rigorously followed. Avoidance of foodstuffs and other lifestyle factors which are pitta vitiating (pitta aggravating) is the first requirements some simple home-based remedies for effective treatment of kidney stone are given below.
- The use of Ajinod (Apium graveolems) in any form regularly is an excellent preventive and curative for kidney stones.
- Cucumber seeds may be beaten into a pulp alongwith curd the pulp may be orally taken twice daily for a few weeks.
- A decoction of Gokhru , Vatana and Sonth (dried ginger) mixed with honey may be taken twice daily for a few weeks for relief from the problem of kidney stones.