Arshas an Ayurvedic perspective
Arshas अर्शस् or Arsa अर्श is the Sanskrit word for piles/ haemorrhoids.
The word is derived from the root Ari – which means enemy.
If you had piles before you might agree that they can feel like an enemy.
Arshas are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. Hemorrhoids can develop inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (external haemorrhoids). Nearly three out of four adults will have hemorrhoids from time to time.
We looked at the classical text book Sushruta Samhita, lets see what he teaches about Arsha. This is aimed for the students of Ayurveda.
According to Ayurveda they are caused by the simultaneous vitiation of all the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha).
The dushya (vitiated dhatus) are tvak (skin), Mamsa (muscle) and Meda (adipose tissue).
According to Charaka Samhita piles are of two types. Some of them are hereditary and others are aquired later in life.
Purva Rupa/ premonitory symptoms of Arsha:
1. dislike for food
3. sour belching
4. fullness of the abdomen
7. weakness in the legs
8. gurgling sound in the abdomen
9. pain around the anus
11. loss of strength
14. scanty stool
Types of Arshas:
Vatika: wrinkled, hard, rough, dry, discomfort in anus, blackish coloured piles.
Paittika: soft, flabby and delicate, thin, red, yellow or blue coloured piles, moist and oozing, pain, burning and blood in stools.
Kaphaja: large sized, fixed, round, smooth, rigid, pale or white coloured, looks like seeds of jack fruit or grapes, no bleeding.
Raktaja: similar shape like Vatika, bleeding can be severe.
For the treatment point of view Arsha may be divided into two groups:
The piles which generally do not bleed. They occur to to the predominance of Vayu and Kapha.
2. Sravi – Arsha/ Raktarsha: These are piles which occur due to the pre dominance of Pitta and Rakta. In Raktarsha the patient will often pass bright red blood with the stools.
The treatments mentioned in the classical text are:
1. Shamana chikitsa (medicines) – recent onset
2. Agnikarma (cauterization)
3. classical Virechana Karma
4. Shastrakarma (surgical treatment)
1. avoid all etiological factors – Nidana Parivarjana this is a must!
2. avoid constipation and gas in the colon
3. increase Agni, the power of digestion
Medicines for piles with a recent onset:
agni deepana, ama pachana.
avipattika churna, abhayarishtam hingvasthak churna.
Vataanulomana with trivritlehya, aragwaha kashayam.
Shata dhauta Ghritam शतधौतघुतम् application. This is ghee washed 100 times with water. It has a soothing effect if applied topically. You can read more about this in one of our previous blog posts.
abhyanga and svedana.
avagha, sitz bath.
dhupana – herbal smoke.
jalauka – leech therapy.
basti – herbal enema.
Lepana – herbal paste application.
Pichhu with Murivenan thailam.
Pathya/ Apathya (diet and lifestyle)
Buttermilk takra, triphala, rice with ghee, green gram, grapes, cucumber, carrots green leafy vegetables, gourd, warm water, regular exercise, walking and yoga
Heavy food, green peas, yellow gram, raw vegetables, cabbage, aubergines, peas, potatoes, sedentary lifestyle and sitting for long times.
If you are interested how Ayurveda can help in the treatment of Arsha. Email email@example.com.
We wish you a beautiful start to the week
Karin and the Lakshmi team.
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