In ayurveda, Filariasis is known as Shlipada ('Shli' means elephant and 'pada' means foot). It is the disease in which foot looks like foot of elephant. This is a chronic disease and is popularly known as Elephantiasis.
Now-a-days every one knows that Filaria or Elephantiasis is caused by a parasite nematode-Wuchereria bancrofti, which are transmitted through the Culex mosquitoes. This parasite when released into human body , causes the blockage of lymphatic system (lasika). Based upon the involvement and degree of affliction, lymphangitis or chyluria may also result. Elephantiasis mainly effects legs but can also affects the arms, breast and genitals.
Causes for elephantiasis as per Ayurveda:
- 1. Kapha predominant food and habits (kaphaja ahara vihara)
- 2. Heavy food intake (guru ahara)
- 3. Older water/stagnant water (puranodaka)
- 4. Cold water intake (sheetala jala pana)
- 5. Residing in the area where stagnant water is nearby (puranodaka bhuyishta desha) etc.
Pathogenesis of Shlipada: Due to above mentioned causes all the three doshas are aggravated, predominantly Kapha Dosha increases. These Doshas are lodged in the inguinal region first and then gradually move downwards the feet. Due to lodging of Doshas in the leg, stony swellings resembling the foot of elephant are caused. Most commonly fever is also associated in this condition.
Ayurvedic Line of Treatment for FilariasisAyurveda suggests that the condition of elephantiasis should be treated by-
- 1. Fasting / cleansing (langhana)
- 2. External anti kapha – paste application (Kaphahara lepa)
- 3. Sudation (swedana)
- 4. Purgation (rechana)
- 5. Blood letting (rakta mokshana)
- 6. Anti kapha oral remedies (Anti-kapha Aahara and oushadha) and
- 7. Warm medication (ushnopachara)
Ayurvedic medicines recommended in Psoriasis/ElephantisisArogyavardhini Vati, Kaisora guggulu, Triphala guggulu, Haritaki kashaya, Bhoonimbadi kadha, Pippalyadi choorna, Nityananda rasa, Shlipada gajakesari rasa.
Dietary recommendations in Psoriasis/ElephantiasisUse old red rice ,Wheat, Horse gram, Green gram,Drum stick, Bitter gourd, Radish, Garlic
Avoid following is diet - Milk and milk products, Cream,Sugar, Jaggery,Sweets,Flesh of aquatic animals,Kapha alleviating food,Tubers ,Contaminated water
Precautionary Measures for Elephantiasis-- Keep Mosquito Away: Use insecticides, mosquito repellant creams, protective clothing, bed nets or whatever but keep mosquito away.Close the windows before evening up to morning to prevent mosquitoes invading your house. Wear full sleeves, full-length pants, and socks if you can.
-- Keep Your Surroundings Clean: No mosquito no bite. Vector control is the aim. Put effort in cleaning the breeding sites (like stagnant water) of mosquitoes near your homes. Avoid stagnant water in your surroundings as these pools of contaminated water are the homes of mosquitoes.
-- Keep Yourself Clean: Make a habit of washing hands, feet, and the body itself. By the way, if you are the infected one, and your skin remains clean, it will do less damage. Remember it. So it works as a remedy as well.