Thalassemia- Ayurvedic approach of management
(General line of treatment)

By- Dr. Sachin Sarpotdar

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As per Ayurvedic principles this disease requires a line of management to primarily treat the symptoms. Overall the Dhatubal (physical strength) of the patient has to be maintained. The role of Shukra Dhatu in regeneration and rejuvenation is well elaborated in Ayurvedic Physiology; hence an Ayurvedic physician must consider it in therapeutics. Formulations like Vrishya Vati or Siddha Makardhwaj are used in practice for the same purpose. 
The production of Rakta Dhatu is affected hence Prana Vayu circulation is also not at an optimal level. Overall the vital parameters are affected due to the disturbance in Jeevan karma of Rakta Dhatu. Drugs targeting on Raktagni, Raktavaha Srotus and organs associated with it along with drugs nourishing and strengthening to Mamsa Dhatu, Asthi Dhatu and Majja Dhatu are used in clinical practice.

Shodhana or Detoxification in Thalassemia –
As per Ayurvedic pathophysiology in Raktavaha Srotus Liver and Spleen play a very important role. Extra medullary haematopoiesis is noted at these sites.  Hence if there is excess haemolysis then jaundice might be seen in these patients and the drugs mentioned in Kamala are required in the management of these patients. Mrudu Virechana i.e. mild laxatives drugs are important to avoid the congestive pathology in these patients. Usually Phala Trikadi Kashay or Triphala containing preparations are preferred for the purpose.

Shamana or Internal medication in Thalassemia –
Ayurvedic classics have recommended many medicated ghee formulations to treat the Rakta Dhatu afflictions or associated morbidities. The formulations like Pancha Gavya Ghrut, Kalyanak Ghrut , Mahatiktak Ghrut , Dadimadi Ghrut are some potential Drugs in thalassemia. Beside these formulations Mandur Bhasma , Suvarna Makshik Bhasma and Abhrak Bhasma also have a success giving effect in thalassemia. It is always important to avoid heavy metals and their formulations to avoid metal depositions in body. Even iron should not be used in its metallic form. Hence Mandur Bhasma is preferred over Loha Bhasma in the management of thalassemia minor patients. With these medicines if the frequency of blood transfusion can be reduced then it is indeed a great help in management of thalassemia.

 The regular use of Tulasipatra Swaras i.e Basil leaves juice is recommended to keep the proper oxygenation of the tissues. 

Herbs used in Thalassemia –

Single herbs like Ashwagandha, Shatawari, Guduchi, Pimpali, Manjishtha ,Sariva , Bala, Yashtimadhu, Kumari, Maka , Kutaki, Bilva have potential Drugs in the clinical management of thalassemia. 

Role of Pranayam or breathing techniques in Thalassemia –
Different types of Pranayam to improve the level of pulmonary perfusion and gaseous diffusion and transport are recommended.

Other recommendations in Thalassemia –

Pitta pacifying dietary regimen is recommended in these patients. 

It is always better to restrict the exposure to extreme weather conditions especially Sun exposure. 

The strength of the body is maintained through regular Abhyanga witih Bala containing oils like Bala Tailum,Bala Ashwagandhadi Tailum, Bala Guduchyadi Tailum , Ksheerbala Tailum etc.

Rasayan Drugs like Dhatri Rasayan, Chyvanprash and Musali Pak is advisable for the body strength and vitality.

Thus the focus of the management in thalassemia remains on CARE rather than CURE of the patients.