Modern medicine is a wonderful thing but it cannot cure everything. Medication often comes with side effects, some of which are worse than the symptoms the pills are supposed to cure. Thankfully there are alternatives, which can be used alongside or instead of conventional medicine to relieve those ailments that continue to make our lives a misery.
Ayurvedic medicine comes to us from India, where it has been the preferred medical practice for over 5000 years. It focusses on natural herbal remedies that are time-honoured and have long been proved effective in the treatment of many problems, from colon cleansing and cirrhosis of the liver to treatments for jaundice and hepatitis.
In India, Ayurvedic medicine is practiced by many orthodox medical practitioners. Doctors often use it to complement their western medical practices, because its all-natural therapies are useful in the treatment of ailments modern medicine cannot treat quickly or cheaply.
Treating Cirrhosis with Eclipta Alba
The leaves of the eclipta alba (known locally as Bhringaraj) plant are hepato protective, meaning they strengthen the body’s natural resistance to damage to the hepatic system by assisting in the removal of toxins from the liver.
In fact, the chemicals contained in eclipta alba have been shown in several scientific tests to be some of the most potent naturally-produced chemicals in the world. For the treatment of liver problems, no other plant extract comes close to the effectiveness of eclipta alba; and its effectiveness even surpasses several pharmaceuticals.
The active ingredients found in eclipta alba that help protect the liver are demethyl wedelolactone and wedelolactone, both of which are found throughout the plant. These chemicals are known for their antihepatotoxic qualities.
Treating Hepatitis with Ayurveda
Ayurveda’s treatments for viral hepatitis came to the attention of western medicine in 1979, when research by Dr. Thyagarajan demonstrated how effective natural herbal medicine can be. In India, conventional treatments for hepatitis are expensive and therefore out of the reach of many citizens, but hepatitis was a major concern in the 1970s.
The leaf extract is again used, as the active ingredients for combating hepatitis are mostly contained in the leaves. Here the extract is either mixed with honey and taken 5-10 millilitre doses, or broken down in a laboratory and the essential ingredients for fighting the virus are extracted and converted into easy-to-swallow pills.
As a result, Dr Thyagarajan’s research was met with great interest. He proved that extracting the essential chemicals from the Keezharnelli plant, known to western science as Phyllanthus Amarus, and making tablets from them could cure Hepatitis B. His studies have been examined by other scientists since 1979 and in 2009, Dr Thyagarajan began the process of patenting his discovery for the University of Madras.
Eclipta Alba, Nature’s Purifier
The roots of the eclipta alba plant are widely known for their emetic and purgative qualities. The plant’s leaf juice is also effective in the treatment of jaundice; which is often a side-effect of liver damage and goes hand-in-hand with cirrhosis.
Eclipta alba plants are very effective cholagogues, meaning they promote bile flow into the colon, and they also possess incredible deobstructant properties. This makes the plant a highly effective treatment for many liver problems. In addition, the eclipta alba extract is also an effective antifungal agent as well as an antiviral agent, so it is useful in treating some infections, too.
Leaf extracts from eclipta alba are a powerful blood purifier. The leaf extract has been used for centuries to treat anemia because eclipta alba improves haemoglobin production. Haemoglobin (also spelled hemoglobin) is the part of the blood’s red cells that transports oxygen around the body, and also removes carbon dioxide from cells; transporting it back to the lungs for expulsion.
Taking the leaf extract three times a day will reduce, and possibly even eliminate, the symptoms of anemia. The leaf extract is incredibly bitter-tasting however, so it must be mixed with a non-reactive sweetener such as honey if it is to be consumed.
Ayurvedic medicine is a long-standing and time-honoured practice for which western science is only just coming to understand the full potential. With many Indian doctors now using Ayurvedic remedies alongside their more conventional practices, and more western scientists conducting research into the effects of ayurvedic cures, it is only a matter of time before this 5000 year old discipline gets the worldwide recognition it deserves.