Infectious Mononucleosis, also called Glandular Fever and Mono, is a common illness caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The designation ‘Mononucleosis’ refers to an increase in the white blood cells called lymphocytes. This disease is usually spread by person-to-person contact. Saliva is the primary medium of transmitting this disease; hence it is also known as ‘kissing disease’. Symptoms include fever, chills, malaise and a sore throat, with swollen lymph glands in the neck. Some people also have a whitish coating on the tonsils. Rarely, the liver and spleen are enlarged; and some affected people may also develop a rash on the body.
The Ayurvedic treatment of this condition is aimed at treating the symptoms, controlling the virulence of the EBV, and preventing complications. Triphala-Guggulu and Tribhuvan-Kirti-Ras are used to control malaise. Arogya-Vardhini, Sitopaladi-Churna, Mahasudarshan-Churna and Sookshma-Triphala are used to control the throat infection. Kamdudha-Ras, Godanti-Bhasma, Sutshekhar-Ras and Chandrakala-Ras are used to control the fever. Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra) and Pippali (Piper longum), are used along with the above-mentioned medicines, to reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract and also control the viral infection. Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Behada (Terminalia bellerica), Kanchnaar (Bauhinia variegata) and Kanchnaar-Guggulu are used to reduce lymph-gland swelling in the neck.
Complications, though very rare, include inflammation of the liver, spleen, heart and brain and destruction of the red blood cells. Arogya-Vardhini, Sutshekhar-Ras, Shankh-Vati, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Rohitakarishta, Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa) and Sharpunkha (Tephrosia purpurea) are used to treat inflammation of the liver and spleen.
Shrung-Bhasma, Abhrak-Bhasma, Mahavat-Vidhwans-Ras, Suvarna-Bhasma, Suvarna-Malini-Vasant, Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Amalaki, Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris) and Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha are used to treat the other complications.
Infectious Mononucleosis is usually a self-limiting, although sometimes prolonged, and often uncomfortable, illness. The potential complications make it essential that people with this illness be under the care of a physician.