Coma refers to a state of unarousable psychological unresponsiveness in which the subject lies with eyes closed and shows no response to external stimuli or inner need. Involuntary functions like heart-beat and respiration continue, though they may be irregular due to some concurring or causative disease. Deep coma refers to a state where corneal, pupillary, pharyngeal, tendon and plantar reflexes are all absent. Reflex eye movements are usually preserved in lesser degrees of coma. Semi-coma refers to that state where an individual responds to a painful stimuli by groaning, opening the eyes or with irregular respiration. The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to quantify the severity of coma by measuring eye -opening, motor response and verbal response. Coma may be caused by brain lesions, trauma, metabolic abnormalities, infections and drugs or physical agents.
The modern management of coma consists of removal of the cause; ensuring proper respiration and circulation; care of skin, bowels and bladder; control of infection; and surgical intervention if required. Ayurvedic medicines can be given as additional supportive therapy in order to reduce the duration of coma, facilitate early recovery and prevent long term disability. The Ayurvedic treatment of coma consists of giving supportive therapy to preserve and maintain life and treating the known cause. Medicines like Arjun (Terminalia arjuna), Pippali (Piper longum), Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica), Bhumiamalaki (Phyllanthus niruri), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris), Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa) and Triphala (Three fruits) are used to maintain adequate functioning of important organs like the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. Medicines like Nardiya-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Maha-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Siddha-Makardhwaj-Ras and Hem-Garbha-Ras are used to maintain adequate body circulation of blood.
Medicines like Panchamrut-Parpati, Kutaj-Parpati and Suvarna-Parpati are used to prevent the formation of harmful toxins in the gastro-intestinal tract. Medicines like Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Saarivasav, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Gokshuradi-Qadha, Punarnavadi-Guggulu and Gokshuradi-Guggulu are used to help excrete toxins from the blood through the urine. Triphala, Sukshma-Triphala, Triphala-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu and Ras-Manikya can be used to treat and eliminate infection.
Brain lesions can be treated using medicines like Kanchnaar-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Pathyadi-Qadha, Panchamrut-Parpati, Shallaki (Boswelia serrata), Abhrak-Bhasma, Raupya-Bhasma, Trivang-Bhasma, Suvarna-Bhasma and Heerak-Bhasma. Metabolic disorders can be treated using medicines like Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daru-Haridra (Berberis aristata), Yashtimadhuk (Glycyrrhiza glabra), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica) and Patha (Cissampelos pareira). Drug toxicity can be treated using medicines like Sutshekhar-Ras, Bhunimbadi-Qadha, Arogya-Vardhini, Gokshuradi-Qadha and Punarnavadi-Qadha.
Lastly, Ayurvedic medicines can be given to actually strengthen and activate the nervous system tissue. Medicines like Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Yashtimadhuk, Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica) and Haridra are also very useful for this. Other medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Sameer-Pannag-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Vish-Tinduk-Vati and Maha-Yograj-Guggulu can also be used for this purpose. Ayurvedic medicines can thus play a very important and useful role in the successful management and treatment of coma and semi-coma.