It is always difficult to believe against the conventional thinking of the modern medicine, that a deadly disease like Ulcerative Colitis can be cured. This blog will explain you the cause and cure of this disease using simple principles of Ayurveda. But to begin with, here is a testimonial to prove that this disease can be cured by Ayurveda.
UNDERSTANDING ULCERATIVE COLITIS
Intestines are the gateway to all the food that we eat and if this part of the body is not in a good shape, poor digestion and/or mal-absorption of nutrients will eventually affect the entire body including the brain. Exactly this is what happens in the case of Ulcerative colitis when this part of the body becomes so inflamed that it develops ulcers and leaky membranes. Once this happens, due to watery and sometimes bloody and recurrent stools, the patient begins to lose on nutrition. Loss of nutrition means loss of quality and quantity of blood and other tissues and where blood doesn’t go (or poor quality blood goes), vata goes ( where vata as per ayurveda is one of the three forces governing our body). All this results in loss of sleep, loss of hair, confused/irritated mind, loss of weight, lack of motivation, loss of energy etc. (to understand the concepts of Ayurveda you may pick up a copy of THE ROOT CAUSE book and watch videos on Youtube) So, if we learn the ways to control the inflammation of this part, we can cure this disease.
But why does this inflammation happen?
We all know that each one of us is born with a different constitution, however the fact is that within the single body too, no one is purely made of a single constitution. Meaning within our body too, the constitution of one part differs from the other. So what defines this constitution? It is the volume of blood. Thus, if someone is getting lesser blood towards heart than the rest of the body, then his/her heart is bound to be weaker than the rest of the body. Likewise if someone has less of blood towards brain, her/his brain will be more active (may by hyperactive) than the counterpart (Activity comes due to a force called as Vata in ayurvedic terms and less blood means more vata- to understand how vata works please watch this video). Exactly on similar lines if someone is getting less blood towards the intestines, then the intestines will become hyperactive (i.e. high on vata) leading to high inflammation due to very high metabolism. It is this inflammation that leads to ulcerative colitis. In fact all such diseases where a specific part of the body or mind is exceedingly high on vata vis a vis other parts fall in the category of Auto-immune diseases like multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes etc. (termed so by modern medicine).
Who all are prone to it and what triggers it?
As mentioned above those who are born with lesser blood towards intestines are more prone to this disease, however even wrong eating habits can also create/trigger this disease. So all those foods that are bitter meaning vasodilating (meaning those which dilate our blood vessels thereby taking more blood towards lower body) if taken along with pungent/spicy/sour foods will take more of heat towards the lower body apart from reducing blood towards the upper body (including brain) and thus trigger this disease. As such lesser blood towards brain due to these foods will make the it hyperactive (meaning oversensitive, stressed out, short on temper) leading to an increase in overall pitta since hyperactive brain (which means aggravated prana vata) will not allow any organ of the body to rest, thus leading to even more inflammation in the body including intestine. Here are some of the foods belonging to this category of strong vasodilators/bitter:-
- garlic/onion (being bitter) especially if they are consumed with hot and spicy (meaning pungent) foods like chillies, hing ( asafoetida ), ginger.
- all types of tea/coffee as they are bitter and highly pungent.
- chocolates in all forms (bitter and pungent)
- capsicum (being bitter and pungent)
Other factors that contribute/trigger this disease are:-
(a) Consumption of partially cooked pulses/lentils and their sprouts especially those which are difficult to digest like kidney beans, chickpeas etc. as their incomplete digestion leads to production of toxins leading to obstructed/poor blood circulation.
(b) sedentary lifestyle further aggravates this problem since low pitta due to such lifestyle again increases toxins in the blood due to improper digestion of food especially difficult to digest foods as mentioned above.
ABSTINENCE AND CONTROLLING PRANA VATA
All cures essentially begin with abstinence from those foods that create/trigger any disease. So to begin with stay away from the bitter (vasodilating) foods mentioned above. Yes, because of their pungency they do give a kick to the brain by increasing current and increasing blood flow temporarily to the brain (which is why we use tea/coffee for remaining awake). However bitterness of these foods which is initially giving the brain relaxation (due to vasodilation effect) subsequently reduces blood from the brain. This effect of blood going down and away from peripherals, gets further compounded due to effect of exceedingly high astringency especially in tea/coffee. As such pungency burns and reduces the volume of blood in the body and therefore these foods in reality do not increase blood towards the brain. The right way to increase blood is to keep your metabolism not too high which will increase volume of blood in the body and also gradually do yogasanas including those that push blood towards brain (as such these foods mentioned above reduce blood towards the brain in the long run thereby making it more hyperactive).
REDUCING VATA OF THE COLON
The second and foremost important step is to reduce inflammation specifically in the intestine where it is higher than the rest of the body. So, for that, one should consume foods/medicines which have a combination of bitter, sweet and astringent e.g. Bael fruit (wood apple) is a sure shot cure of this disease. Apart from these three tastes, Bael fruit to touch is pungent (its first impact in the mouth gives a little burning sensation) and it is it’s “pungent to touch” quality that helps to remove plaque deposited in the intestine due to high vata and inflammation which sometimes even becomes dry and needs to be scraped off. Remember if the aim is only to increase blood flow towards intestines then these items should be consumed only in the day time when one is standing or sitting. This is because, here bitter will take blood towards lower body by vasodilation, astringent will constrict the cells/tissues thereby permanently widening the blood vessels for letting more blood flow freely and sweet will nourish the cells with nutrition thereby reducing vata/inflammation/metabolism and repairing the place permanently (to visualize this watch this video). Those cases where blood is lesser towards brain as well (exhibiting characterstics of hyperactive mind i.e. anxiety, nervousness, loss of temper etc.), would also need these tastes (bitter, sweet and astringent) in the night to feed nutrition towards the brain as lying after taking such foods, would help more blood to reach the brain thereby calming it and relaxing/repairing the entire body.
Apart from abstinence from foods that are mentioned above, a very important part of the cure is to stay away from very spicy and sour foods, stress and hot and humid conditions as all these things increase pitta which further flare up inflammation. Also the person concerned should have lots of rest (physical as well as mental), lots of fruits (non-citrus only) and stay on easily digestible foods like Moong dal rice, khichdi, buttermilk (chhach), plain curd rice etc. Important to mention here that while diluted curd with warm spices (not hot one) i.e. buttermilk, helps to provide much needed good bacteria in the gut for better digestion, curd without dilution should be totally avoided as it will further block channels of the body and reduce blood circulation thereby increasing more vata. Milk should be avoided as due to pitta getting blocked by vata in intestines, milk consumption is likely to create toxins/stomachaches due to its incomplete digestion.
Yogasanas like veepreetkarni asana, matsyasana can help to push blood towards intestines and brain to calm down vata there. On the other hand, Anulom vilom and shavasana help to calm down mind.
FINALLY TO CONCLUDE -ONLY AYURVEDA (and allied sciences) IS THE ANSWER TO AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES
Finally, why allopathy is not able to cure such diseases (auto-immune diseases) is because allopathy does not understand the functioning of six tastes because of which it has no medicine which can target only specific parts of the body which are high on vata. Instead their only tool is steroids which reduce the metabolism (pitta) of the entire body, thereby increasing kapha and making one obese and prone to infections due to poor immunity because immunity is nothing but pitta. In fact there are times when apart from Ayurveda one needs to employ even Yogasanas to cure such diseases if vata is high on peripherals or towards upper body vis a vis lower (read this blog to understand the science of Yogasanas DANGERS OF DOING YOGA WRONGLY-AN EYE OPENER FOR YOGA ENTHUSIASTS-WHY YOGA FAILS MANY A TIMES AND EVEN HURTS SOMETIMES DESPITE BEING A WONDERFUL SCIENCE.
THIS BLOG IS AN EXTRACT FROM MY BOOK THE ROOT CAUSE
Also recommended to read MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS – CAUSE, PREVENTION, PRECAUTION AND MANAGEMENT- THE AYURVEDA PERSPECTIVE