Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of chronic inflammatory disorder of unknown cause including the gastrointestinal tract. Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD) mainly comprises of two diseases i.e. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Both of these are the most severe digestive problems. Now a days, the prevalence of ulcerative colitis is increasing. In today's practice, it is of major concern for doctors because it leads to mental distress to patient due to remission nature of the disease. No doubt conventional system of medicine has lots of remedial measures and surgery to treat ulcerative colitis but unfortunately due to side effects and post-operative complications like- intestinal obstruction, infection, patients are now seeking towards Ayurvedic treatment for ulcerative colitis as Ayurvedic treatment offers safe, effective treatment for the same without having any side effects.

It is a specific and non-specific inflammatory disease of large bowel, confined to mucosa. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder characterized by ulceration and inflammation in the inner lining of rectum and colon. The inflammation initially affects the rectum and then moves upwards. In 90% cases, it is limited to rectum only. It seldom affects small intestine. Food allergies, changing eating habits, auto-immune disorder are considered to trigger the pathology of the disease. It is caused by the uncontrolled inflammation going on underneath the endothelial layer of the colon.

The ulcers become painful and bleed profusely after every stool. The colon becomes swollen and painful which leads to feeling of fullness and perpetual feeling of going to pass on the stool. As a result, the process of defecation becomes a night mare for the patients. The disease has a huge impact on the psychology of the person. It affects patients during the most active phase of their lives i.e. in 20-40 years of age. So there is a need to find some other treatment modality which is purely based on the Sampraptivighatana Chikitsa which is offered by Ayurveda only.

Ulcerative colitis according to Ayurveda

There is no cure for ulcerative colitis according to modern medicine but in Ayurveda this problem has a solution as Ayurveda believes in curing the disease from the root. According to Ayurveda, it starts with mild diarrhea, then stools with Ama(Kacha ras), sometimes patient feels constipated, sometimes loose stools followed by Kacha ras. This condition if not treated early leads to the formation of ulcerative colitis. It is known by the name 'Pittaj Grahani ' in Ayurveda. There is a mention of this disease in the 19th chapter of Charak Chikitsa Sthana.

According to Ayurveda, this disease is caused by the increase of Pitta Dosha with varying degree of Vata invovement in some cases. Pitta in the body is increased by the intake of hot and spicy foods in the diet. This disease is completely curable and the patient can lead healthy life. Various herbs which are astringent and cooling and thus aid digestion are prescribed by Ayurvedic physicians in ulcerative colitis. Such herbs are easily available and there are no side effects at all as experienced by the patients who take modern medicines for the disease.

There is a big chapter in Ayurveda which deals with the digestive problems. The excessive consumption of Pitta-aggravating foods and lifestyle leads to the formation of Ama which gets deposited in the villi of intestines damages both rakta dhatu (blood tissue) and mamsa dhatu (muscle tissue), thus a smooth coating is formed which impairs the normal function and immunity of the intestines. Vata Dosha in the colon is also aggravated and in the early stages blocks the Pitta and Kapha channels, causing inflammation.

It has been seen that now a days majority of the young population is suffering from ulcerative colitis due to the wrong eating habits. It is the time period of one's age when the digestive fire must be good. The digestion of the people must be strong enough during young age. Suffering from such digestive problems in the young age is a cause of concern. Unfortunately, due to the lack of knowledge youngsters keep on mugging junk food which ultimately increase the 'Pitta' level in the body. Junk food mainly contains maida(refined flour) which is one of the major cause of ulcerative colitis.

What are the causes of Ulcerative Colitis?

Modern medicine believes that cause of this disease is unknown but Ayurveda believes that this disease is caused by-

  1. Regular intake of junk food in diet like- food made of refined flour
  2. Stress
  3. Intake of fermented foods
  4. Consumption of alcohol
  5. Spicy, hot foods in diet

What are the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis?

  1. Abdominal pain
  2. Bloody stools
  3. Fever
  4. Rectal pain
  5. Weakness
  6. Anemia
  7. Diarrhea
  8. Malnutrition
  9. Increased abdominal sounds
  10. Nausea
  11. Vomiting

What are the complications of Ulcerative Colitis

  1. It can increase the risk of colon cancer.
  2. Sepsis(blood infection)
  3. Severe dehydration
  4. Thickening of the intestinal wall
  5. Hole in the colon

Home Remedies & Diet to get rid of Ulcerative Colitis

A strict diet rich in astringent principles helps to keep the disease under control. Diet which is not very heavy and which aid in digestion is beneficial in ulcerative colitis.

  1. Buttermilk(lighter in nature) if prepared from cow's milk or goat milk can be taken.
  2. Fresh pomegranate juice if taken regularly can give excellent results as it controls bleeding and very useful in diarrhea.
  3. Banana is rich in astringent principles, avoids diarrhea and bleeding through rectum.
  4. Honey due to its astringent properties aid in wound healing thus having soothing and cooling effect on the intestinal wall. It is quite useful as patient suffers from dehydration and lack of proper absorption.
  5. Ginger improves digestion and corrects enzyme balance of stomach and intestines.
  6. Bael fruit is natural inflammatory.
  7. Nutmeg is soothing and heals the wounds of intestines.
  8. Taking cumin seeds are also very helpful as they improve digestion.
  9. Fresh coriander leaves balances Pitta because it is a natural coolant.

Foods not to be taken by the patient suffering from ulcerative colitis

Diet control is crucial in managing ulcerative colitis treatment. Foods that are hard to digest that cause increase in Pitta and fiber rich diet must be avoided.

  1. Wheat, barley rich in fiber initiates bowel movements hence must be avoided in the initial stage of treatment.
  2. Black gram take long time for digestion hence must be avoided.
  3. Peas cause Vata imbalance in intestine and cause bloating hence must be avoided.
  4. Milk and milk products are not recommended.
  5. Junk food made of refined flour like-bread, biscuits, burger, noodles, pizza, pasta, momos, spring rolls must be strongly avoided.
  6. Alcohol, tea, coffee, meat, hot, spicy foods must be avoided.

Various Ayurvedic medicines like- Kutajghan vati, sanjeevani vati can be taken along with astringent and cooling diet for ulcerative colitis as diet plays a major role in this disease. Medicines are of no use if proper diet is not followed.

It is strongly advised to take fresh fruits, green leafy vegetables in the diet and say a big NO to refined flour (maida),alcohol, hot and spicy junk food. As this disease is a result of unhealthy eating habits only, so it can be corrected by making changes in the diet. By taking healthy food, our body feels fresh and energetic thus we can work better. It is unfortunate that even in country like India from where Ayurveda originates, there are many people suffering from ulcerative colitis due to the lack of awareness. India must not follow the path of west from where concept of junk food originated which is destroying the health of our young generation.

Author's Bio: 

DR. Vikram Chauhan, MD - AYURVEDA is an expert Ayurvedic practitioner based in Chandigarh, India and doing his practice in Mohali, India. He is spreading the knowledge of Ayurveda Ancient healing treatment, not only in India but also abroad. He is the CEO and Founder of Planet Ayurveda Products, Planet Ayurveda Clinic and Krishna Herbal Company. For more info visit our website: & Download our Android App Planet Aurveda from Google Play Store