Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)
- Promote this Page

Introduction

 

Kumbha Kamala is the Ayurvedic term used to refer to both the types of acute hepatitis – acute hepatitis A and acute hepatitis B. Though both these diseases have a very low mortality rate, – that of 0.33% – they must be remedied as soon as possible, because they are both highly infectious diseases.

   

Definition of Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

 

Hepatitis is a general term given to any form of inflammation of the liver. Jaundice is a key symptom of all forms of hepatitis.

The liver is the largest organ of the body. There are several functions that it performs day in and day out. The following are the functions of the liver:-

  • The chief function of the liver is the production of the bile juice that is sent to the intestines to assist in the digestion of food.
  • The liver is useful in the production of proteins from amino acids in the body.
  • The liver eliminates several waste products from the body.
  • The liver maintains a balance between the useful and harmful cholesterol levels.
  • The liver is the organ where most of the glucose of the body is stored.
  • The liver is a reservoir of energy for various bodily functions.

With so many functions, the liver is apt to break down sometime. This happens when there is a viral infection or a change in the lifestyle of the person compounded with vices such as alcoholism. In such situations the liver gets inflamed. Such inflammations are called as hepatitis.

There are two main types of hepatitis – acute hepatitis and chronic hepatitis. In acute hepatitis, the disease resolves itself without any specific treatment within a timeframe of up to six months. If the conditions of hepatitis last beyond this period, then the hepatitis becomes chronic. Chronic hepatitis is known to last in people for as long as twenty years.

When we speak of kumbha kamala, we refer only to acute hepatitis. Hence, this article will cover only acute hepatitis.

Go To Top

Types of Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

There are two main types of acute hepatitis – acute hepatitis A and acute hepatitis B. The following table illustrates the key aspects of these two conditions:-

Type of Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

Key Aspects

Acute Hepatitis A or Infectious Jaundice

This is a very mild form of hepatitis which does not become chronic at all. The disease resolves itself without treatment and does not cause any lasting effects on the liver. Acute hepatitis A is caused due to the consumption of contaminated food.

Acute Hepatitis B

This is the more dangerous of the two types of acute hepatitis. It is caused due to a viral infection and can quickly spread to become an epidemic. There are rare instances of death from acute hepatitis B. The disease can cause complications like cirrhosis of the liver, which may also become fatal.

Go To Top

Causes and Transmission of Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

Both the forms of acute hepatitis are caused due to viral infections. The virus that is responsible for the two conditions are Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) and Hepatitis B Virus (HBV). However the modes of transmission of these viruses are quite different.

(i) Acute Hepatitis A – Hepatitis A virus is transmitted through the contamination in the food. It is caused through the orofecal route, i.e. the system through which food moves into the body. Some of the contaminations in food that can cause acute hepatitis A are:-

  • Eating foods that are not properly cooked
  • Eating foods that are unpeeled and not washed properly
  • Drinking contaminated water
  • Consumption of unsafe seafood in raw condition

In some cases, acute hepatitis A has been known to spread through personal contact from an infected person to a healthy person.

(ii) Acute Hepatitis B – Hepatitis B virus can be transmitted in many more ways than HAV. The following are some of the modes in which HBV can be transmitted from one person to another:-

  • Personal contact with an infected person
  • Contact through blood, such as using syringes, razors, etc. that have been used by an infected person
  • Unsafe blood transfusion
  • Through sexual contact with an infected person
  • From mother to an unborn child, i.e. in utero transmission

Hepatitis B is much more dangerous and much more transmittable than hepatitis A. There have been epidemics of hepatitis B in history. It is estimated that about one-third of the total world population today are infected by the HBV, but only about 3 to 6% actually show the conditions of the disease. Also, hepatitis B can become chronic and in rare instances, fatal.

According to Ayurvedic beliefs, kumbha kamala is both a pitta as well as a kapha dosha disorder. Pitta dosha represents the fire element and kapha dosha represents the equilibrium between the earth and water elements. Vitiations in the pitta and the kapha doshas can result in kumbha kamala.

Go To Top

People who are at Risk of Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

Being a virally transmitted disease, hepatitis can affect almost anybody in the world. Despite that, there are some people who stand a higher risk of getting infected than others. The following are some high risk groups:-

People who live with a person infected with any form of hepatitis are at a great risk of getting the disease themselves.

People who have unsafe sexual contacts with several partners can contract hepatitis B if even one of the partners has the infection.

Hepatitis cases are common among people living in overcrowded areas where there are no proper hygiene facilities.

Hepatitis is also prevalent in tropical countries and among people who do not bother much about their personal hygiene.

Healthcare workers are exposed to hepatitis risks if they do not take adequate precautions.

Hepatitis is known to be a genetically transmitted disease. If a family member (especially parents) had hepatitis, then there is a good chance of contracting the disease.

Go To Top

Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

The symptoms of kumbha kamala are different depending on which type it is. The following is a list of symptoms of both the types of kumbha kamala:-

Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis A

Jaundice, which begins with the yellowing of the eyes

Darkening of urine

Nausea and vomiting

Extreme feelings of fatigue

Fever accompanied by chills

Loss of appetite

Problems with digestion

Stomach aches

Symptoms of Acute Hepatitis B

General feeling of being ill and at unease

Loss of appetite

Nausea and vomiting

Aches and cramps in the body

Fever

Darkening of urine

Jaundice

In both the forms of hepatitis, jaundice is the most common symptom. Jaundice coupled with fevers, loss of appetite, dark urination and body aches are the common symptoms associated with hepatitis.

Go To Top

Prevention of Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

Drastic measures need to be taken in order to prevent hepatitis from becoming an epidemic. The following are some guidelines towards this end:

Prevention of Acute Hepatitis A

Be very particular about cooking your food properly. Bring the water used in cooking to a proper boil before turning the gas off.

Drink water that has been carefully filtered and brought to boiling point.

Fruits brought from the market should be properly washed before being consumed. Ideally, they must be peeled before being eaten.

The leftover food must be properly discarded.

If a person has contracted hepatitis A, then care must be taken to keep all his or her eating and drinking utensils well-separated from the other utensils in the house.

The feces and urine of hepatitis A patients must be disposed with extreme care. The toilets must be fumigated after every visit.

Prevention of Acute Hepatitis B

All physical contact with the patients of hepatitis B must be strictly avoided.

Be very careful during blood transfusion. Among other things, get the blood checked for hepatitis B also.

Only disposable syringes and disposable razors must be used.

One must be very cautious about the medical history of a sexual partner. The safest way is to remain monogamous, i.e. faithful to one sexual partner.

Vaccinations are available for both hepatitis A and hepatitis B infections. Nowadays, there are vaccines available for infants that greatly reduce the risk of infections in future life. Also, people with a hepatitis patient in their house must immediately get themselves vaccinated at their healthcare center.

Go To Top

Diet for Preventing Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

The basic guidelines for following healthy dietary patterns apply to hepatitis too. The following are some of them:-

Salts must be curtailed in the diet.

Keep the diet rich in carbohydrates.

Cut down on spicy and oily food.

Avoid sugars to a large extent.

Say a complete no to alcohol.

Say yes to all kinds of green leafy vegetables.

Have a good portion of fruits, but do not go overboard. Apples and plantains are good.

Go To Top

Ayurvedic Treatment for Acute Hepatitis (Kumbha Kamala)

Hepatitis is a disease that cures itself after some time; hence, there is no need for any specific treatment. It is essential to only take precautions to avoid it from becoming chronic.

In Ayurveda, there are several herbs that are used to reduce the symptoms of hepatitis, especially jaundice. These are the same herbs that are used to bring down the problems of simple jaundice. The following is a list of some of these herbs with their effects on the human body.

Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body

Ambarbarsis

Berberis vulgaris

Jaundice Berry

Jaundice Berry is used as a bitter tonic for the treatment of jaundice that is prevalent in hepatitis.

Chachinga

Trichosanthes anguina

Snake Gourd

An infusion of the leaves of the snake gourd is beneficial in the treatment of jaundice that occurs in hepatitis. For better results, coriander seeds can be mixed in the infusion.

Ghee Kanvar

Aloe barbadensis

Indian Aloe

Indian aloe is a wonderful liver stimulant. It is used in the treatment of jaundice. The pulp of just a single leaf can be mixed with black salt and ginger and had for ten days to achieve results.

Kanphool

Taraxacum officinale

Dandelion

Herbal tea made with dandelion is a very effective treatment for hepatitis. Dandelion mixed with watercress is taken as a remedy for all kinds of liver ailments.

Kutki or Kuru

Picrorhiza kurroa

Picrorhiza

Picrorhiza is one of the basic remedies for the treatment of hepatitis.

Kasni

Chichorium intybus

Chicory

All parts of the chicory, i.e. flowers, seeds and leaves are effective in the treatment of liver problems. Chicory promotes the secretion of bile and thus it is useful in the recovery from hepatitis.

Lahsoona

Allium sativum

Garlic

Cloves of garlic have good anti-inflammatory properties for the entire body. They must be included in the daily diet of the person.

Mehndi

Lawsonia alba

Henna

The bark of the henna is effective in reducing the complications of all liver disorders.

Punarnava

Boerhaavia diffusa

Hog Weed

Hog weed is a very efficient diuretic. It is effective in the treatment of cirrhosis of liver and other liver-related disorders.

Go To Top

Post Your Comments

Comment Script

Comments

here is given herbs only for hepatitis . please mention the herbal preparation or combination which are available in the market that will be more helpful for everybody whether he is a ayurvedic person or a non medico.
thanks
#1 - dr amita jain - 04/16/2008 - 04:08
I am agreed with Dr A. Jain
#2 - balesh - 07/13/2008 - 09:22
I am recovering from Hepatitis A at the moment, the article was informative indeed. I would really appreciate if it had precautions and inputs that patients need to consider during the recovery period.

Thank You
#3 - Novin - 05/20/2009 - 02:23
Dear Sir
I am 44 yrs old man and wieght is 84kg. Height 5ft-6inch.
I am sufferring from Slight fatty liver, Chronic Hepatitis B and Prostate enlargement problem.
Please advice me about my Diet elaborately.
#4 - alamgir - 08/15/2010 - 10:15
diet is important for prevention
#5 - sara - 12/06/2011 - 22:09
89
#6 - enkhbat - 04/20/2012 - 00:01
Dear sir, my daughter is 21 years old. doctor declared acute hepatics. Her ESR is 55
#7 - Latif - 09/02/2012 - 02:43
Thanks very much for this article Iam currently facing all of the above mentioned symptoms of Hepatitis , Pain in the abnorminal, Yellow eyes, darnkened urine and iam getting treatment for it
#8 - wangolo joel - 02/27/2013 - 06:48
For carbohydrates must be taken only sugarcane juice.
For release much urine u can take watermelon.
For preventation constipation u can eat Radish(mooli).
Avoid taking Milk,Fat,Oily & spicy food,hard carbos & proteins.
#9 - Jaipal Jangra - 03/07/2013 - 11:20
Name
Comment
Please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box.