Shleepada Jwara( Elephantiasis )
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Though one may not see several cases of elephantiasis roaming around on the roads, the disease is fairly common in the topical countries. It is found commonly in about 80 tropical countries of the world, and it affects a whopping 120 million people annually. The worst scenario is that, elephantiasis does not have a definitive cure, nor is there any vaccine to prevent its onset.

Philanthropic companies such as GlaxoSmithKline are offering free antibiotics to prevent the infection that leads to elephantiasis. These have indeed shown a positive effect in the curtailment of the disease, and the world is hopeful that elephantiasis will be completely eradicated by the year 2020. Until then, we need to arm ourselves against this terrible scourge on humankind.


Definition of Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)


Quite simply put, elephantiasis is the abnormal enlargement of any part of the human body. The most common growth of elephantiasis is observed in the lower limbs and in the genital area. This type of elephantiasis is due to a parasitic infection, caused by the agency of the mosquito. It is known as lymphatic filariasis. Lymphatic filariasis is the most common form of elephantiasis, though it is not the only form. For a list of the different types of elephantiasis, read below.

In Sanskrit, elephantiasis is named as shleepada jwara. In this name, pada refers to ‘foot’. Hence, the name actually means a disease of the foot. However, this is a bit of a misnomer as elephantiasis can affect several other parts of the body besides the foot.

Shleepada Jwara is a disorder of the vata, i.e. the air element that governs the human body. When the vata is vitiated, then the human body can become an entry point for several infections such as those which cause elephantiasis. For this reason, Ayurveda attempts at treating shleepada jwara or elephantiasis by bringing about a normalization of the vata dosha.

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Types of Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

There are two main types of elephantiasis. They are as follows:-

(i) Lymphatic Filariasis – As already mentioned above, this is the most common form. It is an enlargement of parts of the body (especially the feet and the genitals) due to parasitic infections, transmitted through mosquitoes. Lymphatic filariasis is also the most prevalent form of elephantiasis. Here the parasites make their abode in the lymph glands of the person’s body which lie below the skin. Lymphatic filariasis can be treated by surgical methods and regular cleaning techniques. However the success ratio of surgeries is low.

(ii) Non-filarial Elephantiasis – This is the type of elephantiasis that is not caused due to filarial infection. It is thought to be caused due constant skin contact with volcanic ash. This condition is also known as podoconiosis and is a very difficult condition to treat. However, non-filarial elephantiasis is a very rare condition and is found mostly in areas where there have been volcanoes in the past.

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Causes of Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

Elephantiasis is one more of the several diseases transmitted through mosquitoes. The most common form of elephantiasis, i.e. lymphatic filariasis, is caused due to parasitic infections. The following parasites are the chief culprits in causing the disease:-

  • Wucheraria bancrofti
  • Brugia malayi
  • Brugia timori

All these above are nematodes, i.e. roundworms belonging to the animal phylum, Phylum Aschelminthes. Out of these three, the infection by Wucheraria bancrofti is the most prevalent and also the most serious. It has got a name of its own, the bancroftian elephantiasis. Elephantiasis caused due to lymphatic filariasis can be compounded due to the presence of the bacteria Wolbachia who lives symbiotically with the affecting roundworms inside the human hody.

The exact cause of non-filarial elephantiasis is not clearly known. However this elephantiasis is not due to infection. It is presumed that this infection could be due to constant contact with volcanic ash, which contains sulfur and other mineral deposits.

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Symptoms of Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

Elephantiasis is a very difficult condition to diagnose in the early stages as the swelling is minimal and cannot be made out clearly. However as the disease advances, several symptoms are very prominently observed. The following is a list of the prominent symptoms of elephantiasis:-

There is severe swelling in different parts of the body due to the accumulation of fluids. The swelling is commonly observed in the legs and groin, but it can also be seen in the head, trunk, breast, arms and other parts of the anatomy.

Edema is caused due to the accumulation of fluids in the body.

The skin hardens and the lymph glands below the skin begin swelling up. All these cause the body to enlarge to grotesque proportions.

The skin undergoes hyper-pigmentation, due to which it appears darkened. Ulcers are seen on the skin.

There are constant fevers accompanied by chills.

The person feels a constant sense of discomfort, i.e. malaise.

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Complications of Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

Elephantiasis can complicate itself to very dangerous levels if left untreated in the early stages. The following are some of the drastic complications that can occur:-

Hydrocele is very commonly observed in men who suffer from elephantiasis. Hydrocele is the accumulation of fluids in the testicles. This is a very painful condition, which renders men impotent.

Similarly, elephantiasis of the penis and the scrotum in males is a very painful condition and can lead to impotency.

In women, the elephantiasis can spread to the vulva. This could make it possible for the woman to enjoy penetrative sex, and also to conceive. This causes tumerous growths, which may make the condition quite severe.

Elephantiasis can cause damage to the lungs in the form of eosinophilia, in which there is an increase in the number of eosinophils in the blood. This condition is characterized by a wheezing cough and fevers.

Prolonged elephantiasis can cause failure of the kidneys.

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Transmission of Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

Elephantiasis caused by lymphatic filariasis is transmitted through the agency of female mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites an infected person, then the larval forms of the roundworms enter the body of the person. Here they can live for several years, averaging around five years. The mosquito bites other people during this time, and this causes further infections.

The condition of elephantiasis is endemic in several African and South Asian countries. It affects 80 countries in the world. Several measures are being taken by the governments of these countries in order to eradicate filariasis and elephantiasis.

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People who are at Risk of Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

People who live in the countries where elephantiasis is endemic are naturally at a much higher risk of the disease than other people. This risk factor is compounded by the following factors:-

  • Unhygienic areas with stagnated waters are better breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that transmit the elephantiasis roundworms. Hence people living near unhygienic areas are more susceptible to the disease.
  • People who suffer from lymphedema are vulnerable to elephantiasis. This is a hereditarily transmitted disorder.
  • People who have been cleaned from elephantiasis may develop secondary infections, and it can become a chronic problem.

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Prevention and Basic Care during Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

The following precautionary measures can help to keep elephantiasis at bay:-

Mosquito eradication is of the utmost importance. All stagnating water must be removed or treated with mosquito-repelling chemicals.

Mosquito nets, creams and other repellant devices must be used at home to prevent mosquito bites.

People must avoid walking barefoot on soil, especially in places where there have been volcanic eruptions.

If there is a person suffering from elephantiasis in the near vicinity, then more care must be taken for mosquito eradication. The affected person must be protected from mosquito bites so that the disease does not spread.

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Diet for People with Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

Since elephantiasis is a vata disease, a vata pacifying diet is the best bet to control the disease. The following tips must be remembered in order to consume a vata pacifying diet:-

Eat warm foods. Do not allow foods to cool down to room temperature.

Do not eat dry foods. Use some liquid part in the diet such as pulses, lentils, gravies and curries.

Use a little oil in the diet.

Foods must be sweet, sour or salty. These are the tastes that help in vata pacification. Bitter and spicy tastes must be reduced.

Nuts must be included in the diet. The best nuts to have are groundnuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts and walnuts.

Salads must be an integral part of the diet. Use lots of carrots, spinach and asparagus in the salads.

Consume more rice diets. The long Indian rice known as Basmati rice is better for vata pacification.

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Ayurvedic Treatment of Elephantiasis (Shleepada Jwara)

There are several herbs that have been prescribed by Ayurveda for the treatment of elephantiasis. Some of these herbs have been in common use since centuries. The following is a list of some of the most beneficial herbs and their actions 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


Emblica officinalis

Indian Gooseberry

The uses of amlaki or amla in Ayurvedic medicine are endless. Amla is the richest source of vitamin C. It has anthelminthic properties, i.e. it can combat worms. Hence, regular usage of amlaki in the diet helps to keep the infection at bay.


Withania somniferum

Winter Cherry

Ashwagandha is an important constituent of Shilajit, an Ayurvedic preparation that has several uses. One of its uses is in the treatment of elephantiasis.


Sida cordifollia

Country Mallow

Due to the presence of ephedrine in it, bala is very beneficial in balancing the vata of the body. This is important for the control of elephantiasis.


Centella asiatica

Gotu Kola, Indian Pennywort

Brahmi is an age-old Indian medicine for several ailments. In the case of elephantiasis, the herb is converted into a fresh poultice, which is externally applied to the skin. This reduces the swelling with regular use.


Mucuria pruriens

Cowitch or Cowhage Plant

The root of the kavacha plant is especially beneficial in the treatment of elephantiasis. A decoction of the root is taken for relief from the infection.

The herbs mentioned above have been expertly mixed into preparations. These preparations contain just the right proportions of herbs so as not to produce major side effects. The following are some herbs that are effective in the treatment of elephantiasis:-

Type of Preparation

Name of Preparation


Dathya Arishta, Lodhrasava


Swarna Bhasma, Punarnavadi Kashaya, Dashamooladi Kashaya


Vriddhahardak Choorna, Haritaki Choorna


Sauvarchala Ghrita


Nithyananda Rasa


Vishama Jwarnataka, Nongandi Taila, Vriddhi Vardhikahara Vati

Application with the following oils externally also brings reduction of the swelling in elephantiasis:-

  • Vachadi Taila
  • Nagaradi Taila
  • Panchamala Taila
  • Manjistadi Lepa

It must be borne in mind that while taking any Ayurvedic preparation, the doctor must be consulted first. Most of the herbs do not have any side-effects (and are indeed a regular part of the diet), but some people may be allergic to certain herbs and may show adverse reactions.

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Post Your Comments

Comment Script


HAlOO evryone...niCe siTe..=)
#1 - chrissie - 03/02/2008 - 02:28
This is very useful to me because I have been diagnosed with elephentisis for more than twenty years now.Though it has slightly subsided through the years,But I am not comfortable with it becouse I lost my confidence over the years.If I can be cut by something there is a liquid like water that comes out and it could last for a week.Do you think if maybe it could be drained by docters will it be accumulated again? THANKS BH Modise
#2 - Baleseng - 04/09/2010 - 02:03
Most likely the fluids would just build up again. This is because the Parasites in your body would just block up the Lymphatic System again which is where the fluid is coming from. Maybe if you could extract the worms from your body and take something to get rid of the eggs of the worms in your body then it could be fixed. Hope this helps. Joe
#3 - Joe - 10/02/2010 - 22:07
I have suffrered from elephantiasis for over 36years and have gone to many hospital were it dignose as mycose cauntanee . i was placed on venoubias,retarpen 2.4 inj,esberiven cream to no avail.please help.i am still sufering from the illness now .
#4 - Ache Samuel - 10/04/2010 - 07:11
Very Informative site.
Thank You so much.Informations given here are to be read by one and all.
#5 - sam. - 11/30/2010 - 22:59
i am suffering from elephatiasis for the past 15 years. i do not get any fever at any time. presently i am aged 60 years with BP and am a diabetic patient. Now i find my leg sweeling to its utmost and when i raise my leg at night, the leg will become to normal with little swelling. Will u suggest me a good ayurvedic medicine
#6 - vani - 12/04/2010 - 05:36
i am suffering from elephatiasis for past 17 years,please advise me a treatment, how to i fit from elephatiasis thanks
#7 - muhammad khalid - 01/17/2011 - 11:16
I am suffering fron elephantisis 4m last 1 month. Its in initial stage. I took medicine dose but till now a part of leg ache. Swelling is very less. Please suggest complete cure
#8 - Shubh - 06/14/2011 - 22:08
As Comment #3 pointed out, you must kill the parasite; Adult, larva, eggs-all stages. To accomplish this, according to Dr. Hulda Clark the cures for all cancers, you need to follow her protocol of Black Walnut Hull, tincture (or capsules), Wormwood (tincture or caps), and Clove (not the store bought, but freshly ground or caps from the health food store). Dont waist precious time. This treatment is so cheap and very safe and it kills the root of this problem and many others.
#9 - Rosita - 09/23/2011 - 16:53
Sir, I herewith the following for your advise.I am suffering with genial filarisis in my scrutum and continuous discharge of fluid for past 10 years.Kindly give me an advise which treatment i have to go for to stop the fluid discharge from scrutum area.
#10 - G.KANNIYAPPAN - 10/01/2011 - 10:55
My mother is suffering with elephantiasis for the past 30 year. Could you please suggest me good hospitals in Hyderabad?
#11 - Eswar - 10/30/2011 - 08:50
#12 - E.SENTHAMIL SELVI - 12/12/2011 - 01:10
my father is suffering from filarial elephantiasis.
can anyone suggest where to go for the treatment.
#13 - mahesh - 03/06/2012 - 11:28
my father is injurd by elephantiasis last 25 years ...sir iam from rajasthan .sir pls tell me the address & conact no of doctors who related for elepentisis in rajasthan and nearest place,i want to consult on this topic ....sir pls tell me about mobil no is 09782739555...sunil from kuchaman city.dist.nagaur email address is dadhich.spln
#14 - sunil sharma - 03/09/2012 - 04:09
hi.... i am suffering from elephantiasis. my age is 26 yrs and last 24-25 yrs it is treatable at this stage? if yes what i have to do? please let me know your contact information. my email id is amruta.123cgmail .com. i will be very thankful to you... please help me....
#15 - Amruta - 05/20/2012 - 05:21
ma relative has elephantitis...plis help 2 cure him frm maun.
#16 - modkop - 07/16/2012 - 23:58
i am suffering from filarisis please suggesest doctor
#17 - sangeetha - 07/28/2012 - 09:35
I am 26 live in Canada and believe I have genital elephantiasis, my genitals hav swollen up only on the left side to the size of a bit bigger than a soft ball. Where in Canada can I get a specialist to give me more information. Much apprecated. Thanks
#18 - Brad - 09/01/2012 - 01:15
differential diagonosis and symptoms of swollen feet and lower legs in Elephantiasis and Rheumati Arthrites? Regards
#19 - [email protected] - 11/04/2012 - 15:55
dear doctor am suffering from elephantiasis for the past 10 yes and am now in germay if i when to the hospitals they said the cant cure it can you please give me you address so that we can talk more really need your help
#20 - katty - 12/31/2012 - 16:52
It can be CURED!!

In 2003 it was suggested that the common antibiotic doxycycline might be effective in treating lymphatic filariasis.[14] The parasites responsible for elephantiasis have a population of symbiotic bacteria, Wolbachia, that live inside the worm. When the symbiotic bacteria are killed by the antibiotic, the worms themselves also die.
Clinical trials by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in June 2005 reported that an 8 week course almost completely eliminated microfilariaemia.

#21 - anurag - 01/01/2013 - 10:54
doctor am very glad there is a cure cuz I also hav elephantiasis for 15yrs and always treating it but no improvement pls give u ur contact cuz am plaining to treat it outside my country pls [email protected] is my address pls send me urs cuz I rely need help thank
#22 - vanessa - 05/15/2013 - 18:08
Hello doctor,
My aunt is suffering with this disease, could you please suggest which doctor we can meet and please provide any address.

#23 - Ravi - 06/17/2013 - 12:23
Could you please let me know where and how this filiaria can be treated so as to get rid of this permanently?
#24 - JT - 07/17/2013 - 10:39
I am suffering from Scrotal Hydrocele for the past twenty years and got operated two years back. for the past one year i am getting pain in the right testicle. My urologist examined that every thing is kperfect and the operation is successful and could not diagnise any cause. please advise me in this regard.
#25 - v v ramanarao - 08/08/2013 - 07:44
hello sir i am eswar my mother is suffering from severe pain left part of full body from head to leg only
left side
MY id :[email protected]
#26 - Eswar Varma - 08/29/2013 - 03:20
I was just diagnosed with elephantiasis from a naturalist homeopathic doctor who is putting me through a detox which I hope helps. after 2 months of detox I got retested and have had a small % of the parasites die off which is good just hope it continues. but if someone has had faster results please past that info along. thanks.
#27 - cathy - 08/30/2013 - 18:38
Hello sir,
My mother suffering from elephantiasis please suggest better hospital in pune for successful treatement

my eid :- [email protected]
#28 - jay - 08/30/2014 - 14:26
My brother is suffering from elephantiasis and his whole body is filled with fluid is their any way to remove the fluid out of his system so he gets some relief. because of this he looks very huge. can you help us dr. we are based here in mumbai
#29 - beena - 09/03/2014 - 02:47
i am forwarding my email id
[email protected]

pls give me an answer for my question thanks
#30 - beena - 09/03/2014 - 02:55
My Mother is suffering from elephantiasis since 10 years. please suggest the best hospital in Pune for successful treatment.

my id: [email protected]
[email protected]
#31 - Ritu Chauhan - 10/16/2014 - 04:01
Does elephantises transmitted from the [@]ual contact with the person suffering from the elephantises diseases..plz answer me if any one have the idea.
#32 - shan - 11/03/2014 - 12:34
My wife is suffering with elephantiais for past 15y years
Could you please suggest me good hospital in Chennai
#33 - kumar - 01/04/2015 - 09:34
Sir mere pair kafi moda ho gya h aur bar bar ataik padata h.saal me km se km 4 bar.please sir upay batai.
#34 - vivek gupta - 01/06/2015 - 09:32
my father is suffering from filirial any precautions or cure is there??please any body let me gmail [email protected] in advance
#35 - kumar - 03/19/2015 - 12:01
my aunty got small injury in left leg, due to that injury leg become swollen ....and she had fever and looks like elephantis... give me some sugession .. what type of treatment can be given.
#36 - prem sunandh - 05/13/2015 - 10:28
My Mother is suffering from Filirial elephatiasis for past 8 years. So any precaution that medicines, Ayurvedhic any fundamental treatment for kind advice let me know. my mail address: [email protected]
#37 - Narayanan E - 06/19/2015 - 01:13
I am suffering elephentatis from last 2 year
Please give me advise .ayurvedic treatment
My mail adress:
[email protected]
#38 - mahendra - 08/10/2015 - 19:27
I am suffering from elephantiasis from last 10 years could u please suggest me best hospital in hyderabad for permanent cure from dis disease.
#39 - neeraj - 08/15/2015 - 03:43
My father is suffering from elephantiasis from last 18 years..please suggest me where I can find these ayurvedic medicines and the direction of use and also a good ayurvedic doctor to consult. Thanks in advance..
My [email protected]
#40 - Anu - 10/02/2015 - 10:09
Sir, I herewith the following for your advise.I am suffering with genial filarisis in my scrutum fileriya .Kindly give me an advise which treatment i have to go for to stop the fluid discharge from scrutum area. Plz sir
My mail. [email protected]
#41 - Rishi kumar - 10/08/2015 - 05:56
Dear Sir,

Please let me know if there is any treatment to reduce the large swelling of the legs. My father has been taking allopathy medicines which seems to reduce the frequency of the attack like fever and pain in a week. But it is not cured yet especially the swelling of the leg. Appreciate your response for any treatment for leg swelling.

[email protected]
#42 - muthu - 10/22/2015 - 01:05
Hi everybody!!
Treatment from Filariasis!
1. Ivermectin 12-24 mg 1 time a week - kill micro. But also macro after 3 years.

2. DEC 200mgX3 times a dag - 1 month. Pause. 5 Times - micro. But sometimes macro. Can orders from Australien - "Dimmitrol".

3. ANTIBIOTIKI!! 1 YEAR MINDST!! Puls treatment - 6 weeks Doxy 200 mg per dag. Pause 4 weeks. Than 6 weeks Rifambicin. Pause 4 Weekes = 1 YEAR!!

4. FLUBENDAZOLE + HBC (glykose) - I do it now at home. Its new reserch. If it helps me - it could help you!!

Contact me if you have quastions or need links to reserch in Filariasis.

My adress: [email protected]

Tell about this treatment to other!
Dont waist time and money on doctors!
Dont buy Clarks product and other product - it isnot work!
With love..
#43 - Helena - 10/23/2015 - 02:27
Dear sir,
My sister 47 year old shee is suffering with elephantatisis for past 8-9 years. Could you please suggest me good Dr. or hospital in delhi or dehradun.
[email protected]
mobile 08650073863
#44 - Ghanshyam Srivastava - 12/12/2015 - 01:48
My brother is suffering with elephantatisis sir please tell me the doctor`s address and his contact no who related elephantatisis in poona and nearest place i want to consult (discus and treatment) on this topic. sir please tell me about this.
my mob no. 09689412352 (poona)
mail id : [email protected]
#45 - Dineh - 12/28/2015 - 00:43
I specialize in this treatment for elephantatisis and any one want to be cured please contact me at [email protected]
#46 - Dr merril simon - 01/03/2016 - 06:49
The best hospital in India is IAD at kerala, kasergod. Go thru
#47 - Joy - 01/15/2016 - 09:54
my aunt is suffering from elephant leg disease since 20 years i need some more information how to get rid of these people believe its contagious
#48 - Shailesh - 03/27/2016 - 04:08
can any one tell me about the hospitals which cures these disease as im nt so much rich i need some hospital to cure this desease plz let me know early....8097347500
#49 - POOJA - 03/27/2016 - 04:11
Dear Sir,
My father is severely suffering from filarial elephantasis from last 55years and now it became worsen it attacks twice in a month. please let me know where is your clinic, i will come there.
9663067178. Its very very urgent
#50 - Satya - 08/27/2016 - 05:00
My bhabhi is suffering from fliarial elephentiasis since a year. She has both tle legs, arms and breast swelling. She is in great agony. Can u plz suggest some treatment or what thing she has to do for in routine days that swelling become less
#51 - Dr faree - 10/10/2016 - 14:44
Dr I am suffering from elephentiasis since 10 year. Shas both tle legs swelling.Can u plz suggest some treatment or what thing she has to do for in routine days that swelling become less
#52 - ganesh chaudhari - 10/15/2016 - 22:11
Dr need ur help. my brother @ Nigeria,my adrex [email protected]
#53 - sitted - 11/11/2016 - 22:26
My [@] is looking long and on chills and forming black colour
#54 - sudheer - 02/16/2017 - 11:30
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