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Typhoid – According to Ayurveda

Salmonella enteric serotype Typhi bacteria and Salmonella paratyphi cause typhoid, an acute illness marked by fever. It falls under the broader concept of ‘jwara’. Despite jwara encompassing various fevers, it is often likened to fever. This term is commonly employed by the general public in certain regions of India to describe different types of fevers.

Defining Typhoid according to Ayurveda

Ayurveda has given an elaborate explanation of jwara in the treatises. The classification of fever is also elaborate. As such any particular type of fever cannot be strictly compared with typhoid in complete terms. We need to go through the elaborate classification of fevers explained in Ayurveda and shortlist a couple of conditions which stand as closest comparison to the modern day typhoid.

Conditions which can be closely correlated with typhoid –

Pittolbana Vishama Sannipata /Ashukari Sannipata

Sannipata Jwara occurs due to the aggravation of all three doshas. When these doshas are vitiated in equal proportions, it is termed as sama sannipata. Conversely, when the doshas experience unequal proportions or relative imbalance, it is termed as vishama sannipata. This condition is likened to typhoid fever. Typhoid fever, therefore, results from the unequal imbalance of the three doshas. It is also referred to as ashukari sannipata, signifying its tendency to rapidly cause complications or pose a life-threatening situation. In its complete manifestation with all complications, typhoid becomes life-threatening.

This type of fever manifests in 2 forms –
Inside the body, there exists increased heat or burning sensation, yet it is not felt on the body’s surface. Conversely, outside the body, there is increased heat or burning sensation, but it is not sensed within.

The patient in this condition must consume cold foods and comforts to alleviate the excessive heat and burning sensation caused by highly vitiated pitta. Consuming cold things leads to the manifestation of the symptoms mentioned below.


Symptoms of Pittolbana Vishama Sannipata (Ref – Bhaluki Tantra – Shighrakari Sannipata)

  • Hiccough
  • Breathlessness
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Dysentery / diarrhea
  • Pain in the joints
  • Delirium
  • Heaviness
  • Pain in the navel and flanks
  • Bleeding from the channels of the body
  • Colic
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive burning sensation

Antrika Jwara

This fever is also called as antrika jwara. Antrika means intestinal. Jwara means fever. Typhoid too afflicts the intestines. Bleeding inside the intestines and intestinal perforation are the common life-threatening complications of typhoid. When these occur, typhoid becomes incurable. The fever is intense before bleeding or perforation takes place. But once bleeding or perforation occurs, the temperature of the body falls down, the pulse becomes rapid, severe colic occurs, the patient feels severe thirst and cold sweating occurs. This indicates a bad prognosis of typhoid.
The symptoms found in this fever are also found in typhoid fever. On the other hand, the modern texts have explained plenty of complications, system-wise.

Santata (Visham Jwara)

Typhoid fever is also compared to Santata Jwara. Vishama Jwara means irregular fevers. This is of 5 types. Among them Santata Jwara is one. Santata means continuous fever. The fever in which the fever is present continuously is called as santata jwara. We can see a similar pattern in typhoid fever too. In Santata fever the fever is continuously present for many days. The fever doesn’t reduce at any time. The temperature too is constantly higher. This type of fever is also found in pneumonia and cerebro-spinal fever apart from typhoid. The number of days the fever persists differs depending on the predominant involvement of doshas.

The fever comes down in 7 days in vata predominant santata fever, 10 days in case of pitta predominant santata fever, 12 days in kapha predominant santata fever.
In some exclusive conditions this fever may persist for many days.

Ayurvedic Treatment of Typhoid

Principles of treatment of fever in general (jwara), fevers caused due to all three vitiated doshas (sannipata jwara), fever with diarrhea (jwaratisara) and irregular fevers (vishama jwara).

To achieve balance, increase one dosha and then decrease it. Alternatively, treat the increased dosha in a manner similar to treating the ‘seat of kapha’—in this case, the stomach. This approach is based on the principle that fever originates from the stomach, and according to this principle, the location of the disease’s origin and the associated doshas should be the focus of treatment.

Pitta predominance leads to typhoid fever, causing an imbalance in tridosha. To restore balance, treatments must focus on reducing pitta. Simultaneously, interventions should target elevating vata and kapha, the other doshas, to attain equilibrium. Treatment principles for tritiyaka and chaturthaka types of irregular fevers are outlined in the texts. Since typhoid represents a santata type of irregular fever, the applicable principles for fevers with pitta predominance, like tritiyaka and chaturthaka types, should also be applied to typhoid, as previously explained.

They are – VIRECHANA – Purgation – Milk and ghee treated with pitta destroying herbs. Use of bitter tasting and cold potency herbs. Moreover, adopting the medicines and diet typically employed for treating irregular fevers is essential for treating typhoid.

Ayurvedic Formulations used in typhoid

  • Sudarshana Ghana Vati
  • Sudarshana Churna
  • Avipattikar Churna
  • Amritottaram Kashayam
  • Sudarshanarishtam
  • Vettumaran Gulika
  • Sarva Jwarahara Lauha
  • Vishama Jwarantaka Vati
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