Typhoid is an acute illness associated with fever caused by Salmonella enteric serotype Typhi bacteria and also by Salmonella paratyphi. Typhoid can be classified broadly under ‘jwara’. Though jwara is a broader concept it is commonly compared with fever. In fact jwara is a common term used to describe fevers of different kinds and is even used by common man in some parts of India.
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 is a type of fever which is caused by aggravation of all three doshas. If they are vitiated in equal proportions it is called as sama sannipata. If the doshas are vitiated in unequal proportions or have undergone relative imbalance it will be called as vishama sannipata. Typhoid fever is compared to this condition. Therefore typhoid is a type of fever caused by unequal imbalance of the three doshas. This type of fever is also called as ashukari sannipata. Ashukari means that which quickly causes complications or is life threatening. Typhoid in its full form, with all complications manifested is life threatening.
This type of fever manifests in 2 forms –
Antardaha – – increased heat / burning sensation present inside the body but is not experienced outside, on the surface of the body
Bahirdaha – – increased heat / burning sensation present outside the body but is not experienced inside the body.
In this condition the patient is forced to consume cold foods and comforts to pacify the excessive heat and burning sensation caused due to immensely vitiated pitta. When cold things are consumed the below mentioned symptoms are manifested.
Symptoms of Pittolbana Vishama Sannipata (Ref – Bhaluki Tantra – Shighrakari Sannipata)
- Excessive sleepiness
- Dysentery / diarrhea
- Pain in the joints
- Pain in the navel and flanks
- Bleeding from the channels of the body
- Excessive thirst
- Excessive burning sensation
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 (Vishawa 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).
One dosha should be increased and the increased dosha should be decreased (so as to bring them to balance) or it shall be treated on the lines of treating ‘seat of kapha’ – stomach in this instance (this is because the origin of fever is from stomach and as per principle the place of origin of the disease and the related doshas should be treated)
Typhoid is a tridosha fever caused by predominance of pitta. In this instance, following the treatment principle as said above, pitta reducing treatments should be done and pitta brought to balance. At the same time interventions to increase the other doshas i.e. vata and pitta and bring them to balance should be adopted.
Only treatment principles of tritiyaka and chaturthaka types of irregular fevers have been described in the texts. Typhoid is a santata type of irregular fever as already explained above. The principles mentioned for tritiyaka and chaturthaka types of irregular fevers having predominance of pitta shall be adopted in typhoid too.
They are – VIRECHANA – Purgation – Milk and ghee treated with pitta destroying herbs. Use of bitter tasting and cold potency herbs. The medicines and diet generally used to treat irregular fevers shall also be adopted in the treatment of typhoid.
Ayurvedic Formulations used in typhoid
- Sudarshana Ghana Vati
- Sudarshana Churna
- Avipattikar Churna
- Amritottaram Kashayam
- Vettumaran Gulika
- Sarva Jwarahara Lauha
- Vishama Jwarantaka Vati