Bahya Chikitsa – External Treatments in Raktapitta

Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Raktapitta is a bleeding disorder and an emergency condition also. It should be promptly dealt without delay with effective medicines. Preventing blood loss and replenishing the tissues, providing good nutrition and disease modifying medicines, mitigation of morbid pitta and reestablishing strength in the patient are key strategies of treatment. While internal medicines and diet form the important approaches, Bahya chikitsa or external treatments have also been mentioned in the treatment of Raktapitta. In this article I will touch upon the bahya chikitsa or external treatment approaches in Raktapitta management. 

Bahya Chikitsa in Raktapitta

Bahya Chikitsa or External Treatments in Raktapitta


Abhyanga and other maneuvers in Raktapitta
After having analyzed the Kala (time period, the duration of manifestation and existence of the disease Raktapitta) and Matra (dose, quality and quantity of medicines to be used) to precision, the below mentioned maneuvers (mentioned in the context of Pittaja Jwara or fever caused by vitiation of pitta) should be done to pacify Raktapitta –

Abhyanga – massage with medicated oils or ghee or both
Parishechana – sprinkling or spraying of medicated fluids over the body
Seka – stream pouring of medicated fluids over the body
Avagaha – tub bath or immersion in a tub filled with medicated fluids
Sheeta Vidhi – Cold comforts of the like of sheeta shaayana (cold bedding), sheeta griha (cold home or rooms, air conditioned), dhara griha (rooms which are comforted by presence of fountains and waterfalls) etc

All the above said treatments or maneuvers help in pacifying daha (burning sensation) and vitiated pitta associated with (or causative of) Raktapitta.

Pradeha, parisechana, avagaha

Herbs used for Pradeha (anointments), Parishechana and Avagaha in Raktapitta

One or more of the below mentioned herbs are used for preparing Pradeha, Parishechana and Avagaha medicines. Most of them are coolants and anti-pitta. They are as enlisted below –

  • Chandana – Sandalwood
  • Prapaundarika – Nymphaea lotus
  • Kamala – lotus
  • Utpala – Water lily
  • Usheera – Vetiveria zizanoides
  • Vaaneera – Variety of Usheera
  • Jala – Pavonia odorata
  • Mrunala – stem of lotus
  • Sahasraveerya (Neela durva) – Cynodon dactylon
  • Madhuka – Licorice
  • Payasya (Vidarikanda) –
  • Shali mula – root of paddy
  • Ikshu mula – root of sugarcane
  • Yavasa – Ipomoea paniculata
  • Gundra mula – Cyperus rodundus
  • Kusha mula – Desmostachya bipinnata
  • Kasha mula – Saccharum spontaneum
  • Kuchandana – Caesalpinia sappan, black variety of sandalwood
  • Shaivala – Ceratophyllum demersum
  • Anantamula – Hemidesmus indicus
  • Kalanusarya – Valeriana Wallichi
  • Trinamula – roots of grass
  • Riddhi – Habenaria intermedia
  • Kamala mula – Roots of lotus
  • Kamala pushpa – Lotus flowers
  • Pushkaranee Mrud – mud at the base of the pond, at the roots of lotus flowers
  • Udumbara – Ficus racemosa
  • Ashwattha – Ficus religiosa
  • Madhooka – Madhuca longifolia
  • Lodhra – Symplocos racemosa
  • Kashaaya Vriksha – Trees which possess astringent taste
  • Sheetala Vriksha – Trees or parts of trees and plants which have cold potency

The paste of one or more of the above mentioned herbs shall be used for Pradeha or anointing over the body. Similarly the decoctions or infusions prepared from one or more of the above mentioned herbs are used for Parishechana (sprinkling or spraying) or Avagaha (tub immersion). Similarly the oils and ghee prepared with paste and decoctions of the above said herbs shall be used for internal consumption and external application.

Sheeta Upachara

Sheeta Upachara or Cold Comforts in Raktapitta
The patient of Raktapitta should come into contact with one or more of the below mentioned or live in the surroundings of the same (having them around).

Dhara Griha – The patient should live in a home or room facilitated with water sprinklers or fountains or waterfalls

Susheetam Bhumi Griham – The patient should live in cooled undergrounds

Ramyam Vanam Jala Vata Sheetalam – The patient should stroll or walk in cooled gardens which are facilitated with cold water and provides cool and fresh breeze, has fountains, ponds and sprinklers

Vaidoorya, Mukta, Mani SparshaH– The patient should touch vaidurya (Cat’s Eye, gemstone), Mukta, Mukta (pearls) which are natural coolants. If they are sprinkled with cold water before touching, they would provide better coolant effect.

Bhaajanaanam SparshaH cha Shishira Ambu Sheetaha – The patient can alternatively touch vessels or any materials sprinkled with cold water and made cold

All the above mentioned pacify pitta and reduce symptoms of Raktapitta including burning sensation

Sheeta shayana

Sheeta Shayana or Cold seating and bedding in Raktapitta
The below mentioned shall be used for bedding i.e. as bedcovers, seat covers and blankets by patients of Raktapitta.
Varija Pushpa – Flowers of aquatic plants
Varija Patra – Leaves of aquatic plants
Sheeta kshaumam – Cooled or wet or water sprinkled silk clothes or other smooth clothes which are comfortable
Sheeta Kadalee Dalaani – Cold or water sprinkled Plantain leaves
Padma Dala – Leaves or petals of Lotus
Utpala Dala – Leaves or petals of Water Lily

All the above mentioned pacify pitta and reduce symptoms of Raktapitta including burning sensation

Stree Alingana

Stree Alingana or embracing bellowed woman in Raktapitta
The patient should embrace or touch his woman of love who has been anointed with paste of Priyangu (Callicarpa macrophylla) and Chandana (sandalwood) or sprinkled with the powder of the same. Alternatively he should touch the flowers or petals of lotus and water lily which are located in water. Also he should expose himself to the cool breeze coming from the cold lotus leaves or petals. All these measures will help in getting relieved from burning sensation and to pacify vitiated pitta.

Seeing and touching of rivers, ponds etc
The patient of Raktapitta should see and or touch one or more of the below mentioned –
Sarid – River
Hrad – Pond / Big lakes
Himavad dhareenaam – Valleys of Himalaya Mountains or snow peaks
Chanrodaya – Moon rise
Kamalaakara – Plenty of lotus flowers
Mano anukoola shishiraaha sarvaaha – All and anything which is cold and pleasant to the mind
Mano anukula katha – hearing to the stories which are relaxing and pleasing to the mind
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