By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Graha is a name given to the planets or unseen organisms. It was believed that some unknown and invisible entities would produce a few diseases and they were called Graha’s. When compared with the modern day diseases the Graha’s can be compared to the micro-organisms like viruses, bacteria etc. Graha’s were said to bother the children more than the adults
Table of Contents
Pitru Graha has been correlated with dehydration caused due to cholera in children since there is resemblance of symptoms of both these conditions.
Cholera is a bacterial disease, caused by cholera bacterium Vibrio cholera, usually spread through contaminated water. It causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. It can be fatal when not promptly treated.(Read more)
Electrolyte imbalance caused by dehydration can cause serious signs and symptoms like muscle cramps and shock.
Complications – Cholera can quickly become fatal. The rapid loss of fluids and electrolytes can lead to death. In less extreme cases, people who are not treated can die of dehydration and shock. Other complications include –
Never let your child to eat or drink foods or beverages from unknown sources.
If you are travelling with your child to an area where cholera is common, use boiled or chemically disinfected water for all purposes including drinking, brushing, washing face, hands, fruits and vegetables, washing utensils and preparing food. (Read more)
Treatment options –
Treatment depends on your child’s symptoms, age and general health. It also depends on the severity of the condition. The symptoms should not be managed at home. Your child may need to be rehydrated with fluids. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to enable faster recovery.
Read – Traditional Ayurvedic Diet Recipes For Dysentery And Diarrhea
1. Internal medication
Triphaladi Ghrita Sevana
Ghee processed with the below mentioned herbs shall be used for internal consumption –
2. External measures
The paste / powder of the below mentioned ingredients mixed together should be used for anointment –
Paste prepared from the below mentioned ingredients should be applied on the body of the afflicted child –
Vachadi Taila Abhyanga
Oil prepared with the ingredients mentioned above in ‘Vachadi Lepa’ should be used to provide massage to the afflicted child.
Read – Oil Massage To Baby: Precautions, Method, Ayurvedic Oil Combinations
c. Parishechana / Snana – Bath
Bilwadi Patra Kwatha Parishechana / Snana
Showering and bath should be given to the child with decoction prepared using the below mentioned ingredients –
Fumigation should be given to the child with the below mentioned ingredients –
Nasal instillation of drops should be done with oil processed with the below mentioned ingredients –
Symptoms as enumerated by Master Sushruta
There are three major clinical manifestations in the child afflicted by Shakuni Graha. They are – diarrhea, swelling in the joints and boils all over the body. Seeing most symptoms mentioned in Shakuni Graha, this condition can be closely correlated to – stomatitis, bacillary dysentery and pellagra. Even among these, the condition closely resembles Pellagra. This condition also appears like an explanation of inflammation of the buccal cavity and gastro-intestinal tract.
Low levels of Vitamin B-3 i.e. niacin cause a disease called Pellagra. It is marked by 3 D’s i.e. dementia, diarrhea and dermatitis. Pellagra may be fatal if left untreated. (Read more)
Dermatitis – Dermatitis presents with rash on face, lips, hands or feet. In some people Casal necklace i.e. dermatitis around the neck is seen.
Dementia – Neurological signs
These signs appear early on but are hard to identify. The possible symptoms of dementia seen with progression of the disease are –
Other possible symptoms
Primary pellagra is treated with dietary changes and a niacin or nicotinamide supplement. With early treatment, many people make a full recovery and start feeling better within few days. It takes several months to see improvement in skin.
Secondary pellagra is treated focusing on the underlying cause. They too respond to niacin or nicotinamide. It is important to keep any rashes moisturized and protected with sunscreen.
Bacillary dysentery in children
Dysentery is an infectious disorder of gastrointestinal tract. This is characterized by inflammation of intestines, mainly colon. It is defined as any episode of diarrhea in which there is loose and watery stool mixed with blood. Many bacteria like Shigella, Salmonella, and Campylobacter and E. coli cause dysentery. It is a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in developing countries. Antimicrobial treatment forms the mainstay of handling this disorder. WHO recommends that all the dysentery episodes should be treated with antibiotics, especially in younger children and aged people and also in anyone having immunodeficiency syndrome.(Read more)
Diarrhea is mentioned among the symptoms of Shakuni Graha.
Stomatitis in children
Stomatitis is a condition in which open sores or redness and swelling occurs inside the mouth and is painful. It occurs on the inside of the cheeks or on the tongue or gums. It is more common in children but may occur at any age.
The main causes of stomatitis in children are – injury or irritation of the inside of the mouth, infections, irritating foods, deficiency of vitamins B and C and lowered immunity.
Symptoms include redness and sores inside the mouth, pain or burning sensation, fever and swelling.
Read more – Mouth Ulcers Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines, Remedies, Tips
If there is a viral infection, only symptomatic treatment is done. Antibiotics are not recommended. A local numbing solution is applied on the sore. Older children may rinse their mouth with warm salt water. The child should be fed with soft diet along with plenty of fluids to combat dehydration. Cool drinks and frozen treats are soothing. Avoid citrus juices and salty or spicy foods. Acetaminophen is prescribed to reduce fever, fussiness or pain. In older children ibuprofen may be used.
Ayurveda explains sores and boils occurring in the mouth, on the tongue and palate which resembles to be the symptoms of stomatitis. Therefore some experts have correlated Shakuni Graha symptoms with stomatitis.(Read more)
1. Treatment principle and internal medication, diet
Master Sushruta tells that the child afflicted by Shakuni Graha shall be treated with the same herbal powders, dietetic regimen, fumigation etc mentioned in the context of treating vrana i.e. wounds and ulcers. These principles shall be applied after having considered the age and strength of the child.
2. Internal measures
Skandapasmarokta ghrita – the ghee mentioned in the context of Skandapasmara Graha should be given for oral consumption.
Ghee prepared with the decoction of latex yielding trees or paste of Jeevaniya group of herbs should be given for oral consumption.
Ghee prepared with decoction of Kakolyadi group of herbs and milk explained by master Sushruta should be given for oral consumption.
Read more – Ayurvedic Care Of The Neonate: Initial Four Weeks
3. External measures
The paste of the below mentioned ingredients should be applied on the afflicted parts of the body, especially wherever there are lesions associated with burning sensation and other uncomfortable symptoms / dermatitis –
This paste is especially used as application for painful ulcers / stomatitis in the oral cavity. The paste is prepared with the below mentioned ingredients and applied to the mouth ulcers mixing it with honey –
b. Parishechana – showering
Vetasadi Kwatha Parishechana
The decoction of the below mentioned herbs is used for showering the child –
Massage should be given to the afflicted child with the oils prepared with decoction of astringent tasting herbs like Patadi Kwatha or with paste of sweet tasting herbs like Kakolyadi gana group of herbs.
Read – Infant Care As Per Ayurveda: Initial 6 Months
The Sarshapadi Dhupa fumigation mentioned in treatment of Skanda Graha affliction shall be used in this context too –
Fumigation with the powder of the below mentioned ingredients should be given –
e. Vranaropana – wound healing
Shuktikadi Taila – The oil prepared with eh below mentioned ingredients should be applied on the wounds and ulcers / dermatitis lesions of the child to enable healing –
4. Ritualistic measures
a. Bheshaja Dharana – wearing / tying medicaments
One or more of the below mentioned herbs should be tied on the arm, around the neck or head of the child afflicted by Shakuni Graha –