Child Afflicted With Revati Graha And Shushkarevati Graha

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Grahas are psychosomatic diseases afflicting children due to evil forces. 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.

Signs and symptoms of Revati Graha

  • Redness of the face
  • Green colored feces
  • Excessive pallor of the body or brownish black discoloration (Nilatvam – bluish discoloration – Vagbhata)
  • Fever
  • Stomatitis
  • Suffering from pain
  • Child rubs against ears, eyes and nose
  • Cough
  • Hiccough
  • Throwing away or tossing of body parts
  • Smell of urine of goat emanated from the body / smell of clove basil
  • Emaciation
  • Diarrhea
  • Body covered with many ulcers and blisters (Yo.Ra)
  • Discharge of blood having muddy / slush smell (Yo.Ra)
  • Burning sensation (Yo.Ra)
    Read – Symptoms That Hint Towards Different Diseases In Babies

Revati Graha – Kashyapa Samhita

Master Kashyapa’s explanation of Revati Graha in Kashyapa Samhita stands out special. This is because he has considered Revati Graha as one and the only Graha. He has also enlisted 20 synonyms for the same.

Names of Revati Graha as enumerated by Master Kashyapa

Symptoms of Revati Graha

It looks like Master Kashyapa has enlisted the symptoms of all the grahas in the symptoms of Revati itself. The symptoms are as mentioned below –

  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Herpes
  • Pain
  • Contamination of sense organs
  • Flatulence
  • Colic
  • Anorexia
  • Breathlessness
  • Cough
  • Thirst
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sleep
  • Stomatitis
  • Formation of ulcers and wounds
  • Vata afflicting one side of the body and rendering it functionless
  • Hemiplegia
  • Pediatric disease
  • Cholera
  • Hiccough
  • Fainting
  • Intoxication
  • Confusion
  • Crying relentlessly
  • Stiffness / immobility of eyes
  • Hoarseness of voice
  • Destruction of color of the body
  • Destruction of digestive fire
  • Anemia
  • Jaundice
  • Distress
  • Headache
  • Palpitation of heart
  • Nasal disorders
  • Eye diseases
  • Ear disorders
  • Fear
  • Convulsions
  • Many diseases which are not explained here

Master Kashyapa is of the opinion that when the above said symptoms manifest in different permutations and combinations, they will be called by different names. Therefore he has mentioned 20 names of Revati Graha. Thus, according to Kashyapa, Revati Graha is a representative of all grahas afflicting the children and infants.
Read – Your Child Does Not Eat Well? Causes, Ayurveda Solutions

Sanskrit Verses

Modern Correlation

Here, probable modern comparison to Revati Graha shall be made considering the explanation of Sushruta and Vagbhata.

Experts have closely compared Revati Graha to pernicious anemia. It is called juvenile pernicious anemia.

Pernicious anemia is a type of megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia is a condition in which the bone marrow makes fewer red blood cells. These cells do not live as long as normal. These cells are too large, not completely developed and are abnormal in shape. (read more)

Causes of megaloblastic anemia in children

The most common cause in children is lack of folic acid or vitamin B12. The other causes are enumerated below.

  • Digestive diseases – examples: celiac disease, chronic infectious enteritis and entero-enteric fistulas. Pernicious anemia is caused when the body cannot absorb vitamin B-12 due to lack of intrinsic factor (substance made in the stomach which helps the body to absorb vitamin B12).
  • Inherited congenital folate malabsorption
  • Certain medicines
  • Certain diets

Symptoms

  • Pale / yellow skin
  • Increased heart beat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increased fussiness
  • Change of hair color
  • Stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, gas, constipation
  • Trouble in walking
  • Numbness in hands and feet
  • Smooth and sore tongue
  • Weak muscles
    Read – Constipation Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is done on the base of history and symptoms. Below mentioned tests may help in confirming the diagnosis –

  • Hemoglobin and hematocrit
  • CBC (Complete Blood Count)
  • Peripheral smear
  • Other blood tests – bilirubin or other liver tests, folate and B-12 blood tests and iron tests
  • Bone marrow aspiration, biopsy or both
  • Barium study or other imaging tests of digestive system

Treatment

Treatment depends on symptoms, age and general health of the child and also on the severity of the condition. Most children are given B12 or folic acid supplements.

Foods containing natural folate include oranges, dark green and leafy vegetables, barley, sprouts, beans, peas, lentils, wheat germ, peanuts, liver etc. Meat and dairy products have the most vitamin B12. Cereals, breads, pasta and rice are fortified with man-made folic acid.
Read – Which Ayurvedic Medicines Are Not Safe For Children? How To Know?

Treatment for Revati Graha

1. Internal medication

Dhavadi Ghrita – Ghee prepared with the below mentioned ingredients should be given for oral consumption –

  • Dhava – Anogeissus latifolia
  • Ashwakarna – Dipterocarpus turbinatus
  • Dhataki – Woodfordia fruticosa
  • Tinduka – Diospyros malabarica
  • Kakolyadi Gaga group of herbs

Prashana – for licking / drinking

Drink prepared in milk using fried barley or parched rice along with ghee is useful.
Read – Barley (Hordeum vulgare) – Qualities, Uses, Remedies, Research

Ashwakarnadi Ksheerapaka

Milk processed with the below mentioned ingredients should be given for drinking –

  • Ashwakarna – Dipterocarpus turbinatus
  • Dhataki – Woodfordia fruticosa
  • Tinduka – Diospyros malabarica
  • Dhava – Anogeissus latifolia
  • Pomegranate
  • Arjuna Pushpa – flowers of Terminalia arjuna
  • Vamshalochana – Bambusa bambos
  • Madhuyashti – licorice

Ashwakarnadi Ghrita

Ghee prepared with the same ingredients mentioned in Ashwakarnadi ksheera should be given for oral consumptions. This cures associated diarrhea, tastelessness and anorexia, vomiting and thirst.

2. External measures

a. Anointment

Sugandhi dravyadi lepa – Powder of all fragrant herbs, horse gram and black gram should be used for preparing paste for anointment.
Read – Horse Gram Uses, Recipes, Dose, Side Effects

b. Parisheka – shower and bath

Ashwagandhadi Kwatha Parisheka

Decoction prepared with the below mentioned ingredients should be used for showering / bathing the child –

  • Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera
  • Ajashringi – Gymnema sylvestre
  • Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus
  • Dwi Punarnava – white and red varieties of Boerhavia diffusa
  • Mudgaparni – Vigna trilobata
  • Mashaparni – Teramnus labialis
  • Vidari – Pueraria tuberosa

Decoction prepared from individual above mentioned herbs too shall be used for the same purpose.

Kashyapa has included Kantakari and Saha in the above said decoction.

c. Massage

Kushtadi Taila

Massage should be given with oil prepared from Kushta and Sarjarasa.

Sarjarasadi Taila Abhyanga (Kashyapa)

Oil prepared with the below mentioned ingredients should be used for massage.

  • Sarjarasa – gum of Vateria indica
  • Guggulu – Commiphora mukul
  • Kushta – Saussurea lappa
  • Girikadambaka – Anthocephalus cadamba
  • Devadaru – Cedrus deodara
  • Manjishta – Rubia cordifolia
  • Sura – Ochrocarpus longifolius
  • Suvarchika – Tribulus terrestris
  • Jatamansi – Nardostachys jatamansi
  • Tumburu – Zanthoxylum alatum
  • Cinnamom

d. Fumigation

Fumigation should be given with the below mentioned ingredients –

Yavadi dhupa

Fumigation can also be given using powders of barley, bamboo and ghee.

3. Ritualistic measures

a. Bheshaja Dharana – wearing / tying medicaments

Necklace prepared with wood of the below mentioned should be tied around the neck of the child –

  • Crataeva nurvula and Neem
  • Tinduka and Purtajiva – Diospyros malabarica and Putranjiva roxburghii

The bark of one of the below mentioned trees should be worn around wrist, arm or neck of both mother and the child –

  • Varuna – Crateva nurvula
  • Neem
  • Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
  • Putrajiva – Putranjiva roxburghii

b. Pushtikrama

The child should be nourished with food and medicines on the Revati star constellation day.

c. Bali and snana – sacrifice and bath

White garland, white anointment, parched rice, rice and sweetened preparation prepared with milk and rice should be sacrificed on the river banks where the cows drink the water.

The child should be given bath at the junction of the rivers or near the latex yielding trees after chanting the above mentioned hymn.

Shushkarevati Graha

Signs and symptoms

  • Gradual emaciation of all the body parts
  • Hair fall
  • Aversion of food / hatred towards food
  • Weakness of voice
  • Discoloration
  • Manifestation of different colors in the feces
  • Cysts / lumps in the abdomen
  • Predominant veins on the abdomen
  • The child constantly weeps
  • Smell of vulture from the body of the child
    All these symptoms are long lived.

Signs of bad prognosis of Shushkarevati Graha

  • Tongue retracted backwards into the mouth
  • Blackish brown color in the middle of the tongue and palate
  • In spite of taking good quantity of and many kinds of nutritious foods, the child keeps getting emaciated
  • Severe thirst
  • Tired eyes
  • When the Shushkarevati afflicts the child with intention of causing harm, having sex or for being worshiped
    Read – Infant Care As Per Ayurveda: Initial 6 Months

Sanskrit Verses

Modern correlation

Shushkarevati is closely correlated to a condition called Marasmus explained in the modern texts.

Marasmus is a form of severe malnutrition. It usually occurs in children but also can afflict anyone who has malnutrition. It can often be life threatening.

Symptoms

  • Underweight – Lot of muscle and subcutaneous fat is lost.
  • Dry skin and brittle hair
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Respiratory infections
  • Intellectual disability
  • Stunted growth
  • Child looks older and have little or no energy or enthusiasm (in serious malnourishment)
  • Short temperament and irritability

Kwashiorkar is another type of serious malnutrition. It causes a buildup of body fluids that can cause the face to become round and belly to become distended.

Causes

The main cause of marasmus is nutrient deficiency. Poverty and scarcity of food are the main causes for deficiency of nutrients in the food. Serious deficiencies are also those of iron, iodine, zinc or vitamin A.

Diagnosis

Physical examination helps the physician to make a diagnosis of marasmus. Body measurements like height, weight etc of the child is detrimental. When these measurements are below the normal measurements of a healthy child of a particular age, the diagnosis of marasmus shall be considered.

A lack of motion in a malnourished child may also help in confirming the diagnosis of marasmus. These children will have less energy. They will not have the will to do anything.
Read – My Child’s Intelligence Is Decreasing. 9 Tips To Improve

Treatment

Initial treatment includes dried skim milk powder mixed with boiled water. Later this mixture can also include a vegetable oil such as sesame, casein and sugar.

After the recovery, the child should get more balanced diets that meet their nutritional needs. Rehydration should be considered if dehydration is due to diarrhea.

Infections are common among children with marasmus, so treatment with antibiotics or other medications shall be done.

With proper nutrition and medical care, the outlook of the condition will be positive. Once the child starts consuming more calories, proteins, carbohydrates and other nutrients, healthy weight gain and growth can resume fairly, in quick time.
Read – Laziness, Lack Of Concentration In Generation Y – Can Ayurveda Help?

Treatment for Shushkarevati Graha

All the treatments i.e. external and internal medication, except fumigation, explained in the treatment of skanda graham treatment should also be implemented for the treatment of the child afflicted by shushkarevati graha.

In addition the below mentioned shall be included.

Vachadi Churna Udvarthana –

Powder massage / scrub should be done using powder of the below mentioned ingredients –

Netrapurana –

Oil pooling should be done around the eyes of the child using the mustard oil processed with Acorus calamus.

Bali and snana – sacrifice and bathing –

Dry meat along with fermented liquid or wine should be sacrificed to a dry tree. The child should be bathed near a dry tree after reciting the above said hymn.
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