What is Ascites?
Ascites refers to the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity, which causes the abdomen to swell. The fluid retention can be caused by heart failure, liver cirrhosis, liver disease, kidney failure, or congestive heart failure. The disease does not have any symptom if it is in early stages but if it is moderate or advanced then the patient may experience specific symptoms such as abdominal heaviness and stiffness, bloating, shortness of breath, wheezing, edema of feet, and dilated veins.
Ascites can only be diagnosed through an ultrasound examination or blood or urine test and then the doctor prescribes medicines to cure the disease. There is a host of allopathic medicines to cure this liver disease but they are harsh and can also have side effects. In such a scenario, Ayurvedic medicines offer to be a better solution as they do not have side effects and also cure the disease completely, ensuring a permanent relief.
- Virechana: A part of Panchakarma, virechana is a detoxification therapy that brings out the toxins accumulated in the body. It is highly effective in ascites (Jalodara) as it acts as a purgative therapy. In this therapy, the patient is made to consume purgative herbs after cleansing their system through vomiting. This induces excretion of toxins including the fluid retained in the abdominal cavity.
- Gokhru: Puncture spine or Gokhru can be very effective in ascites as it has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce swelling of the abdomen. It also acts as a diuretic, increasing urine secretion from the body that helps flush out the toxic fluid accumulated in the abdominal cavity.
- Triphala: A mixture of bibhataki, haritaki, and amlaki, triphala is a very effective detox herb. It carries laxative properties and thus, helps to remove the fluid from the body. Gentle in nature, it also regulates the bowel movement and relaxes the liver muscles.
- Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa): This herb is very effective in controlling the swelling and fluid retention in the abdomen. It possesses anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties which relax the liver walls and also flush out toxins from the abdominal cavity by increasing the flow of urine in the body.
- Shilajit: An energetic and nutritive Ayurvedic medicine, it is very helpful in restoring the immunity of the body. It checks for fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity. It is very effective in those patients who feel fatique or weakness due to ascites. It gives relief in bloating too.