According to Ayurveda; mutrakrcca (dysuria), ashmari (renal calculus or stone) and prameha roga (polyuria) are included under mutra vikara (diseases of the renal system). In Ayurveda; meha roga indicates disease of the urinary system. Anything being excreted out in urine abnormally indicates meha roga. Urinary tract infections can be addressed ad puyameha, which is described as pyuria in modern system of medicine.
Incidence of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs), is the second most common type of infection in the body. Urinary tract infections are one the most serious health problem striking millions of people each year. Women are especially prone to UTIs as compared to men, although they generally normal urinary tract from anatomical and physiological point of view.
It is the inflammation of the urinary bladder. E. coli (bacterium) is normally present in the intestine and is helpful for proper functioning of the intestine. During intercourse the bacteria enter the bladder via the urinary tract. The disease is more common in women, but rarely found in men also. Less intake of fluid is also responsible for the incidence of cystitis.
Signs and Symptoms
- A burning feeling while urinate,
- A frequent or intense urge to urinate, even though little comes out while urination,
- Urine could be dark and cloudy, or have traces of blood or smell funny.
- Feeling tired or malaise,
- Fever or chills (a sign the infection may have the kidneys),
- Pain or pressure in your back or lower abdomen.
- If not cured properly it can lead to haematuria and dysuria.
Understanding the Excretory System
The ureter, 2 kidneys and the urinary bladder form the excretory system, which is illusrated below:
Fig: Anatomy of the excretory system
Kidneys: The kidneys can be found at the back of the abdomen, and work at filtering out certain materials from the blood, dissolving them in water, and producing urine. You can find the left kidney at a slightly higher level than the right kidney.
A thick layer of fibrous tissue surround the kidney to form a firm and smooth covering over each kidney. The kidneys look like beans and are divided into medulla and cortex. A connective tissue holds together the interwoven blood capillaries and uriniferous tubules. If you look at the kidney through a microscope, you will see that it is made up of several nephrons, which are the kidney’s structural and functional. A rich supply of blood is provided to the kidneys.
Ureters: The ureters are two tubes that channel the urine into the urinary bladder from the kidneys.
Urinary bladder: Urine is stored in the urinary bladder, which acts like a reservoir.
The chemical composition of the body is dependent on the kidneys. Metabolis wastes, nitrogenous wastes, excessive water, salts, etc., are eliminated by the kidneys. The management of hypertension is predominantly dependent on the kidneys.
1.5 litres approx. of urine is passed by the human body in 24 hours. The colour of the urine is dependent on its constitution and is usually yellowish. Urine is composed of water, organic substances (viz. urates, uric acid and creatinine) and inorganic salts (viz. chlorides, sulphates, and phosphates of sodium and potassium).
Once the urine reaches urinary bladder, back flow is prevented by the sphincters and the bladder distends with accumulation of urine and creates the urge to urinate.
Antibiotics like norfloxacin are drug of choice. They are highly efficacious in treating urinary tract infections. Diarrhoea and disturbed gut flora are common side effects of antibiotic therapy.
Ayurvedic Treatment and Benefits
- Garlic or lashuna is particularly effective against micro-organisms causing cystitis. One capsule, thrice a day is recommended for internal use.
- Cinnamon or dalchini, one teaspoonful (5 g), thrice a day has antiseptic activity. It should be given for three weeks. It can be consumed by sprinkling on the salad also.
- Gokshuradi-guggul is the drug of choice in treating dysuria. One tablet is given with six teaspoonfuls (30 ml) of Gokshura-quatha, twice a day.
- Chandraprabha-vati, two tablets three times a day, is helpful in reducing burning sensation. Once relief is there, one tablet twice a day should be consumed for seven more days to prevent recurrence.
- Chandrakala rasa is the drug of choice for treating haematuria. One tablet, thrice a day is given for severe cases. In mild haematuria, one tablet twice a day is recommended. Prolonged use should be avoided.
- Chandanasva, six teaspoonfuls (30 ml), with equal quantity of water, is highly efficacious in preventing bleeding from the urinary tract.
- Compound tragacanth powder, one teaspoonful (5g), thrice a day is helpful in healing ulcers caused by scratching of the organ by stones. It contains goond katira (tragacanth) 150 g, babool goond (acacia) 200g, starch 200 g and sugar 450 g. All these ingredients should be finely powdered and mixed in a uniform pattern.
- Yava-kshara or potassium bicarbonate (it is prepared by burning of Apamarga) acts as a renal alkalinizer. The dose of Yava-ksahara should be prepared by an expert Ayurvedic Physician.
- Alternatively, decoction of poonarnava in a dose of three teaspoonfuls (15 ml) is good diuretic.
Precautions and diet
- Six to eight glasses of water a day are must.
- Alcohol and coffee should be forbidden.
- The urge for urination should not be suppressed.
- If a patient has recurrent attack of cystitis, he or she must consult doctor for proper treatment.
- Fluid intake should be more.
- Shali variety of rice, roasted green grams, cow milk, mango, cucumber, cardamom, and isabgol are beneficial.
- Pea, curd, white grams, hing or asafoetida, boiled vegetables, banana, and intercourse are contraindicated.
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Colgan R, Nicolle LE, McGlone A, Hooton TM. Asymptomatic bacteriuria in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2006;74(6):985-90.
Gupta, K.R.L. (1997). Madhava Nidana: Ayurvedic System of Pathology. Eastern Book Corporation.
Kapoor, L.D. (1990). CRC Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Pohl A. Modes of administration of antibiotics for symptomatic severe urinary tract infections. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 17;(4):CD003237.
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