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Causes and Symptoms: Goitre is a disorder of the thyroid gland which is situated in front of the neck and which produces an secretion which has a very important effect in regulating the general nutrition of the body. An excess of its secretion is associated with different types of conditions known as exophthalmic goitre.

Goitre is of two types: (i) simple; and (ii) exophthalmic. In the latter variety, the eyeballs have a tendency to protrude from their sockets. Both of them are caused by the same factors, but the latter is of a more serious variety and little more difficult to handle than the former. It is caused by the lack of iodine in the drinking water. The belief is based on the observation that it is endemic to areas where the water supply is free from iodine. Allopaths administer minute doses of iodine to sufferers from goitre and it is effective in most cases.

In simple goitre, there is a swelling which is well-marked. It is not only unsightly, but is also the cause of great discomfort. The swelling comes in the way of swallowing of food because it presses both on the windpipe and the alimentary canal.

Remedies: Kachnar has been used in India for many centuries to deal with goitre. One ounce of the decoction of the bark of Kachnar is given twice a day on a empty stomach. Local application of the vegetable Jalakumbhi ground to a fine paste over the affected part helps in reducing the swelling. One to two tolas of the juice o f the vegetable should be given. The leaves of Kukronda smeared with Ghee or Sesame Oil should be warmed and bandaged over the swollen parts for two to three weeks to get relief. Or, paste of Flex Seed ground in water should be applied by heating it up and Castor tree leaves should be bandaged over it.

Other local applications which help reduce the swelling are: (i) equal weights of Turmeric, Borax and Ajwain should be finely ground together and six mashas of the powder mixed with two tolas of pulp of common Indian Aloe (Gheekwar), warmed and applied; a leaf of a Castor Tree should be wrapped over the throat. (ii) Six mashas each of the seeds of Flax, Linseed and Mustard should be ground together in the juice of Green Black Nightshade and applied lukewarm. (iii) Velvet-leaf (Nirbisi), Black Cumin should be taken in six masha quantities each and ground together with three tolas of Purging Cassia in the juice of Black Nightshade. The paste should be spread lukewarm over the swelling and the leaf to a Castro tree bandaged over it for some days.

Regimen: A patient suffering from goitre should desist from sour and heavy food; he should eat Moong Dal, Wild Snake Gourd and Bengal Gram.


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