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Causes and Symptoms: Spruce or Psilosis called Sangrahini is characterised by diarrhoea with passage of large fatty stools, anaemia, a sore tongue and loss of weight. An inborn error of metabolism is the main cause of the disease which leads to an inability of the intestines to absorb fats. In the latter stages of the malady, the system refuses to assimilate carbohydrates, vitamins and even mineral salts with the result that the body is denied nutrition, leading to weakness, anaemia and prostration leading to death. The condition tends to become chronic if not dealt with in the earlier stages. The patient passes large amount of frothy stools in the morning. Emotional stresses and irregularity in meals is a contributing cause.

The symptoms of the malady so much resemble diarrhoea that even medical practitioners are misled into treating it as of no consequence. The leading symptom which distinguishes it from an ordinary case of diarrhoea is the presence of griping pain before the passage of massive quantity of stools in which there is undigested matter and mucus. There is also an unusual weakness which is not amenable to ordinary remedies.

Remedies: The very first step in the treatment of the disorder is to ban all fried, spicy foods; the patient should live on butter milk and milk only. Alternatively, he may be given thin gruel made with split green gram and rice.

Equal weights of kernel of old Mango Stone and kernel of Jamun fruits should be ground together into a fine powder and three mashas of the powder should be taken thrice daily with butter milk or whey. Pulp of Bael fruit taken in about 50 gms. Doses a few times in the day for a week would also help deal with sprue. Green chebulic myrobalans with half their weight in poppy capsules should be fried in ghee separately and the whole mixed with gur (equal to the weight of the two other substances). Nine mashas of the mixture should be taken thrice daily.

Another remedy for sprue is Rasaut (extract of Barberis Aristata); five tolas of the substance should be dissolved in water and the sediment thrown away. The mixture should be boiled till the water evaporates. The residue should be made into one ratti pills. Five pills should be taken four times in the day with whey.


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