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DYSENTERY

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Causes and Symptoms: Dysentery is a condition in which there is inflammation of the lower intestines, a colic pain in the region of the abdomen and liquid or semi-formed stools with mucus and blood. It may be caused by certain organisms but in many cases it is the result of dietary indiscretions like eating too-spiced foods, fried substances and hard to digest fatty substances. The patient has to strain at the stools and in some cases there is prolapse of the anus. There may even be a burning sensation at the time of passing the stools. If there is blood in the stools, it is of the bacillary type; the other variety is the amoebic dysentery which is extremely difficult to deal with since it is endemic to the tropics and persists throughout life.

Regimen: The first thing to do in case of dysentery is to ban all hard-to-digest, spicy, fatty foods. The patient should be kept on a thin gruel made of split Green Gram (Moong) and rice. Or, he may be given soups and bread without and ghee.

Remedies: Of all the home remedies, the Bael fruit is, perhaps, the most efficacious in the treatment of dysentery of both varieties. Pulp of the fruit may be taken a few times in the day; mixed with gur it may be taken thrice daily. If unripe, the fruit may be roasted and pulp mixed with water and sweetened with gur.



In case there is heaviness in the stomach and the intestines, four tolas of castor oil should be administered with milk to help them to eject hard lumps of stools. After a few motions have cleared the intestine, one tola of Isphagula (Fleaseed) mixed with about 100 grammes of curd should be taken three to four times in the day. Alternatively, one tola of seeds of Tulsi should be boiled in half a litre of water and when only half of the water is left, the infusion cooled and drunk thrice daily. The inner bark of the Mango tree is another good remedy. Two tolas of the bark should be steeped in water overnight; it should be expressed in the morning and the water drunk during the day in small doses (two mouthfuls each time). The bark of Kurchi (one tola) may be similarly steeped in a quarter liter of water and taken in three tola doses thrice in the day.

In case of an epidemic of dysentery (not a rare occurrence in the tropical climate that India has), care should be taken to maintain environmental hygiene. Since the germs spread through water and food, care should be taken to disinfect sources of water and the food should be kept covered so that flies do not settle over it. Potassium Permanganate should be used for washing vegetables before they are cooked. As for fruits, only fresh, fully ripe fruit should be eaten. Your food should include curds in adequate quantities and spiced and overcooked foods and fatty substances should be avoided.

In case of epidemic form of dysentery, the following remedies in addition to those describes above should be given.

One tola each of Kurchi bark, pulp of Bael fruit, rind of Poppy capsule and White Cumin should be finely ground and four mashas of the powder may be taken with water. If Fleaseeds soaked in water (7 mashas) are taken along with this powder, it will be doubly effective.

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