In Ayurveda, hernia or Antra Vriddhi is a medical condition in which an internal organ or muscle tissue bulge out of its normal position. It swells out through a weak point in the cavity it is positioned. There are options in Ayurveda treatment which can help you provide great relief from the hernia.
This mainly happens with abdominal organs and can lead to pain and swelling in the region. The Ayurvedic term for hernia is “Antra Vriddhi”. This condition can develop in any region of the body, in both men and women and at any age.
Common causes of hernia
A hernia can be a hereditary condition, some factors that contribute are:
- Persistent coughing
- Excess pressure while passing feces
- Straining abdominal muscles by lifting heavy objects
There are a number of other lifestyle reasons such as increasing vata due to improper food intake, lifting heavy weights, suppression of urges like urine or feces. The increased vata weakens the intestine and pulls it down which leads to an inguinal hernia.
Complications of hernia – when left without treatment
If the hernia does not get the treatment, it may grow in size causing more pain and discomfort. A part of intestine sticks in the abdomen which causes pain and swelling in the surrounding area.
The problem occurs when the trapped intestine does not get proper blood flow which leads to strangulation which becomes life-threatening.
Ayurveda Treatment for Hernia
Hernia treatment involves procedures such as snehana, virechana, niruha basti and topical application of medicines with oral intake of herbs. Ayurveda medicines for hernia especially herbs strengthen intestine and promote healthy digestion.
- In this procedure, warm essential oil is used to massage the body to dislodge and remove toxins from the body channels.
- Sesame oil or ghee is to treat the increase in vata whereas mustard oil, canola oil or flaxseed oil can treat kapha dosha.
This process continues for 7 days to see the effective results.
- This process is to treat excess pitta from gallbladder, liver or small intestine.
- Triphala, amalaki(Indian gooseberry), pipali (long pepper), shunthi (dried ginger) and maricha (black pepper) are for cleansing and to treat swelling due to kapha dosha.
- Purgatives such as rock salt, isabgol and ginger may eliminate vata dosha.
- After purgation, you must take light food to fire up digestion.
- You can feel the lightness and the downward movement of gas after virechana.
- The procedure involves herbal enema decoction anema mixing with milk and oil. This is a highly beneficial treatment for vata disorders, weak tissues and enlarged scrotum.
- It clears out toxins from the tissues and cleans the colon by flushing feces from the system.
- It heals and rejuvenates the complete body by cleaning the intestines.
Ayurveda Medicine for Hernia
This medicine constitutes triphala, trikatu and guggul as its prime components. Triphala guggul works as:
- Bowel tonic
This also has analgesic properties and is useful in managing post-operative pain after hernia surgery. The benefits of triphala guggul not only includes hernia but it can also be used for weight loss, infection, corn abscess, piles, constipation and fistula.
It consists of shuddha gandhak (brimstone) along with dalchini (cinnamon) and Indian rose chestnut. It is very useful to pacify vata and pitta doshas. Also, it increases the digestion and reduces the excess pressure on the intestinal muscles. Moreover, similar to guggulu, gandhak is helpful in managing post-operative hernia pain.
Ayurveda Herbal Treatment for Hernia
Ayurvedic herbs for hernia are:
It is to improve digestion and increase hunger. It is one of the best herbs to treat vata disorder, cramping, and abdominal pain. The most common complaint in hernia is constipation which hingu treats successfully.
It helps increase appetite and assists in digestion by healing hernia. It helps in diminishing pathogens and harmful bacteria from the gut.
Senna helps in healthy bowel movement and regulates the intestinal muscles. It relieves the excess pressure from the abdominal wall.
The roots of manjishtha are good for blood purification. It treats kapha disorder connected to swelling in the hernia. It also helps in tissue healing after hernia surgery.
It helps in breaking down of food and absorption of necessary nutrients by stimulating intestines. It also prevents bloating.
Dietary and Lifestyle changes for Hernia Patient as per Ayurveda
Surgical treatments such as open surgery and laparoscopic surgeries are available in modern science. However, Ayurveda medicines for hernia have been helping patients from the long run if followed strictly. Ayurvedic guidelines to cure and prevent hernia are as follows : –
- Break your meals: Ayurveda says to divide your meals into small portions rather than eating large meals twice a day.
- Take time to eat: Make sure you chew every bite properly before swallowing. It doesn’t matter how hungry you are or if your fellow companion finishes up early.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Water is an essential component of our body and to maintain that natural balance it is advisable to drink lots of water and other non-alcoholic & non-aerated fluids.
- Stop drinking water in-between your meals: Drinking water between meals can interfere with normal digestion. It is better to have a glass of water five minutes before your meal and only an hour after the meal.
- Combination: It is important to keep a check on the food combination. Avoid eating raw and processed food together. Moreover, the cooked food should not be overcooked as it destroys the essential vitamins.
- Vegetable & fruit juice: Indulge in having fresh vegetables and fruit juices.
- Wholegrain foods: Include more whole grains, fiber, and cereals in your diet rather than processed foods.
- Physical activity: In this sedentary lifestyle, take some time out to perform some physical activity such as walking, climbing stairs, yoga or exercise.
- Sleep: Do not sleep just after having your meals and only after 2 hours.
Side-Effects and Risks of Ayurveda Treatment for Hernia
Although, Ayurvedic treatment does not have any specific side-effects, treatment must be with proper precautions. It is not necessary that similar treatment works for every individual.
- Hingu: In some people who meditate or perform yoga, it is said to be contraindicating as it aggravates the acidic condition in the body.
- Manjishtha: It is better to avoid this Ayurvedic herb in severe chills as it can worsen vata.
- Snehana is not recommended for those who are obese or diarrhea.
- Niruha Basti is not for babies, in cases of diarrhea, colon cancer, polyps.
Therefore, it is essential to consult a doctor even before taking any treatment or medication.
Surgical Treatment of Hernia
In open hernia repair, a large incision, or cut, is made in the abdomen. The doctor identifies the hernia. The surgeon then pushes the hernia back into the abdomen and strengthens the abdominal wall with stitches or synthetic mesh. The recovery may take longer. You may have to refrain from strenuous activities and exercise for four to six weeks after the surgery.
Laparoscopic surgery is the most preferred surgery when home remedies for hernia and Ayurveda for hernia do not work. It is a minimally invasive procedure where a thin telescope-like instrument called laparoscope goes inside through one of the small incisions.
A laparoscope has a video camera at the top which gives a clear view of the defect. The surgeon fills the abdomen with harmless gas for a clear view. The peritoneum (the inner lining of the abdomen) is cut to expose the weakness in the abdominal wall. Mesh is placed on the inside to cover the defects in the abdominal wall and strengthen the tissue.
Finally, after the procedure is complete, the small abdominal incisions are closed with adhesive glue or with surgical tape. In a few months, the incisions are barely visible.
Benefits of laparoscopic surgery are:
- Minimally invasive procedure
- Less pain
- Daycare procedure
- Quick recovery
- Performed by specialists
- Good cosmetic benefits
Now you must have understood that hernia is a lifestyle disease. The increase in vata and kapha dosha in hernia requires special attention and care. Although, Ayurveda medicines for hernia can help reduce its symptoms, laparoscopic surgery is necessary for permanent cure. Therefore, book an appointment to get the best treatment for hernia.