Piles (Haemorrhoid) – Problem Symptoms Treatment As Per Ayurveda And Traditional Healing Methods
The abnormal mass of engorged, swollen veins around the anus and rectum, similar to varicose vein is known as haemorrhoid; commonly called ‘piles’.
Ayurveda describes it as the swelling, mass around rectum and anus region which irritates the vital energy (prana) of the body as an enemy (ari) and obstructs the rectum and anus (gudamarga nirodh). Piles is referred to as ‘Arsha’ in Sanskrit.
अरिवत्प्राणिनो मांसकीलका विशसन्ति यत्।
अर्शासि – तस्मादुच्यन्ते गुदमार्गनिरोधतः ॥१
Types Of Haemorrhoid( Arsha)
Modern medical science classifies haemorrhoid according to its location as external (around the anus) and internal (in the inner layer of rectum).
As per Ayurveda, the individual’s dominant dosha determines the types of haemorrhoids. It can be one of the following: Vataj, Pittaj, Kaphaj, (Tridoshaj) Sannipataj, Raktaj and Swabhavik. Some acharyas classify it in two types: Shushka Arsha (non bleeding) and Sravi Arsha (bleeding).
According to dosha dominance the haemorrhoid can have following symptoms:
- Vataj arsha seems dry, hard, rough, black in colour and the patient experiences extreme pain, constipation or very hard stool
- Pittaj arsha have burning sensation, bleeding, inflamed, soft, red texture, and sometimes diarrhoea and fever
- Kaphaj arsha are soft, slIppery, white in colour, large in size and patients have very poor digestion.
- Sannipataj arsha ave symptoms combination of all three doshas
- Raktaj Arsha have bleeding and features according to dosha dominance
- Swabhavik Arsha which are present from birth as congenital haemorrhoids.
Causes Of Haemorrhoid
According to dosha dominance especially Apan vata dushti which is caused by various reasons as – bad habit of controlling urge of defecation and micturition, constipation, hard stool, excess masturbation.
Dry, heavy to digest, or viruddh anna (diet), junk food, lack of fibrous food which causes hard stool or constipation, diarrhoea or disturb bowel movement can cause haemorrhoids.
Long term low digestive power can cause various gut diseases such as diarrhoea, grahani, IBS, haemorrhoid which are interrelated to each other.
Other causative factors are-
- Long term sitting or standing habit
- Sitting on hard surface
- Pregnancy which implies pressure on rectum
- Ageing – with increase in age results in low voluntary muscle control or weakening of muscle
Signs And Symptoms Of Heamorrhoid
- Fresh bleeding on defecation
- Painful defecation
- Burning sensation after defecation
- Itching (pruritus)
- Difficulty in sitting posture due to pain
If neglected may result in prolapse, anaemia, strangulation which may cause gangrene.
Management of Haemorrhoid
It is not an acute condition, but the pathology starts far before with intake of irregular diet and lifestyle practice. Hence, its management should concentrate on cutting causative factors and increase in digestive power i.e. Deepan and Pachan. After agnivardhan shodhan of vitiated doshas by Vaman, Virechan or Basti, the treatment is followed by Shaman chikitsa. This is the line of treatment in doshik hemorrhoids along with some procedures like Agnikarma, Ksharkarma, Shastra kriya may be required according to its severity.
दुर्नाम्नां साधनोपायश्चतुर्धा परिकीर्तितः ।
भेषजक्षारशस्त्राग्निसाव्यत्वं याप्वमुच्यते ॥३
To avoid some pain, ghrit or tel pichoo is used locally along with Swedan like a sitz bath.
Beyond all treatments, diet and lifestyle regulation is very important to avoid relapse.