What is cystitis in Ayurveda ?
Inflammation of the urinary bladder is known as cystitis. The inner layers of urinary bladder become irritated and swollen. Cystitis may be acute or chronic. Women are more affected by this than men.
In ayurvedic anatomy bladder is known as Basti. The inflammation of bladder or cystitis is known as Basti shotha or Mutrakruchra in ayurveda. Urinary bladder is a marma or tissue junction. (Anything which affects marma can cause serious disorders)
What Causes Cystitis?
The usual cause of cystitis is urinary tract infection or UTI. This happens due to infection from bacteria which enter bladder through urethra. Bacteria may enter urethra after a sexual intercourse or by faecal contamination or through soiled inner wares or through bathing water in a bath tub.
Apart from this the following also cause cystitis
• Lowered immunity may cause multiplication of microbes which are already present in urinary tract and bladder.
• Few medications which are used in chemotherapy may irritate inner layers of bladder.
• Continuous use of a catheter.
• Personal hygiene products when used may destroy healthy flora of bladder and lead to UTI to cause cystitis
• Exposure to radiation can also cause this condition.
• Cystitis may show up due to other medical conditions like diabetes (madhumeha), kidney stones (mutrashmari), HIV, Enlarged prostate (vatashteela) , spinal injuries (aghata), Genital herpes, etc.
Causes of cystitis as explained in ayurveda
The great Ayurveda scholar Acharya Vagbhata explains causes of cystitis as follows.
For all urinary disorders including cystitis the urinary bladder is the origin. Urinary bladder is like a stretchable bag which gets filled with urine. It has three openings ( 2 ureters from kidney fill the bladder with urine and 1 urethra expels the collected urine) and thousands of minute channels or mutravaha srotas. The causative factors for diseases of bladder enter bladder through these three openings and minute channels or srotas.
The imbalanced tridoshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) affect the urinary bladder to cause cystitis.
Vataja Mutrakruchra: Cystitis die to vitiated vata
Pittaja Mutrakruchra: Basthi shota due to imbalanced pitta
Kaphaja Mutrakruchra: Inflammation of bladder due to vitiated kapha
Sannipataja Mutrakruchra : Cystitis due to vitiation of all three doshas.
Ayurveda Acharya Charaka explains the causes as follows
The inflammation of bladder occurs when channels carrying water (udakavaha srotas) and channels carrying urine (mutravaha srotas) get vitiated by doshas.
The water channels of body get vitiated due to the following reasons.
• Exposure to heat or hot climate for long duration.
• Consuming foods which cause indigestion.
• Increased consumption of alcohol.
• Eating dry and hot foods which absorb more body water .
• Not drinking water when you are thirsty.
The channels which carry urine or mootravaha srotas get vitiated due to the following reasons.
• Indulging in sexual act when you have an urge to urinate.
• Suppression of natural urges like thirst, urination and bowel movement.
• Consuming dry and heat generating foods.
• Excess intake of alcohol
What are the symptoms of cystitis?
Cystitis can exhibit various symptoms.
• Increased frequency of passing of urine and having an urge to urinate even after passing urine.
• Continuous sensation of bladder fullness.
• Pain in lower abdomen and low back.
• Pain radiating to thighs.
• Urine may have a strong smell.
• Urine may appear cloudy.
• Reddish tinged urine due to presence of blood.
• Pain in lower abdomen while having sex.
Ayurvedic Remedy or Treatment for Cystitis:
Ayurveda acharyas recommend various ayurvedic herbs and herbal ayurvedic medicine as cure for cystitis.
It cleanses the bladder (Basti) and boosts the resistance of bladder to infection. This property is very useful in treating cystitis and urinary tract infections. Hence doctors at Moolika Ayurveda have used this herb as an ingredient in URIKOOL Ayurvedic Capsules which are very effective in cystitis and kidney stones.
Ushira or Vitever : This herb is very useful in burning sensation of urinary tract and bladder. It effectively reduces inflammation of inner layers of bladder, urinary tract and urethra. Ushira acts as a superb coolant. Hence doctors at Moolika Ayurveda have used this herb as an ingredient in URIKOOL Ayurvedic Capsules which are very effective in cystitis and kidney stones
Punarnava (Boerhavia Diffusa ): It acts as a diuretic and is used in ayurvedic preparations for renal calculi (kidney stone), Cystis and nephritis.
Bala (Sida Cordifolia )– The diuretic properties of this herb help in cystitis and it rejuvenates urinary system.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) It has body cooling properties and rejuvenates pelvic organs. Its anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe the irritated bladder.
Kulattha – Horse Gram (Macrotyloma uniflorum) : Regular consumption of cooked horse gram helps to expel small kidney stones. Scientific studies have shown that horse gram inhibits formation of calcium oxalate stones in kidneys.
Shilajit : Shilajit has anti-inflammatory properties and helps to reduce inflammation of bladder. It is recommended in diseases related to urine like UTI, Kidney Stones etc
Guggulu (Commiphora Mukul ) : Ayurveda acharyas recommend this resin to treat urinary calculi and cystitis
Haridra or Turmeric : Turmeric is known to have antimicrobial properties. The active chemical component of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is a strong antioxidant and reduces inflammation by reducing histamine levels. It reduces the inflammation of bladder and boosts its immunity to infections.
Amla : Indain Gooseberry -It helps to soothe inner layers of bladder and helps to reduce frequency of urination.
Guduchi or Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia ) : Guduchi strengthens the urinary system and increases the resistance of inner layers of bladder and urethra to fight repeated urinary tract infections and cystitis.
Rock Salt or Sendha Namak : Rock salt pacifies all the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) and is considered as the healthiest form of salt in ayurveda. Ayurveda acharyas recommend to use this salt in day to day life.
Ginger : Ginger has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. But this has to be used with caution in cystitis.
Cardamom: Cardamom increases urine output and acts as a body coolant