VataRakta is a combination of two words Vata & Rakta. In VataRakta, aggrevated Vata is obstructed by the deranged blood, & thus it further vitiates the blood. Due to the fluidity & flowing of the blood & the subtle & pervasive nature of Vata, they spread all over the body through the circulatory channels [Srotas] & localise in the joints. This pathogenisis of VataRakta is completed due to several causative factors.
- Intake of diet consisting of an excess of sour, pungent, alkaline, fatty, hot & uncooked articles, moist or dried things.
- Excessive use meat of aquatic & marshy animals, oil-cakes, radish, horse gram, black gram, nishpava and other leguminous, seasum paste, sugar cane, curd, sour gruel, sauvira, shukta (vinegars), butter milk, sura & asava [Alcoholic preperations]
- Contradictory food
- Eating during indigestion
- Insufficient sleep at night
- Excessive travel
- Not exerting physically
- Excess or absence of perspiration
- Blackish discolouration
- Laxity in joints
- Appearance of boils
- Numbness & itching in knee, shanks, thigh, waist, shoulder, hands, feet & joints of body
- Unstable pain in joints
Based on the seat (root) / location
- Uttana (superficial)
This is located in the twak (skin) & mamsa (muscle).
- Gambhir (deep)
This is located in the deeper dhatus
- Superficial type of VataRakta
- Burning sensation
- Pain - Pricking pain
- Greyish, red or coppery discolouration
2. Deep-seated VataRakta
- Swelling in joints
- Hardeness in joints
- Intense pain within joints
- Greyish or coppery discolouration
- Suppurative tendency
This disease manifests in the joints epecialy of the hands, feet, fingers & toes.
If Vata is excessively aggrevated (Vatadhika), there is Distention of veins, Sharp & pricking pain, Blackish discolouration & Aversion to cold.
Predominance of Rakta (Raktadhika) results, Coppering with pricking sensation, Swelling with severe distress.
When Pitta is predominant (Paittika) , Sweating, Thirst, Redness & Inflammation results.
If Kapha is excessively aggrevated (Kaphadhika), there is Feeling of wetness, Heaviness, Unctuousness, Numbness & mild pain.
- Asvapna- Sleeplessness
- Arochaka- Anorexia
- Swasa- Dyspnoea
- Mansa kotha- Gangrene
- Shiro graha- Stiffness in head
- Murchhaya- Fainting
- Mada- Narcosis
- Ruk- Distress
- Trushna- Thirst
- Jwara- Fever
- Moha- Mental confusion
- Pravapaka- Trembling
- Hikka- Hiccup
- Pangulya- Lameness
- Visarpa- Erysipelas
- Paka- Inflamation
- Toda- Piercing pain
- Angulivakrata- Crookedness in fingers
- Sfota- Blisters
- Daha- Burning Sensation
- Marmagraha- Stiffness in Vital parts
- Arbuda- tumour
Modern Ayurvedic scholars compare VataRakta with Gout. Gout is a common, painful form of arthritis. It results from an overload of uric acid in the body. This overload of uric acid leads to the formation of tiny crystals of urate that deposit in tissues of the body, especially the joints.
While an elevated blood level of uric acid may indicate an increased risk of gout, the relationship between hyperuricemia and gout is unclear. Many patients with hyperuricemia do not develop gout (asymptomatic hyperuricemia), while some patients with repeated gout attacks have normal or low blood uric acid levels.
Needle-shaped urate crystals diagnostic of gout from an acutely inflamed joint (left) as seen under polarized microscopy and unpolarized microscopy (right).
Risk factors of gout?
Risk factors for developing gout include obesity, excessive weight gain, especially in youth, moderate to heavy alcohol intake, high blood pressure, and abnormal kidney function. Certain drugs and diseases can also cause elevated levels of uric acid. A recent study demonstrated an increased prevalence of abnormally low thyroid hormone levels (hypothyroidism) in patients with gout.
Symptoms of gout?
The small joint at the base of the big toe is the most common site for a gout attack. Other joints that can be affected include the ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, and elbows. Acute gout attacks are characterized by a rapid onset of pain in the affected joint followed by warmth, swelling, reddish discoloration, and marked tenderness. In some people, the acute pain is so intense that even a bed sheet on the toe causes severe pain. These painful attacks usually subside in hours to days, with or without medication. In rare instances, an attack can last for weeks. Most patients with gout will experience repeated attacks of gouty arthritis over the years.
- The blood is letting out, in small quantities, at many times after oleation therapy
- Blood letting being appropriate to the dosha
- When pain, redness, pricking pain and sensation are present, blood should be got sucked by jalauka (leeches).
- When tingling sensation, itching, pain and burning sensation are present, the use of srnga-alabu (sucking horn or gourd) is indicated.
- When the disease / lesion is found spreading from place to place, either pracchana (scratching the skin) or siravyadha (venesection) is recommended.
- Purgation therapy is given, oleation therapy first and then administered purgative drugs mixed with fats (medicated ghee / oil).
- The Uttana kind of VataRakta is treated with lepana (application of pastes), abhyanga (anointing with fats) parisheka (pouring liquids on the body) and avagaha (immersing the body in liquids)
- The Gambhira kind of VataRakta by Vireka (Purgation), Asthapana (decoction enema) and snehapana (drinking of fats).
One of the speciality in Ayurvedic medicine is it has a logical approach of treatment in every disease. If you are suffering from VataRakta, experience the benifits of Ayurvedic treatments in VataRakta from a qualified Ayurvedic physician.
Dr. Indunil Weerarathne
Dr. Indunil Weerarathne