Ayurvedic treatment for Chikungunya


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Chikungunya Ayurvedic treatment


Chikungunya is the name of a condition in which there is a sudden onset of fever and severe joint pain. This is understood to be caused by a virus that is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Apart from mosquitoes, the virus circulates within a number of animals including monkeys, birds, cattle, and rodents.1

Ayurveda does not recognize Chikungunya as a separate entity. The symptoms can be co-related by some to masurika (Eruptive condition) and sannipataja jwara (Complicated fevers). Sannipataja (Complications of 3 doshas) occurs due to tridosha vriddhi & prakopa (increase and overflow of all 3 doshas) respectively. These lead to the luminal infection and tissue invasion for which cell injury takes pace and causes dhatu avarana (enwrapment of tissues) and dhatu kshaya (loss of tissues), with the causing of the diseases. Others correlate Chikungunya with Sandhijwara which literally means "fever of the joints". The symptoms of Sandhijwara and Chikungunya are very similar and hence Ayurveda treatment provides relief for the disease. 2




The only known cause of chikungunya is because of a virus that's passed from a mosquito bite to humans. 1




The general signs and symptoms of chikungunya are seen in most people infected with chikungunya virus. Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after bite of an infected mosquito.3 The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain and an extreme degree of prostration. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Chikungunya disease is not fatal but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.3




Diagnosis is usually by understanding the patient history, especially any history of travel to mosquito endemic areas or mosquito bites.3




Currently there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya. The best means of prevention is overall mosquito control. Since chikungunya is not a life threatening infection, the Ayurveda treatment of chikungunya includes aushadhi (medicines) to improve quality of life and general health promoters. The following is advised for management -3,4

  • Treat the symptoms
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

  • Consume home-made fresh food, plenty of lukewarm liquids and light and warm diet
  • Add ginger and turmeric in foods help to improve immunity
  • Avoid food that is prepared under unhygienic conditions, is contaminated or stale, and cold drinks/beverages

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

  • Use of mosquito nets, full sleeved clothes are advised in seasons when the disease is prevalent
  • Adequate rest is advised.
  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Avoid exertion.
  • Avoid visiting areas where the disease is prevalent
  • Practice proper and safe sanitation
  • Warm oil application of Mahanarayana taila may be beneficial in reducing joint pain and swellings


  1. How is sinusitis caused? Does it have anything to do with cold foods?

Sinusitis is basically an inflammation of the membranes of para-nasal sinuses or the group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity. Colds, bacterial infections, allergies, asthma and other health conditions can cause sinusitis, or inflammation of the para-nasal sinuses.

In some people, cold foods may flare the condition and aggravate the allergies resulting in sinus problems. Such people should avoid eating cold foods.

  1. What are symptoms of Asthma? How do I know if someone may have asthma?

Symptoms of Asthma differ from person to person. Some may have infrequent asthma attacks, some have symptoms only at certain times — such as when exercising — or some have symptoms all the time. 

Asthma signs and symptoms include-

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • A whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling (wheezing is a common sign of asthma in children)
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
  • Coughing or wheezing attacks that are worsened by a respiratory virus, such as a cold or the flu
  1. My reports show a low platelet count, do I have dengue?

Diagnosing dengue fever can be difficult, because its signs and symptoms can be easily confused with those of other diseases — such as malaria, chikungunya, leptospirosis and typhoid fever.

Your doctor will likely ask about your medical and travel history. Be sure to describe any contact you may have had with mosquitoes. Certain laboratory tests can detect evidence of the dengue viruses, but test results usually come back too late to help direct treatment decisions. A low platelet count is generally seen in dengue but is not the only isolated finding. Fever, body-ache, skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever and minor bleeding accompanied by low platelet count is conclusive of Dengue.

  1. How does one contract typhoid? 

Typhoid fever is caused by a bacteria called S. typhi. This bacteria spreads through ingestion of contaminated food or water, and occasionally through direct contact with someone who is infected. In developing nations, where typhoid fever is endemic, most cases result from contaminated drinking water and poor sanitation. The majority of people in industrialized countries pick up typhoid bacteria while traveling and spread it to others through the fecal-oral route or contamination of food and drinking water with fecal contact that may occur due to flies, etc.

This means that S. typhi is passed in the feces and sometimes in the urine of infected people. You can contract the infection if you eat food handled by someone with typhoid fever who hasn't washed hands carefully after using the toilet. You can also become infected by drinking water contaminated with the bacteria.

  1. Can malaria only spread from mosquitoes?

Although the commonest cause of malarial fever is due to a bite by the infected female anopheles mosquito, this is not necessarily the only way one can be affected. 

Because the parasites that cause malaria affect red blood cells, people can also catch malaria from exposures to infected blood, including:

  • From mother to unborn child
  • Through blood transfusions
  • By sharing needles used to inject drugs
  • Organ transplants
  1. Does yellowness of eyes always mean there is a liver problem?

In some people who eat large amounts of food rich in beta-carotene (such as carrots, squash, and some melons), their skin may look slightly yellow, but their eyes do not turn yellow. This condition is not jaundice and is unrelated to liver disease.

Yellowness of the eyes is usually due to the leaked bilirubin pigment in the blood stream. This is called jaundice and most probably occurs in cases of liver inflammation. Such patients will also have a visible yellowness of skin.

  1. How does one get elephantiasis? 

Elephantiasis is basically swelling of the lymph glands due to an infection. The disease spreads from person to person by mosquito bites. When a mosquito bites a person who has lymphatic filariasis, microscopic worms circulating in the person's blood enter and infect the mosquito. People get lymphatic filariasis from the bite of an infected mosquito. The microscopic worms pass from the mosquito through the skin, and travel to the lymph vessels. In the lymph vessels they grow into adults. An adult worm lives for about 5–7 years. The adult worms mate and release millions of microscopic worms, called microfilariae, into the blood. People with the worms in their blood can give the infection to others through mosquitoes.

  1. What is the difference between Pneumonia and Pneumonitis?

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing.

Pneumonitis on the other hand, is a general term that refers to inflammation of lung tissue. Although pneumonia is technically a type of pneumonitis because the infection causes inflammation, most doctors refer to other causes of lung inflammation when they use the term "pneumonitis”.

Factors that can cause pneumonitis include exposure to airborne irritants at your job or from your hobbies. In addition, some types of cancer treatments and dozens of drugs can cause pneumonitis.

  1. Is rheumatic fever same as rheumatoid arthritis?

They are different. Rheumatic fever occurs after an infection of the throat with a bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes, or Group A streptococcus. Group A streptococcus infections of the throat cause strep throat or, less commonly, scarlet fever. Group A streptococcus infections of the skin or other parts of the body rarely trigger rheumatic fever. The exact link between strep infection and rheumatic fever isn't clear, but it appears that the bacterium ‘plays tricks’ on the immune system.

Rheumatic fever usually occurs in younger population especially children while rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic inflammation of the body that mostly affects the joints in adults. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease. This means that certain cells of the immune system do not work properly and start attacking healthy tissues — especially the joints. The one that affects young children is called stilts disease.

  1. Every time I touch cold water I get these spots on my skin. There is no other complaint. Is this because of some allergy to water?

You may have a condition called Urticaria. It is a skin reaction that causes red or white itchy spots on the skin. There is a type of Urticaria called cold urticaria, in which skin that has been in contact with cold develops reddish, itchy spots. The severity of cold urticaria symptoms varies widely. Some people have minor reactions to cold, while others have severe reactions. Swimming in cold water is the most common cause of a whole-body (systemic) reaction.


  1. Mayo clinic. What is chikungunya fever, and should I be worried? Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/infectious-diseases/expert-answers/what-is-chikungunya-fever/faq-20109686 accessed Aug 30th 2016
  2. Panja AK, et al., Microbial Infections in Caraka Samhita. Int J Ayur Med. 2011; 2(3), 107-114.
  3. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Chikungunya - Symptoms, Diagnosis, & Treatment. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/symptoms/ accessed Aug 30th 2016
  4. Management of Chikungunya through Ayurveda and Siddha: A Technical Report. Available at http://www.ccras.nic.in/Traning_module/6.%20MANAGEMENT%20OF%20CHIKUNGUNYA%20THROUGH%20AYURVEDA%20AND%20SIDDHA-A%20TECHNICAL%20REPORT.pdf accessed Sept 9th 2016

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