SIDDHA PERSPECTIVE OF JAPANESE ENCEPHALITIS
Encephalitis in general, of any origin, is described as moolai suram in siddha system of medicine. The major symptoms mentioned are high grade fever, mental confusion, tremor of head, fatigue, joint pain, vomiting and diarrhoea.
According to siddha principles of pathology, primarily all types of fever (suram) occur due to the accumulation of kabam humour in the gastro intestinal tract, which is a result of decrease of pitham humour (manthakini state) in the stomach and intestine. This makes the body favourable for any kind of infection causing fever (suram).
In encephalitis (moolai suram), kabam or Iyam humour is increased to a very high level according to siddha literatures, and this explains the cause for high susceptibility of the body to the viral infection.
The deranged humours should be balanced. Then suitable medicines are given orally to heal the affected physical constituent (udal thathu).
For fevers in which kabam humour is increased, medicated steam therapy is advocated in siddha literature. This helps in reducing the high fever and other symptoms like headache and body pain. One kind of steam therapy recommended is, making decoction with leaves of nochi (Vitex negundo) and turmeric, hot brick pieces are dropped in to the decoction in a vessel and the person is exposed to the steam coming out of it.
The humours are also normalized by eye and nasal applications. Clove (Ilavangam - Cinnamomum verum), soaked well in breast milk is bundled in a cloth and squeezed to drop in the eye.
Thumbai ver (root of Leuces aspera), dried ginger, pepper and Piper longum are ground first with breast milk and then with honey and then rolled and dried and applied in the eyes mixed with juice of tulsi (Ocimum sanctum).
One drop of thumbai (Leuces aspera) juice is applied through nasal opening.
Muppini kudineer (decoction) which is made from nilavembu (Andrographis paniculata), saranai ver (root of Trianthema triquetra), thumbai ver (root of Leuces aspera), kandankathiri ver (root of Solanum surattense), chittarathai (Alpinia galangal), kalli ver (root of Euphoria ligularia), kodiveli (Plumbago indica) is given two times daily.
Since this disease occurs due to increase of kabam humour, drugs that are used to treat kabasuram like Emathanda kuzhigiai, Vasanthakusmagara mathirai, Bramaananda mathirai, Kasthuri karuppu, Korosanai karuppu, Veera chendooram, velli parpam, Rasa chunnam are also given. The dosage, course and suitable medium (anupanam) would be decided by a siddha physician taking in to account of the patient’s body constitution and severity of the disease.
Complications following the disease can also be prevented by using appropriate nasal application and oral medicines as prescribed by a siddha physician.
Since this disease affects the nervous system, medicines that heal and stimulate the nervous system should be given. According to siddha principles if derangement of vatham humour occurs, when kabam is in increased state, it affects the nervous system and may cause paralysis. So in order to prevent the complications drugs to normalise/prevent increase of vatham are also suggested. External therapies like application of oil, fomentation with kizhi (medicinal bundle) are also used to heal and prevent complications occurring in the nervous and musculoskeletal system.
According to siddha system, prevention of accumulation of kabam in the intestine and immunomodulators will prevent any type of suram (fever). Various preventive medications are mentioned in siddha literature for a healthy life style. For a brief outline please go through the preventive principles presented in another section of this website under siddha.
1. Kuppusamy Mudaliar K.N, Siddha Maruthuvam, Tamil Nadu Siddha Maruthuva variyam, 1987.
2. K.S. Murugesa Mudaliar, Siddha Materia Medica, Directorate of Indian Medicine & Homeopathy, Chennai-106, 2013.