Ayurvedic Treatment of Excessive Thirst:
Water is said to be the most essential and abundant constituent in the body comprising approximately 50% of body weight in women and 60% in men. Water is very crucial for survival as it performs several functions in our body like transportation of the nutrients to the tissues, detoxifies body elements, regulating body temperature, removing metabolic waste products, maintaining homeostasis, and electrolytes in the body.
In the normal physiological processes, the body fluids are lost continuously in a certain amount but it can’t be maintained then which leads to several adverse health outcomes. Generally, thirst maintains the body’s fluid balance and is regulated acutely by peripheral and central mechanisms. Normal thirst is a physiological process but when it exceeds its threshold it can become pathological. Modern science accepts it as a symptom only but the fluid imbalance is a major cause of morbidity and mortality and ‘thirst’ which is an indicator of imbalance in the fluid has been described as a separate disease in Ayurveda.
In Ayurveda, the word ‘Trishna’ is used for physiological as well as pathological thirst. Thirst is an action of unventilated Pitta and presents as Mukha Shosha (dry mouth) which occurs due to Vata. Thus, Vata and Pitta dosha both are inseparably involved in the production of thirst. Physiological thirst is produced when they are ‘unvitiated’, and when ‘vitiated’ they can cause ‘Trishna’. Based on the causes and pathogenesis involved, Trishna is classified into five types: Vataja, Pittaja, Amaja, Kshayaja, and Upsargaja.
Causes of Excessive Thirst or Trishna as per Ayurveda:
क्षोभाद्भयाच्छ्रमादपि शोकात्क्रोधाद्विलङ्घनान्मद्यात् | क्षाराम्ललवणकटुकोष्णरूक्षशुष्कान्नसेवाभिः ||४||…………….पीतं पीतं हि जलं शोषयतस्तावतो न याति शमम् | घोरव्याधिकृशानां प्रभवत्युपसर्गभूता सा ||७||
Multiple factors are responsible for thirst like excess distress, shock, anger, fear, fatigue, extreme starvation, excessive consumption of salt, dry, pungent, and dehydrated food, emaciation due to disease, excess use of purificatory procedures, excess intake of alcoholism, alkaline and sour substances, and continuous exposure to sunlight.
These factors result in the imbalance of Vata and Pitta and severely vitiated and dry up the water content of the body. These two aggravated and imbalanced doshas vigorously dehydrate the ducts and channels which carry fluids situated at the base of the tongue, palate, and throat. Thus, the patient perpetually drinks water or other liquid yet the thirst is not quenched. Such a condition of thirst arises as a complication in the person and in that case, Ayurvedic Treatment of Excessive Thirst is mandatory for managing and preventing various complications.
Premonitory Symptoms and Signs:
प्राग्रूपं मुखशोषः, स्वलक्षणं सर्वदाऽम्बुकामित्वम् |……………………..तृष्णानां सर्वासां लिङ्गानां लाघवमपायः ||८||
Dryness of mouth along with a constant craving for water can be indicated as a cardinal symptom.
General Signs and Symptoms:
मुखशोषस्वरभेदभ्रमसन्तापप्रलापसंस्तम्भान् |…………….तृष्णोद्भूता कुरुते, पञ्चविधां लिङ्गतः शृणु ताम् ||१०||
The most common signs and symptoms of morbid thirst are dryness of mouth, the roughness of palate, lip, throat, tongue, loss of concentration, delirium, hoarseness of voice, anorexia, protrusion of the tongue, and burning sensation in the body, and exhaustion. Further, depending on the dosha involvement, morbid thirst symptoms are described separately:
- Trishna due to Vata Dominant:
अब्धातुं देहस्थं कुपितः पवनो यदा विशोषयति|…………….च स्रोतोऽवरोध इति च स्याल्लिङ्गं वाततृष्णायाः ||१२||
The vitiated Vata absorbs the water elements in the body and can lead to giddiness, lack of sleep, distaste, dry mouth, and obstruction of the channels.
- Trishna due to Pitta Dominant:
पित्तं मतमाग्नेयं कुपितं चेत्तापयत्यपां धातुम् |………….पीताक्षिमूत्रवर्चस्त्वमाकृतिः पित्ततृष्णायाः ||१४||
In Ayurveda, Pitta is regarded as the thermal element in the body. When it vitiates, it heats the watery elements in the body and a person suffers from an excessive burning sensation. Other than this, a person may experience a bitter taste in the mouth, a burning sensation especially in the head, fainting, yellowish discoloration of eyes, stool and urine, delirium, unconsciousness, and excess cravings for cold things.
- Trishna due to Kaphaja Dosha:
The most common features of Kaphaja Trishna are sleepiness, the sweetness of the mouth, heaviness, and desire for warm beverages.
- Trishna due to Ama Vitaition:
तृष्णा याऽमप्रभवा साऽप्याग्नेयाऽऽमपित्तजनितत्वात् |…………लिङ्गं तस्याश्चारुचिराध्मानकफप्रसेकौ च ||१५||
Amaja trishna is commonly associated with indigestion, nausea, cardiac pain, repeated spitting, and body ache.
- Features of Kshayaja Trishna:
Kshaya means depletion or decrease. Kshayaja trishna is mainly caused due to depletion of Rasa Dhatu and is characterized by darkness in front of the eyes, voice intolerance, dryness of palate, throat, emaciation, shivering, and chest pain.
- Features of Kshataja Trishna:
Kshata means Injury. It results following an injury and hemorrhage and can associate with fatigue and a burning sensation in the body.
Trishna due to Complications of Diseases:
Various diseases are mentioned in the Ayurveda like complications of urinary disorders, and high-grade fever, in which an abnormal quantity of urine is passed, and a person may suffer from severe dehydration. In such conditions, Ayurvedic Treatment of Excessive Thirst is very mandatory.
Management of Trishna as per Ayurveda:
लिङ्गं सर्वास्वेतास्वनिलक्षयपित्तजं भवत्यथ तु |…………..पृथगागमाच्चिकित्सितमतः प्रवक्ष्यामि तृष्णानाम् ||२४||
In the Ayurvedic Treatment of Excessive Thirst, Vitiation of Vata, Pitta Dosha, loss of watery elements, and restoration of digestive fire is the prime task.
Single Ayurvedic Herbs for Trishna:
In Ayurveda, below are some Single herbs that can be used as an Ayurvedic medicine in the case of Trishna:
- Usheera (Vetiveria zizanoides)
- Draksha (Vitis vinifera)
- Kashmarya (Gmelina arbora)
- Amalaki (Emblica officilanis)
- Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Chandana (Santalum album)
- Kamala (Nymphea orodata)
Ayurvedic Formulations for Trishna:
Dhanyakadi hima, Shadanga paneeya, Khajooradi mantha, Prawal pishti, Chandrakal rasa, Kamdudha rasa, Parpatadyarishta, Trinpanchmoola kshayam, etc can be used as an Ayurvedic Treatment of Excessive Thirst.
Unwholesome Diet and Habits of Trishna:
- Intake heavy intake
- Excess intake of sour, spicy, salty, and pungent food
- Insomnia or sleeplessness
- Work exhaustion, Heavy Exercises, etc.
Effective Ayurvedic Decoctions for Trishna:
In Ayurvedic texts, different formulations are mentioned which can be used as an Ayurvedic Treatment of Excessive Thirst, the most common formulations are:
- Trishnahara Kshayam (Ref. Sahasrayogam, Kshaya prakaranam, 33)
- Ghanadi Kashayam/ Shadanga Paniyam (Ref. Sahasrayogam, Kshaya prakaranam, 1(a))
- Gopanganadi Kashayam (Ref. Sahasrayogam, Kshaya prakaranam, 3)
- Vishuchikahara Kshayam (Ref. Sahasrayogam, Kshaya prakaranam, 38)
- Drakshadi Kashyayam (Ref. Sahasrayogam, Kshaya prakaranam, 6)
- Madatyayahara Kashayam (Ref. Sahasrayogam, Kshaya prakaranam, 34)
- Duralabhadi Kashayam (Ref. Sahasrayogam, Parishishta prakaranam, 11)
- Chandanadi Kashayam (Ref. Sahasrayogam, Parishishta prakaranam, 18)
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