Well-being Q&A: Aplastic anaemia and pimples

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Old 16-Apr-2011
Well-being Q&A: Aplastic anaemia and pimples

A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with aplastic anaemia. I have been reading articles about this disease lately and found out it's a blood disorder that involves the bone marrow. Could this lead to something alarming later or are there ways to lessen its complications? Would Ayurvedic medicines help?

James, by email

Normally, our body regularly replaces blood cells. Red blood cells live about 120 days. Aplastic anaemia is a condition that occurs when your body stops producing enough new blood cells. In the majority of cases, doctors aren't able to identify the cause of aplastic anaemia.

Known causes are autoimmune disorders, radiation and chemotherapy treatments, exposure to toxic chemicals and viral infection. Treatment for aplastic anaemia may include observation in mild cases, blood transfusions, medication and, in severe cases, bone marrow transplantation.

Ayurvedic treatment of aplastic anaemia is basically directed at treating the immune dysfunction and improving normal bone marrow production. Immunomodulatory herbs like Ashwagandha* (Withania somnifera), Shatavari* (Asparagus racemosus) among others are used. There are certain Ayurvedic medicines that stimulate the bone marrow function. Medicines which improve the sara (excellence) of Rakta (blood tissue) and Majja (bone marrow tissue) are also used. Your friend could consult an Ayurvedic doctor for a personalised and complementary treatment approach.

I am 14 years old and suffer from pimples on my face. I also suffer from hair loss. I'm applying honey and lime juice to my face and also drink lots of water daily. But this don't seem to be helping. I am 156cm tall and weigh about 46kg.

Malavika M., by email

  • Wash your face twice a day with a pH-balanced, unperfumed soap. Harsh soaps can irritate some skins. Alternatively, use a gentle antibacterial face wash; a variety of brands are available in pharmacies and supermarkets. Avoid facial scrubs and abrasive cleansers, which might increase the inflammation of the skin and make scarring more likely. You may use Thriphala* powder Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) or Neem* (Azadirachta indica, margosa, neeb) powder mixed with water as a face wash. Both have excellent anti-bacterial, antifungal properties.
  • Purée fresh pineapple and papaya together. Add honey and mix into a smooth paste. Fruit contains natural enzymes and alpha-hydroxy acids that remove dead skin cells while the honey moisturises the skin. Leave mask on 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse completely. Do this on a weekly basis.
  • Avoid greasy make-up and creams; control dandruff if you suffer from it.
  • Include plenty of fish, vegetables and fruit in your diet.
  • Consult a doctor if you suffer from menstrual irregularities.
Answered by Dr V.L. Shyam, MD (Ay)

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