Anemia is among the most common ailments affecting human beings.
It may be defined as a condition in which there is a decrease in
the quantity of hemoglobin or in the number of red cells. Nearly
half the blood flowing in our veins and arteries consists of red
blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues. Approximately
100 million new blood cells are formed daily in the bone marrow.
The raw materials required in the production of these cells are
iron, proteins and vitamins, especially folic acid and B12. Of
these, iron proteins are essential in building up the red
colouring matter called hemoglobin. A red cell has a lifespan of
approximately one hundred and twenty days and is then destroyed
and replaced. Each person should have about 15 gm of hemoglobin
per 100ml of blood, and a blood count of approximately five
million red cells per millimeter of blood.
CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF ANEMIA
The patient usually complains of weakness, fatigue, lack of
energy, and dizziness. Other symptoms include a haggard look,
premature wrinkles dull and tired looking eyes, poor memory,
shortness of breath on exertion, headache, slow healing of
wounds, and palpitations. The skin and mucous membranes look
The most striking symptom of anaemia is the pallor of the skin,
hence the ayurvedic name Pandu Roga. The best guide however, is
the colour of the internal lining of the eyelid. In severe cases
the tongue is often sore and the nails of the fingers brittle
and concave instead of convex.
A diminished formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow,
either due to a defect in bone marrow, or due to an inadequate
intake of iron, vitamins and proteins, is one of the main causes
of anemia. Other important causes are heavy loss of blood due to
injury, excessive menstruation in women. Anemia also may occur
due to lack of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
Vitamin B12 is needed for preventing or curing anemia. This
vitamin is usually found in animal protein, especially in meats
such as kidney and liver. There are however other equally good
sources of Vitamin B12 such as dairy products which also contain
Beets are very helpful in curing anemia. Beet juice contains
potassium, phosphorus, calcium, sulpher, iodine, iron, copper,
carbohydrates, proteins,fat, Vitamin B1, B2, B6, Niacin and
P. with there high iron content, beets helps in the formation of
red blood cells. The juice of red beet strengthens the body's
powers of resistance and has proved to be an excellent remedy
for anemia, especially
for children and teenagers, where other blood- forming remedies
The leaves of fenugreek help in blood formation. The cooked
leaves should be taken by adolescent girls to prevent anemia,
which may occur due to the onset
of puberty and menstruation. The seed of fenugreek are also a
valuable cure for anemia, being rich in iron.
Lettuce is another effective remedy for this ailment as it
contains a considerable amount of iron. It can therefore, be
used as a good tonic food for anemia. The body easily absorbs
the iron in it.
This leafy vegetable is a valuable source of high-grade
iron. After its absorption, it helps in the formation of
hemoglobin and red blood cells. It is thus beneficial in
building up the blood, and in the prevention and treatment of
Soybean is rich in iron and also has a high protein value.
As most anemic patients usually also suffer from a weak
digestion, it should be given to them in a very light form,
preferably in a form of milk, which can be easily digested.
Black Sesame seeds, as a rich source of iron, are valuable
in anemia. After soaking one teaspoon of the seeds in warm water
for a couple of hours, they should be ground and strained, and
mixed with a cup of milk and sweetened with jaggery or sugar.
This emulsion should be given to patients suffering from anemia.
Honey is remarkable for building hemoglobin in the body.
This is largely due to the iron, copper and manganese contained
There are several other foods, which are rich sources of Iron
and can be used beneficially in the treatment of anemia. The
more important of these are bananas, black grapes, plums,
strawberries, raisins, onions, squash, radish, celery and
Diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of anemia.
Redefined foods like white bread, polished rice, sugar desserts
rob the body of its much- needed iron. Iron should preferably be
taken in its natural organic form in food. The emphasis
in the diet should be on raw vegetables and fresh fruits, which
are rich in iron. Also, bear in mind that some elements enhance
your body's absorption of iron, while others suppress it. Taking
iron with something rich in vitamin C, for
instance, means you'll get the mineral's maximum benefit.
The patient should commence a therapeutic treatment with an
exclusive fruit diet for 5 days, taking three meals a day of
fresh juicy fruit. A fruit and milk diet may follow this for
about fifteen days. Thereafter the patient may gradually embark
upon a well - balanced diet, consisting of seeds, nuts, grains,
vegetables, and fruits.
If the patient is constipated, purgatives are indicated
because anemia is born of pitta which can be corrected through
purgation.Triphala is the best remedy for such constipation.
Finally, don't drink coffee or tea when eating meals or
taking your supplements; these can also make it more difficult
for your body to absorb iron.
Cold-water baths are recommended in anemia. The patient
should be given a
cold bath carefully twice daily, the coldness of the water being
increased gradually. A hot salt bath for five to ten minutes
once a week and an occasional steam bath are also useful.
Sunbaths are especially beneficial as the sunlight stimulates
the production of red cells. Other important factors that help
in curing anemia are deep breathing and light exercises like