Symptoms: Repeated need to defecate but small movement, urge to strain while defecating, pain in the navel region, etc.
Causes: Undigested half-cooked or uncooked meat or pulses or such things, when mixed with contaminated air in the stomach, cause an abnormal reaction in the intestine, and when the pitta, in spite of its best efforts, fails to digest these things, they come out in the form of loose movement. But if this loose movement does not take its natural course, then those materials start to decompose inside the colon in an ugly way and begin to decay the mucous membrane. Under those circumstances, the different fluid-secreting glands of the body engage in secreting more fluids in an effort to rectify the internal disorder. When these extra fluids come into contact with the undigested food and other contaminated matter, they turn into mucus. So in the case of dysentery the stool is full of mucus. The mucus is no disease by itself but is a natural system of healing the disease.
Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, Padahastásana, Agnisára Mudrá, Ud́d́ayana Mudrá and Ágneyii Práńáyáma.
Evening – Same.
No dysentery patient should remain with his/her stomach empty.
All kinds of fried things, parched things, pulses, non-vegetarian foods, as well as foods containing ghee, oil or fat, are to be carefully avoided.
At the first attack of the disease, whether or not fever is present, the patient should take nothing but water mixed with citrus juice (orange or tangerine juice is best.)
After allowing the stomach to rest in this way for a day or two, the patient should then gradually take other foods. Hot and freshly-boiled rice, after being rinsed for about thirty seconds in cold water, with a little soup made from pat́ol, gándála, telákucá or thánkuni leaves; curd-water, etc., may be taken. Always keep in mind that with dysentery more attention is to be paid to selection of diet than to medicine. Roasted bel, or ripe banana peeled and fried in ghee, can be taken as breakfast or a snack. These foods serve as both food and medicine.
If the dysentery is a chronic case, the patient should have dinner before 9 p.m. and take perfectly hot luci [puri – unleavened bread puffed by deep frying] with a little bit of salt. As breakfast or a snack, chronic patients can take hot jilápii [a curly fried sweet]. If the patient takes aged tamarind [Tamarindus indica Linn.] chutney in very small quantity (not more than two tolas) with the noon meal, especially old tamarind chutney with ripe bananas, it will bring a good result.
Dos and don’ts
It is very harmful for a dysentery patient to have his/her abdomen exposed to cold.
For a dysentery patient, curd (yoghurt) is more beneficial than milk, and curd-water is better than curd.
Wrapping a flannel cloth around the abdomen when the disease is in an aggravated state is an excellent precaution.
1. If there is profuse bleeding in an aggravated state of the disease, administering a small quantity of durbá juice or kuksimá-leaf juice in the morning, or morning and evening both, will bring good results.
2. Sucking 1/4 tola of acacia [Acacia arabica Willd.] bud ground with bat́ásá (small lumpy balls of powdered sugar and baking soda) is especially beneficial.
3. For excellent results within a very short time, do any of the following:
a. Take 1/2 tola of the aerial root (the tender part) of banyan (bat́er jhuri) ground in the water in which rice has been rinsed; or
b. Take about 2 tolas of juice from the leaves of mango, jám and ámarula, with goat’s milk; or
c. Take a small quantity of ámarula-leaf juice with sugar in the morning on an empty stomach.
d. Soak a little maorii [aniseed], masúr dal and michrii [rock candy] together in water overnight in a stone or glass pot and take them as a drink in the morning after drinking them together. Likewise, soak the ingredients in the morning and take the drink in the evening.
4. Take tender leaves of mango, jám and kayetbel, and pound them together to extract juice from them. Drink that juice with salt every morning on an empty stomach and the disease will be cured.
If you dip a piece of red-hot iron in that juice and drink the mixture, then all types of fever will be controlled.
5. If dysentery turns chronic, take tendrils of banyan-tree shoots, pound them to paste, and take the paste with water in which uncooked rice has just been washed. Continue taking this remedy for a few days and it will cure the disease.
1958 Published in: Yogic Treatments and Natural Remedies