Haemophilia (also spelled hemophilia) is a condition where, when an internal or external blood vessel is damaged, the body can’t clot the blood and stop it flowing.
In the body, it is the function of blood to flow to provide life-force, oxygen and other essential nutrients to all areas of the body, and to help to carry wastes and other toxins out of the body. Blood is a vital tissue. Therefore, when we cut or injure a blood vessel the body naturally begins the process of blood clotting (or coagulation). In this process, small cells called platelets are drawn to the site of injury. Here they clump and stick to the walls of the injured vessels to stop the flow of blood. Once the blood flow has stopped the blood clot is cleared, and a repair process is activated to help the wound heal.
In a haemophiliac (an individual with haemophilia), the clotting process is impaired. This is usually due to the absence of specific “clotting factors” in the blood. Because of this, if a haemophiliac suffers an injury, it can easily lead to bruising and excessive bleeding. Even small bumps and injuries can result in internal bleeding in the joints or organs.
Causes of Haemophilia:
Haemophilia mostly occurs from birth, and for this reason is known as a genetic disease. A family history of the disease is a strong risk factor. It’s also possible to acquire haemophilia during ailments such as cancer, autoimmune disease and even pregnancy, but it these cases failure to clot the blood may not occur permanently.
From the Ayurvedic point of view, as well as an inherited condition, the lack of ability to clot the blood is seen as a breakdown in the natural intelligence of the body, in particular a disconnection from our very source.
In those born with haemophilia, the condition is considered incurable, but can be controlled throughout life with no severe consequences by following therapies and medication.
Principles of Treatment:
To maintain or restore the internal balance (homeostasis) of the individual is Ayurveda’s prime consideration. This means to create balance in the thirteen digestive fires, three dosha, seven bodily tissues, and protect and build ojas—our essence of nourishment and immunity. Only then can an individual form healthy blood.
In general, the failure of blood to clot in a timely manner is also considered a pitta imbalance. Therefore, pitta dosha must also be balanced.
Excess pitta dosha initially opens up channels and increases circulation, but as it makes the blood even more hot, sharp and penetrating, it causes acidity and inflammation that agitates and penetrates blood vessel and tissues. This process impedes and blocks channels, can produce bleeding, and further disrupt natural blood coagulation and clotting.
The basic prescription is to follow a pitta-calming diet that includes foods and herbs that soothe pitta dosha.
Therefore, to help manage the excessive risk of bleeding in haemophilia, and balance pitta dosha:
– Avoid overeating pungent, sour, or salty tastes, and heating foods such as chili peppers, meat, other animal products, junk foods, refined sugars and oils, garlic and raw onions.
– Avoid drinking heating substances, especially alcohol.
– Choose more rice, mung dal, steamed bitter vegetables, drumstick, and ghee. Other lentils, chick peas and kidney beans are also useful, but must be properly pre-soaked, thoroughly cooked and freshly consumed.
Spirulina is also cooling, and a great blood cleanser and builder.
Astringent herbs should also be included—especially when bleeding is suspected. Many astringent herbs are “haemostatic”, meaning that they directly help to stop bleeding. Astringent Ayurvedic herbs include Lodhra, Kushtha and Bilva. They can be taken internally for continuing problems with bleeding (under the guidance of an Ayurvedic physician). They can also be used alone or mixed in equal proportions into a paste that can be applied directly.
Aloe vera can also be very effective to stop excessive bleeding. Mix a pinch of turmeric powder with some aloe vera paste.
Honey can also be applied to external wounds, or taken internally.
Other Natural Ways to Stop Excessive Bleeding:
- Apply ice or something cold on the injured area to help constrict the blood vessels which assists the tissues to stop bleeding.
- Apply pressure to the injured area.
- Raising the bleeding area above the heart in order to slow down blood flow.
- Mantra and Om / Aum chanting under the guidance of a guru.
The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad.