Anemia And Ayurveda

Published by Kottakkal Ayurgarden on


Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or the hemoglobin concentration within them is lower than normal. Or a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen, resulting in pallor and weariness or pain.


Causes and types of anemia:


  1. 1.Impaired or decreased red blood cell (RBC) production like sickle cell anemia, Iron-deficiency anemia, Vitamin-deficiency anemia(Vitamin B-12 and folate), Problems with bone marrow(Aplastic anemia), thalassemia etc.
  2. Increased RBC destruction (hemolytic anemia) conditions like hemolytic anemia, some infections, certain drugs, severe hypertension, vascular grafts and prosthetic heart valves, toxins produced in advanced kidney or liver diseases, snake or spider venom etc.
  3. Blood loss(hypovolemia) blood loss cause shortage of iron in the blood stream leads to anemia fluid overload (hypervolemia) causes hemoglobin concentration decreased and leads to apparent anemia.
  4. Gastrointestinal disorders like IBD, gluten related disorders, H-pylori infection etc.
  5. Anemia related with chronic conditions like advanced kidney disease, hypothyroidism, long term diseases like cancer, infection, lupus, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis etc.


Signs and Symptoms of Anemia


Normal Hemoglobin level in blood is 13.5-18 g/dL for men, 12-16 g/dL for women and 11-16g/dL in children. When anemia affect slowly, the symptoms are often indistinct, which may be feels tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath, and a poor stamina etc. When the anemia comes on quickly, symptoms are include confusion, feeling like one is going to pass out, loss of consciousness, and increased thirst.


  • Dizziness and Light headiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Head ache
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Pain in bones, chest, belly, and joints
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Skin is pale or yellow
  • Growth problem for children.


In Ayurveda deficiency of blood is called Pandu roga, main reasons for manifestation of pandu roga are VYAYAMA(heavy exercises) is meant doing strenuous activity, excess work, mental strains that leads to loss of sleep etc. affect normal digestion cause mal-absorption, AMLA-LAVANA AHARA(consumption of sour and salty food)cause circulation reduced leads tissue level toxicity resulting improper functioning of systems, MADYAPANA(Alcohol consumption) leads to liver toxicity, DIWASWAPNA OR AALASYA(Day sleep or sedentary habit) affect digestion and metabolism leads to mal-nutrition,THEEKSHNA-VIDAHI AAHARA(spicy and penetrating aahara) are adversely affect organ systems, they work as free radicals which will check movement or absorption of essential nutrients, MRIDBHAKSHANA(intake of mud) In older days intake of mud was common in communities, when mud go inside which will leads to infection and damage to internal organs.


The above mentioned causative factors imbalance the Agni (Fire element), which leads to the formation of Ama (toxin), hence nutrients are not properly absorbed leads to mal-nutrition. Poor nourishment rasadhatu and thus raktadhatu finally Pandu is resulted.


Types of Pandu(anemia) and features:


Vataja– Dark and pale-yellow complexion, rough and dry skin, aches and pain, tremors, tastelessness, cracking of joints, swelling, prickling pain, constipation, weakness and malaise

Pittaja- Yellowing of the eyes, fever and burning sensation, thirst, sweating, likes for cold things, pungent taste in the mouth, sour belches, indigestion, bad breath, sensitivity to light and diarrhea.

Kapaja- edema, cold and clammy skin, drowsiness, heaviness of the body and mind, vomiting, whitish complexion, chills, giddiness, laziness, anorexia, cough, obstruction in speech and voice, sweet taste in mouth and whitishness of urine, eyes and feces

Sannipathaja- Mixed features of vataja, pittaja and kapaja.

Mrid bhakshya janya- Edema in the cheek, eye sockets, feet and pudendum, worm infection, loose motions and breathlessness.


Anemia Diagnosis

  • CBC – helps to check any underlying conditions, such as leukemia or kidney disease etc.
  • Blood smear is a way check the shape of your red blood cells, and look for abnormal cells
  • Hematocrit levels comparing the volume of RBCs with the total volume of blood
  • Hemoglobin levels
  • RBC count
  • Reticulocyte count helps to know immature red blood cells




  • Anemia due to iron deficiency can be managed by giving oral Iron supplementation with with ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, or ferrous gluconate etc. Vitamin C increase ability to absorb iron, so taking oral iron supplements with orange juice is better. If oral iron is ineffective Injectable iron (parenteral iron) can be used.
  • In chronic kidney disease, recombinant erythropoietin or epoetin alfa is adviced to stimulate RBC production.
  • Blood transfusion is recommended when hemoglobin range is below 6-8g/dL
  • Hyperbaric oxygen is indicated when oxygen delivery at tissue level is not sufficient and who cannot be given blood transfusions due to  blood product incompatibility or concern for transmissible disease, have exceptional blood loss.
  • Anemia due to vitamin deficiency managed by giving dietary supplements and vitamin B-12 shots.
  • In Thalassemia treatments include giving folic acid supplements, iron chelation, or in severe condition do blood transfusions or bone marrow transplanting.
  • Aplastic anemia managed through blood transfusions or bone marrow transplants.
  • Sickle cell anemia treatment involves painkillers, oxygen therapy , folic acid supplements, intravenous fluids, intermittent antibiotics,  blood transfusions, and a cancer drug called hydroxyurea used to reduce pain, to keep red blood cells their proper shape medication called voxelator is given.
  • Hemolytic anemia treatment include immunosuppressant drugs, treatments for infections, and plasmapheresis


Line of treatment of Pandu:


At first phase purification treatment will be done such as vamana(emesis) or virechana(purgation). In second phase suitable wormicidal medicines (krimighna yoga) will be administered to eliminate worms and other accumulated toxins from the body. In third phase by analyzing severity of disease, stage of the disease and patient’s body constitution (prakriti) apt formulations will be selected.


Some single drugs in Pandu:

  1. Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
  2. Kumari (Aloe Barbadensis)
  3. Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa)
  4. Fenugreek (Trigonella Foenum Graecum)
  5. Bhringaraja (Eclipta alba)
  6. Pyaaz (Allium Cepa)
  7. Draksha (Vitis vinifera)
  8. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
  9. Pippali (Piper longum)
  10. Garlic (Allium sativum)
  11. Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
  12. Shunti (Zingiber officinale)
  13. Musta (Cyperus rotundus)
  14. Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus)
  15. Daruharidra(Berberis aristata)
  16. Shilajatu (Asphaltum punjabinum)
  17. Vidanga (Embelia ribes)
  18. Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia)


Some formulations useful in Pandu (Anemia):


  • Loha bhasma
  • Lohasava
  • Navayasa loha choornam
  • Saptamrita loha choornam
  • Dhatri loha
  • Bringarajasava
  • Kasis bhhasmam
  • Kumaryasavam
  • Draksharistam
  • Drakshasavam
  • Ayaskriti
  • Mandoora vatakam
  • Punarnava mandooram
  • Mandooradyaristam
  • Amalakyavaleha
  • Mandoora bhasma
  • Swarnamakshika bhasma
  • Punarnavashtaka kwatha
  • Tapyadi loha
  • Pravala panchamritam
  • Drakshadyavaleha


Yoga practices

  • Trikonasana
  • Surya Bhedana
  • Sarvangasana
  • Paschimotthanasana
  • Shavasana etc.



  • Leafy green vegetables eg; kale, spinach, and watercress, leaf of drumstick
  • Barley, wheat, red rice
  • Pulses and beans
  • Flesh of desert animal, white or red meats
  • Milk, butter milk
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruits, including raisins, apricots,  prunes etc.
  • Fish
  • Tofu
  • Guava, ripened banana, lemon, gooseberry, pomegranate
  • Eggs
  • Inflorescence of banana
  • Iron-fortified cereals and breads
  • Sugarcane juice
  • Ghee
  • Mushrooms
  • Spirulina is rich reserves of iron
  • Vegetables such as beet, lettuce, spinach, soybean, radish, carrot and tomato, brinjal etc.


To be avoided

  • Alcohol
  • Sour-salty-pungent foods
  • Spicy food
  • Pickles
  • Coffee, cocoa, white flour, canned fruit and refined grain
  • Hard and dry food
  • Mustard
  • Bitter gourd
  • Horsegram
  • Alkaline substances etc.


Lifestyle modification

  • Iron pots and pans are used for cooking.
  • Bath in cold water once or twice daily to boost circulation.
  • Make bowel movement regular; constipation will affect adversely in anemia
  • Sunbathing stimulate RBC production.
  • Control stress level.


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