Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a chronic, potentially life-threatening condition caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). According to the UNAIDS, there are 2.4 million people living with HIV in India and 70,000 of them are children. This means we still have parent-to-child transmission, despite medications. Data for 2022-23 showed 421 pregnant women were positive out of over 15 lakhs tested, indicating a positivity rate of 0.03 %.
Dr. Kaustubh Bhure is an Ayurvedic physician and sexologist (Ayurveda). He is currently practicing at Dr. Bhure's Shree Ayurveda and Panchakarma Chikitsalaya in Thane, Mumbai. For the past 17 years, he has worked as an ayurvedic physician.
Symptoms of AIDS & HIV
Dr. Kaustubh says, "AIDS do not have its own symptoms. Normally, it takes time for symptoms of AIDS to be visible when patient is infected by HIV." If a patient is HIV positive and is already infected by AIDS then several conditions could be viewed as symptoms of AIDS such as delayed healing of wounds, unexplained weight loss, and recurrent infections. Infections like herpes and tuberculosis are common in AIDS. Some people might suffer from minor infections like cold and cough which doesn't recover easily.
Effectiveness of Ayurveda in HIV
Ayurvedic treatment is said to be effective in HIV on some level. It increases the life expectancy of patients and lowers the recurrence of infections. Ayurveda not only cures illnesses, but also works to prevent them. Ayurveda can definitely benefit HIV if it is accepted as a lifestyle choice rather than a treatment.
Proprietary ayurvedic medicines
Dr. Kaustubh mostly suggests Maharshi Ayurveda's Amrutkalash medicine to treat patients. Suvarnakalpa and Rasakalpa are the medicines in Ayurveda. In 17th-18th century Ayurveda started to propagate, they started using metals in Ayurveda. Rasakalpas are the group of medicines in which metals are used. Medicines like Ashwagandha, Bala, Gokshura, Alsi, Haldi, are beneficial for patients.
Here are some treatments and therapies that are used in HIV patients:
Rasayan Chikitsa - On a conceptual level, there is a treatment called Rasayan Chikitsa in Ayurveda, which has been practiced for 1000 years in Ayurveda. Rasayan Chikitsa stops the increasing illnesses that come with increasing age and increases the life expectancy of patients.
Achaar Rasayan - Achaar Rasayan includes routine things like what time we should wake up, how to keep personal hygiene, and how to adjust our diet and lifestyle to the various climates in India. There is less risk of disease if we follow Achaar Rasayana.
Panchakarma - Another procedure called Panchakarma is a detoxification procedure. In HIV patients, we must carefully carry out this treatment to maintain body substance isolation, preventing the disease from spreading to other patients and medical personnel. If we follow Panchakarma properly, our body will cleanse all the dirt and the body will function properly.
According to Dr. Kaustubh, Just adding years to patient's life is not enough; we also need to work to improve his/her quality of life which is possible through ayurvedic treatment for HIV.
Ayurvedic remedies in HIV
Ayurvedic medicines like Maharshi Ayurveda's Amrutkalash, Chyawanprash, and Suvarna Malini Vasant in Suvarnakalpa are very beneficial. In HIV, there are chances of getting other infections, and if the patient has those infections, treatment has to be done accordingly. Commonly, infections like tuberculosis are seen in HIV patients, for which Mahalaxamivilas Rasa Rajyakshma medicine works well. Without prescription, people can buy Sona-chaandi Chyawanprash and Dhootapapeshwar's Swamala.
Is AIDS or HIV fully curable?
Dr. Kaustubh tells, "Whether HIV or AIDS is curable or not has not been proven in Ayurveda yet. There is no official documentation of a patient being cured with Ayurveda. Most people don't really opt for ayurvedic treatment; they go for anti-retroviral therapy, while some may consider Ayurveda as an additional treatment choice. On a conceptual level, however, we can say that Ayurvedic Rasayan Chikitsa is helpful for HIV based on the ayurvedic treatment we have been using".
(Edited By: Mansi Kamble)
Contributed By: Dr. Kaustubh Bhure,Ayurvedic physician and sexologist, Dr. Bhure's Shree Ayurveda and Panchakarma Chikitsalaya