What is Anemia?

Anemia is a health condition in which the blood lacks healthy red blood cells. These blood cells can be unhealthy for a variety of reasons. Several types of anemia include sickle-cell anemia, pernicious anemia, iron-deficiency anemia, and hypoproteinemic anemia (a lack of protein). Additionally, there are also vitamin-deficiency anemias such as folic and B-12 acid-deficiency anemia. Blood loss can occur because of various bleeding disorders like bleeding gums, bleeding hemorrhoids, or profuse menstrual bleeding.

In Ayurveda, anemia is handled differently. Ayurveda classifies anemia as one of three basic Doshic conditions: Kapha-type, Pitta-type, and Vata-type. It doesn’t matter whether a person has an iron deficiency or folic acid deficiency; however, it is more important how anemia is expressing itself through a particular individual.

What are the Symptoms of Anemia?

Typical: In Vata-type anemia, a person may have a thin appearance. Their joints may have a crackling sound, and their skin may be scaly, rough, and dry. They look pale and abnormally weak and may struggle with constipation, restlessness, have difficulty breathing, or pass black stools.

In Pitta-type anemia, a person may have slightly yellow eyes, strongly colored urine, and dark brown stools with a somewhat yellowish tinge. Moreover, a person may have nausea or pain in their spleen and liver area. In addition, one may experience dizziness, vertigo, or become irritated by light.

In Kapha-type anemia, a person may show signs of clammy, cold skin, and shiny. Frequently, one may show visible signs of edema, which occurs when fluids get trapped in the body’s tissue, which causes the skin to get stretched so much that you may see the reflection of the window on it.

Might Experience: Fatigue, weakness, pale or yellowish skin, irregular heartbeats, shortness of breath, chest pain, cold hands and feet, headaches.

What are the Causes of Anemia?

  • Diets lacking vitamin B12
  • Diets lacking in folic acid
  • Inherited blood disorders
  • The body breaks down red blood cells to quickly

When to see a Doctor?

Visit a doctor if you’re feeling fatigued and don’t know why.

Regular screening: The first test that diagnoses anemia is a complete blood count (CBC), which will gather data about your blood.

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Anemia

  • Eat iron-rich foods: Foods like carrots, beets, grapes, currants, and raisins are all used in Ayurveda because they are high in iron. In addition, Dates, date sugar, and figs are also high in iron. For iron-rich drinks, pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, beet juice, and carrot juice are all full of iron (for maximum effect, add a pinch of cumin to beet/carrot juice).
  • Yogurt and Turmeric: Both morning and afternoon, have a cup of yogurt with a maximum of one (1) teaspoon of turmeric when on an empty stomach. Do not eat this after sunset. If Kapha is unbalanced, eat only at noon.
  • Blue-green Algae: Blue-green algae is effective for pitta anemia. Since it is full of prana, blue-green algae is unsuitable for Vata individuals because it’ll make them hyper. Kapha types may also find blue-green algae beneficial.
  • Diet and Lifestyle Choices: All three Doshic constitutional types should adhere to the guidelines (diet, exercise, and so on) for their body. For Vata problems, follow the anti-Vata guidelines; for Pitta, anemia follows the pitta-soothing diet and other guidelines; and for Kapha-type anemia, follow the Kapha-reducing guidelines.
  • Yoga Asanas: Yoga is a great way to empower your body. For Kapha and Vata varieties, poses like the Locust, Lotus, Plow, Headstand, and shoulder stand are highly recommended because they bring your blood supply to organs like your brain, thymus, and thyroid. However, a headstand will not be suitable for Pitta types, but the boat, bow, bridge, and sun salutation will be great.
  • Breathing Exercise: For all anemic conditions, Surya Pranayama (Right Nostril breathing) is strongly recommended. Block your left nostril with your right ring finger and breathe only through the right nostril because this will stimulate the liver, which plays an essential role in building and maintaining the blood.

Common Ayurvedic Remedies for Anemia

Curative Ayurvedic Herbs:
Guggulu | Ashwagandha | Gambhari | Shatavari | Brahmi | Neem | Katuki | Gokshura

Preventative Ayurvedic Herbs:
Moringa | Sultana

Chinmayi Kulkarni

Chinmayi is a Nutritionist turned Marketer, with Masters in both Marketing and Nutrition. Her focus is to combine her knowledge to understand and evangelize Ayurveda.

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