Toxicology

I owe this article to my friend Sri Brahmadathan Namboodiri, Ullnoor Mana, Thrissur district kerala India. This has been and still continues to be speciality with emergency medical care. The range of conditions that are cured are wide and the response time is the quickest as they are life saving measures. I have spend quality time learning this speciality with traditional Vaidyas who still possess clinical acumen to manage life threatening critical situations. The scope of this lies not only in snake bite case but also in various toxicology condition of the North East Indian jungles were the armed troops face lot of hardship due to poisonous flies, mosquitoes and insects bites that are characteristic of dampy, marshy jungle terrains. Even diseases of allergic nature, non healing ulcers caused due to even viper bites are very well managed.

Its noteworthy that these physicians are generally approached after all other systems of medicine have been tried out with no satisfactory results. Each case of snake bite is unique. The venom targets the weakness in the body physiology of the victim and attacks it. Russels viper bite usually presents with symptoms like severe burning pain in the bite area which usually spreads to other areas, oedema, weakness in the limbs, severe bleeding etc. The Ayurvedic clinical management of snake bite can be broadly divided into 1. Emergency management and 2. Continued medical evaluation and management.

Contributors

I, Dr Sreejith Pillai, am deeply indebted to the below Ayurveda practioners & professionals who spent their valuable time and energy in the preparation of this matErial.

Smt Vimala Antarjanam

Ullnoor Mana, Thrissur dist., Kerala, India, anudathanu@gmail.com, Ph: +91 487 2261222, +91 9388847128

1

Sri Brahmadathan Namboodiri

Ullnoor Mana, Thrissur dist., Kerala, India, anudathanu@gmail.com, Ph: +91 487 2261222, +91 9388847128

Shri Maheshwaran Namboodiri

Avanaparambu Mana, Kumbalangadu, near Wadakanchery, Trissur Dist., Kerala India Ph: +91 4884 232910, + 91 9447672055

Sri Manmathan Vaidyan

Panthiramkavu Visha Chikitsa Kendram, Pothukallu, via Nilamboor, Malapurram Dist., Kerala, India Ph: +91 9446247902, +91 9497668747

Dr Sreejith Pillai

Phone: +91 9447349992, WhatsApp: +91 9495963876, Email: agnivesh.info@gmail.com

Medical Conditions

1. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
The first and foremost aim of an Ayurvedic toxicologist is to manage the emergency and stop the further development of pathology which may present the risk of the patient slipping into a coma, systemic failure and ultimately, death.
Ayurveda bases its diagnosis and therapeutics on the theory of three doshas  and it is thus very important for the physician to find out which of the three dosha or their combinations have been vitiated. A very bitter tasting drug  / root of a drug called garudakodi  is pasted on a betel leaf and given to the patient to chew and he is asked to report the taste experienced.
It is noted that tastes like sour and even sweet are experienced by victims of snake bites. Based on this, the further development of pathology can be guessed by the physician and needed measures
can be adopted.
A number of drugs are also given as per the specific diagnosis. If the patient is unconscious or his response to stimuli are dropping, specific therapeutic measures like nasal medications, Anjana( applications in the eye) are adopted to bring the patient back to consciousness.
Once the patient is stabilized and out of the emergency, the stage of continued medical evaluation and management is commenced.
2. CONTINUED MEDICAL EVALUATION AND MANAGEMENT
This stage involves with the various therapeutic procedures to counter the systemic and local symptoms which are of lesser severity and is not of direct risk to the life of the patient. Symptoms such as pain, continued bleeding, stupor, weakness, vomiting, abdominal pain, difficulty in micturition etc are managed by the spectrum of medicines and therapeutic procedures explained in the traditional texts of Ayurveda and toxicology.
Usually this stage lasts for one week in the case of Krait or Cobra bites, but in the case of Viper bites, this can extend to 90 days as the symptoms have a greater chance of relapsing by even a slight transgression from Pathya or dietary and habitual regimens prescribed by the physician. Medicines are prescribed to alleviate the associated symptoms such as oedema, ulcers, body pain and weakness etc.
Viper bites are usually associated with non-healing ulcers. These usually need medications ranging from 4 weeks to 12 weeks for complete healing. A number of such non healing ulcer cases present to the VISHA CHIKITSA practitioners of Kerala notable among them are ULLANOOR MANA Vaidya Valloor Sankaran Namboodiri is a very experienced physician of this speciality Smti Vimala Antarjanam, Brahmadattan Namboodiripad , Trissur district, AVANAPARAMPU MANA Shri. Maheshwaran Namboodiripad, Ph : 04884-232910, Trissur & Manmathan Vaidyan in Nilamboor, Ph. 9446247902 Malapurram Dist.]
Some of the non – healing ulcers are 3-4 years chronic and they achieve a complete recovery by Ayurvedic medication within a time span of three months. This is mainly due to Ayurveda’s stress on correcting the impaired body physiology of the patient rather than on the administration of antibiotics which only serve to kill the microbes which infect the immunologically compromised tissues.
A lot of systemic complications can also develop due to venomous snake bites. One of the most common among them is the renal failure commonly developed in the viper bites. An interesting case was presented at Ullannoor Mana a couple of years back, where a young Christian boy was brought straight from a modern allopathic hospital. He had been bitten by a Russels viper 72 days back. A massive dose of Antivenom had saved the boy from immediate fatality, but soon after the bite he had developed renal failure. The doctors had certified that he had severely necrosed kidneys and was in need of immediate transplant of at least one kidney, which due to the financial constraints the family was unable to afford.
The presenting complaints were severe vomiting. The boy was unable to have any solid or liquid food owing to the severe vomiting and was surviving on fluids. He was severely emaciated and there was hardly any micturition.
Ayurvedic treatments were commenced soon after and after a period of three months of strict dietary and habitual regimen and medicines, he recovered completely. Modern laboratory tests revealed the normal functioning of kidneys and the now healthy individual co operates full time in his family profession. It is worthy to investigate further the role of Ayurvedic treatments in the management of such serious and life threatening complications which can develop even independently.
Some of the other cases that present at these VISHACHIKITSA centres are poisonous spider bites, bites of millipedes, wasp and bee stings and other insect bites including those of the millipedes. Usually in a clinical scenario, these are very commonly misdiagnosed as mere allergic reactions and are treated accordingly. It is a common scenario at these centres to have patients who have not responded to such allopathic treatments and when treated for their actual cause 95% of the patients respond well within a couple of days.
Skin diseases are also very common in these clinics for which treatments have worked well within a very short period of time, where modern treatments have failed to produce any result even by prolonged durations. It is experience of Ayurvedic physicians of Kerala that cases of eczema, fungal infections, skin diseases due to other metabolic disorders like Psoriasis respond well to Ayurvedic treatments. Since the treatments for poisons are also dependant on the humoral triad / tri doshas  of Ayurveda, they can be easily adopted in any conditions of similar humoral vitiation, even when there has been no direct involvement of a poisonous substance in the development of the presenting pathology. It has an added advantage that, most of the treatments for poisons have been designed with the time factor in mind, most of these treatments can be directly adapted to the modern clinical scenario where time required for healing of diseases is of prime importance owing to the new economical challenges that the new millennium poses.