Article by Dr MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu) Ph.D (Ayu) and Dr Hebbar.
Burning sensation of the body is a characteristic feature in many diseases like Alcoholic intoxication, Diabetes mellitus, Cachexia etc. This is termed as ‘Daha’- in Ayurveda, mainly influenced by increase of Pitta Dosha.
Causes of burning sensation in body:
1. Intake of pitta provoking food and drinks
2. Excess intake of alcohol
3. Dry and spicy food
4. Suppression of thirst and hunger
5. Severe emaciating disorders
6. Long lasting illnesses
8. Long term medicinal intake
11. in all disorder types wherein Pitta is dominant. For example, in Pittaja Jwara (fever due to imbalanced Pitta).
Origin of burning sensation
Regular intake of causative factors like suppression of thirst, spicy food, alcohol etc lead to collective aggravation of Pitta Dosha in Stomach and then in different body parts. This causes warming / hotness in the body and in turn both internal and external burning is complained by the patient. One of the qualities of Pitta is hotness. So when Pitta is increased, hotness is exhibited more in the body.
Cardinal features of burning disease
1. Burning all over the body or some specific parts of the body based upon the gradation and site of aggravation of Pitta
2. Excessive thirst (pathological in nature), which is not satisfied by common drinks
4. Fatigue etc.
Types, features and line of management
All the features are similar to Pittaja Fever; Mouth ulcer, headache, burning sensation in chest, eyes and face. The measures prescribed for Pittaja fever are adopted here.
Madya means alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol provoke Pitta due to warm and penetrative qualities (Ushna and Teekshna guna of Madya). As a result, Rasa and Rakta dhatus (nutritional juice and blood) dry up. When this enters the related organs like stomach, liver, spleen etc, it causes burning sensation in chest and stomach.
This is also managed similar to Pittaja Daha.
Hot –spicy and penetrative food and beverages aggravate Rakta Dhatu (blood) and in turn burning and reddish discoloration is caused in the dependent body parts like eyes, tongue, axilla and chest. Severe thirst, coppery complexion, redness of the eyes are the other characteristic features. Metallic smell is felt in the body as well as mouth.
This is managed by cooling therapies.
Trishna nirodhaja daha (burning due to suppression of thirst)
Constant suppression of thirst aggravates Pitta and in turn it dehydrates the tissues.
Thus it causes burning sensation internally and externally, debility, dryness of the throat, palate, lips and tongue, trembling etc.
This is treated by cold infusions and coolant food and drinks.
Shastra Praharaja Daha (burning due to injury or effusion of blood in visceral organs)
It produces features described as in the condition of fresh wound.
It is managed by the remedies prescribed under the heading of acute ulcers.
Kshayaja Daha (burning due to emaciation)
Emaciation of the tissue brings about severe burning sensation accompanying with dryness, thirst, feeble voice, retarded activities etc.
It is managed by Rakta and Pitta pacifying measures.
Kshataja and Marma abhighataja Daha (burning due to injury to vital area)
When a person is inured and vital organs are affected, ingested food gets mixed with blood (in vital organs) or is accompanied by various agonies and hence internal burning is caused. Unconsciousness, severe thirst and fever are the characteristic features of this condition.
Such a condition is managed by all pitta pacifying measures and with pleasant atmosphere which cools both body and mind.
Single drugs used in treatment of burning sensation:
1. Chandana- Sandalwood- Santalum album
2. Usheera – vittiver – Vittivur zizinoides
3. Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus
4. Karpoora – camphor – Cinnamomum camphora
5. Amalaki – goose berry (amala)- Emblica officinalis
6. Kooshmanda – ash gourd – Benincasa hispida
7. Durva – Cynodon dactylon
8. Kamala – lotus- Nymphea nouchali
9. Draksha – raisins – Vitis vinifera
10. Dhanyaka – Coriander – Coriandrum sativum etc
Medicines used in treating burning sensation:
1. Mukta pishti – made from pearl
2. Pravala pishti – made from coral
3. Chandrakala rasa – useful in burning sensation while passing urine, originating in urinary tract.
4. Kamadugha rasa – Useful in treating burning sensation of chest and stomach, associated with gastritis, GERD etc.
5. Usheerasava – wherein Usheera (Cus Cus grass / Vetiver is the main ingredient.). it is very useful in Raktaja Daha – burning sensation associated with bleeding.
6. Sarivadyasava – Sariva is Indian sarsaparilla. It is useful in burning sensation in stomach and urinary bladder.
7. Chandanasava – useful in burning micturition.
8. Gulkhand – made from rose petals. Useful in relieving burning sensation associated with excessive thirst and gastritis.
9. Shatavari lehya
10. Shatavaryadi choorna
11. Amalaki rasayana made from amla.
Unwholesome diet and habits:
1. Madya (alcohol)
2. Hingu (asa foetida)
3. Lashuna (garlic)
4. Katu rasa (pungent substances)
5. Lavana rasa (salts)
6. Krodha (anger)
7. Vyayama (heavy exercise)
8. Viruddha hara (incompatible food stuff)
9. Atapa (exertion in sunshine) etc.
Wholesome diet and habits:
1. Purana shali (old rice)
2. Shashtika shali (red rice)
3. Draksha (raisins)
4. Amalaki (amla)
5. Ksheera (cow’s milk)
6. Mudga (green gram)
7. Kadali (banana)
8. Tikta dravya (bitter substance)
9. Sheeta dravya (herbs of cold potency)
10. Cold water bath.
11. Intake of Pitta balancing diet
Even though Daha (burning) is a common feature in people with Pitta body type and summer seasons, it may be found wherever such a condition is manifested due to the aggravation of Pitta. Careful management of burning sensation in its early stage helps to prevent the major Pitta disorders like Visarpa (herpes), Raktapitta (bleeding disorders), Atyartava (menorrhagia), Raktatisara (bloody diarrhoea) etc.