Ayurveda explains that alcohol possesses all the qualities of poison. So, its excess intake leads to various complications. Meanwhile, it is important to know that Ayurvedic experts have recommended alcohols prepared by herbal sources, in limited quantity in the form of food as well as medicines.
This is why Asava and Arishta medicines are explained in Ayurveda show excellent effect in the treatment of various disorders. Yoga Ratnakara, a traditional Ayurvedic textbook prescribes herbal wines (madya) in the maximum dose of 2 pala (96 ml – around 3 ounce). It also recommends in the dose of 4 pala (192 ml) in case of noon hours and 8 pala (384 ml) during night time. In all these cases we should understand that the alcohol should be in the range of 3-7% alcohol (Asava-Arista).
During night, relatively higher amount of herbal wine is allowed, because person is going to sleep and hence there might not be any untoward effects.
Qualities of Alcohol according to Ayurveda:
1. Lightness – Laghu – Undergoes digestion and absorption very swiftly.
2. Penetrative – Teekshna – enters into deep body tissues.
3. Hot, warm – Ushna
4. Minuteness – Sookshma – enters and opens up minute body channels
5. Sour – Amla Rasa
6. Quickly spreading – Vyavayi – After swift absorption, alcohol spreads to all parts of the body at a rapid speed.
7. Instant – Ashu
8. Dryness – Rooksha
9. Affects and loosens body tissues and loosens joints – Vikasi and
10. Clarity – Vishada
Stages of Alcoholic effect
First stage: (Prathama Mada/Satwic effect)
1. Promotes the intellect
2. Enhances the memory power
3. Increases broad mindedness
4. Gives pleasure
5. Improves the quality of sleep
6. Promotes the sexual virility
7. Improves the ability of reading, singing, voration etc.
Second stage: (Madhyama mada/ Rajasic effect)
1. Attains unexplainable strength in memory, intellect and vocabulary
2. Individual appears as if he is maniac
3. Disturbed mind
5. Repeated sleep etc.
Third stage: (Triteeya Mada/Tamasic effect)
1. Looses the ability to recognise the truth and the myth
2. Disrespect the elders
3. Eat the unwholesome/non eatables
4. Looses consciousness
5. Utters the secrets also.
Acharya Sushruta explained this stage. In this stage the person looses the consciousness and falls on ground just like a wooden log, irrespective of time and space.
Types of intoxication based on Doshas
Types and symptoms of of alcoholic intoxication based on Dosha vitiation:
Due to Vata – Vataja Madatyaya
Hiccup, breathlessness, shivering of the head,
pain in the flanks, loss of sleep and delirium etc.
Due to Pitta – Pittaja Madatyaya:
Thirst , burning sensation, fever, excessive perspiration, hallucination, diarrhoea, vertigo, green discoloration of the body etc.
Features of Kaphaja madatyaya:
Vomiting ,tastelessness, nausea, drowsiness, stiffness, heaviness and coldness of the body etc.
When Doshas are inter-mixed, mixed features of Doshic dominance is found when two or three doshas are involved.
Unique alcohol intoxicated conditions:
It is a unique intoxicated condition caused due to the dominance of Kapha Dosha. In this condition, heaviness of the body, sweetness of the mouth, obstruction to the flow of urine and bowel, drowsiness, tastelessness, thirst, headache and pain in the joint are complained.
Panajeerna (Indigestion of Alcohol)
In this, distention of the abdomen, vomiting and severe burning sensation in chest and stomach region is observed.
Panavibhrama (Vertigo headache and dizziness caused due to alcohol)
If Panajeerna is neglected, it leads to vertigo. In this condition, pricking pain in the chest(cardiac area), nausea, burning sensation in the throat, syncope, vomiting, fever and headache are observed.
Complications of excessive alcoholism (Alcoholic intoxication):
Hiccup , fever, shivering, vomiting, pain in the flanks, cough and vertigo are the complications of alcoholic intoxication.
Treatment of Alcoholic intoxication:
All sorts of of Pitta and Vata balancing treatments are undertaken.
Due priority is given to coolants (Sheetala) and rejuvenatory (Rasayana) medicines with sweet and astringent tastes.
Single drugs recommended in Panatyaya:
1. Kharjura –Date fruits- Phoenix sylvestre (L.) Roxb.
2. Dadima-Pome granate- Punica granatum Linn.
3. Draksha –Raisins- Vitis vinifera Linn.
4. Amalaki –Amla- Emblica officinalis Gaertn.
5. Adraka- Ginger- Zingiber officinale Rose.
6. Parushaka – Grewia asiatica Linn.
7. Amlavetasa – Garcinia pedunclata Roxb.
8. Parpataka- Fumaria vaillantii Loise.
9. Jambira – Lemon – Citrus limon (L.) Burm.
Formulations recommended for Panatyaya :
1. Kharjuradi Mantha
2. Katphaladi Ghrita
3. Masha Ghrita
4. Shatavari Ghrita
5. Punarnava Ghrita
6. Ashtanga Lavana
7. Kharjurasava –
8. Dadimadyavalehya – a herbal jam prepared with pomegranate as main ingredient
9. Chinchadi Lehya etc
Ayurvedic home remedies
Simple Indian herbal remedies for quick relief from alcohol overdose:
1. Rock salt (Saindhava salt), dry ginger, long pepper and black pepper are taken in equal quantity and fine powder is made . To this , equal quantity of Ajwain (Bishop’s weed) is added and two teaspoon of this powder is added to 200ml of hot water and cooked. This is taken daily for 10 to 12 days. It helps to overcome the chronic toxicity of alcohol.
2. Equal quantity of Triphala choorna and Katuki (Picrorrhiza) are mixed with honey and taken during night time. 7 days’ medication reduces the tastelessness, gastritis, and bloating caused due to alcoholic intoxication.
Unwholesome diet and habits
Unwholesome diet and habits while a person is suffering with alcoholism:
1. Warm and spicy food
2. Oily food
3. Night awakening
4. Working in sunshine
5. Work exhaustion etc
Wholesome diet and habits
1. Godhuma (wheat)
2. Yava (barley)
3. Mudga (green gram)
4. Masha (black gram)
5. Shashtika shali (red rice)
6. Tanduleeyaka (spinach)
7. Patola (snake gourd)
8. Chandana(sandal wood)
11. Dadima(pome granate) etc
Now-a-days due to addiction, fashion, status, as a matter of pleasure and for company, people take alcohol. But if it crosses its limit, surely one or other kind of discomforts are caused. So always, know your limits.
Alcoholism in a Satvic Person
Satvic person means a person with high Satva guna – devotional, spiritual, highly optimistic, positive persona. Satva is the supreme quality of mind. Though Alcohol is considered as Tamasika food (that leads to darkness, inaction, laziness, lethargy), it will not have any ill effects on a Satvic person.
Article by Dr MS Krishnamurthy and Dr Hebbar