An Ayurvedic tonic caused liver disease | Fusion - WeRIndia

An Ayurvedic tonic caused liver disease

An Ayurvedic tonic caused liver disease

Cyriac Abby Philips is a liver specialist at a hospital in Kerala. He has experienced many cases of hepatitis and liver disease, but one recent and unusual case caught his eye. A 40-year-old man came to him for an evaluation of a severe case of jaundice.

All of his liver tests had the indications of alcohol use. However, the man denied having ever drunk a single drop of alcohol throughout his whole life. This man was a hardworking pineapple farmer who led a healthy life with his family.

He had never indulged in any addictive substances. According to the man, this was the first time he had ever fallen sick.

Philips decided to go through the usual protocol and tested for other possible causes of this man’s illness.

However, all the tests for common causes, such as viruses, painkillers, antibiotics, and herbal medications, came back negative. Tests for rarer causes like herpes, parvovirus, dengue, and typhoid came back negative as well.

Eventually, Philips had to resort to giving the man a liver biopsy, which would directly show what was causing his sickness.

The results came back as a classic case of alcohol-caused hepatitis. However, the man still told Philips the same thing: he never drunk alcohol in his life.

To find out the complete truth, Philips decided to bring in the man’s family, in order to see what was really going on in his life.

To his surprise, the man’s family confirmed everything he had said: he never drank, lived a healthy lifestyle, worked hard for his family, and spent all his time with them too.

However, the man’s wife told Philips how he would take dashamoolarishtam, an Ayurvedic digestive, to reduce bloating after his meals. This got Philips’s attention immediately.

Dashamoolarishtam is an age-old Ayurvedic tonic that supposedly improves digestion, among other things.

However, it has self-generating alcohol due to the presence of extracts from the Woodfordia fruticosa plant, which can ferment like grapes. This tonic is one of the most common household items in Kerala. Its popularity has increased due to the state’s ban on alcohol sales.

People have been buying and overdosing on dashamoolarishtam to get the same effect as alcohol. Furthermore, some producers of this tonic have intentionally increased its alcohol content to boost their sales.

Thus, Philips came to his rather alarming diagnosis: that the man’s hepatitis was caused by an Ayurvedic tonic which he had believed to be beneficial to his health. Luckily, the man was treated for the disease and was fully cured afterward.

Photo by Lisa Hobbs on Unsplash (Free for commercial use)

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