Multiple Neuritis is a degeneration of peripheral nerves, and is also known as Peripheral Neuropathy or Polyneuritis. This is characterized by a slow onset of disturbed sensations, sensory loss, and weakness and shrinking of muscles in the hands and feet. There are various causes for this, including nutritional deficiencies, metabolic and inflammatory conditions and chronic intoxication due to alcohol, metals and drugs.
In Ayurveda, the above symptoms are believed to be due to disturbed “Vata” dosha. The disease process is believed to take place in two ways; one being a direct increase in the “Vata” dosha, usually due to quantitative decrease in the “Dhatus” or body tissues, and the other being a disorientation of the “Vata” dosha due to obstruction in the normal channel pathways. The first type of disease process is called as “Nir-upastambhit Vata-vyadhi” and the second type is termed as “Upastambhit Vata-vyadhi”. The two can be differentiated by a detailed medical history and a careful observation of the symptoms.
Treatment for the two types of diseases is totally different, in fact, quite contrasting. Nir-upastambhit vata is treated with Snehapaan (oral intake of oil or ghee), Abhyanga (oil massage), Shirobasti (medicated, prolonged lubrication therapy of the scalp), and Anuvasan Basti ( medicated, lubricating enema). Bala (Sida cordifolia) oil, Mahanarayan (containing mainly Asparagus racemosus) oil, and milk are some of the materials used for medicated enema. The medicines used orally are: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Masha (Phaseolus mungo), Kohla, Abhrak Bhasma, Raupya Bhasma, Suvarna Bhasma, Chandan-Bala-Laxadi Oil, Shatavari kalpa, Kushmand-avaleha, Mahayogaraj Guggulu and Vasant-kusumakar Rasa. Thus, the overall aim here is to build up and strengthen the body tissues.
On the other hand, treatment for the Upa-stambhit vata is aimed at reducing or eliminating the blockage in the normal channel-pathways of the vata dosha, cutting down overgrowth of the body tissues, and causing “Anulomana”, i.e., helping the vata dosha to circulate in a normal way. The medicines used orally are: Triphala Guggulu, Yogaraj Guggulu, Maharasnadi Qadha, Dashamool Qadha, Gandharva Haritaki, Lashunadi Vati, Mahavata Vidhvansa, Ekangaveer Rasa etc. Herbal medicines used are: Rasna(Pluchea lanceolata), Dashmool (Ten Roots), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Deodar (Cedrus deodara), Hinga (Ferula narthex), Bhallatak (Semicarpus anacardium), Triphala (Three fruits) and Trikatu (Three pungent herbs).
A suitable diet and appropriate lifestyle is recommended in both the disease processes, which will help in reducing symptoms and preventing further deterioration. Needless to say, the treatment has to be tailor-made for each patient according to the presenting symptoms. Significantly, a carefully selected treatment regime, if followed faithfully, gives astounding results, even with very chronic and debilitating disease.