Perspectives of Lymphatic Filariasis with Special Reference to “Sleepada”: An Ayurvedic Loom
The disease sleepada is analogous to be lymphatic filariasis described in detail in ancient Ayurvedic classics in India. Based on the evidence of literature, it is known that in India, since the time immemorial, filarial population was there. Today India is the largest endemic country of filariasis in the world contributing about 40% of total global burden of filariasis. In Ayurvedic treatises like Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Astanga Sangraha, Astanga Hridaya, and Madhava Nidana, the disease was dealt thoroughly. In Ayurvedic literature, the word sleepada means stony foot, increase in the size of the foot, and a foot resembling the thickness of a lower timber of chariot. The role of vector was not directly mentioned in Ayurvedic classics, but the area in which breeding of the mosquitoes is very common was mentioned (Anonymous 2010). Medicinal plants are being used in India, especially in Ayurveda, from ancient times for the treatment of filariasis. Therapeutic regimens like external application of poultices, heat therapy, purgation, emesis, and bloodletting from specific points in the affected limb are also mentioned.
The authors express their sincere gratitude to their organization, the CCRAS, New Delhi, for all the encouragement and help extended in preparing this manuscript.
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