Wilson Disease – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Wilson disease is a rare autosomal recessive inherited disorder of copper metabolism characterized by excessive deposition of copper in the liver, brain and other tissues due to excessive absorption of copper from the small intestine and decreased excretion by the liver. Common symptoms include liver dysfunction, usually manifested by jaundice; tremor; uncoordinated movements; psychiatric features; Kayser-Fleicher rings in the eyes; arthritis; anemia and diseases of the kidney.

The Ayurvedic treatment of Wilson disease is aimed at treating symptoms and reducing excess copper from the body. Neurological dysfunction is treated using medicines like Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras and Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani. Psychiatric features can be treated using medicines like Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), Vacha (Acorus calamus), Shrung-Bhasma, Laxmi-Vilas-Ras and Maha-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras. Involvement of the eyes is treated by using medicated eye drops containing medicines like Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum), Chandan (Santalum album), Honey, Rose water and Karpoor (Purified camphor).

Involvement of the bones and joints in Wilson disease is treated using medicines like Triphala-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu and Laxadi-Guggulu. Hemolytic anemia is treated using medicines like Tapyadi-Loh and Punarnavadi-Mandur. Diseases of the kidney are treated using medicines like Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Chandraprabha-Vati, Gomutra-Haritaki and Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha. Involvement of the liver is treated using medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Sutshekhar-Ras, Shankh-Vati, Bhunimbadi-Qadha, Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Sharpunkha (Tephrosia purpurea) and Rohitak (Tecoma undulata).

The basic pathology of Wilson disease is treated by using medicines like Panchamrut-Parpati, Kutaj-Parpati, Triphala (Three fruits), Sukshma-Triphala, Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Patha (Cissampelos pareira), Kutki and Rohitak. These medicines reduce the absorption of copper from the intestines and increase copper excretion from the liver, and need to be given long term in order to reduce the effects resulting from excessive copper deposition in the body.

Most patients with Wilson disease present with liver disease in the first decade of life or with neuro-psychiatric symptoms during the third decade. Lifelong, uninterrupted treatment may be required in all patients with Wilson disease. All patients must avoid alcohol consumption and potential hepato-toxic drug therapy.

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