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Anemia 2

Posted Jan 27 2009 8:21pm
It's time to write a bit more about Anemia. I wrote something down awhile ago here, but I want to stress again that anemia is more complex than just eating iron rich foods, or not. In fact, iron deficient anemia is rare is men and post-menopausal women.

Anemia is caused by a deficiency of rakta tissue, red blood cells, or haemoglobin within those cells. It may not necessarily be related to iron deficiency and can be caused by a number of things;
  • poor liver function including jaundice, pita type weight loss or hepatitis
  • chronic illness, convalescence, debility, anorexia
  • parasitic infection (most common cause worldwide!)
  • blood loss from menstruation, internal bleeding, post-operative or injury
A deficiency of blood means inadequate oxygen is carried to all organs. Many people are anemic without actually knowing it, they just think it's normal to feel that tired and lethargic. Since anemia affects your entire body symptoms are very general;
  • indigestion, infrequent urination and irregular bowel movements
  • dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath, pins and needles, tingling, numbness
  • pale skin, eyes and fingernails, amenorrhea
  • lack of ability to focus or concentrate, sensitivity to cold and physical activity
Now, the difficult part, what to do if you have anemia. I'm not quite sure I can answer that question, since I am still suffering from chronic anemia myself, since recovering from Hepatitis A and parasitic infection, but here's my best shot.

Whilst anemia can be caused by any doshic imbalance, it always involves pita and the liver. Depending on the strength and condition of the patient mild laxatives can be given to drain the bile from the liver to prevent it from entering and therefore thinning the blood.

Eat a diet to balance your dosha and choose from the following foods to suit your dosha. Note these foods may be not be high in iron, but they will help with anemia in different ways.
  • meat, especially bone marrow, tuna, eggs
  • soaked and peeled almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, black sesame seeds
  • dates, sultanas, grapes, pomegranate, figs
  • leafy greens, asparagus, fresh peas, broccoli, sprouted mung,
  • jaggary, molasses, ghee, milk
  • parsley, coriander, thyme, cinnamon, turmeric, saffron
  • brown rice, whole wheat
  • dandelion root tea, licorice tea
No matter what your constitution avoid excess of alchohol, tea, coffee, sex, fibre, bad food combinations, over exertion, exposure to the elements and sleeping during the day (even though I know you want to!)

An ancient cure is to soak iron filings in cow urine for a week and then take it internally. Though I'm pretty sure I won't be trying that anytime soon, and not just because of the un-availability of iron filings.

Let me know if you have any experience with anemia to share.
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