Diarrhoea is defined as the passage of abnormally liquid or unformed stools at an increased frequency, and denotes a change in the usual bowel movement. It is a symptom of various disease conditions of the gastrointestinal system and is often considered as a disease itself. Diarrhoea can be acute and chronic as per its causes.
Severe diarrhoea leads to dehydration, which manifests itself as apprehension, cold clammy skin, rapid pulse, deep and rapid respiration, inelastic skin, sunken eyeballs, dry tongue, scanty urine and low blood pressure. Systemic symptoms such as fever, anorexia, weight loss, generalized weakness and malaise may also be present.
It is always important to understand the underlying cause of diarrhoea so that the right treatment can be planned. However, uncomplicated diarrhoea due to indigestion and infection can be managed with Ayurvedic formulation such as Kutaja powder along with necessary dietary precautions.
Dose and mode of administration
The adult dose of Kutaja powder is 3-5 g and for children 500 mg to 1 g, twice or thrice daily with warm water, before meals.
Precautions and safety aspects
(1) No side effect or toxic effect of Kutaja powder has been mentioned in the classical Ayurvedic literature. Clinical studies have also shown no adverse effects in patients treated with Kutaja powder within the recommended dose alone as well as in combination with other home remedies. Kutaja may cause distension of the abdomen after using for a few days.
(2) As prolonged use of Kutaja powder may produce constipation, hence as soon as the diarrhoea is checked the dose of Kutaja powder should be tapered off.
(3) A study on the side effects of Holarrhena antidysenterica in patients has revealed that it can lead to subjective symptoms as well as hypertension7. Hence hypertensive patients should take Kutaja powder under medical supervision.
(4) Prolonged use of Kutaja powder during pregnancy should be done under medical supervision. However, it is safe for the baby if a nursing mother is taking this medication.
Reference – Traditional Herbal Remedies for Primary Health Care