Haiza (Cholera) is an acute dehydrating diarrheal disease caused by an intestinal infection, through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. It can kill a healthy adult even in hours. It is a disease in which undigested and putrefied food stuff of the stomach and intestine is pushed out through vomiting and diarrhoea. In other words it is caused by fasaad-e- ghiza (Decay of food) and Fasaad-e- hazm (Dyspepsia).
It is a highly contagious disease which immediately leads to diarrhoea, resulting in heavy losses of fluids and electrolytes from the body. This loss can be either through violent vomiting or through stools.
Cholera is derived from the Greek word Khole means flow of bile. In Latin, the word Cholera means bilious diarrhoea.
The main causes of Haiza (Cholera) can be attributed to two main factors:
Mostly this diseases spreads by water and food that has been contaminated with human faeces containing the bacteria. Within five days of eating or drinking this contaminated food or water, the person will develop painless but copious watery diarrhoea. In some cases, the diarrhoea is so severe that it cause acute dehydration and requires immediate hospitalization and medical attention.
Because it is a potentially life threatening disease, awareness regarding early recognition of the symptoms is necessary to avoid complications and fatalities.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of the disease may range from none, to mild, to severe, in case to case basis. The classical symptoms include large amounts of watery diarrhoea that lasts a few days, Vomiting muscle cramps and generalized weakness. It can be so severe that it leads within hours to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance. This may result in sunken eyes, cold skin, decreased skin elasticity, and wrinkling of the hands and feet. The dehydration may result in the skin turning bluish. Symptoms of the disease start two hours to five days after exposure.
In other words, it is characterized initially by restlessness, excessive thirst, cold sweating, muscular cramps followed by severe vomiting and diarrhoea.
Some other signs and symptoms include dry mucous membranes, loss of skin elasticity, excessive thirst, low urine output, leg cramps and muscle cramps, palpitation of the heart, low blood pressure, exhaustion and weakness, sunken eyes and irritability etc.
Management of Haiza (Cholera)
Principles of Treatment (Usool-e- Elaj)
Cholera (Haiza) is a water-borne disease which can be checked by regulating the eating and drinking habits of the affected individual. If anyone suffering from cholera, there is really no need to panic as there are several homemade remedies that can help to cure the disease.
It can be managed easily by the ways mentioned below.
As per Unani Medicine concept, oral administration of lukewarm water mixed with common salt to induce vomiting is useful in early stage of the cholera. After that
Dropping of following formulation in throat is very effective.
Some Common Unani Prescriptions
Oral Administration of following mixture
Oral administration of the following decoction
Unani Homemade Remedies for Haiza (Cholera)
Dietary Recommendations for Haiza (cholera) patients
Dehydration caused by cholera leads to malfunctioning of organs in the body. Therefore prompt replacement of fluids and salts (lost from the body by vomiting or diarrhoea) to rehydrate the patient must be the first step towards combating Cholera (Haiza).
A diet for cholera patients starts with replacing lost fluids and reducing excessive thirst. Patients are strongly advised to drink lots of water, soda, and coconut water throughout the day. Keep in mind that taking too much liquid at a time can cause vomiting, so only small amounts should be drunk at a time. Patients can even be given cubes of ice to suck on.
As the patient’s recovery progresses, from watery diarrhoea to a semi solid stool stage, buttermilk can be added to his/ her diet. Even semi-soft boiled rice can be introduced as well. The diet after recovery from cholera should include a glass of warm water with lime and honey as soon as the patient gets up. Breakfast can consist of fresh fruits and milk. Variations of steamed vegetables or salads for lunch and dinner. Proteins and carbs can be added in his/ her diet in the form of cottage cheese and whole wheat tortillas. Fresh fruit juices can be had as mid-morning and evening snacks.
In Unani literature it is mentioned that, Aghziya Lateefa (Easily digestible liquid diets) and Aab-e- Sard (Cold water) is advisable. It is advisable to include lemon, onion, green chillies, vinegar and mint in the routine diet during an epidemic of cholera.
Dietary Restrictions for Haiza (cholera) patients
Make sure that solid and uncooked foods and uncooked vegetables are avoided completely until there is a complete recovery. Care should be taken to avoid these items until patient has completely recovered from disease.
Tahaffuz (Precaution/ Prevention)
Abrupt arrest of vomiting and diarrhoea should be avoided. People can prevent developing cholera by maintaining good hygienic conditions, washing hands frequently, drinking clean treated water, and eating clean fresh food.
Developing countries have managed to control and end cholera epidemics by offering clean drinking water and food and improving levels of hygiene by providing easy access to clean toilets and hand washing facilities at home, hospitals, offices and other public places.
Cholera Vaccines are also available nowadays. Vaccines are administered orally and offer protection for a maximum of two years. In case anyone traveling to countries with a high risk of cholera, taking such vaccines are highly recommended.
If traveling to a place where cholera is endemic, just remember the CDC motto, which is, Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it. Water should be drunk only from sealed bottles or it should be purified with iodine or chlorine.
Food should be well cooked and heated. Avoid ice, unclean fruits, raw foods, salads, and ice cream when traveling in high cholera areas.
Some commonly used Unani Single Drugs
Barg-e- Rehan/ Tulsi Ocimum sanctum Linn.
Adrak/ Zanjabeel Zingiber officinale Roscoe
Utraj/Lemoon Citrus limon (Linn.) Burm.f.
Sangtara Citrus sinensis (Linn.) Osbeck.
Zeerah Cuminum cyminum Linn.
Karela Momordica charantia Linn.Cloves
Hulba/ Methi Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.
Piyaz/ Unsul Allium cepa Linn.
Filfil Safed/ Siyah Piper nigrum Linn.
Zaed Chob/ Haldi Curcuma longa
Khyar/ Khira Cucumis sativus Linn.
Jiaphal (Nutmeg) Myristica fragrans
Chirchita Achyranthes aspera
Pudina Mentha arvensis Linn.
Zarishk Berberis aristata D.C
Fresh lime juice (several species of citrus trees whose fruits are called limes, including the Key lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
Some commonly used Unani Compound Formulations
Jawarish Safarjali Qaabiz, Jawaarish Anaarain, Sharba-e- Habb-al- Aas, Sharbat-e- Aabresham, Dawa-al- Misk moa’tadil, Jawahar Mohra, Rubb-e- Anaar Tursh, Sharbat-e- Anaar Tursh, Yaqooti, Qurs-e- Ood, Qurs-e- Kafoor etc.