Lactose is a type of sugar present in milk which is digested by the enzyme known as lactase. Very low amount of lactase can lead to the condition known as lactose intolerance. It occurs when the small intestine doesn’t produce sufficient lactase needed to digest lactose sugar. In lactase deficiency, lactose travels into the colon instead of being absorbed in the blood stream. In the colon, normal bacteria interact with the undigested lactose, causing the signs and symptoms. It can affect adults, young children as well as infants.
What are the Symptoms of Lactose Intolerance?
The signs and symptoms of lactose intolerance start within 30 minutes to 2 hours after the consumption of lactose containing foods.
The Symptoms Include:
- Gas formation
- Abdominal cramps
What are the Causes of Lactose Intolerance According to Ayurveda?
In Ayurveda, milk is considered as a Rasayana (rejuvenator). Lactose intolerance can be correlated to Dugdh Asatmaya. Dugdh means milk and Asatmaya means intolerance to something. It occurs due to the low digestive fire which becomes low due to the accumulation of visha (toxins). In Ayurveda, it is said that digestive tract and immune system are interlinked. This condition deprives the patient’s body from various essential nutrients.
Ayurvedic Reference of Lactose Intolerance
Reference: Ashtang Hridaya by Vagbhata, Nidanasthana, Atisara Grahani Nidana, Chapter – 8, Shloka 16.
Meaning: The above shloka explains the concept of Grahani according to Ayurveda. It usually occurs secondary to Atisara (diarrhoea), when proper treatment is not given, if the food taken cannot be digested properly by the digestive fire.
What is the Ayurvedic Treatment of Lactose Intolerance?
Institute of Applied Food Allergy (IAFA) offers best management for lactose intolerance. IAFA is a popular institution that has successfully managed such allergies and associated diseases with the help of natural herbs and herbal remedies. Ayurvedic treatment of lactose intolerance by IAFA includes:
1. Aahar Amrutham Bindu
Aahar Amrutham Bindu by IAFA is an herbal formulation for kids suffering with lactose intolerance. It supports the digestion of wide range of foods naturally without causing any side effects.
Ingredients of Aahar Amrutham Bindu are:
- Vacha (Acorus calamus): Vacha herb has a Vata balancing property which is useful in gas and bloating associated with lactose intolerance. It also possesses deepana property i.e., it stimulates the digestive fire.
- Musta (Cyprus rotundus): The presence of phytoconstituents in musta herb makes it a suitable herb for digestion related issues. It also acts as a detoxifier as it helps in removing ama dosha (toxins) from the digestive tract and prevents its accumulation.
- Parpata (Fumaria indica): Parpata is considered as one of the best antacids in Ayurveda. It balances Pitta dosha and improves digestion by balancing the digestive fire.
- Bilva (Aegle marmelos): Bael fruit contains anti-inflammatory compounds known as tannins which eases the stomach upset by reducing inflammation. It also stimulates the action of digestive enzymes and thus useful in lactose intolerance.
- Dadima (Punica granatum): Dadima is commonly known as pomegranate. It is quite helpful in relieving digestive problems such as diarrhoea, flatulence, bloody stools etc.
- Sariva (Hemidesmus indicus): Sariva is commonly known as Ananatmool. It helps in digestion and it is considered as a detoxifying herb that helps in eliminating toxins from the digestive tract.
Dose: Children (0-1 year): 2-3 drops with 10 ml water on an empty stomach. Children (1-10 years): 5-10 drops with 20 ml water on an empty stomach. Above 10 years and up to 14 years: 1-2 ml with 30 ml water on an empty stomach.
2. Aahar Amrutham Ras:
Aahar Amrutham Ras is an Ayurvedic formulation manufactured by IAFA for the treatment of gastrointestinal complaints such as lactose intolerance, food allergies etc.
Major Ingredients of Aahar Amrutham Ras are:
- Chotti Dudhi (Euphorbia thymifolia): The swaras of chotti dudhi is anti-bacterial in nature and stops the growth of harmful micro-organisms in the gastrointestinal tract. It also prevents the formation of endotoxins in the digestive tract.
- Shrifal (Aegle marmelos): Shrifal is commonly known as Bael fruit. Bael fruit is considered as a boon in gastrointestinal disorders. It has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are quite beneficial in lactose intolerance.
- Bhoomi amla (Phyllanthus niruri): The cold potency of Bhoomi amla balances the aggravated Pitta dosha, improves liver functions and improves digestion.
- Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa): Punarnava helps in digestion by increasing the absorption of essential nutrients. It is a powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory herb. Being a potent digestive herb, it stimulates the secretion of digestive juices.
Dose: Adults: Take 30-60 ml twice a day. Children (Above 5 years up to 14 years): 15-30 ml twice a day. Children (1-5 years): 2.5 – 5 ml twice a day with food.
3. Kutaja Ghan Vati
Kutaja Ghan Vati is a classical Ayurvedic medicine prepared from the bark of Holarrhena antidysentrica tree. The bark of kutaj tree is useful in variety of gastrointestinal disorders as it expels toxins from the digestive tract and anti-inflammatory in nature.
Dose: Children: 250 mg twice daily after taking meals. Adults: 500 mg twice daily after taking meals.
4. Kachi Haldi Swaras
Turmeric is used as a spice in Indian kitchens. It is not just useful in enhancing colour and flavour but it has wonderful medicinal benefits as well. The presence of curcumin makes it a potent anti-inflammatory agent and quite beneficial in lactose intolerance.
Dose: Children: 5 ml once a day. Adults: 5-10 ml once a day.
Diet and Lifestyle
- Avoid the intake of milk and milk products.
- Intake of processed cheese, fried and bakery food items, ice creams should be avoided.
- Take fibre rich fruits and vegetables in the diet.
- Pranayama and Meditation should be included in daily routine to avoid stress.
Thus, IAFA’s herbal formulation for lactose intolerance contain extract of various Ayurvedic herbs that help in the successful management of lactose intolerance along with changes in diet and lifestyle. The lactose intolerance treatment in Ayurveda is safe, effective and free from side effects.