Preventive measures for occupational
Preventive measures for occupational
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Preventive measures for occupational
PREVENTIVE MEASURES FOR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES :
AN AYURVEDIC APPROACH
- Dr. Rajesh Kotecha
Dr. Mita Kotecha
"Environmental problems are really social problems.
They begin with people as the cause, and end with prcple as
- Sir Edmund Hillary.
Modern technological development, rapid growth of
industrialization and urbanization put tremendous pressure
on ecological balance of natural systems. Pollution takes
place when potentially harmful substances i.e. pollutants
are released into the environment. They are received by
1. In Air - Release of materials into atmosphere which make
air unsuitable for breathing.
2. In water - Deteriorating water quality due to addition of
3. In land - Dumps and disposals can deteriorate the health
of human beings.
As a result of improvement in industrial hygiene, the
percentage of affected workers by industrial pollution in
developed countries has reduced markedly but in developing
and underdeveloped world, number of diseases is still
alarming. A recent study (Sharma et al 1994) involving
workers engaged in a cement industry, Rajgangpur, Orissa
reported 15% population affected from silicosis. PRIA, New
Delhi has conducted a study on Occupational and
Environmental Health Status of coal mining area in 19S4 and
found number of suspected cases of pneumoconiosis.
As far as the preventive aspect of workplace
environment is concerned, following points are of utmost
(1) Preventive measures to cope up with polluted air.
(2) Preventive measures to cope up with polluted water.
(3) preventive measures to cope up with pollution of
(4) Strengthening of immunity in the workers for
prevention of occupational disorders as well as for better
physical & mental performance to procure maximum output from
The following sutra of Ayurveda indicates the bunch of
thoughts in the areas of present, topic.
• ' ^ f? ^IHPF^H ^ ^TFWrq^l'
The understanding of the total nature of a thing does
not arise from a fragmentary knowlede of it.
It means, when we think of solution, we have to think
it in total. A problem can not be solved completely - if we
apply various solutions on its different fragments. In this
context, ancient Ayurvedic scholars thought a lot and
suggested total solutions for healthy life which can be
applied for people working in industrial sector also.
For prevention of occupational disease in workplace, we
have to think of pollutants as well as persons who are
working or residing there. Tn other words if we think of a
person as an entity and strengthen his immunity,a group ot
such entities may be considered in context of particular
work place. Immunomodulation of a person in industries may
provide dual advantage
(1) Prevention of occupational disease and
(2) Better physical and mental conditions of workers, Which
can help in procuring optimum output from them.
Keeping this view, following recommendations of ancient
scholars are of major importace.
Strengthening of Immunity :
The earliest efforts at strengthening immune mechenism
were centred on identification of the factors responsible
for the normal resistance of the body. This explains the
detailed description on Bala, Oja and Vyadhikhamatva as seen
in classical texts of Ayurveda. The afforts at strengthening
Bala lead to the discovery and fc • mulation of a variety of
single drug as well as compounds which subsequently
classified under Rasayana in general.
Table - 1
AYURVEDIC CONCEPT OF IMMUNITY
Vyadhi kshamatva Vyadhi Utpad Pratibandhaktva
(Preventing the development
(Resistance against o f a disease)
Vyadhi Bala Virodhi
(Resisting the developed
disease in the body)
Bala Snhaja - Natural Capacity
Kalaja - Temporal Capacity
Yukti kri ta Acqui red Capacity
[Capacity of Kalaja - Temporal Capacity
For the understanding of Vyadhikshamatva; Bala, Oias
and Rasayana terms are of utmost importance :
BALA : In a broad sense Bala can be stated as inherent or
acquired strength that aids in the maintenance of health and
sustain the life. Every human is born- with a latent
potential for certain strength-limitations of which can be
reached through sustained physical exercise and healthy
living. Bala literally means power, strength or vitality.
Bala counteracts the disorder state developing in a body.
THE NATURE OF BALA :
Sahaja Bala : Natural constitutional strength.
- Kalaja Bala : Temporal strength is the one which is based
on the season and the age of the person.
- Yuktikrita : Acquired strength, which is achieved by
the combination of diet and other regimens.
As per the another classification, one type of Bala is
Pratyanika Bala denoting to the capacity which increases the
immunity and resistance of the host so that disease may be
prevented before its onset.
OJ A : The Bala is the effect of 'Oja' in the body. The
relation between Oja and Bala is identical to that between
cause and effect. Oja denotes two similar meanings, it
irplies that substance which is responsible for the strength
or in another words it signifies the substance of body which
Many studies are conducted on the immunomodulatory
effect of herbs. Recently, Singh (1988) reported
immunopotentiative effect of Mandukparni (Hydrocotyl
asiatica), Vacha (acorus calamus).! Shatavari (Asparagus
racemosus) . These drugs caused increase in iminunooglobulins
of the human beings and widal titre in the rabbits. Hejamadi
and singh (1988) reported immunity,enhansive property of a
herbal compound Balya as its individual ingredients caused
increase in serum Ig A ad Ig M. Further, Hejamadi and Singh
(1989) reported the effect of Varahikanda (Dioscorea
bulbifera), Kapikacchu (Mucuna prurita), Amalaki
(Phyllanthus emblika) and Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) on
the serum immunoglobulin of the aged persons. Rao and
Shastri (1989) worked on the Masha (Phaseolus Mungo) and
Mashabheda (Phaseolus vulgaris) for their effect on humoral
antibody suppression and enhancement of cell mediated
immunity in albino rats. Chudasama and Singh (1985) reported
that Ashvagandha (Withania somnifera) is having
Thus, it can be said that Ayurvedic classics dealt
with certain herbs having effect on immunity functions.
There are both general class as well as disese specified
class of such herbs. In context to industrial workers,
enhancement in physical and mental strength, may definitely
provide prevention against occupational disease as well as
optimum output in production by them can be achieved.
Suggestions for prevetiopagainst different pollutants :
1 The Vyoshantak Vati & the Gudavaleha may be active
drugs for pneumoconiosis as far as preventive aspect is
concerned. Not only prevention but we assume that above two
drugs may very much useful to check further progression of
the disease and to some extent able to relieve its
symtomatology. The study on these two drugs are going on so
definite conclusion regarding it will be availble after
completion of it.
RASAYANA : Rasayana may be defined as the therapy which
provides the optimum quality of the body tissues by which
it promotes both physical and mental health, thus prevents
the disease and ageing process by enablig to live a long
period of youthfulness.
There are several classification of therapeutic usage
of drugs for enhancement of -Bala, Ojas, prevention of
diseases and thus improves immunity against disease in
general. Rasayana group of drugs are mainly responsible for
enhancementof Bala, Ojas and prevention of diseases. Wide ra-
nge of single and compound Rasayana drugs are prescribed as
immunopromotors for enhancing the immunity of the body in
general, but at the same time many of them are for curing a
particular disease also which is clear from the classifica-
tion of Rasayanagiven in table - 2 and table - 3.
Table - 2
CLASSIFICATION OF RASAYANA (REJUVENATORS) - 1
Prana Kamah : Promotes physical health
e.g. Asparagus racemosus,
Wi thani a somni fera
Phyllanthus emblica etc
Medha Kamah : Promotes mental health
e.g. Convolvulus pleuricaulis
Acorus ca1 ami s,
Shri Kamah : Social status, lusture,
complexion and glow promotor.
N a i m i 11 i k a That is used to relieve particular type of
e.g. Black Bitumen, semecarpus anacardium,
Hydnocarpus wight ina etc.
A j a s r i k a The continuous use of milk or ghee.
Table - 3
CLASSIFICATION OF RASAYANA (REJUVENATORS) - 2
Mode of Action
B r i mhana R asayana
Shodhana, which first purify the
body then bring about rejuvenation
Shanana , which act by pacifying
the bodily humours (Dosha)
Which increases lifespan.
Which make^ body stout.
Which makes the body slim.
Code of good conduct.
Some of the proved Rasayana drugs for the prevention
and treatment of particular disease or conditions have been
presented in table - 4.
Table - 4
RASAYANA AS A CHOICE OF DRUG FOR
OF DISEASE OR
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
D i s c a s e
Name of Drug
Latin Name of
Ha ri d ra
Ha ri t aki Terminal!a chebula
Bhal 1 ataka Senecarpus
Guduch i Ti nospora cordifolia
Khadi ra Sara Acacia Catechu
Vatavyadhi Guggulu Commiphora mukul
PIi ha roga
( D i s e a s e s
Pi ppa 1 i Pi pe r 1ongum
15 r amh i Cente1 1 a a s i a Iica
K s h i ram
Certain Rasayana drugs are having best properties/actions,
some of which have been shown in table - 5.
Table - 5
BEST PROPERTIES/ACTIONS OF SOME RASAYANA DRUGS
of the Drug
Bi 1 va
Latin Name of
Embeli a ri bes
Phy 1 1 arithus
Termi na1i a
cordi foli a
Aegle marine I os
terrest ri s
Act i oris
Produc i ng
As t ri ngent,
di gesti on
As t r i ngent,
vi rili ty
Ancient Ayurvedic scholars have described many compound
Rasayana drugs, 10 important compound Rasayana drug preparat-
ions are quoted in table - 6.
Table - 6
SOME COMPOUND RASAYANA PREPARATIONS
Am r iLa Vartti ka
Shri Siddha Modaka
In addition, some group of drugs like Jivaneeya, Brimha-
neeya, Balya, Vayahsthapana etc. are also useful for imroving
general immunity against diseases (Table - 7).
Table - 7
SOME EXAMPLES OF J IVAN IYA, BRIMHANIYA, BALYA AND
VAYAHSTHAPANA GROUP OF DRUGS
Ji vani ya
(Nutri ents )
Bri mhani ya
of the Drug
Yast i uadhu
J i vant i
Latin Name of
Si da cordi foli a
2 We are also studying effect of Guda (jaggery) on the
patients of silicosis because its use for prevention and
treatment of silicosis is traditionally popular among
3 If we think of thick herbal plantations nearby workplace,
possibly it can help in betterment of healthy workplace
envirenment. The question of which herbs may be grown in
particular workplace are solely dependent on weather and
soil of that area. It can easily be worked out that where
and what plant shall planted.
Lastly, precisely it can be said that Ayurveda dealt
with certain herbs and therapies having immunouodulatory
effect as well as prevention and cure of occupational
diseases. This opens a new path towards the solution for
better health of workers as well as for maximum utilization
1. Ashtanga Hridayam : With commentary of Arunadatta
(Sarvanga Sundara) and Hemadri (Ayurveda Rasayana) Uttar
Sthanam Cha. 40/48 to 58 Chaukhambha Orietalia, 1982.
2. Bhaishajya Ratnavali : With Vidyottini Hidi commetary
Cha. 73/7, 39, 54, 181, 182 and 185, Chaukhambha Sanskrit
Sansthan, varanasi, 1983.
3. Cnaraka Samhita : With comentary of Chakrapani Datta
(Ayurveda Dipika), Sutra Sthana Cha. 4/9, 10, 18, Cha.
11/36, Cha. 25/40, Cha. 28/7 : Chikitsa Sthana Cha. 1/10-12,
13, 41, 47, Nirnaya Sagar Press, Bombay, 1941.
4. Chakrapani Datta : Chakradatta with the Bhavartha
Sandipani Hindi comentary, Cha. 66/167 to 176. Chaukhambha
Sanskrit Series, Varanasi, 1976.
5. Chaudasama & Singh : A clinical study on the Rasayana
aspect of Ashwagadha (Withania somnifera) with refernce to
Krish a (Uderweight) patients, M.D.(Ayu) Thesis, IPGT & R,
Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, 1986.
6. Dalhana : Commentary on Sushruta Samhita (Nibandha
Sanyraha Cha. 27), Commentary on Shloka No. 2, Chaukharnbha
Sanskrit Series, Varansi, 4th ed. 1980.
7. Daniel P. Stress et al : Basic & Clinical Immunology,
Cha. 1. p.no. 1, 2. Large Medical Pub. Eruzer Asia (P) Ltd.,
8. Hejamadi & Singh : Clinical studies on the Ayurvedic
management of the ageing (Jara) , A Ph.D. Thesis, Guj. Ayu.
Uni. Jamnagar, 1989.
9. Jain, Kotecha & Shukla : Role of certain indegenous
drugs in the treatment of the disorders due to Pranavaha
Shrotodusti with specia] referance to silicosis: A report,
10 Kotecha & Singh (1991) : Ayurvedic drugs for
immunotherapeutuic usage : 'Ayu' A journal of Guj. Ayu. Uni.
91. PP. 4. to 11.
11. PRIA & RKKMS : A study on occupational and environmental
Health Status of the coal mining*area. A report : 1994.
12. Rao, Shastri & Mistri : Studies on the phenomena of
Vyadhikshamtva with special reference to Immunogenicity by
using certain Balya beams in experimental' * animals and
neonates, M.D.(Ayu) Thesis, I.P.G.T. & R. Gujarat Ayurved
University, Jamnagar, 1989.
13. Sharma et al : A study on occupatinal and environmental
health of workers and population living in the vicinity of
cement and refractory plant in Rajgangpur, Orissa. A report
14. Singh G. : Note on the Immunity promotive effect of
Rasayana drugs by personal communications.
15- Workshop on Traditional Medicine & Immunology,
Technology Mission Govt, of India, Guj. Ayu. Unversity,
Jamnagar and L.S.P.S.S. Coimbatore.'1988.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
1 Dr. Rajesh Kotecha is working as an,officer on special duty
in J.R.D. Tata Foundation for Research in Ayurveda and Yoya
Sciences, Chitrakoot (M.P.)
2 Dr. Mita Kotecha is working as a Head. Department of
Dravyaguna, Faculty of Ayurveda, Mahatma Gandhi Grainodaya
Vishvavidyalaya, Chitrakoot (M.P.)