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
- 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
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
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.