Pathyadi Loha for Peptic Ulcers: Benefits, Ingredients, Side Effects

Article by Dr Manasa
There are many effective formulations to tackle and relieve the pain abdomen related to peptic ulcers. Among these Pathyadi Loha is a simple and effective combination. 

Meaning of Pathyadi Loha –
Pathyadi Loha is the name of the formulation and depicts the chief ingredients of the combination. The terms can be split as –
Pathya (Terminalia chebula),
adi (other herbs included in the formulation),
Loha (iron or ash of iron).

Benefits of Pathyadi Loha –
Pathyadi Loha is highly beneficial in combating the painful conditions of the stomach and intestine. The Loha preparations as explained in Ayurveda are important formulations which used in many diseases mainly in the gastrointestinal disorders. It is effective in –
Parinama Shula – Duodenal ulcer
Annadrava Shula – Gastric ulcer
Shula – Colic

Note: Peptic ulcers are painful sores occurring in the peptic regions of the body (acidic regions where digestion of food takes place). The chief acidic regions of our body are stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine or small gut). Though the ulcers may occur anywhere in the gastro-intestinal tract, stomach (gastric ulcers) and duodenum (duodenal ulcers) are the chief sites.
Peptic ulcers come under the category of Shula in Ayurveda, Shula meaning drilling or blasting pain chiefly occurring in the abdomen (colic). To be precise Parinama shula coincides with the clinical picture of duodenal ulcer and Annadrava shula coincides with the clinical picture of gastric ulcer.
Read related: Peptic Ulcers: Causes, Ayurvedic Treatment, Herbs, Home Remedies

Pathyadi Loham –
लोह पथ्या कणा शुण्ठी चूर्णं मधु सर्पिषा
विलिहन् विनिहन्ति एव शूलं हि परिणामजम्॥(भा.प्र.म.ख.३०/७०)
Loha pathyaa kanaa shunthee choornam madhu sarpishaa
Vilihan vinihanti eva shoolam hi parinaamajam (Ref – Bhava Prakasha Madhyama Khanda 30/70)
Pathyadi Loha is an effective formulation to combat Colic, especially Duodenal Ulcer and related pain.

Ingredients of Pathyadi Lauh
Loha: Purified Iron calx (residue after incineration)
Pathya – Haritaki – Terminalia chebula
Kana – Pippali – Piper Longum (Long pepper)
Shunti – Zingiber officinale (Ginger)

Method of preparation of Pathyadi Loh:
Take all the ingredients in equal proportions (other than ghee and honey)
Pound them using pestle and mortar
Filter the powder through a sieve so as to obtain fine powder
Store the powder in an air tight container

How to use?
When needed the prepared powder should be mixed in ghee and honey and administered
Dose:
500 mg –  2 grams of this powder should be taken once or twice daily or as directed by an experienced Ayurveda physician. It should be taken before meals (after food also) or as directed by the physician.

Caution and side effects: 
All people do not have iron tolerance. Do not prepare or take the medicine without the guidance or prescription by a qualified and experienced Ayurveda doctor. The Iron tolerance needs to be decided before administration.
Pathyadi Loha is generally safe and well tolerated. But to be on safer side, the formulation should not be taken by pregnant women, children especially infants, old aged people, diabetic and hypertension patients
Patients who are not diagnosed to have pain abdomen due to ulcers should not consume this medicine unless the cause of the pain is diagnosed.

Specialty and probable mode of action of Pathyadi Loha –
Pathyadi Loha is a simple formulation having few ingredients, but which are highly effective in their action, ulcer healing and pain relieving property.
It can be prepared fresh in small quantities as and when required. Therefore the storage and shelf life doesn’t become an issue.
Loha or iron (in the form of ash) being coolant in nature (sheeta), with predominantly sweet and astringent tastes (madhura kashaya rasa) antagonizes pitta in the stomach and duodenum and buffers excessive acids. This brings down the irritation of the ulcers and erosions. With this the healing of ulcer also begins as loha is said to be best one in healing ulcers of any type. Being antagonistic to all 3 morbid doshas, loha will combat their aggravation. Loha as such is highly recommended in shula vis-à-vis abdominal colic.
Loha long with Pippali and Shunti helps in warding off the digestive errors. They are also an effective combination against H. Pylori. Loha is known for its krimihara property (antibacterial), so as Pippali and Shunti. H. Pylori infections are declared to be the chief culprits in the causation of ulcers.
Haritaki helps in flushing off the toxins and keeping the gut sterile and healthy.
Pippali, Haritaki and Loha are by themselves the best Rasayanas i.e. rejuvenators and disease modifying medicines. They will rehabilitate the gastrointestinal system and keep it healthy. They will also make the digestive system immune against further infections and damage.
Honey and ghee used in the formulation as vehicles, not only will make the formulation palpable, but also will help in healing the ulcers and calming down the pain.

Summing up –
Pathyadi Loha is a simple, yet highly effective time tested formulation and an important remedy for gastrointestinal colic and ulcers. It is a simple formulation which can be prepared at home, but allow your doctor to diagnose your condition appropriately and prescribe suitable medications.
Try natural remedies, live Ayurvedic way but do not self medicate!


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