Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa S, B.A.M.S

Buerger’s Illness is the irritation of small and medium sized blood vessels primarily occurring within the blood vessels of arms / arms and or toes / legs. The blood vessels swell. As a result of this, the blood vessels get blocked with thrombi (clots). In consequence the blood movement might be hampered. This could result in ache and tissue injury together with a wide selection of signs. This situation can be known as TAO – Thrombo Anginitis Obliterens.

Associated Studying – ‘Buerger’s Illness – causes, signs, prevention, therapy’

On this article we will attempt to perceive Buerger’s Illness from Ayurveda Perspective.

Buerger’s Illness vs Vatarakta

Many similarities put understanding Buerger’s Illness into the bracket of ‘Vatarakta’.

From the pathogenesis Viewpoint

The fundamental pathogenesis of Vatarakta explains it as a situation brought on by the blockage of pathways of vata by aggravated rakta – blood. So, principally vatarakta is a ‘raktavrita vata’ situation i.e. blood blocking the pathways of vata. Vata, we all know, is the precept behind many or nearly capabilities within the physique. When vata is blocked, its capabilities are hampered. In different phrases, many capabilities of the physique come to a halt. The physique is disadvantaged of its diet and oxygenation. Similar factor is defined within the pathogenesis of Buerger’s Illness whereby there may be blockage of blood movement because of the irritation or swelling of blood vessels.

‘Vayuh Pravruddho, Vruddhena Raktena Avaritah Pathi…’ – The aggravated vata will get enveloped (obstructed) by aggravated and abnormally elevated Rakta – blood. This is a crucial occasion which ends up in the causation of vatarakta.

This mirrors the reason of formation of thrombi / clot brought on by blockage of blood vessels as defined within the pathogenesis of ‘Buerger’s Illness’.

From the ‘location of the illness’ viewpoint

Buerger’s Illness can contain blood vessels in any a part of the physique, but it surely primarily happens involving the blood vessels within the arms / arms and or toes / legs. The signs too are primarily seen within the higher and decrease limbs although the illness could manifest with a wide selection of indicators and signs of systemic involvement.

‘…tat cha srastam dushtam padayoh cheeyate tu| (Su.Ni.1)

Grasp Sushruta tells – ‘The aggravated blood strikes downward and accumulates across the toes. Therein it will get combined with vata aggravated by its personal causative elements. Vatarakta is fashioned attributable to this vicious affiliation of vata and rakta and therefore known as as vatarakta’. We will clearly see the point out of ‘pada – foot / toes’ on this context and similarity within the point out of ‘location of illness’.

Extra reference from Ayurveda –

Within the context of Purvarupas of Vatarakta, Grasp Charaka has talked about completely different websites of the physique whereby the signs of the illness like eruptions, looseness of joints, pricking, pulsating and splitting ache, numbness, itching and discoloration manifest. The websites talked about embody – janu (knee joints), jangha (legs and joints of legs), uru (thighs and joints of thighs), kati (pelvis, hip), amsa (scapula), and hasta pada anga sandhi (joints of arms, legs and the complete physique).

Right here too we are able to discover that each higher and decrease limbs and the joints therein have been clearly talked about because the seats of vatarakta, which can be the identical as defined within the context of Buerger’s Illness.

From the ‘causative elements’ viewpoint

The causes of Vatarakta are biphasic. Vata is aggravated by its personal causative elements. Then again, rakta too will get aggravated by its personal etiological elements. Each are inclined to contaminate one another. Vatarakta is triggered when the straightforward actions and actions of this vata are blocked and choked by the aggressively elevated blood.

Fashionable medication has talked about and marked ‘smoking’ and consumption of any type of tobacco as a single etiological issue or danger issue for causation or worsening of Buerger’s Illness. Ayurveda might need not talked about that, however meals and actions which result in aggravation of rakta and vata, principally the meals that are sizzling, pungent, deep penetrating and corrosive have been talked about.

From ‘dosha’ viewpoint – Fundamental dosha connection in Buerger’s Illness

Since there may be swelling and irritation occurring within the blood vessels on this situation, the involvement of pitta is obvious. Pitta resides in Rakta, and each have related properties. The aggravation of rakta in raktapitta additionally implies the aggravation of pitta positioned inside rakta. Even individually, each rakta and pitta could cause irritation of blood vessels, or actually wherever within the physique.

Because the clots are fashioned, kapha too is concerned.

Since there may be obstruction to the movement of blood, vata too is concerned (since vata is accountable for the movement). It’s the identical vata which has been blocked and the signs are these of the wrestle between vata and rakta.

From ‘dhatu’ viewpoint – Dhatu connection in Buerger’s illness

Because the blood tissue is concerned within the illness, rakta dhatu is taken into account within the pathogenesis.

Because the pores and skin is concerned, rasa dhatu too is concerned.

Because the gangrene impacts the muscle tissue, mamsa dhatu involvement shall be thought of.

From the ‘srotas’ viewpoint

Raktavaha Srotas – channels accountable for conveying blood from the roots (seats of manufacturing) to all components of the physique are the primary srotas concerned within the causation of Buerger’s Illness. Sira – the time period used to explain blood vessels generally, together with veins and arteries – are the upadhatus (sub-tissues) of rakta – the blood tissue.

Then again, Rasavaha Srotas are concerned because the outstanding signs are manifested on the pores and skin. Pores and skin is an upadhatu of Mamsa i.e. muscle tissue and signs of Buerger’s illness additionally includes muscle tissues and therefore Mamsavaha Srotas too is concerned.

Bones and joints are concerned in Buerger’s illness. Meda, i.e., fats and Jhagana – hip bones – are the roots of Asthivaha Srotas – channels accountable for transportation of bone tissue. Likewise, Asthi – bones and Sandhi – joints are the upadhatus of Meda i.e. fats tissue. Thus, asthivaha and medovaha srotas are concerned within the pathogenesis of Buerger’s illness.

Majjavaha Srotas – channels of conveyance of bone marrow too are concerned in Buerger’s Illness. The roots of those channels are asthi and sandhi (bones and joints). ‘Ruk Parvanam’ i.e. ache within the small joints of arms and toes are one of many signs of contamination of majjavaha srotas, which can be the primary symptom of Buerger’s Illness.

From the angle of indicators and signs of Buerger’s Illness


Ache is the primary symptom of Buerger’s illness. It could be steady or intermittent however is extra targeted in arms / arms and or toes / legs. Ache occurs attributable to blocks brought on by blood / blood clots and regular capabilities of vata being hampered. Right here, rakta and vata – each contribute in the direction of causation of ache.

Vata predominance

When the ache is brought on by predominance of vata within the vatarakta, it is going to be of the character of shula – colicky or stabbing with sharp weapon, sphurana – pulsating and bhanjana – crushing. The phrase ‘vriddhi hanayah’ signifies that the ache retains coming and going, the identical function of ache and claudication as defined within the context of Buerger’s illness.

Dhamani Anguli Sandhinam Sankocha – There might be constriction in arteries (signifies that the blood shouldn’t be flowing simply) and constriction and limitation in actions of small joints of fingers and toes.

Anga graha – i.e. stiffness or catching ache within the physique components and Ati ruk – extreme ache are attribute.

Stambha – stiffness, Vepathu – tremors, Supti – numbness are additionally current.

Shita Dwesha Anupashaya – the particular person could have an aversion in the direction of chilly meals, issues and comforts and something chilly will worsen the signs of the illness. This most likely explains the Raynaud’s Phenomenon defined in Buerger’s Illness.

Rakta Predominance

Shotha – presence of painful swelling which is pink in shade is a notable function. Pricking ache and tingling sensation are predominant.

Anupashaya – The swelling or ache will not be relieved with dry or unctuous comforts.

Kandu Kleda Samanvita – Swelling is related to itching and discharge (extra fluidity).

Pitta Predominance

There might be Ruk – ache related to Vidaha – presence of extreme burning sensation is a outstanding function. Together with this, there may be Shotha – swelling together with Raga – reddish discoloration, Paka – suppuration / formation of pus and Sparsha Asahatva – tenderness / intolerance to the touch.

The related options embody –

–        Sammoha – lack of consciousness / debility of sense organs
–        Sweda – sweating
–        Murcha – fainting
–        Mada – intoxication
–        Trt – excessive thirst
–        Bhrusha ushmata – extreme increase in temperature  

Kapha Predominance

The swelling on this situation might be related to –

–        Staimitya – feeling as if the area is roofed with moist material / leather-based
–        Supti – numbness
–        Snigdhatva – unctuous / oily
–        Shitata – elevated coldness
–        Guru – heaviness
–        Manda kandu – gentle itching

Signs of two doshas or three doshas could be collectively current worsening the situation.

Different signs of Buerger’s Illness and Dosha relationship

Sl No Buerger’s Illness Signs Dosha Relationship
1 Weak spot Vata
2 Coldness, numbness, tingling sensation Vata
3 Pale, pink or bluish coloration Rakta, Pitta
4 Pallor in chilly temperatures, toes and fingers getting chilly Vata
5 Pores and skin turns into skinny and glossy Vata
6 Having much less hairs than traditional Vata
7 Painful open sores on toes and fingers Rakta, Pitta
8 Swelling / irritation Rakta, Pitta, Kapha
9 Claudication Vata, Rakta, Raktavrita Vata

From the angle of problems of Buerger’s Illness

Gangrene is the worst and most necessary complication of Buerger’s Illness. It’s the loss of life of pores and skin and tissues within the toes and fingers. It’s triggered attributable to cessation or stoppage of blood movement to the toes and fingers. These toes and fingers turn into numb or flip black or blue in shade. There’s additionally lack of sensation and foul scent from the affected half / components.

In vata predominant instances of Vatarakta – ‘shothasya krishnatvam and shyavatvam’ has been talked about. This implies blackish or bluish coloration of the swelling or pores and skin within the illness.

Kleda within the context of vatarakta brought on by predominant aggravation of rakta (blood) could mirror foul smelling discharges occurring in gangrene.

Shothah Pakah – within the context of pitta predominant vatarakta explains the suppuration within the tissues of fingers and toes occurring in gangrene.

Whereas explaining the prognosis of vatarakta, Grasp Sushruta mentions within the context of ‘ajanu sphutitam’….that when vatarakta cracks open from toe to knee joints, the pores and skin therein will get fissured or damaged, decayed and reveals foul discharges and related to problems like deterioration of energy and destruction of muscle tissues (gangrene?), the situation turns into incurable.

Mamsakotha – decaying of muscle tissues vis-à-vis gangrene has additionally been counted amongst the problems of vatarakta.

Different problems of Vatarakta which point out unhealthy prognosis are – insomnia, anorexia, dyspnea, tightness within the head, fainting, intoxication, ache, thirst, fever, confusion, tremors, hiccough, lameness, herpes, suppuration, pricking ache, dizziness, tiredness, crookedness of the fingers and toes, boils, burning sensation, affliction of important organs and tissues and tumors.

Ayurveda Therapy Rules of Buerger’s Illness

Nidana Parivarjana

Avoidance of causative elements is the important thing precept for treating or stopping the recurrences of Buerger’s Illness vis-à-vis vatarakta. Herein the etiological elements together with meals, way of life actions, habits and seasons which could worsen vata, rakta or each shall be saved away.

Buerger’s Illness needs to be handled on the ideas of treating the under talked about situations –

–        Vatarakta
–        Raktavaha Srotodushti
–        Mamsavaha Srotodushti
–        Medovaha Srotodushti
–        Asthivaha Srotodushti
–        Majjavaha Srotodushti
–        Shotha – inflammatory and non-inflammatory swellings

Panchakarma therapies for Buerger’s Illness

Raktamokshana vis-à-vis bloodletting is the at the beginning intervention for the therapy of vatarakta. The identical precept is relevant for the therapy of Buerger’s Illness. This can assist in eradicating the obstruction within the blood vessels and make the blood movement simple.

Vasti – medicated enema – is probably the most complete therapy for vatarakta vis-à-vis Buerger’s Illness. Enema takes care of ache and different disturbing signs by balancing vata, which is the primary dosha within the illness pathogenesis.

Virechana – medicated purgation – helps in controlling irritation, by expelling and balancing aggravated pitta and rakta.

Helpful exterior therapies in Buerger’s Illness

Dhara – showering of medicated fluids over the lesions. For this function, the under talked about formulations can be utilized –

–        Pinda Taila
–        Dashamula Siddha Ksheera – milk medicated with / ready with Dashamula decoction
–        Dashamula-Laksha Siddha Ksheera – milk medicated with / ready with Dashamula Decoction and Laksha (lac)

Helpful formulations within the therapy of Buerger’s Illness

–        Guluchyadi Kashayam
–        Bala Guluchyadi Kashayam
–        Kokilaksham Kashayam
–        Manjishtadi Kashayam
–        Gandharvahastadi Kashayam
–        Kaishora Guggulu
–        Trivrit Leham
–        Pinda Tailam (exterior)