Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, takes a holistic approach to health and wellness. With roots dating back thousands of years, Ayurveda focuses on balancing the body, mind, and spirit for overall well-being.

Understanding Jaundice: A Brief Overview

Jaundice is a medical condition characterized by yellowing of the skin and eyes, indicating problems with the liver. Jaundice can manifest at any age and may vary in duration, being either acute or chronic based on the underlying causes. The prominent indicator of jaundice is the yellowish discoloration observed in the skin, nails, and eyes. However, it’s essential to note that similar discoloration can occur in other conditions such as an elevated Pitta dosha or a specific type of fever. Therefore, accurate identification of the condition is crucial before initiating any treatment.

Ayurvedic Perspective on Jaundice

Jaundice is referred to as Kamala in Ayurveda. It’s crucial to note that not all cases of jaundice fall under the category of Kamala; only a few chronic conditions do. The yellowish color in jaundice is a result of bilirubin, which imparts a yellow tint to urine and stool. Elevated levels of bilirubin within the body lead to a yellowish appearance of the skin and eyes.
There are two types of jaundice in Ayurveda: obstructive and non-obstructive. In obstructive jaundice, the normal flow of bilirubin and bile salts is obstructed, causing the accumulation of bilirubin in the body. On the other hand, in non-obstructive jaundice, there is no obstruction, but the rate of bilirubin formation exceeds normal levels, resulting in the accumulation of bilirubin.

A. Causes according to Ayurveda

Ayurveda attributes jaundice to various factors, including poor digestion, accumulation of toxins, and imbalances in the body’s doshas—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Here are some specific causes

1. Non-obstructive jaundice:
  • Continuous prolonged use of causative factors of Pandu (Anemia in Ayurveda) can lead to non-obstructive jaundice.
  • Excessive consumption of salty, spicy, and sour foods.
  • Regular intake of extremely hot foods.
  • Frequent consumption of unsuitable foods.
  • Repeated ingestion of certain foods like sesame, mud mixed foods, etc.
  • Daytime sleep habits.
  • Overexertion through excessive exercise.
  • Sudden changes in the atmosphere.
  • Mental imbalances, such as excessive fear, stress, sadness, anger, etc.
2. Obstructive jaundice:
  • Regular consumption of dry, cold, heavy, and sweet foods.
  • Excessive physical exertion through rigorous exercise.
  • Suppression of natural urges, including burps, gases, stool, etc.
  • Daytime sleeping habits.
Additionally, it’s important to consider the following points:
  • Prolonged exposure to pollutants and toxins.
  • Certain medications and their side effects.
  • Viral infections affecting the liver, such as hepatitis.
  • Alcoholic liver disease due to chronic alcohol consumption.
  • Genetic factors and predisposition to liver disorders.
  • Presence of gallstones obstructing the bile duct.
  • Conditions like cirrhosis impacting liver function.

Identifying and addressing these causative factors is crucial for effective management and treatment of jaundice.

B. Dosha Imbalance and Jaundice

In Ayurveda, jaundice is often attributed to dosha imbalance, primarily involving Pitta dosha. Pitta dosha, representing the fire and water elements, governs metabolic processes and plays a significant role in liver function. When Pitta dosha becomes aggravated, it can affect the liver’s ability to process bilirubin efficiently, leading to jaundice.

Dosha imbalance contributing to jaundice may result from various factors, including an improper diet, lifestyle choices, and environmental influences. Excessive consumption of pitta-aggravating foods, such as spicy, oily, and fried items, can contribute to dosha imbalance. Similarly, engaging in habits that disturb the natural balance of Pitta, such as excessive stress, anger, and exposure to a hot environment, may further contribute to the development of jaundice.


C. Importance of Agni in Ayurvedic View

In Ayurveda, the concept of Agni, or digestive fire, is crucial in understanding the occurrence of jaundice. Agni represents the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrients while eliminating waste products effectively. In the context of jaundice, a disturbance in Agni can play a significant role.

When Agni is weakened or impaired, it hampers the proper metabolism of bilirubin in the liver. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells and is normally processed and excreted by the liver. However, if Agni is compromised, bilirubin processing is affected, leading to its accumulation in the body and resulting in the characteristic yellowish discoloration associated with jaundice.


D. How Jaundice Occur According to Ayurveda

Jaundice, as per Ayurvedic wisdom, manifests through a multifaceted process.

I) Non-obstructive Jaundice:

  1. Predisposed Individuals: Those already debilitated by conditions such as Anemia set the stage.
  2. Dietary Factors: Regular consumption of substances contributing to jaundice.
  3. Pitta Dosha Imbalance: An elevation in the levels of Pitta dosha, a fundamental energy in Ayurveda.
  4. Tissue Damage: Impact on blood and muscles.
  5. Liver Affection: The liver, a crucial site for the blood-forming system, undergoes damage.
  6. Bilirubin Overproduction: An increased secretion of bilirubin, a pigment causing the yellowish hue.
  7. Body’s Attempt to Expel: The body endeavors to expel excess bilirubin through urine and stool.
  8. Tipping Point: Beyond a certain threshold of elevated Pitta dosha, bilirubin formation surpasses excretion capacity.
  9. Accumulation Begins: Bilirubin starts accumulating within the body.
  10. Yellowish Manifestation: The characteristic yellowish tint appears on the body, in urine, and stool.
  11. Outcome: Non-obstructive Jaundice is established.

II) Obstructive Jaundice:

  1. Causative Factors Continue: Regular intake of substances contributing to jaundice persists.
  2. Vaat and Kapha Dosha Rise: Imbalance in Vaat and Kapha doshas, with a unique combination of dryness and oiliness.
  3. Obstruction Formation: The combination forms a sticky obstruction in the path of bilirubin flow.
  4. Impaired Excretion: The obstruction disrupts the normal flow of bilirubin, leading to impaired excretion.
  5. Reduced Yellowish Manifestation: Yellowish color in stool and urine diminishes.
  6. Accumulation Starts: Bilirubin begins to accumulate within the body.
  7. Yellowing Effect: The body takes on a yellowish hue.
  8. Result: Obstructive Jaundice becomes evident.

Ayurvedic Diagnosis of Jaundice

Ayurvedic practitioners use traditional diagnostic methods like pulse diagnosis, tongue examination, and physical inspection to understand the root cause of jaundice. Along with these blood report of Liver Function Test are also useful for diagnosis.

Ayurvedic Treatment Modalities

Detoxification Therapies

Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to treating jaundice through various detoxification therapies aimed at restoring balance in the body. Detoxification is crucial to eliminate accumulated toxins and enhance the functioning of the liver. Here are some Ayurvedic detox therapies commonly recommended for jaundice:

1. Virechana (Therapeutic Purgation): Administering purgative substances to eliminate excess Pitta and toxins from the body, aiding in the detoxification process.

2. Basti (Medicated Enema): Introducing medicated oils or decoctions into the rectum to cleanse and rejuvenate the colon, promoting toxin elimination.

Herbal Remedies

Ayurveda offers a range of herbal remedies known for their hepatoprotective properties and effectiveness in managing jaundice. Here are some commonly used Ayurvedic herbs for jaundice:

  • Bhumyamalaki Known for its potent hepatoprotective and anti-viral properties. Supports liver function and aids in detoxification.
  • KutkiRenowned for its ability to rejuvenate the liver and enhance bile secretion. Exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
  • Arogyavardhini VatiA classical Ayurvedic formulation that supports liver health. Contains ingredients like Kutki, Haritaki, and Shilajit for detoxification.
  • TurmericContains curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Supports liver health and aids in the treatment of jaundice.
  • BhringrajKnown for its liver-protective effects and ability to improve liver function. Supports detoxification and promotes overall liver health.
  • PunarnavaExhibits diuretic properties, aiding in the elimination of toxins from the body. Supports kidney and liver function.
  • NeemPossesses anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Supports liver detoxification and helps in managing jaundice.
  • GiloyBoosts immunity and supports liver function. Exhibits antioxidant properties that aid in detoxification.
  • Yakritplihari LauhaAn Ayurvedic formulation containing herbs like Kutki and Punarnava. Specifically formulated for liver disorders, including jaundice.
  • TriphalaA combination of three fruits (Amla, Haritaki, Bibhitaki) known for their detoxifying properties. Supports digestive health and detoxification.

It’s important to note that the use of these herbal remedies should be done under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner. 

Dietary Recommendations

Diet plays a crucial role in the management of jaundice in Ayurveda. Here are some dietary recommendations to support individuals dealing with jaundice:

  • Bland and Easily Digestible FoodsOpt for easily digestible, light, and bland foods. Consume well-cooked grains like rice and oats, as they are gentle on the digestive system.
  • Fresh FruitsInclude ripe and sweet fruits in your diet, such as melons, and pears. Avoid citrus fruits and opt for those with lower acidity.
  • VegetablesChoose cooked and non-spicy vegetables, such as carrots, zucchini, and bottle gourd. Steamed or boiled vegetables are preferable to raw ones.
  • Coconut WaterCoconut water is hydrating and can help replenish electrolytes. It is a good choice for staying hydrated without causing additional stress on the liver.
  • Avoid Fatty FoodsSteer clear of fried and fatty foods, as they can be hard to digest. Limit the intake of oils and fats to reduce the burden on the liver.
  • Whole GrainsInclude whole grains like quinoa, barley, and whole wheat in moderation. These grains provide nutrients without overwhelming the digestive system.
  • Legumes and LentilsCooked legumes and lentils can be included in the diet for a protein source. Ensure they are well-cooked and not too heavy.
  • Small, Frequent MealsOpt for smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. This helps in easier digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
  • Avoid Spices and SeasoningsMinimize the use of spices, particularly hot and pungent ones. Opt for mild seasonings like cumin, coriander, and fennel in moderation.
  • Limit Sugar IntakeReduce the consumption of refined sugars and sweets. Opt for natural sweeteners in moderation, if needed.

It’s essential to consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner to create a personalized dietary plan based on individual constitution (Prakriti) and the severity of the jaundice.

Ayurvedic Lifestyle Modifications for Jaundice

Yoga and Meditation

  • Gentle Asanas: Engage in gentle yoga asanas (postures) suitable for your condition. Avoid strenuous poses, and focus on those that promote relaxation and improve circulation.
  • Pranayama: Incorporate pranayama (breath control exercises) to enhance oxygenation and promote overall well-being. Techniques like deep breathing and alternate nostril breathing can be beneficial.
  • Meditation: Practice meditation regularly to calm the mind and reduce stress. Mindfulness meditation can be particularly helpful in fostering mental clarity and emotional balance.

Stress Management

  • Stress-Reducing Techniques: Explore various stress management techniques, including deep relaxation, visualization, and progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Herbal Adaptogens: Consider incorporating Ayurvedic adaptogenic herbs, such as Ashwagandha and Brahmi, known for their stress-relieving properties.
  • Regular Breaks: Take short breaks throughout the day to relax and rejuvenate. Simple activities like deep breathing or a short walk can help manage stress levels.

Sleep Patterns

  • Establish a Routine: Maintain a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at consistent times. This helps regulate circadian rhythms and supports the body’s natural healing processes.
  • Create a Restful Environment: Ensure your sleep environment is conducive to relaxation. Dim the lights, minimize electronic device usage before bedtime, and create a comfortable sleep space.
  • Herbal Support for Sleep: Explore the use of Ayurvedic herbs like Valerian, Jatamansi, or chamomile tea to promote better sleep.


Yes, Ayurvedic treatments can be tailored for pregnant women, ensuring safety and effectiveness. But, consultation with Ayurvedic physician is must before taking these medicines.


The duration varies, but improvements are typically observed within a few weeks of starting Ayurvedic treatment.

Yes. Ayurveda aims for holistic healing, but individual responses vary. Consultation with an Ayurvedic practitioner is crucial for chronic conditions.

A light, easily digestible diet is recommended. Specific dietary restrictions may vary based on individual conditions.

Yes, Ayurvedic treatments can be adapted for individuals of all ages, promoting wellness and balance.

Uniqueness of our therapies  

At Arogya Mandir – Shri Siddhanath Ayurvedic Hospital, Miraj, we delve deeply into the ayurvedic examination of each patient. Utilizing noninvasive Ayurvedic diagnostic tools such as Ashtavidha Parikshan and Nadi Parikshan, we precisely determine the pathogenesis of the disease and then prescribe therapies tailored to the specific condition. This approach leads to expedited results.

Our therapies boast the following distinctive features:
– Tranquil and hygienic therapy rooms staffed with trained therapists in a positive environment.
– Selection of appropriate massage oil based on the patient’s Prakruti and the condition of the disease.
– Complimentary Prakruti and Dhatu Sarata examinations before the commencement of therapies.
– Authenticated procedures for each therapy.
– Judicious use of herbal medicines and instruments during the therapy sessions.
– Specialized rooms equipped with all facilities for inpatient care.

Feel free to share this article at no cost.

Copyright message – Dr. Prashant Chivate has published this article on drchivateayurved.org for informational purposes about diseases. Any other use of this article is strictly prohibited. All rights reserved.