Worldwide, there are approximately one and a half billion people, or about twenty percent of the population, living with some hearing loss and about half a million with complete hearing loss. According to Ayurveda, there are twenty-eight different disorders that can affect the ears, and eleven of them are quite common.
There are four disorders that are caused by an aggravated vata dosha, Karnasula (ear pain), Karnapranada (ringing in the ears), Badhirya (deafness), and Karnaksveda (whistling sound in the ears). Vata ear disorder occurs when the natural movement of vata becomes blocked by one or both of the other doshas pitta and kapha. The key symptoms of vata aggravation include pain with or without faulty sounds.
The most common reasons for vata aggravation in the ear channels is from excess loud noises, strenuous activity, excess cold, dry and astringent foods, and exposing the ears to cold windy or damp weather.
There are four inflammatory ear disorders caused by aggravated pitta dosha. Karnavidradhi is burning pain with a yellow discharge, Karnapaka is suppuration of the ear drum, Karnasrava is water in the ear or an abscess, and Putikarna is a smelly discharge with or without pain. The key symptoms of pitta aggravation includes a profuse discharge with or without pain.
There are three disorders caused by aggravated kapha dosha. Karnakandu is itching caused by the accumulation of kapha in the ear, Karnavarca is excess ear wax that has dried and stuck, and Karnapratinaha is ear wax that is liquefied and moves into the nasal passages causing head pain. The key symptoms of kapha aggravation are excess amounts of ear wax associated with itching with or without pain.
According to Ayurveda the general protocol for all ear disorders includes the oral intake of ghrita and rasayanas to help support vata dosha. Adopting a vata pacifying diet and lifestyle, as well as avoiding excess exertion, getting the head wet, and talking. Rejuvenating and nourishing vata dosha is the most important aspect for managing all ear disorders.
The four vata disorders, Karnasula, Karnapranada, Badhirya, and Karnaksveda require both internal and external oleation therapy. Vata pacifying formulas like Bala Oil are recommended.
Four inflammatory disorders related to pitta dosha, Karnavidradhi, Karnapaka, Karnasrava, and Putikarna are treated with warm oil poured into the ear and nasya. Bilva is the herb most recommended for infections with discharge and loss of hearing.
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Jwara is a Sanskrit word for fever and according to Ayurveda it is considered the "king of all illnesses". This is because Jwara affects not just the body but also the mind and senses. Ayurveda understands jwara as not only an increase in body temperature but is also a feeling of malaise, unease, and discomfort, and involves the deha (body), indriya (senses), and mana (mind).
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