World Kidney Day: Ayurveda holds hope for kidney patients

Globally, 1 in 10 people is affected by kidney disease.

At a time when the Narendra Modi government has scaled up the Pradhan Mantri National Dialysis Programme (PMNDP) to bring relief to kidney patients, a team of researchers from Delhi-based Jamia Hamdard University has come up with evidence to prove that some ayurveda formulations can help rejuvenate cells of the ailing kidney.

The researchers found the age-old secrets of ayurveda to be effective even today, with medicinal plants like punarnava and lotus leaves, working wonders while cutting down reactive oxygen species (ROS), a free radical that is associated with pathological damage of the vital organ.

Jamia Hamdard experts arrived at their finding after administration of punarnava-based NEERI KFT herbal formulation, which comprises lotus leaves, patharchur and other herbs, to the subjects of a chronic kidney disease (CKD) study. The formulation was found to help in detoxifying the cells of the kidney, apart from reducing levels of uric acid and electrolytes.

In India, at least 17 per cent of people suffer from some form of kidney ailment. The number of patients undergoing dialysis has been increasing by 10-15 per cent every year, with an estimated demand for 3.4 crore dialysis every year.

Common causes of kidney disease in India are diabetes and hypertension. In women, urinary tract infections can lead to scarring of the kidneys and autoimmune diseases.

On the eve of World Kidney Day observed this year on March 11, Dr K N Dwivedi, Professor at Banaras Hindu University, highlighted the benefits of ayurvedic medicine in fighting kidney ailments He said, “Chronic kidney disease can be cured by a timely diagnosis. We get many patients who have claimed that ayurvedic drug Neeri KFT has proved to be beneficial in curing kidney disease.” This year the theme of the Kidney Day is “Living well with kidney disease”.

Dr Sanchit Sharma, AIMIL Pharma’s executive director, said that, “The ayurvedic formulation also helps delay the need for dialysis by reducing the progression rate of degeneration and improving repairative capacity of renal cells – nephrons.”

Sharma said the formulation has been prepared from the natural elements of herbs like Punanrva, Gokhuru, Varun, Pathrupara, Pasanbhed, Kasani and Palash, having antioxidant elements which help in removing toxic substances from the kidney cells.

It also protects the organ from dietary AGEs (Advanced glycation end products) harmful compounds caused by our poor eating habits, he said.

Dr. Bheema Bhatt (Medical Director, Ayurvedic Medicine), Medanta Gurugram, said that he was getting a large number of kidney patients having high creatinine and urea levels and NEERI KFT has been found to be balancing the level. “We have been using it for many years with positive output.”

Jamia Hamdard University researchers found that due to the disturbances in level of potassium and sodium enzyme (Na+K+ATPase), the quantity of ROS starts elevating in kidney cells and NEERI KFT helps maintain the level. The researchers undertook trials on subjects before arriving at the conclusion.

They included four herbs in one group and AIMIL Pharma developed NEERI KFT in another group. Nine subjects were given different treatment for eight days. It was found that the group which was administered NEERI KFT had a controlled level of antioxidant enzyme. “This shows that anti-oxidant elements in the formulation not only function against ROS but also bring down its level”, said the study.

Globally, 1 in 10 people is affected by kidney disease. Nearly, 850 million people worldwide are estimated to have kidney diseases due to various causes. CKD is the 6th fastest growing cause of death. Around 1.7 million people are estimated to die annually because of acute kidney injury (AKI) globally.

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