Multiple organ failure, also known as multiple system organ failure and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS), is a clinical syndrome in which there is progressive and potentially reversible physiological dysfunction in two or more organs or organ systems, caused by a variety of acute insults including infection and generalized sepsis. This condition causes a cumulative multi-system failure in a process known as systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), causing circulatory collapse; pulmonary, gastrointestinal, liver, renal and central nervous system dysfunction; and blood disorders ranging from mild coagulopathy to frank disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) involving the entire body. Intensive care is required, which includes general supportive care, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, steroids, and other medications to regulate blood pressure and control inflammation. Despite all these measures, mortality remains very high.

All patients affected with multiple organ failure have to be necessarily managed in the intensive care units of well equipped hospitals. Ayurvedic medicines can be given as additional, supportive therapy in order to help control or minimize the cascading inflammatory effect and the resulting multi-organ shut down which is very common in this condition. The principle of Ayurvedic treatment is to control infection and the resulting inflammation, regulate adequate multi-organ blood-perfusion and preserve organ function.

Medicines like Sukshma-Triphala, Triphala-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu and Punarnavadi-Guggulu are used to treat generalized infection. Medicines like Sutshekhar-Ras, Suvarna-Sutshekhar-Ras, Mukta-Bhasma, Praval-Panchamrut-Ras, Praval-Bhasma, Kamdudha-Ras and Chandrakala-Ras are used to treat the generalized inflammatory reaction. Medicines like Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha and Rasayan-Churna are used to reduce harmful toxins from the body through the urine so as to prevent toxin build-up in the body which can permanently damage organs and body systems.

Medicines like Naradiya-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Maha-Laxmi-Vilas-Ras, Siddha-Makar-Dhwaj-Ras and Hem-Garbha-Ras are used to regulate blood pressure and maintain adequate blood circulation in the vital organs and systems. Arogya-Vardhini, Sutshekhar-Ras, Bhunimbadi-Qadha, Punarnavadi-Qadha and Guduchyadi-Qadha are used to help protect the liver. Suvarna-Bhasma, Shrung-Bhasma, Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani, Hriday-Arnav-Ras, Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Arjun (Terminalia arjuna) are used to protect the heart. Ras-Sindur, Malla-Sindur, Sameer-Pannag-Ras, Vishan-Bhasma, Pushkarmool (Inula racemosa), Kushtha (Saussurea lappa) and Pippali (Piper longum) are used to protect the lungs. Medicines like Chandra-Prabha-Vati, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu and Punarnavadi-Qadha are used to protect the kidneys. Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani, Kasturi-Bhairav-Ras, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Tapyadi-Loh and Vish-Tinduk-Vati are used to protect the central nervous system. Medicines like Maha-Manjishthadi-Qadha, Saarivadi-Churna, Chandrakala-Ras, Kamdudha-Ras Usheerasav, Laxadi-Guggulu, Sphatik-Bhasma, Naagkeshar (Messua ferrea) and Parpatadi-Qadha are used to prevent bleeding complications.

Since such patients are in a critical condition, all Ayurvedic medicines need to be fine-powdered, mixed with honey and milk and then administered through a naso-gastric tube. Because of the serious prognosis of multiple organ failure, Ayurvedic treatment can only be commenced after addressing all associated medico-legal issues. Nevertheless – given as supportive therapy- Ayurvedic medicines can definitely reduce the morbidity and mortality in this condition and increase the chances for an early and complete recovery.

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