Child Afflicted With Andhaputana Graha And Mukhamandika Graha

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

Grahas are psychosomatic diseases afflicting children due to evil forces. Graha is a name given to the planets or unseen organisms. It was believed that some unknown and invisible entities would produce a few diseases and they were called Graha’s.
When compared with the modern day diseases the Graha’s can be compared to the micro-organisms  like viruses, bacteria etc. Graha’s were said to bother the children more than the adults.

Signs and symptoms of Andhaputana Graha affliction in a child

  • Rejecting breastfeed
  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Hiccough
  • Fever associated with vomiting
  • Discoloration
  • Always sleeping down
  • Foul smell from the body

Symptoms enumerated in Ashtanga Sangraha

  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Deficit sleep
  • Diarrhea
  • Discoloration
  • Foul smell from the body
  • Emaciation of body parts
  • Partial blindness / deficit vision
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Trachoma
  • Numbness
  • Hiccough
  • Distress
  • Rejection of breastfeed
  • Loud sound / shrilling of voice
  • Tremors
  • Smell of fish emanated from the body
  • Foul smell from the body

Symptoms from Yogaratnakara

Sanskrit Verses

Modern Correlation

Andhaputana Graha has been correlated with bacillary dysentery.

Bacillary dysentery is an intestinal infection. It is caused by a group of Shigella bacteria. This infection may be asymptomatic or may cause mild illness. The condition commonly presents with acute onset of fever, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea or vomiting. The stool may contain blood and mucus. Toxic dilatation of large intestine and acute kidney disease may occur as complications of bacillary dysentery.(read more)

Young children, travelers to developing countries and men who have sex with men are more likely to acquire bacillary dysentery. The illness may be more serious in those having weak immune systems.

The disease is transmitted by physical contact with fecal material of a patient or carrier or indirectly through consumption of contaminated food and water. The disease is highly contagious and many outbreaks are related to childcare settings and schools.
Read – Dysentery: Causes, Symptoms, Ayurvedic Treatment, Medicines

Management of Bacillary dysentery

Infected persons should be isolated. They should observe personal hygiene to avoid infecting other persons. Treatment includes fluid replacement and antibiotics.


Maintaining personal hygiene is the key for prevention. It includes washing hands frequently before handling food or eating, and after using toilet. Hands should be washed with liquid soap and running water, by rubbing for at least 20 seconds. The hands shall be rinsed with water and dried with disposable paper towel or hand dryer. One should refrain from work or school and seek medical advice when suffering from diarrhea.

One should also maintain good food hygiene. One should adopt 5 keys to food safety in handling food i.e.

  • Choose – safe raw materials
  • Clean – hands and utensils
  • Separate – raw and cooked foods
  • Cook – the food thoroughly
  • Safe Temperature – keep food at safe temperature

All these would prevent food-borne diseases, including bacillary dysentery.

Other preventive measures –

  • Drink only boiled water or bottled water from reliable sources
  • Avoid drinks with ice of unknown origin
  • Purchase fresh food from hygienic and reliable sources, avoid illegal hawkers
  • Consume only the food which is cooked thoroughly
  • Wash and peel fruits by yourself, avoid eating raw vegetables
  • Exclude infected persons and asymptomatic carriers from handling food and from providing care to children, elderly and immune-compromised persons
    Read – Prevention And Lifestyle Tips For Dysentery and Diarrhoea

Ayurvedic treatment for Andhaputana Graha

1. Internal medication

Pippalyadi Ghrita – Ghee prepared with below mentioned ingredients should be given for oral consumption –

  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Roots of Piper longum
  • Madhura Dravya – sweet tasting herbs
  • Honey
  • Shalaparni – Desmodium gangeticum
  • Brihati – Solanum indicum

Syandanadi Ghrita – Ghee prepared with the below mentioned herbs shall be prescribed for oral consumption, mixed with honey –

  • Syandana Kalka – paste of Ogeinia dalbergioides
  • Shyonaka kalka – paste of Oroxylum indicum
  • Kashmarya kalka – paste of Gmelina arborea
  • Khadira kalka – paste of Acacia catechu
  • Kushta kalka – paste of Saussurea lappa
  • Madhura dravya varga dravya – paste of group of herbs tasting sweet
  • Kshiri Vriksha Kashaya – decoction of latex yielding plants
  • Milk
    Read – 21 Foods That Are Incompatible With Milk

Bilwadi Ghrita – Ghee prepared with the below mentioned herbs shall be given for oral consumption, along with alkali –

  • Bilwa – Aegle marmelos
  • Ankota – Alangium salvifolium
  • Kapittha – Limonia acidissima
  • Arka – Calotropis gigantean
  • Karpasa – Gossypium herbaceum
  • Atarushaka – Adhatoda vasica
  • Urubaka – Ricinus communis
  • Vamsha – Bambusa bambos
  • Ashmantaka – Ficus rumphii
  • Prapaundarika – Nelumbo nucifera
  • Licorice – Glyzyrrhiza glabra
  • Shatapushpa – Anethum graveolens
  • Punarnava – Boerhavia diffusa

Mridvikadi Kshira pana

Milk processed with the below mentioned herbs should be given for drinking after mixing it with honey and sugar –

  • Mridvika – Vitis vinifera
  • Kshirakakoli – Lilium polyphyllum
  • Gambhari – Gmelina arborea
  • Sariva – Hemidesmus indicus
  • Madhooka – Madhuca longifolia
  • Nagakeshara – Mesua ferrea

2. External measures

a. Anointment

Sugandhi dravya lepa

Paste of all kinds of fragrant inducing herbs shall be applied on the face and head of the child afflicted with Andhaputana Graha.
Read – Infant Care As Per Ayurveda: Initial 6 Months

b. Parisheka – showering / sprinkling

Decoction prepared with the below mentioned herbs is used for showering the child –

Varunadi Kwatha Parisheka

  • Varuna – Crataeva nurvala
  • Arka – Calotropis gigantean
  • Nimba – Azadirachta indica
  • Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia
  • Nagabala – Sida veronicaefolia
  • Gairika – hematite
  • Sharavari – Asparagus racemosus

Nimbadi Kwatha Parishechana

Leaves of trees / plants of bitter tasting herbs should be used to prepare decoction. This decoction shall be used for sprinkling / showering over the body of the afflicted child.

c. Massage

Oil prepared with the below mentioned herbs shall be used for massage –

Harataladi Taila

  • Haratala – Arsenic trisulfide
  • Manashila – Realgar
  • Kushta – Saussurea lappa
  • Sarjarasa – Vateria indica
  • Honey
  • Kanji – fermented liquid

Suradi Taila

  • Sura – wine / spirituous liquor
  • Sauviraka – sour gruel
  • Kushta – Saussurea lappa
  • Haratala – Arsenic trisulphide
  • Sarjarasa – Vateria indica

Bilwadi Taila

Oil prepared with the same ingredients mentioned in Bilwadi Ghrita should be used for massage.
Read – Oil Massage To Baby: Precautions, Method, Ayurvedic Oil Combinations

d. Fumigation

Fumigation should be given with the below mentioned ingredients –

Sarshapadi Dhupa

Kukkuta Purishadi

  • Feces of cock
  • Hairs
  • Skin
  • Skin of snake
  • Old clothes of a beggar / mendicant

Golomadi Dhupa

3. Ritualistic measures

a. Bheshaja Dharana – wearing / tying medicaments

Below mentioned herbs shall be tied to the arm, neck or head of the afflicted child –

Mukhamandika Graha

Signs and symptoms

  • Weakness of the body parts
  • Attractiveness of the hands, legs and face of the child in spite of the child being weak (attractive face color according to Yoga Ratnakara)
  • Child consumes excessive food
  • The child appears dirty
  • Distended veins (black colored veins according to Vagbhata) seen scattered all over the abdomen
  • Restlessness
  • Smell of cow’s urine emanated from the body of the child
  • Fever
  • Tastelessness
    Read – Ayurveda Lifestyle and Diet For Fever – 45 Important Things To Know

Sanskrit Verses

Modern correlation

All authors have mentioned four main symptoms of Mukhamandika. They are attractiveness or pleasant appearance of the uncovered body parts i.e. upper limbs, lower limbs and face, urine smell from the body, veins appearing on the abdomen and excessive hunger. Vagbhata has mentioned tastelessness. This should be understood as consumption of excessive food by the child in spite of not having taste for it or not worrying about the taste. The child may be seen eating any type of food in excess of its capacity.

Seeing these symptoms especially the pleasantness of the uncovered parts of the body, any modern correlation cannot be made to this disease.

In younger children aged 15-24 months, repeated requests for more food may be less about hunger and more about putting their newfound knowledge to good use.(read more)

Dr Wiese says – ‘Children that age really like the cause and effect of asking for a food and then being presented with it, or the power of being able to get something by requesting it. So they may start asking for more snacks more frequently. But don’t be so quick to always dole out more food – filling up on snacks means kids are less hungry come meal time. Outside of snack time, keep the kitchen closed’.

This matches up with what is said in Ayurveda. According to Sushruta, the child is excessively hungry. Master Vagbhata mentions that the child has tastelessness i.e. there is less hunger or false hunger. But when we feed the child forcibly it becomes a habit. This seems to be reasonably normal. Mukhamandika is when the child also has veins on belly, foul smell from the body and attractive exposed parts of the body associated with excessive hunger.
Read – Your Child Does Not Eat Well? Causes, Ayurveda Solutions

When the child is fed more, since the infant takes more of liquid and semisolid foods, there is a possibility of excessive urination and hence urine smell from the body in spite of repeated cleansing.

There may be excessive distension of abdomen due to excessive feed and hence the veins may be visible.

Since the other parts of the body is covered with clothes and the clothes stink with urine and feces, those parts may appear dirty and may be demarcated from the limbs and face which are uncovered and clean, hence attractive.

Seeing all these together the condition might have been included in graham.

Childhood Diabetes – Extreme hunger is also one of the signs of childhood type 1 diabetes mellitus. It is also associated with frequent urination and bed-wetting, fatigue, irritability and behavior changes. Infant diabetes is rare but when present may show these signs. Since the age is predominant with kapha, kapha body type children are prone to these conditions. Pitta and vata body types are not exempted. Excessive hunger may be a manifestation of high pitta or as a part of nature of the disease itself. Attractiveness of the limbs and face is also contributory to high kapha.

Treatment of child afflicted by Mukhamandika Graha

1. Internal medication

Devadarvadi Churna

Powder of the below mentioned ingredients shall be consumed mixed in the goat’s milk added with honey.

  • Devadaru Bhasma – ash of Cedrus deodara
  • Murva – Marsdenia tenacissima
  • Trikatu – Long pepper, black pepper and ginger
  • Musta – Cyperus rotundus
  • Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata
  • Kadamba – Neolamarckia cadamba
  • Ashwagandha – Withania somnifera

Ashokadi Churna

Powder of Saraca asoca and Picrorrhiza kurroa is administered mixed in goat’s milk added with honey

Madhukadi Ghrita

Ghee processed with Madhukadi, Tugaksheeryadi, Kakolyadi and Laghupanchamula group of herbs, milk and ghee should be given to the child for oral consumption after mixing it with honey and sugar.

2. External measures

a. Anointment

Sugandha dravya lepa

Powder of all fragrant herbs should be mixed with honey and used for application all over the body.

b. Bath and shower

Bilwadi Kwatha Parisheka (Kapittadi Kshaya by Sushruta)

Decoction prepared with the leaves of below mentioned ingredients should be used for showering and bathing the child –

  • Bilwa – Aegle marmelos
  • Eranda – Ricinus communis
  • Kapittha – Limonia acidissima
  • Agnimantha – Premna integrifolia
  • Vamsha – bamboo
  • Kuberaksha – Caesalpinia bonduc

c. Massage

Bilwadi Taila

Oil prepared with the leaf juices of same ingredients mentioned in Bilwadi Kwatha used for shower along with paste of licorice and Ashwagandha i.e. Withania somnifera and muscle fat should be used for massage.

d. Fumigation

Fumigation should be given with the below mentioned ingredients –

Yavadi Dhupa

  • Barley
  • Kushta – Saussurea lappa
  • Sarjarasa – gum of Vateria indica

Vachadi Dhupa

  • Vacha – Acorus calamus
  • Sarjarasa – gum of Vateria indica
  • Kushta – Saussurea lappa

3. Ritualistic measures

a. Bheshaja Dharana – wearing / tying medicaments

Tongue of common hawk cuckoo, eagle and snake should be worn around the neck or hands of the child afflicted by Mukhamandika Graha.

b. Bali – sacrifice

The below mentioned should be offered as sacrifice to the Mukhamandika Graha in the cow stable –

  • Various types of fragrances, fumigation
  • Garlands
  • Collyriums
  • Mercury
  • Realgar

c. Bath

The child should be given bath after sacrifice of the above said, in the same cow stable using water consecrated with holy hymns.

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