Swelling of the legs, gradual thickening and wrinkling of the skin, intermittent fever, and throbbing pain are the indications of this disease. Usually elephantiasis attacks the legs, but sometimes it attacks the arms also. The legs will grow to resemble those of elephants: that is why in English the disease is called “elephantiasis”.
Causes: By the side of the arteries there is another system of vessels called shukrabahá náŕii. These vessels, by carrying the most essential element of the body, the shukra, to various parts of the body, maintain the vitality of the nervous system, cells and glands. These shukrabahá náŕii supply shukra to the sperm-producing or ova-producing glands, and with the help of the spermatozoa or ova-produced in those glands, help to maintain the immune power and the very existence of the body. If, due to constipation, too much pitta in the body, over-acidity, excessive seminal discharge, or malnutrition, or due to a woman’s giving birth to many children, the person’s blood has lost its vigour or become contaminated, then a certain type of microbe starts breeding in it. When these microbes either the shukrabahá náŕii and get a chance to settle there, they obstruct the flow of shukra and cause the vessels to swell. This swelling of the shukrabahá náŕii takes the form of elephantiasis.
Treatment: Morning – Utkśepa Mudrá, Padahastásana, Agnisára Mudrá, Ud́d́ayana Mudrá, Diirgha Prańáma, Utkat́ásana, Yogamudrá and Naokásana.
Evening – Sarváuṋgásana, Matsyamudrá, Matsyendrásana and Agnisára Mudrá.
Patients should properly follow the rules for bathing, drinking water and sun-bathing.
Diet: All kinds of nutritious food can be eaten if the condition of the liver permits. All kinds of fruits and roots, especially sour fruits, are good with this disease. Patients should observe fast on Ekádashii, Púrńimá and Amávasyá days.
Dos and don’ts: Doing regular physical labour and control of diet and thought are essential for elephantiasis patients. Leaves of heleiṋcá and punarnavá are most beneficial in this disease.
As far as possible, patients should keep the diseased limbs wrapped in flannel cloth. Before retiring to bed, put a hot flannel compress on the diseased limbs. Good results are also obtained by keeping the affected limbs wrapped in kadam leaves, or, before retiring to bed for the night, wrapping the limbs in a bandage soaked in water mixed with ammonium chloride.
Some remedies: 1. Very early in the morning take 1 spoonful of sesame oil or pure mustard oil, mixed with an equal quantity of gulaiṋca juice on an empty stomach.
2. Take some myrobalan powder mixed with urine of a goat or a cow on an empty stomach at dawn; to help in recovery from elephantiasis.