There are three types of Conjunctivitis;
- infectious and,
Out of which, the infectious and the allergic are the most prominent ones. However, according to a report by the American Medical Association, (2013), allergic conjunctivitis is the most frequent cause, affecting 15% to 40% of the total population globally. Out of these, 90% of the conjunctivitis conditions are seasonal. However, allergic conjunctivitis management is easy with AYUSH and allopathic treatment methods. In addition, allergic conjunctivitis management via AYUSH shows no side effects, which contradicts the case of allopathic medication. According to Abelson et al., (2015), side effects of allopathic medications for conjunctivitis lead to co-morbid conditions like the inability to see, and symptoms of glaucoma.
Conjunctivitis management using Ayurveda
In Ayurveda, conjunctivitis is known as ‘vernal
- intense itching,
- mucoid discharge,
- lacrimation and
This type of disease comes under the ‘Kriya Kalpas’ category of ophthalmic procedures. It indicates that ‘Kandu’ (Itching), ‘Varthma’ (difficulty to see), ‘Picchil Srava’ (Mucous ropy secretion), ‘Muhurmuhur Srava/Ashru’ (Lacrimation) and Photophobia are the main symptoms of ‘vernal kerato conjunctivitis’. Sharma and Pamnani 2015 have identified and suggested two methods of treatment, Aschyotan Karma and Shaman Aushadh which uses different plant-based compounds for allergic conjunctivitis management. Basic combination drugs for conjunctivitis comprise Triphala
List of various methods of treatment and compounds used
|Ayurveda name||Common/Scientific name||Commercial drug||Reference|
|Kikar, chirchita, Rasaut, Tarwar, Zergeel, Dhania, Rosebay, Prajmoda, and Trifala lotion||Acacia nilotica, Achyranthus aspera, Berberis aristata, Petroselinum crispum, Cassia auriculata, Calendula officinalis, Ervatamia coronaria, Coriandrum sativum||Kerala Ayurveda Netrashni Rasa, Kerala Ayurveda Rasanjanadi Rasakriya||Sahdev et a., 2018|
|Candana, Sphatika, Shobhanjana, Bhringaraja, Haritaki, Amaiki, Vibhitaka, Tulasi, Haridra, Yastimadhu, Daruharidra, Lodhra, Eranda, Mustak, Manjishtha, Bhumyamalki, Karpura, Nimba, and Sirishsa||Santalum album, Alum, Moringa oleifera, Eclipta alba, Terminalia chebula, Emblica officinalis, Terminalia befierica, Ocimum sanctum, Curcuma, longa, Glycirrhiza glabra Linn, Berberis aristata, Symplocas racemosa, Ricinus communis, Cypenis rotundas, Rubia cordifolia, Phyllanthus niruri, Cinnamonum camphora Linn, Azadirachta indica, Albezzia Sebbik||Jiva Ayunetra Eye Drop, Kerala Ayurveda Mahatriphaladi Ghrita, Patanjali Drishti Eye Drop||Rajagopal, Sindhu, & Sreekumar, 2017|
Conjunctivitis management with Homeopathy methods
According to the homoeopathic methods of treatment, conjunctivitis can be treated with the help of understanding the symptoms as well as the reactions to the drugs. The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis are different from that of bacterial conjunctivitis. Therefore, a person with allergic conjunctivitis from pollens and dust will receive different treatments. In the case of infectious conjunctivitis, Saha et al., (2015), mentioned the use of Rhus Toxicodendron, whereas Sahdev et a., (2018) mentioned the names of other compounds for allergic conjunctivitis. The following list indicates different types of drugs used to treat conjunctivitis.
|Type of conjunctivitis||Homoeopathy compounds||Commercial drug||Reference|
|Allergic||Apis mellifica, Argentum nitricum, Hepar sulphuris calcareum, Mercurius solubilis, Natrum muriaticum, Pulsatilla, Sulphur||Dr. Reckeweg R78 Eye Care Drop, Allen A75 Allergy Drop, SBL Cineraria Maritima 10% Eye Drop||Sahdev et a., (2018)|
|Bacterial||Rhus toxicodendron||Allium cepa MT||Saha et al., (2015)|
|Viral||Abelmoschus esculentus, Acacia Arabica, Acacia macracantha Humb, Camellia sinensis, Colebrookea oppositifolia, Dissotis rotundifolia, Euphorbia royleana Boissm, Iris germanica L, Lophira tanceotata, Pelargonium sp., Rosa sp., Thespesia sp., Xanthium sp.||Dr. Reckeweg Cineraria Maritima Eye Drop, Dr Willmar Schwabe Germany Cineraria Maritima Eye Drop,||Sandhu et al., (2011)|
Conjunctivitis management with Unani methods
In the Unani treatment methods, conjunctivitis is the disease of the eyes and is called ‘kohal or Surma’. There is very little mention of the different methods of symptoms and treatment methods used in Unani system. However, Abdul et al., (2010) indicated that the Unani system of treatment involves reducing histamines and inflammations along with reddishness of the eyes. The following list presents a list of mentioned treatment compounds used in the Unani system.
|Unani name||Common name/Scientific name||Commercial drug||Reference|
|–||Berberis aristata, Cassia absus, Coptis teeta, Symplocos racemosa, Azadirachta indica, Alum and distillate Rosa damascena||Hamdard Arq Chiraita, Dehlvi Mako Kasni Ras,||Latif et al. 2009|
|Beekhe Kasni or Kasani||Cichorium intybus||Rex Arq Kasni, Hamdard Khamira Marwareed Khas||Zaman and Basar, 2013|
Conjunctivitis management using Siddha methods
Siddha medication method for conjunctivitis is almost the same as in Ayurveda according to Sahdev et a., (2018). Siddha follows the guidelines of ‘Nayana vidhi’ and ‘Nagamuni Nayana Vidhi’ for the treatment of conjunctivitis and all other eye irritants. Conjunctivitis management is based on ‘Maanida Maruthuvam’ which comprises essential oils and a mixture of herbals (National Health Portal, 2018). Conjunctivitis in the Siddha system is considered a part of all eye-related problems and falls under ‘Nayana Rogam’ and exposure to ‘pashana’ or pollen, mercurial, and dust-based compounds cause eye-based irritations and conjunctivitis. National Health Portal, Government of India, 2018 has identified ‘Nandiavattai’ (Ervatamia coronaria) and ‘Karisalai’ (Eclipta alba) as the most important plant species for the treatment of conjunctivitis and eye irritants. The most common herbs used in this process include;
- Terminalia chebula
- Terminalia bellerica
- Phyllanthus emblica
- Sparagus racemosus
- Berberis aristata
- Glycyrrhiza glabra
- Cinnamomum camphora
- Gmelina arborea
- Coconut water
State of AYUSH methods for conjunctivitis management
The study finds very less information on the methods of conjunctivitis management used in AYUSH. However, the remaining studies and information indicate using different herbs and medicinal plants for conjunctivitis management in Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani systems. There are no reports of side effects from traditional methods of treatment for conjunctivitis, so it may be suggested that AYUSH methods of treatment for conjunctivitis are much more efficient than allopathic management methods. This is also evident from the increased number of AYUSH-based healthcare centres and practitioners in India. Therefore it is important to publish more research and clinical studies to understand the efficacy of conjunctivitis management in AYUSH systems.
- Abelson, M. B., Shetty, S., Korchak, M., Butrus, S. I., & Smith, L. M. (2015). Advances in pharmacotherapy for allergic conjunctivitis. Expert opinion on pharmacotherapy, 16(8), 1219-1231.
- American Medical Association. (2013). Conjunctivitis PPP. Available online: https://www.aao.org/Assets/07524e1e-859e-4862-a32f…/conjunctivitis-ppp-pdf.
- Abdul, L., Abdul, R., Sukul, R. R., & Nazish, S. (2010). Anti-inflammatory and antihistaminic study of a unani eye drop formulation. Ophthalmology and eye diseases, 2, OED-S3612.
- Latif, A., Razique, A., & Sukul, R. (2009). The scientific validation of Unani Eye drop on conjunctivitis. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 1(4), 241.
- National Health Portal. (2018). Eye care in siddha. Available online: https://www.nhp.gov.in/eye-care-in-siddha_mtl.
- Rajagopal, K., Sindhu, C., & Sreekumar, K. (2017). Efficacy Of Ayurvedic Management In Pothaki- A Case Report With Respect To Allergic Conjunctivitis TIS. International Ayurvedic Medical Journal, 1(4).
- Saha, S., Koley, M., Ghosh, S., Giri, M., Das, A., & Goenka, R. (2015). Documentation of prescriptions and clinical outcomes in a homeopathic hospital setting in West Bengal, India. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 20(3), 180-185.
- Sahdev, A. K., Sethi, B., Singh, A., Sharma, N., & Purwar, S. (2018). Conjunctivitis: Types, diagnosis and treatment under different therapies. Asian Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 4(4), 421-428.
- Sandhu, P. S., Singh, B., Gupta, V., Bansal, P., & Kumar, D. (2011). Potential herbs used in ocular diseases. Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 3(4), 1127.
- Sharma, P., & Pamnani, G. (2016). An Ayurveda Approach in the Management of Vernal Kerato Conjunctivitis: a Case Study. Journal of Biological & Scientific Opinion, 3(6), 278–279. https://doi.org/10.7897/2321-6328.03658.
- Zaman, R., & Basar, S. N. (2013). A review article of Beekhe Kasni (Cichorium intybus) its traditional uses and pharmacological actions. Research Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2(8), 1-4.