Ayurveda Treatment (Virechana and Basti) and Changes of Intestinal Microbiota at Phyla and Species Level

Shaw Watanabe,

Published on: 2020-12-21


Introduction: Ayurvedic therapies and medical practices have been elaborated for some patients in Japan. The characteristic of Ayurvedic treatment is a detoxication with a large amount of oil treatment by body surface oil massage and purgation therapy with ghee or specially arranged herbal oil. Changes of intestinal microbiota during these treatments have not been well studied.
Method: Participants were recruited from Hatai Ayurveda Clinic in Tokyo. Virechana therapy, a purification therapy, or Basti therapy (decoction and oil enema) was carried out on 13 patients with various manifestations. All participants provided lifestyle, dietary habits, past, and present illness by the questionnaire, and precise condition was recorded during admission to the end of camp. Fecal samples were taken at the entry, during treatment, at the discharge, and three weeks later for analyzing intestinal microbiota by seqyebcubg 16srRNA gene.
Results: Body weight decreased by about 5% by Virechana therapy, while it did not occur by Basti, but body fat increased 4% (2.2 kg) on average in both groups. Various clinical manifestations of participants became improved, especially on a skin rash and atopic change.
The depressed patient also revived with a will of living. They are mostly vegetarians and had more Bacteroidetes (48.09±7.51%), Firmicutes (38.27±10.82%), and Actinobacteria (3.30± 3.58%) than omnivores who had more Proteobacteria (10.73±4.75%), Fusobacteria (2.40±6.25%) and Cyanobacteria (0.09± 0.24%). When the groups were divided by oil consumption, ghee users showed higher Fusobacterium and less Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. Virechana therapy caused remarkable microbiota changes after the pretreatment, such as the decrease of Firmicutes and increase of Proteobacteria. At the genus-species level, the increase of Enterobacteriaceae and loss of Akkermansia municiphila were noteworthy. Niruha Basti and Matra Basti decreased Firmicutes and increased Proteobacteria (p=0.096). Fusobacterium also increased. After the discharge, Proteobacteria remained high, but Firmicutes returned to 30% on average, ranging from 25% to 50%. Three weeks later, the variety increased by Fusobacterium, Verrucomicrobia, Tenericutes, and Lentisphaerae. The variety of species also increased three weeks later.
Conclusion: Various complaints of the participants improved by the Ayurvedic treatment with a large amount of oil treatment by body surface oil massage and purgation therapy. It caused changes in intestinal microbiota, and bacterial metabolites may affect skin lesions and mental health like depressive feeling.

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