The word Trishna is a Sanskrit word that translates to thirst or craving for something. Thirst is a natural phenomenon for all. But, if you feel excessively thirsty all the time, without any specific reason, and if you are not satisfied despite repeated water intake, it is an indication of an underlying disease.
Ayurveda considers excessive thirst as a symptom of several underlying diseases, such as diabetes or fever, while it is also considered a disease by itself. Ayurveda refers to this condition as Trishna. In conventional medicine, it is referred to as polydipsia.
Different Types Of Trishna
Ayurveda, when referring to thirst, mentions that it is one among the 13 types of natural urges and should not be suppressed. The Trishna disease, according to Ayurvedic books, is classified into six different types:
1. Vatic or vataja (caused due to vata)
2. Paittic or pittaja (due to pitta)
3. Kaphaja (due to kapha)
4. Amaja (due to the aggravation of all three doshas)
5. Kshayaja (due to waste of fundamental organic fluid or rasa ) and Kshataja (caused due to loss of blood during an injury)
6. Upasargaja (due to some other disease)
Causes Of Excessive Thirst
There are various reasons for excessive thirst, but, according to Ayurveda, the causes include:
• Summer or dry weather
• Mental stress (fear, anger, grief etc.)
• Physical exertion
• Heavy meal
• Diarrhoea or vomiting
• Intake of salty, sour or pungent food
• Vata and pitta imbalance
• Certain health conditions like liver disorder or emaciating disorders
• Vitiation of fluid channels in the body
Due to such factors, vata and pitta in the body are likely to be vitiated, either individually or together, leading to dehydration of nourishing factors (rasa), thereby resulting in thirst.
Symptoms Of Trishna Disease
Thirst, dizziness, weakness, dry mouth, insomnia, and anorexia are common symptoms.
Thirst with burning sensation, headache, bitterness in the mouth, yellowish discolouration of urine, stools or eyes, fainting and delirium.
Thirst with desire for warm beverages, heaviness and drowsiness, sweet taste in the mouth, nausea, and extreme emaciation.
Ama is associated with altered digestion and metabolism. Typical symptoms of this condition include indigestion, nausea, body ache and cardiac pain.
Kshyaja and Kshataja symptoms:
Kshaya implies depletion. So the typical symptoms include voice intolerance, dryness in throat and palate, darkness in front of eyes, shivering, chest pain, and emaciation.
Kshata implies injury. Kshataja is caused due to an injury that leads to haemorrhage and is characterized by thirst with burning sensation and fatigue.
Typical symptoms of this condition include fever, excessive urination, debility, and dyspnea.
Diseases that have these symptoms:
• Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2
• Gastric ulcers
• Hormonal disturbances
• Liver and kidney disorders
• Multiple myeloma
Medicines To Treat This Condition
Ayurvedic home remedies:
• Boil 1 spoon of liquorice powder with half spoon of fennel seeds in 400 ml of water. Reduce the water to 100 ml, filter it and consume twice a day (morning and evening).
• Another simple home remedy would be to add 1 tsp of black pepper powder to 4 cups of boiling water. Mix them well. Allow the mixture to cool and take a few sips of this through the day when you feel thirsty.
• Boil 50 g of Tinospora cordifolia (giloy) leaves with 50 g of paddy (rice) in a litre of water. Boil until the water reduces to 150 ml. Strain the liquid and drink twice a day. Continue doing this for a few days. Giloy has active adaptogenic compounds, while paddy, the rice that grows before threshing, is a great organic food to quench thirst.
• Drinking Amla juice by mixing with honey or candy sugar in the morning and evening is beneficial in keeping away excessive thirst.
• Drinking coconut water daily may be beneficial.
• Milk is considered one of the best for excessive thirst.
• Leaves of certain fruits like mangoes and Indian plums (jamuns) are considered beneficial if included in the diet.
• Lemon juice with honey works well to cut down excessive thirst.
Medicines and dietary modifications:
The general treatment method followed is to balance the vata and pitta imbalance, focusing on restoring the digestive fire.
Kharjooradi mantha (made of sweet fruits like dates and pomegranates), Shadanga paneeya (made of coolant and antipyretic herbs), Trinapanchamoola Kashaya (made of five types of grasses), Dhanyakadi hima (made from coriander seeds) and Chandrakala rasa are some of the ayurvedic medicines used to treat various types of Trishna.
Mix 4 tsp of Chandanasava medicine with an equal quantity of water and have twice a day after meals.
Ayurveda treats the symptoms of Trishna using a variety of herbs such as ginger, Indian plum, turmeric, amla, coriander, and tamarind syrup. Certain therapeutic remedies such as panakam, giloy sattva, amalaki rasayana, and moti pishti are also recommended.
Ayurveda also recommends keeping away from heavy, sour, salty, spicy and pungent food, and avoiding work exhaustion, and high intensity workouts.
Instead, a wholesome diet and lifestyle habits are recommended. Some of the foods suggested include having cooked barley, parched rice, with sugar candy or honey and ghee, milk, fruits, green gram gruel, sugarcane juice, raisins, pomegranate, cucumber and ash gourd.
Although thirst is a natural urge, anything beyond the limit is harmful to health. Therefore, if you are suffering from this condition, it is important that you visit your doctor to check for other underlying health conditions too.