Sjogren syndrome, also known as sicca complex, is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by xerostomia (dry mouth), xerophthalmia (dry eyes) and lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands. Women are more affected by this condition than men. Common signs and symptoms include dry eyes, dry mouth, fatigue, muscular pains, dry skin, vaginal dryness, lymph node and parotid gland involvement, polyneuropathy and diseases of the kidney.
The Ayurvedic treatment of Sjogren syndrome is aimed at reducing the symptoms and treating the main pathology of the disease. Dry eyes can be treated using medicated eye drops containing Manjishtha (Rubia cordifolia), Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus), Haridra (Curcuma longa), Daruharidra (Berberis aristata), Chandan (Santalum album), Sphatik (Purified alum), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Rose water and Karpur (Purified camphor). A dry mouth is treated using medicines like Yashtimadhuk (Glycerrhiza glabra), Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Parpat (Fumaria vaillantii), Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis). Lymph node and parotid gland involvement is treated using medicines like Kachnaar-Guggulu, Triphala-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Patol (Tricosanthe dioica) and Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa). Muscular aches and joint pain can be treated using medicines like Trayodashang-Guggulu, Yograj-Guggulu, Vat-Gajankush-Ras and Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras.
Polyneuropathy and inflammation of the arteries can be treated using medicines like Kaishor-Guggulu, Tapyadi-Loh, Ekang-Veer-Ras, Chandrakala-Ras, Mahamanjishthadi-Qadha, Saarivadi-Churna and Bruhat-Vat-Chintamani. Dry skin and vaginal dryness can be treated with the local application of medicated oils like Chandan- Bala-Laxadi oil, Mahanarayan oil, Mahamash oil, Mahasaindhavadi oil, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut and Shatadhout-Ghrut. Diseases of the kidneys can be treated using medicines like Chandraprabha-Vati, Gokshuradi-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Qadha, Gomutra-Haritaki and Punarnavadi-Guggulu.
The basic pathology of the disease relates to reduced or absent secretions from several glands and organs. In order to treat this, ‘Snehan’ therapy is given to the patients on a long term basis. This involves the oral use of high doses of milk and medicated ghee like Panch-Tikta-Ghrut, Yashtimadhuk-Ghrut and Dashmool-Ghrut. Butter can also be used for this purpose. The addition of Saindhav or Yav-Kshar to the medicated ghee increases the therapeutic properties of the medicines. The same medicines can also be used to massage the entire body.
Sjogren syndrome rarely shortens a patient’s life span, however disability from the symptoms can be devastating. An early diagnosis of this condition and prompt initiation of treatment is therefore very important.