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Medically known as Hyperbilirubinemia, Jaundice is a condition characterized by an increase of bilirubin (a yellow pigment) in the blood. The excess bilirubin thus results in yellowing of the skin and sclera (the whites of the eyes).

Normally, the liver produces two types of pigments called Bilirubin and Biliverdin. Bilirubin is responsible for coloring and provides stool its typical brown color. When blockage of the bile ducts or any other problem prevents the bilirubin from being eliminated in the stool, it gets eliminated in the urine. Hence, when we have jaundice, dark yellow colored urine and pale stool are generally observed.

Jaundice, also known as icterus, itself is not a disease but indicates the presence of some serious hepatic diseases such as lung cancers, hepatitis, liver cirrhosis etc. The outbreaks of Jaundice are common during rainy season and that too particularly in people with low immunity, newborn babies (Infant Jaundice) and breastfed babies (Breastfeeding Jaundice). This is because in such people the rate at which bilirubin is formed is faster than the rate at which the liver can process it.

In Ayurveda, Jaundice is known as Kamala and is considered as a pitta related disorder.

Types of Jaundice:

Depending upon what is intervening with the excretion process of bilirubin, there are basically three types of Jaundice:

  1. Pre-hepatic jaundice: This type of Jaundice develops when the rate of recycling used RBCs is faster than the normal rate. As a result, level of bilirubin rises in the blood. Medical conditions that may trigger such condition include sickle cell anemia, malaria and thalassemia.
  2. Intra-hepatic Jaundice: This type of Jaundice develops when there is dysfunction of the liver. As a result, the liver is less efficient to process the bilirubin. Hepatitis, liver cancer, overdose of certain drugs like paracetamol, ecstasy and alcoholic liver disease result in such type of Jaundice.
  3. Post-hepatic Jaundice: This is also known as obstructive jaundice. This happens when there is blockage of the bile ducts that prevents the bilirubin from entering into the intestine. Cancers of the gallbladder, pancreas and bile duct cause Post-hepatic Jaundice.


Bilirubin is formed when hemoglobin is broken down as a part of natural process of recycling old or damaged red blood cells. This bilirubin is then carried in the bloodstreams to the liver where it binds with the bile juice. It is then moved through bile ducts into the intestines. In the intestines, most of the bilirubin is excreted in the stool while a little in the urine. The problem of Jaundice occurs when the bilirubin is not able to excrete and hence builds up in the blood.

Apart from this, certain behavioral factors like suppressing natural urges of the body, overindulgence in sexual activity, intense workout, intake of infected food and water, poor sanitation and alcohol abuse also cause Jaundice infection.


A patient having Jaundice may develop underlying signs and symptoms:

  • Yellow discoloration of the skin, the mucus membrane and the sclera
  • Dark yellow colored urine and pale stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Itching
  • Loss of taste and appetite
  • Weight loss


  • Avoid oily and spicy food as these food items trigger causative factors of Jaundice
  • Hard to digest food should be kept at bay.
  • If Jaundice has developed as a result of medication side effects, early intervention is a key to minimize the harmful effects.
  • Avoid working under sun. Prefer to stay in dark.
  • Avoid intense exercise and stressful conditions such as anxiety and fear.
  • Take proper rest until your body regains normal strength.
  • Jaundice is a liver-related disease. So it is essential to maintain its health. Hence have a healthy diet.


Jaundice treatment is cause-specific rather than the disease-specific. Before starting the treatment, it is essential to know what has caused Jaundice. As per the causative factor, suitable treatment optionscan be selected. Pre-hepatic jaundice is treated by increasing the amount of iron in the blood. This could be achieved by including iron-rich food items into the diet. Intra-hepatic Jaundice can be treated using anti-viral or steroids. Post-hepatic Jaundice may be treated via surgery to open the ducts. Regardless of the cause, Jaundice can also be treated naturally. In fact, Ayurveda is the only way that acts wisely on the root cause. Providing the body those essential nutrients which the body is deprived of can help it to get rid of the condition on its own. Triphala churana, Avipattikar churana and juice of aloe Vera are some of the natural supplements preferred to beat Jaundice.




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