World Haemophilia Day is observed on 17th April across the globe to draw attention to this inherent genetic disorder that affects millions of people. Haemophilia or hemophilia is a condition where the body's ability to stop bleeding by making the blood clot is impaired. So if a person suffers from an injury, it leads to easy bruising or excessive bleeding. In some cases it could also result in bleeding inside the joints and in the brain, causing various other health problems. There are different kinds of haemophilia depending on the clotting factors, which are responsible to stop the bleeding. Acquired haemophilia is caused due to other ailments such as cancer, autoimmune diseases and even pregnancy. So on this day, health experts have urged everyone to undergo blood tests or genetic tests to check risk factors, especially if someone has a family history of the disease, and prevent its spread to other generations via new therapies and genetic counselling.
The function of blood in the body is to flow, to provide oxygen and other essential nutrients to various parts of the body, and to remove carbon dioxide and other toxins from the body. When we cut ourselves, we land up damaging the blood vessels and as a reflex reaction, our body then starts sending out signals to prevent the issue at hand. This process is known as coagulation, or blood clotting. Small cells called blood platelets are triggered during an injury, which then tend to stick to the walls of the injured vessel to stop blood flow. Certain clotting factors and proteins are also activated which work towards forming blood clot to prevent bleeding. A repair process also gets activated as the wound heals and the blood clears off the clot and other fibrins.
"From the Ayurvedic perspective, blood that fails to clot in a timely manner is due to a pitta imbalance. Excess pitta in the blood makes the blood hot, sharp, and penetrating and doesn't allow natural coagulation and clotting to occur. The basic prescription, then, is to follow a pitta-soothing diet, use pitta-soothing herbs, and take specifically hemostatic herbs, herbs that directly help to stop bleeding," as stated in The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies by Vasant Lad.
1. Apply Ice: The first step to prevent the bleeding is to apply something cold on the injured area, such as ice, which helps to constrict the blood vessels and stop bleeding.
2. Put Pressure: This is a common practise followed by all to prevent bleeding. Apply pressure on the injured area helps stop bleeding. Doctors also advice raising the hands or the legs upward to slow down blood flow.
3. Aloe Vera: This plant is known for its miraculous properties and is very effective when it comes to stop excessive bleeding. "A pinch of aloe powder mixed into a paste with a pinch of turmeric powder will immediately stop most bleeding. Aloe vera gel will also be effective," states the book.
4. Astringent Herbs: "The Ayurvedic herbs Lodhra, Kushtha, and Bilva are effective to stop bleeding, either alone or mixed in equal proportions into a paste that can be applied directly. They are also effective taken internally for continuing problems with bleeding; use 1/2 teaspoon 2 or 3 times a day," says Vasant Lad.