ITP: Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura

You can define ITP by its name. 'I' indicates the immune system, which says about abnormal responses of the immune system, 'T' indicates thrombocytopenia which means a low count of platelet cells, 'P' indicates Purpura which means bleeding of the skin. So, the definition of ITP is this: It is a bleeding disorder caused by an abnormal response of the immune system which leads to a decrease in platelet count and excessive bleeding.

As per Ayurveda, ITP is correlated to “Tiryaka Raktapitta”.


The specific reason for ITP is not known. But the possible cause of ITP is the abnormal functioning of the immune system which mistakenly attacks the platelet cells and causes the reduction in platelet counts. It leads to excessive bleeding. Sometimes the immune system interferes in the functioning of the cells which are responsible for the production of platelets. In children, a viral infection is the main cause of ITP.

According to Ayurveda due to the excessive consumption of hot, bitter and sour things, the impairment in Pitta dosha takes place which combines the blood tissue. Pitta dosha vitiated the blood which leads to the generation of heat in the blood which destroys the blood cells.


  1. Bruises over the whole body especially observed in the joints of elbows and knees
  2. Nose bleeding and gum bleeding
  3. Yellowish skin
  4. Seldom blood in the stool, urine, or during vomiting
  5. Excessive heavy menstrual flow

Ayurvedic Concept For ITP

According to Ayurveda ITP is associated with “Tiryaka Raktapitta”. In this disease, all three doshas of the body Vata, Pitta, and Kapha get vitiated which are circulating in the bloodstream and attacks the platelet cells in the body. It leads to a reduction in platelet cell count.

Ayurvedic Treatment Of ITP

Treatment of ITP depends on the severity of its symptoms. Ayurveda treats ITP naturally. According to Ayurveda, a sedentary lifestyle and wrong diet is the main cause of every disease. That is why Ayurveda focuses on diet and lifestyle changes to relieve symptoms and problems and herbs are also provided to treat the disease naturally without any side effects.

For ITP, there are also various herbs that regulate immune function and increase platelet count in the body. The patient is also given a special diet chart to control ITP disease. The main aim of these herbs is to reduce pain, inflammation occurs due to ITP.

The various herbs, which naturally treat illness are the following:

1. Giloy

Botanical name:Tinospora cordifolia

Arabic name: gilo, satgilo

Giloy herb is known as very effective herb in Ayurveda. It possesses anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. This herb balances the Vata and Pitta dosha in the body which is directly linked with ITP. The giloy stems are used to obtain giloy juice. It increases the ability of the body to combat foreign bodies and increase the platelet count. Therefore it is very effective herb for the treatment of ITP.

2. Ashwagandha

Botanical name: Withania somnifera

Arabic name:ain-ul-ghurab, fuq qysh, kaknaje-hindi, tukhm hayat

This herb helps to raise the platelet counts by improving the functioning of the immune system.  Ashwagandha also increases the production of white and red blood cells along with platelet cells. It inhibits the immunosuppressive activity of the body. This herb also helps to reduce stress, improve stamina and support a healthy body. 

3. Gotukola

Botanical name: Centella asiatica

Arabic name: artaniyae-hindi

Gotukola is an excellent adaptogen. It is very useful in increasing the platelet count. It also helps to combat infections, tiredness, stress, and depression. Gotukola improves blood circulation and also helps in treating blood clots.

4. Punarnava

Botanical name: Boerhavia diffusa

Punarnava is a very beneficial herb for all liver dilemmas. It also helps to boost the immune system of the body.  It acts as a detoxifier and improves blood circulation. This herb provides relief from inflammation and edema.

5. Noni

Botanical name: Morinda citrifolia

This herb helps to reduce bleeding problems in ITP patients. It possesses many properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immuno-modulator, and analgesic properties.

6. Curcumin

Botanical name: Curcuma longa

Arabic name: aurukesafur, auruqussabba-ghin, auruqussufr, haldizard

The curcumin capsule is prepared from herb Turmeric (Curcuma longa). Curcumin is an active constituent of Turmeric. It is effective in ITP as it helps to remove toxins from the body and act as a blood purifier. The herb also consists of many properties such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immuno-modulator, and analgesic.

7. Papaya

Botanical name: Carica papaya

Arabic name: aanabahe-hindi, amba-hindi, arandkharbuza

Papaya leaf extract is very effective in the treatment of ITP. It helps to increase the platelet counts in the body.

8. Wheatgrass

Botanical name: Thinopyrum intermedium

Wheatgrass is also very effective for ITP patients. It helps to improve platelet counts and decrease bleeding and clotting time. It also stimulates the proper functioning of the immune system.

9. Aloe Vera

Botanical name: Aloe barbadensis

Aloe Vera helps to increase the platelet count and provide relief from the symptom of ITP. Aloe Vera juice decreases gum and mouth bleeding.

There are also some classical Ayurvedic formulas that are used to treat ITP such as KumarKalyanRas, Pitta Balan, and immune-boosting etc.

Dietary Guidelines

Food Should Be Taken

  • Add green leafy vegetables in your diet like coriander, spinach, kale, fenugreek, etc. 
  • Also add bitter gourd, ridge gourd, bottle gourd, cabbage, carrot, beetroot, pumpkin, cauliflower, etc. in your diet. 
  • Fruits like papaya, apple, kiwi, peach, pear, pomegranate, etc. 
  • Add whole grains in your daily diet.  Add Vitamin K rich foods, it helps to improve blood clotting. 
  • You can only drink goat milk.
  • Drink wheatgrass & aloe vera juice, pomegranate juice, green coconut water, daily. 
  • Papaya fruit and its leaves juice is very useful for ITP patients

Food Should Be Avoided

  1. Citrus fruits
  2. Alcohol and sweetened drinks
  3. Other milk & milk products except for goat milk
  4. Processed and fried food
  5. Spices and spicy food items
  6. Excessive salt and red chilies
  7. Non-vegetarian diet but the patient can have only two boiled egg white.