Hyperthermia is a condition characterized by an abnormally high body temperature. Heat stroke( a form of hyperthermia) is called Usnataap or Aanshughata in Ayurvedic Literature which also provides comprehensive insights into the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for hyperthermia.  This article explores hyperthermia from an Ayurvedic perspective, shedding light on its symptoms, causes, and various treatment approaches.
Understanding Hyperthermia (Ushnaga)
Hyperthermia refers to a state where the body temperature rises above the normal range, which is generally around 37°C (98.6°F). In Ayurveda, hyperthermia is primarily classified under the category of “Jwara” (fever) disorders. According to Ayurvedic principles, hyperthermia occurs due to the imbalance of the body’s doshas (energetic forces), mainly Pitta dosha, which is associated with fire and heat.  
Symptoms of Hyperthermia
The symptoms of hyperthermia may vary depending on the severity and underlying causes. Common signs and symptoms of hyperthermia include:
1. Elevated body temperature
One of the primary indicators of hyperthermia is an elevated body temperature. It can range from mild to high-grade fever.  
2. Excessive sweating
Hyperthermia often leads to profuse sweating as the body tries to regulate its temperature.  
3. Fatigue and weakness
Increased body temperature can cause fatigue, weakness, and lack of energy.  
4. Headache and dizziness
Hyperthermia may be accompanied by headaches, dizziness, and a general feeling of discomfort.  
5. Rapid heartbeat and breathing
The body’s response to elevated temperature includes an increased heart rate and rapid breathing.  
6.Nausea and vomiting
Hyperthermia can cause digestive disturbances, including nausea and vomiting.  
Causes of Hyperthermia
Ayurveda recognizes various factors that can contribute to the occurrence of hyperthermia. Some of the common causes include:
1. Exposure to extreme heat
Prolonged exposure to high temperatures, such as staying in a hot environment or working in direct sunlight, can lead to hyperthermia.  
2. Intense physical activity
Engaging in strenuous physical activities, especially in hot weather conditions, can raise body temperature and cause hyperthermia.  
3. Certain medications
Some medications, such as certain antibiotics and antidepressants, can interfere with the body’s temperature regulation mechanisms and trigger hyperthermia.  
4. Infection or inflammation
Infections or inflammatory conditions can induce fever, leading to hyperthermia.  
5. Heat stroke
Hyperthermia can also occur as a result of a severe form of heat-related illness known as heat stroke.  
Ayurvedic Treatment Approaches for Hyperthermia
Ayurveda offers a holistic approach to managing hyperthermia, aiming to restore the balance of doshas and alleviate symptoms. The treatment approaches may include:
h3>1. Ayurvedic formulations
Specific Ayurvedic formulations, known as “Pitta pacifying” or “Jwara reducing” medicines, may be prescribed to bring down the body temperature. These formulations often include herbs like Neem, Guduchi, and Sandalwood. 
2. Lifestyle modifications
Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of lifestyle modifications to manage hyperthermia. This includes avoiding excessive exposure to heat, especially during peak hours of the day, and staying in shaded or air-conditioned environments whenever possible. It is also recommended to engage in moderate physical activity and avoid overexertion. 
Adequate hydration is crucial in managing hyperthermia. Ayurveda suggests drinking cool fluids like coconut water, herbal infusions, and fresh fruit juices to maintain fluid balance and promote cooling. 
4. Herbal remedies
Ayurveda offers a range of herbal remedies to alleviate hyperthermia symptoms. One such remedy is the application of sandalwood paste or rose water on the forehead, which has a cooling effect on the body. Additionally, herbal oils like Brahmi oil or coconut oil infused with cooling herbs can be used for body massage to promote relaxation and balance body temperature.  
5. Diet and nutrition
Ayurvedic principles emphasize a balanced and cooling diet to manage hyperthermia. Foods that have a cooling effect on the body, such as cucumber, watermelon, coconut, and leafy greens, are recommended. Avoiding spicy, oily, and heating foods can help maintain body temperature.  
6. Ayurvedic therapies
Certain Ayurvedic therapies can be beneficial in managing hyperthermia. Shirodhara, a therapy involving the continuous pouring of a stream of herbal oil on the forehead, can promote relaxation, reduce body heat, and calm the mind. Panchakarma, a detoxification procedure, may also be recommended in specific cases to eliminate toxins and restore balance.   
Prevention of Hyperthermia
Prevention is key in managing hyperthermia. Here are some preventive measures according to Ayurveda:
1. Stay hydrated
Drink an adequate amount of fluids throughout the day to maintain proper hydration levels.
Wear loose, lightweight, and breathable clothing, especially in hot weather conditions.
3. Limit exposure to heat
Avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures, especially during peak hours. Seek shade or cool environments when necessary.
4. Take breaks during physical activity
If engaging in intense physical activity, take regular breaks and rest in shaded areas to avoid overheating.
5. Ayurvedic dietary guidelines
Follow a balanced and cooling diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Limit the consumption of spicy, oily, and heating foods.
6. Practice stress management
Stress and anxiety can contribute to an increase in body temperature. Incorporate stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises into your daily routine.
When to Seek Medical Attention
While Ayurveda provides effective management strategies for hyperthermia, it is essential to seek medical attention in certain situations. Consult a healthcare professional if:
- The elevated body temperature persists for an extended period.
- Hyperthermia is accompanied by severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, chest pain, or confusion.
- There is no improvement in symptoms despite following Ayurvedic remedies and lifestyle modifications.
Remember, Ayurveda can be used as a complementary approach to conventional medical treatment, and it is important to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare provider for a comprehensive evaluation and guidance.
1. When should I seek medical attention for hyperthermia?
It is important to seek medical attention if the elevated body temperature persists for an extended period if hyperthermia is accompanied by severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing or confusion, or if there is no improvement in symptoms despite following diet and lifestyle modifications.
2. Is Ayurveda a standalone treatment for hyperthermia?
Ayurveda can be used as a complementary approach to conventional medical treatment. It is recommended to consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional for a comprehensive evaluation and guidance tailored to your specific condition.
3. Can hyperthermia be a serious condition?
Yes, hyperthermia can be a serious condition, especially if left untreated or if the underlying cause is severe. It is important to monitor and manage elevated body temperature to prevent complications.
4. Is hyperthermia only caused by external factors, or can it also be due to internal imbalances?
Hyperthermia can be caused by both external factors, such as exposure to extreme heat, and internal imbalances, such as Pitta dosha aggravation. Internal imbalances can contribute to the body’s inability to regulate temperature effectively.
5. Can hyperthermia lead to dehydration?
Yes, hyperthermia can lead to dehydration due to excessive sweating and increased fluid loss. It is essential to stay adequately hydrated during hyperthermia episodes.
Hyperthermia, or Ushnaga, in Ayurveda, is a condition characterized by elevated body temperature. By understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatment approaches according to Ayurvedic principles, individuals can take proactive steps in managing hyperthermia. Embracing a holistic approach that includes herbal remedies, lifestyle modifications, and preventive measures can promote balance, alleviate symptoms, and support overall well-being. It is however always recommended to seek guidance from a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner or healthcare professional for personalized advice and appropriate treatment.
Disclaimer:This article is only for providing a medical and general knowledge perspective and does not constitute medical advice. Kindly seek the help of a trained medical practitioner before initiating any treatment.
- Prevention and Management of Heat
Stroke (Anshughat) in Ayurveda: a review (iamj.in)
- Mechanism of Jwara leading to Raktapitta – A Review Article | Journal of Ayurveda and Integrated Medical Sciences (jaims.in)
- Heat Illness – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf (nih.gov)
- Hyperthermia and Heatstroke (researchgate.net)
- Hyperthermia: Too hot for your health | National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Ayurvedic Herbs in Integrative Oncology(americanherbalistsguild.com)
- Brahmi- “The Herb Of Enlightenment”(World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research)
- Insomnia In Traditional Persian Medicine | Acta medico-historica Adriatica : AMHA (srce.hr)