Galaganda – Causes, Types, Prognosis, Treatment

By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Galaganda is the name given to a disease which presents in the form of a swelling in front of the neck. Gala means neck or throat. Ganda has several meanings – button shaped, boil, pimple, cheek, cheekbone, bladder shape or a bubble. This term is used to describe swelling which occurs in front of neck which has the shape of one of those structures mentioned in the meanings of ganda. A small swelling may look like a button but a large swelling can look like a cheekbone or filled bladder.

This condition is often compared to goiter which is associated with thyroid related disorders.
Read – Sore Throat Causes, Ayurveda Remedies, Treatment, Therapies

Definition of Galaganda

A clearly defined swelling which appears in the neck, hanging pendulously like a scrotum, either big or small in size is called as Galaganda.

Master Bhoja defines Galaganda as –

A big or small swelling which occurs in the lower jaw, nape of the neck or neck, is elongated and suspends pendulously like the scrotum is called as galaganda.

Master Charaka has mentioned Galaganda in the context of Shvayathu Chikitsa i.e. chapter dealing with treatment of swellings. He defines Galaganda as a single swelling occurring on the side of the neck. When the swellings are many it will be called as Gandamala i.e. a garland of swellings.
Read – Charaka – Shotha Chikitsa 12th Chapter

Samprapti – Pathogenesis

The vitiated vata, kapha and meda i.e. fat reach the neck and nape of the neck. After getting lodged therein they cause swelling in the neck which gradually develops having their respective symptoms. This is called as Galaganda.

Types of Galaganda

  • Vataja Galaganda
  • Shleshmaja / Kaphaja Galaganda
  • Medoja Galaganda

The author tells that it is the nature of the disease that there is no pittaja type. It is one of the rarest diseases explained in the Ayurveda treatises which don’t have a pittaja subtype.

Vataja Galaganda

Nature of the swelling –

  • Associated with pricking pain
  • Surrounded by black colored veins
  • Has dark brown or reddish brown color
  • Rough on touch
  • Gradually increases in size
  • Doesn’t undergo suppuration

The other symptoms include – manifestation of abnormal tastes in the mouth and dryness of palate and throat.

Master Sushruta adds to this and tells that in due course of time when Vataja Galaganda gets associated with fat; the swelling becomes unctuous, large and devoid of pain.
Read – Shotha: Causes, Types, Treatment, Medicines

Shlaishmika / Kaphaja Galaganda

Nature of the swelling –

  • Immobile
  • Has similar color as that of the surrounding skin
  • Heavy
  • Severe itching
  • Cold on touch
  • Very large in size
  • Gradually grows over many days
  • Undergoes suppuration very slowly
  • Has mild pain

The other symptoms – sweet taste in the oral cavity and coating inside the throat and palate.

Medoja Galaganda

Nature of the swelling –

  • Unctuous
  • Smooth on touch
  • Heavy
  • Pale in color
  • Has unpleasing smell
  • On scratching causes mild pain
  • Has a narrow root (attached portion)
  • Elongated and hangs like a bottle gourd
  • Swelling gets decreased when the body gets emaciated and increases when the body gets stout

The other symptoms – unctuousness of the face and unclear sounds and voice when the patient speaks.
Read – Tested Remedies For Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat Problems: Ramdas Pai

Sadhyasadhyata – prognosis

Galaganda is said to be incurable or have bad prognosis in presence of below mentioned conditions –

  • Patient is feeling difficulty in breathing
  • Smoothness and looseness of body parts
  • Disease existing since one year
  • Presence of anorexia
  • When the condition is associated with depletion of tissues
  • Presence of hoarseness of voice

According to Charaka this condition is curable. But when it is associated with complications like rhinitis, pain in the flanks, cough, fever and vomiting it will become incurable.
Read – Vomiting: Causes, Complications, Pathophysiology, Treatment

Sanskrit Verses

Treatment

Skilful administration of below mentioned measures –

  • Siravedha – vein puncture
  • Purgation
  • Nasal drops
  • Medicated smoking
  • Oral consumption of ghee

2. Internal medicine

Jalakumbhi Bhasma

  • Ash of Jalakumbhi – Pistia startiotes mixed with powder of rock salt and Pippali – Piper longum should be consumed every day in the morning.
  • Ash of Jalakumbhi should be boiled in urine of cow and filtered through clean cloth. It should be eaten with food prepared using Kodrava i.e. Paspalum scrobiculatum.

Tiktaka Alabu

Stale water kept in Tiktaka Alabu – bitter gourd for seven days should be consumed along with wholesome food.

Amrtadi Taila

One should drink the oil prepared with the paste of below mentioned ingredients daily for cure of galaganda. The ingredients are –

Shveta Aparajita

Powder of roots of Shveta Aparajita – Clitoria ternatea should be mixed with ghee and consumed.

Mandura Bhasma

Ash of Mandura – rust of iron mixed in urine of buffalo, kept in pot for one month and burnt in concealed heating method. This should be consumed with honey.

3. External application

Sarshapadi Lepa

Paste prepared from below mentioned ingredients made in sour buttermilk is applied on galaganda –

The same paste shall be applied on group of swellings i.e. gandamala and complicated cystic swellings.

Jalakumbhi Bhasma

The ash of Jalakumbhi – Pistia startiotes mixed with mustard oil is applied on the swelling over the neck.

Shveta Aparajita

Roots of Shveta Aparajita – Clitoria ternatea are ground, mixed with ghee and applied over the swelling of Galaganda at morning time. The person should consume wholesome food.

Hastikarna Palasha

Roots of Hastikarna Palasha i.e. Leea macrophylla should be rubbed with rice washed water and the resultant paste should be applied on the swelling of galaganda.

Suryavartadi Upanaha

Poultice of Suryavarta – Cleome viscosa and Garlic should be tied over galaganda. This will cause boils with oozing. Consequently the disease will be cured.

Katphala Churna

Powder of Katphala – Myrica nagi should be rubbed inside the throat.

Gandagopalika

After scraping the swelling of Galaganda, paste of a worm named Gandagopalika should be administered over it.

4. Pathya – wholesome things

The below mentioned are said to be wholesome in Galaganda –

5. Nasal medication

a. Karkaruka swarasa nasya – Juice of old ripened fruit of Karkaruka – Cucumis melo mixed with rock salt and vid salt should be used as nasal drops in galaganda.

b. Tumbi Taila Nasya – The mustard oil prepared with the paste of the below mentioned herbs should be used for nasal drops –

  • Vidanga – Embelia ribes
  • Yavakshara – alkali of Hordeum vulgare
  • Rock salt
  • Vacha – Acorus calamus
  • Rasna – Pluchea lanceolata
  • Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
  • Ginger – Zingiber officinale
  • Maricha – Piper nigrum
  • Pippali – Piper longum
  • Devadaru – Cedrus deodara
  • Katutumbi Rasa – juice of bitter gourd
    Read – Nasya Karma Procedure, Types, Benefits, Contra Indications

6. Shastra Chikitsa – surgical treatment

There are 12 veins on the sides of the under surface of the tongue. Among these, the two stout and black veins should be held with vadisha yantra – hook like instrument, and should be slowly cut with the help of kushapatra – razor. When the blood is eliminated the patient is made to eat paste of jaggery and ginger. Along with this he should be served with food which doesn’t cause moistening in the body and kulattha yusha – soup of horse gram.

Karna prishta siravedha – The three veins situated above both the ears at the joints should be cut.

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