Water is one of the basic needs of all living beings, and thirst is one of the 13 natural urges of the body. It is a desire to drink water and indicates that our throat has become dry. We all are well acquainted with the feeling of being thirsty and the immense relief that we get after drinking a refreshing glass of water as it passes through our dry throat.
However, due to certain reasons, some people experience excessive thirst. It is so abnormal and frequent that even after drinking a lot of water, the person still feels thirsty.
This condition of excessive thirst is also called trishna in Ayurveda, and it is quite different from the normal thirst. Usually, you feel more thirsty if the weather is too dry, or if it is summer, or after a heavy meal or a strenuous workout. But people suffering from trishna feel thirsty without any reason. They feel thirsty all the time, and even after drinking a glassful of water, they are not satisfied. This is not a natural process, and it mostly occurs as a symptom of diseases such as diabetes or fever.
Excessive thirst or trishna has been classified into eight types on the basis of its origin. They are as follows:
1. Vataja trishna
2. Pittaja trishna
3. Kaphaja trishna
4. Kshataja trishna
5. Amaja trishna
6. Kshayaja trishna
7. Upasargaja trishna
8. Bhaktaja trishna
Excessive thirst has been considered as a symptom of vitiation of the fluid channels in the body, also called as udakavaha srotodushti. Ayurveda has classified the causes of excessive thirst as follows:
1. Intake of heavy or spicy food
2. Intake of dry food
3. Intake of salty or sour food
4. Intake of alkaline and pungent food
5. Excessive alcohol intake
6. Excessive exposure to sunlight or heat
7. An imbalance in vata and pitta
9. Excessive indulgement in sex-related activities
10. If a person is suffering from long-term diseases such as diabetes, fistula, liver disorders, etc.
11. Anger or fear
These reasons cause an aggravation in the pitta and vata, either individually or together, which eventually dehydrates the rasa dhatu i.e. the nourishing factors in the body. This causes excessive thirst.
Now that we know the causes of excessive thirst, let us check out the features of each type of trishna.
In case of vataja trishna, the mouth and throat feel very dry, and that’s why you feel very thirsty. Other symptoms include weakness, dizziness, trouble in sleeping, and anorexia.
Pittaja trishna is usually associated with bitterness in the mouth and a burning sensation in the stomach, mouth, and the whole body. If you are suffering from pittaja trishna, you will have a craving for cold water and cold food. Other symptoms include discoloration of eyes, stool, and urine, dizziness, and distressing fumes.
In case of kaphaja trishna, instead of craving for cold food, you crave for warm beverages. You feel heaviness in the stomach and are sleepy and lethargic.
As we all know, ama is related to altered metabolism and digestion. Thus, in case of amaja trishna, indigestion, body ache, and cardiac pain are some of the common symptoms.
Kshaya means decrease or depletion. Kshayaja trishna is caused due to the depletion of rasa dhatu. It is usually associated with chest pain, darkness in front of the eyes, shivering, emaciation, low voice, and dryness of throat.
As the name suggests, kshataja trishna is caused by an injury or hemorrhage. It is usually associated with a burning sensation and fatigue.
Bhaktodbhava trishna is caused due to excessive intake of heavy, oily, spicy or sour food.
The major symptoms of upasargaja thrishna are excessive urination, fever, dyspnea, etc. The thirst is usually associated with another disease.
To manage excessive thirst, you need to first take preventive measures to balance vata and pitta and restore the digestive fire. Here are a few drugs that can be helpful:
1. Chandana – Sandalwood (Santalum album)
2. Kharjura – Dates (Pheonix dactylifera)
3. Kamala – Lotus (Nymphea orodata)
4. Kashmarya – Gambhari (Gmelina arborea)
5. Yashtimadhu – Indian licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
6. Usheera – Vetiver or Khus (Vetiveria zizanoides)
7. Draksha – Raisin (Vitis vinifera)
8. Amalaki – Indian Gooseberry or Amla (Emblica offiicinalis)
9. Matulunga – Citron (Citrus medica)
There are a few Ayurvedic medicines that can be helpful in the treatment of excessive thirst or trishna. They are:
1. Trinapanchamoola kashaya – This medicine is made out of five types of grasses that are useful in curing urinary tract disorders. It can be helpful in the treatment of kshayaja, kaphaja, kshataja, and upasargaja trishna.
2. Dhanyakadi hima – The medicine is made of coriander seeds and is used to balance pitta.
3. Kharjooradi mantha – It is made out of sweet fruits, such as pomegranate and dates, and is used in the treatment of kshayaja, pittaja, and vataja trishna.
4. Parpatadyarishta – This medicine is useful in treating splenic disorders, liver disorders, pittaja, upasargaja, and kaphaja trishna.
5. Chandrakala rasa – It is useful in the treatment of bleeding disorders, kshataja trishna, and kshayaja trishna.
6. Kamadugha rasa – It is useful in the treatment of pittaja trishna.
7. Shadanga paneeya – This medicine is made out of coolant and antipyretic herbs. Thus, it is helpful in the treatment of pittaja and upasargaja trishna.
8. Pravala pishti – This medicine is useful in the treatment of pittaja trishna.
If you’re suffering from excessive thirst, a few minor changes in your lifestyle can also help a lot in treating the condition.
There are several diseases that include excessive thirst as a symptom. They are as follows:
1. Diabetes mellitus – Type 1 and Type 2
2. Diabetes insipidus
6. Kidney disorders
7. Multiple myeloma
9. Heart failure
Though thirst is a natural urge, anything in excess can be harmful to your health. If you’re suffering from this condition, there is a high possibility that you might be suffering from any of these diseases. Thus, it is very important to visit your doctor and get pathological tests done.
We hope you find this information useful. In case of any doubts or queries, post your questions in the comments box below.