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J Altern Complement Med. 2010 Feb;16(2):205-11. doi: 10.1089/acm.2008.0573.

Sustainable effect of Ayurvedic formulations in the treatment of nutritional anemia in adolescent students.

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Vaidya Chandra Prakash Cancer Research Foundation, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India.



Anemia is a serious health problem in Indian school children. High prevalence of anemia has been reported in nonpregnant adolescent girls. An investigation was initiated to study the effect of two non-iron-containing Ayurvedic preparations-Sootshekhar Rasa plus Sitopaladi Churna-in improving nutritional anemia among adolescent students.


This was a single-blinded, randomized, controlled study.


The study setting was Dehradun district, North India.


The subjects comprised a total of 1646 boys and girls, aged 11-18 years, attending school in Dehradun district.


As per World Health Organization guidelines, a total of 1322 adolescent anemic students were randomly divided into 5 groups. Students of group I (control) received starch. Group II, III, and IV students received Sootshekhar Rasa (SR) plus Sitopaladi Churna (SC) in various combinations, namely, SR 125 mg + SC 500 mg daily, SR 250 mg + SC 400 mg daily, and SR 250 mg + SC 400 mg weekly, respectively. Group V student were given iron and folic acid tablet. All the students received treatment for 90 days and were followed up for the next 180 days.


The outcome measure was to evaluate the effect of Sootshekhar Rasa plus Sitopaladi Churna in improving nutritional anemia.


The overall prevalence of anemia was found to be 81.3%. At baseline, the mean hemoglobin (Hb) was 97.4 +/- 13.2 g/L and ranged from 96.4 +/- 0.8 g/L to 98.3 +/- 0.8 g/L in various groups. At end of follow-up (day 270), a significant increase in Hb levels from baseline was observed in all treatment groups; however, the Hb gain (6.9 +/- 0.6 g/L) in group III and group V (3.64 +/- 0.56 g/L) differed significantly from the control group. A total of 155 students dropped out of the study due to various reasons not related to treatment. No adverse side-effect of Ayurvedic medication was noted in any student.


We conclude that a daily dose of Sootshekhar Rasa (250 mg) plus Sitopaladi Churna (400 mg) can produce sustainable improvement of nutritional anemia in adolescent students.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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