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Randomized Controlled Trial
, 20 (1), 57-64

Navarakizhi and Pinda Sweda as Muscle-Nourishing Ayurveda Procedures in Hemiplegia: Double-Blind Randomized Comparative Pilot Clinical Trial

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Randomized Controlled Trial

Navarakizhi and Pinda Sweda as Muscle-Nourishing Ayurveda Procedures in Hemiplegia: Double-Blind Randomized Comparative Pilot Clinical Trial

Madhur Guruprasad Aggithaya et al. J Altern Complement Med.

Abstract

Introduction: Hemiplegia and the Ayurvedic description of ardhanga disease presents with comparable clinical features. This pilot trial compared two traditional procedure-based treatments: Navarakizhi, a massage of cooked navara rice in a medicated hot bolus, and pinda sweda, a similar massage made of a different type of rice. This article also describes the steps of a double-blind trial in Ayurveda, which was hitherto considered difficult to perform.

Methods: Eighteen (18) patients suffering from hemiplegia with disease duration of 6 months to 2 years received treatment with navarakizhi or pinda sweda for 7 days. Both groups received the same Ayurvedic oral medications for 14 days. All steps of randomization and blinding of procedure-based therapy in Ayurveda are described. The physiotherapist evaluated muscle tone, muscle strength, tendon reflexes, range of movement, and balance of functional abilities at baseline, 7 days, and 14 days after starting therapy. Both patient and the assessing physiotherapist were blinded.

Results: Intraquartile range values showed better range in patients who received navarakizhi than those who received pinda sweda.

Discussion: A larger trial is needed to confirm the superiority of navarakizhi over the rice varieties in treating hemiplegia. This study demonstrates that double-blind randomized clinical trials are possible in Ayurvedic settings, ending the long-debated controversy in trial methodology involving procedure-based traditional medicines.

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