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Article: Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) | Sickle Cell Disorders | Anemia Treatment

Sickle Cell Anaemia (SCA) | Sickle Cell Disorders | Anemia Treatment

Sickle Cell Anaemia


Dr. Veena Deo

Sickle cell anaemia (SCA) is a chronic condition primarily affecting individuals of African descent who are homozygous for the gene controlling hemoglobin-S. It is characterized by the destruction of red blood cells and episodic blocking of blood vessels due to the adherence of sickle cells to the vascular endothelium, leading to serious complications.


  • In tropical Africa, the heterozygote frequency is over 20%.
  • In black American populations, sickle cell trait has a frequency of 8%.


  • Hemoglobin-S polymerizes when oxygenated, forming pseudocrystalline structures called 'tactoids', which distort the red cell membrane, resulting in characteristic sickle-shaped cells.
  • The distortion may become permanent, leading to 'irreversibly sickled' red cells. The concentration of sickle cell hemoglobin in the cell influences tactoid formation.


  • Frequent infections, anemia, swollen hands and feet, delayed puberty, paleness, fever, fatigue, shortness of breath, leg ulcers, increased heart rate.
  • Precipitated by hypoxia, acidosis, dehydration, and infection.
  • Sickle cells shorten survival and plug vessels in the microcirculation, leading to acute syndromes called 'crises' and chronic organ damage.

General Information:

  • Patients have compensated for anaemia, usually around 60-80 g/L.
  • Vaccination against pneumococcus, Haemophilus influenza B, and Hepatitis B is recommended.
  • In Africa, few children with sickle cell anaemia survive to adulthood without medical attention. Even with standard care, approximately 15% die by age 20 and 50% by age 40.

Herbs to Treat Sickle Cell Anaemia:

  • Herbs rich in iron phosphate should be used.
  • Natural sources of iron include parsley, spinach, seaweed, kale, and spirulina.
  • Moderate iron sources include pumpkin, strawberries, and Oregon grapes.

Natural Home Remedies:

  • Barley grass and wheat grass are advisable.
  • A combination of antioxidant herbs like Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi) and Emblica officinalis (Indian gooseberry) is recommended.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements with fish oil are beneficial.
  • Stay hydrated with an adequate intake of fluids.
  • Folic acid supplements are advisable.
  • Avoid crowded places to reduce infection risk.
  • Henna may decrease the level of sickle-shaped cells.
  • Ensure access to oxygen during air travel.
  • Consume one clove of garlic daily.
  • A combination of Tulsi (Basil) and Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is beneficial.
  • Spirulina is rich in iron and other nutrients but consult a doctor before consumption.


Consult an Ayurvedic physician for guidance on the quantity of ingredients in natural home remedies before use.


Treatment of Sickle Cell Disorders by Ayurvedic Medicine. Hemanta Kumar Panigrahi, Hemant Kushwa, Shyam Sunder Sharma, PMCID: PMC3331087