Our college colleague, Dr.Indumathi brought a very interesting case to our staff room.
Her relative's infant child was suffering from neonatal jaundice where the conjugated bilirubin level was 15mg/DL (normal is 1-2mg/DL). Neonatal ictreus or jaundice in new born is quite common. But here the level was a bit too high. The child underwent medication and Phototherapy (exposing to sunlight) and the level came down to 9mg/DL. Despite all efforts the level refused to come down. That is when the paediatrician decided that the infant has to be administered Phenobarbitone. Fearing the side effects of Phenobarbitone they approached Dr.Indumathi.
Now we took up the case and since the child was only 3 months old, decided to administer the mother a full dose of fresh ground Bhoomi amalaki or Phyllanthus niruri (kizhanelli in Tamil & Malayalam) in the dose of one Amla fruit size (roughly 15gms) along with milk on empty stomach at 6am. Also prescribed Liv-52 tabs, 2 tabs thrice daily after food.
She was also advised to stay off spicy food and excess of deep fry.
In 2 weeks the bilirubin level came down to 5mg/DL and is steadily going down.
The medication was not suitable to be administered to the infant. But the medicine got absorbed into the infant's system through breast milk in the right dose. The child also passed soft bowels due to the effect of the medication.