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Year : 1979  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 185-186

Use of bhilawan oil as a cautarizing agent in corneal ulcers

Medical College, Ambajogas, India

Correspondence Address:
R G Kulkarni
Reader in Ophthalmology, Swami Ramanand Teerth Rural Medical College, Ambajogas
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Kulkarni R G, Wangikar V D, Dahat S H, Deshmukh A B. Use of bhilawan oil as a cautarizing agent in corneal ulcers. Indian J Ophthalmol 1979;27:185-6

How to cite this URL:
Kulkarni R G, Wangikar V D, Dahat S H, Deshmukh A B. Use of bhilawan oil as a cautarizing agent in corneal ulcers. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1979 [cited 2021 Oct 21];27:185-6. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1979/27/4/185/32621

Table 2

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Table 2

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Table 1

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Table 1

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Corneal ulcers still constitute a major cause of blindness in our country. Most of the ulcers show improvement with conventional line of treatment. Some times the organisms such as resistant bacteria, fungi and viruses, may not respond to the treatment. In such cases we proceed with cauterization of the ulcer. The cauterizing agents which we use commonly are pure carbolic acid, trichoracetic acid 10 to 20% silver nitrate 2%, Alcohol 80% or iodine. These agents have certain draw backs.

In this study we have used Bhilawan oil as a cauterizing agent. The oil obtained from the pericarps of fruits of Bhilawan trees (Seme car­pus anacardium) is directly used. One fruit provides enough material for 10 patients.

Acrid juice, which turns black when mixed with lime and exposed to air, is used by washer­men as marking ink. We have observed its use in treatment of injuries on the palm of the hand or sole of the foot. It seems to help healing without infection. Keeping this in mind, we decided to use Bhilawan oil in corneal ulcers, so that it will act as a cauterizing agent and it stains cornea. It may act as a totooing agent.

  Materials and Methods Top

This study was undertaken at Swami Ramanand Teerth Rural Medical College, Ambajogai Distt. Bhir. Fifty cases of corneal ulcers were treated, 30 as out door patients and 20 as indoor patients. Out of 20 indoor patients 16 patients were having hypopyon corneal ulcers. The size of the ulcer varied from 1 mm. to 6 mm. In ten patients ulcers were as a result of removal of foreign body from the cornea with the help of cotton swab. (Six cases were because of small searches over the cornea). 30 cases following conjunctivitis, 4 ulcers were dendritic ulcers and six were atheromatous ulcers [Table - 1].

In all these cases before starting any kind of treatment swabs were taken for culture and smears for microscopic studies.

Microbiological study for cocci, bacilli and fungi were carried out. The necrotic material from the base of the ulcer was taken with the help of foreign body spud under surface anaesthesia. The culture studies were carried out in 20 cases only. The staining methods used were Grams stain for bacteria and lactophenal blue and KOH for fungi. The Findings have been summerised in [Table - 2].

Smear examination for cellular response shows in 24 cases polymorpho neuclear cells, in 6 mono nuclear cells predominantly and in the remaining 20 smears nothing was seen.


Cauterization was done after obtaining surface anaesthesia with 4% lignecaine hydrochloride. Lids were retracted and the ulcer was touched with the tip of a foreign body spud, dipped into Bhilawan oil inside the fruit through a hole. The problem of hanging the drop at the tip did not arise. The excess oil was soaked with the help of blotting paper. Eye wash was given with normal saline. One drop of atropine eye drop 1% was instilled and eyes were closed with pad and bandage. Daily dressings were performed and the eyes were atropinised during subsequent days. Systemically vitamin A tablets were given twice a day and Vitamin C 500 mg. daily once.


The First dressing fo lowing cauterization was done after 24 hours. There was no chemosis, no lid oedema. Mild congestion was present which subsided gradually day by day within 72 hours. The ulcers less than 2 mm in diameter and shallow healed within five days (30 u'cers) following a single cauterization.

The ulcers with dendritic figure took 7 to 8 days for healing (4 ulcers). The hypopiyn ulcers with sizes vary­ing from 4 mm to 6 mm. (14 ulcers), the cauterization was done twice with an interval of 4 days and healed within 12 days, two atheromatous ulcers did not respond to the treatment and ultimately perforated on the 16 th day and 18th day respectively and the process of healing was accelarattd after the perforation. The ulcers healed after 28th day leaving behind a total adherent leucoma.

The pain following cauterization was mild which was relieved with analgin.

  Discussion Top

Bhilawan oil has been found to be highly effective as a cauterising agent in the treatment of corneal ulcers of a number of etiology. It is well tolerated, indigenously obtainable and inexpensive. Local reaction is minimal.

It is a suitable substance to be tried exten­sively.

  Summary Top

Bhilawan oil as cauterizing agent has been found very effective in the treatment of corneal ulcers of varied etiology.

  Acknowledgement Top

We are very much thankful to Dr. Dawale, Dean, Swami Ramanand Teerth Rural Medical College, Ambajogai for according permission to carry out the present study.

We are thankful to Mr. U.S. Godse photo­grapher and Vijay Kulkarni artist of S.R.T.R. Medical College, Ambajogai for their coopera­tion in preparing projection slides.


  [Table - 1], [Table - 2]


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