A Beginner’s Guide to Ayurveda

A Beginner’s Guide to Ayurveda

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda “the science of life” is the world’s oldest system of healthcare that has its origin in India. The unique healing process of Ayurvedic science has enabled it to gain popularity gradually among people in the recent years. Growing modernization, changing lifestyles and increase in variety of diseases has driven people towards finding a natural way of healing. To maintain optimum physical and mental health throughout the life, one has to keep following healthy diet and lifestyle regimens every day. These daily regimen, seasonal regimen etc. are scientifically explained in Ayurveda texts many centuries ago; so that one can preserve his /her health. Ayurveda, whose principles are based on the universal law of nature, provides a health promotive, disease preventive, curative and rehabilitative health care with main emphasis on disease prevention. Alike a warrior needs shield to protect himself in a war, Ayurveda approach provides shield/protection from diseases.

About the book

If you are curious to begin learning about Ayurveda or enhance your knowledge about Ayurveda then this book is so enriching as it clearly explains the principles and practical applications of Ayurveda. This book is of immense value to students, health care professionals, practitioners and general public. This book presents a detailed description of philosophy of Ayurveda, basic principles, diagnostic methods, treatment approach, panchakarma detoxification procedure, daily and seasonal regimens, dietetics, herbology, pharmacology, Ayurvedic approach to mind, practical tips to improve your health, simple home remedies with kitchen herbs & spices, finding your own constitution and much more. It is every informative and gives lots of ideas of practical stuff to incorporate into your daily life. This is a wonderful and enlightening little book which is explained in simple language that will change your view of medicine, wellness and the western way of thinking about health. It really open up our minds to a world with a different perspective on the human body and healing!

About the Authors

Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha (former Vice Chancellor of Gujarat Ayurveda University, Jamnagar and “Padmsree” awardee from the President of India) and Vaidya Mita Kotecha (Professor & HOD of Dravyaguna at National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur) are the authors of this book. Both the authors posses immense academic, research, clinical and administrative experience. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha is frequently invited for consultation, lectures and interactions in different countries like Germany, USA, France, Colombia, Brazil, Italy, Russia, Canada and Netherlands. He is the member of Governing body of CCRAS & Rastriya Ayurveda Vidyapith, Expert Member of Advisory Committee, Dept. of AYUSH, Govt. of Rajasthan.

Vaidya Mita Kotecha is the Subject Expert for Central Council of Indian Medicine and Subject Expert & Examiner in different Universities. With several published research papers in her name, she is also the author of 2 books. She is the Member of “VISION 2015” committee of NIA; Member of committee for preparing good IEC material on Ayurveda for AYUSH; Member of committee to prepare “Standard Treatment Guidelines” as advised by AYUSH. She has guided 5 Ph.D. (Ayurveda) and 24 M.D. (Ayurveda) scholars for their research work and thesis.

Enjoy your health with reading this book and apply Ayurveda principles in daily life!

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A Beginners Guide to Ayurveda


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Ashwagandha and Parkinson’s

Ashawagandha (Withania somnifera) is very revered herb of the Indian Ayurvedic system of medicine as a Rasayana (tonic). Rasayana is described as an herbal or metallic preparation that promotes a youthful state of physical and mental health and expands happiness. It is used for various kinds of disease processes and specially as a nervine tonic. Considering these facts many scientific studies were carried out. It has a Cognition Promoting Effect and was useful in children with memory deficit and in old age people loss of memory. It was also found useful in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzeimer’s diseases. It has GABA mimetic effect and was shown to promote formation of dendrites.

The brains of patients suffering from other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Creutzfeldt – Jakob disease shows the atrophy of neuritis and synaptic loss which has been observed as a significant part of the etiology. Many studies shows that Ashwagandha slows, stops, reverses or removes neuritic atrophy and synaptic loss. Therefore Ashwagandha can be used to treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other neurodegenerative diseases at any stage of the disease, even before a person has been diagnosed and is still in the state of mild forgetfulness, etc.

According to one of the research done by National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) have shown that extract from the roots of Ashwagandha can provide cure for Alzheimer’s disease. NBRC scientists found it can reverse memory loss and may prove to be an effective cure for the disease in humans. Also a recent study using a standardized model of human Parkinson’s disease, Ashwagandha extract reversed all the parameters of Parkinson’s-type neurodegeneration significantly and in a dose-dependent manner.

Ashwagandha is commonly available as a churna, a fine sieved powder that can be mixed with water, ghee (clarified butter) or honey. It enhances the function of the brain and nervous system. Ashwagandha improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the cell-mediated immunity. It also possesses potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.

Digestive Problems in Rainy Season

Everyone likes to enjoy the rainy season especially children. Who wants to deny the combination of  Tea and Pakoras (an Indian snack) during rain? But some of us have to avoid it due to gastric problems. Bloating of abdomen, flatulens, indigestion etc. are the common most problems in this season.

We can avoid such problems in this season with slight modification in our diet and lifestyle and use of some herbs and spices. Following are suggestions for Rainy Season:


•  Take 1 glass lukewarm water after getting up in the morning.
•  Keep your dinner as light as possible and take it until 8.00 PM.
•  Chew 1 tea spoon fennel seeds after meals, it will help in digestion.
•  Use spices like cumin seeds, fennel seeds, ajwaine, asafoetida, cinnamon, rock salt etc. In cooking. These spices enhance digestion.
•  Keep your footwear in the shade, outside of the home and keep separate foot wears for inside use. It will keep harmful germs out side of your home.
•  Wash your hand and feet every time when you enter in home and before eat anything. It will kill germs and you will not be getting any stomach infections.
•  Asafoetida and ajwaine water will help in bloating of abdomen.
•  Ayurvedic medicines like Lavana Bhaskar powder, Hingwastaka powder, Hingu Vachadi powder, Trikatu powder, Vyoshadi tablet etc. will be good for digestive problems.

NOTE: Consult your Ayurvedic physician before using any Ayurveda medicine.

Diet and Lifestyle in Rainy Season

• Diet should be light, with little fat (i.e. ghee, butter or oil) and which is easy to digest. Take freshly prepared food.
• Avoid excess intake of Pungent, Bitter and Astringent taste food items.
• 10-12 glasses of water intake daily, preferably lukewarm.
• Old grains (i.e. wheat, rice, pulses etc.) should be used in this season.
• Spices like cumin seeds, fennel seeds, ajwaine, asafoetida, cinnamon, rock salt etc. should be used more.
• Triphala or Haritaki powder along with rock salt (4:1 ratio) can be followed through out the season.
• Morning walk and Pranayam is beneficial.
• Only mild kind of physical exercise should be done. Weak person should avoid exercise.
• Should not sleep during day time.
• Should wear dry & light cloths, prefer cotton fabric.
• Avoid much exposure to sun and rain both.
• Can use perfumes.
• Massage, steam bath and Panchakarma should be taken.

Patra Pind Sweda

Ayurveda is known for its unique methods of treatments, healthy lifestyle and positive diet regimens. Injuries and pain are the most common ailment in day to day life. Some people prefer to take pain killer pills to get relief from the pain. Pain killers may cause harm to the body, whereas Ayurveda offers the harmless methods for pain relief. Swedana or fomentation is one of the methods for pain management.

There are a number of fomentation methods mentioned in Ayurveda. Patra Pind Sweda is one among such methods. Patra = medicated leaves, Pind = bolus and Sweda = fomentation.

Freshly collected Vata alleviating leaves are collected and chopped to make a bolus out of it, using a piece of cloth. Of course, there is a specific method and procedure to prepare it. This bolus is used for fomentation in specific manner for affected part or whole body. Patra Pind Sweda improves the blood circulation to the affected part, dilates the blood vessels, pacify the Vata and thus relive the pain and stiffness. This method is really helpful in Back pain, Arthritis, Cervical pain, Sciatica, Muscular pain, Sprains etc.

For more details please visit : http://chakrapaniayurveda.com/patrapinda-swedana/

Tips for Computer Users to Prevent Eye Problems

Computers became an integral part of our life. A proverb says “Ati Sarvatra Varjayet” which means excess is contraindicated. People who are working on computers throughout a day are suffering with problems related to eyes as well as body. Following are some tips to prevent such problems:

• Drink 1-1.5 litres of water daily.
• Keep your bowel clear.
• Use Triphala water for eye wash in the morning.
• Do some exercise of neck and shoulders. This will improve blood circulation to the muscles situated above the neck.
• While working on computers, take 5 minutes break after every 45 to 60 minutes and walk around.
• After every 30 minutes, look beyond the distance of 20 feet, for a moment. This will be good for your eye muscles.
• Blink your eyes frequently to prevent dryness of eyes.
• When you feel your eyes are tired, take a break of 5 minutes and do palming to eyes. First rub your palms against each other until palms become warm and then place these warm palms over the closed eyes and feel the warmth in the eyes. Repeat it 3-5 time. This will give relax to eye muscles. Palming can be done whenever required.
• Avoid excess use of AC. AC may aggravate the dry eye condition.
• Follow healthy diet plan. Avoid excess use of tea, coffee, carbonated beverages etc.

Social Life and Ayurveda

Ayurveda is known for its unique methods of treatments, healthy lifestyle and positive diet regimens. Would you belief that there is much more explaination in Ayurveda about life. Ayurveda is complete life science in true meanings. It not only deals with treatments of the diseases but also provides information about how to gain respect in the society. Followings are few points which improve social wellbeing if followed:

• Satya (Always speak sweet words and truth. Sweet words always calm and quite one’s mind).
• Ahimsa (physical, mental and verbal non-violence)
• Dhyan (Remember always the creator of the universe i.e. GOD). Devote yourself to God and see God in other people.
• Samaana (recpect to elders, scholars, teachers, non-violent animals etc.)
• One should not indulge in taking alcohol and excessive sexual intercourse.
• Always keep the mental balance in any situation. Do not lose your temper. Be calm, peaceful and courageous.
• Speak with others kindly with a smiling face and gentle behaviour.
• Maintain always cleanliness and personal hygene.
• Always take care of others feelings and behave accordingly
• Heartily love the poor and dependants
• Be kind and sympathetic to all creatures. As love and kindness are mentalfood, we can nourish the minds of others by such behaviour
• Develop the tendency of giving instead of receiving.
• Do all good things in society and avoid bad one’s
• Do not criticize or show cruelty to others
• Know properly the nature of the place you live in and understand the trend of the times you are passing through.
• Think positive
• Concentrate your mind on the nature of the soul and its relation to that of the universe
• Do not allow energies to be wasted in useless activities
• Respect and serve the people who have conquered their senses
• Continually study new sciences, advances, researches and philosophies and utilize them for the benefit of all human beings.

Important inputs on Ayurveda approach to Food and Nutrition

Diet high in whole grains and other fiber-rich foods that provide lasting energy throughout the day. Fiber helps maintain a toned digestive tract by providing bulk which helps toxins and excesses to be evacuated easily. When the intestines are regularly cleaned, the body does not become overloaded with undigested material that would otherwise seek elimination through the skin and hence a burden to the body.

Low in fat diet keeps the blood clean, prevents clogging and helps the circulatory system working efficiently which in turn nourishes the whole human system, and naturally keeps the weight controlled. On the contrary a diet rich in saturated fats leads to clogging up of veins, arteries, and organs which are obviously injurious to health.

Diet low in refined sugars. Refined carbohydrates are empty calories which only serve to pack on the weight. They give the body a quick boost of energy that is always followed by a physical (and emotional) lowness. This stresses the pancreas and adrenals hence devitalizing the body. Refined carbohydrates deplete the body of minerals which are essential for all its vital functions. It is the combination of refined carbohydrates and excess protein which forces toxins to the skin surface in the form of pimples.

Diet high in minerals that keep the body looking alive and charged with energy. Minerals greatly contribute to that intangible radiance, freshness, and magnetic look of a person, reflecting good health.

Intake of food low in animal proteins & rich in vegetable proteins. Low protein diets weaken the body and cause a hollow, sunken look to the face. Diets high in animal proteins raise the toxicity by increasing the waste products in the body due to their slow transit time (It takes meat about three days to be completely digested and expelled from the system). This slows digestion and depletes the body of minerals. Vegetable proteins, on the other hand, fully nourish the body, being quickly and efficiently metabolized. At the same time, not everyone would want to take only vegetarian food. Thus, Ayurveda has the means of making meats more digestible with spices such as garlic, ginger, cumin, cayenne, and black pepper.

Low intake of salt. Diets high in salt tend to make the mind and body stiff and tight. Having a constricting influence on the body, it tends to slow circulation and create retention of fluid in the body. This gives a puffy look and areas under the eyes appear to be sunken. In Ayurveda, a very low salt diet is suggested in some skin problems.

Absence of strong stimulants or depressives such as coffee, sodas, or alcohol. These stress the body’s organs and make skin loose and flabby, furrows the brow and swelling under the eyes in the long run.

High in fresh organic foods whenever possible. These are nutritionally the richest, coming from healthy soil and thus carry the strongest, vital energy. This contributes to a radiant, rich glow in our face and skin in general.

Back pain and Ayurveda

Back pain has become a common problem in recent time. One among every ten persons in our world suffers from back pain. There are many reasons for a patient to experience back ache. Back pain can exist in any one region of the back or in multiple areas at the same time. Pain can be localized to one side or can be a band of pain wrapping across the width of the back.


We all know that back pain is a common complaint prevalent among middle-aged men and women. But the causes are different in both sexes. It involves vertebral column, their ligaments and various muscles attached to it. The serious doshas include – avalambaka kapha, samana, apana and vyana type of Vata.

Lack of proper exercise, excessive workload, obesity, traveling too much, improper posture, inherited weakness of bones and muscles are some of the common reasons for back pain. Among elderly persons back pain occurs due to destruction such as – ostemalacia, osteoporosis and in males prostatic diseases.

In females, working women are more prone to back pain because of the lengthy hours of office work and the work to be done after coming to home gives much strain to their back bone. There are other causes too like – multiple pregnancies, chronic cervicities, uterine fibroid, tubo-ovarion mass and certain urine pathology.

Obstruction in vertebrae diseases, inter vertebral disc, tumour, soft tissue involvement, tuberculous spine, diseases of retroperimotinal organs like kidney or intraperitonial organs may cause back pain.

Driving on rough roads, long use of old vehicles having no shockproof mechanism, lifting heavy weight etc are some of the main causes of back pain in developing countries.

Chakrapani’s tips for back pain

If you are a computer professional or an office going person, be careful not to sit in a stretch and strain yourself for a long time. Refresh yourself in between.

•  Swimming is a good exercise for back pain.

•  Avoid lifting heavy objects.

•  Now and then oil massage or spinal bath is good for back pain.

•  Yoga under the guidance of an expert yoga instructor is good for back pain.

•  Avoid a sagging bed.

•  Take a hip-bath everyday.

Treatments offered at chakrapani for back pain.

1. Oil Massage

Just as a vehicle needs to be greased occasionally so is the case with human body too. Body especially the back should be oiled and revitalized occasionally.

N.B.- Such type of oil massage is not indicated in surgical types of back pain.

2. Pizhichil

Two therapists first massage the body in synchronization using warm medicated  oil and then dip cotton swab in warm oil and squeeze it over the affected part of  the back and massage gently by their hands. This therapy tones the back muscles and relieves the stiffness over the back.

3. Dhara

Here the patient is asked to lie over his/her stomach. Thereafter a stream of medicated oil is poured over the back. This provides a soothing relief for the pain.

4. Kati Basti

In this, warm medicated oil is retained 20-30 minutes over the back with the help of application of circular dough prepared with white gram flour and water.

Visit to HIV kids NGO ‘Rays’ – Asha ki kiran

About Organization:

‘Rays’ – Asha ki kiran is non-profit voluntary organization for the children living with HIV/AIDS. This organization was started with 3 children in Jaipur on January 1st, 2010 by famous women entrepreneur in Jaipur Ms. Rashmi Kuchhal and presently it is a shelter of more than 50. She provide them all the support needed for a healthy and happy life: education, medical aid, balanced meals, regular exercise and lots of love! She is one of the member of Vikas Manch, FICCI ladies organization and belong from family of freedom fighter.

Free Consultation by Chakrapani Doctors:

Chakrapani Ayurveda Clinic and Research Centre took initiative to provide Ayurveda consultation to these children and care takers of Rays organization in every three months. The children were provided with the Ayurvedic medicines for their minor illness, Ojas Avaleha (a unique Ayurvedic formulation to boost the immunity) followed by hygiene maintenance advises. This laid significant improvement in quality of life of these children. Though HIV is incurable disease till date, Ayurveda definitely has increased their overall energy level and maintained the positive health. The consultation was done by Dr. Lakshmi and Dr. Darpan along with Ayurveda Practitioner Tim. This initiative gave better outcome by helping these children to boost their immunity and the resist against the infection. The leader of this organization gave wondrous feedback. She shared that Ayurvedic consultation to these children has decreased the rate of illness remarkably and reduced the side effect of anti-retroviral treatment.