Five facts about water

Water is nectar, which sustains life. Ayurveda provides the following hints regarding water consumption and its effects on the body.

1) Drinking water before meals will reduce your appetite and cause emaciation.

2) Drinking water immediately after meals will impair digestion and lead to weight gain.

3) Drinking large quantity of water of liquid during meals weakens digestion. Drinking small quantities of warm or tepid water in-between meals will enhance digestion.

4) Drinking water stored in a copper vessel will help to scrape our excess Kapha from the body, improve metabolism and help to reduce cellulite.

5) Drinking cold water or cold drinks just prior to eating or while eating weakens digestion.

Do you conserve nutrients in food?

Inspite of eating organic, healthy and nutritious food, many of us do not get the proper nourishment. Do you conserve nutrients in foods? The following simple tips can help you cook the right way, preserving vitamins and minerals in food, thereby nourishing the body.

 

 

1) Some nutrients, especially Vitamin C can be lost easily by cooking. So it could advantageously be eaten in raw forms as salads or chutneys (grinded to a paste). Examples are Cucumber, Radish, Onion, etc.

2) Store watery vegetables like tomatoes, brinjals, etc. covered with a moist cloth. Store dry vegetables like onions, potatoes in dry boxes, open to the air.

3) Remove skins of vegetables as thinly as possible since many nutrients are found just below the skin.

4) Frying of vegetables destroys much more vitamins than controlled boiling, because frying temperature is much higher and besides there is exposure to air. So it is better to consume steamed or boiled vegetables.

5) Learn to boil rice with just enough water, usually two to two and half times the quantity of rice so that all the water is absorbed. When more quantity of water is used, excess water is later thrown away after cooking, valuable vitamins and minerals are washed out of the rice and lost.

Oral Health & Hygiene with Ayurveda

Like commercial health and beauty products on the market, toothpaste has been industrialized over the years. Fluoride – free toothpastes are becoming more common because of its toxic effects though it is said to prevent caries. Not only fluoride, but other ingredients like titanium oxide, glycerin, sodium lauryl sulfate and artificial sweeteners can cause damage to the teeth. Also mouthwash can cause adverse effects.

Global need for maintenance of oral health

Oral diseases are one of the most important problems in public health and are on the rise in developing countries. Dental caries and periodontal diseases are among the most important global oral health problems. Also there is rise in incidence of oral cancer and other disorders. There is a global need for safe and effective alternative prevention and treatment.

In Ayurveda, dental health is individualistic varying with each person’s Prakriti (Constitution). There are different twigs mentioned for brushing for different Prakriti. Oral cavity includes the Oshtha (lips), Dantamoola (gingiva and tooth supporting structures), Danta (teeth), Jihva (tongue), Talu (palate), Kantha (throat) and Sarvasara (oral mucosa). The Mukha (oral cavity) is the gateway of the alimentary canal and is considered to be one of the most important parts of the Urdhwajatru (part above the clavicles). Oral health reflects the body health.

Ayurvedic recommendations for oral health includes

Danta Dhavana (Brushing) – Ayurveda advises brushing with twigs like neem or twigs of astringent, bitter and pungent taste.

Jihwa nirlekhana (Tongue scrapping) – Tongue scrapping is done gently with a metal scrapper from root to tip. This removes accumulated dirt and bad odor.

Gandusha (Gargling) – Gandusha (Mouth gargle) is filling the mouth to its full capacity with liquid for prescribed period of time and then the patient spits it out.

Dhumapana (Herbal smoke) – Dhumapana is inhalation of herbal smoke. Dhumapana gives firmness of teeth, pleasant smell and cleanliness of mouth.

Nasya (Nasal medication) – Administration of medicine through the nose is called Nasya. When administered after brushing, it bestows good smell to the mouth. When administered after meal, it cleanses the passage and bestows a feeling of lightness.

Pratisarana (Massaging the teeth and gums) – Pratisarana is done with paste of herbs, thick decoction, honey or powder of herbs. It is applies with fingers and rubbed gently on teeth and gums. This process removes the food debris and plaque and helps to maintain the periodontal health.

Ahara (Diet) – For healthy living and for healthy teeth and gums, one should eat healthy diet. It’s not only what we eat but when we eat also can affect our dental health. Timely meals, preferably freshly prepared and warm is advised. Eat healthy foodstuffs like whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, vegetable protein, low fat diet. Reduce excess intake of fast foods, refrigerated food & drinks, aerated drinks, refined sugars and sweets. Drink sufficient fluids. Brush your teeth after every meal.

Vihara (Lifestyle) – Avoidance of smoking, alcohol and tobacco is a must for oral health. Regular physical exercise is not only beneficial for overall health but also plays a vital role in oral health. Being physically active throughout the day and doing moderate physical exercise will help maintain oral health. Breathing exercises are also good for oral health.

Aushadha Prayoga (Use of herbs) – Most of the oral diseases are caused due to bacterial infections. The antibacterial activity of medicinal plants are due to the presence of potential bioactive compounds which help to reduce bacterial load in the oral cavity and thus prevent formation of plaque, dental caries and ulcers.

Ayurveda is a holistic health system which also recommends some daily therapeutic procedures for the prevention and maintenance of oral health. Most of the oral diseases are due to bacterial infections and medicinal plants have anti-bacterial activity against various microorganisms including bacteria’s responsible for dental caries.

Four Ayurvedic Remedies To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks

Stretch mark over the abdomen during pregnancy is a physiological condition but it gives lot of stress to the women in the cosmetic view. More than 90% of total woman populations are affected by stretch marks on the body particularly on the abdomen, groin and on the chest region during and after pregnancy. These stretch marks are called as Kikkisa in Ayurveda and it can be well prevented & managed by Ayurveda. One should avoid scratching and the following external treatments can be beneficial.

1. The paste of the Sandalwood and Usira (Vetiveria zizanioides) should be applied over the abdomen.

2. Powder of Sirisa (Albizia lebbeck) stembark, flowers of Dhataki (Woodfordia fruiticosa), mustard and licorice are rubbed over the abdomen.

3. Abdomen and breasts should be irrigated with decoction of Neem, Bottle gourd, Basil and Manjishta (Rubia cordifolia) or leaves and flowers of jasmine and licorice

4. Repeated cleansing with of daruhridra (Berberis aristata) and licorice should be done.

Constipation : Home Remedies

Constipation : Remedies

1) Drinking a glass of warm milk before going to bed helps in easy evacuation in the morning. In case of severe constipation, mix two teaspoons of castor oil in the milk.

2) Drink one liter of warm water and walk around for a few minutes immediately after waking up early in the morning.

3)Drinking lemon juice mixed with warm water two to three times a day eases constipation. One or two teaspoons of aloe gel can be taken twice a day.

4) A common Ayurvedic formulation for constipation is Triphala powder. It is a powder made by grinding three kinds of herbs. A teaspoon of this powder taken with warm water or milk at the time going to bed is beneficial.

Management Of Gluten Intolerance With Ayurveda

As per Ayurveda gluten intolerance can be correlated with the concept of formation Ama (undigested residue) formation due to deranged Agni (Digestive fire). Intake of incompatible food, untimely food, faulty diet habits deranges the Agni (Digestive fire). This Agni thus deranged becomes unable to digest even the light food and the food being undigested gets toxic leading to formation of Ama.

After a meal all the partakers fall ill something was probably wrong with the food; but if only one person becomes ill then that individual is probably allergic. Allergy is caused by the ‘antigen’ which is unfamiliar to the body. Ayurveda has a general term for all kinds of such antigenic material—ama. Just as ama created from improper digestion of food can disturb the alertness and agitate the emotions, disturbed emotions can undermine the digestion and create ama, which then incites the immune system to react against it. The continuous presence of ama in the system creates a condition of permanent immune alert called allergy.

Concept of Ama & Gluten Intolerance

According to Ayurveda, gluten intolerance symbolizes imbalance of Doshas and Agni. Gluten is particularly difficult to digest and requires strong Agni (digestive fire) to process it. If there is weak digestive fire, the gluten remains undigested or improperly digested leading to formation of ama. In due time an gluten-like ama accumulates in you so that whenever an gluten touches your tongue your immune mechanism gets alerted, assuming that it too will be improperly digested. This reaction is so striking that you are made aware of it by some bodily or mental symptom caused as a side effect of the internal conflict.

Don’t just replace your current diet of processed bread, pasta and cookies with a diet of processed gluten-free bread, pasta and cookies. It won’t do you any good in the long run. Ayurveda gives a new ray of hope for those who are suffering from gluten intolerance. Simple Ayurvedic advices, balanced diet, exercise, yoga help to enjoy better digestion and absorption whole life, thereby helps to overcome gluten intolerance.

Treatment of Gluten Intolerance in Ayurveda

1. Avoidance of food gluten containing food.
2. Eating timely and wholesome food in accordance with one’s Prakriti (Body type)
3. Usage of herbs and Ayurvedic treatments to correct Agni and clear Ama by stimulating enzyme secretions, improving digestion and absorption.
4. Slowly adapting to gluten containing food.

Okasatmya

Okasatmya is the adjustment to a particular diet by practice. This is the practice of introducing foods, which are not suitable and may contain antigenic substances, in small amounts and / or at large intervals, so that these gradually become acceptable. This appears to be similar to the present concept of desensitization.

Ayurveda has time-tested treatments to counter the imbalance of body functioning where body has become his own enemy. More in-depth treatments like Ayurveda Panchakarma, specific diets and herbal medicines over a period of time are prescribed to overcome gluten intolerance. In Ayurveda, each and every patient is an individual entity and the treatment also differs from patient to patient. So patient suffering from gluten intolerance must take Ayurvedic treatment under the supervision of an Ayurvedic physician.

Ayurvedic perspective of Skin

The Sanskrit word Twacha is derived from the root Tvach samvarane, meaning to cover the body. The skin is the seat of Vata dosha. Tactile sensation is the attribute of Vata dosha. The sensory stimuli from the skin are carried by Prana Vata (one among the five divisions of vata) to the brain. The sensation of touch is more on the tip of the tongue, eyes and the tip of the little finger.

The tvacha is the subsidiary tissue (upadhatu) of Mamsa dhatu. Susrutha has mentioned 7 types of skin viz. Avabhasini, Lohita, Shewta, Tamra, Vedini, Rohini and Mamsadhara, whereas Charaka has mentioned only 6 layers.

The skin is also the seat of Pitta dosha. Bhrajaka pitta (subtype of Pitta) located on the skin is responsible for the metabolism of the skin and maintenance of body temperature. Vyana Vata, sub type of Vata dosha expresses the colour of the skin and secretes the sweat from sweat glands. The sweat (sweda) is the waste of medho dhatu, sebum (majja mala) is the waste of majja dhatu and hair and nails are wastes of Asthi dhatu.

It is also important to know, clinically, the basic types of skin, in normalcy and in pathological conditions, according to the constitution of an individual.

Normal Skin in Vata type individuals – The skin is dry, rough, thin and flaky in patches in Vata type individuals. The skin is cold to touch and color of the skin is dark, grayish hue. There is very less sweating. Body hair is dry, sparse, harsh, curly, split and grey.

Normal Skin in Pitta type individuals – The skin is soft, smooth, and with many moles in Pitta type individual. The skin is warm to touch and fair, peachy, freckled, coppery blue color. There is profuse sweating and foul body odor due to excess sweating. Body hairs are smooth, oily and reddish brown.

Normal Skin in Kapa type individuals – Skin is oily, thick, and moist in Kapha type individuals. Skin is fair, pale with a glow, soft and cool to touch. Sweating is less. Body hairs are thick, black, unctuous and strong.

Abnormal skin in Vata type individuals -There is lack of lusture and tone, rough patches and cracking of skin. Hands and feet are rough and dry. There is appearance of dark patches. Body hair is harsh and excessively dry. Disorders like corns, callouses, dry rashes, dry eczema may occur.

Abnormal skin in Pitta type – Skin is oily and there is discoloration of natural pigment. There is falling of body hairs and sometimes graying of body hairs. Disorders like acne, furuncles, allergic rashes, wrinkles and inflammation occur.
Abnormal skin in Kapha type – Skin is dull, congested and very pale. Body hairs are very oily. Disorders like itching, pustules, cystic formations occur.

Daily Skin Care

• Ayurveda advises the application of slightly warm oil as per your Prakriti (Vata – Sesame oil, Pitta – Coconut oil, Kapha – Mustard oil) on the whole body including face daily. This makes the skin soft and silky, promotes strength and sturdiness of the skin and nourishes the body.
• Then perform few warming up exercise like suryanamaskar or yogasana for 20 – 30 minutes.
• Scrub your body with udwartana powder (mixture of chickpea, sandalwood and many other herbs good for the skin) or green gram powder. Scrubbing with herbal powders renders the skin clean and smooth. Udwartana powder wards off excess accumulation of excessive fats in the subcutaneous tissue.
• Take warm water bath to rinse off the herbal powder.

Facial Care

Face is our identity, personality and much more. So facial care is important. Water is very cheap yet effective cleansing agent for the face. Daily morning, followed by face wash with water, apply a face pack with 2 tsp of Triphala powder mixed in water. Triphala is a combination of 3 herbs which are good for all three doshas. Triphala is also a Rasayana (rejuvenative). Apply the pack for 5 minutes and then rinse it off. Then apply Yashtimadhu (licorice) pack by mixing ¼ tsp licorice powder in water and after 5 minutes, wash it off similarly. Licorice is a moisturizing agent and suits all skin types.

Ayurvedic face care can be achieved by taking steps in a sequence like initial cleansing, oleation massage, gentle scrub, face packs and moisturizing.

Cleansing

These fine particles skin to the facial skin, which is slightly moist and oily due to sweat and sebum. Hence initial cleansing of face is mandatory daily and especially before a massage.

There are numerous herbs which exert a gentle cleansing action prepared with simple cold water as a base. The base can be chosen according to the constitution, eg. Milk for Pitta, honey for Kapha and Sesame oil for Vata. Following herbs are generally used for cleansing the face.

Facial Massage

After cleansing, facial skin is free from grime, sebum and other secretions. It is ready to receive a facial massage, with enhanced herbal oil preparations. Commonly for all skin types, plain or medicated sesame oil / crème prepared from ghee are used for facial massage. Specifically for Vata type skin, sesame oil, for Pitta type coconut oil and for Kapha type mustard oil is used for facial massage.

Indications – Old age, Wrinkles, Debility, Dry skin, Pigmentation, Sunburn.

Benefits – Relieves muscular fatigue and pain, creates lightness, soothes facial skin and improves circulation; Prevents build-up of excessive numbers of dead surface cells.

Scrubs

Scrubs stimulate circulation, prevent blackheads, cleanse skin pores and effectively cleanse deeper layers of skin. It stimulates new skin growth and improves complexion. The base of all scrubs is chickpea or green gram powder. Other herbs are added to them as per the skin type.

Face Packs

Smooth paste prepared from suitable herbs mixed in suitable medium are applied on the face in a thin layer and allowed to dry for 10 – 15 minutes, then washed with cold water gently. Do not keep face packs for long hours. Wash face once the face pack is dried. Keeping face pack for prolonged time depletes the complexion of the skin.

The base of face packs is multani mitti. For pimples or acne, face packs prepared with turmeric, neem powder and aloe vera is used, because these herbs exert antiseptic, anti inflammatory properties and promotes healing process as well.

Benefits – It brings beauty and refreshes facial skin. It prevents wrinkles, cures blemishes and improves complexion.

Moisturizers

Ghee and herbs like Saffron, Coriander, Cardamom, Coconut, Rose, Lotus, Fenugreek, and Sesame have moisturizing properties. They are most commonly used for moisturizing. They reduce dryness of skin, by alleviating Vata dosha which is the causative factor for dryness. They augment the unctuousness of the skin by replacing their own unctuous attribute to the skin, keeping them soft, silky and moist.

In Ayurveda, inner and outer beauty is intimately related. The more we nurture ourselves, the more radiant we become physically and expressively – regardless of our particular body shape or proportions. Ayurveda has always understood beauty to be the product of general physical health and appropriate daily care. It is not just a cosmetic event. To enhance beauty, one should realize the importance of self-care in our increasingly fast-paced and chaotic world.

Ayurveda lecture and Counseling for Israel group

Chakrapani Ayurveda Center, with a mission to spread knowledge of authentic Ayurveda worldwide, is conducting Ayurveda lecture every year for people from Israel, organized by Astha & Suranga group.

Astha & Suranga group http://www.astha-suranga.co.il/english.aspx?id=60& is a tour organizing company from Israel, organizing tours to India and introducing India and its land & culture to diverse group of people from last ten years. To bring people more closer to India, Ayurveda has been included as a part of their itinerary for the group.

Chakrapani Ayurveda feels proud to be associated with the group from last more than 8 years. For every group visit a guest lecture on Ayurveda followed by body type analysis and diet & life style counseling session is conducted by Chakrapani team of Doctors. The group comes twice or thrice a year and every time such sessions are conducted to spread and Introduce Ayurveda and its ways of healthy living.

This time the group came to Jaipur with 12 members in the month of February under the leadership of Ms.Revital for Astha and Suranga group. They stayed at Hotel Hilton. Our team of three doctors visited the Hotel to conduct Lecture and counseling session.Guest lecture was delivered by Dr.Aditi followed by Body type analysis and counseling session with Dr.Suman & Dr. Aniket.

The group was very enthusiastic and enjoyed the lecture and counseling session. Lecture was more an interactive session as the group came up with interesting and impressive queries related to Ayurveda, Panchakarma and concept of Prakriti (individual body type). They showed great interest to know more about Ayurveda therapies and importance of Panchakarma treatments. During the Counseling session, everyone was curious to know their dominant doshas and customized diet & life style suggests. It was a wonderful experience for all.

Ayurveda for a Happy & Healthy Pregnancy

Proper good health is very much necessary before planning to have children. Ayurveda states that one’s state during pregnancy will influence the mind and body of the child. Obviously this knowledge has been lost in today’s fast-paced world. The basic treatment during pregnancy is to strengthen and nourish the whole body. Emphasis should be give to emotional happiness and her contentment because this has a greatest influence on the developing baby.

Diet and lifestyle during Preconception

Couples desirous of healthy offspring should take a healthy diet predominant in sweet taste and include milk and its products, ghee and rice in diet. One should avoid excessive intake of food. The male partner should take herbal aphrodisiacs like Ashwagandha, Gokshur, Kaunch under the guidance of an Ayurvedic physician. The lady should take herbs like Shatavari and should consume food items prepared from black gram and sesame seeds. Both partners should avoid excessive eating, fasting and should have a pleasant state of mind devoid of fear, grief, anger, etc.

Recommendations during pregnancy

Ayurveda has prescribed a special diet and lifestyle regimen for healthy development of fetus during pregnancy and for easy labor. Following Ayurvedic regimen helps in maintenance of maternal and fetal health. Throughout pregnancy, the lady should take anabolic diet and herbs. During first trimester it is advised to take cold, liquid and semisolid food. Light diet, ghee and milk are advised. During second trimester meat soups or lentil soups, milk, ghee, rice, curd and rice gruel medicated with the herb Gokshur is advised. During third trimester rice, milk, ghee, meat soup or lentil soup, different cereals are advised. Also medicated oil enema, vaginal douche and mild laxatives are recommended in third trimester.

Avoid the following during pregnancy

• Strenuous physical exercise, excessive walking, squatting, prolonged sitting especially in uncomfortable postures and riding on vehicles or animals especially in uneven road.
• Avoid psychological dispositions like anger, grief, and fear.
• Tight synthetic clothing
• Suppression of natural urges like urination, thirst, hunger, tears, etc.
• Indulgence in quarrels or fights, bad thoughts and jealousness
• Lying in prone position.
• Excessive refrigerated food items and drinks, spicy, fried food, pungent food, and heavy to digest food, excessive salt, processed foods, junk foods, confectioneries, alcohol and smoking.
• Sleeping in excess
• Staying awake late at night.

Recommendations on lifestyle during pregnancy

• Follow strict personal hygiene.
• Wear clean comfortable cotton clothes preferably light colored.
• Intake of palatable and light to digest diet according to her desire
• Adequate sleep in soft bed
• Sufficient rest
• Pleasant thoughts and state of mind
• Listen to soft music
• Take bath in water treated with aromatic herbs.
• Living place should be fumigated with aromatic and antiseptic herbs.

Month wise regimen of pregnant lady

• First month – Milk with ghee in desired quantity, light and easy to digest food, seasonal fruits and fruit juices.
• Second month – Light, easily digestible food, milk processed with Shatavari herb or sweet herbs, seasonal fruits and fruit juices.
• Third month – Include green leafy vegetables, carrot, beetroot, fruits, pulses, beans and milk with ghee in diet.
• Fourth month – Use of milk in desired quantity, use of yoghurt, naturally extracted butter in diet.
• Fifth month – Light to digest food, use of milk, ghee and other milk products like curd, butter is advised.
• Sixth month – Light to digest food with ghee, rice gruel medicated with Gokshur herb, desired quantity of natural cane sugar is advised.
• Seventh month – Light to digest food with ghee, milk and ghee processed with herbs like Prithakparni, etc is recommended.
• Eighth month – Light to digest food with ghee, use of mild laxatives to prevent constipation.
• Ninth month – Light easily digestible food with ghee is advised.

Tips during pregnancy

For striae gravidarum (itching and striations that occur due to stretching of skin on abdomen, breast and thighs) – Apply the paste of Sandalwood and Ushira (Vetivera zizanoides) or paste of Neem and Basil. Bathing with water boiled with Neem and Basil also helps.

For stretch marks – Jasmine oil application helps.

For cracked nipples – Coconut oil or Castor oil application is good.

Postpartum care

Puerperium is the period following childbirth generally lasting 45 days. During this period, special diet and lifestyle regimen should be followed for regaining strength.

Do’s and Don’ts during Postpartum period

• Gentle oil massage especially on lower back and lower abdomen followed by mild fomentation is advised.
• Abdomen and flanks should be tightly wrapped with cotton cloth.
• Spices like ginger, fenugreek and cumin should be used in diet.
• Drink warm water in small quantities throughout the day.
• Light to digest food, which is warm, should be given.
• Avoid anger, excessive physical exercise and mental strain.
• Avoid indulging in sex.
• Rice gruel, ghee and milk can be included in diet.

A Japan group for Ayurveda Massage Training

Chakrapani Ayurveda had a privilege to conduct training in association with the Ayurveda beauty college, Japan. A group of 5 students from Japan visited Chakrapani Ayurveda clinic for Ayurveda Massage Therapy course for 6 days under enthusiastic team leader Miss Aki Niikura.

The course included all topic related to beauty and women care. The group learned different rejuvenation therapy like Pizhichil, shirodhara, tarpan and beauty care therapies like udvartanam, shashtikshali pinda sweda. Theory classes were also conducted on topics like menopause. The practical’s were conducted by Dr. Aditi, Dr Parvathy and Dr. Suman, whereas the theory class was conducted by Dr. Lakshmi. The group was quite energetic and flexible during whole course and stay in Chakrapani. Each of them also had an individual consultation with our doctors.

It’s being astonishing experience for Chakrapani doctors to train Japanese students. Group was very kind hearted and loving during their whole course. Each day was a new experience as well as gave the deep thought of understanding to the group. The last day of training ended by awarding certificate to each trainee by Honourable guest Dr. Mita Kotecha (Head of Dravya guna department, NIA, Jaipur)upon completion of course successfully.

Group also expressed their experience with Chakrapani and rewarded the token of love to all doctors and therapies. They shared that they were impressed with the hospitality and the teaching methods of Chakrapani which gave them the easy understanding about all therapies and developed a proper skill after each practice. Chakrapani Ayurveda centre is proud of Ms. Aki Niikura for taking the vision of Ayurveda globally. She is doing excellent and dedicated job through her organisation in association with Chakrapani Ayurveda which definitely will create an awareness in people of Japan regarding Ayurveda and its Natural cure.