Sunday, October 5, 2008

FAQ's on Ayurveda

1.What is Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is an Indian traditional system of medicine which aims at maintaining health by following proper dietary and lifestyle related guidelines. It concentrates equally on prevention as well as cure of a disease. With the increasing awareness about the safety and efficacy of natural medicine, Ayurveda is gaining worldwide acceptance.

2. What are the diseases where Ayurveda can help?
Ayurveda is effective in treating all disease conditions and the physician will be able to tell you the probability of relief or cure of a disease based on the stage of the disease. I always emphasize that Ayurveda provides good relief when the patient approaches the practitioner in the early stages of the disease itself instead of trying it as a last resort. For e.g Ayurveda provides good relief to patients suffering from knee joint pain due to degenerative changes in Osteoarthritis. The patients who opt for treating the pain during the early stage itself through Ayurvedi get excellent results whereas those who come at later stages when there is excessive damage done to the Joint take time.Sometimes I have to tell them that the condition of the disease is beyond my treatment and the chance of positive response to the treatment is less. At the end of this document you will find a table giving an idea about the ailments successfully being treated by Ayurveda.This table is intended for information only and not exhaustive. The best person to tell you is your Physician.

3. How Ayurveda can help in health maintenance?
Ayurveda places great stress upon health maintenance and health preservation principles. It advocates specific routines such as daily regimen(dinacharya) and seasonal regimen(ruthucharya) and several do’s and don’ts related to diet, sleep etc. Ayurveda advocates shodhana or purificatory panchakarma procedures such as Vamana(Emesis or medicinally induced vomiting), Virechana(Medicinally induced purgation) for cleansing the body. Ideally in every treatment the administration of medicine should follow the purification procedures i.e. panchakarma. The particular treatment process to be adopted is decided based on the dosha aggravation and the stage of the disease.There are excellent medicines to boost immunity in Ayurveda.

4.What are the evidences to show that Ayurveda is effective?
Everyone of us would like to be reassured that the system of medicine we have chosen for the treatment of our problem has enough evidence to prove its efficacy.Ayurveda is a time tested system of medicine and the diagnosis and treatment guidelines have been elobarately described in it. Clinical studies of the different treatment procedures such as panchakarma and the medicines indicated in particular diseases are being regularly carried out by doctors in colleges and universities during the master’s and Phd work. Apart from these documented studies, several physicians have demonstrated the efficacy of Ayurveda treatment in the different fields of medicine. For e.g. in the field of Ophthalmology there is a separate institution called Sreedhareeyam functioning in Kerala and they are treating several eye diseases which have failed to be treated by mainstream systems of medicine.The number of clinical trials to study the efficacy of Ayurveda treatment for diseases such as Sciatica, backache,paralysis,facial palsy, osteparthritis, rhuematoid arthritis,eczema,Psoriasis,leucoderma,bronchial asthma have been conducted by Govt funded Institutions and they have published the results in reputed journals.With my 13 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda I can say with certainty and confidence that this traditional system of medicine can provide safe and sound relief from Acute to chronic conditions.

5. What are the usual modes of therapy in Ayurveda?
The basic concept of Ayurveda is the theory that health exists when there is a balance between three fundamental body components/doshas which are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When there is any imbalance in these three doshas it results in disease. The cause of imbalance can be food, environment, injury etc. The physician tries to heal the illness by restoring the balance in the doshas.
Shodhana(comes from the word shuddhi or cleansing) and shamana are the two major approaches of Ayurveda in treating any illness.Shodhana involves usage of Panchakarma for elimination of the disease causing factors and shamana involves using herbs and purified minerals to restore normalcy of the doshas and bringing them back to their normal physiological state.
Along with the use of Panchakarma and medicines prepared out of selected herbs and purified minerals,Ayurveda lays a lot of emphasis on diet and lifestyle changes for complete recovery from diseased state and also to prevent the recurrence of the illness. For e.g. in the condition of gastritis the treating physician will guide you to avoid or reduce sour and spicy food along with the intake of medicines. This will help in quick recovery from the problem.

6. Are Ayurvedic medicines costly?
Few of the medicines used in Ayurveda are prepared using minerals such as Gold and Silver. But these are not regularly prescribed. The cost of treatment is higher only in cases where Panchakarma has to be done. Since pathological investigations are rarely requested for and most of the diagnosis is done by the physician the patient saves good amount of money. This part of the savings can be used to invest in the medicines by the patient.
If you are very particular about the cost of treatment and your affordability is low, do frankly express the same to the doctor so that he can prescribe an affordable medicine.

7. Are Ayurveda medicines are slow in their action?
Generally all diseases can be classified into Acute and Chronic. Chronic diseases are those which have not been treated successfully and have been troubling the patient since a long period of time. Since the illness is more deep rooted in these conditions it will take a longer duration for the problem to be eliminated completely. Problems which are of Acute or of recent origin definitely respond quickly and easily to Ayurvedic medicines. For e.g.Diarrhoea,Urticaria etc respond quickly to Ayurveda medicines.

8. Do Ayurveda medicines cause heat and should they be avoided in summer ?
This is a frequent query raised by people who opt for Ayurveda and some people even avoid taking resort to Ayurveda citing this reason.Ayurveda uses both cold potency (Sheetha) and hot potency (Ushna) medicines to treat diseases. It uses cold potency medicines to treat diseases arising due to excess of heat in the body and hot potency medicines to treat diseases arising due to excess of cold in the body. There will not be any problem when the medicines are administered by a well learned and experienced Ayurveda physician who has the ability to diagnose a disease based on the basic principles of Ayurveda. Most of the problems arises when people take Ayurveda medicines from quacks who are ignorant about the basic principles of Ayurveda.They cheat gullible people looking for relief from chronic illnesses by promising quick cure or permanent relief.I always emphasize to my patients that there are no shortcuts to recovery and that they have to persevere to get good results from the treatment.

9. Do all Ayurveda medicines taste bitter and are they unpalatable?
There are more than 10,000 Ayurvedic formulations and these are in different forms such as tablet, pill, liquids, ghee, oil, powder etc. Not all are bitter in taste and some of them are very palatable. For e.g. Draksharishta, chyavanaprash, Kooshmanda rasayana etc. With the adoption of modern pharmaceutical methods in Ayurveda industry the dosage forms are available in capsules and syrups too. If the disease condition demands the usage of a bitter or unpalatable medicine the doctor may advice the use of the medicine along with honey for easy palatability. If you strongly feel that you will be unable to take unpalatable medicines do frankly express the same to the doctor so that he can prescribe you some alternative if any exist.

Some examples of Diseases successfully treated:
Arthritis,Acne,Asthma, Anemia, Alopecia
Osteoarthritis,Osteoporosis,Obesity, Oral Ulcers
Bronchitis, Backache, Baldness
Headache, Hyperacidity
Paralysis, Benign Prostate Hypertrophy, Psoriasis, Piles
Premature greying of hair
Cervical spondylitis, Chikungunya, Chronic cold.
Insomnia, Impotency, Irritable bowel syndrome
Rheumatoid arthritis, Recurrent Tonsillitis, Respiratory infections and allergies
Chronic diarrhea, chronic dysentery, Depression, Dandruff
Sinusitis, Spondylitis, Sciatica, Stomatitis, Chronic Skin diseases
Eczema,Epilepsy,Erectile dysfunction
Leucoderma, Loss of libido
Urticaria,Chronic ulcers
Frozen shoulder syndrome
Migraine, musculoskeletal pains
Varicose ulcers
Obesity, Oral Ulcers

Monday, September 29, 2008

Let us awaken the Daya in our Hyrudaya

India is a land of huge diversity. We have diversity in languages, religion, cuisine, climate, culture, cattle etc. India is recognized as one of the biodiversity rich zones in the world. With the advent of modern way of living we are gradually losing this diversity.

India is home to 32 indigenous Cow breeds out of which some are already nearing extinction. This has happened because of our callous attitude and our ignorance of their value. Every part of India has its own distinct breed like for e.g. Tharparkar from Rajasthan, Gir,Kankrej and Kathiawadi from Gujarat, Dangi from Maharashtra, Ongole from Andhra, Sahiwal from U.P, Hallikaru,Krishna Valley and Javari from Karnataka,Umblachery and Kangayam from Tamilnadu etc.

Cows are a source of strength, immunity and spirituality to humans, fertility to the soil and energy to the farmer. They also help in rural transport and provide fuel in the form of gobar gas. In this article we shall look at the contribution of cows to human health and strength.

Find the complete article in the link below

Preventive Health care and Health awareness workshop thru Ayurveda & Yoga

With the fast pace of life none of us are in a state to afford ill health. Each employee is absolutely essential for the optimal functioning of the organization/institution and a few days of his/her absence has the capability to upset the whole rhythm of work. There is also the escalating cost of healthcare which adds another important point to the need for adopting good strategies for prevention of illnesses.

Ayurveda, the “Science of life” has emphasized equally on the preventive and treatment aspects. It advises the adoption of a good diet and lifestyle for complete health. The central philosophy of Ayurveda is that the mind and body are closely linked, and that physical health can't be achieved without emotional, mental and spiritual health.

Ayurveda is the ancient art of healing that deals with all aspects of a person’s life as an entity. It states that the basic constitution of a human being is determined at the time of conception of the fetus. This unique aspect of a human being is called Prakruti. It is the natural constitution of a human being and this is unique to each individual.Prakruti is like your fingerprint which is also unique. The Prakruti of an individual remains the same from the time of conception to death.

Illness happens when we resort to diet and lifestyle which does not match our Prakruti and health results when we adopt diet and lifestyle which do not contradict or go against our prakruti. It is as simple as that. But to be able to determine what is good and what is bad to each individual, the firsthand knowledge of individual Prakruti is very important. Prakruti is the physical and psychological constitution of the individual, which is determined on the basis of three doshas. So there are basically three constitutions namely Vata constitution, Pitta constitution and Kapha constitution and their combinations. Ayurveda aims to provide detailed guidance regarding food and lifestyle so that healthy people can stay healthy and persons with health challenges can improve their health. Once we know what we are the rest of the management becomes cakewalk.

This unique workshop will provide insights into the individual Prakruti concept and will be useful to all health lovers. The workshop can be planned & structured based on the need of individual organizations/institutions. In the workshop an initial talk regarding preventive aspects and basic principles of Ayurveda will be followed by individual one to one diet and lifestyle counseling. All the participants will be required to fill out a detailed questionnaire to determine the Prakruti prior to the individual counseling.

Benefits of the workshop:
  • Understanding regarding the basic principles of Ayurveda
  • Understanding about individual prakruti
  • Guidelines regarding healthy diet
  • Guidelines regarding health lifestyle
  • Individual medical consultation if required
“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”. So once we are empowered with the knowledge of preventive healthcare we become our doctor.

If you are interested in such a unique preventive health care workshop, please write to or contact:

B.A.M.S, P.G.Dip In Yoga
Ayurveda Physician & Yoga Consultant

Ph: 9849195413

Anandbagh Crossroads

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Care for the Elders

The World population of the elderly is increasing and by the year 2050, adults older than 65 years will comprise 1/5th of the global population. In India 3.8% of the population are older than 65 years of age. According to an estimate the likely number of elderly people in India by 2016 will be around 113 million.
Ageing is a biological phenomenon. Every one of us grows old over a period of time. Ageing brings along with it several disabilities and physiological deterioration. This is the time of life when the elders need our support and understanding and it is the duty and the responsibility of the young and the able bodied to look after them. With the gradual demise of the joint family system there are signs of change in this tradition and it is visible in the increase in the numbers of the elderly who are staying in old age homes with nobody to care or provide support and succor to them.
We will be failing in our duty if we ignore this part of our commitment and duty. Youth is not permanent and every passing day adds to our ageing. What we give today we beget tomorrow.
As Shankaracharya says in the Bhajagovindam:
“Maa kuru dhana Jana youvana garvam,,Harathi nimeshath kaala sarvam
Maayamayamidam akhilam hithwa brahma padam twam pravisha vidithwa”
Meaning: Do not be arrogant or proud of your materialistic possessions, about the fact that you have lot of people to serve you and about your youth because these can be taken away in a very short period of time. Leaving all these illusionary possessions, take the path of salvation by complete surrender to God.
If we have to serve our elders we need to have an understanding of their needs and difficulties. This will first of all give us a positive frame of mind while doing things for them. Through this article we shall try to learn and understand a few things that the elders need and the physiology behind the changes in their physical and mental makeup.
With ageing comes lot of changes in the body. We lose our teeth, hair, our vision and hearing goes down, we lose our flexibility, the bones and joints become weak, the skin dries and wrinkles, the brain is unable to retain its memory and many more changes.
Let us look at some of the illnesses that affect the elderly and how Ayurveda can be of help to them.
Ayurveda advocates the practice of some simple procedures such as Abhyanga and Kavala for prevention and treatment of diseases occurring in the elderly. Let us look at them in some detail:
Abhyanga and its benefits:
The process of applying oil over the body is known as Abhyanga. Ayurveda advises the usage of sesame oil for the purpose of Abhyanga. Regular practice of oil application over the body will help prevent or slow down the process of ageing, reduce the aggravation of Vata dosha in the body and also help relieve fatigue.
Vata is one of the three doshas present in the body which when in balance are responsible for health of the body. Aggravation of Vatha dosha leads to different diseases major among which are joint diseases, weakening of bones (osteoporosis or softening of bones), paralysis, constipation, dry skin etc.
Regular and simple application of oil all over the body will help i) improve blood circulation, prevent all the above said diseases ii) bring flexibility to the joints iii) strengthen the bones iv) nourish the skin and keep it soft.

How to do Abhyanga?
The tila taila should be slightly warmed (lukewarm) before applying over the skin and concentrate the massage around the joints, over the spine (neck, lower back). What we give comes back to us as the fruit of our action. The oil should also be applied over the scalp (Shira), hands (Hastha) and feet (Pada). Leave it for 30 minutes and complete the process by taking bath in hot water. Use besan or any bath powder available in the market to remove the oil from the skin.
Medicated oils are also available in the market and the commonly prescribed ones are ksheerabala taila and Mahanarayana taila.

Kavala (Gargle with oil):
The teeth and gums weaken with age. Eating becomes a painful process and the elderly have to avoid eating hard objects because of their weak teeth and gums. To prevent this Ayurveda advocates the practice of kavala or gargle. The oil to be used here is sesame oil.
Procedure, duration and benefits:
10ml(2 tsp) of sesame oil  is taken into the mouth and gargled for 10 minutes. The oil is spit out after that followed by gargling with warm water. This process helps strengthen the teeth, gums, jaws and improves the sense of taste.
Arimedadi or Irimedadi taila is medicated oil used in Ayurveda for gargle. This is very useful as a gargle in diseases conditions of the teeth and gums. This is also used for prevention of the diseases of oral diseases.

Some of the most common health problems among the elderly and Ayurvedic solutions to them:
Dry skin and wrinkling
Having regular oil bath is the best preventive and curative procedure in this condition. Plain sesame oil or medicated oils such as Mahanarayana taila can be used.
This is the most common and troubling complaint seen in the elderly. Elimination of waste after digestion is very much essential for maintenance of proper health. The elderly suffer more from this problem because i) the mucosal secretions dry up inside the intestines ii)the weakening  or sluggishness of peristaltic movements. Ayurveda provides easy and gentle solution to this problem and the most commonly advocated medication is castor oil based preparations. Gandharvahasthadi eranda taila, Sukumara eranda are some of the castor oil based medicines which are widely used. Triphala choorna is also useful in this condition. The dose and choice of the medicine varies from person to person.
The best ways to avoid or prevent constipation are:
  1. Increase fibre intake in the form of good quantity of fruits and vegetables
  2. Drink adequate quantity of water
  3. Drink a glassful of milk at bedtime and a glass of warm water early in the morning
  4. Simple exercises, yogasana and walk also help
Osteoporosis is the gradual loss of minerals from the bones leading to reduced strength and softening of bones. Bones are the basic support structure of the body. The onset of osteoporosis starts from the age of 40-45 among women, the period when they go into menopause and in males the changes start after 45 years. The most common symptom of this problem is backache and arthritis. When ignored, this can lead to severe problems such as hip joint fracture.
Prevention and treatment:
Natural calcium supplements such as Shankha and Pravala bhasamas are useful in this condition. Regular oil is a wonderful preventive practice to reverse the condition of osteoporosis. Regular oil bath keeps the skin healthy and thereby helps in Vitamin D synthesis with the help of sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium from the intestines.
The use of milk and small quantity of cow ghee in the diet is very much helpful. These days people start avoiding ghee after they cross 40 years citing the reason that it is cholesterol enriching. Anything in excess is harmful but the same taken in moderation is nectar. Ghee is a resource of essential fatty acids and for vegetarians it is a must. Ghee is a nutritive tonic to the brain, acts as a lubricant in the intestines, helps stimulate the digestive fire, is good for eyes and the list of its uses are endless. Suffice to say that pure cow ghee should not be avoided at any cost by the elderly.
This problem is due to wear and tear of the joints and the joints most commonly affected are knee, hip and the lower back. Pain and difficulty in movements are the major symptoms of this problem and in later stages the joints appear swollen. Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to address this illness which affects majority of the elderly population. The limp in the gait, preventive collar  around the neck and the lumbosacral belt around the spine are tell tale signs of degeneration in the skeletal system Apart from these external support system there are good medicines in Ayurveda to treat this problem.
Externally the use of Mahanarayana taila, Ksheerabala taila, Balaashwagandhadhi taila for massage over the affected joints gives good relief from the pain and swelling.
Guggul based preparations and kseerabala (internal )are some of the medicines used in the system to treat this problem.
Excessive use of painkillers should be avoided at this age because of the risk of gastritis and ulcers. If the pain is intolerable painkillers should be used under the dcotor’s supervision and not from over the counter (directly buying medicines from the medical shop based on the pharmacist’s advice).
Ayurveda is the Science of life with eight major branches. One of these eight branches is the Rasayana chikitsa - the anti ageing treatment arm of Ayurveda. There are wonderful preventive and therapeutic approaches advised in this branch of Ayurveda to help the aged lead a better quality of life. The best time to start taking rasayana therapy is the middle age i.e. in the mid forties. This will prevent and reduce the severity of the effects of ageing.

Table showing some common problems associated with ageing and their preventive treatments:

Loss of memory or deficient memory

Single drugs: Brahmi, shankapushpi, kushmanda

Formulations: Brahmi ghrtha, Saraswatharitishta

Vision difficulties 

Saptamrutha Lauha, Tiphala Ghrtha

Reduced libido

Vaanari Gutika, Ashwagandha Rasayana, Ashwagandha Choorna


Swadishta Virechana Choorna, Abhayarishta, Eranda Taila

Arthritis, painful joints

External use of medicated oils such as Mahanarayana Taila

Internal use of Guggulu based medicines

Tremors, unstable gait

Powder of Mucuna pruriens, Vidaryadi Kashayam and ghrtham

Hair loss, graying of hair

External use  of medicated oils such as Bhrngaraja Taila and Neelabhrngaraja Taila

Internal use of pills of Saptamrutha Lauha

General debility and loss of stamina

Vidaryadi Kwath, Chyavanaprash, Kushmanda Rasyana

Old age is the time when they need:
  1. Understanding and empathy
  2. Emotional support
  3. Somebody to talk with them, even for a few minutes will make a difference
  4. A sense of security
  5. A sense of self respect and that an assurance that they still matter
Apart from giving them medical care they also need emotional support. You can make a difference to their lives by:
  1.  Sparing some of your valuable time to be with them and pep them up with some news, jokes etc
  2.  Playing a game of chess or whatever they know 
  3.  Provide them with some regular reading material such as papers, books, magazines etc.
  4.  If they are not able to read because of poor vision you can read a story or a news item 
  5.  Accompanying them occasionally for a walk, encourage them to  make friends with elderly people in the neighborhood so that they have some company
  6.  Encourage your children to talk and play with them 
  7.  If an elderly member is ill or bedridden explain to the whole family including the children and servants about their condition and train them to attend to their needs. A spittoon near the bed, a jug of water at hand will be of help. Ensure cleanliness and hygiene in the room as well as adequate light and air.
We need the elders blessings to grow and the Nation will grow only when its elderly are given respect and are treated with understanding. It is not enough to just reserve a seat in the bus to the elderly. We can show our compassion by allowing them to get inside the bus easily, leaving our seat for them if we are seated, help them get down by helping them with their luggage. This is just an example because examples make understanding easier and are more convincing.

Changes do not happen in a day. Small changes in our behavior gradually build up and one day without our being aware of it, compassion will become an inseparable part of us. To initiate that process we have to start somewhere. What better place than our own home to start the process of change?

Maatrudevobahava Pithrudevobhava

Monday, July 21, 2008

Do we have any role in prevention of illness?

Can we reduce prevention to just popping a few pills and taking a few shots of vaccines!Is there something beyond these that we can do to stay free from illness?Can we have a protective shield around us which protects us from harm's way?

Are there any answers or will there be only questions?

Usually when we need answers to things which are perplexing or beyond us, we take resort to our elder's advice.So let us explore what our elders, our ancestors have told on prevention of illness.

In one of the greatest medical treatises ever written, the Charaka Samhitha, the author says on prevention of illness as follows:

Naro Hithahara Vihara Sevi Sameekshyakaari Vishayeswaskthah

Dhatha Samaha Sathyaparaha Kshamavaan Aapthopasevi Bhavathyarogaha

The explanation to the above sanskrit verse is as follows:
To be free from illness and to maintain a disease free state(AROGYA) , aperson has to follow the guideleines as given below:
1. Hithahara Viharasevi: One should consume food which wholesome and good to the individual personality or prakruti and also follow a disciplined daily regimen.

What is healthy food(Hitha Ahara) and what is a healthy regimen?Unless we know these details, we will be nowhere.Food which is prepare adhering to good hygiene, properly cooked, taken in moderate quantity is good for health. The food articles selected should match the prakruthi of the person. For e.g. A pitha prakruti person should not consume too much of spices and salt.

What is Hitha Vihara? Vihara includes sleep, work, excercise etc.
Adhering to the saying "Early to bed and early to rise" is the most healthy Vihara. Going late to bed aggravates the nervous system and getting up too late in the morning makes you sluggish and lazy since it aggravates the Kapha Dosha in the body.

I know that with the changing workschedules such as shifts,call center work etc it is difficult to adher to this guideline. But atleast during the weekends try to catch up with your regular sleeping hours instead of chilling out in the clubs and dance bars!

Some amount of excercise will do a world of good to all the systems in the body.It may be in the form of going to a gym or yoga or jogging. Whatever it may be, excercise regularly.

2. Sameekshyakaari: Think well before you act is the meaning. This is self explanatory. It is better to swallow your words rather than be made to eat it goes a saying.

3.Vishayeswaskthah: Be the master of your senses and not the other way round. The sense organs should be kept under our control for good health.For e.g.Control of the toungue is essential to have good eating habits. Vishaya is the subject and here it is that of the senses. Asakthi is have a desire over the objects of the senses. To have control over the senses is the meaning of this guideline.

4. Datha:Be a giver is the meaning.To be of help to somebody is an oppurtunity provided to you to relieve your tensions. That you have been useful to somebody is a factor which boosts your confidence and thereby boosts your relaxation level.Giving is an art.Giving makes you rich. Giving makes you reach higher levels. Look around you and you will find some beatiful examples of giving. for e.g. your beloved mother.She is an embodiment of giving.Who can be a better example.She always gives and feels happy when you recieve it.Look at Mother Earth-you sow one seed and she returns it in the form of a plant which yields 100 seeds. What you sow, you reap. If you spread sweetness, your life becomes sweet. What you give, you get. You are enjoying the fruits of the good work done by your elders and ancestors, do not break the chain. In case the chain is broken, the protective shield around you weakens. If you do not have anything material to give,does'nt mean that you cannnot give. Helping somebody having difficulty in crossing the road is also a form of giving.You do not spend anything from your pocket to do that simple task.

5. Samah: Practice equality is the meaning. Mahatma struggled througout his life to bring a sense of equality among all the citizens of our country. Do not look at people as haves and have nots. Treat everybody in the same way you would like to be treated.Do not be haughty and ill behaved with people who are poor and do not bend your back in front of the rich.

6. Sathyaparah: Be truthful is the meaning. True to your conscience. It is easy to lose confidence in the saying "Truth alone triumphs-sathyameva Jayathe" looking at the happenings in today's world.But we can take heart by looking at history. History does not lie. Falsehood creates lot of pressure on the brain and the heart, the two most important organs in our body leading to dangerous illnesses. Just because the modern day medical texts do not mention it as the cause of any disease does not mean it does'nt lead to any disease. Truth is reflected on the face of a person. His face will be radiant and shining since there are no blocks in him which prevent the inner glory from expressing outside.

7.Kshamavaan:The sixth guideline to remain healthy is forgiveness. Forgiving somebody, even though they may have committed a mistake is magnanimity. This comes to only a chosen few. The burning fire of retribution burns your own body, causing irreparable damage and endless diseases.To believe this advise, start practicing it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Look how things start changing for the better.Where earlier,you were feared , now you will be respected. Where earlier your arrival was resented, now you will be welcomed.The changes are to be seen and experienced to be believed.

8. Aapthopasevi:This is the most important of all. Aapthas are those who have dedicated their lives for the service of others,do not have any selfish motive behind their words and activities and are free from raja and tamo gunas. These are purely sattvika people. To stay healthy Charaka recommends that we have to serve such people. They may be your parents, who have struggled throughout their lives to bring you up and sacrificed their needs to meet yours. They may also be your Guru, teacher,friend , guide etc.

Dedicate part of your time and energy to service .Give a part of what you earn to the eligible and the needy. To serve or rescue an abandoned animal is also service. What do these actvities do to you? They initiate a series of positive thoughts and vibrations in you which have the power to heal.

There are innumerable ways to serve. The first and foremost requirement is the mental makeup. To do this you may have to sacrifice some of your time and some of your comforts. So be it. This way your happiness will increase and the protective shield around you will strengthen further.

These are the eight guidelines laid out by the great Rishi Charaka, the proponent of Ayurveda, for prevention of illness and maintenance of health. So start thinking beyond popping pills and taking immunization shots. There are things which are invisible to us but play a more vital role in our being free from illnesses. Listening to our elders advice makes sense and going against their advice will be at our own peril.

What we have learnt is a fistful and what we still need to know is as big as the ocean or the mountain goes a Tamil saying.

Chikungunya and Ayurveda

Chikungunya is spreading like wildfire all over the southern states of India. The coastal districts of Karnataka are severely affected with this disease. The main complaints of the affected are severe pains in the small and big joints in the body. The most common sites of swelling and pain in this disease are the wrist joint and the ankle joint.

People are running from pillar to post for a remedy to the disease. Ayurvedic system of medicine is ideally suited for treating this disease. Based on my clinical experience this disease matches the classical Vataraktha disease explained in the classical text of Madhava Nidana.

The major plants useful in treating this disease are Amrutha and Kokilaksha. A combination of these two plants is available in the market with the brand name Kokilakshadi Kwath and the dose if 15ml twice a day to be taken on empty stomach.

Diet I advice to my patients:
Avoid or reduce sour,spicy and excess salt in your food.
Avoid alcohol and completely stay vegetarian till you get free of the disease.

Other medicines useful are:
Kaishora guggulu and Amrithadi guggulu.Dose is t pills thrice a day fro adults.

For applying over the affected area use Pinda tailam and Balaguluchyadi Tailam.

For more details the readers should contact an experienced Ayurvedic physician in their neighbourhood.