Ayurvedic medicine – Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam 

Ayurvedic medicine – Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam 

Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam 

Avipattikar Churna and Avipathi Choornam are both Ayurvedic medicines in herbal powder form. Both have a similar set of ingredients. But there are substantial differences between them, in terms of indication, method of administration and so on.

Reference
Avipattikar Choorna is mentioned in Bhaishajya Ratnavali, Amlapitta Chikitsa 25-29.
Avipathi Choornam is mentioned in Sahasra yoga Choorna yoga prakarana.

Use in practice
Avipattikar is used in Ayurvedic treatment in North India.
Avipathi is used more commonly in South India, since Kerala Ayurveda practice is based more on Sahasra yoga.

Indication
Avipattikar is used in treating a wide variety of disorders, which range from gastritis, urinary tract disorders, constipation and so on.
Avipathy is used in treating Pitta imbalance disorders such as burning sensation, gastritis, migraine, etc.

Administration
Avipattikar Churna is administered just before food and in between food.
Avipathi Choornam is administered before or after food. It is mixed with little quantity of honey, made into a tablet or soft small ball and then it is administered to the patient.

Effect on Tridosha
Avipattikar Churna is targeted towards all the three dosha.
Avipathi choornam is targeted mainly to achieve Pitta balance.

AVIPATTIKAR CHURNA
Avipattikar Churna an Ayurvedic herbal powder mix, usually used in the treatment of constipation. It is one of the very effective medicines of Ayurveda.

Ingredients in Avipattikar Choorna
10 grams of each of the three pungent substances in trikatu, which are
Black pepper, maricha
Long pepper, pippali
and ginger, shunti

The three Ayurvedic fruits, Triphala, which is the best anti-oxidant combination. These three are:
Chebulic Myrobalan fruit rind, Terminalia chebula, haritaki
Belliric Myrobalan fruit rind, Terminalia bellirica, bibhitaki
Indian gooseberry fruit, Emblica officinalis Gaertn, amalaki

Nut grass (root), Cyperus rotundus, musta, which is one of the most commonly used herbs in urinary tract disorders
Vida salt, vida lavana
False black pepper, Embelia ribes, vidanga, a useful anti-microbial herb
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, ela, relieves pain and inflammation
Cinnamomum tamala, patra, relieves pain and inflammation
Clove, Syzigium aromaticum, lavanga. 110 grams, anti oxidant
Operculina turpethum, trivrit. 440 grams
Sugar, sharkara. 660 grams.

There are twenty types of Prameha is a group of urinary tract disorders. The downward wind, Apana Vata is mainly vitiated in them. All the ingredients are directly or indirectly useful in urinary tract health. Hence, it is useful in Prameha.
Also, in any condition, including Prameha, where daily detox / daily purgation, Nitya Virechana is required, 5 – 10 grams of Avipattikar Churna is administered, as it is mild, usually does not cause twitching abdominal pain and is easier to consume.

Reference
Bhaishajya Ratnavali Amlapitta Chikitsa 25-29.
There are many companies that manufacture this product, such as: Dabur, Baidyanath, Swadeshi, Baba Ramdev (Divya Avipapttikar Churna), Dhanvantri and so on..

Benefits of Avipattikar churna 
It helps to relieve gastritis very quickly, amlapittam nihanti aashu.
It helps to relieve constipation and difficulty in urination, vibandham malamootrayoho.
It helps to relieve indigestion, agnimandya
It is used in treating diseases of urinary system, prameha.
It is used even in chronic conditions, durnama nashanam.

In clinical practice, it is widely used in liver disorders and alcoholism.

Dose
1 – 5  grams. Suggested to be taken at the starting of meals and in between meals.

Side effects  of Avipattikara Choornam
It may cause diarrhoea, watery stools, abdominal pain and dehydration with a few people.
If the patient is diabetic and has uncontrolled blood sugar levels, better to avoid this product, due to the sugar ingredient.

People with diabetes, hypertension, sensitive stomach, ulcerative colitis, diarrhoea, should exercise caution while taking Avipattikar Choorna.

It is dangerous to take this medicine without prescription from an Ayurvedic doctor.
It is not advisable for pregnant ladies and for children below 12 years, unless a doctor prescribes it.

AVIPATHI CHOORNAM

Ingredients in Avipathi Churna (Sahasra Yoga)
Black pepper, maricha
Long pepper, pippali
Ginger, shunti
Indian gooseberry fruit, Emblica officinalis Gaertn, amalaki
Nut grass (root), Cyperus rotundus, musta
Vida salt, vida lavana
False black pepper, Embelia ribes, vidanga
Cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum, ela
Cinnamomum tamala, patra, twak
Clove, Syzigium aromaticum, lavanga.
Operculina turpethum, trivrit
Sugar, sharkarawith the proportion of Clove (lavanga), trivrit and sugar being different in the two medicines

 

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Progressing your career

Yoga teacher, Ayurvedic therapists and practitioners, RPL with Health Institute Australasia

Two long-separated fields, the material and the spiritual come back together to guide and inspire us all to push the boundaries of what’s possible. The traditional yet perennial wisdom of Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurveda has shown for thousands of years that the mind-body is wondrously dynamic and that our state of consciousness can modify our health instantaneously.

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Patient and Disease Examination, Rogi and Roga Pariksha

Patient and Disease Examination, Rogi and Roga Pariksha

by Shanti Gowans © 2021

Ayurvedic assessment methodologies include several assessments and protocols to detect an individual’s mind-body constitution and their state of imbalance. Ayurvedic classical texts clearly explain how to identify subtle disease conditions, which a physical examination or other assessment techniques are unable to recognise.

There are 9 different ways to examine a disease,
Five sense organs to examine a disease,
Five different modes of disease examination, and
10 ways of patient examination.

Clinical examination of a disease and its condition (roga), together with the diseased person, (rogi), form the basis of a comprehensive protocol for examination. The exact nature of the disease and the diseased person should be clearly known,  and are critical for comprehensive treatment to be planned and administered.

The Benefits that arise from Examination (Pariksha) 

Proper diagnosis of a disease
Proper step-by-step assessment of the disease process,
Knowing the prognosis, thereby obtaining a clear idea of the physician’s limitations in handling a case. It helps the physician decide whether they can handle the case, or if it would be wiser, and in the best interest of the patient, to refer the case to related specialists.
It helps to ascertain the physical and mental condition of the patient.
It helps in the planning of a comprehensive treatment protocol which includes dietary and lifestyle recommendations.
A comprehensive treatment can be planned and administered, only if the diagnosis of a disease is made properly and the condition of the disease known. For this to happen, the physician should be well versed in the knowledge and skills of clinical examination. Clinical examination of the disease and the diseased person, form the cream of clinical success.

Examination of the Patient, Rogi Pareeksha

The constitution of a person from the time of their conception, is known as Prakruti. This is the balanced state, or state of health for a person.

The imbalanced state is known as a person’s Vikruti.  The cause and subsequent development of an abnormal condition or of a disease is known in medicine as etiopathogenesis (plural etiopathogeneses), from the words: etiology + pathogenesis.
etiology: the science of finding causes and origins (of a disease)
pathogenesis: the production or development of a disease
For an accurate assessment, a physician needs to differentiate between a person’s constitution that was established at conception (prakruti), and their current state of health (vikruti). if it is different to their constitution.

The systems and channels in the body, known as srotas, also need to be assessed. This is known as sroto pariksha.

This article is about the examination of a patient. There are many tools and ways of assessment in Ayurvedic practice, in which the examination of a patient, or Rogi Pariksha, is conducted in Ayurveda.
The patient can then be assisted and their constitution (prakruti) can be brought back to balance for them, which in Ayurveda means to bring them back to their constitution, prakruti established at conception. They can also be educated in preventing illness, by understanding their constitution and living in accord within its parameters.

Tools for Examination of a Patient, rogi pariksha

There are several ways to examine a patient. These include:

Two-fold assessment, Dwi Vidya Pariksha includes:
– That which is seen and perceived by a doctor directly, pratyaksha
– Through inference, anumana

 Three-fold assessment, Trividhya Pariksha includes:
– Inspection, darshana.  Darshan is a way of seeing, and is regarded as a blessing. It is observing things as they are, without judgement or comparison. An Ayurvedic practitioner must develop ‘darshan’.
– Touch, palpation, percussion, auscultation or by feeling the diseased area, sparshana.
– Questioning the patient thoroughly, prashna.

Four-fold assessment, Chaturvidhya Pariksha 
– That which is seen and perceived by the physician directly, pratyaksha
– That which is assessed through inference, anumana
– Application of knowledge learnt from the science (shastra) and its teachings, aptopadesha
– Situational application of wisdom and knowledge, yukti.

Six-fold assessment, Shadvidhya Pariksha 
– Examination by seeing/inspecting, chakshurindriya dwara pariksha
– Examination through smelling, ghanendriya dwara pariksha
– Examination through hearing, (auscultation), shravanendriya dwara pariksha
– Examination through taste, jihvendriya dwara pariksha
– Examination through touch, sparshanendriya dwara pariksha
– Questioning a patient, prashna pariksha

Eight-fold assessment, Ashtavidhya Pariksha includes examination of 
– Pulse diagnosis, nadi pariksha
– Tongue diagnosis, jihva pariksha
– Visual examination, netra or drik pariksha, of the external appearance of the person
– Stool examination, mala pariksha
– Urine examination, mutra pariksha
– Examination based on sound, shabda pariksha, such as the timbre and hoarseness of a patient’s voice, and various bodily sounds, such as cracking in the joints (arthritis),
– Touch, sparsha pariksha, examination of the skin, twak, to ascertain body temperature, localised rise of temperature in a swelling, dryness/oiliness etc.
– Examination of the whole body, such as its structure and shape, the build of a patient, their, gait, decubitus, akriti pariksha.

Ten-fold assessment, Dasavidha Pariksha.
All in all, you must ascertain the following:
– The basic constitution (the physical and mental makeup) of a patient as acquired at birth. This is known as their prakruti.
– The changes occurring in the patient’s basic constitution, together with various changes taking place in different parts of the body or mind (or both), in relation to their basic constitution. This is known as the patient’s vikruti. Vikruti is the abnormal deviation or imbalances of a person’s Prakruti.
– The essence of the tissues, (dhatus), their status, quality and quantity etc. This is known as sara.
– The compactness of the body, samhanana.
– The measurement of the size and proportion of the human body (anthropometry), and any deviations according to mathematical proportions of the body. This is known as pramama.
– Compatibilities relating to a patient and wholesomeness developed by habits which result in suitability to the patient and are conducive to their health (homologation). This is known as satmya.
– The psyche and mental faculties and parameters, such as the mental strength, tolerance levels, emotions and mood of a patient. This is known as satva.
– The patient’s capacity regarding food intake, such as appetite, digestion and metabolic capacity. This is known as ahara shakti.
– The patient’s capacity and tolerance for exercise. This is known as vyama shakti.
– The age of the patient, vaya.
– The physical build, strength and immunity of a patient. This is known as Bala. Their endurance, compactness and stamina will need to be factored in too.

Pulse reading or pulse diagnosis, nadi pariksha is amongst the eight methods of examination. However, it has.not been elaborated by Archarya Charaka, Sushurata, or Vagbhata, in the Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita or Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hrudaya. These texts span a period of time between 1000 BC – 2000 AD.

It is referenced in the later books in Ayurveda, and seems to appear after the arrival of the Unani doctors, knowns as Hakims, who introduced the Unani system of medicine to India. They could be attributed to the popularity of nadi pariksha, pulse diagnosis.. It involves spirituality, science and elements of astrology. However, it must be remembered that a doctor’s performance is ultimately based on their ability to generate a cure for their patient’s disease,  rather than telling their patient about their health history, or predicting their past or future symptoms.

For the Hakims, the importance of pulse diagnosis was crucial, especially when the patient was female, as the culture required her to cover up her face.The only available part for the physician to touch and examine was the hand. Thus, the Hakim was professionally compelled to examine the pulse. If the patient was a princess, she never came out from behind the padra (veil), or curtain. A thread was tied to the princesses’ wrist, and the other end of the thread was given to the Hakim to predict her disease. Such were the limitations under which the Hakim had to work.

When the science of the pulse came to Ayurveda, everybody was very hopeful about pulse diagnosis, as the arterial pulse of the hand tells a seasoned practitioner, known as a nadi vaidya about all diseases,. There are  some 108 pulse differences, some of which feel like the slithering of a snake, or a jumping frog, or the subtle gliding of a swan etc. This diagnosis is indicative of gross and subtle observances of the pulse.

The text entitled ‘Sarangadhara’, in the 12th century, gave importance to pulse diagnosis in the following verse:

Karasyangushta mooleya, Dhamani jeevasaksini
Tat Cheshtaya ‘sukham’ ‘dukham’
Njeyam kayasya panditaha

“the vein that is found in the root of the Palm is the symbol of life. The behavioural pattern of the same  explains to an expert the body’s well being (sukham) as well as any ailments (dukham) of the patient”.

Details about pulse diagnosis are also mentioned in Yoga Ratnakara, a 17th century text.

Pulse reading provides a practitioner an index of cardiac rhythms, which can also be supported by the use of a stethoscope. Sometimes, if there is a disease process in between the heart and the pulse, the rhythm of the heart may be different to the rhythm of the pulse. It also indicates whether the volume is full or weak, and whether the heart rate is fast or slow.

The text ‘Nadi Tattva Darshanam, by Vaidya Satya Deva Vashisth, has produced some commendable work, having collated all works on Nadi pariksha from the Vedas, Upavedas,  Charaka Samhita, Sushurata Samhita, Rava Nadi Pariksha, Kanada Nadi Pariksha and others.

Ayurvedic practitioners now diagnose Blood Pressure with sphygmomanometers, and check for sugar and cholesterol through blood and urine tests as well as urine and faecal examinations. These tests were mentioned by Yoga Ratnakara, and Ayurveda has welcomed many forms of diagnosis, which have now been extended to laboratory tests since the early renditions.

Examination of a Disease, Roga Pariksha

Disease examination, Roga pariksha
Understanding the nature of a disease helps with accurate diagnosis of the disease. The disease should be examined to know:

The quality and nature of the disease, vyadhi svabhava
The quantity or magnitude of the disease, vyadhi pramana
The cause/s of the disease, nidana jnana
Premonitory symptoms, those which occur before the manifestation of the disease, poorvarupa jnana
Signs and symptoms of the disease, rupa jnana
Aggravating and pacifying factors of the disease, upashaya-anupashaya jnana
The process of the formation of the disease, samprapti jnana
Prognosis, in terms of curabnility or non-curability of the disease, saadhya-asaadhyata gnana
Complications and progression of a disease, upadrava-udarka jnana

Tools for disease examination, nidana panchaka
Five key tools, known as nidana panchaka, are used for the diagnosis of a disease (roga pariksha), and to know the nature of the disease. These are:

The causative factors of the disease, nidana, the knowledge of which is the key to knowing why and how the disease process was initiated.
Premonitory symptoms of the disease, purvarupa, which helps to know the disease in its earlier stages of manifestation.
Signs and symptoms of the disease, rupa, which help us understand the manifestation of the disease.
Identifying a disease, upashaya-anupashaya, or diagnosing it on the basis of a trial and error method, after analysing the aggravating and pacifying factors operating on the disease.
The disease’s story, samprapti. The pathogenesis of the disease helps us understand the process or steps in which the chain of events leading from ‘exposure, or causative factors’ to the ‘manifestation of the disease’ occurred.

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Mindful Living, Mindful Being: residential retreat

• Melt away your stress

• Calm your anxiety

• Skyrocket your sense of wellbeing

• Spark joy in your everyday life

And so much more…

Now that borders have opened up, and the need for quarantine has lifted, please think about yoga and meditation retreats.

We practice silently in the morning, then we go for a walk, or rest, eat delicious food, and chat. We do Nidra in the afternoon, play Scrabble, mindful art, read, garden, have an afternoon cup of tea and a chat, or simply some more rest. Some slow, long stretches in the evening, and after a light supper, we spend the evening sitting under the stars or watching a spiritual movie.

Here’s a breakdown for the 10 days

1 April: Opening Night

On the opening evening, Shantiji leads us into a guided session on Mindfulness and Pranayama, which is followed by a celebratory dinner, and then induction under the Southern stars, which sets us up for the marvelous experience of cultivating the practice for Intensive Peace.

2-4 April: Intense Peace. Vipassana. Silent Meditation retreat – 3 days

A silent retreat is a perfect time to make a new beginning.

Silence washes our awareness. Peace and quietude nurture our being.

The essence of spiritual practice is letting go and receiving deeply.

This is your retreat to let go, be mindfully present, and receive the quiet grace in your heart.

The 3 days, from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, are spent cultivating mindfulness in noble silence. Exploring darkness and light, growth and rejuvenation, the practice is both sophisticated and liberating, as it brings a fresh spin to our stories, our shadow self, and our mirrors. Eventually, the clutter of compulsive thought is cleared away, and the light of awareness becomes powerfully bright. This brightness turned inwards, allows you to access the immaterial realms that a cluttered mind cannot attain. When this brightness is turned towards materiality (the physical world) or mentality (thought forms), these can be perceived and experienced in their unconditioned form, without the overlay of conceptual, conditioned thought.

5-8 April: The Yoga Sutras 4 days

Then the silence lifts, and we proceed with the definitive textbook of classical Yoga. Each day will include periods of meditation, yoga Nidra (deep relaxation), and gentle yoga, and during the course of the retreat, we have short philosophical (dharma) talks and group discussions to deepen our understanding of our dharma in the world. Together we establish a retreat environment that includes daily practice, noble silence, simple group meals, and participation in food preparation and clean-up, in the garden and other tasks, or simply relax.

9-11 April: The 7 Spiritual Laws of Healing

We culminate the retreat with a wonderful weekend spent with a lovely body, mind, spirit understanding based on the Laws of Healing from the Vedic sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda, and conclude the retreat with a delicious Sunday feast before we head down the mountain back to our homes.

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Chyavanprash – immunity builder

Chyavanprash is the most well-known revitalisers (Rasayanas) of Ayurveda. It is one of Ayurveda’s anti-aging supplements, which is purely herbal in nature. Its main ingredient is ‘Amla’, which is a powerful antioxidant, and very rich in Vitamin C. This ancient Ayurvedic multi-vitamin formulation is a powerful tonic and will act as safeguard and rejuvenation for the entire family.

Charaka on Chyavanprash

“This is that very Chyawan Prasawaleh, the highest Rasayana. It is especially recommended for the cure of cough, dyspnea, as a bodybuilder for the emaciated, for those suffering from pectoral lesions, for the old and for children. It also subdues such disorders as loss of voice, diseases of the chest and heart, thirst and disorders of rheumatic type. It should be used in such doses as will not interfere with the normal meals. Intelligence, memory, luster, immunity from disease, longevity, increased sense power, amative delights, the heightened activity of the gastric fire, clearness of complexion, the regularity of peristalsis – all these human beings obtain from the use of this Rasayana. By retiring into a retreat and resorting to this medicine, a person will shed their infirmities and emerge with fresh youth.” Charak Samhita

 

History

Mythology states that Ashwini Kumaras, the divine twin doctors, made Chyavanprash bring back youth in the old and fragile body of Sage Chyawana. As it was used for the first time for the rejuvenation of Chayawana Maharishi, it has been named after him.

The story tells of Puloma and Sage Bhrigu who were happily married. Puloma conceived and was preparing herself for motherhood, but she was attacked by a demon during her pregnancy, by which premature delivery, Garbha Chyuti, happened. This led to the birth of a baby boy, who they named Chyawana (the name derives from the word Chyuti). Chyawana was interested in the spiritual path but was afflicted with early aging and many disorders. In answer to his prayers, the divine twin doctors came to his help. They administered Prasha – herbal jam (linctus), by which Chyawana Maharishi got rid of all of his diseases and early aging. He became young again and continued life successfully. The Prasha (herbal jam) that revived the health of Sage Chyawana is called Chyavanprash . It is recommended for treating early aging.

 

Modern Medical co-relation and Health benefits

In modern medical terms, Chyavanprash , a herbal paste that has been used as a tonic in Ayurveda for over 3000 years is an immune-supporting, vitamin C-rich, antioxidant.

This powerful antiageing herbal product is made from a complex and precise traditional recipe that includes over 40 powerful Ayurvedic herbs. its final formula has been sealed by the masters and it is better to prefer the original Chyavanprash over any of its variants, which are nothing more than a business ploy. There is no classical reference to Chyavanprash for specific body types. The herbal combination of Chyavanprash is suitable for all body types. The base and key ingredient of this formula is called Amalaki, or Indian Gooseberry, a powerful antioxidant fruit that is considered a superfood in India for its potent free-radical scavenging properties. This is the beauty of Amla.

There are many benefits of Chyavanprash . It is effectively used in the treatment of throat infections, cough, cold, chest infections, and is especially used in pulmonary tuberculosis. It helps in the rejuvenation of the aged and also with proper nourishment of the young. Research shows that Chyavanprash supports healthy cholesterol and blood sugar, improves intelligence (Medha), memory power, skin lustre, age, the strength of the sense organs, boosts immunity power, and appetite. It is used effectively in gout, and disease conditions involving urine

 

Qualities of Chyavanprash

Smell – Smell of Cinnamon, Cardamom and Long pepper.
Taste – Spicy taste, with more sourness and less sweetness.
Consistency – Pulpy, semisolid paste. Neither too solid nor too watery.
Water test – When a piece of Chawanaprash is placed in water, it should sink immediately. The particles should not spread in water.

 

The uses and efficacy of Chyavanprash

• Eases constipation.
• Strengthens the immune system.
• It improves memory and concentration.
• It calms the nervous system.
• Slows down the effects of the aging process.
• It enhances fertility and keeps menstruation regular.
• Purifies the blood, eliminates toxins and is beneficial to the liver.
• It improves the complexion and helps the body fight against bacterial infections.
• Acts as an antidepressant and tranquiliser for people suffering from depression.
• Promotes absorption of calcium, leading to stronger bones and teeth.
• It improves muscle tone by enhancing protein synthesis.
• Highly recommended for children (from 5 years upwards) and old people.
• Its regular consumption will protect you from diseases of the respiratory system.

 

Chyavanprash Effect on the Doshas

Vata Dosha

Chyavanprash benefits the body by acting as a rejuvenating and anti-aging substance. It helps reduce the degenerative activity of the body. Its main ingredient is Amla, which, together with Ghee, sugar and another herbs balance Vata dosha.

Pitta Dosha

Except for a few substances such as raisins, ghee, and sugar, Chyavanprash does not contain many herbs targeted towards Pitta balance. Additionally, overall, Chyavanprash is slightly heating in nature. Hence it does not balance Pitta to a great extent.

Kapha Dosha

Chyavanprash is mainly targeted towards strengthening the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, which are mainly influenced by Kapha. It has many herbs targeted towards Kapha balance, such as Dashamoola (the group of ten roots), long pepper, cinnamon, cardamom and so on. Because of the hot potency of these herbs, it is not heavy to digest. These heating substances negate the cold effect of Amla in this formula.

 

Immunity

Chyavanprash does not exclude any tissue (dhatu) and has a rejuvenating effect on all the seven body tissues.
A good immune system is a combination of well-nourished Dhatus, good digestive strength, and good mental health.
For nourishment values, Chyavanprash has herbs such as Mudgaparni, Mahaparni, Jivika, Rishabhaka, Amala, and so on.
For good digestive health – long pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, etc.
For good mental health, it has Kamala, Vidari, Jivanti, Guduchi, Ghee and so on.

 

Respiratory Immunity

Chyavanprash mainly improves respiratory immunity. Thus, for a person with early morning allergies, who suffer from air pollution and pollen allergies throughout the day, or who has asthma attacks during the day, taking Chyavanprash in the morning is very helpful.

Most respiratory disorders involve Kapha imbalance. When we divide the daytime into three equal parts, the morning one third is dominated by Kapha Dosha, which is why Chyavanprash in the morning is very useful.

However, some people, thanks to a busy schedule, may forget to take it in the morning. And a few people get respiratory symptoms during the night. They can take a teaspoon to a tablespoon of Chyavanprash at night, preferably with a cup of milk, before dinner.

However, it is not necessary to take Chyavanprash both morning and night. Once a day is more than good to take maximum advantage from it.

Some people experience a postnasal drip with Chyavanprash , which is due to Kapha liquefying, a stage before Kapha is pacified or expelled out. This can be compared to the melting down of Kapha during Spring. During winter, Kapha gets chaya – increases in its own place. It solidifies and stays in its own home. But, during Spring, because of an increase in temperature, it liquefies and moves to other places.

 

Rasayana: anti-aging and longevity

Out of eight branches of Ayurveda, Rasayana, anti-aging, is one the most important.

As age advances, there is slowing of growth in the body, and circulation is hindered. To counter this, or at least slow down the process, the treatment called Rasayana is provided to the patient.

Rasa means ‘the juice from food’, and Ayana means ‘movement or ‘circulation’.

Movement of the rasa throughout the body, day and night, and the consequent nourishment and maintenances of the growth of new cells, the expulsion of damaged cells and full nourishment to the entire body, is the main purpose of a Rasayana treatment.

In the chapter from Charaka Samhita on treatment, known as Chikista Stana, Charaka explains: “There are two types of treatments, one is the promotion of vigour in the healthy, and the other is destructive of disease in the ailing.”

Rasayana is that substance that gives health to the healthy. It increases the Ojas (immunity), the complexion, the glow and the essence of the seven body nutrients, or tissues (food juice, blood, flesh, fat, bone, bone marrow, brain, and the vital essence). Rasayana substances are considered vitalisers because they replenish the vital fluids of the body. Charaka says “ long life, heightened memory and intelligence, freedom from disease, youth, excellence of lustre, complexion, and voice, optimum strength of body and senses, utterances that always get fulfilled, the reverence of people, body glow – all these does a person obtain by the use of Rasayanas or vitalisers.”

The aim of a Rasayana is not merely to increase longevity, but also simultaneously to increase the patient’s energy and stamina so that they will be able to enjoy the long life they have.

Wrinkles, grey hair and so on can be signs of early aging. Chyavanprash , being rich in antioxidants and rejuvenating herbs is rejuvenating and anti-aging and can even get rid of wrinkles. From a physiological perspective, the mode of action of Chyavanprash can be understood as follows. It:

– delays the aging of cells.
– improves the nutritional levels of body tissues.
– improves digestive power.
– Improves oxygen supply to the deeper tissues.

In the traditional Rasayana anti-aging therapy, the patient is made to replace breakfast with Chyavanprash and is asked to consume milk to quench their thirst. Please note: I do not suggest you follow this method on your own, as it may produce excess heat. There are several other rules and regulations to be followed in this method, which is why it should only be done under strict medical supervision.

 

Side Effects and Precautions

• Some patients may experience increased heat, heartburn and burning sensations as Chyavanprash can increase heat. However, if taken with milk in the Kapha dominant period of the day (morning), the burning sensation can be minimised, if not nullified.
• Some patients complain of loose stools.
• Because it contains sugar, it is best avoided by diabetic patients with uncontrolled sugar. (Note: The purpose of sweetening it is to make it tasty, have the added benefits of candy, and to counter the excess heating effects of spices and herbs used in Chyavanprash , such as Dashamoola (a group of 10 inflammatory roots), long pepper, cinnamon etc. which cause heat).
• Some people have high Pitta naturally. They have excess body heat, sweating, oral ulcers, etc. In such people, taking Chyavanprash even with milk may cause boils, excessive heat, and skin rashes.
• A patient with ulcerative colitis may not tolerate Chyavanprash that well. S/he may get loose stools.
• If a woman’s periods are normal, with moderate bleeding, Chyavanprash may be continued during her periods. However, if the periods are heavy, then it is better to avoid it only during periods.
• Since it is recommended for rejuvenation purposes, and not indicated for pregnancy as such, it makes sense not to take it during pregnancy.

 

Dosage

It looks like jam and tastes like dried fruit. Some people apply it to the bread they eat.

Chyavanprash is safe up to 5gm/kg of body weight. The dose should be such that it does not disturb the quantity of the food. In a normal adult, one 500g jar of Chyavanprash will last about a month.

The dose can be increased in accordance with a Rasayana procedure, up to 50gm, depending upon the health of the patient and other factors.

Children from five years old can safely take Chyavanprash . The dose largely depends upon their digestive strength.

Have a big spoonful (a teaspoon to a tablespoon) of Chyavanprash together with a glass of milk, every morning, 15 minutes before breakfast. When you take it before food, the digestion strength is heightened, and a maximum amount of phytonutrients from Chavanaprash will be absorbed into your body, making its immunity stronger.

Warm milk is preferable to cold milk with Chyavanprash , as it further quickens digestion, but this is not a mandatory rule. You can just eat one or two spoonfuls of Chyavanprash with water if you are unaccustomed to milk. Do not mix it with water to dilute it, though. If you want a milder effect, simply reduce the dosage.

As it contains many spices, its recipe includes ghee. Ghee is used in very small quantities, compared with other ingredients. It is added to dissolve fat-soluble ingredients and to add those benefits to the herbal jam. Ghee, oils, candy sugar are present as a medium to carry the herbal principles, which are the lead actors in the product, to the right organs and systems, and to counter the possible side effects. Nevertheless, this is why it is advisable not to take extra ghee also with it. Milk or water are better vehicle agents for Chyavanprash .

It is not Ayurvedically wise to continue any medicine throughout the year. It is beneficial to have a gap here and there. Chyavanprash being hot, can be avoided during summer.

 

Here is a list of disease indications for Chyavanprash :
Kasa – the common cold, cough
Shwasa – asthma, respiratory disorders involving difficulty in breathing
Kshataksheena – chest injury
Svarakshaya – voice problems
Uroroga – Chest disorders
Vatashonita – Gout
Pipasa – excessive thirst
Mutradosha – Urinary tract disorders
Shukra Dosha – semen, sperm anomalies

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COVID 19: Information for our community

Dear All,

This is a specialised email to all members, Ayurvedic practitioners, yoga teachers, studio and clinic owners to help provide an understanding of your rights and requirements in consideration of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) when working directly with patients, clients, students, and the general public.

While we may privately wonder if this could all be too much hype, it is every person’s responsibility to act in accordance with the directions of healthcare officials and government health bodies. Monitor reports from government organisations regularly. Don’t propose to know everything, as the situation and information are changing daily, and you need to communicate with your staff and keep them updated about what is happening in your clinic or studio. It is also important that you take measures to minimise risks to yourself and to the public.

There is a lot of panic and confusion in the world right now, and more than ever we need to meet what’s arising with kindness, wisdom, compassion, and equanimity. Let your decisions come from sitting with and looking at what is right action, not out of fear or panic.

We stand by the harm-reduction point of view about the virus. We need to be part of a positive and proactive movement and thus support slowing down the rate of infection so that we don’t overwhelm the healthcare system, and hopefully give those at the front lines a fighting chance in the weeks to come.

Hygiene

Hygiene standards should be adhered to regardless of the existence of COVID-19.

This includes:

  • Maintaining a high level of personal hygiene for all clinical, kitchen, admin and teaching staff (including correct washing of hands before and after each patient contact)
  • Maintaining a high level of cleanliness within the Centre, reception and communal area, clinic and studio
  • Regular cleaning of all surfaces (especially clinic equipment, devices, dispensing area, and containers)
  • Regular removal of all waste
  • Appropriate cleaning of reusable equipment, instruments and devices
  • Clinic and environmental controls including spillage management
  • Use of protective clothing where appropriate

COVID-19 Facts
Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Facts

  • The virus can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity
  • Some people are at increased risk of getting COVID-19
  • People who live in, or have recently been, in an area with ongoing spread are at increased risk of exposure
  • Persons who have been in close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 have been advised to self-isolate for 14 days (seek leave, hiatus and avoid places of business until the full period is completed without symptoms)

 Understand the signs of COVID-19 (any of the below):

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

Seek medical advice if you:

  • Develop symptoms; AND
  • Have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or live in or have recently travelled from an area with the ongoing spread of COVID-19
  • NOTE: Call ahead before going to any doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/share-facts.html <http://links.imismailcenter.com/ls/click?upn=OcHwbZN7zm6p-2BIpAIkNYmnkBbJwAYz1FUZLraDnsPyEkJGC6bS0OtWlECKluO0MlnRj6DhsFcsfJjZBcl2TX5RgyX7mS6kFTurhL3K3OK98-3DTs9r_xLvLlPalTdejCLbt3APAdokT4cBE-2Bj2rNgbQe5aAU9NnukMV-2FquEVRfjZ4mPRK9yaEQMf5W09YT7NroNpIPQYSsSJ>
Actions to keep yourself and others healthy

  • Wash your hands more often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • As difficult as this may be, don’t teach or practice and stay at home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin.
  • Based on government recommendations that close contact is to be avoided, avoid doing partnerwork in your classes.
  • Be careful of being around large groups of people. Only go to crowded places if you absolutely need to.
  • Do everything you can to boost your immune system.

Safety in Clinic
If you have concerns about COVID-19 and the risks clients may pose to your health, you can:

  • Ask them if they are currently unwell and, if so, to postpone their appointment for 2 weeks
  • Ask your clients if they have done any travelling in the past month. If so, you may enquire where and determine when you book that client in
  • You can wear Personal Protective Equipment, ie: gloves and/or face mask. We recommend that if you do this you advise your clients it is precautionary only for the safety of everyone
  • Encourage staff to take the day off if they are sick
  • Manage confidentiality for those who have contracted the coronavirus

Healthcare officials are advising persons who are unwell to wear masks, rather than the healthy, with the exception of medical staff working directly with infected persons. This is at the discretion of individuals, but it is advised if you feel unwell and need to go out in public to wear a protective mask.

As natural healthcare professionals, we also encourage you to use your own knowledge and education in preventative healthcare to ensure your own healthy immune systems with practices, medicines, and foods you have learned are beneficial for both your mental health as well as your physical wellbeing. There is currently nothing proven to fight against this COVID-19 so utilising your own  Yogic and Ayurvedic tools as a defense is the best method.
Important Resources
Chinese Medicine Council of NSW – https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx <http://links.imismailcenter.com/ls/click?upn=OcHwbZN7zm6p-2BIpAIkNYmhEjDX1e8Yomi8QaShfFt2vG4XpBwawvZj97J879PHHmfaYInDhedY5Sh8i2eCEW-2FsOVcGvAF7qx9fwHcLYds38-3D6bb__xLvLlPalTdejCLbt3APAdokT4cBE-2Bj2rNgbQe5aAU9NnukMV-2FquEVRfjZ4mPRK9yaEQMf5W09YT7NroNpIPQYSs>

health.gov.au <http://health.gov.au/>  – https://www.health.gov.au/ <http://links.imismailcenter.com/ls/click?upn=OcHwbZN7zm6p-2BIpAIkNYmqpi2h37m9KPXsK55KGN8tobVEwniWQPE6j2g2qqSOYbDeAL_xLvLlPalTdejCLbt3APAdokT4cBE-2Bj2rNgbQe5aAU9NnukMV-2FquEVRfjZ4mPRK9yaEQMf5W09YT7NroNpIPQYSsSJXfskOOg-2FZiDHw1awPvPGwK2e8Yfrdm-2B42gWX1GK9B->

COVID-19 General Information (Updated Daily) – https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert <http://links.imismailcenter.com/ls/click?upn=OcHwbZN7zm6p-2BIpAIkNYmqpi2h37m9KPXsK55KGN8tpLPAPPfmptkLK1IsgmvBvNc446mLO9-2BkX40BelKKkKqNzPUGun0BHINknDuWTb8MamuYqsN4x2QqPdVfmptggfViOy_xLvLlPalTdejCLbt3APAdokT4cBE-2Bj2rNgbQe5aAU9NnukMV-2FquEVRfjZ4mPRK9yaEQMf>

COVID-19 More Specific Information (including hygiene) – Key information for practitioners –

https://www.health.gov.au/resources/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-national-health-plan-resources <http://links.imismailcenter.com/ls/click?upn=OcHwbZN7zm6p-2BIpAIkNYmqpi2h37m9KPXsK55KGN8tqIUSNNcb9veziCPMD7LuMF69OWaTR4kDVv7stLCbkN58CQV8jMFJaGQ0nYUa1uq6ooW-2B9gVg41GqZXnEPAfrhQ8-2FNhp9eZxY0GRDvSMGUNKg-3D-3DFVmX_xLvLlPalTdejCLbt3APAdokT4cBE-2Bj2rNgbQe5aAU>

For any other information, please call the Australian Government’s COVID-19 hotline on 1800 020 080.

Please also keep up to date with local, state and federal changes through the Australian Government and news articles.

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Mindful Living, Mindful Being retreat

Mindful Living, Mindful Being retreat

Mindful Living, Mindful Being at Nirvana Wellness Sanctuary on the Gold Coast

10th – 13th April: Intensive Peace, noble silence, mindfulness and vipassana 
The retreat opens with the marvelous experience by cultivating the practice for Intensive Peace. Here 3 days are in silence (10th-12th), cultivating mindfulness, where the clutter of compulsive thoughts is cleared away, and the light of awareness becomes powerfully bright. When you turn this brightness turned inward, it allows you to access the immaterial realms that a cluttered mind cannot attain. When this brightness is turned towards materiality (the physical world) or mentality (thought forms), these can be perceived and experienced in their unconditioned form, without the overlay of conceptual, conditioned thought.

13th – 17th April: The Yoga Sutras
Then the silence lifts, and we proceed with Shantiji’s discourses on the original Yoga Sutras. Each day will include periods of meditation, yoga nidra (deep relaxation) and gentle yoga, and during the course of the retreat, we have short philosophical (dharma) talks and group discussions to deepen our understanding of our dharma (purpose) in the world. Together we establish a retreat environment that includes daily practice, noble silence, simple group meals and participation in food preparation and clean-up, in the garden and other tasks.

17th – 19th April: Body, Mind and Spirit and the Seven Spiritual Laws of Healing
We culminate the retreat with a wonderful weekend spent with a lovely body, mind, spirit understanding based on the Seven Spiritual Laws of Healing and conclude the retreat with a delicious Sunday feast before we head down the mountain back to our home.
Mindful Living, Mindful Being residential retreat program 5-14 April 2019.  9 to 19 April 2020

Bookings and enquiries: (07) 5531 0511
or book online at: www.shantiyoga.com.au

NIRVANA WELLNESS RETREATS
Include:-

  • Inspiring talks with discussion and Q & A
  • Loving your mind and body with daily meditation and gentle yoga
  • Delicious Ayurvedic vegetarian meals were you eat love, not stress
  • Detox medicines
  • Nature walks
  • Mindful art, and so much more.
  • Discover the tools you need to stay happy, healthy and whole, every day of your life.
  • Help your body heal and recover from stress, chronic illness, toxicity or poor nourishment, bad nutrition, digestive and eliminating issues
  • Align your energy centres with nature to improve your emotional and physical wellbeing
  • Experience a feeling of calmness, tranquillity and bliss

Return home with an upgrade in the quality of your life and work.

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Haritaki

Haritaki

In the cornucopia of Ayurvedic herbs, there are only a few which have the quality of being tri-doshic. Such herbs are much celebrated in India for their ability to bring balance all three doshas, and so restore health to anybody regardless of their particular constitution. Of these herbs is Haritaki, a powerful and well-rounded herb with a vast range of applications in ayurvedic medicine. Astringent and unpleasant in taste, it is a Vata rejuvenator, Kapha regulator and Pitta aggravator.

Sanskrit Name – Haritaki, because it carries away (harate) all diseases.

Botanical Name – Chebulic Myrobalan / Terminalia chebula

Part Used – Fruit

According to the folklore, legend has it that haritaki came from a drop of Indra’s cup which grew into a tree when spilt upon the ground.

The origin of the name Haritaki could be an indicator of its power and versatility. It is named after Shiva or Hara, as it both comes from the Himalayas, the realm of Shiva, and imparts the fearlessness and the clear perception for which Shiva is known.

This name also refers to the universal action of the fruit by indicating that it carries away (harate) all diseases, and also to the yellow dye, harita, which is derived from it.

The power and range of application which Haritaki bears are derived from its dynamic energetics. Haritaki combines five of the six tastes, excluding only saltiness, however, it is primarily astringent in taste. It is further heating in energy and has a sweet post-digestive effect, or vipraka.

This combination renders it a very effective alleviator of vata imbalance and the eliminator of ama, or accumulated toxins. After the dryness of its astringent taste has broken down ama and accumulated vata, its heating energy and moistening effect then work to counteract the cold and dry nature of vitiated vata and move the toxins from the body. While it is a strong rejuvenative for vata, it also regulates kapha, and only aggravates pitta in excess.

The wide applicability of Haritaki is directed through its manner of use, and the form in which it is taken. When taken as a powder, Haritaki is an efficacious purgative, but when the whole dried fruit is boiled the resulting decoction is useful in the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery. The fresh or reconstituted fruit fried in ghee and taken before meals enhances digestion. If this latter preparation is taken with meals it increases clarity of mind, voice, and vision, and the remaining senses as well as the five actions of the body, it is also purifying for the digestive and genito-urinary tract. Taken after meals, Haritaki quickly cures diseases caused by the aggravation of vata, pitta and kapha which have resulted from unwholesome food and drinks.

There are few ayurvedic herbs which have the range and power of Haritaki. It is a potent purifier of the body, and acts effectively to mitigate the cold and erratic nervousness of vata imbalance. It feeds the brain and the nerves and imparts the energy for awareness, increased wisdom and intelligence. It scrapes endotoxins (ama) away from the tissues, especially from the digestive tract, and rejuvenates the body, especially the colon and lungs. Haritaki being an effective astringent and can be used as a gargle for ulcerated surfaces and membranes.

This herb is a gift from the Himalaya which has been used for the benefit of humanity for thousands of years, and surely will continue to do so for millennia to come.

Haritaki is one of the three fruits (bibitaki, amalaki) in Triphala.

Suggested Use

Haritaki is given with jaggery in summer, rock salt during the monsoon, sugar in autumn, ginger powder in early winter, long pepper in late winter and honey in spring.

Alternatively, it may be given with salt in diseases of kapha. With sugar for pitta problems, with ghee for vata, and with jaggery if all three doshas are aggravated.

Suggested Dosage

As recommended by your Ayurvedic physician and as per your doshic type and imbalances.

3 to 5g at bedtime with warm water.

Not recommended during pregnancy.

All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only, Please seek professional advice before commencing any treatment.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Oil Pulling

Oil Pulling

What Is Oil Pulling?

Oil pulling is a remedy that uses a natural oil to help clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It has the added effect of whitening teeth naturally, and there is evidence to show that it is beneficial in improving gums and removing harmful bacteria.

This simple home remedy can also speed up recovery from various diseases ranging from common colds to acute allergic conditions, bronchitis, indigestion, stomach ulcers, headaches and migraines. The treatment involves rinsing your mouth with 10 ml of sesame oil for a few minutes.

During oil pulling, the oil binds to the biofilm, or plaque, on the teeth and reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth.

This treatment has its roots in the ancient Indian traditional medicine system of Ayurveda, considered by most Eastern and Western scholars as the oldest and original form of health care in the world as noted in the Ayurvedic textbook, Charaka Samhita.

Ayurveda recommends the use of sesame oil as the oil of choice as it is more warming and may be more gently detoxifying than other oils that are “colder” energetically. It has a somewhat strong sesame flavor, which is a familiar food taste for most people.

However, today, people have been using different types of oils and are also seeing effective results. Recently people have started using organic coconut oil because it tastes better and has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties. Coconut oil has a cooler energy than sesame oil, so it can be helpful for people who tend to have a warmer constitution, or condition of heat. Some people have reported that coconut oil is more strongly detoxifying. This is not always recommended for some people, so it’s best to be cautious and go slowly.

The benefits of oil pulling

Oil pulling is known to be useful in the treatment of the following conditions:

• Common diseases such as the common cold, coughs, allergies, headaches, etc.,
• Skin problems such as itching, pigmentation, eczema, scars, rashes, etc.,
• Respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, etc.,
• Headaches and migraines,
• Tooth pain, gum diseases, dental caries,
• Back pain, neck pain, joint pain and arthritis
• Constipation and other conditions arising to problems in the digestive system
• Blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes
• Piles ( hemorrhoids ).

In addition to the aforementioned conditions, which studies confirm can be treated, prevented, or controlled by oil pulling, other conditions for which oil pulling might be useful include:

• Chronic sleepiness
• Liver disease
• Kidney disease
• Cancer

A survey conducted by an Indian daily newspaper, Andhra Jyoti, confirms the healing properties of oil pulling

Approximately 2 ½ years after publishing an article on oil pulling and its several benefits, Andhra Jyoti conducted a survey to understand the following:
• The kind of health conditions the procedure cured
• The degree of its effectiveness
1041 readers responded to the advertisement sharing their experience with oil pulling. Among the respondents, 927 (about 87%) stated that oil pulling cured one or more of their diseases. 114 respondents (approx. 11 %) reported that oil pulling did not provide relief from the ailment(s) they were suffering from.

An analysis of the testimonies of the people who had found oil pulling useful, revealed that it successfully cured the following diseases: allergies, coughs and common colds, gum diseases, dental caries, infections in the ear, nose, mouth, eyes, and throat, tooth pain, headache, neck pain, migraines, back pain, cracked lips, allergic sneezing, and fevers.

When to do oil pilling
Ayurveda recommends oil pulling first thing in the morning (on an empty stomach) immediately after brushing your teeth.

How to do oil pulling
To use oil pulling, follow these steps:

After brushing your teeth, on an empty stomach, place 10 ml of sesame oil into your mouth.
Hold the oil in your mouth for a few minutes.
Swish your mouth thoroughly with the oil, before spitting it out. White sputum indicates that you have done the procedure correctly.
Wash your mouth out thoroughly with water.
Drink a glass or two of water afterwards.

Precautions
– Oil pulling is not recommended for children under 5 years of age
– Use only 5 ml of oil for children above 5 years of age
– Do not gargle and do not swallow. However, more importantly, do not worry if you do swallow some oil. Sesame oil is edible. When swallowed, it is either digested or excreted naturally.
– If the colour of your sputum is yellow, it could mean that you have not held the oil in your mouth long enough, or that have used an amount greater than the recommended dosage. Alternatively, it could simply be cleaning up too much turmeric or saffron from your food, or be an indication from your liver, in which case, further investigation may be prudent.

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Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

Bone is a dynamic living tissue. it is constantly being broken down and rebuilt, a process known as remodelling.

Peak bone mass is reached between the ages of 25 and 35 years. After 35, bone mass is stable until, in women, it starts to drop with menopause. 6-18% of women between 25-34 years of age have ‘abnormally low’ bone density. Hip-fracture rates for white women in the US and Britain begin to rise abruptly between the ages of 40-44 much earlier than menopause begins. This drop occurs more slowly in males.

Bones become porous, or less dense, with age. As we age, the mineral-rich, internal part of bone breaks down faster than it is rebuilt. It should not be treated as disease unless you experience one or following multiple symptoms over a period of time:

  • Bone fracture
  • A gradual loss of height
  • A rounding of the shoulders
  • Gum inflammation and loosening of the teeth
  • Acute lower backache
  • Swelling of a wrist after a minor fall or injury
  • Trouble with nail, hair, teeth, gums, joints, or back
  • Nocturnal leg cramps
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Restless behaviour,

The word osteoporosis simply means ‘porous bones’. Persons with osteoporosis suffer from a loss in bone mass and bone strength at a higher rate than expected with aging. Their bones become weak and brittle which makes them more prone to fracture. Any bone can be affected by osteoporosis, but the hips, wrists and spine are the most common sites.

Ayurveda and Osteoporosis

From the Ayurvedic perspective, any vata imbalance or disease pattern in the bods indicated by any one of the symptoms such as stress, anxiety, constipation, dry skin, hypertension, restlessness, insomnia, PMS or many menstrual disorders, Irritable bowel syndrome and Inability to relax and so on. Some of the behavioural patterns that can create a vata imbalance in the body are:

  • when a person is under stress or reacting to stress with anxiety
  • physical exhaustion; mental strain and overwork without giving the body a chance to relax and rejuvenate
  • addictive patterns
  • lack of sleep
  • suffering emotionally from grief, fear or shock
  • travelling (flying or long car journeys)
  • stringent diets
  • eating cold, raw or dry foods frequently
  • living in a cold, dry and windy weather.

Osteoporosis is one of the natural processes that occur with age, however, vata body type individuals or people in the vata stage of life, are likely to experience loss of bone density at a higher rate. Consequently the risk for osteoporosis will be higher in a person of vata body, old people and women after menopausal age. For women, a regular menstrual cycle is important for building and maintaining bone strength throughout a woman’s reproductive years.

Risk Factors for Osteoporosis

Certain risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing and aggravating osteoporosis include:

  • Being female. Women are four times more likely to develop osteoporosis than men. Though most women start to think about bone loss only at menopause, it often begins years before. 50%of the bone loss over their lifespan is lost before menopause even begins. The reasons could include:
    • Women’s bones are generally thinner and lighter.
    • They live longer than men.
    • They have rapid bone loss at menopause due to a sharp decline of oestrogen.
    • Natural menopause before age 40;
    • A hysterectomy which includes removal of both ovaries with no hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
    • A lack of, or irregular menstrual flow.
    • Oestrogen/ progesterone deficiency
  • Having a thin, small framed body
  • Heredity and Race – the risk increases if there is a history of osteoporosis and/or bone fractures in your family. Some races, for example Caucasians are at a higher risk than Asians and African Americans.
  • Lack of physical activity especially activities such as walking, running, tennis and other weight-bearing exercises.
  • Lack of Calcium and Vitamin D, Magnesium and other mineral deficiencies from a modern diet of processed foods.
  • Cigarette smoking and Excessive Alcohol – Heavy drinkers and smokers often have poor appetite and poor nutrition.
  • Taking certain medicines such as corticosteroids (anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat asthma, arthritis, lupus, etc.) and aluminium containing antacids such as Rolaids or Di-Gel., anti-seizure drugs and overuse of thyroid hormones.
  • Hyperthyroidism, hyperparathyroidism, and certain forms of bone cancer, anorexia nervosa, scoliosis and gastrointestinal disease.
  • Malabsorption of nutrients as a result of antibiotic use
  • High Fat, high protein diet

Traditional Treatment includes:

  • Medical management, especially if you are at a high risk of getting the disorder. Doctor may prescribe hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and/or calcium. These are recommended to prevent fractures from osteoporosis if taken during or soon after the start of menopause and then on a continual basis. HRT does not rebuild bone, but it is supposed to prevent further bone loss. New research on HRT is bringing question mark on this method.
  • Surgery, such as hip replacement, if necessary.
  • Dietary and lifestyle measures.

Natural Dietary and Lifestyle Measures

Natural approaches to osteoporosis treatment are to focus on supporting the body’s dynamic, bone rebuilding process, and not on replacing the natural and healthy decline of oestrogen during menopause. To prevent or slow osteoporosis, take these steps now:

Consume a diet high in complex carbohydrate, and relatively low in fat and protein. 

If you are non-vegetarian, limit your servings of red meat to lean cuts, no more than three times per week (Red meat is very high in phosphorous, as is soda. High phosphorous intake extracts calcium from bones). To keep calcium/phosphorous levels in balance, concentrate on eating dark green, leafy vegetables.

Calcium

Plan to get enough calcium every day. If our diets were mostly whole grains, greens, beans and vegetables, our bones would be more apt to stay healthy on relatively less calcium, as long as we also exercised and got out in the sun for vitamin D. Some high calcium foods include: Milk, yogurt and cheeses. Soft-boned fish and shellfish, such as salmon with the bones, sardines and shrimp. Vegetables such as dark green, leafy vegetables, broccoli, kale, collards. Beans and bean sprouts, as well as tofu (soy bean curd, if processed with calcium). Calcium-fortified foods such as some orange juices, apple juices and ready-to-eat cereals and breads.

Vitamin C

is involved in collagen synthesis and repair and is found in Citrus fruits.

Magnesium

It is found in organically grown vegetables, whole grains, seaweed (kelp) and meats such as turkey. Over-consumption of processed food, such as refined grains or too few dark green leafy vegetables is usually the culprit in magnesium deficiency.

Boron

The minimum dose of boron needed per day is easily met with a daily diet rich in fruit, nuts and vegetables.

Beta Carotene

Vitamin A promotes a healthy intestinal epithelium and promotes strong joints, which is important for optimal absorption of nutrients. It is found in yellow and orange vegetables e.g. pumpkin, carrots, leafy vegetables and broccoli.

Exercise

The average Australian sits for 11 hours a day. This is what happens while you’re sitting:

  • Muscles deteriorate, fat loss slows and calorie burning drops to 1 calorie per minute
  • Blood flow dips, LDL and triglycerides clog your arteries and heart attack risk jumps by 125%
  • Sugar piles up in your blood, insulin skyrockets and diabetes risk shoots up by 90%.

Your body receives the signal that it’s time to shut down, so it starts preparing you for death. If we also sleep an average of 7 hours a day, that’s 18 hours of not moving. And since most of us are working those other 6 hours (or more), most of us can’t find the time to workout, burn fat, and prevent this bodily decay.
Yet, you must follow a program of regular, weight-bearing exercise at least three or four times a week. Beneficial examples include: walking, jogging, cycling, weight training, low-impact or non-impact aerobics, and anything that places weight on the bones, twenty minutes, five times per week, or thirty minutes three times per week.

Pay attention to your posture. Keep your back straight when you sit, stand and walk.

Take measures to prevent falls and injury to your bones.

Avoid

Do not smoke and limit alcohol consumption.

Smoking makes osteoporosis worse. Smokers, together with those who consume two or more alcoholic drinks daily, are at highest risk of osteoporosis. Smoking poisons the ovaries.

Avoid cola or soda and soft, fizzy drinks

These are too high in phosphate, which directly interferes with calcium absorption.

Ayurvedic Treatment for Osteoporosis

Ayurveda focuses on balancing the doshas, especially vata dosha, and ensuring that the tissues (dhatus) are free of toxcicity (ama), to enable the body’s homeostatic mechanisms more efficiently help our metabolism adjust to a natural aging process. When the body’s natural healing ability is strengthened, and causal and root imbalances in basic bodily functions are removed, the bone rebuilding process will be positively influenced.

Ayurveda recommends:

Detoxification and balancing the doshas, especially vata dosha, using Purvakarmaand Basti treatments.

The detoxification (panchakarma) treatment consists of internal oleation, namely snehana, fomentation, or bashpa swedana, lower back oil pooling, or kati basti, and a steady, thread-like stream of oil, poured on the forehead, known as shiro dhara. This is followed by an appropriate purge to remove all the offending, vitiated doshas from the body systems, then followed by basti with herbal oil to pacify vata (vata shamak or dashmoola) for the vitiated vata dosha.

Food supplements and rejuvenators such as Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus), Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Bala (Sida cordifolia), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) should be taken in the powdered form in the dose of 2-3gm daily.

Shatavari and vidari mixed in equal parts, or just shatavari taken on regular basis (1/2 tsp twice daily)
with warm milk, help to make up for oestrogen in the metabolic cycle. These herbs are food precursors of oestrogen and progesterone.

Self massage or abhyanga, using sesame oil, for vata pacification.

Ashokarishta

Ashoka bark has silica, sodium, potassium, phosphate, magnesium, iron, and calcium among others. It is used for many uterine disorders and is a good herb during the time of menopause.

Dashamularishta

Dashmoola is used for vata pacification.

These preparations should be taken after consulting an Ayurvedic consultant.

Daily chewing a handful of sesame seeds in the morning provides at least 1200 mg of natural calcium. These seeds won’t clog arteries, as dependence upon calcium from dairy products may do. One part black or white sesame seeds, half part shatavari, with ginger and raw sugar added to taste is good for the bones.

The vata pacifying diet includes warm, heavy, moist and slightly oily food that give you strength.

Frequent small meals, mildly spiced and with only a few different types of foods per meal are recommended.

– Don’t eat when you are nervous or worried.

– If possible eat with your friends/ family.

Amalaki is a rejuvenator (rasayana) for the bones, nourishing the bones, strengthening the teeth, causing hair and nails to grow. Five gm powder in one cup of water, twice a day is used as a general tonic.

Triphala can be used on regular basis as a tridoshic tonic.

Few diet/ lifestyle aspects to complement the beneficial effect of Ayurvedic Medicines:

– Consume more of calcium-rich foods such as milk and spinach, avoiding red meat at the same time.

– Nourish yourself with whole, natural foods.

– Avoid fats such as margarine and saturated fats such as cheese. Instead use ghee, butter or unsaturated fat such as sunflower and corn oils.

– Make exercise a daily routine (after consulting your doctor) to keep yourself fit

– Limit your intake of tea or coffee to a maximum of one or two cups daily, but avoid completely if possible.

– Practise yoga and meditation for calming effects and mind control. If osteoporosis has begun to develop, yoga as exercises should be done gently, with care, to overcome a real danger of breaking a bone.

– Develop a positive approach towards menopause and life in general.

– Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.

– Excess Vata (air) may also be reduced to proper levels by having regularity of routine, providing the body adequate rest, meditation and using vata pacifying essential oils.

Posted in: Ayurvedic Blog

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