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Reclaim your Life

Reclaim your Life

The most profound thing we can offer the world is our own healing.

Life is about more than work, obligations and to-do lists

Let us show you how to live a happier, richer, more fulfilling Life.

Knowing that we have all that we need to live a healthy, abundant life, at Nirvana Wellbeing Retreats, we help overwhelmed professionals transform the way they approach their well-being and self-care, helping them achieve a better work-life balance and create long-term, sustainable, healthier habits.

We work within an integrated and lifestyle natural medicine framework, where nutrition, stress management, sleep, a sense of purpose and social connections all play a part. We help you reconnect with your mind, body and natural rhythms, with simple, do-able and effective lifestyle changes. This results in you achieving more energy, better health and less stress.

Being healthier is easier than you think, when you work on the foundations for your  health, namely diet, sleep, gut health, toxicity, your mind, to name a few. These are the fundamentals. Without these in place, clinical approaches, supplements, or drugs won’t do anything sustainable. The root imbalance is still present.

It is critical to have a solid foundation if you want real results in your health. And I want you to know that it is NEVER too late to start. It is never too late to start building a stronger health foundation.

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Nirvana honours you through gentle practices such as yoga breathing and stretching, Ayurveda, Meditation and forest walks in nature, which bring you closer to the simple peace in your heart and mind, together with feeling the peace and sacredness of this ancient hilltop.

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Wishing you health, wealth (well-th) and happiness.

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Nirvana Wellbeing Retreat
Nirvana is the home for Shanti Yoga Residential Retreats offering accessible mind-body solutions which
boost the individual’s capacity to restore health. Find yourself amidst all that is serene and spiritual.
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Gandhavahasthadi Thalam

Gandhavahasthadi Thalam

Product Highlight: Gandhavahasthadi Thalam

Gandhavahasthadi Thalam is an Ayurvedic oil used for internal administration in the treatment of bloating, abdominal pain, etc. Its base is Castor oil with the roots of castor, as well as barley, ginger, cow’s milk, castor oil etc.

Herbs are infused in the medium of sesame oil, along with a herbal water decoction. Then the solid waste herbal materials are filtered out. Thus the oil contains oil soluble and water soluble photo-active principles of medicinal herbs.

This medicine should only be taken under strict medical supervision. The decision for its usage is exclusively taken by an Ayurvedic doctor. This product is not to be used for self-medication. It is best avoided in children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.


It is used in the treatment of abscess, splenic disorders, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, constipation, gastritis, Amlapitta, oedema, inflammatory conditions of the abdomen and ascites. It can even be used as basti karma, for weightloss and to relieve pain.

It is best applied before steam therapy.

In large doses, it is used in Virechana, the Panchakarma purgative therapy.


5-10 drops once or twice a day, before food, depending upon the severity of the condition, the body weight, etc. of the patient, and other factors. In low doses, it can be administered for a period of one month.

In chronic conditions, under medical supervision, for longer-term use, to be taken on alternate days.

Side Effects

In higher doses, or in cases where it is incorrectly administered, it may cause loose stools and diarrhoea. In such circumstances, change the medication to the kshayam.

It’s manufacture is referenced from Ashtangahrudayam Chikitsa sthana 15/21. Sahasrayogam.

The information provided is for the use of Ayurvedic practitioners only. If you are not an Ayurvedic practitioner, please consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before using any Ayurvedic or herbal products.

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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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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



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.



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.



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 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 <>
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 – <> <>  – <>

COVID-19 General Information (Updated Daily) – <>

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

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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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.

– 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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Narayan Taila – Make your joints smile

Narayan Taila – Make your joints smile

Shanti Gowans

As you get older, problems you don’t actively think about, actively make themselves felt whilst getting out of bed, walking up and down the stairs, playing with the dog or your grandchildren, or just dancing to enjoy yourself. These shouldn’t become problems, but as age and chronic health conditions overpower your system, they do. (more…)

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Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut

by Shanti Gowans

The most common Ayurvedic prescription in India today is a gentle but powerful herbal gut-healer called triphala. With origins dating back 6,000 years, Ayurvedic medicine’s ancient healers have understood the importance of the gut or millenea. And they are right. Most medical disorders can be traced back to your gut.

If you don’t keep your gut healthy, you could end up with a condition called ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’, which can cause many chronic diseases… serious health issues, such as celiac disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, cancer, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

Sadly, Western medicine barely recognises Leaky Gut Syndrome, even though it afflicts millions of people. A leaky gut can be the source of real discomfort. It often goes hand in hand with multiple allergies, as well as asthma, eczema, headaches, sinusitis, gas, bloating, gastroenteritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Here is how it happens:

The lining of your gut is similar to a fine net, built of just a single layer of cells. It is this barrier that keeps food in your digestive system until it can be broken down safely.

If your gut is healthy, tiny holes in the lining allow nutrients to pass through. This is how your body absorbs vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients.

The problem is, the modern world is hostile to your gut. Antibiotics, steroids and other prescription drugs wipe out the delicate gut microflora in your small intestine. These are the good guys you need to crowd out the “bad bacteria.”

Additionally, and to compound matters, making it worse, a western diet of processed starches, sugars and food additives, such as emulsifiers, feed bad bacteria and break down the integrity of these tiny intestinal holes.

When you have a leaky gut, these tiny holes become misshapen and enlarge. Large undigested food molecules, yeasts, bacteria, toxins and invading pathogens can now flow freely into your bloodstream and damage your body.

If you have allergies, it may be a sign that you have a leaky gut…

Your body treats all that “sewage” as foreign invaders. Gradually, you develop reactions to foods such as milk, cheese, nuts, grains, eggs, and more.

Now, every time you eat these foods, your body launches an immune reaction. This leads to chronic inflammation throughout your body, the root of all chronic disease. But Ayurvedic doctors know exactly how to treat a leaky gut, as well as the diseases and conditions that spring from it. The first choice of medication is a herbal remedy called ‘triphala’. It is named from two Sanskrit words that literally mean ‘three fruits’. Triphala is made by blending the dried and powdered rinds and flesh of amlaki (or Indian gooseberry), haritaki (from the terminalia tree) and bibhitaki (from the bahera tree).

This combination forms a powerful gastric healer and acts as a gentle, safe and highly effective detoxifier for the intestine, colon, blood and liver, and an ancient intervention for constipation.

It is packed with antioxidants such as gallic, ellagic and chebulinic acids, as well as flavonoids and polyphenols with potent antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antidiarrheal properties. And it is rich in vitamin C. Ayurvedic doctors prescribe it for almost everything gut related and more, from constipation and indigestion to gastroenteritis to cardiovascular disease, mental health conditions, liver and pancreatic disorders and cancer. (A study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute confirms that triphala prevents and slows the growth of pancreatic cancer tumors. Studies also confirm triphala can repair the large intestinal holes caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome. It tightens your gut wall and rebalances intestinal mucus, which is key to protecting you from further intestinal attacks).

You can buy triphala powder from Shanti Yoga Health Institute Australia, and simply prepare a soothing cup of triphala tea. Add ½ teaspoon of triphala powder into a cup of hot water. Taken on its own, it can taste very bitter. Try adding a little rice malt/maple syrup and ghee (Indian clarified butter) to the mix. Always take triphala on an empty stomach before meals or at bedtime.

Triphala can also be purchased as a supplement in tablet form or as a liquid extract.

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Daily Regime (Dinacharya)

Daily Regime (Dinacharya)

Daily Regime (Dinacharya)
By Shanti Gowans
The Vedic disciplines of Ayurveda (which means the science of life) and Yoga (which means unity), have served humanity for thousands of years.

Preserving the health of a healthy individual and treating the diseased has been the aim of Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic theory is both organic and sophisticated. It unpacks the energetic perspective of what causes imbalances and engenders disease.

Recognising the relationship of those habits which court disease is only half of the equation. Updating habits in real time is the crux and strategy of habit evolution.

According to Ayurveda, certain rituals help us maintain high energy levels and keep the body cleansed.

Dinacharya in Ayurveda plays an important role – dina means ‘day’ and charya means ‘to follow a routine.’  By combining this principle of daily routine with mindful food choices, we can improve the health of hair, skin and nails to radiate our natural outer beauty from within. In Ayurveda, the actions in a healthy daily routine, dinacaryā, are heavily weighted towards the morning cleanse and, among other things, involve giving attention to each of the five sense organs, namely, the nostrils, the tongue, the eyes, the ears and the skin. There are mysterious and scientific reasons for this. For starters, from a certain perspective, what we perceive through our senses adds up to what we know. Therefore, it behooves us to both cleanse our sense organs and refine our ability to sense.
Circadian Rhythms are daily cycles of biological activity based on a 24-hour period and influenced by regular variations in the environment, such as the alternation of night and day.

Circadian rhythms can influence sleep-wake cycles, hormone release, body temperature, and other important bodily functions. They have been linked to various sleep disorders, such as insomnia. Abnormal circadian rhythms have also been associated with obesity, diabetes, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder.

The importance of maintaining your circadian rhythms is well indicated by facts such as World Health Organisation’s recognition of night shifts as a possible cause of cancer. Research also shows how the times at which we eat contribute to the disruption of our circadian rhythms.

If we pay attention to our cycles then we see bio rhythms influence who we are. If we are in alignment with the rhythms then we experience life more deeply and with attunement. If we ignore them, we are out of step. So much of health arises from living in rhythm.

What would your life be like if you were in rhythm?

The reality is that the more we are in rhythm, the more we are in alignment, the more energy passes through us, the more vibrant, joyful, connected, vibrant and abundant we feel.

Long before any of these studies were conducted and discoveries were made, ancient sciences talked about these rhythms, about balance and synchronicity with nature, about being in alignment with oneself.

Through disciplined sleep routines, prescribed eating, cleansing, self-care practices and recommended exercise, Ayurveda and Yoga provide you with several tools to balance and restore your circadian rhythms.

The sister sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda delved into these unseen, intangible territories which open into a far “up-levelled” experience of wellbeing, and yet, they were always rooted in the very physical, daily, and practical aspects of life.

Align your sleep schedule with the Ayurvedic clock.

Wake an hour and a half before sunrise, between 4-6am, and go to bed by 10pm.

Conforming with the Ayurvedic clock can be challenging at first, especially if you are required to work later in the night. Just do the best you can, and allow yourself to ease into a new schedule. If you tend to go to bed between 12-1am, try 11:30pm, 11pm, and then 10:30pm over the duration of a few weeks or months.

The results will be amazing. You may be surprised to discover how easily the body will adjust to a new schedule once a pattern is repeated enough times, and you may be equally surprised by how much better you feel.

Your body is like a machine with its activities scheduled directly, and influenced by sunlight. However, people are able to accomplish more work late at night because of artificial lighting and flexible working hours. Unfortunately, this compromises the body’s maintenance routine and impacts your ability to properly digest food, repair cells, generate new ones and clear out toxins. The liver is most active between 10pm and 2am and requires us to be in a sleep state for optimal functioning.

Eat according to the Ayurvedic clock.

In Ayurveda, the digestive force is known as Agni. THis digestive fire is directly aligned with the sun’s daily course.

Ideally true hunger will arise between 6-8am, 10am-2pm and 5-8pm, though you may need to introduce these new mealtimes first in order to balance Agni such that hunger aligns with the universe’s clock. When Agni is weak, a person will feel hungry less frequently, or may experience hunger at less opportune times for digestion, such as late at night when the liver’s fire ignites. This is often confused as ‘time to eat’ when we are awake, instead of ‘time to detox,’ which is what should be happening.

The Ayurvedic clock is naturally expressed by your body’s needs when you create space for it with your sleeping and eating routines. Once aligned with this clock, you will find that any other schedule feels unnatural.

Compose your meals Ayurvedically

Every individual’s constitution is different when it comes to specific food choices, however, certain rules apply to everybody. Composing your meals wisely throughout the day ensures that you receive the best possible nourishment, digest food properly and fuel yourself with energy when it is most needed.

Whole, organic foods are recommended for the high quality nutrients they contain, and cooked foods are recommended for ease of digestion.

Snacking is generally ill-advised. Meals should be nutritionally dense and sized to fuel you to the next one; however, you should never ignore true hunger. When true hunger arises in-between meals, snack wisely: try dates, raisins, nuts or seeds.

Daily self massage

A regular practice of self-abhyanga, or oil massage, in conjunction with at least one monthly synchronised abhyanga therapy by a qualified Panchakarma Practitioner is recommended to nourish the skin, firm the muscles, calm the nerves, improve circulation and assist in the elimination of toxins.


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