Mindfulness: Be here!

Our lives are normally compartmentalized into separate slots for doing different things. For example, there are slots for work, entertainment, daily chores etc. and therefore most of the spiritually inclined people or the ones looking for peace in life have another slot – a slot for meditation. This book is meant for everyone, but people who have experimented with meditation without long term effects will benefit the most. I have personally meditated or tried to meditate for nearly 2 decades, but without any visible changes. Meditation was a kind of escape route or a harmless marijuana for me, which I used to run away from the practical realities of life. And I had a unconscious belief that since I am meditating, the things will happen according to me. Besides, you have a notion that if you are a good person and have done nothing wrong to anyone, good should come to you (no matter whether you do things right way or not.). For example, if I help a blind man to cross the road and expect good marks in the exams in return, I am totally blind to the truth. And the biggest favour god can do to me is to make me fail in the exam so that I am actually able to learn to study. Most of us have a preconceived idea about how things should be. And when they don’t turn the way we want, either we get angry or try to find an escape route or become oblivious of the reality. Self-victimization has been my favourite method to counter failures in life. It gives you the status of a martyr and a moral right to hate others. The bottom-line is that most of our problems are because we lose sight of the reality.

Unfortunately, in recent times, with the prevalent use of mobile phones and other electronic devices, the exposure to reality itself has become very rare. We watch a movie in which a person spends his entire life within 2 hours or so. And therefore, now the young children don’t have the patience to see the life unfold through the years. Every small obstacle in life looks like a full stop to them. No wonder we have such incredible increase in the suicide rates, esp. in the youth.

One of the poems of the famous poet – Rabindra Nath Tagore amply portrays the intentional distance that we have created from the reality. 

The poem is about a man who is engrossed in reading a poem about the beauty of the moon. Suddenly, a gush of the breeze extinguishes the lamp. The reader is able to see the real moonlight and the moon. He realizes that the beauty of the moon is beyond words. The purpose of mindfulness is to extinguish the lamp of false language that prevents us from seeing the truth.

The most important driving force for humans that makes us different and more evolved then the animals is the mind. According to modern psychology, we have 3 kinds of mental instincts or brains – the reptile brain, the emotional brain and the neo-brain.

The reptilian brain is responsible for the basic survival. It triggers the fright, fight and flight response as the very basic response to every problem, whether it is a mad dog at your heels or your boss in your office. These responses are automated and happen beyond the active control of the thinking mind. Most of the wrong decisions and reactions are triggered by this part of the brain.

Limbic or Emotional brain is mainly responsible for the learning and memory. It is the part of the brain that provides us with greater flexibility of response than the animals. It produces context for negative and positive emotions and helps us to make an decision to avoid or counter a problem before it occurs. Construction of a house, discovery of all appliances and better living conditions of human beings as compared to the animals is because of this part of the brain. It helps to make smarter choices.

Neo-brain is responsible for higher wisdom and self-enlightenment. It is the part of brain that balances and regulates the functions of both the other parts.

What is mind?

Ancient Indian perspective of the mind

I am a graduate of Ayurvedic medicine. According to Ayurveda, mind is one of the basic elements of the 9 elements that make the universe (space, energy, heat, fluid, matter, mind, soul, time and dimension). 

Ancient spiritual philosophies of India like Nyaya Darshana, Vaisheshik Darshana etc. define mind as the interface between the soul and the senses. Mind works just like the central processing unit of the computer or a calculator, which takes in the input and converts it into useful information for the user.  So, in the form of mind, we have the most powerful computer of the universe and it is supposed to have hidden magical powers!

The basis of mindfulness is untangling the language induced traps of the mind.

According to the ancient philosophies, mind is of 3 types –

Satvic (balanced, tranquil, clear) 

Rajasic (Vibrant, mobile, imbalanced)

Tamasic (dull, ignorant, oblivious)

The information or the stimuli we receive is processed by the mind. Therefore, the quality of the mind can change the processed information. For example if a beautiful woman is slighted

A satvik mind might not have any thought. It will receive the uncomplicated information and admire the beauty of the woman.

A rajasic mind might indulge in a yearning or desire for the company of the woman. It might even be envious of someone who happens to be close to her. Rajasic mind is induces attachment and possessiveness.

A tamasic mind might overlook the beauty of the woman, or indulge in base thoughts about her.

Here we see that the information is the same. However, processing of the information can significantly change the according to the kind of system processing it. For example, if you give same ingredients to the cooks belonging to different cuisines, they will handle them indifferent manner and the dishes produced can be starkly different in tastes.

These 3 minds work in the same way, producing different results from the same inputs. Some may say that the ideal state of mind is the Satvic state, when you have all the good ideas and thoughts, positivity and peace. However, the Satvic state of mind is just another blind-fold. Only it is different in colour. Consider that you are blind to the reality, and you have 3 options of the blindfolds to choose from, a white one (Satvic), a red one (rajasic) and a black one (tamasic). If you have the black blind-fold then you will hardly be able to see anything at all. You will see red things as black with the red blind-fold. White is still the best blind-fold to have as you can have a sense of white light through it. Therefore social norms and traditions focus on making the white blind-fold strong and more preferred.   However, all blind-folds serve but one purpose – to hide the light or to hide the eyes from the light.

Another perspective of the blindfold concept can be visualized in the importance of blind-folds for a eye patient. When someone under goes an eye surgery, his eyes are covered by the bandage to safe guard the delicate and immature tissue from access light. However, once the eyes are completely cured and have regained their ability to see properly, the bandage is removed as a conscious choice. It appears that these blind-folds are for the safety of the immature souls we have. Since we are not able to tolerate the whole and complete truth, these blindfolds buy us time to develop a wholesome vision.

Mindfulness can be very resourceful for mental peace as well as the metabolic balance.

Many serious disorders like hypertension, diabetes, hormonal problems, kidney disorders, dementia etc. are very closely related to stress. According to the recent researches, stress can significantly increase the rate of occurrence of almost all kinds of disorders.

Every individual has a notion of comfort and peace. This concept can be drastically different for everyone. For example a person can be comfortable with a small house and a small job, whereas other person might be quite frustrated with it. Curiously, stress is least related to physical discomfort. In fact, people like labourer who have a very physically stressful lifestyle and more financial and social insecurity are found to have less stress. Stress is caused when the personal expectations and beliefs are in contrast with the current reality. Similarly, anxiety is a result of uncertainty mixed with fear. Uncertainty can promote excitement too. However, when uncertainty points at survival crises, then anxiety is the result. 
Mindfulness helps an individual to connect with the present circumstances in an accepting manner.

Mindfulness is basically an experience beyond words. It is completely a personal experience that is defined and performed by an individual. It is as personal as a bathing or brushing routine. The end result is the same – personal hygiene. Mindfulness is rulelessness, it is going beyond the rules. Therefore there are no strict guidelines for following mindfulness. In mindfulness, we succeed by going more and more personal.

However, the procedures and guidelines in this book are meant to help the person experience mindfulness in a guided manner. He or she can choose to replicate the experience in their own way. 

The most common problem with mindfulness or any kind of meditative practice is that it is that
most people are not able to sit quietly for a long time, with their eyes closed. 
Besides, most importantly, most of them do not have time to meditate.
However, we need to understand that mindfulness is a state of mind and not of the body. If you are not able to sit in a particular posture for meditation, it is fine. In mindfulness, we need to learn to tune our mind to a certain peaceful frequency which can be done even while running! A certain physical posture is just a stepping stone for developing the mindful mental state. Here we can explore some guidelines that can help us to incorporate mindfulness in our daily practices and chores. Normally trash thoughts enter the mind only when your mind is not productively employed. It can be while chopping the vegetables, dusting the floor, or watering the flowers. Not much intellectual exertion is required while doing all these mundane everyday chores. So our mind shuts off the awareness to the present and starts to ruminate on unresolved thoughts, worries, emotional hurts, anger or regrets about past or worries about the future. We are told that we should not think negative thoughts. However, darkness cannot be dispelled without lighting a lamp. So darkness needs to be replaced and not subdued. Similarly, negative thoughts can be replaced by positive thoughts. However there is one problem with this approach. Every positive thought is a small part of a complete thought cycle. It is one side of a coin. On the other side, it has a equivalent negative thought. For example, suppose I want to work on a project and I start with a very positive imagination and attitude that I am going to succeed. However, my approach towards the work is inappropriate. In this case, my false positivity and hope keeps dragging me in the same wrong direction. Only a failure can make me see the fault in my approach. But the real problem lies here. When I fail after maintaining an absolutely positive attitude, it is like failing from a steep cliff. I completely break the backbone of my confidence and self-esteem. There is a huge possibility that I can decide to quit permanently. 

Another side of the picture is the cautious and potentially negative attitude. I decide that I might fail and still push myself to try a work since I should be trying it. Since I have a notion of a potential failure deeply engrained in my mind, I might unconsciously put a lot of efforts in preparing for failure. I might not take a moderate and crucial risk, might miss a great opportunity since my orientation is to avoid failure and not to succeed. This is the other side of the positive attitude. With this attitude, there is a huge possibility that I will fail, or I will make a safe exit before I fail. 

The essential point is that any orientation makes us blind to the Stark present reality. It works like a hallucination and helps to keep telling anxiety, fear or anger trigger under control. It especially works for people with strong past impressions, either of success or failure. Successful people might get over-confident and failed people might be negative. It is like choosing between a white blindfold and a black one. Mindfulness is about choosing not to blindfold you own eyes.

Mindfulness is staying in stark reality, without hope or fear about the results of our actions. For example, in the first case, if I just doing the work without being obsessed with any approach or belief, I will be able to clearly see the problem with my approach. Probably I will be able to correct it without experiencing a proper failure. I might not fail at all and eventually succeed. It is often observed that the beginners have a better problem solving approach since they are more creative and open-minded and acceptability towards the immediate present reality. 

If we consider the other negative situation, it will not occur in the first place. Because when a person is completely present in the present, focusing on the task at hand, there will be no space to ruminate on negative thoughts. But, it easier said than done for the beginners. 
When I started with mindfulness, I had a massive flow of negative thoughts. They would subside for few days and then get back at me. But it is important to realize that   when you are in the middle of dangerous waters, you have to keep swimming. You just can’t quit. So I kept on reading books, blogs etc., listening and watching videos on mindfulness. Constant exposure to good company in any form is important. Since most of us who need mindfulness might not have good company all the time, it makes sense to have other resources like books, online audiobook or videos on positivity and mindfulness. 
Sometimes, the negative thoughts might increase. It might look like a failure of mindfulness approach, but it is otherwise. Thoughts knotted up in the corners of your mind start emerging and flooding your consciousness like never before. It is a process to resolve past experiences. They will come to the consciousness and if you find them useless, they will be trashed. This happens more if you have freed your mind from the current thoughts. Therefore many people start remembering past painful and unresolved experiences when they start meditating. So if you start feeling the same, thumbs up! You are doing it right.

Mindfulness can be practiced every moment of our lives. But we can start with some specific daily chores that most of us do every-day and practice mindfulness in specific steps. After few months, the desired state of mindfulness becomes habitual. 

This helps me to understand why most of the religions have a prayer for each event of the day – daybreak, meal times, before bed prayers etc. These are small verbal reminders for ensuring positivity and mindfulness in the current moment. Inspired by this concept, I have come up with following personal mindfulness rituals that help me to continue my baby-steps towards higher consciousness. Hope that they help you too. 

The mindfulness topics detailed in this blog series are –

No time for meditation

Cooking mindfulness

Eating mindfulness

Sleeping mindfulness

Walking mindfulness

Driving mindfulness

Cleaning mindfulness

Fear and mindfulness

Even the small things happening in life are very meaningful. These stories and interpretations about the common chores of life will help you appreciate the help beauty of small things in life.

If we learn to enjoy small things in life, we will not be happy in certain specific circumstances, but in every moment of our lives.

How to control vomiting with Ayurvedic home remedies

Vomiting is a common problem faced by people suffering from motion sickness. However, vomiting is good. It is natural protective mechanism of the body, which helps to protect it from unknown and undesirable foreign object entering through the oral cavity. Howvere, uncontrolled vomiting or vomiting caused to due to an underlying disorder like stomach pain etc. should be controlled immediately. Uncontrolled vomiting can be very dangerous. It can even lead to death by physiological shock if it is not controlled.

In Ayurveda, vomiting is called “vaman” or “chardi”. It has many other sanskri names apart from these 2 main synonyms.

Causes of vomiting  according to Ayurveda

Dietary causes

  • Excessive consumption of extremely liquid and oily food
  • Consumption of food that you despise
  • Excessive consumption of salty food
  • Over-eating
  • Irregular meal time
  • Intake of poisonous or undesirable food
  • Eating food while suffering from indigestion

Lifestyle related causes

  • Eating food at a very fast pace
  • Excessive manual labor ( beyond your natural capacity)
  • Exercise immediately after eating

Mental causes

  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Anxiety

Other reasons

  • Intestinal worms
  • Pregnancy
  • Excessive pressure on the stomach after a meal
  • Motion sickness

For the benefit of the user, we will discuss a very wide range of Ayurvedic remedies for vomiting in this article. Some of them might suit you better than the others according to your prakrati. Therefore, we suggest that you either consult an Ayurvedic physician for your best remedy, or check your prakrati and follow the remedies accordingly.

Sutra for finding the best remedy

Many people try taking herbal remedies but most of the time, the herbal remedies don’t work. This is for the reason that a particular herbal remedy is not suitable for their body type. Let us take the example of auto-parts to understand this concept better. If you are a Toyota, the parts of a ford car won’t fit you, even when both Toyota and ford are cars. Smilarly, one herbal remedy might not fit you, whereas it might give excellent results for someone else. Here the Ayurvedic concept of prakrati becomes extremely important. We, as human beings, are completely distinct from one another and Ayurveda respects this fact.

How to Find YOUR Best Herbal Remedy

According to Body Type

Vata prakrati – warm, hot, moist or oily herbs like ginger, garlic, clove etc. work very well for all vata disorders. Even if the remedy suggest to take anything with normal water , you can try to take it with warm water if you have a vata prakrati.

Pitta prakrati – cool, refreshing, and aromatic  herbs work the best for pitta dosha, for example coriander etc.

Kapha prakrati – most of the herbs that work for vata might work for kapha prakrati people as well. hot/warm, dry, light to digest herbs are very good for kapha, as kapha is heavy, oily and cold in temperament.

In case, you are confused about which remedy is best for you, please consult your Ayurveda physician.

General Treatment policy for vomiting (chardi) in Ayurveda

Vomiting is a sign of aggravated kapha dosha in the body. Kapha signifies heaviness and stiffness in the body. Therefore, fasting is one of the primary line of treatment for all kinds of vomiting. It is one of the safest and most effective treatment. However, it is important to consider the general health of the pateinet while observing a fast.

  • If the patient of vomiting is very weak, traumatied, or is a child, elderly or a pregnant woman, only mild fasting is recommended. Therefore, it is imperative to be judicious while chosing fasting as the first treatment.
  • Also if you have a vata prakrati, you should avoid a complete fasting. You should opt for mild fasting with warm grain-less diet, like rajgira kheer, aloo recipes etc.
  • If you are a pitta prakrati person with hyperacidity, you should opt for a mild grain-less fasting with milk, kheer, squash, fruits, salads etc.
  • If you are a kapha prakrati person, you should go for a complete fast, or fast on vegetable soups.
  • If followed properly, fasting is a method that can completely cure fasting. For chronic prblems of fasting, you should try intermitant fasting. Here hindu religious feasivals like ekapdeshi become very instrumental in maintaining the health of a person and in effective prevention of vomiting.

Dietary and Lifestyle recommendations for prevention of vomiting

  • Regular meal time
  • Intake of light, and easy to digest food, no overeating
  • Peaceful and happy mindset while eating
  • No consumption of water immediately before, during or immediately after a meal (you can consue digestive liquids like buttermilk, jaljira etc., in small amount,  during  a meal)
  • Avoidance of sleep immediately after a meal
  • Avoidance of Excessive exercise after a heavy meal
  • Avoidance of sleeping during the transition periods of sun – dawn and dusk
  • Avoidance of large meals/ excessive fluid intake before a long journey by road. 

How to stop a vomiting instantly

Having said all the above points , we have to acknowledge the urgent and immediate need to stop vomiting sometimes following remedies might help to relieve vomiting instantly. If you suffer from bouts of motion sickness, then you can prepare and store many of the herbal remedies for instant use.

Ayurvedic anti-vomiting remedies

Remedy No.1

Roast 5-6 green cardamoms. Grind and mix them in 11 mg of  Mayurpiccha bhasma. This bhasma is available in the market as a Ayurvedic medicine. You can make a larger maount in the same proportion and store it for instant use.

When facing  a vomiting attack, add a little raw honey to 1 gm of the stored powder and lick. This is a very good remedy for vomiting. It is suitable for all prakrati people. However, it is esp. beneficial for pitta prakrati.

Remedy No.2

Chew mint leaves when you start to feel nauseaous. This will help to prevent vomiitn g induced by motion sickness.

Remedy No.3

Burn the coconut shell and collect the ash. Mix ground rock sugar (mishri) in the ash and store for instant use.

If you feel nauseated, add this powder in small amount of water and sip. This remedy is good for all prakrati.

Remedy No.4

Roast 5-6 green cardamom and 10 gm of saunf (fennel). Add 10 gm of rock sugar, grind the entire mixture and store for instant use. If you are not very fond off sweet things, you can also use black salt in place of rock sugar. 

Lick the powder whne you are feeling nauseated.

Remedy No.5

Keep small pieces of raw mango/ lemon/pomegranate/ puffed rice/ new leaves of mango tree/ sour ber (blackberry)/ khus (vetiver) powder in a box while you are traveling. If you are prone to motion sickness, lick anyone of these once in few minutes. This will prevent the nausea from building up.

Remedy No.6

Suck ice. This remedy is best for pitta prakrati people. Ice helps to numb the sensations in the oral cavity and helps to prevent the feeling of nausea.

Remedy No.7

Keep a small piece of kapur (camphor) and smell during a long road journey. This is will help to prevent the feeling of nausea for all prakrati people.

Remedy No.8

Mix 1 gm saidha namak(rock salt) in 10 gm ghee(Similar proportion should be used for a larger amount of this preparation.) and store in a container.

Lick small amount of this mixture whenever you feel nauseated. This remedy works very well for vata dominant people.

Remedy No.9

Add 1 gm black salt in 10 gm munnaka (black currant). Grind this misture to make a smooth paste. Make small (1 cm diameter) balls from this mixture. Store it for instant use in vomiting.

Consume 1 ball every 15-20 min to prevent the feeling of nausea. This remedy is good for all prakrati people.

All the above remedies are safe to use and easy to prepare. They have a great preventive as well as curative effect. However, the most important factor that control all disorders, including vomiting should be monitored for effective prevention and cure.

Mental Control of Vomiting

Practice of constant mindfulness can help an individual to be calm and peaceful. A stress free mind can control all the body functions, even vomiting. For example, a person who is watching a very engaging movie during a long road journey,might not suffer from motion sickness at all, even if he prone to it. Mind has such a powerful effect over the human metabolism that all disorders can be cured by controlling the mind only.

Therefore, if you suffer from motion sickness, nausea or chrnic vomiting due to any other reason, please try meditation. It might do wonders to you!

We hope that this blog helped you with some useful information about vomiting. If you feel happy with the blog, please do pass it on to anyone in need!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Indigestion – Ayurvedic remedies for the mother of all disorders!

Indigestion is the most commom of all disorders today. It is so common that people don’t even take it to be a disorder. However, ancients considered indigestion to be the first sign of disturbed doshas in the body.

According to Ayurveda, Agni or digestion is the lord of health. If digestion is proper, you will never get any disease, no matter what you eat and where you stay. But if your digestion is disturbed, then no medicine can help you unless it is corrected.

Digestion is considered to be the doorway in side the human body. Digestion decides what nutrients will be absorbed, how and how much. The same is applicable for toxins.

In Ayurveda , indigestion is called ajirna. This term consists of 2 words in union – a (negative suffix ) + jaran base word  (to digest). Therefore indigestion is basically slowing down of the digestive fire in the Annavaha strotas (alimentary canal).  

Agni or digestion is the Prana rakshak or protector of the life in human body. There are 13 types of agnis in the human body. These agnis refer to different systems of transformational processes in the body, for example transformation of the absorbed nutrient in to body fluid, or transformation of meda dhatu (fat tissue) in to bones(asthi tissue).

However, indigestion or ajirna refers to slowing down of the main agni – jatharagni. Jathar is a term used for stomach as well as parts of alimentary canal where the digestive process takes place. Therefore jatharagni means the agni or the transformative fire that rules the alimentary canal. This fire is the main gate in to the human body. Everything has to pass through this fire in order to get inside the body. Thus the good things are allowed in and the bad things are burnt down and excreted. However, when this fire is not strong, any and everything can pass through this fire and get inside the body.

For this reason, indigestion is considered to be the root cause of all disorders according to Ayurveda.

Causes of Indigestion

Following dietary and lifestyle malpractices can lead to indigestion

  • Virrudh aahar – consumption of food with contrasting properties, for example consumption of equal amount of ghee and honey is considered to be poisonous.
  • Adhyashana – consumption of food when the previous meal is not properly digested
  • Ajirnashana – consumption of food even when suffering from indigestion (ideally one should fast and let the digestive system cleanse itself, when suffering from indigestion).
  • Guru aahar – consumption of heavy and difficult to digest food, for example too much bread or food products made from maida (fine wheat flour)
  • Apakvaahar – eating under-cooked food
  • Vata vitiating products – alcohol, excessively dry food
  • Kapha vitiating food – very oily, heavy food, too much of dairy products, chilled food, junk food, sleeping in the day time
  • Pitta vitiating factors – extremely hot, sour, too much fluid  
  • Other factors – intake of stale food, forceful control of natural urges 

If the above mentioned factors are avoided, you will never suffer from indigestion. However, because of the haphazard lifestyle, we are unable to avoid all the indigestion causing factors. So let’s look at some of the easy Ayurvedic home remedies that can help you prevent as well as cure indigestion.

Home Remedies for Indigestion

Ayurvedic remedy no. 1

If you have a feeling of indigestion after waking up in the morning, try this Ayurvedic remedy –

  • Harad churna (termenalia chebula powder) – 3 gm
  • Saunth (dried ginger powder) – 2 gm
  • Saidha namak (rock salt) – 1 gm

Mix all the above ingredients and consume with normal water after waking up. After that avoid eating anything till the time you feel really hungry.

Ayurvedic remedy no. 2

Mix the following ingredients in the given proportion and consume with normal water every 3 hours till the time you feel some relief in constipation.

  • Pippali churna (long pepper powder) – 3 gm
  • Vacha churna(acorum calamus powder) – 5 gm
  • Saindha namak (rock salt) – 1 gm

Both the above remedies will help you to digest the undigested toxins in the alimentary canal and help to relieve any constipation caused due to indigestion.

Ayurvedic remedy no. 3

Mix the following ingredients in the given proportion and boil them in 1 lit water. Continue to boil till the time only 50% of the water remains.

  • Dhaniya churna (dried coriander seeds powder) – 15 gm
  • Saunth ( dried ginger powder) – 15 gm

This remedy will help you to rekindle the lost hunger and clear the intestines of undesirable matter. It will also help to purify the blood and reduce inflammation and pain if any.

Ayurvedic remedy no. 4

If you feel constant heaviness in the stomach region, take a small strip of ginger, apply a pinch of saidha namak (rock salt) on it and suck it for some time.

Try this remedy 3-4 times in a day. Mild indigestion easily gets treated by only this remedy. Ginger flake produces a very strong digestive juice, which when combined with the salt, acts as a melting fire for the undesirable elemnets in the intestines.

Ayurvedic remedy no. 5

Mix the following ingredients in the given proportion and consume in case of severe indigestion

  • Pippali churna (long pepper powder) – 5 gm
  • Harad churna (termenalia chebula powder) – 5 gm
  • Saunth ( dried ginger powder) – 5 gm
  • Saindha namak (rock salt) – 1 gm

This remedy helps to drain the excess mucus from the internal linings of the intestines and promote excretion of the fecal matter. Fecal matter also contributes in heat generation in the body. Once the fecal matter is properly excreted, digestion of the food is the only way to retain body heat. Therefore, this remedy induces the need for hunger and food in the body natutally.

Apart from the above Ayurvedic remedies, some lifestyle changes can help to prevent as well as permanently cure indigestion.

Lifestyle Changes for Indigestion

  • avoid sleeping during the daytime. Sleeping during the day time is advisable only in summer. Otherwise, sleeping in daytime or immediately after a meal reduces the rate of digestion and thus cause indigestion.
  • try to have meals at a proper time. It helps the body’s bioclock to be prepared for the food. This routine leads to better digestion and thus a perfect health.
  • exercise once a day for at least 5-10 min. exercise helps to increase the rate of metabolism and thus the rate of digestion too.
  • Ayurvedic body massage is a great option to prevent various disorders, including indigestion. Massage with warm oil is esp beneficial to vata and kapha prakrati people suffering from  indigestion.    
  • reduce or completely avoid drinking too much water before, during or immediately after a meal. This reduces the optimal temperature required for good digestion and thus results in under-digested toxins.

These are few lifestyle recommendations in order to avoid indigestion.

On the mental plane, one should try to avoid stress, anger, hatred and other strong negative emotions as these emotions derails the hormonal system. They also affect the digestion severely. Therefore, a happy and peaceful mind is the ultimate prevention for all disorders, including indigestion.

Mind can completely control the body. It can prevent binge eating, improper meals and compulsive eating behavior also. Therefore, I seriously recommend meditation to train the mind.

Heartfulness meditation

Satvavjaya – mindfulness

Hope you benefit from this information. We will be back soon with more interesting and informative topics, useful in daily health maintenance.

Let’s get hungry! Ayurvedic remedies for Aruchi (Anorexia )

Ayurvedic treatment is not same for all people with same disease. For example, different variety of cloth absorbs different amount of the same dye and produce different shades of the same colour. In the same way, same treatment will have different effects on diffeeren individuals. This is the reason  why Ayurveda treatment is always personalized.

Ayurveda treatment is based on following factors. Even if you are looking for some home remedies, you should first consider the following points. Otherwise, there is only the luck factor that can help you get cured by a home remedy.

Prakrati

The first factor is prakrati. Prakrati is the body type that is distinct for each and every individual. Based on the 3 dosha, you can broadly have 3 tpyes of body types or prakrati – vata dominant, pitta dominant or kapha dominant. There are combination prakrati types as well. however that level of information is better applied by a qualified ayurvedic physician only.

There are many online tests for finding out your prakrati. Once you know your prakrati, you will have a fair idea what you have to treat!

Type of disorder

As mentioned in the earlier blog, you can find the type of aruchi you have , depending on the kind of symptoms that you exhibit. There can a confusing combination of symptoms sometimes. In that case, it is better to consult a qualified Ayurveda physician.

Physical strength

This is an important factor because it shows the length of lease that you have to experiment with the herbal remedies. If you are very healthy and otherwise physically strong, you can try the following herbal remedies. However, if you have a chronic anorexia , with a very weak body, it is time for you to visit hospital.

Ayurvedic remedies for aruchi

Having said all this, now we present you some of the most easily implementable and classical Ayurvedic remedies that can be safely practiced at home.

Mental plane

According to Ayurveda, mind is the harbor for all kinds of disorders. It is esp. important to target mental state in case of aruchi. A person suffering from anorexia must ensure peaceful and cheerful environment around him. He should try to get rid of stress, anxiety, fear and any other negative emotions that he might be suffering from.

Psychotherapy and individual counselling also can be very helpful in elimination of anorexia. In fact, there is enough evidence to believe that many people suffering from severe aruchi can be treated solely by effective psychotherapy.

Force feeding or compelling patient to eat something by being angry with him, shouting at him or scaring him will have severely debilitating effects in future. This is a condition very commonly seen in young children. Children force-fed in their early years have a huge tendency to develop bhaktadvesha (aversion to food) in their later years.

Physical plane

Shodhana chikitsa or detox treatment is the best option to initiate Ayurvedic treatment for aruchi. Now shodhana chikitsa or Ayurvedic detox treatment normally implies complicated and time taking procedures like panchkarma.

Fasting

The simplest method of detox in Ayurveda is fasting. Fasting helps to release the alimentary canal ,from the daily work-load of digestion for some time. This break helps the body to repair and rejuvenate the digestive system. In this time, the digestive system might be able to clear the excess mucus (as in the case of kaphaj aruchi), or pacify inflammation in the body (in pittaj aruchi) or relieve pain in the body (as in the case of vataj aruchi).

Fasting is a method that does not require anything. It is also the safest of all detox methods. In case of aruchi, there can be different kinds of fasting according to the body type, body strength and intensity of the disorder. Now vataj (vata dominated) aruchi can severely aggravate if hunger is curbed forcefully. In fact fasting should be done only till the extent it is able to stimulate natural hunger and desire to eat something, and not cause any side effects.

With the help of simple no food fasting, this aim can be achieved very easily in the case of temporary aruchi. However, in more complicated forms of aruchi, it can be dangerous to rely only on fasting. It is required to consult a qualified Ayurveda physician for advice in such cases.

Water Detox

Water detox is another very fast, easily available and safe method of detox for aruchi. Both fasting and the water detox can be clubbed together to achieve the desired results in a short time. Fasting will relax the digestive system and water will be able to rapidly facilitate the flushing away of the undesirable material from the alimentary canal.

It is important to note that water should be used in different ways for diferent kinds of aruchi. For vataj aruchi, water boiled with guduchi and saunth will be very beneficial. For pittaj aruchi, a combnation of green cardamom and turmeric boiled in water, will work wonders. For kaphaj aruchi, warm water consumed with a pinch of back salt will help to take apart the sticky phlegm, stuck in different channels of the alimentary canal.  

Once the digestive channel is free from toxins and impurities (ama), it becomes easier to cure aruchi. Sometimes aruchi gets cured naturally if the overall system is given a holiday by fasting.

Oral Cleansing

Mouth pulling with medicated herbal decoctions or oils (example – Irimedadi oil) can be very helpful. Sometimes aruchi is induced by the excess mucus in the sinus or cavities in the mouth. If the mouth feels free of excess layer of mucus, we have cleared the first step of aruchi.

Proper tongue cleaning by the use of a metal strip is considered to be very beneficial. Mucus layer deposited on top of the tongue reduce the efficiency of the taste buds and destroys the taste stimulation. When the mouth, tongue and eso-phyreageal cavity is clean, patients experience significant relief in almost 30-40% cases of aruchi.

Digestives as Food

After initial fasting, the patient is given appetizers and different types digestive foods to remove the effect of ama (undigested toxic food in the alimentary canal) from the body. These digestives provide immediate energy to the body starved during fasting. They also help the boost the rate of metabolism, which in turns help to stimulate the hunger.   

These digestives are esp in the way that they are extremely light to digest. They do not burden a tired digestive system. Instead they act like ghee in the fire. Some of the simple digestives that can be used in aruchi are given below with recipes. They can be made easily at home.

  • Mukhshodahna Leh ( mouth cleansing sauce)
  1. Roasted white jeera (cumin) : 50 gm
  2. Ginger powder : 10 gm
  3. Black pepper powder: 10 gm
  4. Roasted normal cumin: 50 gm
  5. black salt: 10 gm
  6. Currant (kishmish): 50 gm
  7. Mint leaves: 5-6 leaves
  8. Long pepper: 10 gm
  9. Tamarind juice : 10 ml

Take all the ingredient in the given amount and grind them to a fine paste. Add 100 gm ground sugar to the mixture. You change the quantity of sugar in this preparation. You can also make small balls of this mixture and use them as and when necessary. 

This remedy is helpful for all kinds of aruchi.

  • Nimbu pani (Ayurvedic lemonade)

Take a glassfull of water and add 1 tsp of sugar and 5-6 drops of fresh lemon juice. Add a pinch each of powdered clove and black pepper. Stir the liquid till all the ingredients are well dissolved. 

This remedy is esp. very helpful in kaphaj aruchi. It also works well in vataj aruchi. However, you should try to consume a preparation that is at a normal temperature and not chilled. Chilled products can severly aggravate vata and kapha aruchi.   

You must avoid this remedy in case of pittaj aruchi, as lemon is said to have a hot temperament. It  can aggravate pittaj symptoms like inflammation, acidity etc.

  • Ayurvedic Buttermilk

Take 100 gm of buttermilk derived from a desi A2 type cow.

Mix the following ingerdients, each 10 gm in weight and grind them into a fine powder

  1. Roasted sarso (mustard seeds)
  2. Roasted jeera (cumin seeds)
  3. Roasted hing (asafoetida)
  4. Saunth (dried ginger powder)
  5. Rock salt (saidha namak)

Add all of this mixture in the buttermilk and mix well. 

This preparation is good for all kinds of aruchi. Please make sure that you do not consume this preparation in the chilled form.

In this blog we have covered some of the basic remedies for different kinds of aruchi. These basic preparations can help you to effectively avoid and cure all kinds of aruchi or anorexia in their primary stage. However, it is best to consult your physician before implementing any of the above remedies.

Hope this information helps all the people in need. We will see you with more easy to use Ayurveda information in the next blog.

Have you lost your hunger? Understanding Anorexia(aruchi) through Ayurveda

Anorexia is a common problems now-a-days esp. in young women and kids. It is as dangerous as obesity itself, only it is on the opposite side of the spectrum. In developed countries like US, Canada, France etc, anorexia is one of the main disorders in adolescent girls.

India is known more for mal-nutrition in children. But recently, the rate of anorexia has increased significantly in Indian children and adults. Let’s lt see what Ayurveda has to say about anorexia.

Anorexia is not a new disorder. It has been mentioned and amply documented in all central Ayurvedic text like Charak Samhita, Sushrut Samhita, Ashtang Hridaya etc. some 5000 years ago by the name of aruchi. Anorexia is as several names and varieties according to Ayurveda. Each name has a different meaning that points at a different dimension or type of anorexia.

Aruchi/Arochaka

One of the names of anorexia is “aruchi” in Ayurveda.  It is made by adding “a” suffix ((meaning – no) to the main words “ruchi” (meaning – interest). Therefore aruchi means lack of interest. This word is also used as a general Sanskrit and Hindi words. However, in Ayurveda, it denotes to having no interest to eat.

In aruchi, the person experiences hunger. However, even if the person is hungry and there is delicious food in front of him, he feels no interest towards the food. Now one can face mild aruchi every now and then. It can be becuaes of over-eating or some other digestive disorder. The condition produced due to oer-eating is temporary and gets cured naturally, if we allow a break to the stomach. Fasting is a natural and the most effective way to prevent aruchi.

If aruchi happens because of some other disorder, for example fever or jaundice, it is cured as the base disorder gets cured. The above 2 types of aruchi are not dangerous and are self-healing most of the time.

Bhaktadvesha

However, there is a severe form  of aruchi called “bhaktadvesha”. This is the condition that resembles closely with anorexia. The terms is a made with the union of 2 words – bhakta (feeding, food, to eat) + dvesha(hatred, disgust). In this condition, any exposure to food can induce a feeling of disgust in the afflicted individual.

This condition can have different manifestation in different individuals. However, common symptom is a intense feeling of disgust when –

  • talked to about food
  • thinking about food
  • seeing food
  • touching food
  • smelling food

This intense feeling of disgust can also induce nausea in a person. Such is a patient is completely averse to food. Ayurveda suggest both medicinal as well as psychological treatment for such a patient.

Annanabhinandan

This term means “food not welcomed” (anna- food/grains, anabhinandan- not welcome). Mind is primary essense that runs the body. It is the interface between the soul and the world. Ayurveda seriously advocates to have a happy and peaceful mind while taking a meal. The mind set in which the food is consumed decides the effect that the food might  have on the body.

This type of anorexia is defined primarily by the mental state of an individual. This condition occurs in following conditions –

  • When the individual is extremely angry
  • When he is terribly scared
  • When he is extremely sad (depression)
  • When full of hatred
  • Due to some mental disorder like hallucinations, bi-polar disorder, psycosis etc.

Types of Aruchi

According to Ayurveda, there are 2 dimensions where the diseases can take roots in the body –  physical and mental. Same goes for aruchi.

Physical Reasons

On the physical plane, aruchi can develop primarily because of the misbalance of the 3 dosha. Dosha  are the metabolic systems of the body that govern the functioning of the body. They are different in their properties and actions, for example vata is cold and dry, whereas pitta is hot and clear and kapha is cold and unctuous. They have multiple other contradictory properties which help them to balance each other. However, when one of the dosha gets the better of the others, it can cause imbalance in the natural system of the body and produce disorders.

In this way, aruchi can also be of 4 types

  • Vataj – caused by increased vata
  • Pittaj – caused by increased pitta 
  • Kapha – caused by increased kapha
  • Sannipataja – caused by increase in all the 3 dosha

Aruchi is mostly caused by a combined imbalance of vata and kapha. These 2 dosha are always involved, even if in small degree, in an aruchi.

Mental Reasons

Ayurveda says that emotions, feelings and prejudices can severely affect a person. According to Ayurveda, negative feelings like  misery, fear, excessive greed, anger can disrupt the normal physiology of the body and produce hatred towards the food.

Toddlers and little children also might face anorexia even if their body dosha are completely intact. This condition is mainly induced by the fear, anger and hatred that a child feels when fed forcefully. Therefore , force-feeding is one of the main triggers of anorexia in kids at a later age.

How to know what type of anorexia you have?

Each type of aruchi has a different defining symptom based on its causal factors. Sometimes, you might see mixed symptoms if more than one dosha or one causal factor is involved.

Vataj aruchi

Following are the primary symptoms of a vata induced aruchi

  • Persistent astringent taste in the mouth of the patient. Astrengent taste (Kashaya rasa) is a indication of increased vata dosha. Also this taste reduces sensation of the taste buds and dulls the tasting process.
  • Sour taste in the mouth.
  • Pain in the chest region. This can be because of intestinal  gas or muscular spasm induced by vata.

Pittaj aruchi

The defining symptoms of a pittaj aruchi are –

  • Constant sour or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Oral inflammation
  • Burnt Foul smell
  • Inflammation in the chest region
  • Persistent thirst

Kaphaj aruchi

The most prominent features of a kaphaj aruchi are –

  • Either salty or sweet taste in the mouth on an enduring basis
  • Excess mucus in the mouth
  • Foul smell
  • Numbness in the body parts
  • Heaviness in the body
  • Excessive slimy secretions on the skin like sweat, sebum etc.
  • Pain in swallowing the food

We hope that this information helps the ones in need. In the next blog, we will focus on the dosha related treatment of aruchi based on Ayurvedic herbs and procedures.

Let’s get hungry! Ayurvedic remedies for Aruchi (Anorexia )

Best Foods in Ayurveda

Food is the most elaborate topic in almost all classical text of Ayurveda.
According to sage Atreya beneficial food is the only factor in the reinforcement of health and harmful food reinforces only diseases. Unfortunately today people eat whatever they want and whenever they want to. No wonder that they fall sick and have to undergo a recurrent treatment. Even a machine crashes if exposed to frequent repairs; our body is much more delicate than that. Therefore prevention is the only way towards a long and healthy life.

Food is classified in many ways in Ayurveda. According to Charaka Samhita food is mainly of two types of Sthavara and Jangam. The word Sthavara means stable. Sthavara food is detonated to plants and other immobile things. The word Jangam refers to highly mobile animals.

Ayurveda classifies food into four types according to its usage –

  • Paan (drinkable)
  • Aashan (soft,edible food like rice)
  • Bhakshya (hard and chewy food like meat)
  • Lehya (semi-solid like chutney)

Ayurveda classifies all the edible food material primary into two parts: medicinal Herbs and edible stuff.

Charak Samhita further divides food into following classifications.

  • Suka Dhanya (wheat, rice, etc.)
  • Shami Dhanya (pulses)
  • Mans Varg (meat)
  • Shaak Varg (vegetables)
  • Phala Varg (fruits)
  • Harit Varg (herbs)
  • Madya Varg (alcohol)
  • Jal Varg (water)
  • Goras Varg (milk)
  • Ikshu Varg (sweeteners)
  • Krittaan Varg (prepared/cooked with a combination of different ingredients, example porridge, bread, soup, etc.)
  • Aahar Upyogi Varg (useful for food preparations)

Thanks to nature, we have a massive variety of food items to choose from.

Ideally, the food should change according to the Prakriti, time of the day health status of the individual. However, some food items can be consumed every day by the people of all Prakriti without any harmful effect. These food products are beneficial even for disease people. However, it is essential to always go by the advice of your physician.

Food that should be used every day 

  • Rice
  • Moong Dal (Green gram)
  • Crystalized rock salt (Saindhava lavana)
  • Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
  • Jowar (Sorghum or white millet)
  • Evaporated and condensed water(pure water)
  • Milk
  • Ghee
  • Meat of land animals found in plains or forests
  • Honey
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

All these food items are easily digested with minimum production of toxins and contribute to the fueling of digestive fire. Like the way oiled, dry wood that catches fire instantaneously and burns without smoke, giving the vital heat and light to the surrounding; similarly these foods provide adequate ABSORBABLE nutrition to the body, without creating any friction in the normal metabolism. This means that the body doesn’t have to fight with them for nutrition. They are like willing friends, ready to share the good things. Also check Concept of Nutrition In Ayurveda  

However, it is important to know the right way of cooking, proper combinations and appropriate amount of eating the best of the foods. If the above factors are not proper, even the best food will ruin the health. In the coming blogs, we will also discuss the proper method of cooking and consumption of above edibles. 

  • Rakta Shali is the finest in rice.
  • Among pulses, Mung Dal causes the least dryness.
  • Distilled water is most potable in drinkables.
  • Saindhava Lavana is most fitting among salts.
  • Jivanti is best in leafy vegetables.
  • Cow ghee is matchless in Ghee category.
  • Cow milk is the healthiest of all kinds of milk.
  • Sesame oil is the most preferred among oils.
  • Ginger is the best among roots.
  • Black currant is the best among fruits
  • Natural brown sugar candy is the best among sugarcane/sweet products.

Some of important links are –

Food that should be consumed in small quantities
Food that should be consumed today rarely
Food that should not be consumed
Causes of constipation

Another important factor is the quality of food. Now if the above food items are genetically modified(GMO) and strewn with pesticides and insecticides, they will not be healthy at all. In that case, it is far healthier to eat organic oats than inorganic rice. For more information, please check Toxic Food According to Ayurveda

Food affects not only the body but also the mind. Food procured with hard earned money, through fair means is satvic or pious. It bring nutrition to the body and peace to the mind.

Ayurveda says that food also has a soul and corruption in food production, hoarding or profiteering taints the soul of the food. Such food can bring no peace or health! The one who consumes it contributes to the evil. Such activity is called Pragya Aparadha (crime against wisdom) in Ayurveda. It is crucial to be aware that Ayurveda considers Pragya Aparadh, or crime against wisdom to be the first cause of any disorder. So, let’s ensure whatever food we eat is grown organically and procured at a fair price.

Another factor to Pragya Aparadha is righteous consumption of meat. Having described the best of the non-vegetarian food, I would like to stress that what is beneficial for all is profitable for all. Today we have more population of human beings than any of the animals.

Most of us are aware of the terrible conditions meat producing animals are reared in. They are treated with antibiotics and hormones to increase the amount of meat in their body. Anyone who eats meat procured from such animals, consciously or unconsciously, is commits Pragya Aparadha. He/she is liable to fall sick in the long run.

Therefore it is very very important that, even if you choose to consume meat, you must ensure that it is free of antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals. You must also ensure that these animals have a free-range, natural life and are not caged in terrible conditions, like prisoners. If you do not, you will contribute to their unfortunate fate.

Emotions like anger, fear, sorrow play a decisive role in the health of the body, even in an animal. Animal kept in unhealthy conditions will have a higher level of stress hormones in its metabolic system. Its digestion, tissue fluid, blood, muscles, and all the systems will be severely affected. If you consume meat from such animals, all these toxins will be transferred your body as well. Therefore, Ayurveda believes that what is good for all is good for one. If you, as a consumer choose meat which is free from animal maltreatment and use of unnatural chemicals, you embrace their good as well as yours.

The way an animal is killed for meat makes a huge difference. There is a fascinating concept of Bali in ancient Vedic culture. Bali means sacrifice. The Vedic culture believes that life is sacred everywhere, even in plants and animals. If I am taking something that belongs to another person, I must have willing permission of the owner. The concept of Bali projects the need to seek permission from the creator. It is said that all food should first be offered to the higher energy. This concept of reduces the attitude of hapless consumerism and take only what is required, example the concept of halal in Islam. If practiced properly, it can rid us from the threat of Pragya Aparadha!

All living things have souls even the cells in our body. And All religions believe that life force or the soul never dies. It gets transformed from one form to the other just like electricity. The concept of Bali signifies a mystical factor of internal evolution. For example, if a person working in a small company get a job in multinational, he gets exposed to finer trade practices and grows as a professional.

It is believed that when we eat an animal, we internalize its sanskaras(karma backlog) as well. Consciously or unconsciously, we become responsible for the spiritual upliftment of that creature. We must suffer his karma backlog and contribute to the spiritual evolution of that soul. Probably, this is the reason that the intellectual class in India preferred vegetarian food, as non-vegetarian food might retard their spiritual growth.  

Therefore vegan is the best and the most spiritual diet for the present times.

I hope this information helps you in making the right food choices for physical mental and spiritual growth.

Jeevem sharadh shatam (let’s live a 100 autumn!)

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