Back to nature!

Importance of organic, local and seasonal food

Today we have surplus food production, all kinds of fruits and vegetables are available throughout the year, and everywhere. For example, dragon fruit a native to china is available in the US, and strawberries are available in the Middle East. But, are you sure that this is real progress?

Now people have more than enough to eat, but they are falling sick from eating this food. Today we have more diabetes, hypertension, hormonal imbalances, and cancers than ever before, and there is an urgent need to look at some of the possible reasons.

GM food – Changing the core, is it worth the cost?

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Genetic engineering of seeds has helped us to have crops that are most resistant to pests, seasonal changes, diseases, etc. But there is almost no long term research on the food safety of this produce. Let me give you one typical example – now strawberry grows around the year, even in the frosty weather and never gets spoilt. This achievement is a result of genetic engineering. Strawberry genes are modified by adding a gene from a fish that survives in chilling water. So, now strawberries are as resistant as the fish against the cold.

Another example is corn. Corn is genetically modified to kill a pest. When this pest ingests the corn, the modified grains cause internal bleeding and hemorrhage in pest’s intestines. And let’s observe that there is a growing problem of leaky gut and irritable bowel syndrome, where the intestines get inflamed and sometimes perforated!

Now people are more allergic to a wide variety of food, and it can be anything from peanuts to fresh coriander! One of the hypotheses is that genetically modified food is not natural. Our body recognizes all-natural genetic structures, like natural grains, meat, milk, etc.  But when a genetically modified food enters the body, it appears like unidentified foreign elements. Body tags it as a dangerous substance and triggers an autoimmune reaction as a protective response. And this logic completely fits in the health puzzle. Since we have so many genetically modified foods, anything can trigger an allergic reaction in the body. So, now can you guess why so many people have milk allergies today?

A few decades back, the natural genes of the cow were mixed with buffalo enhance the milk production. The milk these cow-like animals produce is not identifiable by the body, it is not natural, it does not fit anywhere, just like an anomaly! Sadly, there have been cases where people have been through near-death experiences due to severe milk allergies.

We are losing our food. Soon there will be lesser food and more food-like substances that are not edible at all! Can you call this progress? We are becoming weaker and more and more vulnerable as a race! This is serious.

Why seasonal food is the best?

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It is high time for us to retrace our steps back to organic food. And interestingly organic food is naturally seasonal. You will never find a natural crop of mango in winter, it is a summer fruit, and lo! It helps to combat harsh heat waves in the tropical climate. Seasonal produce is the only food. Rest is genetically modified poison.

Similarly, all hydrating fruits like water melon, litchi, melon etc naturally grow in summer, when we rapidly lose water to summer heat. On the other hand, there is a huge variety of fruits and vegetables found in the winter season, when the digestive system is considered to be at its best.

According to Ayurveda, cabbage, cauliflower, green peas all cause vata aggravation in the body. However, they grow in winter and can be well digested by the strong  winter digestion. But if you were to eat the same vegetables in rainy season, they might lead to severe vata vitiation in the body. And therefore, these vegetables are unavailable in the

Why local food is the best?

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Everything is available everywhere. This is the result of another human intrusion in the natural scheme of nature.  Cardamom naturally grows in a hot climate, for example in south India and according to Indian traditional science Ayurveda, it is cooling in nature. Cardamom is also an excellent remedy for all kinds of inflammatory disorders. The produce suits the weather! Cardamom is excellent for people living in a hot climate.

Let’s take another example, saffron naturally grows in a frigid climate, and it is hot in temperament. Now the frosty state of Kashmir in India is the largest producer of saffron. And look at the level of perfection in nature. Saffron is excellent for people in cold climate. However, hot food for hot weather is not a great combination. But since saffron is readily available now in middle east, may God save the natives there! Dates are a better option for them.

Content is the key

When God said, “Be content with what you have,” I think that it was also a piece of health advice. Let’s not run after Italian oregano, or California almonds, or Quinoa from Peru. Local food is the best. If we be content , we will be healthy!

Let’s choose our food, consciously. Let’s not have more but good food. Let’s stop poking our finger at the fine balance of nature. Let’s use human intelligence for the betterment and not for the destruction of our race and our planet.

Best wishes!

WHY FOOD IS THE BEST CURE?

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Dosha in Simpler Terms

Nature works on the base of different systems. Everything happens systematically, whether it is blooming of a bud, or death of a living being.
According to Ayurveda, the body also runs according to a set of systems. Different systems are working in deep synchrony inside the body, for example, excretory system, reproduction system, digestive system, nervous system, etc. There must be something that unites these systems, probably the nervous system.

In our system, we have two parts of the nervous system autonomic and somatic. The autonomic nervous system handles the involuntary functions of the body where is somatic nervous system processes the voluntary functions.

The autonomic nervous system is further divided into two parts-sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. These two systems are opposite to each other and help the body in different conditions.

The parasympathetic nervous system is dominant where the body is in a resting position, whereas the sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for Fright-fight-flight response.

One single mode cannot help the body to survive in all the conditions, as it’s not complete. But a combination of these two systems works in perfect harmony and makes us ready for all possible situations.
Autonomic nervous system – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomic_nervous_system

Ayurveda proposes three kinds of control systems that govern the body while balancing each other – vata, pitta, and kapha. They have different characteristics and lead the body successfully in different conditions.
For example, vata dosha is mobile, light, and is comparable to the presence of air in the physical world. All kinds of movements, whether it is bating of the eyelids or running, is coordinated by vata dosha.

Pitta dosha is hot and sharp nature. Naturally, it presides over all the digestive processes chemical reactions or any transformational process across the body.

Kapha Dosha offers stability and coolness to the body. It initiates and supervises any creation, formation, or incubation in the body. Kapha dosha provides shape, protection, and structure to the body. For example, the formation of all the body tissues, including bones and fats deposits that form a protective layer around the abdominal organs is a part of kapha metabolism.

Dosha

Qualities of Dosha

Another way we can understand it in the light of political systems. A country or a nation is also a body, and it can run under different systems – democracy, communism, aristocracy, etc. Now, these systems have physical manifestations, functions, and effects, but they are not physical entities themselves. We can see whatever happens in or because of the aristocracy. But we cannot see aristocracy itself as a physical entity.

Dosha in terms of admistrative systems
Similarly, we can see the brain, spinal cord, and nerves, but we cannot see the nervous system as a physical entity.

Let us take the example of an organization. There are some essential functions in all organizations, like sales, finance, and HR. These are also systems. One single function is not adequate can or can have an independent existence. For example, you cannot go selling something without an investment unless you are in a job. So, for a function like sales to exist, there has to be manufacturing/service and some investment (finance). All these functions exist as essential parts of a system and complement each other.

In Ayurveda, doshas are systems that run the body. They are comparable to different systems in an organization like marketing, HR, finance, operations, etc. These systems are not physical entities; however, no profit-making organization can function without them.

Similarly, vata, pitta and kapha are three systems that work in perfect harmony to produce a precise balance in body metabolism. These systems become dominant one by one in a natural cycle and run the metabolism. For example, while walking one foot goes ahead, whereas the other seems to go back, but the body as a whole, moves forward.

No human survival can live without air, water, and food. One single resource is not adequate for survival. Similarly, an individual dosha or system cannot run the body in all conditions.

The Contaminators
Vata, pitta, and kapha are called dosha – something that maligns the body. All these three systems have a natural tendency to go wrong and produce adverse effects if left to themselves. This tendency is the defining characteristic of dosha.

The effect of these systems is visible everywhere. Consider the example of a bike. The bike runs on the right track because there is a control over it. But if you leave the handles, then the natural tenancy of the bike will be – to fall. And no matter how good the bike is, it will fall. Similarly, in the case of dosha, there is a natural tendency to get vitiated or imbalanced.

Dosha action is apparent on an inanimate object like a bike, on a stationary living creature like a plant, an animal as well as a human being.

According to Vedic sutra यथा पिंडे तथा ब्रह्मांडे (universe resembles the particle), principles of nature apply to all the objects entities in existence, whether living or nonliving. For example, a natural cycle of creation, life, aging, and death is applicable for a vehicle, house as well as any living person, even the planets.

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Vata Dosha
Let us extend the example of the bike. The system that causes forward movement of the bike, and the internal movement of the parts in the bike, can be termed as the vata system.

As it is natural for a dosha to create imbalance, the bike can get imbalanced if you lose control of the handles. Also, the parts of the bike face wear and tear as it runs more and more. This over-activity is the effect of excess vata.

The primary quality of vata is dryness. Dryness causes necrosis(death of cells), friction, and deterioration. In the case of a bike, long term use without oiling, constant friction, excess wear, and tear and aging.
According to Ayurveda, oil is the best substance that can be used for all kinds of vata disorders, as oil prevents dryness and friction.
Therefore regular oiling the bike is imperative to prevent rapid wear and tear.

Image parDaniel Kirsch de Pixabay 

If we try to replicate this concept in the case of the human body, the primary organs of movement in a person are the Limbs. Let us take the example of joints. According to Ayurveda, joints are considered to be a site of vata dosha, because their primary function is movement.

Now dryness in Synovial sacs and resulting friction is the primary cause of all diseases that happen in joints, whether it is knee joint pain.

Image parPaweł Szpiler de Pixabay 

Pitta Dosha
Now all doshas work together in all entities to produce a life-sustaining environment in the body. The engine of a bike processes petrol or any other fuel into the form of energy. This energy is the fundamental basis for all kinds of movement. Pitta Dosha governs this kind of chemical transformation and heat production that helps the bike as a system to run.

Fire or heat is the primary characteristic of pitta dosha. If pitta dosha is in excess, the bike will get overheated and might even catch fire.

In the context of the human body, stomach or amashaya is a site of pitta dosha. If the system for pitta gets vitiated, then acidity is one of the primary symptoms. General inflammation, redness, swelling, et cetera are some of the essential heat-borne features of imbalanced pitta dosha.

Cold and mild substances alleviate the fiery effect of pitta dosha and help in pitta imbalance.
Earlier many cars had carburetors with water that used to help in cooling the engine and prevent overheating.

Image parMateusz Dietrich de Pixabay

Kapha Dosha The primary characteristics of kapha dosha are coolness and stability. A lack of activity or transformational heat produces inertia that is naturally cooling in nature. For example, if the bike is stationary, then it will not get heated due to combustion in the engine or change in its position continuously.

However, if the bike remains stationary for a very long time, especially in chilling weather, you might experience a lot of trouble while starting trying to start the engine. This difficulty in starting the engine is a result of excess kapha dosha, where probably the oil in the engine freezes.

In the context of the human body, a lazy(kapha)person has a higher tendency to develop obesity (mass). This happens due to lack of activity (vata) and heat (sweating, energy conversion, etc.) the fat consumed by the body is not used entirely. Obesity is a result of excess kapha.

However, regular exercise (vata increase) and fat to glucose metabolism (pitta increase) can help to remove excess fat (kapha decrease).

Dosha and Body metabolism
Kapha dosha is made of earth and water element. We can make anything when earth and water are mixed. Therefore, any formation or creation of stability in the body is related to Kapha dosha. Formation, nutrition, management and protection(stability) of tissues comes under kapha dosha.

Image parLubos Houska de Pixabay

Pitta dosha governs any heat-based transformation, chemical reactions, or digestive processes. Digestive processes are the main center of pitta activity.

Agni is a term used for fire. Pitta dosha is fire dominant. This term reflects the digestive/transformative capacity of pitta dosha. Autophagy or cell suicide is also a process lead by pitta dosha, where a cell digests itself. This process is called dhatu paka (dhatu – tissue, paka – digestion/destruction). Autoimmune disorders are examples of dhatu paka, vividly described in all classical Ayurvedic texts.

Vata dosha emerges from the space and air element. Any movement, small or big happens with the help of vata dosha.

General Functions of Dosha

Dosha and Prakrati or body types
If we come to the concept of body types, there are primarily three kinds of body types vat, pitta, and kapha dominant.

Let us revert to the example of an organization with three functions sales finance and HR.

All the organizations have all these three essential functions. The organization is Bank; then the finance will be the primary feature of the organization. Financial activities will dominate this organization.

if this organization is an advertising firm, then the dominant function of the organization will be marketing.

If this organization is an HR consultancy, the dominant feature of the organization will be HR based activities.

All three types of organizations have all three functions. However, one feature dominates all the others. This dominating function gives a unique organizational culture and characteristics to the organization.

Similarly, prakriti or body constitution is formed by tridosha. Three dosha are present in all the human body’s. However, one of them becomes the dominating feature of the metabolism. This dominant dosha defines the prakriti or body type of the individual.

Everything, living or non-living has a prakrati or character.
For example, we can say that.

bike or any vehicle is vata dominant(major characteristics, design, and function is movement),

Oven or a blast furnace is pitta dominant(primary nature, design, and purpose is around chemical transformation and heat) and

The lake is kapha dominant (primary features, design function is stability and coolness).
For detailed qualities of dosha

There are 3 basic types of prakrati – vata, pitta and kapha. Vata, pitta and kapha dominant people are similar to respectively; a vehicle(always on the move), an oven (high processing capacity), and lake(cool and stable).

Prakriti

Daily Dosha Cycle

The time of the day is also divided according to the dosha dominant in that part of the day. For example, kapha dosha controls first one-third part of the day. Another one-third of the day comes under the control of pitta dosha, and the last one-third of the day comes under vata dosha.

Similarly, the night also has 3 phases.

For this reason, Ayurveda considers morning to be the best time for studies as kapha is the factor for strong memory (stability).
The best time to have the biggest meal of the day is noon (pitta period) as the digestion at this time is at its best.
And you must avoid excess labor or heavy food in the evening, as vata dosha is the factor for tiredness and indigestion.

Also, you will find that most of the breathing and mucous related disorders, numbness, stiffness, etc. occur during the morning time.

Whereas acidity, inflammation, and other pitta related disorders flare-up during the midday.

And vata related disorders like joint pain, muscle cramps, headache, tiredness, etc. happen during the end of the day.

Dinacharya sutra according to daily dosha rhythm

Seasonal Dosha Cycle

Dosha has natural cyclic vitiation throughout the year. For example, kapha Dosha vitiation occurs during the spring. You will find that spring is the season where we can see maximum mucus related disorders.

Sharad or early winter is the time of pitta prakop or vitiation. Therefore early winter is the time where you will see aggravation in pitta related disorders like pimples, acidity, inflammatory diseases like psoriasis, etc.

Varsha or rainy season is the time dominated by vata dosha vitiation. Therefore in the rainy season, we all can observe that all kinds of body pain, headache, migraine, joint pains et cetera get aggravated in this season.

Seasonal Dosha Cycle

Dosha and Lifecycle
Dosha are everywhere in the body. According to Ayurveda, Lifespan of an individual has three parts – kapha-childhood, pitta-youth, and vata -old age.

Childhood is all about growing up. For any growth, you need nutrition, stability, and peace. Kapha dosha is the spring of all these qualities. Link qualities of kapha dosha. The period of kapha is the time of body formation and growth. Kapha is also the time when all mucus related problems like cough, cold etc. are very common. Therefore, children are more prone to all kinds of kapha related disorders like cough and cold.

Vitiation of kapha dosha in childhood is the primary reason for malnutrition or any kind of malformation in the body.

Pitta Dosha governs the young age. Youth is the transformational stage of life. The young person is called Vardhaman in Ayurveda. The word Vardhaman means the one who is growing or advancing. A young person is not growing anymore in structure, but he improves every day in his experience and knowledge. Medha or intellect is a quality bestowed by Pitta dosha. This intellectual growth is the real advancement for a human being.

Young people have excellent digestion, lots of energy and best immunity, thanks to dominating pitta dosha. However, youth are more prone to pitta related disorders like acne, acidity, inflammatory disorders. Most of the inflammatory autoimmune disorders are more likely to express themselves during this phase of life.

Vata dosha governs the last stage of the life old age. A mature person is called vriddha in Ayurveda. This word means the one who has reached complete advancement or growth. An older adult is like a ripened fruit that naturally dries up and breaks away from the branch. In this stage, the physical structure starts deterioration; however, the intellectual level has reached its zenith.

During the period of vata, the body undergoes rapid degeneration, like a withering leaf. The abode of vata – bones, joints etc are severely affected. For this reason, old people face maximum joint related disorders. They also have weakened digestion.

Vata phase is the time for diseases like dementia, arthritis, hypertension, and all kinds of pain related disorders to incubate or flare-up.

These three dosha are the Trinity of the body, they are like Brahma(creator), Vishnu (sustainer), and Shiva (destroyer)!

Dosha and Disease Susceptibility
According to the above dosha sequence in the lifecycle, you will find that most of the kapha related disorders like cough cold, etc. occur during childhood. Children are highly susceptible to mucus are respiratory system associated disorders as compared to youth or older adults.

Similarly, youth are most susceptible to pitta related disorders like pimples, hyperacidity, inflammation.

And in the end, the elderly are most susceptible to vata related disorders like dementia, hair fall, and all kinds of body pains.

Dryness is the primary quality of vata dosha. For this reason, we find that older people have excessively dry and wrinkled skin, dryness related problems like body pain joint pain. They also have weak digestion because of recessive pitta dosha.

Dosha and Body Parts
Dosha have specific regions, specially designated to their activity. For example, kapha dosha governs the area from head to the diaphragm.
Pitta dosha governs the region from the diaphragm to the pelvic region.
Vata dosha is dominant in part in the pelvic region and the limbs.

Qualities of Dosha

Dosha and Metabolism

Entire body metabolism follows the same dosha sequence. Let us take the example of digestion –

Carbs/sugars are the primary sources of energy and nutrition for the body.
Kapha Dosha governs the first part of digestion – sugar metabolism, as the sweetness is one of its central features. Sugar release in the blood creates a cooling effect and stimulate the satiety centers in the brain. Also, it causes drowsiness(stability-sleep) after meals.

The middle part of the digestive procedure focuses on digestion of proteins that are reduced to amino acids. Acidity or sourness is one of the primary features of Pitta dosha. Therefore this phase of digestion is governed by pitta dosha.

The last part of digestion focuses on fat digestion. Fat digestion produces bitter or katu rasa(fatty acids and glycerol are bitter) the effect of vata dosha in the body. And the digestion of fatty acids comes under vata dosha.

Digestion is just one example. All the metabolic Processes happen under the same sequence of dosha cycle. Even disease incubation and spread in the body occurs in the same dosha cycle, according to the range of imbalanced dosha.

Ayurveda focuses on the tridosha concept for body formation, structure, physiology, and pathology. Some classical Ayurvedic texts say that there is nothing else in the body metabolism except dosha. Everything that happens in the body is a function of the cyclic effect of the dosha accumulation, vitiation, and stabilization.

The Ayurveda Channel

I am trying to understand Ayurveda myself. However, according to my current experience, the curative effects of Ayurveda are absolutely incredible. If you have a query or doubt, please let me know. It will help to improve my knowledge.

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Sunbath Ritucharya and Ayurvedic Remedies for Tanning

Sunbath Ritucharya

Sunbath or sun worship is an essential ritual in Hindu tradition. However, Ayurveda establishes the seasonal balance in the practice of sunbath to ensure all benefit and no harm!

Sharad(Early Winter) Sunbath

According to Ayurveda, one must avoid exposure to direct sun rays during the early winter (Sharad: Sep-Nov). This season is the time for cyclic pitta vitiation in the body.

Pitta dosha has a fiery nature and exposure to sunrays during the time of pitta vitiation can cause or aggravate pitta related disorders like inflammation, fever, psoriasis, hemorrhagic disorders, and many more.

Sharad Ritu is the time when sunrays can cause severe damage to the skin as the body is on the heat mode of aggravated Pitta dosha. You might find it extremely difficult to remove the tanning formed during this season.

Sun rays that can cause cancer might be present during this season. Therefore, Charak Samhita recommends complete avoidance of sunrays during Sharad Ritu.

Grishma (Summer) Sunbath

Sunbath during especially during the summer season is highly detrimental to skin health. Tanning in this season can leave a permanent effect on the skin.

Only early morning sunbath, from 6:00 a.m. to 8 a.m. is recommended in summer season (May-June).

Sunbath in the time-range, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. , is entirely applicable for kapha and vata prakriti people as their body is naturally coldish in nature.

Pitta prakriti people or people with hot body type must avoid sunbath after 9 am. They should make a conscious decision and go according to the comfort of their body. Pitta prakriti people should refrain entirely from the late morning sunbath during this season. Unless required, all individuals should stay indoors during this time.

It is imperative to stay hydrated during a sunbath. This recommendation is especially applicable for Pitta Prakriti people as they are prone to excessive sweating.

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Varsha (Rainy season) Sunbath

Sunbath is completely prohibited during the rainy season. The sunrays passing through the water-filled dark clouds are said to be very harmful and can denature the skin cells.

In fact, according to Ayurveda, one should never sleep outdoor under the cloudy sky as it can cause paralysis. Any rays passing through the rain-filled clouds are not great!

There is no scientific evidence for the above information. However, I am in the process of studying the effects of such sunlight on the human body and hope to discover the truth behind this directive.

Hemant-Shishir (Winter) Sunbath

Best season for sunbath is Hemant Ritu or winter (November -December). At this time, all the dosha in the body are balanced; digestion body strength and stamina is at its best.

Hemant is also the best time for cosmetic tanning.

Shishir Ritu or late winter (January-February) is also a good season for sunbath.
People suffering from winter depression(Seasonal affective disorder) can immensely benefit from regular sunbath during these two seasons.

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Vasant (Spring) Sunbath

Vasant Ritu or spring season (March-April) is the time of cyclic kapha vitiation in the body. Charak Samhita does not explicitly mention the need for sunbath for this season. However, It is good to have a sunbath in this season as well.

The heat from the sun rays helps to soothe the excess kapha Dosha and decongest the channels in the body. Spring is the time for seasonal cough, cold and kapha related disorders.

Severe kapha diseases like sinusitis, migraine, diabetes, etc. might flare up during this season. Sunbath might help to balance the kapha dosha and prevent disease aggravation.

However, if you have Suryavarta type of migraine, please avoid excessive sunlight exposure as it might aggravate the migraine pain.

Ritucharya for Your Region


These directives should apply to all parts of the world as ritucharya works on the basis of solar movement. However, Hindu tradition works on the lunar calendar as the situation on earth might be different from one region to the other.

In some seasons like vasant (spring), summer, do not have a clear recommendation regarding the use of sunbath. In these seasons, you must use your discretion regarding the use of sunbath in your region.

For example, summer is a pleasant season in cold regions of many western countries; therefore, summer sunbath can be very refreshing practiced there. However, you cannot practice sunbath in the summer of the Sahara desert! Here you need to use your discretion and decide when and how to have a sunbath.

However, in some seasons like hemant (winter), varsha (rainy season) and sharad (late winter), Ayurveda has clear directives about sunbath. These ritucharya directives apply to all the parts of the world.

This recommendation implies that whether you are in Siberia or Saudi Arabia, you must never have sunbath during a cloudy sky.

Sunbath Dinacharya

In the case of sunbath, Ritucharya is the preceding sutra over dinacharya. Therefore, if you want to decide regarding your sunbath regimen, you must first consider what season it is.

After the sunbath ritucharya, we can discuss the sunbath dinacharya or how sunbath should be practiced daily.

It is essential to note that Ayurveda highly recommends early morning sunbath. Also, exposure to sunrays during sunrise is considered extremely good for the skin and the eyes.

The best time for sunbath is during the early hours of the morning. 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

The sunlight during this transition period(sunrise) is meager in intensity and typically results in almost nil tanning. Also, the two daily light transition periods – sunrise and sunset were considered to be the ideal time of sun worship (sunbath) for the ancient sages.

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Daily water offering to the sun


Surya Argha or water offering to the sun is another type of sun exposure. It is believed that the sun rays refracted through the water have a very beneficial effect on the mind, skin, and eyes. However, this fact is not yet scientifically proven.

Do’s and Don’ts for Sunbath

  • It is crucial to stay hydrated during a sunbath. You must drink some normal temperature water before going for a sunbath. However, you must never drink cold or even normal water immediately after a sunbath.
  • Therefore it is recommended that you do not leave an air-conditioned room and suddenly go out in afternoon summer Sun because the inevitable temperature fluctuation is very hard for the body to manage.
  • After coming indoors from sunbath, wait for a minimum of 10 minutes before drinking water. Drink normal water and not chilled water.
  • If you drink chilled water while sitting in the sun, the drastic temperature difference between the water and the body might jeopardize and Confused the temperature management system of the body.
  • For example, if you are trying to cool a room during the summer you have kept all your doors and windows open for better air circulation, and suddenly there is a snowstorm which fills the entire room with snow, you will be caught off guard, and the damage will be much more.
  • However, if you have prior information and you have time to close all your goods and Windows before the snowstorm, then there might be no damage. It is crucial that we allow the body to prepare for the external changes to which it is going to be exposed.
  • While having a sunbath, it is essential to be attentive to the signals of your body. Your body knows best.
  • If you are going to drink water during the Sun path, please ensure that you consume normal temperature water.
  • If you start to feel and easy within 5 minutes of sunbath, you must leave and come indoors.
  • There is no standardized recommendation for the duration of the daily sunbath. It completely different depends on personal comfort.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Tan Removal

This Article was first posted on Quora as an answer to the utility of some high-end Ayurveda products for De-tanning. However, it was collapsed because I mentioned that expensive products are not required for tan removal. They are against the underlying philosophy of simplicity in Ayurveda.

Before we talk about tanning removal methods in Ayurveda, let’s us always remember one thing – overly expensive products can never match the true spirit of Ayurveda. I hope that Ayurveda doesn’t become the new market fad for money-minded business people.

Holistic Anti-tanning Approach


If you want to remove tanning through Ayurveda, follow a holistic method. If you rely just on some medicine or topical ointment without any change in diet and lifestyle, the result will be zero.

Diet can increase or decrease the skin receptivity of sunrays. For example, an Ayurvedic herb called Bakuchi (Psoralea corylifolia) can accelerate melanin formation in the skin cells to the extent of causing burns and boils! This herb is an incredible remedy for vitiligo.

The bottom line is that – diet can affect skin complexion. However, most of the traditional cuisines help to keep skin healthy and bright.

Physiology of Tanning According to Ayurveda


Aggravated Ranjaka Pitta (responsible for all kinds of pigmentation in the body) is the basis for excess tanning. Therefore, if you want to prevent tanning with the help of diet, avoid all hot, spicy, and oily food. Avoid excess consumption of hot herbs like ginger, garlic, red chili, mustard, etc.

For pitta balance, you must consume more of cooling foods like coconut water/milk, sandalwood tea, green cardamom, fennel, cumin, mint, lemon, awla (emblica), etc.

However, lifestyle is the most critical factor in the case of tanning prevention and treatment.

The first step in Ayurvedic treatment for tanning is to remove the cause (nidan parivarjanama). It might not always be practically possible to refrain from going out in the sun, especially when you are in a profession that might require working outdoors in the sun.

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But still, there are ways to prevent the harmful effect of sunlight. For example, Arabs wear clothes that fully cover their bodies. Probably this is the reason why they belong to one of the naturally fair races even when they are natives to a desert region.

Sunrays and Body Temperature


Wearing small clothes exposes body directly to the sunlight and doesn’t help in bringing down the overall body temperature. If you wear full outfits, these clothes create an air space between the sun heat and the body and prevent the excess heating effect of the direct sun exposure as well as tanning.

On the other hand, direct exposure to the warm wind might jeopardize the temperature management system of the body. Therefore it makes sense to cover the body while exposed to the sun.

Tanning is most common in swimmers. It is better for professional or frequent swimmers to use full-length swimwear. In this manner, they can effectively reduce the skin surface area exposed to sunlight.

Therefore, try to cover the body while exposed to harsh sunlight.

No chemicals on the skin

You must avoid using sunscreens or any chemical based cosmetics that claim to prevent tanning. All the sunscreens have cancer-causing chemicals present in them. It is far better to use a simple cotton cloth as a cover rather than to use any sunscreen.


Ayurvedic Anti-tanning Approach


With the prevention of wrong sunlight exposure as much as possible, the first step of tanning treatment is achieved.

The second step is to lessen the effects of the unavoidable tanning. If the first step is achieved, this second step can virtually eradicate entire tanning.

Some of the readily available Varnya Mahakasahya (Complexion enhancing herbs) are-

  • Chandan (Sandalwood)
  • Nagkeshar (Mesua ferrea)
  • Kamal (Lotus)
  • Khus (Vetiver)
  • Mulethi (Liquorice)
  • Manjishtha (Indian madder)
  • Anantmool (Indian sarsaparilla)
  • Vidarikand (Indian kudzu)
  • Doorva (Bermuda Grass)

All of these Herbs have excellent complexion enhancing the effect on all types of skin, according to their sequence. Sandalwood or Chandan has the best impact for De tanning then nagkesar.

For a comprehensive anti-tanning process, consume tea made from the above herb and apply I there paste in on the tanned skin. You can make combinations according to availability of these Herbs in your area. However, it is best to take equal quantity of Herbs in any combination.

For example, if you can easily find Sandalwood powder and lotus flower, make an equal quantity of paste from both the homes and mix it to produce de-tanning Skin Pack.

You can brew this paste to make a de-tanning tea.

A combined internal and external effect of de-tanning Herbs can produce a quick result.

However, all of these verbs might not be present or available easily in your region. In that case, you can try the following simple de-tanning techniques-

These herbs can be used as a face pack in different combinations in a base of milk, coconut milk, coconut oil(for dry skin) and also water.

Milk – Raw milk is one of the best tan removal agent as well as a natural skin toner. Dip a cotton swab in raw milk and clean the tanned skin twice or thrice a day. You will see visible effects within a week.

If the skin is inflamed or sore, mix a tsp of turmeric in raw milk to make a smooth paste and apply as a face pack preferably in the daytime. This face pack helps the skin to heal and removes the tanning as well.

If you have dry skin with dark patches, massage the skin with coconut oil. After that, apply the above face pack for Tan removal.

Potato – Raw potato mash is a very readily accessible and cheap way to cure tanning. This mash can also cure skin inflammation and redness. This remedy is a very potent herbal solution that can heal even burns.

Cucumber – Wet cucumber slices when rubbed on skin produce a great anti-tanning effect.

Coconut milk – Coconut milk is also a great option to improve skin complexion.
Dab a cotton swab in coconut milk and apply it on the tanned skin. You can also mix one teaspoon of turmeric are any of the about mentioned complexion enhancing herbs in coconut milk to make a paste and apply the same on the skin surface.

Drinking coconut water also helps to maximize the effect of external de-tanning applications.

A reasonable rate of digestion and metabolism is excellent support for rapid de-tanning.

https://ritucharya.com/2018/01/07/ayurvedic-lifestyle-for-excellent-digestion/

Hope this helps all in need of this information!
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti |

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How stress kills your body

Why some diseases don’t get cured?

Have you ever suffered from a symptom like drowsiness, lethargy, dizziness, pain etc when all the tests results are normal? But still, there is a problem and you cannot name it. And no matter how many medicines you eat, the symptoms doesn’t go away.

Today each one of us is suffering from some of the Other kind of health problem, in spite of the tremendous scientific advances in the medical field. The market is flooded with health supplements that claim to bring the perfect state of health. However, all our attempts to cure ourselves are on the physical plain. And probably that’s the problem. we are ignoring the simplest, fastest and indispensable source of perennial health – the mind.

According to Ayurveda, the mind is the supreme controller of the body. If therefore if the mind is not stable, then the body metabolism also will be unstable. According to Ayurveda if you have anxiety depression or stress, it will lead to vata vitiation in the body. Vitiated vata Dosha will cause constipation, indigestion, bloating and multiple other digestive problems.

If if you have bouts of extreme anger, then you will have a huge tendency to develop acidity, inflammation in the intestine, peptic ulcer and other pitta dosha related disorders.

If you have a dull and unexciting life, you may develop a kapha dosha imbalance leading to sluggish digestive system. In this case, you might suffer from anorexia, heaviness after meals, lethargy, indigestion.

And these problems will never be permanently corrected on the level of the body in if we do not fix them on the mental plane. Therefore, it so happens that people go on taking medications for the decades without any permanent relief.

If we look at this concept from the modern from the perspective of modern medicine, we will find a similar correlation between the mind and body.
According to modern medicine, there are two types of nervous systems working in the body. These nervous systems are the sympathetic nervous system and parasympathetic nervous system. They have contrary characteristics and the balance the requirements of the human body in different conditions.

Stress, anger, anxiety, fear, and all the negative emotions Trigger the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is programmed to ensure the protection of the body in all circumstances. It stimulates a fright-flight-fight response in the body.

So if you are extremely stressed, you will naturally choose one of the above three modes of response.

The sympathetic nervous system ensures that the vital organs in the body and the muscles get more blood supply as compared to the rest of the organs which are not required for immediate protective response. According to this nervous system, muscles need more energy and nutrition to fight or to run away.

Incidentally, the blood supply to other organs like the digestive system, urinary system, skin, etc. decreases significantly under the influence of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system also reduces the activity in all these body parts.

And this is why anger, anxiety, stress, worries immediately show a negative effect on the digestive system as the sympathetic nervous system is switched ON and it reduces the blood supply and activity in the digestive system. The sympathetic nervous system can maintain this effect for a reasonably long duration. For this reasons, ancient Hindus refrained from eating anything when unhappy!

Therefore if you are always stressed, anxious or worrying, your entire body will be working under the influence of the sympathetic nervous system. And for this reason, stressed people have dull skin, lousy digestion, lack of hunger, tiredness, and multiple other health problems.

In the body, stretched for too long under the influence of the sympathetic nervous system, the organs become too tired to work and give up. This stress is the reason for the high prevalence of lifestyle disorders like diabetes, hypertension, hormonal disorders et cetera.

It is like a man who when forced to run for a very long time, eventually drops down. He can only get dragged after that.

Prolonged exposure to the activity of the sympathetic nervous system also accelerates the rate of aging in a person. Due to the hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, the body parts become overused. The body is not able to replace the old cells at the rate which can match the requirements of the sympathetic nervous system.

This lag in replacement and repair happens partly because of excessive requirements of the sympathetic nervous system, and partly due to lack of proper activity in the digestive system. The digestive system is the only source to receive nutrition in our body. If it is not working correctly, then the body’s nutritional supplies will fall short.

The only option left for the body is to deteriorate and age faster. Today most of the people are worried about health, aging, fatal disorders like cancer. Cancer cells are present in the bodies of all individuals. The disease happens only when the body is not able to kill cancer cells. Stress hormones provide a suitable condition for the cancer cells to grow in the body.

Here I would say that the law of attraction works in the case of health as well. If you are worried about any health problem, you are contributing towards creating it.

However, people don’t realize that stressful aspiration about a good life is the only cause for and for an unhealthy, short, and miserable life.

On the other hand, if you have a peaceful mind, it triggers the parasympathetic nervous system in the body. The parasympathetic nervous system relaxes the body and focuses on repair and rejuvenation.

The effect of the parasympathetic nervous system is entirely contrary to that of the sympathetic nervous system. We can compare these two effects with an example of two countries, one engaged in a war and another in peacetime. The land at war depletes its resources, whether it is the human resource or natural resource.

The war continues for a very long time, and it becomes the culture of the land. Local development subsides, basic human amenities become dear, law and order crises becomes rampant in the war-stricken country. If we look at the countries suffering from terrorism, there are unfortunate instances of even small children getting engaged in weaponry and active warfare. A body continuously under the influence of stress becomes like a country afflicted with war for details decades.

Now if we look at the effect of the parasympathetic nervous system, it provides peacetime in the body.

Major civilizations have flourished not under the influence of war but the impact of peace. Peaceful society allows time space and resources for development in all dimensions. Citizens of a peaceful reaching will have better facilities, law, and order. A non-violent society provides all the essential amenities to its citizens. Significant refinements in the form of art music and culture can happen only in the peacetime.

Now in this context, we can look at the functioning of an effect of the parasympathetic nervous system in the body. Parasympathetic nervous system triggers the “rest and digest” and “feed and breed” response in the body.

First of all, the parasympathetic nervous system relaxes nervous hyperactivity. Nervous hyperactivity creates overstimulation of all the body parts. As this hyperactivity is balanced, the blood supply gets diverted to the organs neglected under the influence of the sympathetic nervous system, like the digestive system, and the excretory system, reproductive system, etc. We cannot eat, grow, or make a baby while on the run.

Parasympathetic nervous system makes us more conscious of the body. We become aware of pain, inflammation, or other problems in the body. This body consciousness is the first step toward preventing and solving health issues. Under the influence of the sympathetic nervous system, the body gets under the effect of natural pain killer, which helps to focus all the attention on the survival.

Parasympathetic nervous system regularises heart rate. It has a cardioprotective effect contrary to the erosive force of the sympathetic nervous system.

The parasympathetic nervous system focuses the body resources on repair and rejuvenation of the cells. It activates the digestive system, stimulates hunger, and salivation reflexes. Therefore it ensures nutritional abundance in the body. The parasympathetic nervous system relieves the toxin load by activating the excretory system.

With ample nutrition available in the body, the rate of cell replacement and repair increases compared to the speed of deterioration. Therefore, we find the monks with a radiant face, flawless skin, and perfect digestion. They can maintain ideal health without the availability of the latest health supplements our other health resources just because they have a peaceful mind.

Therefore we can safely conclude that mind is the sole cause of health or disease. And it is essential to focus on the promotion of Mental Health mental state before engaging into any other kind of health activity. Because if the mind is not healthy, it is impossible for the body to maintain health with the help of external means.

For a long healthy and happy life, we must mind our body!

This article is based on another article from Sahajmarg meditation blog – https://www.sahajmarg.org/newsletter/sahajsandesh/2019.7

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The Ayurveda Channel

Ayurvedic Pathogenesis: 6 stages of disease formation according to Ayurveda

There are six stages of disease production proliferation according to Ayurveda they are

Sanchay

Let us take the example of a metabolic pendulum with a certain weight, for example, 10 kg. Let us assume that when the pendulum is stable, there is no disease condition in the body. However, when the pendulum starts to move, the disease proliferates.
To be specific, let us suppose when the pendulum moves with a velocity of 1 km per hour, migraine occurs. Since the current velocity is zero, therefore, acceleration will be equal to the resultant velocity :). According to Physical calculations, we would need an approximate force of 10 N to move the pendulum from its normal position to a diseased position. Before the pendulum moves from its original state of rest, it needs a precise power to overcome its inertia of healthy metabolism. The accumulation of vitiated dosha generates this negative force. The collection of the dosha or generation of negative energy is the state of Sanchay. Ideal Ayurvedic treatment should prevent sanchay of any dosha in the body. According to Ayurveda, this is the perfect prevention.

It looks like the concept of the fighter immunity doesn’t work in case of Sanchay. The body does not fight back to prevent diseases. Instead, there is stable inertia in the healthy state that is difficult to imbalance. This stability of health is natural immunity.

Suppose if the body was to remain in a situation where there are no external seasonal changes, temperature fluctuations due to respiration and food intake, etc; if the body were to receive all the required energy in the form of electricity just like a mobile phone, then there will be hardly any aging in the body. Such a person will Age so slowly that he might look like an Immortal. According to Hindu mythology, six months of humans are equivalent to a half day of the Gods. I wonder if gods stay in a friction-free, fluctuations free environment! The mythology says that gods have a pure mind that is free from the mental vices of humans.

So, if we drive the body metabolism properly without introducing undesirable fluctuations unnecessarily in the body, the average health of a person will always remain stable. The stability of health is the basis of immunity in Ayurveda.

Disease-causing factors are all around us. Each one of us is facing the same pathogens. However, some of us fall sick, and some do not; in similar conditions. The health of a perfectly healthy person must be like an elephant; too heavy and tough to move. On the other hand, the health of a frail and weak person must be like a dry leaf. Even a mild breeze can blow it away in any direction.

Therefore sanchay is, in a way, a force that is required to move the body from its stable, healthy position into disease position. The pathogens or the external surroundings do not produce this force. The vehicle for this negative force are the doshas. In a way, Sanchay is a kind of disease incubation period.

Ritucharya focuses on prevention of sanchay of dosha during every season. If we can prevent the accumulation of dosha, we can avoid all the disorders in the body, even the minor ones like cough and cold.

Prasar

Prasar is like a Domino effect in the body. In a healthy condition, the metabolism of the entire work body works in close synchrony. Once the pendulum of disease starts to move, it disturbs the natural metabolism of the whole body and disrupts the normal functions of different systems. Prasar is the stage of discord in the metabolism. It is the stage where the body starts gets affected by the doshas.

The word Prasar means expansion or spread. In this stage, the imbalance of the Dosha spreads to other dosha, parts, or systems in the body.
There is a chance that a strong dhatu will stop the disease pathophysiology in the body. Dhatu is a metabolic station that sustains and promotes the anabolic activity in the body.
For example, suppose that kapha Dosha of a person gets imbalanced who is drenched in the rain and remains wet for a long time. This vitiated kapha dosha affects different parts of the body and stimulates excess mucus formation in the nasal cavity. This process might lead to a common cold eventually. However, if this person is a Pitta Prakriti individual and he consumes a warm soup after getting wet, then and the heat production through digestion will balance the kapha dosha and help to stop the proliferation of common cold. Besides, a good sleep after the soup will help to prevent the vitiation of another dosha like pitta,vata, or both. However, if the person were to stay awake entire night, vata dosha might get vitiated and take the disease to the next level!

However, if the individual does not receive proper treatment in the stage of Prasar, then pathophysiology moves to the next step of prakop.

Prakop

Prakop comes from the word “kop,” which means anger. Prakop is the stage where the symptoms of imbalance become visible. For example, in the above case, the drenched person starts to sneeze, feels itching in the nasal cavity, tiredness or mild headache, depending on his Prakriti body type and the current state of health.

In the stage of Prakop, accumulated doshas can no longer be contained in the primary disease incubation site and spread in rest of the body like the way a boiling milk spilled out of the pot and spreads all over.

ภาพโดย Myriam Zilles จาก Pixabay

If the person usually is healthy, then prakop will result in mild disorders like a common cold, headache, body pain, etc. However, in a weak and sick person, this slight internal destruction can result in dangerous disorders. For example, a person infected with fully blown HIV AIDS can die from even a flu infection.
Prakop is a condition in which body sends a signal for help through mild disorders like body pain, headache, common cold, heaviness in the body inflammation, acidity, constipation, etc. 80 types of vata disorders, 40 types of pitta disorders and 20 types of kapha disorders are found in the stage.

According to Ayurveda, a perfect physician will heal the body in the stage of sanchay, before even the mild symptoms of discomfort occur. An average physician will heal the body after the symptoms of the disease are visible. And foolish physician will cure a person only after the disease takes roots in the body. Buy this logic; most of us are foolish physicians. However, we should strive to move up The Ladder.

Prakop is another stage of pathophysiology which is more visible and therefore more actionable. At this stage, no specific disease establishes in the body. Only dosha imbalance is stabilized, as a precursor to disease formation. Mild symptoms of a probable illness are visible. If you can correct the doshas in this stage, there will be no disease formation in the body.

At this stage, symptoms are visible in the main spots of dosha, for example, chest and the head region is like a head office for kapha dosha. Any kapha imbalance will reflect as a disorder in this region, for instance running nose, heaviness in the head, drowsiness, et cetera. Therefore, it is possible to find out the exact imbalanced dosha and its intensity by looking at the symptoms and their site.

The Domino effect of this imbalance is not limited to the body parts. One imbalanced dosha can cause an imbalance in other doshas of the body as mentioned before. For example, increased kapha Dosha in the body as in the previous case, can block the normal pathway of vata dosha. We can understand this in the following manner – excess kapha Dosha in the body stimulates excess mucus formation and secretion. This excess mucus can block the normal respiratory pathway(vata system) and cause vitiation of vata dosha as well. Therefore, the stage of Prakop is not limited to a single dosha. One imbalanced dosha can extend its imbalance to all other doshas in the body.

Another critical point is the kind of treatment offered at the stage of Prakop.

One interesting concept is that we should allow our bodies to fight against the infections, without taking any medicines –

https://www.quora.com/How-many-of-you-agree-to-the-actual-fact-that-consumption-of-medicine-during-cold-cough-and-fever-will-hamper-detoxification-process/answer/Vd-Kanika-Verma

Dosha correction is one of the options of treatment in prakop. This treatment will erase all possibilities of disease incubation in the future.
Another option is symptomatic treatment. For example, in case of headache, you can pop in a painkiller in your mouth. The nerves will become numb, and you will not feel the pain. However, the pain causing factor still be there. This treatment is an ostrich approach towards treatment, which hinders the real healing process.

If the dosha/doshas remain vitiated in this stage, the pathophysiology will move to the next step of sthana sanshraya.
Therefore you do not treat this mild headache resulting from this common cold properly, and it will eventually lead to severe disorders like chronic cold, migraine, sinusitis, et cetera.

Sthana sanshraya

The word “sthana” means place.”sanshraya” refers to establishment, accumulation, or lodging.
Sthana sanshraya is the stage in which the accumulated dosha find a weak link in the body metabolism and settle down to form the disease. In this stage, a weak dhatu(tissue) attracts the vitiated dosha like the way dry wood attracts termite

In the stage of prakop, disease formation happens typically at the primary site of dosha, example vata imbalance symptoms are found mainly in the abdomen(bloating constipation), extremities(pain in hands and legs). With the pitta imbalance, signs mainly occur in the stomach(acidity), skin(inflammation).In the case of kapha dosha vitiation, symptoms will be found mostly in the chest and head region. For more information, visit the abode of dosha.

However, in the stage of sthana sanshraya, the disease can occur in any part of the body depending on the vulnerability of the body part, organ, or system. Considering the previous example of the drenched person, if respiratory system is the weakest in the body of this individual, then imbalanced doshas will accumulate in the body and cause-related disorders like asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, upper respiratory tract infection et cetera.

This development will not happen in a day. The stage of sthana sanshraya takes some time depending on the overall health, age, mental state, nutrition, and multiple other factors. It might take weeks or even years for the disease to occur depending on the rate of exposure to wrong food, lifestyle, and negative mental state.

Sthana sanshraya is the stage when doshas choose the best spot for disease occurrence. It all happens naturally according to the laws of nature. As this stage stabilizes, doshas prepare the selected body part or system for disease acceptance.

We often notice that we face symptoms which subside once a proper disease occurs. For example, a person might face initial difficulty in breathing regularly. However, after some time, the regular breathing normalizes to a certain extent, and a proper disease expresses itself in the form of asthmatic attacks.
Initial disharmony in the metabolism becomes stronger and establishes as a parallel bio-rhythm. In this case, the smaller symptoms might subside to produce regular and stronger syndrome.

Therefore it is essential to note that if a minor disorder subsides, it might not mean that core pathology inside the body subsides completely. Probably, the minor ailment is stabilizing into a more prominent disease.

The prime site of the disorder depends on various factors. Considering the same example, if kapha dosha gets vitiated in a vata dominant Prakriti person then, kapha can easily vitiate vata. In this case, doshas have a choice of disorders like migraine, urinary disorders, diabetes at et cetera. All these disorders require both kapha and vata dosha vitiation.

Now, if the person has frequently faced mild urinary infections in the past, a weakened urinary system becomes the natural choice for the doshas to settle down. If this person is obese, eats lots of sweets, follows wrong food and lifestyle practices regularly, the doshas can later aggravate the disorder into a severe urinary infection, bladder stones, and even diabetes.

Age of the individual also makes a lot of difference in pathogenesis. Youth is dominated by the pitta dosha dominates. If the concerned individual is a young person, then the above-vitiated dosha will form milder symptoms as pitta dosha has properties contrary to both vata and kapha. Because of the purifying nature of fiery Pitta dosha, most of the toxins in the body get burnt. Therefore youth is a phase when the person has maximum immunity towards diseases.

On the other hand, vata Dosha is the dominating factor in the old age. Vata dosha governs all movements in the body. Therefore, An older adult is highly vulnerable to diseases. Also, the range of possible disorders in the old age is much more extensive as compared to that in the other phases of life.

In the old age, the best site of sthana sanshraya are the main sites of vata Dosha- for example, abdomen, large intestine, limbs, skin, etc. For this reason, some of the diseases are more common in aged people like osteoarthritis, dementia, baldness, etc.
Abode of dosha.

If the imbalanced doshas are not treated or appeased in the stage of sthana sanshraya, then that this pathogenesis progresses to the next stage-vyakti.

Vyakti

The word vyakti refers to “expression,” “entity,” or “individual” in Sanskrit. In this stage of pathogenesis, the full expression of a specific disorder or syndrome is visible. This disorder is easily identifiable and distinguishable from others, for example, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, vitiligo, et cetera. This disease has a specific name and exact manner in which it impacts the body. For example, a cataract affects the vision and can lead to blindness.

In this stage, the disease implants itself thoroughly in the body. The faulty metabolism becomes a part of the bio Rhythm and body adjust its functioning around it. The word vyakti forms another word, “vyaktitva” – personality. In this stage, you can see the whole character of the disease! All the primary symptoms of the disease are present in the stage of vyakti.
However, differential diagnosis is still applicable in this stage.

In this stage of pathophysiology, the disease is firmly established in the body and openly challenges healthy metabolism. The body responds with attempts to accommodate normal metabolic functions around the diseased system and generate enough resources to overthrow the disease.
Vyakti is the stage, where the enemy comes out of the trojan horse and attacks on the Achilles’ heel.
At this stage, the disease can cause significant permanent damage to the body if not appropriately treated.

All the disorders are easily treatable up to the early stage of vyakti. With a failure to provide proper treatment, the disease diversifies itself to create complications. In the next phase – bheda, the condition can become incurable yet manageable (diabetes, vitiligo), or fatal(cancer).

Bheda

The word bheda refers to “variety”, “diversification”,”hole”,or “secret” in Sanskrit. In this stage of pathophysiology, the disease differentiates into its varieties; for example, migraine with or without Aura, with or without headache.

Beda is also the stage of appearance of complications. For examples, the occurrence of diabetic neuropathy, nephropathy, retinopathy, etc. as the primary disorder diabetes broadens its impact on the body. Imagine, the British came to India as merchants and became the rulers. They made rules contrary to the ancient law of the land and forced the natives to follow them. In the stage of bheda, the body is almost under foreign control. Only a violent revolt can change the scene of power.

A person requires extensive treatment in the stage of bheda. Now the focus is not to cure the disease completely, as many diseases might convert to incurable due to the permanent damage to the body. However, at this stage, a vaidya should try to maintain the health by regular external intervention(perennial medication and preventive lifestyle) and elongate the lifespan of the patient.

Six stages in a story-form

If you try to understand the whole system of pathophysiology, according to Ayurveda, we can take the example of terrorists attempting to overthrow the government and capture a nation. Here the maligning factor is not pathogens or environment, but the doshas. Doshas are the dissatisfied population!

Initially, there has to be some malfunctioning at the end of the government that leads to dissatisfaction in a small section of the population. The growth of dissatisfaction is the stage of Sanchay in case of the body. This discontent population is the base for a more massive discord.

If the government tries to do no substantial correction in response to this dissatisfaction, gradually the discontent might spread to a larger section of the population. This spread is the kind of Domino’s effect that we talked about in the stage of Prasar.

As the discontent spreads to a larger population, the disgruntled group might get enough support and confidence to express it’s dissatisfaction to the government, in the form of rallies, strike, destruction of public property, non-cooperation et cetera. We can assume this to be the stage of prakop, where we can see mild symptoms in terms of the disorder; however, a proper disease is still not established.

If the dissatisfied group does not get a proper response from the government, it might lose hope and take things into their own hands. This group can form an organization to ensure the protection of its rights and to nullify the effect of government. The dissatisfied people start together in the incubation centers from where they can spread and become more powerful. Here is the stage of sthana sanshraya, where the disease finds a weak link in the metabolism and establishes itself in there.

As this group forms and grows inside the country, it shows its presence by openly opposing the government functioning and control. By this time, the disconcerted people are established and organized. At this stage, they are not to individuals but the whole body of people, running a parallel government inside the nation. This development can also is similar to the situation of a civil war inside a country where two opposing forces are trying to gain power over the entire nation. Such is the stage of vyakti when the opposite force comes into full expression.

One major organization of dissatisfied people can branch out into several other organizations with a similar purpose. For example, the same organization can form a youth wing, a women’s wing, educational Institutes to propagate their ideology, a personal army et cetera et cetera. It is possible that these baby-structures develop into full-fledged and independent organizations in the long run. In this manner, anti-government forces become more established and stronger than ever before. At this stage, it is very much possible for this force is to overthrow the central government and take complete control in their hands. Such is the stage of Bheda where the disease manifests with multiple Independent and robust complications. This stage of the disease can be even fatal.

These are the six stages of pathogenesis that every disease in the body goes through. The natural preventive mechanism of the body can prevent most of the disorders in the stage of prakop. The common cold, cough, headache, etc. are body’s attempts to eliminate the pathology.

With external help like frequent seasonal Detox(ritucharya), adjustment of food and Lifestyle according to seasonal changes and age, peaceful mental state, we can prevent the accumulation of the dosha and eliminate the foundation of disease formation – Sanchay.

Here lies the importance of knowing the six stages of disorders. This information can help us to prevent ailments and maintained a perfect state of health forever.

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Ayurveda of Colostrum

ภาพโดย gdakaska จาก Pixabay

In ancient times, it was recommended that the mother should not feed the infant for the first 6 days after its birth. After 6 days, when the newborn was fed mother’s milk for the first time, it was an ocassion for festivity. In India, it was called Chatti, and the breast-fed milk was called chatti ka dodh.

This thick yellow milk today secreted in the first few days after delivery is called colostrum. Colostrum is a storehouse of nutrition. Colostrum has much more nutrition as compared to the regular milk that comes after the secretion of colostrum subsides. Modern science advocates feeding colostrum to the infant, on account of the massive nutrition that it contains.

However, more is not always better. Adquate is better than more. We don’t need more nutrition, what we really need is balanced nutrition. The nutrition that we derive from a food depends more on our capacity to digest it and not on the total amount of nutrition that the food contains. Colostrum should be avoided as the first food for the newborn. Ayurveda says that the digestive system of the infant is not prepared to handle anything heavy to digest.

Colostrum has a very high amount of proteins as compared to normal breast milk. Proper protain digestion needs a good amount of proteolytic enzymes, and according to modern science, there is almost no pepsin-induced digestion in the infants for a maximum of 2 weeks. Feeding Colostrum is almost similar to feeding grains to the infant.

The infant’s intestine is very mild and immature. It cannot tolerate exposure to heavy concentration of digestive enzymes required to digest heavy food. Besides, the quality and amount of digestive enzymes is also not sufficient for proper digestion of colostrum.

Now when colostrum is under-digested, it can create underdigested toxins. Good amount of digestive acid also acts as a preservative and prevents food decay inside the intestines. However, this underdigested food rots inside the alimentary canal in absense of the preservative effect of digestive juices.

Probably, that’s why fecal matter of a colostrum fed baby is green-black and sticky even after expulsion of muconium, whereas that of a normal breast milk fed baby is mustard colour or yellowish.

The toxins thus formed can cause severe damage to babies immature and tender digestive system. Besides, according to recent scientific researches , excess protein intake can cause severe lifestyle disorders lie diabetes, cardiac problems and even cancer. Such children might develop a lot of digestive problems, allergies and autoimmune disorders in their later years.

It is important the tender digestive system of the newborn is not over-worked. Overburdened body parts quit their jobs eventually , for example a pancreas with zero insulin secretion or, thyroid with low thyroxin.

https://www.livescience.com/43839-too-much-protein-help-cancers-grow.html

Now many scientists argue that milk contains protease that helps in protein digestion inside infant’s stomach, true. But now what should we research on is the quality and quantity of protease present in colostrum, and whether it is sufficient to digest the high amount of nutrition present in colostrum.

Ayurveda is not against breast-feeding. Infact, it is the oldest science that says that no solid food grains or outside food should not be fed to the newborn before 6 months of age unless the quantity of mother’s milk is not sufficient for its growth. Modern science also agrees to this concept today.

Today we find that babies are growing obese, which was almost non-existent a few decades back. Many of these babies are force-fed highly nutritious and fortified food. They need force feeding probably as they have lost their natural hunger.

And you need more taste stimulants when the kids are not naturally hungry. And that’s why we see so much food with excess salt, sugar, fat and taste enhancers. Later in life, there is more possibility of these kids to be led more by their tongue than their stomach. This tendency makes them highly susceptible to all kinds of lifestyle disorders. Sometimes I wonder whether highly nutritious colostrum is the reason behind all this.

No breastfeeding for the first 6 days also helped the mother to recover faster, as her metabolism is not burdened with lactation. It also helped her to produce a better quality and quantity of breast-milk later. Also, if we do not force the mothers to breastfeed from the day one and give them a holiday for days after delivery, it might also help them to recover emotionally. This can effectively prevent post partum depression in many mothers.

And what happens to the colostrum if the baby is not feeding on it? This highly nutritious fluid gets reabsorbed in mother’s body and helps it to heal faster.

Ayurveda is also one of the oldest science that describes defects of the mother’s milk and its remedies. Like all other body fluids, milk can also have defects which can be corrected. We can discuss about it in our next video.

But if the infant should not drink mothers milk for the first six days then what should the little one drink? Infant formula? ….Ayurveda recommends that newborn baby be should be fed diluted cows milk for the first six days after its birth. This diet will allow enough time for two babies intestine to develop properly and accommodate the new food. Overburdened body parts quit their work just like in the case of malfunctions in a fatty liver or insulin less pancreas. Overburdened intestine might also react similarly.

Ayurveda prohibits feeding colostrum to the babies. However at the same time, it describes the properties of colostrum, and how it is excellent for human consumption, however, it is still recommended to consume cause college from only if you have excellent digestion. There are many animals like calls elephants camel where the babies drink the colostrum and colostrum, and they do not face any problem undefined. However, we should note that these babies are born equipped to walk even Run only a few hours after birth. I assume that the digestive system must be equally equal to handle a heavy dose of colostrum as well. However human babies are for different than all these animals.

This entire concept went to the drain because of the use of unhygienic and unboiled Cow’s milk for the babies. Unsanitary living conditions and habits like Failure to wash hands properly before feeding the baby, contaminated utensils et cetera lead to severe infections in the digestive system in the infants. This was the leading cause of the high rate of infant mortality due to diarrhea in India. Many would recall the high rate of infant mortality caused by unhygienic use of a branded infant formula across the world a few decades back.

It is important to note that propagation of this concept in the uneducated and poor masses can be dangerous because of inherently unhygienic conditions lack of basic hygiene awareness. That they should feed their babies colostrum from day one. Instead of witching to unhygienic prepared Cow’s milk.

As of now, we have no scientific proof for this concept. The biggest bases for the validity of any concept in Ayurveda is pratyaksha pramana (visible and verifiable proof). Therefore I do not claim that it is true. However, I am in the process of experimentation and hope to discover the truth behind this Ayurvedic concept whatever it may be.

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