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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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.

Understanding Constipation through Ayurveda

Constipation is considered to be the root cause of all the disorders in Ayurveda. Ayurveda has a system of 3 doshas – vata, pitta, and kapha. These are metabolic systems that run the body, just like there the way finance, marketing, and HR system together run an organization. They have to collaborate and balance each other. But imagine if one system encroaches on the territory of the other, the organization is going to face the problem. All people who have worked in any organization will be able to relate to this.

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Now vata is the primary dosha responsible for constipation. It is considered to be the most important of all dosha. Let’s suppose it the profit center of an organization. If the profit center is affected, the results will trickle down to each person in the organization. Similarly, when vata is vitiated in the body, each cell of the body gets affected. Vata can vitiate all other doshas. It is said that vata sweeps away other doshas from their balanced state as the way wind sweeps away clouds from their stationary position.

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Ayurvedic Mechanism of Constipation

Dryness or rukshta is the defining feature of vata, just like high temperature is the defining feature of fire. So when vata is imbalanced, the first symptom that it causes is dryness in the body. Qualities of dosha. Dryness (dehydration) is the underlying factor that triggers constipation in the body.

It is interesting to note that each dosha has a head office inside the body, the physical department. These are called the abode of the dosha in traditional Sanskrit. Large intestines are the head office for vata. So if vata is vitiated, large intestines are the first ones to get affected. And the effect caused is excessive dryness. Now the primary function of large Intestines is to extract extra water from the digested matter and form fecal material. And a vitiated vata will cause the large intestine to work abnormally. The large intestine will absorb a lot of water from the digested matter and create constipation. Constipation in turns creates bloating, indigestion and a hoard of other problems in the long run. So it is an effect similar to the husband bullying the wife, wife bullying the elder child and elder child bullying the younger sibling.

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The Mind is the Key

Now, there is a hidden health secret in this entire sequence of occurrences. This sequence indicates that constipation is not caused directly by less consumption of water, because ideally, less intake of water should first cause thirst. According to Ayurveda, forceful control or ignorance of natural urges leads to various disorders. Constipation is the second stage. The first stage is the thirst. When thirst is ignored, the incidental result is constipation.

Since most of the people are addicted to their work, enjoyment or electronic gadgets that they have become habitually oblivious to their natural thirst. Worse is that they forget to drink water sometimes. After that, they keep drinking water when it is not required, just like the way they keep eating when not hungry. Absence of mindful living is the first step towards all diseases. Thus I discovered that the real precursor of both constipation and thirst is mindless living…absent consciousness.

The primary factor being the mind, secondary factors are diet and lifestyle. Because of lack of awareness or conscious living, people tend to follow the wrong food and lifestyle. Ayurveda says that the body knows what’s best for it. And it conveys it to the mind, but as grown-ups, we get inattentive to these signals. Let’s look at small children, they eat only when hungry unless we pop a chocolate or potato chip in their mouth. They are naturally aware of their physical requirements. I don’t know about the gates of heaven, but if we are the children gates of health will definitely be open for us.

Hail Ayurveda, which says that each and every disorder has it’s rooted somewhere in the mind because the mind is the main computer that runs an entire factory of the body. One virus in the central processor can lead to incredible damage to the whole system. Therefore, if you are facing mild constipation, you should start meditating!!! And become more aware of your body, and it’s natural urges. This is a long term and permanent solution for not only constipation but also for all other disorders.

Mindfulness is a practice that can help you become more conscious of your body and its needs. Please find my personal experience with mindfulness in the book Instant Mindfulness. This book can help you practice mindful meditation even when you don’t have even one spare minute in your day!

Constipation is Good

Many vaidyas believe that constipation is the root-cause of all diseases. However, all types of constipation are not harmful. Sometimes, people get constipation due to freezing weather. Stored fecal matter is a source of heat and thus a source of life according to Ayurveda. If the body is not producing enough heat through metabolism, there will be constipation to preserve body heat. Constipation sometimes can be life-saving in cases where the digestive system of a patient becomes very weak, and there is no strength in the body, for example in the case of malnutrition, starvation, etc.

In such a case, the patient should focus on consuming hot and heat producing food (ginger, garlic, etc.) instead of trying to treat constipation. Besides, in such cases, constipation is preserved intentionally. Attempts are made to recover the natural heat producing system in the body, before trying to relieve constipation.

Unfortunately, most of the people try artificial methods to relieve constipation are heavy duty chemical-based laxatives. They produce results by extracting water from the intestinal lining and softening the stool. However, they can create an imbalance in the electrolyte balance in the body fluids because of the forceful extraction of water from the intestines. Besides, they are not safe for anyone suffering from any heart or kidney condition.

There is another class of constipation relieving medicines that stimulates strong peristaltic movement in the intestines and cause them to throw out the hard stool. They can be used in combination with stool softening drugs. However, they can make intestines tired and more prone to constipation.
Glycerine suppositories or enemas are also some other options. However, if the real problem causing the constipation is not corrected. All these relief methods can be habit-forming and in the long run, severely aggravate the disease.

In short, we must remember that what is not natural is not safe. In the next blog, see you with best food and lifestyle choices to prevent constipation.