Ayurvedic Remedies for Instant Cough Relief

A cough is basically an irritation in the throat because of phlegm or any other irritant. Almost all the cough syrups present in the market contain alcohol. They might make you drowsy on a working day!

According to Ayurveda, cough is caused by vitiation or increase in Kapha dosha.

For a better understanding of Kapha dosha, please visit the following links –

Qualities Of Dosha

General Functions of Balanced Dosha

During the seasonal change, the body tries to adjust its physiology according to the external environment. These seasonal changes stress the body metabolism and the result is a seasonal disorder like fever, cold or a cough! For a better understanding of how the seasons can cause a cough, please visit the following link –

Effect of Ritu (seasons) on Dosha

Also, find the Ayurvedic lifestyle to prevent seasonal disorders in the following link –

Brief Ritucharya for 6 seasons

However, if you still catch a bad cold or a cough, here are some Ayurvedic home remedies which can be easily prepared and consumed for instant cough relief. These remedies are safe for use in the cases of a chronic cough as well.

There are two kinds of a cough – wet and dry. Different people face different intensity and duration of a cough, that may linger long after the fever or the flu is gone. It all depends on the Prakrati or the innate body temperament of the individual.

Normally, the cough starts with the wet cough and then may become a dry cough. A dry cough may or may not take a long time to get cured. The following remedies for wet cough are preventive in nature. They prevent the conversion of wet cough to a dry cough. The herbs used in these remedies also help to boost the immunity and prevent frequent reoccurrence of the seasonal flu.

Wet Cough

  • Dissolve 10 gm of pure camphor, 10 gm black pepper, 10 gm of ginger powder and 10 gm of tampered asafoetida in ghee. Take 1/2 to 1 tsp for instant relief in wet cough.
  • Make a paste of 20–25 raisins and add 10 gm of black pepper and melted jaggery. Make balls of 500 mg. Consume these balls SOS for instant relief from a cough.
  • Roast 20 gm turmeric and 20 gm asafoetida separately till they emit a nice aroma. Add them to 100 gm of ghee. Also, add 10 gm of ginger powder. Take 1/2 to 1 tsp of wet cough.
  • Anti-cough decoction – Take 1 lit of water and add 10 gm of black pepper, 5 gm ginger powder, and 10 gm turmeric powder, 8–10 leaves of Tulsi and mint, 2–3 cardamom (optional), 20 gm of jaggery and boil the mixture till half of it evaporates.

Dry Cough

  • Melt 100 gm of jaggery and add powder of 8–10 black pepper in it. Make small balls of approximately 500 mg each. If you are an Ayurveda fan prone to a chronic cough, you can store these homemade tablets for minimum 1 month for instant cough relief.
    This remedy is very beneficial for all 3 kinds of body types.
  • Temper 100 gm of ghee (Indian butter) with 25 gm of asafoetida. Cool the preparation and add 10 gm of black pepper. Add a small amount of melted jaggery to make it palatable if required. Take 5–10 gm of this mixture for instant relief from a cough. You can store it for about a year if used carefully with a clean spoon.
  • Mix Honey and ginger juice, each 1 tsp and consume for instant dry cough relief.
  • Anti-cough milk – Take 1 lit of skimmed milk and add 10 gm black pepper, 5 gm of ginger powder / 10 gm of ginger flakes, 20 gm turmeric, 8–10 Tulsi leaves, 20 gm jaggery and 1 tsp of ghee. Boil the mixture till only 500 ml of it remains. Drink this hot milk before bed and avoid eating or drinking anything after it.
  • Bhoomi amla or country gooseberry is a very commonly found plant. It has amazing results against a cough.
    Boil 50 gm of Bhoomi amla paste (all parts), 10 gm of black pepper and 20 gm of jaggery in 500 gm of water. Drink the hot decoction for instant relief from wet cough. It also works for a Dry cough when added 1 tsp of ghee.

Also, find some OTC Ayurvedic medicines that can be safely used for a chronic or acute cough. However, it is important to consult a trained physician before using any of these medicines.

Classical Medicines for Cough

 

4 Effective Ayurvedic OTC medicines for Cough

Cough is an effort of the body to get rid of phlegm or foreign irritants sticking to the internal parts of throat.

Sometimes cough persists for a long time even after the fever or primary infection subsides. Normally it is dry cough that is the most irritating.

If you do not want to use alcohol based cough syrups because of religious preferences or if you don’t want to feel sleepy in office after using them then –

4 OTC Ayurvedic medicines for Cough

Here are 4 Ayurvedic combinations which are more effective than normal home remedies. These medicines are herb based and therefore safe to use. They can also be combined with allopathic medicines for fever or cough for holistic treatment.

All the 4 medicines discussed here are classical Ayurvedic medicine and are available over the counter (OTC) with the same name.

Eladi Vati

This medicine is esp. good for dry cough.

Apart from cough, it is extensively used in treatment of tuberculosis induced cough, hemorrhage, haemoptysis (coughing up blood), fever, vomiting, fainting, hoarseness.

Dosage: 2-3 tabs at one time; 2-3 times in a day, to be sucked or taken with warm milk / water.

Best suited for pitta prakrati people.

Kapuradi Vati

This is mainly used for wet cough.

Best suited for pitta and Kapha Prakrati.

The main ingredient Kapur or camphor is very beneficial for pitta and kapha.

Dosage : same as Eladi vati

Lavangadi Vati

This medicine is effective for both wet and dry cough. Very effective for vata, Kapha.

It is very helpful to stop a cough attack.

It losses the sticky phlegm in case of cough which continues for long time and ejects small pieces of yellow of phlegm.

It relieves cough induced chest pain and head ache.

Dosage: same as Eladi vati

Dadimadi vati

This medicine has very good results in chronic cough. The main ingredient is Dadim/ Anar/ pomegranate.

Other ingredients are

Anardana

Gur

Sauth

Pippali

Marich

Apart from cough, this medicine is also helpful in following disorders.

  • Anorexia
  • Indigestion
  • Hoarseness
  • Chronic cold
  • Asthma
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache

Dosage : Same as Eladi Vati

5 Essential Yoga Poses for Rainy Season

Vata Dosha is vitiated in Rainy season. Imagine a heated pan suddenly sprinkled with water! A lot of vapor will be formed. Also, the metal continuously exposed to sudden drastic changes in temperature will erode at a faster rate (faster aging). Same phenomenon happens to our body, only in a more complicated physiological manner. Imagine that you are driving your car on a angular mountain road. If you are driving your car at a speed of 100 km, there is very low possibility that you will be able to suddenly change the direction at a sharp turn, without skidding . The momentum of the car prevents sudden change in direction. Body metabolism also has its momentum. It is in cooling mode during Summer. Suddenly it is ordered to change its functioning because of sudden temperature drop due to rains. The intertia of momentum is the vitiation of Vata Dosha. It causes confusion in the body and thus the diseases.

For details please visit following links :

Vata Dosha

Dosha in Rainy season

Sandhikal

However gradual cooling of the pan instead, will avoid the effervescence as well as the damage. Similarly a gradual food and lifestyle change is required to prevent damage to the body from seasonal changes. The Ayurvedic preventive system for seasonal change is called Ritucharya. In order to prevent skidding into diseases due to seasonal change, one must use the brakes of Ritucharya

Ritucharya

 

Exercise Routine : Important Factor of Lifestyle Change in Varsha Ritucharya.

 

5 Best Asanas for Rainy Season

These are poses which help in pacifying the Vata Dosha which is supposed to be vitiated during the rainy season.

 

Precautions for Varsha Ritucharya Exercise Regime

Avoid rigorous exercises and opt for light and easy exercises.

Do not exercise till you start feeling tired.

Prefer to avoid excessive exercise that might make you sweat profusely.

Keep yourself properly hydrated.

 

Benefits

Yoga is a good option as it is not a sweat inducing exercise.

Lack of sunshine due to clouds might induce SAD related depression ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) in susceptible individuals. Yoga generates a feeling of peace and contentment.

All 5 asanas strengthen abdominal muscles, improve digestion, help to relieve gas and constipation.

With above Ritucharya tips, keep healthy and happy in this rainy season and …

Enjoy the rains!

 

 

 

Healthy recipes you must have this rainy season! : Part 1

During summer, body is in cooling mode. Suddenly, with the start of rains the external environment becomes cooler. But the body systems have their own intertia of momentum. They take their time to change and adjust to the external environment. The time taken to adjust to the new conditions is a ripe time for seasonal disorders. This causes Vata Dosha to becomes vitiated in Rainy season. For more details on effect of seasonal changes on dosha, please follow the below link :

Vata Dosha in rainy season

The physiological shock that body receives cause seasonal joint pain, flu, body ache and a hoard of other diseases. Change in food habits and lifestyle can help prevent seasonal physiological shock to the body. This systematic change in food and lifestyle is called Ritucharya.

Ritucharya

Sandhikal

Brief Ritucharya for 6 seasons

 
The food in rainy season should be vatahar or contrary to vata Dosha. I this post, I have covered two great vata reducing ingredients – Ajwain (Ajowan caraway, bishop’s weed or carom) and Methi dana (fenugreek seeds).

Ajwain

Ajwain balances vata and kapha. It increases pitta. It is an excellent spice to ease digestion, eliminate gastric trouble and bloating . It has anti spam, germicidal, antiseptic and antipyretic properties. It is a good body cleanser and helps detoxification of blood and liver.

Methi dana

Methi dana or fenugreek seed is kapha and vata balancing spice. It is known for its blood purifying effect. It also has excellent effect on heart, lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar. It is a great digestive and prevents acid reflux (heart burn) or gas trouble. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti diabetic and anticancer effects. It helps relieve body pain, muscular cramps and menstrual problems.
 
Find below links of delicious based on these 2 ingredients.

Proscribed

Following vata enhancing food should be avoided during rains.

  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brinjal
  • Green vegetables
  • Green peas
One should use good amount of asafoetida, ginger, garlic, methi, ajwain, mustard oil, ghee, garam masala ingredients ( tejpatta, tejphol, etc.) if using the above vegetables.
 
Following acidic food items should be minimized in diet to avoid joint pain, body pain etc.
  • Tamarind
  • Vinegar
  • Acidic items
  • Chinese food

Dosha and The Subprime Crises

I was watching documentary on subprime crises “The Inside Job” yesterday. The kind of high level collaborated corruption that explains subprime crises is enough to shake one’s belief in democracy itself. A communist regime probably would have at least contained the excessive salaries of the high level employees. All ideologies have their negatives and positives. Even monarchy would be better, in context of a noble king.

Ideologies are cultivated by social needs and are very successful in one set of conditions. Democracy is successful when people are well-informed and powerful, media is not corrupt. Even communism is successful when public distribution of wealth is highly unequal in society, like it is today in many democracies.

Context is the key, everything is wrong or right according to its context. Heavy rains are great for area under drought, but might bring floods in low lying lands. Probably we should change ideology also once in 20 years’ time, to balance the society in changing phases of development.

But ideologies have their own inertia. Once started, they generate social momentum, a force difficult to stop. They have their patrons, people who believe that there can be nothing better than one particular ideology. But the conditions keep changing, social requirements keep changing. With changing situations, such ideology is met with a crash; it fails because the condition in which it was useful no longer exists and people refuse to change it. Finally, there is a painful transition or improvement in the ideology to form something different and more appropriate for the present context.

Ideologies are inherently misbalancing factors. They are like the steering wheel, which has to be turned manually according to the direction of the road. You cannot follow a steering wheel, you have to direct it. A guided change in ideology led by capable and wise social leaders might prevent the injustice and unrest in society.

Dosha are like ideologies. Dosha is a system which runs the body, just like ideologies run societies. There are 3 different types of Dosha according to Ayurveda – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. They have their distinctive properties and functions, different and contradictory of each other.

Body needs cooling in summer, protection from infection in rains and heating in winters. As the season changes, body requirements also change. The existing dosha system becomes ineffective because it was tuned according to previous season.

Dosha need to adjust their functions according to different seasons.They are fit for a specific function in a given set of conditions. However, they are called Dosha (meaning – Fault) because they have a tendency to create imbalance. They too have their inertia of momentum. Once a dosha starts operating it generates momentum which cannot be brought to a standstill suddenly without consequences. The body receives a physiological jolt when the dosha come to a halt, just like the way it receives a physical jolt when a bus comes to a sudden halt. Physical jerk may cause injuries, physiological jolt causes seasonal diseases. Aging process is initiated as the sum total effects of constant seasonal shocks.

Few people saw the subprime crises coming. They warned about the impending danger. The subprime crisis was like the last stage of the disease, in which the system completely collapsed. It could have been avoided if the reckless firms and markets were regulated.

Ritucharya has a similar concept. If the body is prepared for the changing season by changing food lifestyle etc., lots of pathological crises can be avoided in every season.

Let’s live a hundred autumns invincible!

Return to Original State : Ayurvedic Approach to Treatment

Recently I came across a patient who is suffering from hernia. She is in early 30s and got operated for Intestinal Hernia once. During the surgical procedure, parts of her intestine were removed. After the procedure, she always feels nauseated and is hardly able to eat anything. Still she gained weight at an incredible rate, around 20 kg in 8 months’ time. Now she is massively overweight. Unfortunately, she is faced with another incident of hernia. But because of her weight and improper BMI, she cannot get operated safely. Now she is trying to find other options.

What are we trying to treat? Half of the diseases treated produce another set of diseases, either as side effects or complications. Treatment of disease is mostly an attempt to suppress symptoms or cut out the trouble making organ. Ayurvedic approach however has a positive primary aim – maintenance of health. Treatment of sick comes after that. Ideally, no one should fall sick if the first aim is achieved.

Ayurvedic Treatment approach is based on the concept of return to the original state or regaining the balance. What is the fundamental reason for hernia? The outer abdominal wall and supporting structures (ligaments, tendons etc.) are not able to contain the internal mass, thus the protrusion called hernia. Even if one incident of hernia is treated, there will be more such incidents because the reason remains. Surgical treatment in most cases is inadequate. It is like the attempt to fill a leaking container. The container will never get filled till the leakage is repaired. Similarly, the disease will never be permanently cured till the root cause is eliminated. If the cause is eliminated, the abdominal wall and supporting attachments become immune to repeated Hernia. Surgical procedure is more of an emergency relief procedure than a permanent cure.

Another case that I would like to discuss is a person with pleurisy. He has very painful breathing and has gone through thoracentesis recently. He has a pipe inserted in his chest cavity which removes the excess liquid from the intermediary space between two layers of pleura (covering of lungs). The cause of his pleurisy is Lupus, which is an incurable but manageable disorder.

Pleurisy occurs due to some infection (TB, pneumonia etc.), Heart, liver or kidney disease and can be cured permanently when the cause is eliminated. For elimination of infection, the regular method is to do carpet bombing of antibiotics on the body tissues, which kills both culprit and civilian cells of the body. It creates massive damage which might take a long time to get healed. Treatment for heart, liver and kidney is either maintenance based, creates disease re-occurrence or leads to removal of the diseased organ as the final cure, but which again might create other complications.

What if the disease process itself is reversed and the organs return to normal?That is successful treatment. In case of pleurisy, the lungs stop exuding liquid, instead suck back the extra liquid, wash the intermediary space between the two layers of pleura with fast renewal of tissue fluid and regain health. Even in case of infection, what if the body cells facing infection grow stronger and are able to fight back the pathogens to elimination? No need for foreign military aid. It does more harm than benefit. What if the heart walls lose their thickness and rigidity in case of congestive heart failure and start pumping the blood again with full force? That is return to normal, to original! That is the real treatment!

Ayurveda helps the body to cure the disease. Every other approach is artificial and temporary. Let’s get back to roots because everything starts with the roots, so should the treatment.

 

Ayurvedic Recommendations For Ramadan Fasting

Anyone who wants to detoxify the body should observe Ramadan. In fact, the festival coincides with Nirjala Ekadeshi of Hindus, which is a full day fast without food and water. The festival of Ramazan is ideal way to detoxify the body and coincides with the most crucial sandhikal  of the year, the time of seasonal change between summer and rainy season. This is the most drastic change of the year, besides the strength of body is low during this time because of summer’s effect on the It. Lack of internal cleansing at this time is an invitation to a hound of diseases or their aggravation in the rainy season. Comparatively, the transition from winter to summer is easier because the strength of the body is at its peak.

Ramazan gives body ample time to detoxify body because of full day fasting and the long duration.

But unfortunately, the  important body Cleansing function of Ramazan is rendered ineffective because of heavy food consumption by the fasting crowd at the end of the day. The body gets a physiological shock, of digestion of a heavy meal when the body metabolism is slowing down after the sunset.

Prophet Muhammad has observed that the worst thing a man can fill is his stomach. Ideally, the fasting should start with the day break with a light meal called suhoor. And at the end of the day, the fast should end with water and light food.  The fast can be broken with fruit juice, dates, light food like plain rice with soup or curry. Heavy use of oil and spices in the food only eliminates the detoxification effect of the fast. Also the amount of food should be minimal, just enough to satisfy the hunger. One should not try to consume the amount of 3 meals to compensate for the missed meals.

In totality, Ramadan should be observed with a sense of abstinence and moderation, not only during the day fasting but also during the meal times.

Ascending and descending phase of fasting

Total days of fasting are approx. 30 days.  Ideally every fast should have a ascending and a descending period to prevent any blow to the normal body physiology. If I am eating full meal today, which I stop suddenly tomorrow, my body will have to drastically change its metabolism to adjust to this change. Therefore any dietary change should be gradual to bring expected detoxification benefits to the body.

During Ramadan, breakfast and dinner are the only meals.  Lunch is the one missed meal. The most important meal of the day is the breakfast because the body is fresh, clean and hungry (ready to digest) after the night.

The meals should be changed gradually. The first change is the lunch , therefore there should be no other change on the first day.

Gradually the dinner should be reduced to minimum, approx. 50% of the normal diet by the mid of Ramadan month. Same should be done with breakfast gradually, by reducing some amount each day.

From the 15th day , the amount of food should be increased in both meals gradually to reach the original amount in next 15 days.

This gradual phasing  is like slowing down your vehicle while taking a sharp turn, and then regaining the speed. A car trying to take a sharp turn with full speed is highly vulnerable to accident. Same goes for the body.

Have a Happy and Healthy Ramadan Fasting !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun – Day and Seasons

It is said that time is a factor created by sun god. Sun divides the rotation and revolution of the earth in day, night and seasons and thus creates the factor of time, thereby also creating the factor of aging.

This is our home Earth. Imagine our home rotating as well as revolving around Sun.

When the earth is furthest from the sun then it is winter for us, and gradually as it moves towards the sun, the seasons change; spring and summer come respectively, as Earth moves closer to the sun.

When it is summer, the heat causes Earth’s water to form vapour and so the clouds. As Earth starts to move further away from Sun again, rains come as the heat to maintain the huge vapour mass (clouds) reduces.

Change of seasons is actually as simple as heating of a kettle with water. Heat (summer) produces steam, which when condensed, produces water droplets (rains) and finally the kettles cools down (winter).