Tribals (majority Gond tribe) in Baster (Madhya Pradesh) have unique healing techniques. And their efficacy is more astounding than their simplicity. Here, I would like to share one such method of emergency treatment for wounds (esp. with excessive swelling)
I heard this method from a senior Ayurveda doctor posted in Madhya Pradesh tribal zone when I was still a student. Unfortunately, I do not recollect her name as we met very briefly and only once in a meditation center. However, years later, her story encouraged me to try wound healing experiments with sattu. I am incredibly grateful to her and wish her the best!.
Baster is a relatively backward area of Madhya Pradesh, blessed with beautiful forests and abundant wildlife. But other resources like proper medical care, education, infrastructure, etc. are not up to the mark. And therefore, tribals turn to nature for all their requirements. As my devoted senior went to stay and work in the rural areas, she learned to work with abundant natural resources. She had an excellent opportunity to learn the natural healing techniques first-hand from the tribal healers in Baster.
In our brief meeting, she described how she learned a non-invasive folk medicine method from the tribal healer who extracted a splinter from a leg based abscess. Interestingly, the tribal patient himself did not know that there was any foreign object inside the wound. He came with a complaint of a non-healing abscess. By that time, the injury was already 2-3 months old and badly festered.
Kachchi Pakki Roti
Roti is an Indian flatbread. It is heated on both sides equally to ensure proper cooking. However, if the roti is roasted only on one side, one side becomes slightly hard and dry, and the other unbaked part remains soft and doughy.
How to make Kachchi Pakki Roti
Make a regular wheat dough using boiled water. Make a small roti (flatbread), large enough to cover the wound. The ideal thickness should be around 3-6 mm. Increase roti’s thickness if the wound is deep and wide. Also, make sure that it is uniformly thick. Heat the roti on tava for 1-2 min(depending on the thickness) to make one side roasted and slightly dry. Make sure that the other side of the roti is slightly soft and raw. The dry part also should not be too hard.
Where to use Kachchi-Pakki roti
In Charak Samhita (Chikitsa Sthana: Ch. 20), the use of roasted flour (rice, channa,jowar, etc.) is indicated to promote healing in the secondary stage of wound-healing. In line with the above classical text, it is best to use Kachchi Pakki roti in case of edema of any origin. It helps to absorb the excess liquid and prevents fluid stagnation around the injury. It can be used for extracting foreign objects from an abscess or as a poultice to heal normal wounds.
I would suggest this method in a wound where the basic blood mesh is already formed. It might work wonders for old wounds with a lot of swelling, redness, and inflammation.
I want to try Kachchi Pakki roti in the non-healing wounds of diabetic patients. I was detected with the pre-diabetic state, and my wounds would take an abnormally long time to heal. However, the use of sattu poultice (link) helped to cure my injury without the use of antibiotics. (link) Now, fortunately, with diet and lifestyle change, I am completely healthy. The bottom line is that if sattu poultice can work for small wounds in a pre-diabetic state, Kachchi Pakki roti also can have a significant effect.
Note: It is not advisable to use Kachchi Pakki Roti in deep wounds with excess blood flow. It can be used in a secondary stage when the initial blood flow has subsided.
How to use Kachchi-Pakki Roti
Make a fresh warm roti immediately before use. The warmth of roti helps to boost blood circulation in the swollen area.
Wipe away all moisture, sweat, or pus from the wound.
To ensure complete dryness, sprinkle dry turmeric powder on the wound and let it sit there for a few seconds. It will absorb all moisture.
Remove the wet layer of turmeric powder and sprinkle fresh powder.
Repeat the process till all the moisture is completely removed.
If possible, do a little massage around the swollen wound and apply hot, dry fomentation. You can use a heated cloth pad for it.
If the wound has a thick layer of dead skin, try to it scrap away as much as convenient. This step will help the wound to heal faster and reduce the rate of decay.
Sprinkle a fine layer of dry turmeric powder.
Cover the injured area with the unbaked side of roti so that the dough sticks to the injured part.
Tie roti with a bandage to keep it in the proper place.
Reduce movement in the injured part to ensure that roti stays in place.
Change the roti twice a day in a cold/normal climate. You can change it thrice in hot and humid weather.
I understand that this half baked (Kachchi-raw, Pakki-baked) roti resembles the skin in some manner – hard and dry externally, soft and meshy on the inside. And it can serve as an extra layer where the skin can safely deposit its debris without exposure to the harsh external environment or pathogens. Typically, abnormal protrusions like boils, warts, pimples, etc. also serve the same functions in the skin.
Let’s continue with the tribal story. With the application of this Kachchi Pakki(half baked) roti continuously for a few weeks, she could see the tip of a wooden chip emerging from the abscess. Even the patient had no clue that about the splinter(a sharp piece of wood) inside his calf. But his abscess failed to heal in any other way, which was an indication of something stuck inside.
After a few weeks (I do not have the full details), the fragment came out completely. It was stuck to the roti and was gently pulled out. In fact, the body needed a safe medium to open the abscess and expel the foreign object. Besides, this method also produced excellent results in swelling elimination as well.
This experiment is no more than a tale that I heard from a senior. The final proof in Ayurveda is pratyaksha praman(visible and replicable evidence). I am sharing this information so that if anyone has the facility to experiment on this method with animals/humans safely should try it. I have an intuition that it might work. And if it does, so many complicated things will become more straightforward, and with more such information, emergency healthcare will be so much cheaper, esp. in the rural areas.
Let’s hope that this information multiplies and. I have not used this method personally, and therefore, if you want to experiment with this treatment, try it on a tiny cut/wound. As soon as I get my next cut, I will make sure that I try it and share my experiences with all of you.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Keeping in mind that food cannot be cooked separately for all persons in a house, Acharya Charak describes the food quality that should be taken regularly for all seasons and all prakrati, along with food that should be used very rarely by all prakrati individuals. However, it is particularly important to refrain from the bad food even if you have to stay hungry, as it is said that one should not eat poison even if he has nothing left to eat!
Food that should not be eaten regularly (occasionally, once or twice a year or for the medicinal purpose)
Non-vegetarian diet for the weak
Dried Meat and Vegetables
It is very convenient and sometimes cheap to store dried meat or vegetables for easy use later. Many times people store dried vegetables to be used during the offseason. Dried or dehydrated meat/vegetables are now being frequently used in “Ready to cook” food. But such products should not be used every day.
The food should be consumed in its fresh or natural form as much as possible. According to my personal hypothesis, food that is naturally juicy, like most of the meat and vegetables, when consumed in dried form, tends to absorb extra water from the intestines for getting into its original digestible form. It might swell in the intestines. If the adequate amount of moisture is not available, it might not be digested properly. Such food might create toxins due to incomplete digestion.
Most of the vegetables that grow above the ground like cabbage, cauliflower, brinjal, beans, peas, bottle gourds, etc. are dry in nature and they cause Vata imbalance(dryness in the body) when consumed without hot spices/oil etc. Also, most of the green leafy vegetables are heavy, dry and have a tendency to cause bloating (esp during the rains) if not cooked along with proper spices. When these vegetables are used in the dried form, the dryness produced in the body is multifold. Besides, it can seriously derail the digestive system. This is true for almost all the vegetables.
Therefore, if you have the option of using dried red chilies for the fresh green ones, please choose the fresh green chillis. Dried methi leaves, normally used as a flavor enhancing agent in Indian cooking, also should be used once in a while.
Meat, esp pork is supposed to be extremely heavy in nature and can cause severe digestive problems (Vata derangement) if consumed in the dried form. Beef is recommended only in diseased conditions, not otherwise. Most of the meat is heavy to digest. Dehydrated meat is harder to digest and can cause severe Vata vitiation in the body.
It is said that such food takes a long time to get digested and after digestion does not fuel the digestive fire, instead leaves it weakened. Therefore such food is classified as Dhatupradushak or contaminator of the metabolism/tissue systems. In order to understand this concept, let us take the example of throwing sand on the fire. The sand does not get burnt but brings down the intensity of the fire. It might even extinguish a weak fire!
Ideally, we should stop using the packaged ready to cook masalas which contain dried vegetables like onion, garlic, or dried chicken pieces.
Instead, meat or vegetables stored in pickled form are oiled, tender and better option for easy cooking than the dried ones.
However, dried meat and vegetables, even when used rarely, should be cooked in water/moisture/oil in order to make them soft and easily digestible. They should be served hot in order to stimulate the digestion. Digestive herbs like ginger, black pepper, asafoetida, cumin etc. should be used to make them easy to digest and absorb.
That reminds me about dried ginger powder! There are some exceptions to everything. Dried root vegetables like potato chips can be kept for long duration and consumed after frying. The use of water or oil for proper cooking is indispensable. Still, a fresh potato is a 1000 times better than the dried potato. The dried ginger powder is an Ayurvedic medicine, easy to digest and produces heat in the body and therefore is not a bad food choice. Pumpkin in dried form is not damaging to health, therefore Vadi(a dried Indian curry material) made by sun-drying the chunks of pumpkin paste and spices, are not harmful.
Also, this concept is not applicable to the medicinal herbs(aushadhi) like Ashwagandha to coriander seeds. They can be stored in the dried powdered form of at least one year. However, their other preparations like jam (chavanprash), tablets, alcohols are more useful and have a longer shelf life.
Dried meat and vegetables are not great everyday food, but they might be used for medicinal purposes, as according to Ayurveda, everything in the universe can be used as a medicine. For example, dried radish soup is used to relieve severe bronchitis.
Considering all the health dimensions of dried vegetables and meat, it is best to avoid most of the dried vegetables and meat, unless prescribed by a trained physician.
Lotus roots are considered to be very heavy and not digestible in the human system. Therefore they should not be consumed at all.
Non-vegetarian diet for the weak
Normally a person who is weak and thin is advised to consume a non-vegetarian diet, as according to Ayurveda also, flesh is the best diet to increase flesh. However, a weak person with a bad digestion should never consume non-vegetarian diet, as it can seriously hamper his digestion capacity. Ideally, according to the Ayurvedic procedure of weight gain, a very weak person should improve his digestion and health primarily on a vegetarian diet and digestive medicines. After that, he should gradually move to a non-vegetarian diet. A non-vegetarian diet for a weak person with retarded digestion is like a college assignment for a school kid. The chances of successful completion are almost nil. Besides, such a diet will cause further retardation of the already weak digestion.
The central idea of the above guidelines is to preserve the digestion. Digestion is the fuels the life-force in the body and anything that hampers digestion should be avoided at all cost.
According to Ayurveda, the one who eats healthy food will never need any medicine; and the one who eats unhealthy food will never benefit from any medicine. Therefore it is important to know thy food!
According to Ayurveda, every edible substance on earth has 3 properties –
Doshashamak (Pacifier of Dosha)- It balances the dosha (physiological systems of the body). Herbs like turmeric, ginger, black pepper can be classified as Doshashamak. Turmeric balances Kapha and Pitta, ginger and black pepper balances Vata and Kapha.
Dhatupradushak( Contaminator of Dhatu)- It contaminates the vital tissue systems. Ayurveda believes that the diseases can occur only when there is a suitable environment for their incubation inside the body system. A contaminated dhatu is the ignorant king who unsuspectingly allows the trojan horse of diseases inside the body. It is like the traitor of Sparta who gave away the strategic secrets and led to the defeat of his kingdom. Therefore, all diseases have roots inside the body and these roots are formed by the Dhatupradushak food and lifestyle habits we practice.
Onion can be considered as an example of Dhatupradushak, as it is Guru (heavy to digest). Anything that is heavy to digest is taxing for the digestive system to absorb. It has a hot temperament and helps to balance Vata. However, it is heavy, sweet in taste, and unctuous. Therefore, onion has a tendency to vitiate Kapha Dosha. Onion is also sharp in action and has bitter as its secondary taste. Therefore, it can vitiate pitta dosha by disturbing the physiological processes.
Swasthyahitkarak(Beneficial for Health) – It is the substance that is indisputably good for health. It is important to note that all Ayurvedic guidelines should be considered in a context. Sutra is the system that provides a comprehensive context for all rules. Ghee, Honey, rice, moong dal are some of the swasthyahitkarak foods, that cause almost no harm to the body in the widest range of situations.
Now, there is no physical substance that when taken in any quantity, any time and in any manner will be incontestably good for health. For example, rice is considered good for health and according to Ayurveda, one should have it every day. But uncooked rice is disastrous if consumed, an excessive amount of cooked rice is not good, polished rice is unhealthy etc. Therefore, there is a context where a substance is doshashamak, dhatupradoshak or Swasthyahitkarak. This is the broad view.
Now for practical purposes, how can we classify day to day objects in these 3 categories? Well, we can do that in the same way as we classify the solid, liquid and gas. Everything that exists on this earth can acquire any of the 3 states of physical existence, in specific conditions. For example, oxygen is a gas in normal circumstances. However, it can be transformed to liquid when compressed, or even solid. But still, for all practical purposes, it is classified as a gas, because that is its natural form of existence. In the same way, even arsenic can be good for the body. It is actually used in many of the Rasa Shastra medicines. But, for all practical purposes, it is classified as a toxin. Because it has a natural toxic effect on the body. Similarly, haritaki (Terminelia chebula) is extolled to be as benevolent as a mother towards the stomach but it is not supposed to be consumed more than a specific period of time. Still, for all practical purposes, it is a swasthyahitkarak herb.
Besides, it is important to note that each human body is different. What is good for one person might not be good for the other. For example, eating curd might be good for a person with good digestion, but buttermilk is better for a person with weak digestion. But this classification is still applicable for everyone. For example, as swasthyahitkarak substance, Ghee is invariably good for all humans, (pure and natural) milk is nourishing for all children. Similarly, too much acid like vinegar is dhatupradushak for all people. And Amla is pitta doshashamak for everyone.
Therefore, irrespective of the body type, this classification is the basis on which we can choose the food that we should eat or the food that we should avoid, in general.
Swasthyahitkarak food items should be consumed every day.
Doshashamak food items should be consumed according to requirement.
Dhatupradushak food items should be consumed rarely or not at all.
If we follow these plain and simple rules of eating, we will never fall sick.
The most interesting thing about substance(dravya) as described in Ayurveda is Kal (time), Disha(dimension), Mana(mind) and Atma (soul) are classified as substances. Therefore the above 3 classifications are applicable to the lifestyle and the thought process also.
General Usage Guidelines for Ayurvedic Health Supplements
Ayurvedic Health Supplements like Chyavanprash, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Gokshura etc. are fast catching on public awareness. However, in order to get the fullest benefit from them, it is important to consider some Ayurvedic parameters and factors that affect their performance.
If you are new to the use of Ayurvedic health supplements, you should reflect upon the following questions and make an informed choice –
How is your digestion?
What is your purpose for taking herbal supplements?
What is your Prakriti? You can check it online. If you are not able to find a good site, try ritucharya.com
Efficacy of Ayurvedic medicine is not generalized. It is dependent on the age, digestive capacity and requirements. Therefore it is important to know how strong is your digestion? because if the medicine is not digested, it will not be absorbed by the body. The high undigested doses will produce more toxins than benefits. It is like giving a library of books to an illiterate person. He will be able to get no benefit from the huge number of books.
If your digestion is strong, you don’t get bloating, flatulence, indigestion, acidity etc frequently, then you can start with a good dose of herbal preparations. With a healthy digestion, you will be able to properly digest and absorb the nutrition available in the medicine. In perspective of the above example, in this case, you are literate and will be able to enhance your wisdom by digesting the knowledge from the books.
However, if your digestion is not great and you face the above-mentioned problems with digestion, the first step should be to enhance the digestion process.
There are two kinds of preparations available in the market: Classical Ayurvedic preparations and herbal medicines derived from Ayurvedic text.
Genetically modified herbs
Because of huge popularity and demand of some Ayurvedic herbs like turmeric, ashwagandha, shatavari etc, these herbs are being genetically modified to produce more of their active ingredients, for example high percentage of curcumin in turmeric, or high level of withanolides in ashwagandha. However, these herbs are completely unnatural and cannot be expected to bring the benefits of original ashwagandha.
All the genetically modified products are capable of surviving incompatible environmental conditions. However, according to Ayurveda any herbs that grows in uncompatible season, soil or conditions does not contain the natural properties and can even have a poisonous effect on the body.
Therefore, please do not use turmeric with high curcumin levels in the name of Ayurveda. Ayurveda does not approve of genetically modified products.
Use of digestives
The major benefit of classical Ayurvedic health supplements like Chavanprash, paka preparations is that they contain a good amount of digestives(clove, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, clove, salt, and multiple other spices) in the preparations themselves. These ingredients help in easy digestion and assimilation of the nutrition. Apart from the stated benefit, these ingredients add multiple other qualities to the health supplement. For example, the ideal Chavanprash preparation contains 64 ingredients. And therefore Chavanprash helps in multiple physiological dimensions. It is anti-aging, improves stamina and immunity, is great for eyes, skin, liver; helps in blood purification, improves appetite, sleep quality, digestion and overall metabolism. Therefore if you are using some classical preparation like this in a dosage appropriate to your digestion, it will be properly digested and absorbed.
However, if you are using herbs in the form of extracts, capsules, or powdered form, which are normally single ingredient formulations and do not contain any kind of digestives, you really need to have a good digestive power to gain the maximum benefit from the herbs. Otherwise, there is a probability of indigestion, flatulence or other problems. Inappropriate consumption of herbal preparations might cause health distortion instead of health benefits.
Type of preparation
Many so-called Ayurvedic products use gelatin capsules, preservatives, colouring and flavouring agents. But these formulations decrease the best effects of the herbs.
Let us take the example of turmeric. Today we have raw turmeric capsules available in the market in the name of Ayurveda. But according to Ayurveda, raw turmeric is very difficult
The dosage of the Ayurvedic Health Supplements is also dependent on factors like digestion, age, health requirements of the body or medicinal purpose.
Tapering dosage is always recommended in Ayurveda, which means that you start with half of the final dose and gradually reach the full dosage so that there is no toxin formation in the introductory phase of the medicine.
Tapering dosage allows the body to assess and decide to accept or reject the medicine. It also helps to prevent allergies at an early stage. Tapering dosage is like a proper introduction of a stranger before he enters the house. It is like taking the consent of the owner (our body). If a stranger suddenly enters the house, even with good intentions, the owner might feel attacked. There can be mild or severe reactions by the body when a high dose of a medicine is suddenly consumed, unless in extreme conditions.
Tapering dosage is applicable in stopping the medication as well. If the medicine is consumed for a reasonably long period of time, the body might become dependent on it. Imagine suddenly shaking away a hand that is placed on your shoulder! According to Ayurveda, a medicine or a health supplements should not be stopped suddenly, unless urgently required. Similar to the tapering introduction of the medicine, there should be a gradual and phased reduction in the dosage of the medicine. This helps the body to adjust to the new condition.
For example, if your optimal dosage of Chavanprash is 2 tsp, you should start the medicine with 1 tsp and increase it to 2 tsp after a week or so. Similarly, if you are stopping the intake of Chavanprash, you should decrease the original dosage to 1 tsp and stop the health supplement completely after a week. This duration and incremental dosage differ from person to person. It is good to consult a physician in case of any medicines containing heavy metals or minerals.
Tapering dosage, increasing or decreasing, is an important factor in preserving the homeostasis of the body.
Timing is another extremely important factor according to Ayurveda. Timing helps the medicine to reach the focused organ or metabolic system we want to improve.
The timing of a medicine can be divided into mainly 2 parts – seasonal and daily timing.
According to Ayurveda, the seasonal cycle and biorhythm of our body, both are synchronized to the sun. Dosha, one of the important physiological factors in Ayurveda are severely affected by the changing seasons and so is our body. Ayurveda has a specific seasonal health regimen to prevent the effects of seasonal changes on the body. This regimen is called Ritucharya. There are many health supplements that are designed specifically to preserve the homeostasis of the body in different seasons. Each season has its own range of health supplements based on the Prakriti and requirements of the individual. For example, Chavanprash, paka and alcoholic preparations are best suited for winters, Amrakalpa(Summer Rejuvenation Therapy: Amrakalpa) is a fruit-based detoxification therapy best suited for summers. Use of season based health supplements is more effective as compared to using same health supplements throughout the year because the requirements of the body keep on changing according to the change in the climatic conditions. Therefore Ayurveda recommends differential health supplement therapy for a perfect balance between the external and internal body environment.
One of the best examples of seasonal health supplements is Ritu Haritaki
After the seasonal health supplements are decided, daily timing of intake is the most important thing. Daily timing of the medicine is decided according to the theory of Vata subtypes. For easy understanding, the recommendations of this theory regarding the time of medicine intake are explained in brief below.
Focused Body Part
Timing of Health Supplement
For organs in and below the pelvic region
Before breakfast (lunch in case breakfast is missed)
For organs involved in digestion
middle of the meal
For general effect on entire body
After breakfast/ Lunch
For medicinal effect on throat region(speech-related organs – vocal cords, related muscles etc), heart, esophagus
For respiratory problems
Many factors are stated above, that should be considered regarding health supplements or medicine intake. Sometimes, it is not possible to incorporate all the factors at the same time. If you are not able to factor all the requirements at the same time, you can consider the factors in following hierarchy –
Decide on best formulation
For example, first, improve your digestion with healthy dietary and lifestyle habits. Take a preparation that you will be able to digest in the best manner. Gradually increase the dosage. If you are not able to follow the proper timing for the medicine, then also the medicine will benefit you if the other primary factors are integrated properly
Every human body reacts differently to the same medicines. It is important to be aware of the physiological changes that you feel after the start of health supplement consumption. The awareness will help early identification of any kind of positive or negative changes in the body. Immediately contact your medical advisor if you notice signs of a possible allergy.
With some experience and practice, you will be able to decide the best possible formulation, dosage, and timing for your Ayurvedic health supplements. However, it helps to consult any experienced Ayurvedic physician if you are confused or using Ayurvedic health supplements for the first time.
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 :
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.
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 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 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.
In earlier times, cloth was used for sanitary protection during the periods. But it serves as more than a sanitary protection; it is also a tool for prognosis of female reproduction and hormonal system disorders.
There is a simple diagnostic test for the reproductive health of a lady, based on the type of blood stains on cloth used during the periods.
This blood stained cloth when washed with water should not retain the blood spots. Almost all the blood should be washed away, without leaving any stain. It is important that blood stained cloth should be washed with only plain water. No soap or detergent should be used to clean the stains. Even dry blood stains should be washed away easily. If the blood sticks or leaves large spots, like regular blood, then it is an early prognosis of a disease.
Most women believe that the blood always sticks and form clots because clotting is its normal function. So there should be nothing wrong if the menstrual blood also forms stains on the cloth. But normal menstrual blood is different from the regular blood.
Menstrual blood does not comprise of elements responsible for coagulation. That is the reason that it does not coagulate neither in the body nor outside, thus ensuring smooth liquid flow. There are 3 components necessary for coagulation: prothrombin, thrombin and fibrinogen. They ideally should be absent in the menstrual blood. Instead menstrual blood contains many constituents which keep the blood thin. A large amount of anticoagulants are normally released during the flow of menstrual blood to prevent the clotting.
Stains formed on the cloth register the abnormal presence of coagulants in the menstrual blood, which if unchecked, set the stage for formation of clots later. They also indicate low supply of anticoagulants during the menstrual flow, inadequate to check the formation of the clots.
What are the diseases possibilities if the stains are formed on the cloth during menstruation?
The next stage after stains is the clots, which grow in size and number if unchecked.
Anaemia is another possible outcome.
The stains also indicate an environment inviting for the uterine fibroids to be formed. Stains and clots indicate the excess of Kapha metabolism in the body, which encourages abnormal solid formations like tumours (fibroids) in the body.
The stains are also an indication of the start of hormonal misbalance, which creates disharmony in entire reproductory system. It can lead to miscarriages also.
The value of prognosis is for early prevention of the disease. Therefore if you are finding major stains on the cloth used during the menstrual period, please use the following general blood cleansing treatment.
10 ml of Dashmooladi Kwath empty stomach early morning.
If you practice drinking large amount of water early morning, take the medicine after ½ hour after drinking water for best results.
There should be no food intake for next ½ hour after taking the medicine for best results. However kindly continue the medicine with food if the above rule is inconvenient.
10 ml of Ashokarishta after lunch.
1 Tsp of Triphala with water before bed. ( Triphala is a renowned medicine for constipation, but it works even better as a blood cleanser.)
Yoga is has amazing results in regaining mental physical and mental health.
5 Recommended and easy to practise Asana for healthy reproductive system are :
For more details on asana on female reproductive health, please go to following links :
Dhatu is something that holds or sustains (धारण करना), similar to anabolism (Building up process).
Dhatu is a very important factor as it holds the life force and controls or steers the Dosha. Dhatu is like the hand that holds the steering wheel of Dosha, without which the wheel may throw the vehicle off track and lead to an accident. Imagine a pot which can contain X litres of liquid. Similarly every “body” has an innate and natural capacity to hold a definite amount of Kinetic energy, heat and inertia, in a balanced state. This capacity is governed by the Dhatu system of the body. Stronger the Dhatu system, more will be the total capacity. Stamina is the end result of the Dhatu.
Prakruti also can be defined by the Dhatu capacity. Rasa(lymph) belongs to Kapha, Rakta(blood) to Pitta, Asthi(bones) to Vata. Person with stronger Rakta Dhatu will have higher capacity to hold Pitta Dosha.
If we consider an object, the energy is naturally balanced in it. If it is stable, the energy is in inertia; when falling energy is converted to kinetic energy and when hitting the ground, some heat is also generated. Similar energy conversion is constantly happening in the body to achieve stability. The human body creates and maintains a special internal condition, which helps it survive; and the energy changes are far more complex as compared to a dead object. Stronger the Dhatu system and faster the anabolic processes in a body, lesser are the chances of getting diseases. The body of a child is like this. So a robust Dhatu system can easily prevent damages during the seasonal changes.
7 Dhatu are basic milestones in anabolic route:
RASA – Ingredients that are absorbed by the body after digestion. It is the end product absorbed in the intestines.
RAKTA – Blood
MAMSA – Muscles
MEDA – Fat
MAJJA – Marrow
ASTHI – Bone
SHUKRA – Semen
Dhatu are formed one after the other, means Rakta (blood) will be formed only after Ras (chyme or digested food juice) and not before, directly from the absorbed food. Also the better part of Rasa gets converted to Rakta by the Dhutvagni (Agni is taken as the transformational process or chemical reaction that converts the matter from one form to the other) and same happens with the other Dhatu subsequently. The lesser part gets converted to Mala of the respective Dhatu. It is like the burning of the wood, the better part gets converted to heat and light and the lesser part gets converted to ash.
Shukra is the most important Dhatu in the body. It is said that Shukra finally gets converted into “Ooja”, the life force.
The normal (physiology) Dosha, in balanced condition, result in good health, Upachaya (body nourishment)
Bal – improvement of strength and immunity
Varna Prasad – improvement of skin health and complexion and in imbalanced state, cause illness.
Characteristics of Dosha
The major function of Vata in the body is mobility. The sites of Vata are the ones with mobility as a defining factor. Excretion is one of the important functions of Vata apart from the limb movement. Also the major diseases are the ones which blocks the mobility (constipation) or excess movement (joint pain).
Physiological sites of Dosha in the body: Place of Vata Dosha –
बस्तिः पुरीषाधानं कटिः सक्थिनी पादावस्थीनि पक्वाशयश्च वातस्थानानि, तत्रापि पक्वाशयो विशेषेण वातस्थानं;
bastiḥ purīṣādhānaṃ kaṭiḥ sakthinī pādāvasthīni pakvāśayaśca vātasthānāni, tatrāpi pakvāśayo viśeṣeṇa vātasthānaṃ;
Basti – Urinary bladder
Pureeshaadhaana – rectum,
Sakthi – waist,
Padau – thighs, legs,
Asthi – bones and
Pakvashaya – colon are the sites of Vata
Pakvashaya (colon) is the most important site.
The abode of Pitta is the sites of major biochemical reactions or transformations like the intestine, liver, pancreas etc. Pitta is basically related to conversions in the state or quality of matter. The sites of Pitta have a distinctive characteristic of high density of secretory glands. The secretions from these glands are sharp (acidic/basic) unlike the secretions of the Kapha, which are mainly protective in nature (mucus, ear wax etc.). These sites are also of very low mobility.
Place of Pitta Dosha – स्वेदो रसो लसीका रुधिरमामाशयश्च पित्तस्थानानि, तत्राप्यामाशयो विशेषेण पित्तस्थानम्;
svedo raso lasīkā rudhiramāmāśayaśca Pittasthānāni, tatrāpyāmāśayo viśeṣeṇa Pittasthānam;
The important sites of location of these three Dosha are as below:
Svedo – Sweat,
Rasa – Rasa Dhatu – end product of food digestion, contains all nutrients
Lasika – Lymph,
Rudhira – blood,
Amashaya – small intestine (site of food under digestion after stomach)
Small intestine (lower part of Amashaya) is the most important site of Pitta Dosha.
Let us consider the region around the clavicle or the neck collar as the example of Kapha region.
In this region, the only part with big movement ability is neck. This region is more about stability, protective coatings and shock absorbers, because it harbours the most important organs i.e. the brain, sense organs, spinal cord, lungs etc.. Higher amount of protective liquid resides as cerebrospinal fluid, fluids in eye balls, and nose secretions as compared to rest of the body. No high mobility like the limbs and no major chemical reactions like the stomach occur in this part. Because of such arrangements, stability is achieved, also this part remain cooler than rest of the body which enables better functioning of brain and other sense organs. Consequently the major diseases that can happen are due to blocking/ choking of Kapha channels (excess Kapha) like glaucoma, hydrocephaly, sinusitis or dryness(Kapha deficiency) like meningitis(Pitta excess),headache, dementia(Vata excess). As kapha decreases , other dosha increase , to maintain the energy balance.
Place of Kapha Dosha – उरः शिरो ग्रीवा पर्वाण्यामाशयो मेदश्च श्लेष्मस्थानानि, तत्राप्युरो विशेषेण श्लेष्मस्थानम्||८||
uraḥ śiro grīvā parvāṇyāmāśayo medaśca śleṣmasthānāni, tatrāpyuro viśeṣeṇa śleṣmasthānam||8||
Ura – Chest,
Shira – head,
Greeva – neck,
Parva – joint,
Amashaya – stomach (upper part of Amashaya) and
Meda – Adipose tissue
Chest is the most important site of Kapha Dosha.