How to control vomiting with Ayurvedic home remedies

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

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

Causes of vomiting  according to Ayurveda

Dietary causes

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

Lifestyle related causes

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

Mental causes

  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Anxiety

Other reasons

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

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

Sutra for finding the best remedy

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

How to Find YOUR Best Herbal Remedy

According to Body Type

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

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

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

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

General Treatment policy for vomiting (chardi) in Ayurveda

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

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

Dietary and Lifestyle recommendations for prevention of vomiting

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

How to stop a vomiting instantly

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

Ayurvedic anti-vomiting remedies

Remedy No.1

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

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

Remedy No.2

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

Remedy No.3

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

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

Remedy No.4

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

Lick the powder whne you are feeling nauseated.

Remedy No.5

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

Remedy No.6

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

Remedy No.7

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

Remedy No.8

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

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

Remedy No.9

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

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

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

Mental Control of Vomiting

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

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

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

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

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.

Good Food and Bad Food According to Ayurveda – I : Food that should not be consumed

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!

chili lot
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Food that should not be eaten regularly (occasionally, once or twice a year or for the medicinal purpose)

  • Dried Meat
  • Dried Vegetables
  • Lotus roots
  • 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.

Dried Vegetables

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.

close up cooking cuisine delicious
Photo by Oscar Mikols on Pexels.com

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.

dosakaya-pickle-recipe.jpgInstead, 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.

ginger-1191945_960_720That 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.

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Lotus Roots

Lotus roots are considered to be very heavy and not digestible in the human system. Therefore they should not be consumed at all.

chicken close up dish food
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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.

 

Know thy food – Basic Ayurvedic Classification of Food

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.

assorted spices near white ceramic bowls
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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.

red brown white and purple onions and garlic displayed
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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.

spoon honey jar glass
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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.

food-dessert-sweet-color.jpg
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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.

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Prakriti : Code of Body Physiology

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Dosha governs the health patterns and susceptibility to diseases of a person. 3 Dosha Vata, Pitta and Kapha are like 3 legs of a tripod on which the health is based. Any of the legs is disturbed, the health gets imbalanced. In every person, there is a constitution based on the 3 Dosha, which is also called the Prakruti or the health pattern of the person. Prakruti depends on the natural tendency of Dosha in the person. There are total 10 kinds of Prakruti depending on the combination of the 3 Dosha. More about Dosha

Qualities Of Dosha

General Functions of Balanced Dosha:

Dosha and The Subprime Crises

Some examples of Prakruti –

  • Vata Pitta Kapha
  • Vata Kapha Pitta etc…

The Prakruti is made of 3 Dosha in a hierarchy according to their importance in the body; the most prominent, lesser and the least effective Dosha, according to the extent of the effect they have on overall constitution respectively. Every person is born with his Prakruti.

Your health is governed by your constitution, your Prakriti!

Imagine a bowl full of matter which you are carrying and you have to prevent the matter from falling, evaporating or freezing. Some substances will have a tendency to fall, some will evaporate and some might freeze in the same environment. So first you need to know which type your matter is and then you need to have different arrangements accordingly to preserve it.

Water in the bowl will have a tendency to spill and fall, so you need to cover the pot and walk slowly (Vata). Consider petrol, it will evaporate or even catch fire so you need a cooler temperature for it (Pitta). If the substance freezes or has a tendency to solidify, then it is very convenient. It is most stable and easy to carry thing (Kapha). Kaphaj people, if they take good care of their body, are considered to be the healthiest people.

Prakriti decides the way your body functions in normal conditions.

Prakruti also decides the ailments that you can be more prone to (but unfortunately it does not decide a disease that you will never catch, that is why Dosha are called so. Dosha means the one which spoils…). Also, the symptoms of the same disease will be different and will have different magnitude according to individual Prakruti.

For example, a person with Vata Prakruti will be more prone to itching; another person with Pitta Prakruti will be prone to more swelling or burning sensation in the same medical condition. Likewise, a person with Kapha Prakruti can feel heaviness or numbness.

Prakruti with the predominance of Vata is called Vataj, vice versa Pittaj and Kaphaj Prakruti.

10 Prakruti types are

  • Vata
  • Pitta
  • Kapha
  • Vata Pitta
  • Vata Kapha
  • Pitta Vata
  • Pitta Kapha
  • Kapha Vata
  • Kapha Pitta
  • Vata Pitta Kaphaj

There are certain features that are characteristic to each Prakruti according to the Dosha governing it.

It is important to know your Prakriti just like your blood group. Prakriti is the single most important decisive factor in all kinds of Ayurvedic treatments.

 

Dhatu

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.

General Functions of Balanced Dosha:

सर्वशरीरचरास्तु वातपित्तश्लेष्माणः सर्वस्मिञ्छरीरे कुपिताकुपिताः शुभाशुभानि कुर्वन्ति- प्रकृतिभूताः शुभान्युपचयबलवर्णप्रसादादीनि, अशुभानि पुनर्विकृतिमापन्ना विकारसञ्ज्ञकानि||९||
uraḥ śiro grīvā parvāṇyāmāśayo medaśca śleṣmasthānāni, tatrāpyuro viśeṣesarvaśarīracarāstu vātaPittaśleṣmāṇaḥ sarvasmiñcharīre kupitākupitāḥ śubhāśubhāni kurvanti- prakṛtibhūtāḥ śubhānyupacayabalavarṇaprasādādīni, aśubhāni punarvikṛtimāpannā vikārasañjñakāni||9||

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

Vata

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.

Pitta

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.

Kapha

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.


Dosha

Dosha is something which has tendency to malaise or spoil. It can be understood as a factor of catabolism (breaking down process in the body)

Also Dosha is a concept in itself.

According to Ayurveda, there are 3 kinds of Dosha or body temperaments – Vata, Pitta and Khapha.

It is said that as life resides in heart but no one can see it, similarly these temperaments guide the body physiology but no one can see them. In short, they are the 3 basic and distinguishable behaviour or metabolism patterns of the body.

Nature of Dosha

Let us understand this concept through an example of a wooden stick, which can endure pressure, force or weight up to a certain level. It has a yielding point after it will not be able to support the kinetic energy and will break. Similarly it will have a point of heat after which it will start burning. Same is with inertia. It will have a certain amount of inertia according to its weight, size etc. that gives the stability and opposes changes in its state of existence.

Same is with our body, in a more dynamic sense. Our body can hold certain amount of total kinetic energy, with specific channels of flow or function. This amount or holding capacity differs from person to person, just as volume differs from container to container. It also has different but definite capacities for heat and inertia.

The basis of Prakruti or natural body constitution lies in the different capacities of the individuals. Let us assume that the total energy (of all types) is 6X.One body will have capacity to hold 3X of kinetic energy, 2X of heat energy and X of inertia. This body will be of vata dominant prakruti, or VPK prakruti. Similarly if a body has capacity to hold more of heat energy – 3X, it will be Pitta dominant body.

VATA – It is the concept of kinetic energy in the body. All motion inside body or by the body is because of Vata. Vata is said to be made of Vayu (motion element) and Akash (space element).

PITTA – It is the concept of transformation energy, any chemical reactions, heat generation is considered to be under Pitta. It is made of fire (Heat element)

KAPHA – It is closer to the concept of inertia, mass, stability in the body. It is made of Jal (water element) and Prithvi (mass)

There is no single dosha at work at any point in time. One dosha might dominate or direct one process, but all 3 dosha contribute to it. There is natural tendency of Dosha or physiological patterns to spoil the body by either excess or deficiency of motion, transformation or inertia. When out of control, these become the negative forces in the body. They are balanced by Dhatu and Ooja (life force). Any imbalance tilting towards Dosha causes diseases.

Each of these behaviour pattern or syndrome has 3 aspects – Normal physiology, Excess and Deficiency.

 

Role of Dosha

Dosha are like different maintenance programs for different situations. They support a specific type of metabolism, have a set time and place of function and aim to produce specific results.

During any activity, entire body comes together and every part of the body contributes to produce a single result. Some parts contribute more, some contribute less. But there is no single isolated activity happening in the body at any point in time. Everything is connected. The organs of the body synchronize their activities under single command. It must be difficult for brain to communicate to each cell. The body parts communicate through their secretions or electric signals. But Dosha is like a pre-programmed code, triggering chain reaction in the entire body. Under a particular dosha and given a specific environment, each body cell will behave in a particular fashion, contributing towards a single result. Dosha are comprehensive platforms that define what each part will do to perform a particular activity. They align the body activities to produce a single desired effect.

We can compare it to the sympathetic and non-sympathetic nervous systems.

Let us take the example of digestion. Pitta dosha is the parent dosha for digestion. Complete digestion can be divided in 3 parts.

 

DIGESTION

 

 

 

Kapha stage:  Beginning of digestion

When the digestion of food begins, the blood supply to other parts of the body, like the limbs, brain etc. is reduced and diverted to the intestines for absorption (that is why we feel sleepy and lethargic immediately after a meal). It is advised that one should walk 100 steps to keep the kapha balanced during this time. So the hands, legs, brain etc are synchronized to the digestion in stomach because of Kapha dosha. This is a very simple example

Pitta stage: Complete breakdown

Various organs (gall bladder, pancreas) secrete their juices in the alimentary canal to aid digestion. Simultaneously, liver detoxifies the digested juices in the blood and produces the heat through digestion. This is time of chemical transformation and heat production. Blood gets fresh supply of nutrients. Body cells start assimilating the nutrition transported by the blood. Body becomes active. This is good time to sleep in summer, to keep the heat through activities, low and balance the heat of digestion.

Vata stage: Absorption and excretion

After complete digestion, the food gets absorbed though the small intestine (nutrients) and large intestine (water). Large intestine is the site of vata. This stage of digestion involves constant motion and absorption of water.

The important point is that with the beginning of digestion, other parts of the body, even the eyelids perform their function by getting drowsy or the legs by forfeiting extra blood supply, or the brain. And all this is orchestrated by the dosha. So we can appropriately evaluate what will be the condition of eyeballs or liver or legs when a particular dosha is active, vitiated or balanced.

Taking the same example forward, if the food is too heavy to digest; the Kapha dosha will get vitiated. This means that the Kapha program will not shut down at the correct time and will keep running in wrong condition and for wrong (longer) duration. The digestion of food will not reach the next stage properly and the errors in digestions will be carried forward in the form of toxins.

Best example is the process of sexual stimulation. Parent dosha for sex is vata, which is a kind of lord of all physical activity.

During sexual intercourse, the entire body activity is synchronized to achieve a single result. Eyes close to enhance the effect of skin receptors. Conscious brain activity is more imagination based (Pitta is associated with logic, Kapha with the memory and vata with imagination or creativity). Movements of hands, legs, penis / vagina are co-ordinated to achieve the desired outcome. Sperm friendly secretions lubricate the vagina to ensure safe and easy passage. This is a most elucidating example of perfect organ coordination on vata platform.

The key of health is in the balance of these Dosha.


Importance of Vata

Have you ever wondered why it is always Vata, Pitta and Kapha and not Kapha , Pitta , Vata or Pitta, Kapha and Vata.

It is because Vata is the most important and defining force among all three. After Vata comes Pitta and finally Kapha, most innocuous one.

This is because Kinetic energy is considered to be the most important here, which can affect other factors. Kinetic energy produces heat and can destroy inertia. Also Kinetic energy of the body is in direct control of the being. An Individual can use his kinetic energy at will and change or balance energy equation of the body. We can heat up the body by exercise and reduce inertia. Vata, because of its influence on other dosha, can cause maximum diseases. Hence Ayurveda chooses to establish Vata (Kinetic energy) as a greater force than the rest.

Sequence of Dosha

If we consider a lifespan or any natural phenomenon, Ayurveda has a rule that everything starts with stability (Kapha state), goes to the stage of transformation or maturity (Pitta state) and deterioration (Vata state).Same rule applies to human body as well. Child is in Kaphaj state, youth is in Pittaj state and elderly in Vataj state and interestingly all these are more prone to disease attributed to respective Dosha. For example, children are more prone to cold and coughs (Kaphaj disorders), youths are prone to acme, pimple according to their Prakruti (Pittaj disorders), and old people are prone to joint pain (Vataj disorders)

Similarly first 1/3rd of day is Kaphaj, second 1/3rd is Pittaj and third 1/3rd is Vataj. Again the symptoms of respective diseases exaggerate during the respective times, for example cold, sneezing etc. increases in the morning (Kaphaj), acidity is aggravates in daytime (Pittaj) and joint pain increases during the evening time.

The seasons come and go in a cycle but the cycle is considered from Hemant according to Ayurveda, which is the coldest season (Kaphaj state), then move towards summer (Pittaj state) and rains (Vataj state). In Sharad the effect of Vata subsides completely, to regain the Kaphaj state.

Ooja

It is considered to be the end product of entire metabolism, or let us say, the fruit of it. Ooja is the protoplasm, life force or pure energy. According to Ayurveda, the food particles ingested in the body are converted to rasa or food juice, best part of rasa gets converted to Rakta (blood), best part of blood gets converted to Mansa(Muscles), best of which gets converted to Meda(Fatty tissue), Meda converts to form Asthi(Bone tissue),Asthi converts to Majja( Marrow) and marrow finally converts to Shukra(Sperms/semen), which is the essence of the body metabolism. Best part of Shukra gets converted to Ooja , which is the connection between the mind and the body.

The process of making Ooja reminds one of Geeta in which Krishna says that one in a millions has spiritual inclination; one among millions of such spiritually inclined people becomes a devotee, one among thousands of such devotees, tries to reach the ultimate and one among thousands of such devotees who are trying, finally reaches the destination and merges with the source of life.

It appears that our body is a process of continous progression from particle to energy. It       feeds on the particle and converts it to energy, the life force, which gives vitality to the collection of organs and sets the mind and body to motion.

Ooja cannot be seen as only energy. But both its presence as well as the absence can be felt. Ooja influences mind  as well as body.It is the basis of vitality in the body.

Ooja forms the aura of the body. Body can influence Ooja by external factors like attack of disease causing factors, but major influence comes from the mind. Habit of negative thinking and depression reduces Ooja or life force.

The health status of a person can be measured by the quantity of Ooja but body’s speed of making Ooja is more significant since if the speed is low then initial good amount of Ooja will gradually decrease with time.

Therefore the quality of food that we eat is very important as that provides the base for good or bad metabolism. According to Ayurveda, ideal food should be hot. The sequence of qualities of food is very significant, hot comes before fresh or well cooked, as hot food will be softer, help in maintaining good temperature for digestion and stimulate digestive juice secretion. Properties of ideal food are discussed under the topic – Qualities of an Ideal Meal.

The point is the food also should have prana (life factor), which signifies the ease with which it can be digested and converted to energy, creating minimum amount of toxins in the process.

Food that is rotten or stale is considered to be without prana or life energy, such food should not be consumed

Ayurvedic Definition of Health

Sam-Doshaha Sam Agni Shcha Sam Dhatu Malakriyah! Prasann Atma Indriya Manah Swasthya Ityabhidhiyate!!

Balanced state of Dosha, Agni (digestive fires), Dhatu (Metabolic essence) and Mal (Metabolic waste)

Happy soul, senses and mind constitute the (complete) health

Kshetra of Ayurveda and Importance of mind

Kshetra means field of Ayurveda, on which it acts. There are 2 fields – mind and body respectively.

Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge, Ayurveda signifies the knowledge of life. It is not only about the physical wellbeing but also mental and spiritual health.

Treating the body alone is like treating the shadow of the sick and expecting the results.

Like the way everything starts with the roots in a plant, everything starts with the mind in an individual. Soul is pure energy. Divergent tendencies start with the mind and therefore everything; peace or agony, health or diseases start with the mind. Ayurvedic approach is towards treating the human being, who is a sum total of soul, mind and body, with the focus on mind.

Ayurveda believes that diseases have 2 basic origins – Manas (psychological) and Sharir (Body based). Disease from mind can spread to body and vice versa.

Let us take an example:

  • You get a cold and you start thinking about work that you are not able to do because of it. You lower your immunity because of stress or might add headache to this cold. So the cold is body based but the headache is mind based.
  • If your cold gets worse than you might get a headache too, then both the problems are body based.
  • If you are under too much of stress, you reduce your immunity and thus get frequent cold and cough. This is mind generated.

In order to effectively cure or prevent this cold, treatment should start with finding the base or roots of the disease. It can be in mind or in the body.

According to scientific researches, 99% diseases can be traced to psychological problems! Also the role of placebo is unquestionable in getting cured. If a patient takes a sugar pill with sincere belief that it will cure her/his disease, then it might actually have equivalent or better results than the real medicine. The disease and the cure, both have their origin in the mind.

People with good diet and comfortable life develop diseases due to stress. On the other side, if one is calm or even better….happy, there are more chances of her/his getting cured soon or not falling sick at all.

BE HAPPY!

This is a little too simple to believe!

No one is happy at all the times but you are happy when you are doing something that you like to do. What is more important is that your attention is towards something that you like doing. It is not possible to be able to do what you like all the time, but no one can stop you from keeping a focus on the things that you like. Happiness is more of a frame of mind and you can keep happy if you want to be happy, you will dig out things that will keep you happy.

Being happy is the very basic, most important and probably the only thing that we require for being healthy.

Be Happy with the book

There will be a lot of dos and don’ts in the coming chapters, which are meant to improve your health and longevity. But if you are not able to follow any of them because of unavoidable circumstances, do not get worried. If you are happy trying to follow them, you will stay healthy even if you are not strictly in the line.

There are many people who had routines and lifestyles which promised worst of heart attacks, diabetes, cancer etc… but they lived long and healthy, probably because they were too happy to worry about their bad lifestyle. Also there are people, who have very strict routine and healthy lifestyle, still they develop diseases and some die young, probably because they continuously worry about their health. Worrying is the most unhealthy habit. So lose it first, before you do anything else for your health.

So, the first rule is – be happy and don’t do anything that makes you unhappy….Best wishes !