Author Archives: Dr. Dharna

About Dr. Dharna

I am an Ayurvedic Physician (B.A.M.S),Bachelor of Ayurvedic medicine and surgery. Graduated from "Rajiv Gandhi University, Bangalore". Working as an ayurvedic physician and consultant at "Om Vedic Heritage Centre, Singapore".

PSORIASIS:- How does Ayurveda help?

Standard

Ayurveda has explained  many skin diseases, which resembles Psoriasis. Psoriasis can be considered as the vitiation of :-  Vata(air) and Kapha(water+earth)(Two of the basic energies/humors, which maintains our body equilibrium).

Accumulation of low potency Toxins (Dooshi vishas/Ama), are the basic pathological changes taking place in the system.

NOTE – Check the previous post for details on TOXINS

Role of Diet:-  consumption of foodstuffs that cannot be eaten together food items like:- excessive intake of yogurt, black gram, seafood, sour and salted items etc are some of  the aggravating factors.  Alcohol and tobacco consumption will act as a catalyst here. Ayurveda do emphasize on the effect of stress in the pathogenesis of Psoriasis.

Treatment:  Coming to the treatment aspects of Psoriasis according to Ayurveda, it aims at the detoxification of the body or elimination of toxins from the body fluids. It is achieved by Panchakarmatreatments.
This includes internal and external medications purely of plant origin as follows :-
(i) Consumption of medicated ghee

(ii) Detoxifying, by inducing vomiting (Vamana) and purgation (Virechana). Followed by either medicated buttermilk dripping overhead (Dhara) and pasting the entire body with a paste of medicines and mud.
It can be cured if the patient is ready to accept the protocol and conditions fixed by the Ayurveda doctor for treatment as well changing the lifestyle. If it is in the initial stage it can be cured without much delay. Otherwise regular treatment continuing for months will be needed. All depends on how the patient accepts the treatment modalities and how strictly follows the dietary protocol for the rest of the life.

Advise from Doctor  – A strict diet regime has to be followed during the entire treatment period and it is better to continue as vegetarian.

Yogurt, black gram, chilies and salted thing have to be restricted. It is better to avoid refrigerated/chilled foods. Psoriatic must keep a state of mental calmness.

AMA (TOXINS – Product of incomplete Digestion)

Standard

 In Ayurveda, AMA is the concept of anything that exists in a state of incomplete transformation. In particular, it is claimed to be a toxic byproduct generated due to improper or incomplete digestion. The concept does not have a direct equivalent in standard medicine.

“Ama” is a Sanskrit word literally meaning “uncooked” or “undigested”.

Role of Ama

Ama originates from improperly digested toxic particles that clog the channels in our body. These channels include the intestines, lymphatic system, arteries and veins, capillaries, and genitourinary tract. Others channels are called Nadis through which your energy flows. Ama toxicity accumulates wherever there is weak metabolism in the body, and this leads to diseases.

Causes of ‘Ama’ production :

  • Agnimandya – Low digestive  fire
  • Dhatu-agnimandya – Low tissue fire
  • Mala Sanchaya – Accumulation of waste products.
  • Dosha sammurcchana  – Interaction or amalgamation between vitiated doshas
  • Krimi visha  – Bacterial toxins. When an infection is caused by the pathogenic organisms, they liberate a toxic substance.

Properties of ama :

  • It is always in the form of incompletely digested substance
  • Hence it is  non-homogenous, has a very bad or foul odour which can be experienced only when it is combined with excretory products such as sweat, urine, and faeces, or when products such as sputum, vomit, etc., are expelled from the body.
  • It is very sticky.
  • It produces lethargy in the body.

Signs of Ama :

  •  Feeling heavy, muzzy headed, unclear thinking, aches and pains, bloating, gas, skin blemishes, fever, lack of energy, stickiness, foul smells (breath, sweat, urine, stools, phlegm), sinking stool, mucous in stool, turbid urine, lack of appetite or taste, indigestion, sticky/sweet taste in the mouth, copious phlegm. Pulse; deep, dull, slippery Tongue; thick, greasy coating.
  • Modern signs of ama: High triglycerides, atherosclerosis, late-onset diabetes, high blood sugar levels, some forms of depression, rheumatoid factor, the presence of H. pylori bacteria, blood urea, gout, excess platelet count, gall stones as a sign of excess bile, kidney stones as a sign of un-metabolised calcium and oxalates, high liver enzymes (ALT, AST ) tumours.

Treatment of ama :

Herbs:

Anti-vata: Medicines- Hinguvachadi Choornam, Gandharvahastadi ks;

Herbs – ,ginger, garlic.

Anti-pitta: Medicines –  Amruthotharam kashayam, Kumaryasvam , Neem.

Herbs – Aloe Vera, Fennel, Coriander, Amalaki(Indian Goosberry) formula that contains cooling herbs to clear heat toxins from the system.

Anti-kapha: Medicines – Taleespatradi Choornam, Vaishvanara Choornam, Trikatu

Herbs – Ginger, Cumin, Black pepper, Pushkaramoola, Punarnava, Tulsi, Vacha, Guggul

Panchakarma: Ayurvedic detox therapies( Abhyangam (oil bath), swedana(sudation), virechana(induced purgation), vamana (induced emices), etc.

Anti-ama Diet: Emphasise pungent, bitter, astringent flavour.

Butter milk is known as “Takra” in ayurveda. Its properties and medicinal qualities

Standard

Takram laghu kashayaamlam deepanam kaphavaatajit ||
Showphodaraarshowgrahanidoshamootragrahaaruchee |
Pleehagulmaghritavyaapadgarpaanduvaamayaan jayeth ||

Butter milk does not cause heaviness when consumed. Hence it is known to have the quality “laghu”(LIGHT). It gets digested quickly and easily. Butter milk is usually sour in taste and acts as an astringent. Due to this property butter milk helps in reducing pores caused by acne and pimples.

It reduces hyper motility of intestines during diarrhoea and IBS. This property also helps to shrink hemorrhoids. Aggravated kapha and vata are mitigated by buttermilk. It is the best Agni deepaka (appetizer). According to ayurveda it reduces adman (bloating of stomach), eases symptoms of haemorrhoids, soothes intestines in IBS and helps in indigestion. It also reduces effects of poison and is very useful in treating pandu (anaemia).

Butter milk detoxifies body and cleanses the intestines, relieves constipation and helps to replenish intestinal flora. It has less fat compared to milk and is rich in calcium, potassium and vit B12.

How to prepare butter milk:
Thick curd (dadhi) should be whipped to separate butter. The liquid portion which remains after separating butter is called as butter milk or “takra” or whip  1 part of curd in a blender for 30 seconds then add 4 parts water and blend again gor 2 minutes, the froth will be formed above the mixture, remove the froth(contains most of the butter molecules) and drink only the liquid part(butter milk).

COMPOSITION:

Butter milk is a low fat skimmed milk with almost 2% of fat content.  The butter milk is supposed to contain 90%of water, 5% of milk sugars, 3% of milk protein and 2% of fats. Butter milk is sour-salty in taste due to lactic acid that is produced by the action of bacteria. The protein of butter milk is more easily digestable than the milk protein.

Managing the pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)

Standard
Premenstrual syndrome,is believed that the fluctuation of hormones during the menstrual cycle may be accountable for this condition.
According to ayurvedic physiology, the “doshic” imbalance, more commonly of the “vata” accompanied by inequities of the “pitta” and the “kapha” is responsible for this uncomfortable phase. This imbalance is triggered by following a wrong daily routine and adhering to an unsuitable diet plan.

Diet :-

1. Eat regular, healthy meals including plenty of vegetables, fruit, mixed grains and cereals.

2. Eat small meals to maintain stable energy levels, this will also significantly reduce food cravings.

3. Drink less caffeine – particularly if you are suffering breast tenderness.

4. Try drinking water instead! (6-8 glasses a day).

5. Cut down on alcoholic beverages.

6. Cut down on salt and salty foods to help reduce fluid retention.

7. Get enough rest, sleep and exercise.

8. Avoid smoke

Workshop : Ayurvedic cooking

Standard

This thursday, 16th aug, 2012, I am gonna conduct workshop on “Ayurvedic cooking”, at Om Vedic Heritage Centre,Singapore, from 6 :00 P.M till 9:00 P.M.

This session will inclue :-

1) Concept of diet and life style in Ayurveda(theory)

2) Introduction to food items and spices and their benifits.

3) Hands on cooking session.

DIET (Viruddha Ahara:The Unique Concept of Ayurveda)

Standard

The word Viruddha leads to two factors i.e. on combining two, three things, the stronger one shades or overpowers the weaker ingredients.

It has been stated that in a combination of so many opposite qualities, the majority of the power packed qualities overpower the weaker qualities.

The second meaning of Viruddha indicates about the combination of two substances which are not having an affinity for each other.

So far this interpretation of Viruddha is concerned, it has been applied in Ayurveda in the context of dietetics & various combinations having such affinity for each other have been discussed at length. On this basis it may be concluded that such type of Ahara or foodstuff which is composed of substances having no affinity at all may be defined as Viruddha or Viruddhahara

In the literature various other terms are also used such as –

  • Ananukula or Pratikula (Shabda Kalpadrum) –which is  having an adverse effect or       unfavourable
  • Anapayukta – which is unpropetious
  • Pratisiddha – prohibited
  • Apathya – incompatible diet

Types of Viruddha Ahara:

Ayurveda literature has described various types of Viruddha, which run as under :

  1. Desha (place)Viruddha : To have dry and sharp substances in dry region, unctuous substances in Marshy      land.
  2. Kala Viruddha: (Time) :  intake of cold and dry substances in Winter, Pungent and hot substances in      Summer.
  3. Agni(digestive power) Viruddha : intake of heavy food when the power of digestion is low, intake      of light food when the power of digestion is  sharp and intake of food at variance with irregular and normal power of digestion.
  4. Matra (quantity) Viruddha :  intake of honey and ghee in equal quantity
  5. Satmya (wholesome) Viruddha  :  intake of sweet and cold substance by person accustomed to pungent and hot      substance.
  6. Dosha Viruddha  : utilization of drugs, diets and regimen having similar qualities with Dosha, but at      variance with the habit of the individual.
  7. Sanskar (mode of preparation) Viruddha : drugs and diets which, when prepared in a      particular way produced poisonous effects. E.g. meat of peacock roasted on a castor spit.
  8. Veerya (potency) Viruddha : Substances having cold potency in combination with those of hot potency.
  9. Koshtha Viruddha: to give less quantity with less potency and less stool forming food to a person of      costive bowel. Administration of more quantity heavy and more stool forming food to a person having laxed bowel.
  10. Avastha (State of health) Viruddha : intake of Vata aggravating food by a person after exertion      sexual act, physical exertion or intake of Kapha aggravating food by a person after sleep or drowsiness.
  11. Kram (sequence) Viruddha : if a person takes food before his bowel and urination or when he doesn’t have      appetite or after his hunger have been aggravating.
  12. Parihar Viruddha : Intake of hot things after taking pork etc.
  13. Upachar (treatment)Viruddha : cold things after taking ghee.
  14. Paak (cooking) Viruddha :   preparation of food with bad or rotten fuel and under cooking, over      cooking or burning during the process of preparation.
  15. Samyoga (combination) Viruddha : intake of sour substance with milk
  16. Hriday Viruddha: intake of  unpleasant food
  17. Sampad (Richness of quality) Viruddha : intake of substance that are not mature, over matured or      putrified
  18. Vidhi (rules for eating) Viruddha : taking meals in public place

Many food combinations are given in the texts as incompatible with proper explanation for e.g.

  1. One should not take fish along with milk because this combination is Abhishyandi (great  obstructer for channels), it vitiates blood.
  2. After eating raddish, garlic, asil one should not take milk because of the risk of skin disorders.
  3. All sour liquids are antagonistic to milk.
  4. Hot honey taken by a person induces toxicity and lead to death.
  5. Likewise honey and ghee in equal quantity, hot water after taking honey are antagonistic.