Food For Thought

A popular saying is: “you are what you eat.” the food what we eat ultimately assumes three forms. Two of these forms are nutrients and the third is excreta. (more…)

Ayurveda treatment for Thyroid

Thyroid gland is one of the largest endocrine gland in the body found in the anterior neck, below the laryngeal prominence (Adam’s Apple). Metabolism of the body is controlled by the endocrineglands in the body and one of which is thyroid. The gland produces thyroid hormones that regulate the growth and rate of function of many other systems in the body. The most common thyroid problems include abnormal production of thyroid hormones. Overproduction of thyroid hormone results in a condition known as hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism stems up from underproduction of thyroid hormones. As certain amounts of thyroid hormones are required for body’s energy production, a drop in hormone production leads to lower energy levels in hypothyroidism. These two conditions may be due to other underlying cause or disease.

Hyperthyroidism is more common in women than in men ranging between the age 30 to 50years.Tremors, irritation, anxiousness, diarrhoea, flushing, heat intolerance, menstrual disturbances, lack of energy, anger on the slightest remark, palpitations, rapid shallow respiration are few of the symptoms identified in hyperthyroidism. In Hypothyroidism, the patient may experience fatigue, depression, slow pulse, low blood pressure, hoarsness of voice, weight gain, loss of vitality, swelling of skin and subcutaneous tissue, puffy face etc. The management of thyroid dysfunction may vary depending upon the symptoms and the type. In general Diet and lifestyle changes, herbal formulations, yoga are advised for the management of conditions related to thyroid dysfunction.
Various Ayurvedic detoxifying procedures like Abhyanga(Oil massage), Swedana(fomentation), Udwartana(Rubbing of herbal choornas over the body), Virechana(therapeutic purgation), Basti(Therapeutic enema),Nasya(Instilling drops in the nostrils) may be done in such conditions. Ayurveda herbs such as Amalaki(Indian gooseberry), kanchnar, punarnava, shilajit, guggul etc. may be used in various forms to treat hypothyroidism.

Foods such as cabbage, sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, maize, lima beans, soya and pearl millet, junk and fatty foods should be limited as they contain natural chemicals that cause the enlargement of the thyroid gland by interfering with thyroid hormone synthesis. Avoid substances that are sour and heavy for digestion. Smoking depresses TH levels and produces chronic underlying hypothyroidism. Foods that are rich in iodine, such as beetroot, radish, parsley, potatoes, fish, oatmeal and bananas should be kept in the diet. Ayurveda advises old rice, green gram, cucumber, milk and milk products that should be consumed. Lifestyle changes include regularly doing exercises such as walking, swimming, running and cycling that plays an important role in controlling hypothyroidism. Reduction of stress is essential for proper functioning of the gland. Practising Yogasanas such as Sarvangasana, Matsyasana, Halasana, Suryanamaskara, Pavanmuktasana and Supta Vajrasana and Pranayamahave proved to be very effective in hypothyroidism.

MSRICAIM has specialized consultants who can suggest the right management approach for this condition.
For more details and booking:

Contact:
M S Ramaiah Indic Centre for Ayurveda and
Integrative Medicine (MSR ICAIM)
A unit of Gokula Education Foundation (Medical)
New BEL Road, MSR Nagar
Mathikere PO
Bengaluru – 54

Tel: +91-80-22183456
Mob: +91-9900581203
+91-9632128544

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Ayurveda Treatment for Cold

Ageing is a natural process which will culminate in the complete cessation of life at a predetermined time. Ayurveda prepares one to face old age with dignity and strength so that the process of ageing can be enjoyed rather than suffered. For this one has to understand what ageing is and how to prevent or reduce its ill effects.

Mostly vata-related diseases appear at this stage, so one has to prepare the body against vitiation of vata. Diseases above the neck region which are seen at a young age do not commonly occur in old age since it is dominated by vata. Some of the common problems which occur in old age are sneezing, allergic rhinitis and chronic running nose.

Many of these conditions can be prevented or corrected if one follows some lifestyle modifications after the age of 60.The body as a safety reaction, tries to expel allergens that attack the olfactory region in the form of forceful sneezing. If the body’s immunity is strengthened and the dryness of the body is reduced through internal and external unctuousness, this can be prevented.

An oil prepared with leaves of Bilwa(Aegle marmelos), black pepper and a piece of dry ginger, used as a head application before having a bath every day can prevent or reduce sneezing. Vilvam Pathyotyadithailam which is available in the market can be used for this purpose.

Also the application of five drops of Ksheerbala  101 as nasya(after warming slightly) in the nose at 7.30am for 14 days is very useful to stop sneezing.

Application of oil on head regularly is a good practice in old age which will prevent drying up of organs above the neck. This condition has to be understood from the Ayurvedic point of view. Dryness and unctuousness are not objectively measurable. But one can appreciate the subjective condition. Whenever there is sneezing one should stop consuming foods that can vitiate kapha and vata like fermented foods, baked foods, curd and certain kinds of fruits especially banana. Sneezing is not a major disease but can be a nuisance and hinder day to day life. Sneezing can be a premonitory symptom of conditions like asthma. So, one should always be careful to lead a healthy life.

Food is important in old age. Very light and easily digestible food should be eaten. Take warm water, avoid milk products except ghee and reduce intake of fried food. Ghee is one of the most misunderstood foods in the science of nutrition. In Ayurveda, ghee is the only food which has been equated with longevity to the extent that on of the symptoms of ghee is Ayu(long life) itself- ‘Ghritham Ayuruchyate.’

Ghee when made using the traditional method from cow’s milk goes through four different stages of ‘Paka’ or digestion:

First, milk is boiled and cooled. Secondly, a few drops of buttermilk are added and left overnight for fermentation. Third, the curd which is formed is churned with a wooden instrument and the butter is removed. And lastly, the butter is melted under a low fire till all the water has evaporated. This can be measured by the absence of bubbles in the heated ghritham. When the ghritham or clarified butter or ghee is made in this way it becomes life-enhancing ghee. This is what Ayurveda prescribes for old age in moderation.

Any indigestion in old age can result in a cold and running nose. We have to ensure that the agni or the digestive fire is maintained properly in old age. For this, take one tablespoon of Ashta choornam either with honey or with hot water before breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If there is a tendency for constipation always drink plenty of water boiled with half teaspoon of jeera(cumin seeds) and a piece of dried ginger. Whenever there is a cold and running nose, take a pinch of dried ginger powder and smell it several times a day. This is very effective in treating a running nose. Also avoid washing the head since it will help the body to fight against cold. Soups made of horse gram dressed with onion, black pepper, and minimum salt are very useful in fighting cold. Not only will such soups improve the agni, they will also help to strengthen the body’s immune system.

During old age it is advisable to avoid all deep fried foods since these are difficult to digest and low in nutrients. When there is cold or sneezing or both conditions prevail, one should not go out at night. If at all one has to go out, properly cover the ears and head first. Proper nutrition which reduces vata, controls kapha and pacifies pitta is the food for the old age. They can be designed as per one’s eating habits and food culture. Take only warm food. Do not consume refrigerated and reheated food, deep fried foods and cold water. These will keep you away from cold and sneezing.

Written by Dr.G G Gangadharan

Kerala Ayurveda Treatment

Kerala ayurveda treatment came into existence around 5000 years ago. Ayurveda, the science of life and longevity is the oldest form of health science. Ayurveda is practiced everywhere in India and abroad with the common aim of providing a holistic healthcare care system by suggesting ways to attain equilibrium between the body, mind and soul.
Panchakarma is practised by many of the Ayurveda physicians where in Panchakarma and related treatment procedures form an integral part of the treatment program. Kerala is known for its rich and unbroken tradition of Ayurveda and practice of specialized Ayurveda treatment procedures. Kerala Ayurveda refers to the specialised treatment procedures like  Abhyanga, Pizhichil, Dhanyamladhaara, Takradhara, Elakizhi, Dhanyakizhi, Netra Tarpana, Talapothichil, Kati basti, Griva basti etc.; the main five procedures(Panchakarma- detoxifying procedures) i.e Vamana(therapeutic  emesis), Virechana( therapeutic purgation), Basti(therapeutic enemas), Nasya(instillation of herbal preparations through the nostrils), Raktmokshana(therapeutic blood letting therapy); along with vast range of special medicinal preparations in  the form of Kashayam (decoctions), medicated Grhtas(Clarified butter) and Oils for internal and external use, medicated choornas (powders), pills , combinations of medicinal preparations etc. Another special type of treatment procedure called Marma massage is also practised by some of the Ayurveda experts from Kerala.

Few of the procedures have been given below:

Abhyanga: Massaging the entire body with warm oils by applying specific strokes. Most of the times the oils used are medicated with different medicinal herbs depending upon the body and disease condition.

Pizhichil: Warm medicated oil is poured continuously in a similar manner all over the body for 45 to 60 minutes. This treatment is very effective for rheumatic diseases like arthritis and joint stiffness, paralysis (hemiplegia, paraplegia), paralysis, nervous weakness and nervous disorders, sexual weakness.

Navarakizhili(Shastika Shaali Pinda Sweda): This is a special form of fomentation done externally  by using medicated rice pudding (navara rice) tied in muslin cloth in the form of boluses that is dipped in milk and herbal decoction and patted rhythmically all over the body.This treatment is advised for rheumatism, pain in the joints, emaciation of limbs  and muscular diseases.

Dhanyamladhara: A special warm herbal liquid called dhanyamla is poured continuously over the body. This liquid (decoction) is prepared using some cereals (dhanyam), Navara rice, horse gram, millet etc.
Takradhara: Medicated buttermilk is poured continuously over the forehead in a rhythmic manner.

Dhanyakizhi: It is a type of dry therapeutic fomentation where cotton bundles containing raw drugs like cereals, black gram, horse gram , cotton seed etc., in semi powdered form are used for fomentation locally or for the entire body .

Elakizhli: This is a similar kind of procedure where herbal leaves, coconut gratings and lemon, are warmed in medicated oil and packed into boluses of cotton cloth. These bundles are steamed and patted rhythmically all over the body for fomentation.

These treatment procedures may be advised accordingly for 7, 14 or 21 days. These and many other types of specialised authentic Ayurveda treatment procedures are practised in Kerala and other parts of the country and world.

At MSRICAIM, different Ayurveda treatment procedures are made available following consultation  with our Ayurveda experts.

For more details and booking:

Contact:
M S Ramaiah Indic Centre for Ayurveda and
Integrative Medicine (MSR ICAIM)
A unit of Gokula Education Foundation (Medical)
New BEL Road, MSR Nagar
Mathikere PO
Bengaluru – 54

Tel: +91-80-22183456
Mob: +91-99005812303 / +91-9632128544

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