Tackle your high cholestrol

Tackle your high cholestrol

High cholesterol is a very common health problem among men and women especially among people who don’t do any physical work. After the age of 45, it is especially advisable to check the level of cholesterol in the blood. A high level of cholesterol can narrow blood vessels in particular, coronary arteries which supply to the heart muscles.

Ayurveda looks at cholesterol as a manifestation of kaphadosha, one of the three Doshas which keeps the body in a state of equilibrium. The other two Doshas are Vatha and Pitta.In Ayurveda, high cholesterol is seen as a product of Mandagni ( weak digestion) In this condition, Ayurveda advises a diet that can improve the functions of Agni ( digestive fluids ) and does not contribute to further assimilation of Kapha in the system.
The preventive and curative measures for cholesterol in Ayurveda can be brought under the following three categories: Lifestyle, Diet, Processed preparations from natural sources.

LIFESTYLE

  • Do not sleep during the day. Even if you feel very sleepy due to some reason, sleep for a while in the sitting position during day time. Sleeping in lying position increases Kapha in the body but if you sleep in a sitting position, Kapha does not increase.
  • Walk for a while, if you walk two to three km a day at a fast pace with both hands swinging, that will burn sown the kapha in your body.
  • Dry massage: A dry massage in an upward direction on the body for a period of 45 minutes to one hour with the powder of triphala and roasted, powdered horse gram is very useful. This can be done by a professional masseur.

DIET

  • Take a glass of buttermilk mixed with a small onion chopped into small pieces every day after food.
  • Chop a small onion and mix it with lemon juice. Have it as a side dish with your food.
  • Add garlic roasted or as a chutney with your lunch.
  • Take one meal with wheat or a rice product. The second with fresh fruits and the third meal with cooked vegetables.

MAKE YOUR MEDICINE

The following medicines are useful as a dietry supplement in the intial stages of cholesterol. You can choose one or two of these medicines for daily use, depending on the availability of materials around you.

These are simple and extremely safe herbs that are easily available in urban areas or commonly seen in the wild.

  • Boreahviadiffusa( Punarnava) is a weed seen all over the country. Atke 60 gms of its roots, clean well and chop into small two onch pieces. Crush slightly so that when the roots are boiled with water the juice inside can ooze out easily. Add one litre of wate to 60 gms of root. Boil till the water reduces to 250ml. after that filter this decoction and remove the roots. Reduce this 250mlof extracted decoction on a low flame to 120ml.Take 60ml in the morning on an empty stomach and 60ml in the evening, around 6pm again on empty stomach.
    You can use this process to make any fresh herbal decoction. Once you know how to make this medicine, it is as simple, as or as difficult, as making a perfect cup of black tea. Please try it.
  • Drumstick leaves are available everywhere. Take about 100gms of fresh drumstick leaves and make a decoction as instructed above ( add one litre of water and reduce to 120ml ) and take 60ml in the morning and 60ml in the evening with one teaspoon of powdered dry ginger and one teaspoon of honey.
  • Take 5 gms of fresh ginger paste. Add enough honey to make it palatable and take it in the morning after breakfast.
  • Take one teaspoon of tribhalaadichoornam (available in market) mixed with 1 tablespoon of honey at bedtime followed by a drinking of warm water.
  • Tinosporacordifolia (Gudbhel or Guduchi ) : This plant grows everywhere in India. Cut 30 gms of TinosporaCordifolia into small pieces and crush. Add 30 gms of TribulusTeriesting( Gokshura – Gokhru) a thorny plant seen all over in fields.

Make a decoction of both these as referred to above and take 60ml in the morning and 60ml in the morning and 60ml in the evening.

A perceiveable result should be seen within 41 days of following this advice.

Healing depression

Healing depression

Mental disorders are explained in great detail in Ayurveda classics. The mind or manas of each individual is unique. According to Ayurveda, the person should dwell in an atmosphere of pleasantness appropriate to one’s mental constitution. Ayurveda recognizes three main mental constitutions or manasika prakruti– the saatvika, raajsika and taamasika. Any disturbance in the normal functioning of the mind manifests as illness – either psychic or physical. Depression is a serious mental condition that alters the mind’s equilibrium with its environment. There are basically three types of treatments for mental illnesses.

  • Oral medication including Panchakarma.
  • Psychotherapy (counselling)
  • Daivavyaprasharayachikitsa (spiritual therapy) – prayers, performing yajna, charity, yoga, meditation,visiting holy places and penance.
  • A combination of all the above.

Milder forms of depression get relief from psychotherapy itself. But it is generally felt that a combinationof therapies work best. Treatment is given as per the severity of the condition. Certain medications as well as some medical conditions can cause symptoms of depression. The physician should not confuse these symptoms as depression.The causative factors of depression are a sudden shock to the mind byincidents such as death of a belovedor break- up of a close relationship. Itcan also be a symptom of a medicalcondition like a stroke, heart attack,cancer, Parkinson’s disease or hormonaldisorders. A person appearsnormal throughout the day but feelsdepressed only at a certain time ofthe day. A depressed child may pretendto be sick, refuse to go to school,cling to a parent or worry that theparent may die. Teenagers may sulk,get into trouble at school or collegeand be negative and grouchy. Becausenormal behavior varies from one childhood stage to another, it can be difficultto tell whether the child is just going through a temporary phase or issuffering from depression.Women experience depression about twice as often as men. Hormonal factorsmay contribute to the increased rate of depression in women particularlyfactors such as menstrual cycle changes (associated with pre-menstrual
syndrome) pregnancy, abortion, the post-partum, pre-menopause andmenopause periods in life. Stress at work, additional responsibilities at homeand marital discord are also leading factors.Men rarely admit to being depressed.

Depression in men is often associatedwith increased risk of heart disorders. Male depression is often masked byalcohol or drugs, or by the socially accepted habit of working excessively longhours. Depression typically shows up in men, not as feeling hopeless andhelpless, but as irritation, anger etc. Therefore it is quite difficult to recognizethe signs and symptoms of depression in men. Even when a man realizesthat he is suffering from depression, he is twice as reluctant to disclose it tohis family doctor or even to his wife.

From an Ayurveda point of view, most depression can be explained as akapha imbalance. Initially, the brain’s electrochemistry has an erratic overreaction(vata imbalance), which triggers a loss of enzymatic activity in themetabolism (pitta imbalance). Kapha responds by trying to keep everythingdown, bringing about heaviness, darkness and stagnation, which the mindbodyinterprets as the negative message of hopelessness anddepression.
In Vata-depression, the pranavayu in the brain and heart isprovoked by a variety of factors, including terrifying experiences,especially when they occur during childhood, excessive travel, an irregular lifestyle, lack of sleep, excess talking, excess use of the telephone, habitual consumption of foodswhich are dried or frozen or foods which are microwaved, living or working in an air-conditioned room. Both recreational and prescription
drugs provoke thepranavayu, particularly cocaine,amphetamines, speed weight-lossdrugs, caffeine, and antihistamines(including ephedrine).Working night shifts is anothercause of vata depression.

The symptoms of vata depressionsare tremendous anxiety,guilt, paranoia and catastrophicideation. Insomnia or restlesssleep is a classic feature. Thespeech becomes incoherent, theperson is easily distracted, restless,unable to concentrate, forgetfuland spaced-out. Thedepressed person will not deliberatelytry to harm himself or herselfbut may forget to eat – indeedthe main hazard in treatment isthat they will be unable to taketheir herbs regularly and so willfail to improve.

Vata depression should betreated using brahmi tea, brahmighee, and brahmi oil massage.
Saraswatarishtam should begiven 20 ml daily after lunch anddinner. Oiling and sweating usingbrahmi oil will help calm thepranavayu, as will shirodhara or shirobasti. Nourishing oil basti using a brahmidecoction and sesame oil is also valuable in calming the vatadosha.

Pitta depressionis characterized by anger and irritability. In some cases, the
Person is not aware of being depressed, but is obviously angry and very easilyirritated, irrational, and perhaps violent. There may be extreme self-criticismand low self-esteem; or the critical judgmental tendencies may be
directed outwards. Suicidal ideation is a frequent symptom. Pitta depressionis the most dangerous type of depression since in severe cases suicide is adistinct possibility. In more chronic forms of pitta depression, self-destructivebehaviour such as abuse of alcohol and drugs are a common symptom.Even those with pitta depression that are not overtly suicidal often commitslow suicide by inducing conditions such ashepatic cirrhosis. Insomnia is a symptom ofpitta depression but is different from vatainsomnia.

Treatment for pitta depression also consistsof brahmi tea, brahmi ghee and brahmi oil massage.
Saraswatharishtam can be used, combinedwith herbs that are used in sadhaka pitta.These include shankapushpi, rose, sandalwoodand lotus. If there is a history of drug or alcoholabuse, shankapushpi will be tremendouslyuseful in healing the liver as well as in calmingthe mind and balancing the sadhaka pitta. For
overall balancing of pitta, a pitta diet should betaken, avoiding sour, pungent, salty and oilyfoods. Amalaki should be taken at bedtime, halfa teaspoon steeped for ten minutes in a cup ofhot water.

The causes of kapha-depression are a vitiationof the tarpakakapha in the brain by lack ofstimulus. Sleeping in the daytime, excessivesleeping, overeating and excess consumption ofoily, heavy foods can contribute to the provocationof tarpakkapha. Watching TV in excessand lack of exercise are other important factors.Frequently, kapha depression originates inhomes where parents themselves have somedegree of kapha-type depression. For example,the child who overeats resulting in overweight.There is an overwhelming atmosphere of heaviness,emotional denial and holding ontothings. Parents often give food or materialobjects instead of genuine love. The childlearns to become greedy, lazy and attached tofood, money and possessions. These tendencies,passed on through the family tree, causetarpakakapha to become increasingly provoked.

The use of downers such as sleepingpills, sedatives, tranquilizers and alcohol furtherserve to exacerbate kapha type depressionwithin the entire family unit.Patients with kapha-type depression rarelyapproach an Ayurveda practitioner complainingof depression; in fact they deny accepting theirailment in the first place. However, face- readingand pulse reveal depression, deep-seatedgrief and attachment and other obesity-relatedproblems.

In kapha-type depression coupled with obesity,triphalaguggulu can be used. Otherwise,
trikatu can be added to the saraswatharishtammixture for a more stimulating effect.Refraining from sleep during the day and vigorousexercise is essential for the treatment ofkapha-type depression. Vamana or removal ofexcessive kapha by forced vomiting is an excellent remedyfor this condition.

Ayurveda elaborates treatment for depressionnot only with medicine but also with counsellingand touching one’s spiritual base.According to the person’s culture and attitudedifferent methods are used to send positivethoughts to one’s self. There is an element ofself-healing in this process, where the thingsone does for spiritual elevation help to removethe negative vibes from one’s thoughts andassist in healing.
Food – pure, uncontaminated, fresh with alltastes and easily digestible and non- provokingis a very useful supplement for treating depression.

Defeating Diabetes

Defeating Diabetes

DIABETES MELLITUS (DM) in general is a chronic metabolic disorder in which the body is unable to make proper use of glucose which results in hyperglycemia (increase in blood sugar level) and glycosuria (increase in sugar levels in urine). In particular, Type I DM is characterized by loss of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas leading to deficiency of insulin in the body. Type II DM is characterized by insulin resistance or reduced insulin sensitivity. Both lead to hyperglycemia, which largely causes acute signs of diabetes; excess urine production, compensatory thirst and increased fluid intake, blurred vision, unexplained weight loss, lethargy, change in energy metabolism etc.

The symptoms of diabetes can be correlated to the symptoms of Prameha Prameha is a metabolic disorder explained extensively in Ayurveda literature. Prameha, holds the twin meanings of “prabhutha mutratha” or excessive urination and “Avilmutratha” or turbid urine.

Etiological factors of prameha:

  • Consumption of food with excessive sweet taste.
  • Intake of newly harvested (within one year) crops like new rice, grains.
  • Frequent intake of aquatic plants and meat
  • Excessive usage of milk and milk products.
  • Lack of exercise.
  • Excessive sleeping, day dreaming, night awakening
  • Mental strain and stress.

Common features of diabetes mellitus and prameha:

  • Prabhutavilamootrata (polyuria): Increased urinary output with turbidity.
  • Madhuratva in mutra: Glycosuria.
  • Dantadeenam mala sanchaya: Deposits/ tartar accumulation on teeth are seen.
  • Panipada daha: (burning sensation of feet and palm). Presence of glucose is seen in the blood- It causes disturbance in the equilibrium of dhatus and doshas in the body exposing body to further complications like padapani daha (burning
    sensation of feet and palm).
  • Chikkanata : Stickiness of the body.
  • Trishna (Thirst and polydipsia): In the process of lypolysis, more water is utilized which results in the activation of the thirst centre in the brain.
  • Swadu asyata : Sweetness is experienced in the mouth due to increase in sugar level.

Making a few changes in lifestyle will help an individual to combat diabetes/ prameha.

 

Here are a few tips which you can follow to avoid diabetes:

  • A well balanced diet intake is a must. Avoid excessive sweet, fatty, spicy food.
  • Avoid regular consumption of nonvegetarian food.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Consumption of food at regular intervals is a must.
  • Regular exercise is a must to maintain an ideal weight. It also helps in proper blood circulation and metabolism.
  • practicing yoga will also help to a great extent.
  • Avoid day sleeping and night awakening.
  • A stress free mind will keep you at optimal health. It would benefit you to a great extent.

Some herbs useful in prameha:

Triphala – Terminalia chebula, Terminalia belerica, emblica officinalis.

Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia

Jambu – eugenia jambolana

Shilajit – Asphaltum (mineral pitch)

Turmeric – Curcuma longa.

Diet:

Use barley, green gram, horse gram, chickpeas, old rice, bitter gourd and bottle gourd in your food intake. Roasted rice and wheat are useful. Include ‘Tikta ras’ (bitter), Kashaya (astringent) items in your diet.