Monday, September 27, 2010

Text and History of Ayurveda A Hindu Heritage of Healing

The Origins - The Myths and Legends

Indian art of healing is almost as old as the religion of Hinduism itself. Āyurveda attained a state of reverence and is classified as one of the Upa-Vedas - a subsection - attached to the Atharva Veda. The Atharva Veda contains not only the magic spells and the occult sciences but also the Āyurveda that deals with the diseases, injuries, fertility, sanity and health. However, the secrets of life were revealed even in the first Veda, the Rg Veda. The five elements of creation, the Pancha-maha-bhuta, namely the earth, water, fire, air and ether form the basis and essence of all life forms. Out of these arise the three doshas, namely Vata, Pitta and Kahpa. These three doshas unfortunately have been crudely translated as air, bile and phlegm. But the Āyurveda texts, which treat all diseases based on the disequilibrium of these three doshas, are lot more complex. The knowledge consists of three aspects of Āyurveda known as the Tri-Sutras - cause of illness (etiology), symptomatology of disease process and treatment of disease.

Āyurveda incorporates all forms of lifestyle in therapy. Thus yoga, aroma, meditation, gems, amulets, herbs, diet, astrology, color and surgery etc. are used in a comprehensive manner in treating patients. Treating important and sensitive spots on the body called Marmas is described both in Āyurveda and in Dhanur Veda (another Upa-Veda dealing with martial arts and military science). Massages, exercises and yoga are recommended.

The venerable state of the art of healing was enhanced by the myths and legends of the god of healing, Divodasa Dhanvantari, a patron deity of medicine. The science of medicine was said to have been taught to the sages by Divodasa Dhanvantari, who later wrote them down in the text of Āyurveda. According to another legend, the knowledge of healing originated from the creator Brahma himself, who taught it to Daksha (protector of all beings), who in turn taught it to Indra. When diseases and death became rampant a gathering of the great sages was held in the Himalayas. Sage Bharadvaja volunteered to learn the craft from Indra. He then taught the science to his pupil Ātreya, a legendary healer, who then transmitted this knowledge through his disciples. Compilations of this knowledge are called the Āyurveda. Other patron saints of medicine were the twins called Ashvins, who were patrons of eyesight and were physicians that treated the gods themselves.

Ātreya held a competition among his six disciples namely Agnivesha, Bhela, Jatūkarna, Parāshara, Hārīta, and Kshārapāni. Each established a school of his own and taught the traditions of Āyurveda. Agnivesha Samhita was the most

Texts of Āyurveda

Compilations of Ātreya and Agnivesha are lost. The knowledge we now have is by three surviving texts of Charaka, Sushruta and Vaghbata. Charaka (1st century A.D.) based his Samhita on Agnivesha Samhita. Sushruta (4th century A.D.) based his Samhita on the Dhanvantari School of Āyurveda. Vaghbata (5th century A.D.) compiled the third set of major texts called Ashtanga Hridaya and Ashtanga Sangraha. The former is more succinct and is based on both Ātreya and Dhanvantari schools. Ātreya's School of Physicians and Dhanvantari's School of Surgeons became the basis of Āyurveda and helped organize and systematically classify into braches of medicine and surgery.

Sixteen major supplements (Nighantus) were written in the ensuing years - Dhanvantari Bahavaprakasha, Raja and Shaligrama to name a few - that helped refine the practice of Āyurveda. New drugs were added and ineffective ones were discarded. Expansion of application, identification of new illnesses and finding substitute treatments seemed to have been an evolving process. Close to 2000 plants that were used in healing diseases and abating symptoms were identified in these supplements.

Dridhabala in the 4th century revised the Charaka Samhita. The texts of Sushruta Samhita were revised and supplemented by Nagarjuna in the 6th century in a treatise called Upa-hridaya.

There developed eight branches/divisions of Āyurveda:

1.Kaya-chikitsa (Internal Medicine)
2.Shalakya Tantra (surgery and treatment of head and neck, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology)
3.Shalya Tantra (Surgery)
4.Agada Tantra (Toxicology)
5.Bhuta Vidya (Psychiatry)
6.Kaumara bhritya (Pediatrics)
7.Rasayana (science of rejuvenation or anti-aging)
8.Vajikarana (the science of fertility).
The dates of the authors are still very controversial. Some historians place the lifetimes of Ātreya, Charaka and Sushruta in the Vedic period, around 600 B.C. These are based on the references to the authors that seem to have surfaced in earlier texts than the proposed dates mentioned in this article. When the history is completely rewritten and there is no more controversy, everyone hopefully can agree upon a constant date. Until then we should not worry about the timeline and only admire the scientific approach these ancient authors followed, striving to perfect the art of healing that could rival a modern scientific research.

Many modern medications were derived from plants alluded to in Āyurveda texts. The oft cited example is that of Rauwolfia serpentina that was used to treat headache, anxiety and snakebite. Its derivative is used in treating blood pressure today.

Two areas of contribution of Indian physicians were in treating snakebite and prevention of small pox. Detailed account of steps to be followed after a poisonous snake bite including application of tourniquet and lancing the site by connecting the two fang marks and sucking the poison out is described. A decoction of the medicinal plant Rauwolfia serpentina is next applied to the wound.

A form of vaccination for small pox was commonly practiced in India long before the West discovered the method. A small dose of pus from the pustule of small pox lesion was inoculated to develop resistance. Such methods of building immunity were practiced in other fields as well, against other diseases in order to develop antibodies against the infecting organism or a poison.

Charaka Samhita

Charaka was said to have been in the court of the Kushana king, Kanishka during the 1st century A. D. Some authors date him as far back as the 6th century B.C. during Buddha period. The sacred trust between physician and patient was held in high esteem by Charaka and patient confidentiality, similar to the Hippocratic Oath, was deemed the proper conduct for a practicing physician. Charaka also told us that the word Āyurveda was derived from Āyus, meaning life and Veda. Nevertheless, according to Charaka the word Āyus connotes more than just life. Āyus denotes a combination of the body, sense organs, mind and soul. The principles of treatment in Charaka's teachings took a holistic approach that treated not just the symptoms of the disease but the body, mind and soul as single entity.

Compiled by Charaka in the form of discussions and symposiums held by many scholars, Charaka Samhita is the most ancient and authoritative text that has survived. Written in Sanskrit in verse form, it has 8400 metrical verses. Following the Ātreya School of Physicians, the Samhita deals mainly with the diagnosis and treatment of disease process through internal and external application of medicine. Called Kaya-chikitsa (internal medicine), it aims at treating both the body and the spirit and to strike a balance between the two. Following diagnosis, a series of methods to purify both the body and spirit with purgation and detoxification, blood letting and emesis as well as enema (known as Pancha-karma) are utilized. The emphasis seems to be to tackle diseases in the early phase or in a preventative manner before the first symptoms appear.

Āyurvedic diagnosis and treatment is traditionally divided into eight branches (sthanas) based on the approach of a physician towards a disease process. Charaka described them thus:

1. sūtra-sthāna, general principles2. nidāna-sthāna, pathology3. vimāna-sthāna, diagnostics4. sharīra-sthāna, physiology and anatomy5. indriya-sthāna, prognosis 6. chikitsā-sthāna, therapeutics 7. kalpa-sthāna, pharmaceutics 8. siddhi-sthāna, successful treatment.

Detailed accounts of various methods of diagnosis, study of various stages of symptoms and the comprehensive management of debilitating diseases like diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, asthma and arthritic conditions are to be found in the Charaka Samhita. There is even a detailed account of fetal development in the mother's womb, which can rival descriptions of modern medical text books. Charaka lists more than 500 remedies in his Samhita.

Charaka also wrote details about building a hospital. A good hospital should be located in a breezy spot free of smoke and objectionable smells and noises. Even the equipment needed including the brooms and brushes are detailed. The personnel should be clean and well behaved. Details about the rooms, cooking area and the privies are given. Conversation, recitations and entertainment of the patient were encouraged and said to aid in healing the ailing patient.

Sushruta Samhita

Sushruta was a surgeon in the Gupta courts in the 4th century A.D. He followed Dhanvantari School of Surgery and is one of the earliest surgeons of recorded history. Though Indian mythology is full of accounts of healing through transplantation of head and limbs as well as eye balls, Sushruta Samhita is the first authentic text to describe methodology of plastic surgery, cosmetic and prosthetic surgery, Cesarean section and setting of compound fractures. Sushruta had in his possession an armamentarium of 125 surgical instruments made of stone, metal and wood. Forceps, scalpels, trocars, catheters, syringes, saws, needles and scissors were all available to the surgeon. Rhinoplasty (plastic surgery of the nose) was first presented to the world medical community by Sushruta in his Samhita, where a detailed method of transposition of a forehead flap to reconstruct a severed nose is given. Severed noses were common form of punishment. Torn ear lobes also were common due to heavy jewelry worn on ear lobes. Sushruta described a method of repair of the torn ear lobes. Fitting of prosthetics for severed limbs were also commonly performed feats.

Sushruta wrote, 'Only the union of medicine and surgery constitutes the complete doctor. The doctor who lacks knowledge of one of these branches is like a bird with only one wing.' While Charaka concentrated on the kaya-chikitsa (internal medicine), Sushruta's work mainly expounded on the Shalya Tantra (surgery).

The Samhita contains mostly poetry verses but also has some details in prose. 72 different ophthalmic diseases and their treatment are mentioned in great detail. Pterygium, glaucoma and treatment of conjunctivitis were well known to Sushruta. Removal of cataract by a method called couching, wherein the opaque lens is pushed to a side to improve vision was practiced routinely. Techniques of suturing and many varieties of bandaging, puncturing and probing, drainage and extraction are detailed in the manuscript. Sushruta lists more than 700 herbal medicines.

Ashtanga Hridaya

Vaghbata in the 5th century compiled two sets of texts called Ashtanga Sangraha and Ashtanga Hridaya. The latter of the two combines both the Ātreya and Dhanvantari schools. It details the Kaya-chikitsa of Charaka Samhita and the various surgical procedures of Sushruta Samhita. Exhaustive descriptions of kapha, vayu and pitta are given. However, the emphasis seems to be more on the physiological rather than the spiritual aspects of the disease processes. Ashtanga Hridaya is written in prose whereas the Ashtanga Sangraha is in poetry form.

The Ancient Indian Physician

Originally only Brahmins were practicing physicians. Later people from other castes became well versed in the art of healing and a term Vaidya came to be applied to the practitioners. Merely by their art and knowledge, the physicians gained high social status regardless of their caste of birth. The court physician was of political importance and sat on the right side of the throne, an important symbolic place. Though the physician, patient, the nurse and the medicine were all important in curing a disease, the physician was thought to be the most important.

The codes of conduct for physicians and medical students were laid down by the texts of Laws of Manu. The poor and downtrodden were to be treated free of charge. Others were charged according to their ability to pay.

The physician was expected to behave in an exemplary manner, conforming to the highest ideals of professional and personal life. His dress, manner and speech were expected to be beyond reproach. Medical education was arduous, consisting of many years of sacrifice learning the art of healing. Visiting the sick, collecting herbs and preparation of drugs, memorizing the Vedic texts of Āyurveda, performing procedures on dead animals, melons, and leather bottles and bladders were part of the training. These exercises helped refine both theoretical and practical training of the student. When finally the student is deemed ready to practice on his own, he is certified by the ruler. The system closely resembles that of the Hippocratic Oath of Greece.

How much influence Greece had on Indian medicine is hard to say. We know that astrology and astronomy were both greatly influenced by the Greeks (solar calendar, for example). Most of the texts available to us were written after the Greeks made their appearance (Alexander in 3rd century B.C.) and stayed in the Northwest India for several decades. How much the Indian physician learned from the Greek counterpart and vice versa is a question not answered.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Best Herbal and Homeopathic Antibiotics and Antiviral Remedies

People always used herbs and other products of nature as efficient way of dealing with inflammation, bacterial and viral infections and as disease-prevention - for strenghtening immunity.

The first modern antibiotic, famous Penicilin, is actually product of nature, it is derived from Penicillium funghi that is common kind of mold that grows on bread and fruit and it was in use as a part of folk medicine for centuries before was officialy discovered by Scotish scientist Robert Flamming in 1928.

Discovery of Penicillin was very important for the improving health of humanity - this antibiotic helped so many people to get cured from, up till then, non-curable diseases - especially gonorrhea, syphilis, meningitis, diphtheria, rheumatoid fever, pneumonia and Staphylococcus's infections - Penicillin saved very many lives.

In the meantime, things went in the wrong direction - when Penicillin was invented it was meant to be used for very serious health conditions only, but very soon people started to misuse it and overuse it, so many bacterias developed resistance on Penicillin and many people became allergic. Over the years many new other antibiotics were invented, that also have very serious side-effects Penicillin never had, and medical experts started to prescribe them literally for every condition that might include some infection or inflammation .

Today many people consume various antibiotics on the same way they eat candies and start to take them in the earliest childhood, usually without any need, as result their immune system becomes very week while not getting chance to fight infection on it´s own. Today we can find all sorts of antibiotics in all meats and diary products that are given to the cattle against infections. No wonder why so many people suffer from immunodefficiency.Officials from the USA National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control have reported that the overuse of antibiotics in medicine has created a real epidemic of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, so today antibiotics are not helpful as they are supposed to be.

There are two types of antibiotics:

■that ones which are derived from the living organisms - like Penicillin or aminoglycosides
■and syntetic ones, as the sulfonamides, quinolones, oxazolidinones
Synthetic antibiotics have much more serious side effects on the body then the first group that is derived from the natural sources, and are much more risky for use.

Most common side effects of antibiotics - are gastrointestinal problems and yeast outgrow that is not possible to control. Weakness of immunity is also common side-effect, so you become more vulnerable on other infections. Many people develop chronic fatigue after misuse of antibiotic.. They also kill all good bacteria you have in the body, and through that cause major weekness of all inner organs. Antibiotics are very toxical for the liver.

In so many cases, pure natural alternatives give us the best option to fight all sorts of infections we get during the life. Immune system needs some challenges to become stronger and develop antibodies, natural methods help immune system to quickly solve problem with infections without causing any side-effects. Medical antibiotics should stay reserved for the serious health conditions only and should never be taken more often then every two years. Even if you really need them, you should ask your Dr to prescribe you those medical antibiotics that are derived from natural sources and avoid syntetic ones if possible.

Antibiotics should be always used together with probiotics, that strenghten your beneficial bacterial population you need to be healthy, so they will cause less damage to the body. It would be also wisely if antibiotics are needed, to combine them with natural cures and continue with natural cures after use of antibiotics.

Herbal Antibiotics

Herbal antibiotics are extremely powerful.

There is story from history of herbal antibiotics - in medieval Europe, plague was common killer. There was no cure, not effective profilaxe known, people were dying one after another by deadly infection. Some of them managed to survive, among them there were four thieves in France who were robbing bodies of death or dying ones whithout any fear of plague while being completely protected with all sorts of antibiotic herbs - they consumed them and also soaked their clothes in the mixture of the same herbs. The magical herbs they used as anti-plague remedy were lavender, thyme, rosemary, sage and garlic).

There are certain rules with use of herbs as antibiotics:

■they should be used as soon as problem arises, not when infection already became too serious
■herbal antibiotics should be also used as prevention, not only for treatment, on that way one might never need to use medical antibiotics
■it is very important that one listens his body well so is able to adjust dosage of herbs to the real needs of the body
■not everyone reacts well on all herbs - what is cure for one person it is not necessarily the cure for somebody else.

Sage (Salvia Officinalis) is one of the mightiest herbal antibiotics that in addition has strong antiseptic and antiviral properties. Sage has bitter taste, but adding sugar or honey solves the problem. This magnificent herb was in medieval time called "heals all", and is very helpful in healing so many health conditions - and especially as main remedy or support in treating all bacterial and viral infections as well as antiinflammation remedy.

For healing infections it can be used as tea, prepared as syrup or extract, alone or in combination with some other herbs. It can also be applied on skin for treating the skin infections and wounds.

Garlic As Antibiotic

Garlic is also well -known and very powerfull natural antibiotic that has strong antiviral properties. Adding garlic to regular meals, prevents so many diseases and infections. Dosage for healing infections can be more then 10 cloves per day (cut on small pieces or as juice). Because of smell, many people decide to use it in caplets. It is great for treating all bacterial and viral conditions. It cleans blood, strenghtenes immunity and improves intestinal health what no syntesized antibiotic would ever do.

Garlic lowers the blood pressure, so for people who have to low BP garlic is not nessessarly the ideal solution.

List of other herbal antibiotic is very long:

Some of the most known are:

■Olive leaf - very strong antibacterial and antiviral remedy.
■grapefruit seeds
to name only few.

Nature is so full of gifts that are here to help us.

Homeopathic Antibiotics

Homeopathy knows very many remedies that work much quicker and better then any known antibiotic, much quicker then any herb, while not causing any possible side-effect, only improvement. There is group homeopathic of remedies called nosodes that are prepared exactly from the bacteria, viruses or other parasits they need to treat (very dilluted and potensized what gives them the big strength) and they can target and reasonably quickly destroy any harmful microorganism in human body.

Most usually they need to be mixed with other homeopathic remedies for improving immunity, and more general ones for treating the infections and inflammation (like f.E the remedy Gunpowder) to be fully successfull. There are also homeopathic remedies, that are derived from various antibiotics, without any side-effects, and that can be included in healing. The trick of success in homeopathics as antibiotics is also in adequate potency and in needed dosage - many people need higher dosages then some homeopaths usually recommend and certainly more then one remedy in order to have full effect in healing. Not everyone needs the same dosage, potency strength, neither the same remedies. Positive attitude towards healing is also needed, as well as one´s life-style needs to be adjusted to support the healing process and not to work against it.

Homeopathics can be used as cure from side-effects of regular antibiotic use or misuse and be taken together with medical antibiotics to neutralize their side-effects. They can be taken together with herbs - they are able to tremendously improve healing. They can be used as prevention against infectious diseases (prophylaxes ) - what medical antibiotics never should be used for (!).

Psychology of Infections and Inflammations - Influence of Emotions on Immune System

Many infections and inflammations people develop in the body have various causes underneath like:

■low immunity because of unhealthy style of life, misuse of medications, unhealthy food full of hormones and antibiotics etc.
■psychological cause - prolonged inflammation or infection that is constantly repeating and never healed is most often connected with inner dissatisfaction with some other aspects of life (job, relationship, unhealed traumas etc.). If psychological cause is not understood, such type of inflammation or infection cannot be healed for good - nor with natural cures neither with antibiotics.
■fear from micro-organisms and belief that they are always more powerful then human immune system . This fear killed many people then any disease itself, especially mass hysteria caused by some new or old virus or bacteria.
When somebody is not content with life - doors to diseases are widely open. People are frightened from bacterias, viruses, parasites and other microorganisms, and tend to forget that good immunity is product of inner balance and bad one is product of stress and lack of love.

One of the most important organs that works for immune system is - endocrine gland thymus, which is located in the chest, two inches above the heart . This little gland helps body to produce all needed antibodies for healing infectious diseases. But this endocrine gland is highly sensitive on feelings - the truth is that thymus can work only when we are content and feel love. If not, thymus does not perform it´s duty at all.

This tricky and highly sensitive gland was researched form scientists and there were for many years convinced that thymus can work only in young people, and that it´s activity naturally stops some time after puberty. Of course, research was performed only on ill people, otherwise this would mean that after puberty none of us is able to create enough of antibodies,or none at all, but findings of research certainly misguided scientists, who also did not research influence of stress, feelings and traumatic events on human body and it´s functions. Due to the such type of researches, they started to treat thymus as more or less useless, and encouraged them to continue to develop much stronger medications in order to kill all possible microorganisms, instead of letting body to develop natural defence systems.

Infections are caused by the fact that body is not able to develop antibodies to the microorganisms - what bring us back to the thymus.

Every type of immunodeficiency (what means - low immunity) starts with inability of thymus to produce cells that kill micro-enemies of the body:

■If thymus does not work, microorganisms win the battle.
■if thymus works well, infection or inflammation are short and they finish on their own because antibodies are developed, or so often there is no infection or inflammation at all.
As any endocrine gland - thymus is sensitive on hormones we produce, and hormones are - FEELINGS. Well, everyone who is in love knows that love brings health and protects from any illness.

Although for self-defence of the body thymus is of main importance, immune system is connected with health of all endocrine glands (including liver and spleen), nerves that are everywhere in the body (even in the intestines), health of blood and lymphatic system but all good or bad that happens in human body is influenced by power that our emotions and thoughts have on our health. As mentioned before, our hormones are literally our feelings and all important body communication is performed exclusively through the hormones . They are messengers to the body who give orders to it´s organs - "do this", " do not do that", "work stronger", "take the rest", "be healthy", "destroy yourself" - if we are constantly full or fear, anger, stress and dissatisfaction, we push our body and immune system to work against us, because imbalanced hormones created by our negative attitudes and feelings bring destructive messages to the body.

Microorganisms are not enemies they kill us - we are the ones who help them to do that and give them the power they do not have. If we are afraid of them - we send messages to the body that there are stronger that natural defence of the body, so body immediately gives up the battle against them and start with self-destruction by letting microorganisms to invade all cells and body organs.

Our psychological mechanisms have exclusive influence on health of our bodies, so if we let ourselves to be led by love for ourselves and not by fear from micro-organisms, we will be able to choose our cures wisely.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tips for Understanding Nutrition Labels

We are all very familiar with the nutrition label that comes on our foods. However, do you really know how to read it? The nutrition label is designed to provide us with a quick and easy way to make smart decisions about choosing healthy foods. The problem with this is that a lot of people don’t quite know how to take in the information that is on the nutrition label without spending a lot of time reviewing it. Luckily, there are some easy tips that you can follow to make it a whole lot simpler to benefit from the nutrition labels on your food.

Here are some tips for reading, understanding and using food nutrition labels:

· Look for low levels of the first nutrients that are listed. You might not have known this but there actually is a purpose to the way that nutritional labels are organized. The first nutrients that are listed are the nutrients that you want to make sure to limit in your diet. The total fat, cholesterol and sodium levels are listed here. You want to select foods that are low in these areas so that you don’t get too much of these things into your diet.

· Look for high levels of the latter nutrients. The process of organization on the nutritional label makes sense once you learn more about it. First, you will look at those nutrients that you don’t want a lot of. Then it only makes sense to look at the nutrients that you do want in your diet. The nutrients that are listed further down the label – the fiber, vitamins and minerals – are the nutrients that you want to get a lot of. Look for foods that are rich in these nutrients when reviewing nutrition labels.

· Remember the 5/20 rule. It can be really tough to remember how much of each nutrient is the right amount to fit into your diet. That’s why the nutritional label provides you with really handy information about the percent daily value of each item that is listed. Many people get confused even by this, though, because they aren’t sure how much of a percentage they want from a single food item. The basic rule of thumb to remember is the 5/20 rule which says that 5% or lower is a low amount and 20% or higher is a high amount. You want to generally choose foods that have percentages within this range (although lower is better when it comes to those top-of-the-label nutrients). There is more to nutrition than just this, of course, but remembering this will make it a lot easier to glance at nutrition labels and make quick decisions in the store.

· What about calories? In general, the average person is recommended to eat a 2000 calories per day diet. When you look at the top of your nutrition label, you will see that information is provided there about the number of calories in a single serving of the product. If you’re trying to stick within the average diet, you will want to know that there is a general rule to follow in regards to the calories. The rule is that 40 calories is a low-calorie food and 400 calories is a high-calorie food. Sticking in between these two with your foods, assuming that you eat an average diet, should keep you on track with eating the right amount of calories.

· Don’t forget to check the serving size. Right at the top of every nutritional label is information about how many servings are in the package. This is important because it affects the rest of the information that you’re looking at. For example, if a product has 10 grams of fat in a single serving but there are two servings in the package and you’re going to eat the whole package then you are actually getting 20 grams of fat. Make sure that you double-check this serving size information when calculating out what you’re eating using the nutritional label.

· Ignore the footnote. The bottom of the nutrition label is called the footnote. This footnote lists information about the total grams of nutrients that are recommended for either a 2000 calorie diet or a 2500 calorie diet. This is great information for people to learn about in general. You can check this part of the label out now and then to make sure that you are not getting too many grams of fat into your diet, etc. However, this is probably not something that you need to concern yourself with every single time that you look at a nutrition label in the store. It’s good information but if you’re looking at the other things on this list then you should be doing okay. It’s not necessary to add in more information when reviewing every single nutrition label.

· Pay close attention to the foods that your purchase most often. You may not feel like you have the time to look at the nutritional labels on all of the foods that you buy. That’s okay. You can get a good start by checking out the labels on the foods that you purchase most often. Since you are already buying them, you can do this at home when you have some downtime. This will at least give you a good idea about some of the basic nutrition that you are and are not getting.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Friday, September 17, 2010

20 Foods That are Great for Your Skin

It doesn’t take much more than common sense to realize that what you put into your body is going to have an impact on how your body looks and feels. If you eat foods that are filled with fat, cooked in grease and high on the sugar then your body is going to reflect that in its shape, size and texture. In contrast, if you consume foods that are healthy for you then your body is going to respond by looking and feeling healthier.

This is true at all levels including the level of your skin. People who want to have skin that looks young and supple and that has that healthy natural glow to it need to start by paying attention to what types of foods they are putting into their bodies. Take a look at the following twenty foods that are good for your skin and think about which ones you can easily add to your diet to get that youthful skin appearance that you desire:

1. Water. The number one thing that you can put into your body if you want great-looking skin is water. The more water you drink, the more you flush all of the other stuff out of your body and the healthier your skin is going to look.

2. Green tea. When you’re not drinking water, you should be drinking green tea. It has many, many different health benefits including benefits for the skin. You can drink it cold or warm. Avoid adding sugar or milk to it if you want the best benefits for your skin.

3. Cantaloupe. This food increases antioxidants in your body which increases your ability to absorb free radicals which in turn reduce skin problems so that you have healthier skin.

4. Tomatoes. This is another food that is rich in anti-oxidants and so will have the same skin-boosting benefits that the cantaloupe will give to you.

5. Berries. Strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are all berries that are also rich in antioxidants. Eat them alone, toss them in cereal or add them to the sides of other dishes to increase the healthiness of your skin all throughout the day.

6. Plums. There really is a long list of fruits that you can eat that are rich in antioxidants and that are therefore good for your skin.

7. Sweet potatoes. This is a vegetable alternative to the cantaloupe and tomato options that you may want to try to get those free radicals flowing healthfully throughout your body and fighting off skin problems.

8. Broccoli. This is a great vegetable that has many different health benefits which is why you’re always hearing that you should “eat your broccoli”. One of the things it contains a whole lot of is Vitamin A, a vitamin that is great at improving the turnover of cells in the skin. This means that when you eat broccoli, your skin gets renewed more quickly and the freshest (nicest looking) skin is on top where everyone you meet can see it.

9. Spinach. This food doesn’t just make you strong like Popeye. It’s also rich in the same Vitamin A properties that broccoli has so it’s good for your skin as well. You never saw Popeye looking like he had dry, aged skin did you?!

10. Carrots. If you want to get your Vitamin A but you aren’t that big of a fan of leafy green vegetables then you may want to turn to carrots to improve your skin with this vitamin.

11. Low Fat Dairy. Diary products are another really great source of Vitamin A so they can be really good for the skin. However, you want to avoid the fat that is in a lot of these foods so make sure that you look for low-fat versions of cheese and milk that are rich in Vitamin A.

12. Omega3 Rich Fish Dishes. Omega3 is that “good fat” that we’re always trying to get even though we try to avoid the “bad fat”. One of the things that the Omega3 fats do is ward off any kind of inflammation. This means they’re good for the skin. You can find these in many different fish dishes including tuna, shellfish, sardines and salmon.

13. Flax seeds. You don’t have to eat fish to get the essential fatty acids that your body needs (and that improve your skin). An alternative option is to eat flax seeds and to cook with flax seed oil.

14. Walnuts. These are yet another option that you can choose in addition to flax seeds or fish dishes if you want to improve your skin with those essential fatty acids.

15. Grapefruit. This food is really rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for people concerned about skin problems because it delays or reduces wrinkles.

16. Oranges. Just like with grapefruits, these are great for the skin because they are so rich in Vitamin C.

17. Brussel Sprouts. Most people think that you have to eat citrus fruits to get Vitamin C but there are a few vegetables out there that have it as well. Brussel sprouts are a good one for the skin. Peas are another option.

18. Whole wheat. Another ingredient in some foods that is really good for your skin is selenium. This is found in whole wheat cereals, breads and baked goods. This improves the skin at a cellular level and keeps you looking young and beautiful.

19. Lean red meat. Some people have poor skin because they don’t have enough iron in their diets. If you are concerned that you’re too pale or you have dark circles under your eyes then you may need more iron. Red meat is a great source for that but make sure that you’re not eating any red meat that is too high in fat.

20. Eggs. Eggs are a good iron-providing alternative for people who don’t want to eat much red meat.

Adding these foods to your diet should go a long way towards improving the healthfulness of your skin. However, it’s just as important to cut out foods from your diet as it is to add foods if you do want healthy skin. Make sure that you reduce your intake of caffeine, bad fats, salt, sugar, etc. to maximize the healthy benefits that your skin is getting from the intake of these other good foods!

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

17 Unique and Interesting Types of Massage Therapy

1. Amma Therapy. This type of body therapy combines several different types of massage therapy in one session. It goes beyond this, however. It refers to a push-and-pull motion that is used within the massage. The goal of this type of massage therapy is to rejuvenate the energy flow of the body.

2. Ayurvedic Massage. This type of massage is similar to acupressure but it comes from India instead of from China. Like with acupressure, it uses massage on top of specific pressure points to heal the body. In Ayurvedic massage, these healing points are called marmas. There are two goals of this massage. The first is to heal pain. The second is to detoxify the body.

3. Balinese Massage. This is a type of massage that you don’t hear about very often. However, you may be familiar with the other types of massage that are combined together to create this unique massage. They include Swedish massage, Deep Tissue massage, acupressure massage, energy work such as Reiki and even aromatherapy.

4. Belavi. This is the name for a unique type of facial massage. It is an age-defying rejuvenation massage. It reduces wrinkles and increases the healthy glow in your face. It is sometimes called “the facelift massage”. The massage is done on the face, limbs and upper body. A facelift including a mask and exfoliation are also done.

5. Body Electric Massage. This type of massage is a blend of two other types of massage. The first is Thai Massage, which is a type of clothed massage that uses stretching as its core. The second is Swedish massage, which is the more hands-on type of “body rub” that you may be familiar with. However, there’s more to the massage than this. It’s a spiritual based massage that derives from Buddhism and Tantra. The goal of this massage is to heal the body through attention to each chakra of the body. Another goal of this massage is to raise self-awareness of the sensual self.

6. Canadian Deep Tissue Muscle Massage. This type of massage is designed specifically for pain relief. The massage therapist is trained to heal specific muscle problems in the body. It is usually a quick, clothed massage that is done with the patient seated in a chair.

7. Craniosacral Massage Therapy. This is a massage that is focused on the head as well as the spine. It is probably the type of massage that is closest in nature to chiropractic care. Subtle adjustments may be done to the neck and spine during this type of massage. However, this is primarily a light-touch massage that often focuses on head massage.

8. Esalen Massage. This is a light-touch massage that is designed specifically to heal emotions. It is the physical equivalent of going to see a psychologist. Although you may not talk about your psychological, emotional and spiritual issues with your Esalen massage therapist, the goal is to heal them. The underlying belief is that the power of human touch is so strong that it has the power to heal these problems.

9. Five Element Shiatsu. This is a rhythmic motion massage doe to the back or stomach to heal the body. In the beginning stages of this massage, the massage therapist will use all of his or her senses to gain a complete understanding of the patient’s body. The healer will tailor the massage to the specific problems uncovered during these first stages. The goal of this type of massage is to create energy harmony in the body.

10. Lomi Lomi. This Hawaiian form of massage uses an undulating motion when rubbing the body. Think the waves of the ocean or the dance of the hula. As with many other forms of massage, the purpose of this massage is to unblock the body’s trapped energy.

11. Manual Lymphatic Drainage. This type of gentle massage is designed to improve the flow of the body’s lymph fluid. It uses a very specific amount of pressure that is applied in a circular motion to achieve the intended healing results.

12. Pfrimmer Deep Muscle Therapy. This rare type of massage is a deep body massage that is designed for advanced healing. This massage is designed to actually rejuvenate muscles that have been damaged and to give assistance to people suffering from paralysis of the body. It goes far beyond the basics of deep tissue massage and uses highly specialized techniques to heal the body at the cellular level.

13. Raindrop Technique Massage. This Native American massage technique is heavily focused on the use of aromatherapy. Scented massage oils are applied to the hands, feet and spine during this massage. The massage is a back massage that uses heat and motion to realign the spine. The goal of the massage is to release toxins from the spine to heal the whole body.

14. Rolfing. Another type of very deep tissue massage is rolfing. It is essentially chiropractics for the muscles of the body. The goal of this type of massage is to realign the body’s muscles the way that they are supposed to be. This type of massage is not a one-time deal; it is completed in a series of sessions over weeks or months.

15. Russian Massage. This type of massage is a pain-relieving massage. It alternates long deep strokes with short quick strokes to heal the muscles. It is sometimes described as a combination of Swedish massage and sports massage.

16. Thai Herbal Massage. Thai massage, a type of stretching-based massage, is very common. In contrast, Thai herbal massage may not be as easy to find at day spas in your area. Your best bet is to research skin care services because it is sometimes considered to be more of a facial than a true massage. However, it is notable that this type of massage is often done to the whole body and not just the face. It has the hallmarks of a facial in the sense that it uses heat and steam and a body wrap to offer a relaxing, rejuvenating experience. However, it does incorporate hands-on massage with deep muscle manipulation using hot oil and hot compresses.

17. Trigger Point Myotherapy Massage. This type of massage uses pressure-based muscle manipulation. The massage is focused on trigger points. These are areas where the muscle has gotten stuck in a spasm. The massage works out the spasm. This is a deep tissue massage that some people may find to be painful or too intense.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Calcarea Carbonica as mighty homeopathic & sculptor of the Earth

Calcarea Carbonica (Calcium Carbonate) against depression

Calcarea Carbonica is homeopathic remedy made from the middle layer of oyster shells, Mother of pearl.

It is very often used to treat the symptoms of depression and hypothyroidism.

Calcarea Carbonica is recommended to people who have following symptoms associated with depression: fear of failure, restlessness, anxiety, obsessive or compulsive behavior, night sweats or related feelings and emotions, acute or chronic disturbances in sleep, forgetfulness, confusion, low-spirit.

Calcarea Carbonica can be taken whenever there is a lack of Calcium in the body.

There are also other known uses for Calcarea Carbonica that may or may not be related to a person’s emotional health. This homeopathic remedy is often used to treat such problems as stomach acidity, symptoms related to menopause, pituarity and thyroid disfunction, Candiasis, eczema, ear infections that result in discharge that is sour in smell, tonsillitis, eye infections,malnutrition, neuralgias,anemia, backache, joint or bone pain, fractures that are slow-healing, some digestive problems and slow bone or teeth development. It can be taken during periods of physical exertion, during damp or cold weather periods and in the early spring for those who feel cold easily. Calcarea Carbonica is often used in combination with other homeopathics or herbal tinctures to produce the desired effect.


Calcarea Carbonica can be taken whenever there is a lack of Calcium in the body (hypocalcemia)

Hypocalcemia is an electrolyte imbalance and is indicated by a low level of calcium in the blood.

Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth, as well as for normal muscle and nerve function, healthy blood and function of the hearth and circulation. Normal blood calcium levels are maintained through the actions of parathyroid hormone (PTH), kidneys and intestines.

While calcium keeps our bones and teeth strong, those bones and teeth also store the calcium that the body needs – allowing the body to break down and rebuild bone when it needs that calcium for other body functions - what is the main reason of OSTEOPOROSIS (lack of Calcium is forcing body to use stored resources in bones).

Calcium is also responsible for normal pH level in the body: if there is not enough of Calcium, blood and whole body starts to be too acid - usual deseases are RHEUMATISM, OSTEOARTRITIS, ARTRITIS.

Causes of Hypocalcemia:

■Vitamin D deficiency
■HORMONAL IMBALANCE: FUNCTION OF THYROID GLAND AND PARATHYROID GLANDS: Parathyroid glands are responsible for balance of calcium and phospore in the blad. Parathyroid glands are part of thyroid gland, and usualy if thyroid gland is underactive, parathyroid glands are affected as well.
■Chronic renal failure
■Magnesium deficiency
■Biphosphonate therapy - drugs used to treat high blood calcium levels or pills used to treat osteoporosis.
■Certain types of leukemia or blood disorders
■A complication of chemotherapy, tumor lysis syndrome, occurs when your body breaks down tumor cells rapidly, after chemotherapy. This may cause hypocalcemia, high blood potassium levels, and other electrolyte abnormalities.
■Drugs such as diuretics, estrogens replacement therapy, fluorides, glucose, insulin, excessive laxative use, and magnesium may also lead to hypocalcemia.
■Chemotherapy drugs (cisplatin)
■Diuretics (furosemide[Lasix] or bumetanide[Bumex])
■Antibiotics (amphotericin B)
■Certain things in your diet, like caffeine, phosphates (found in soda pop) can make difficulties to calcium apsorption.
Vitamin D, helps you to absorb calcium in your body, as well as CALCAREA CARBONICA.

Symptoms of Hypocalcemia:

■The most common sign of hypocalcemia is "neuromuscular irritability." Your nerves and muscles, which are directly related to blood calcium levels, may spasm or twitch.
■If your blood test results indicate hypocalcemia, you may have muscle cramps in your legs or your arms.
■The symptoms of hypocalcemia you experience may relate to how fast or how slowly the fall in blood calcium levels occur.
■If you have long-standing low blood calcium levels, you may notice no symptoms of hypocalcemia.
■If you have an "acute" or sudden drop in your blood calcium level, you may notice more twitching.
■numbness and tingling of fingers and toes.
■you can be depressed, or more irritable
■You may become confused or disoriented AND VERY, VERY SLEEPY.
■heart muscle contractS irregularly due to the electrolyte disturbance.
■Increased urination.
■Poor appetite that does not improve
■sudden fall of level of calcium can cause: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
Whan hypocalcemia occurs, supplements of calcium should be taken.

Calcarea Carbonica is good remedy which can completely replace supplements or calcium after some time, or be taken at the same time as suplements, because Calcarea carbonica helps body to attain balance and enchances natural absorbtion of calcium from the food (or suplements) as well as helps healing the cause of the deases.

Use of Calcarea Carbonica, Calcium Carbonate

If taken as a single remedy, the most helpful is to responsible, steady people who become fatigued and overwhelmed. They may develop anxiety, sometimes with fear of heights or claustrophobia. The person usually feels chilly, with clammy hands and feet, and has low stamina. Digestive troubles with gas and heartburn are common, especially after eating wheat or dairy products. Swollen lymph nodes and tonsils, head sweats during sleep, shortness of breath from exertion, back pain, dizziness, nightmares, and strong cravings for sweets are often seen. Individuals who need this remedy are sometimes oversensitive to aspirin.Children who need Calcarea Carobonica are slow to teethe and to walk, but they are also likely to be stubborn and strong-willed. Emotionally, Calcarea carbonica patients tend to be afraid of the dark, of isolation, of getting sick, and of going insane. When Calcarea Carbonica is needed as a single remedy, individual usually suffers from physical and mental slowness.

Various use of Cacarea Carbonica, as a single remedy (or in combinations):


If a person with frequent pimples and skin eruptions is chilly with clammy hands and feet, easily tired by exertion, and flabby or overweight, this remedy may help improve the skin’s resistance to infection. People who need this remedy are often very anxious when overworked, and have cravings for sweets and eggs.

Allergies and sensitivities



This remedy is usually indicated for dependable, solid people who become overwhelmed from physical illness or too much work and start to fear a breakdown. Their thoughts can be muddled and confused when tired, which adds to the anxiety. Worry and bad news may agitate them, and a nagging dread of disaster (to themselves or others) may develop. Fear of heights and claustrophobia are also common. A person who needs this remedy is often chilly and sluggish, has a craving for sweets, and is easily fatigued.


This remedy is often useful for low back pain and muscle weakness, especially in a person who is chilly, flabby or overweight, and easily tired by exertion. Chronic low back pain and muscle weakness may lead to inflammation and soreness that are aggravated by dampness and cold.


for bronchitis after a cold. The cough can be troublesome and tickling, worse from lying down or stooping forward, worse from getting cold, and worse at night. Children may have fever, sweaty heads while sleeping, and be very tired. Adults may feel more chilly and have clammy hands and feet, breathing problems when walking up slopes or climbing stairs, and generally poor stamina.


This remedy may be indicated when a person developing cataracts has the feeling of looking through a mist. A person needing this remedy tends to be a responsible type, but feels overwhelmed when under stress and fears breakdown or disease. Chilliness, swollen glands, weight problems, and easy tiring from exertion


People who need this remedy often feel more stable when constipated, and experience discomfort and fatigue when the bowels have moved. Large stools are hard at first, then sticky, then liquid. The person may feel chilly and sluggish, have clammy hands and feet, crave sweets, and feel weak and anxious when ill or overworked.


A dependable, industrious person who becomes overwhelmed from too much worry, work, or physical illness may benefit from this remedy. Anxiety, fatigue, confusion, discouragement, self-pity, and a dread of disaster.


This remedy is suited to people who are chilly with clammy hands and feet, and tend to develop eczema and cracking skin that is worse in the wintertime. They are easily fatigued by exertion, and feel anxious and overwhelmed if ill or overworked.


A person who develops swelling in the lower extremities, especially around the knees, may need this remedy. Symptoms can be worse from sitting, unless the legs are supported.


Muscle soreness and weakness that are worse from exertion, and worse from getting cold and damp, may be relieved by this remedy.


When a person needing this remedy has gallbladder problems, the abdomen may feel swollen on the right and be very sensitive to pressure, with cutting pains that extend to the chest and are worse from stooping, The person feels worse from standing, worse from exertion, and better from lying on the painful side.

High blood pressure

This remedy is often helpful to people with high blood pressure who easily tire and have poor stamina. They are typically responsible types, who feel overwhelmed when ill and fear a breakdown. Palpitations and breathing problems can be worse from walking up a slope or stairs, and also when lying down.


People who need this remedy tire easily and have low stamina. They tend to feel chilly and sluggish, with clammy hands and feet (though their feet may heat up in bed at night, and their heads may perspire during sleep). Swollen lymph nodes, frequent colds, sore throats, ear infections, and skin eruptions are common. Children who need this remedy are often slow to walk and may have teething problems, frequent colds, and ear infections

Menopause symptoms

This remedy may be helpful to a woman with heavy flooding, night sweats and flushing (despite a general chilliness), as well as weight gain during menopause. People who need this remedy are usually responsible and hard-working, yet somewhat slow or plodding and can be easily fatigued. Anxiety may be strong, and overwork or stress may lead to temporary breakdown.

Mouth ulcers

This remedy is often indicated when infants and small children have recurring canker sores. A child who needs this remedy may also have head-sweats during sleep, and be slow to teethe or learn to walk. Calcarea carbonica may help with canker sores in adults who are chilly, stout, and easily fatigued.



Pituarity disfunction

Parathyroid disfunction

Thyroid disfunction

Depression after birth

This remedy can be helpful to a woman who is overwhelmed by working too hard and taking on too much responsibility. Weakness and fatigue make her feel depressed. Anxiety, insomnia, and nightmares may develop



Rheumatoid arthritis

This remedy may be useful for deeply aching arthritis involving node formation around the joints. Inflammation and soreness are worse from cold and dampness, and problems may be focused on the knees and hands. Weakness in the muscles, easy fatigue from exertion, and a feeling of chilliness or sluggishness are common.



Varicose veins

Varicose veins that hurt while the person is standing or walking may respond to this remedy. People who need this remedy often have poor circulation, with clammy hands and feet, and a general feeling of chilliness. They may have weak or flabby muscles, and be easily tired by exertion.

Yeast infections/ Candidiasis

When this remedy is indicated, burning and itching feelings may occur both before and after the menstrual period. Discharge from vaginitis is milky and acrid or thick and yellow. A person who needs this remedy is often chilly and stout, has a craving for sweets, and is easily tired by exertion

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate, or CaCO3, comprises more than 4% of the earth’s crust and is found throughout the world. Its most common natural forms are chalk, limestone, and marble, produced by the sedimentation of the shells of small fossilized snails, shellfish, and coral over millions of years.

Aragonite and calcite are beautiful CaCO3 minerals which pictures I put here to present the power of Calcium Carbonate: healing force of this remedy is as mighty as its creativity on the (sur)face of our planet.

With the same strength and intelligence which Calcium Carbonate is designing this extraordinary magical beauty in the nature, Calcarea Carobonica is healing mental and physical disorders in people and animals.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Series - Home Remedy #15 - For Blood Pressure ( Low and High )

Blood Pressure - Low

■Have juice of 10-15 basil (tulsi) leaves mixed with 1 teaspoon honey. Crush the leaves to a paste and squeeze out the juice through a muslin cloth.

Blood Pressure - High

■Restrict salt intake and drink plenty of fluids (at least 8-10 glasses of water daily).
■Have single pod garlic (lasan), one pod first thing every morning or if this is not available, have 1 - 2 cloves of ordinary garlic (lasan). If you get discomfort with having garlic first thing in the morning, swallow 2 cloves twice a day with water, any time or with meals.
■Mix 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon ginger (adrak) juice, 1 teaspoon cumin (jeera) powder. Have twice a day.
■Drink curry leaves (curry patta) juice initially 3 times a day (1 glassful) for 1 - 2 months and then reduce to only once in the morning. Have it on empty stomach. For taking out juice: fill your mixer with washed curry leaves, add 1/2 - 3/4 glass water. Churn well and sieve. Add 1/2 - 1 lemon juice and drink fresh.
■Go on an apple diet for a few days. It has a diuretic effect and thus brings down the B.P.
■Having rice, particulary brown rice as the main staple food is very beneficial. As rice has very low sodium content and low cholesterol, it is a perfect diet for those who have been advised to have low salt diets.
■Consumption of natural diuretics like coconut water, butter milk, coriander (dhania) juice (make from green coriander in the same way as curry leaves juice) is very benefical.
■Fruits such as mausami, orange, peaces (aaru), plum (aloo bukhara), watermelon (tarbooz) are also benefical.
■Last but not the least, rest, relaxation and good sleep are effective in keeping the B.P. under control.
■Drink coriander (dhania) juice made from fresh dhania (same way as curry leaves juices) 3 times a day. If this is not effective, start having fenugreek (methi) juice instead (made from fresh methi) and if this is also not effective, move to curry leaves juice. Drink each juice for 10-12 days at least before you decide. If this is not working, then move to the next one.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

Everyone has been anxious at some point in their life, whether it be over love, school, work or that big presentation due tomorrow. Anxiety, fear and worry are all completely natural human feelings. Yet for some anxiety can be more than a normal occurrence and endure for an extended period of time affecting their physical and mental well being. This is commonly called an anxiety disorder.

Fortunately even though millions of people suffer from anxiety, there are many types of treatment available - medical, therapeutic and herbal. This article overviews some of the more common anxiety disorders and herbal anxiety remedies that possibly can help.

Common Anxiety Disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

People suffering from GAD often feel an unrelenting worry or fear that is out of proportion to the actual event and are compulsively worried for extended periods of time hampering their physical interactions with the world and other individuals.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

People suffering from OCD tend to have bothersome and intrusive thoughts that generate anxiety (obsession) and perform repetitive actions (compulsion) like excessive hand washing to try and reduce their anxiety. The person's actions often cause them to lose valuable time and ostracize themselves from others.

Panic Disorder

People suffering from a Panic Disorders often have panic attacks, which are extreme bouts of fear that strike them without warning when performing a task. The symptoms resemble that of a heart attack and can last anywhere from a couple minutes to up twenty minutes though some people can have them come and go over a period of hours.


People with a phobia suffer fear and anxiety when they see a specific thing and feel something awful will happen to them if they encounter that phobia. Phobias can range from the common to the extreme including things like spiders, snakes, social interaction and even loud noises.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

People suffering post-traumatic stress feel an extreme amount of fear and anxiety due to a severe trauma they suffered such as a hostage situation, a serious incident, a life changing accident, serving in combat, etc.

While these are only a few of the many anxiety disorders that exist, there are often treatments available for people suffering with them - therapy, medical and herbal. Of all of these herbal remedies are perhaps the oldest and while they may not cure someone of a disorder they can help soothe their anxiety. Even without an anxiety disorder, people who are worrying or anxious can benefit from a simple herbal remedy.

Common Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

There are thousands of herbs in the world that all offer some form of health benefit. Many of these herbs have then been refined as a basis for pharmaceutical drugs in treating various ailments. Yet herbal remedies themselves remain fairly simple and natural and there are several that show some benefit in reducing anxiety.


Chamomile is a small daisy like flower that has been made into a tea, a tablet and shaped in many other forms. While scientific studies have not really studied Chamomile, many people's personal accounts say that it does in fact reduce their anxiety. One of the best ways to use Chamomile is to make or buy Chamomile Tea, a sweet drink that offers great benefits. Given its low risk to most people, it offers not only benefits in reducing anxiety but also as a muscle relaxant and soothing upset stomachs.

Kava Kava

Kava has been grown and used through the Pacific Ocean for hundreds of years and by utilizing the roots of this pepper like plant which contain kavalactones, it has been made into an herbal supplement and a drink. The drink combines Kava powder (ground up Kava root) which is soaked into water or milk. Hot water or liquids are not used as it kills the kavalctones which generate the soothing benefits of the drink. Always follow directions if making your own.

When one takes Kava their tongue and lip may go a little numb (only temporary) followed by an increase in talkative behavior, clear thinking, calm muscles and finally a feeling of well-being. Anxiety should clear away or at least become marginalized. Falling asleep becomes easier and more restful with people waking up more alert.

Some studies have suggested liver damage may result from extended use of Kava. However this seems to be a result of extended use of the herbal Kava supplement rather than the drink. Water soluble Kava has not been proven to cause liver damage and is how the Kava drink has traditionally been prepared by Pacific Islanders for hundreds of years. It is also thought that improperly prepared Kava by including ground up stem or leaves and the processing process of Kava used in making the supplement could cause the liver damage. If you already have liver problems, it may be best to avoid Kava. A tiny portion of people who use Kava may be allergic and have skin irritation or a rash and if so should not use Kava. There have also been some indications that Kava can become addictive.


Passionflower is a climbing vine that is considered a calming herb in folk medicine which has been borne out in studies. The herb is available in extracts, tea, dry herbs and tinctures like most other herbal medicines. A double blind study showed it worked in decreasing general anxiety disorder with less effects than the anti-depressant Oxazepam, though bigger studies are needed. Passionflower can serve as a sedative and helps sleep, improve anxiety, asthma, rapid heart rate and other problems. The full cause of why is unknown but there have been no major cases of side effects from use. It is often used with Valerian or other herbal supplements. Nausea, headaches and drowsiness may be possible side effects in some people and allergic reactions are possible.


Valerian is a sweet scented pink or white flower that grows in the Northern Hemisphere and was first found in Europe, being used by the Romans and ancient Greeks. Valerian is also the name of a nutritional and dietary supplement in capsule form made from the roots of the above flower and can also be used in a tea. Valerian serves predominantly as a treatment for insomnia due to being a mild sedative but has shown some affect in reducing anxiety.

However in some people, Valerian has had an opposite effect by actually increasing nervousness and anxiety. Other side effects include headache, dizziness, nausea and increased drowsiness while an allergic reaction of rash, hives, difficulty breathing could occur. There is also the rare possibility of liver damage though the exact reason is unknown whether it is how the herb is prepared, the dosage, etc. Proper monitoring can reduce any impact on the liver.


Of the many types of wetland loving Skullcaps, the Common Skullcap (found in Britain, Europe and Asia) and the Blue Skullcap (found in America) are known for their sedative abilities and help in treating anxiety, insomnia and nervous tension among other ailments. The most common side effect of Skullcap is muscle aches and increased body temperature, though Skullcaps is also known to cause liver damage.

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is from the mint family and originally found in southern Europe and the Mediterranean before being transported around the world. It is a useful herb that has been used since the Middle Ages. Studies have shown Lemon Balm reduces anxiety and mood disorders as well as reducing fevers and helping digestion. It is not a sedative and is commonly used in teas or as an extract. Some people have used it as a skin cleaner or bug repellent. There are no major side effects though rarely some people may feel nauseous or dizzy after consumption.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Series - Home Remedy #14 - Belching (Dakaar)

Grind 2 teaspoons each carom seeds (ajwain) and dried ginger (adrak) into a fine powder. Add a little black salt (kala namak). Take 1 teaspoon of this mixture with 1 cup warm water frequently.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Series - Home Remedy #13 - Bed Wetting in Children

Give 2 walnut halves (akhrot giri) and 1 teaspoon of kishmish to the child before sleeping for 10 – 12 days.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Monday, September 13, 2010

Series - Home Remedy #12 - For Baldness

Boil 1 cup mustard oil (sarso ka tel) with 4 tablespoon henna (mehendi) leaves. Filter and bottle. Massage on the bald patches regularly.

Grind the remains of tobacco smoked in a hookah and add to boiling mustard oil. Cool and store. Massage on the bald patches regularly.

Rub on the scalp 1 teaspoon oil in which raw mangoes have been preserved for over one year. Repeat this treatment regularly.

Grind 1 tablespoon liquorice root pieces (mulathi) in 1 cup milk with ¼ teaspoon saffron (kesar). Apply this paste on bald patches at bed time continuously.

Grind fenugreek seeds (methi dana), with water and apply on the head. Leave for at least 40 minutes before washing. Do it every morning for a month.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Series - Home Remedy #11 - For Bad Odour

Use neem twigs as tooth paste.
Powder the dried mint (pudina) leaves. Use as toothpowder.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Series - Home Remedy #10 - For Bad Breath

Chew some fennel seeds (saunf) frequently.

Chew a piece of cinnamon (dalchini) put in a betel leaf (paan ka patta).

Boil some cinnamon (dalchini) in a cup of water. Store it in a clean bottle in your bathroom. Use it as a mouthwash frequently.

Parsley leaves are rich in chlorophyll, nature’s own deodorizer. Chew some leaves regularly and your breath will remain fresh. Alternatively, you can chew some cardamom seeds (illaichi) to sweeten your breath.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Series - Home Remedy #9 - For Backache

Rub some ginger paste on the affected area. Apply oil of eucalyptus on it.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Friday, September 10, 2010

Series - Home Remedy #8 - For Asthma

Mix 1 teaspoon honey with ½ teaspoon cinnamon (dalchini) powder and have at night before going to bed.

Boil carom seeds (ajwain) in water and inhale the steam.

Boil 8 – 10 flakes of garlic (lasan) in ½ cup of milk. Have this every night. Gives excellent results in early stages of asthma.

Add a handful of drumstick leaves (sahijan) to 1 cup water. Boil. Simmer on low flame for 3 – 4 minutes. Cool and strain. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Have every day, once or twice a day.

Mix ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing), 2 teaspoons honey, ½ teaspoon juice from betel leaf (paan ka patta), ½ teaspoon white onion juice. Have it 2 – 3 times a day. To take out juice from betel leaf, crush to paste and squeeze through a muslin cloth. For onion juice, grate the onion and squeeze through a clean muslin cloth.
An expectorant and a very effective remedy for asthma is prepared by boiling 6 cloves (laung) in 3 tablespoons of water. Take 1 teaspoon of this decoction with a little honey, thrice daily.

Mix equal amounts of fresh ginger (adrak) juice, honey and pomegranate (anaar) juice. Take 1 tablespoon, 1 – 2 times a day.

Figs (anjeer) are known to give relief by draining the phlegm (balgam). Take 3 – 4 dry figs, wash them well with warm water. Soak overnight in a cup of water. Eat them first thing in the morning and also drink the water. Do this at least for 2 months.

Diet for an Asthmatic Person

Avoid milk, milk products as they cause phlegm and lead to congestion in the lungs.
Avoid citrus fruits (sour fruits), cool foods, ice creams and deep fried food.
Take plenty of fruits and vegetables with a high fibre content – papaya, apples, watermelon.

Avoid rice at dinner.

Early dinner is best suited for these people. It ensures complete digestion before retirement.

1 teaspoon honey in a glass of hot water before bed time relaxes the throat by clearing accumulated phlegm in throat.

Stay away from dusty places and avoid pets, particularly dogs.

Water Therapy for Asthmatic Persons

This is a golden, sure shot remedy to cure people who have asthma due to a lot of phlegm collection.

First thing in the morning, heat 3 – 4 glasses of water to which 2 – 3 teaspoon salt (white rock salt) has been added. Make as warm as you can drink. Sit on your haunches (hips) with heels on the floor. Press your navel with your thumb / finger and drink this water. Drink as much as you can – so much that it causes vomiting. Vomit out. If vomiting is not causes, poke your finger in your throat and vomit out. Do this every morning on an empty stomach for 1 – 2 months. Your asthma will surely get cured.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Series - Home Remedy #7 - For Appetite Loss (Anorexia)

Mix half teaspoon each of carom seeds (ajwain), fennel seeds (saunf), dried ginger powder (sonth), salt and black cumin seeds (shah jeera). Swallow about 3/4 teaspoon of this mixture with water 2 - 3 times a day.
Take 2 teaspoon of amla juice and mix it with 2 teaspoons honey and 2 teaspoons lime juice. Add 1 cup water and drink on an empty stomach every morning. To take out juice from fresh amla, remove seeds from fresh amla and grind the pulp into a fine paste. Tie it in a muslin cloth and squeeze out the juice. Whenever fresh fruits are not available, dried amla can be used. Soak 1 tablespoon of dried amla at night in a cup of water. Strain it the next morning. Add 1/8 teaspoon black pepper powder (kali mirch) and 2 teaspoon lime juice. Dilute it if necessary with water and drink every morning regularly on an empty stomach.
Take ½ teaspoon black pepper powder (kali mirchi) and 1 tablespoon jaggery powder (shakkar) mixed together.
Cut 1” piece ginger (adrak) into small pieces. Add 1.5 cups of water. Boil. Simmer for 2 – 3 minutes. Add milk and sugar to take, and take it frequently like tea.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Series - Home Remedy #6 - For Ankle - Swelling and Pain

Mix equal quanities of castor oil and lime juice. Massage the affected area with this mixture. Also drink 1 cup warm water mixed with lime juice and honey.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Series - Home Remedy # 5 - For Animal Bite

Take 1/2 teaspoon ground black cumin seeds (shah jeera), twice daily.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Series - Home Remedy # 4 - For Angina Pectoris

■Thoroughly mix 2 teaspoons almond oil with 1 teaspoon rose oil. Rub gently on the chest, morning and evening.
■Boil 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi daana) in 1.5 cups water. Strain and add 2 teaspoons honey. Take twice daily.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Series - Home Remedy # 3 - For Anaemia

Avoid drinking tea and coffee immediately after meals as the tannin present in these interferes in the absorption of iron from food.

Take freshly prepared apple juice an hour before meals or just before retiring for the night. For proper absorption of the juice, remember the stomach should be relatively empty when you have the juice and also do not take anything for about half an hour after the juice.

Juice of beetroot taken 1 – 2 times daily is an excellent remedy for anemia especially for children and teenagers. You may combine apple and beetroot for the juice.

Mix 1 tablespoon amla juice with ripe mashed banana and eat 2 – 3 times a day.
Have a ripe banana with 1 tablespoon honey, 1 – 2 times a day.

Soak 8 – 10 almonds (badaam) and 1 teaspoon rice overnight. Remove outer skin of almonds and grind to a fine paste. Boil with 1.5 cups of milk and a pinch of turmeric powder (haldi). Sweeten with sugar and drink for a few days, once a day.
Soak 10 – 12 currants (munakas) in water overnight. Remove seeds and eat them. Have for 2 – 4 weeks.

Have spinach juice of 125 gm spinach everyday, for 2 – 3 weeks.

Foods rich in iron are – honey, almonds, bananas, apricots (khurmani), raisins (kishmish), fenugreek (methi) leaves, fenugreek seeds (methi daana), lettuce or salad leaves, onion, spinach (paalak), grapes, tomatoes, carrots, gooseberry (amla), beetroots (chukander), apples, pomegranate (anaar). Have plenty of them if you are anaemic.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Home Remedy #2 - For Acne

Clean face with cotton wool dipped in rose water 2 - 3 times a day. Do not use soap.
Orange peel is very good in the treatment of acne. Grind the peel with some water to a paste and apply on affected parts. When oranges are not in season, you may use a powder of dried orange peels. For this, when oranges are in season, dry orange peels in shade. Powder finely in a grinder and sift it to make a very fine powder. Store in an air tight bottle for future use.

Mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice in 1 teaspoon finely ground cinnamon (dalchini) powder and apply on affected areas frequently. Sift the connamon powder to make it into a very fine powder.

Crush a few garlic (lasan) flakes and apply on the face, once or twice a day. Swallowing 1-2 flakes of raw garlic regularly helps further.

Grind some neem leaves with water to a fine paste. Apply on infected area.

Make a paste of 1/2 teaspoon each of sandalwood and turmeric (haldi) powder in a little water and apply.

Grind some back cumin seeds (shah jeera) with a little vinegar (sirka) to a smooth paste. Apply on infected parts.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Home Remedy #1 - For Acidity

i.Take a tiny piece of jaggery (gur) every hour. Just keep it in the mouth and slowly suck it till acidity subsides.

ii.Drink coconut water 3 - 4 times a day.

iii.Have a plateful of watermelon (tarbooz) and / or cucumber (kheera) every hour.
Harad juice, 1 - 2 teaspoon daily after meals is very effective in controlling acidity. The juice can be mixed with an equal amount of amla juice for better results. To take out amla juice, grate an amla and squeeze the pulp through a clean muslin cloth to get juice.

iv.Chewing a piece of harad is an age old remedy.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Allergy and Ayurveda

The concept of Allergy has entered in the world of science in 1900 A.D. so one may be misguided that such an explanation (regarding Allergy) cannot be obtained in classical Ayurvedic texts. A question may also arise about our ancient Acharyas, that what did they know about Allergy? But, if we go into detail we will find that the subject "Allergy" was not new in Ayurvedic Samhitas. The only difference is that the word Allergy has not been utilized. Regarding its knowledge, same explanation can be obtained in Samhitas as Modern medicine has contributed to the world of Allergy, even some etiological factors are more clearly expressed & some are new. Though it is an hypothesis however some light can be thrown in this context.

The complete description of allergy in Ayurveda can be traced under the title of "Satmya". As per the definition given in Ch. Su. 6/50. all those Ahara and Vihara which are having Viruddha Guna of particular Desha or Roga are considered as Satmya of that Desha Roga.

In other words Satmya can also be correlated with "Upshaya" (Ch. Ni. 1).

Satmya is divided into 4 types

(1) Ritu Satmya (2) Auk Satmya (3) Desha Satmya and(4) Roga Satmya.

Accordingly an attempt has been made to correlate description of allergy in Ayurveda in present chapter.

Allergy and Concept of Heredity

Acharya Sushruta has clearly defined hereditary diseases in Su. Sh. 24/6.

■Causative factor - Vitiation of sperm & ovum
■Chances of Allergic disorders increases in bilateral inheritance
■Unilateral inheritance decreases the chances of Allergic disorders.
■Acharya Charaka has described it as "Kulaja Roga"
■Acharya Bhela has described it as "Prakritibhava"
■Acharya Vagabhata has described it as "Kulaja & "Kulodbhava"
■Acharya Yagyavalkya has described it as "Sanchari"
In a nutshell, a healthy sperm and ovum gives rise to an healthy progeny. According to an Ayurvedic principle there is a balance of Vata, Pitta & Kapha within the body of each and every individual. It's proportion (Qualitatively and Quantitatively) is fixed at the time of birth i.e. its Tara and Tama bhava. On the % of Vata, Pitta & Kapha Prakriti (Sharir & Manas) of an individual is formed. All these factors play an important role in forming ones immunity.

Acharya Charaka ( Ch.In. 1/5) has described 6 varieties of Prakriti in individuals. From which the first twp i.e. "Jatiprasakta" & "Kulaprasakta" can light our view.

"Jatiprasakta" - in some races there is tendency for hypersensitivity e.g. a "Bhanushali" race of Jamnagar is highly sensitive to certain drugs which are commonly used.

"Kulaprasakta" i.e. Family disposition. This can be related with chromosomal abnormalities. There is genetic inheritance, influencing the future generation. The above explanations may be enough to throw light on the role of heredity in the manifestation of allergic diseases.

Allergy and Concept of Viruddha Ahara

The word Viruddha is originated from the Panini root "Rudhir Avarni" by applying the prefix "Vi". This leads to two factors i.e. on combining two, three things, the stronger one shades or overpowers the weaker ingredients. This has been accepted principally in Ayurveda also. It has been stated that in a combination of so many opposite qualities, the majority of the power packed qualities overpower the weaker qualities (Ch. Vi. 1/4).

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 and 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 i.e. Dravyaviruddha.

Viruddha - Synonymous Description

In Ayurvedic literature direct references regarding the synonyms of the Viruddha are not available. However certain indirect synonyms may be available.

Ahita Ahara is the first word which has been frequently used as a synonym to the term Viruddha. In Ayurvedic literature, this word has been used very frequently.

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

■Ananukula or Pratikula (Shabda Kalpadrum) which is having an adverse effect or unfavorable
■Anapayukta which is unpropitious
■Pratisiddha prohibited
■Apathya incompatible diet
All these words having the similar meaning may be observed in various, Sanskrit to Hindi, Sanskrit to English or Hindi to English dictionaries.

In Ayurvedic literature all these synonyms are used in a broader sense and with a specific meaning e.g.

Ahita - The word "Ahita" is used for any type of food which is not beneficial for the body and it may include:

■Paryushit Ahara
■Klinna Ahara
■Adhyashana etc.
Pathya - The word "Pathya" is used for those food articles which are beneficial in curing a patient.

Apathya - Those Aharas and Viharas which are restricted during the course of treatment.

It may be quiet evident from the definitions of Pathya and Apathya as well as from the famous shloka of Ayurveda in Vaidyajivan of Lolimbaraja.

If a patient indulges in taking the Pathya he will not require any Medication and when he is not taking of Pathya, the Medication will be ineffective.

On the other hand the Viruddha applies to the articles being consumed during both the conditions health and diseased.

Types of Viruddha Ahara

A careful scrutiny of the Ayurvedic classical literature reveals that the Viruddhahara may be discussed in various aspects and accordingly various types of Viruddhahara may be established.

These types may be represented on the basis of the two famous schools of Ayurvedic medicine.

Charaka under the caption of "Prakrititah Ahita Tama Ahara" has described 19 types of Viruddha, which run as under (Ch. Su. 26/86).

1. Paraspara Gunaviruddha 2. Samyoga Viruddha3. Samskara Viruddha4. Desha Viruddha5. Kala Viruddha6. Matra Viruddha7. Swabhava Viruddha8. Dosha Prakritityadi Viruddha, Aniladi Viruddha 9. Agni Viruddha10. Satmya Viruddha 11. Veerya Viruddha12. Koshtha Viruddha13. Avastha Viruddha14. Krama Viruddha15. Parihara Viruddha16. Upachara Viruddha17. Paka Viruddha18. Hrit Viruddha19. Sampat Viruddha

The Sushruta school of medicine has described 10 types of Viruddahara under the caption of "Ekanta Ahita Ahara" which run as under

1. Samyoga Viruddha

2. Karma Viruddha

3. Mana Viruddha

4. Rasa Viruddha

5. Veerya Viruddha

6. Vipaka Viruddha

7. Desha Viruddha

8. Kala Viruddha

9. Matra Viruddha

10. Atishaya Guna Yojata Viruddha


From this wider range of Viruddha one thing is sure that our Acharyas had accurate knowledge about the allergies which were uprooted through Viruddhahara.

■These Viruddhaharas may give rise to many chemical reactions in our body which cannot be visualized.
■It may be affecting the cellular body built and its chemical constituents.
■Certain Viruddha may be affecting our digestion directly or indirectly either influencing digestive enzymes or hormones.
■Some may be responsible for the arousal of the causative factors of a particular disease, or forming a favorable environment for the manifestations of the disease.
■Some might be harmful in certain environmental conditions only.
The diseases occuring due to Viruddhahara are mentioned below

Visarpa Andhapana Jalodara VisphotaPagalpana BhagandaraMurchhaMadaAdhamana GalagrahaPanduAmavishaKilasaKustha RogaGrahaniShotha AmlapittaJwaraPinasaNapunsakata

But exactly one cannot reach to the final conclusion that particular Viruddhahara is responsible for such chemical conditions. So further detailed research is required to draw out some scientific conclusion.

Allergy and Concept of Dushivisha

This is a most important and unique concept of Ayurveda which can be directly co-related with allergy.

Acharya Sushruta

Sushruta has described Dushivisha is Su. Ka. 2/25-26. According to him when a person is afflicted by an Artificial or Natural toxins, he is treated with an antitoxic treatments. As a result, a complete elimination of these toxins from with in the body is not possible. They may remain in a dormant state for quiet long period.

Acharya Charaka

Similar meaning can be elucidated from Ch. Chi. 23/7,31. He has opined that intake of toxic drugs which are less potent (Hina Veerya) remains in a dormant state within the body for years together, without causing any harm to the body. It remains in the latent stage due to covering (Avrita) of Kapha.

Dhatu Dushti

Chakrapani has commented upon this statement of Acharya Charaka, that "Dushivisha" vitiates the Dhatus after the lapse of a long time on obtaining a favorable conditions.

Explaining further Sushruta has mentioned that "When causative factors like Desha (place), Kala (time), Anna (diet) and Divaswapna (Day sleep) are favourable for Dushivisha, it will become more potent vitiating Dhatus leading to the manifestation of a disease."


It is seen commonly that Allergic disorders are not affecting every individual similarly in presence of same causative factors.


It is commonly observed, that People of same Area, Colony, City, State, etc. are not affected equally on an exposure to a foreign body. Though living in the same environmental conditions, some people remains healthy while only few of them will be allergic to certain things.

Change of colony, city, etc. also plays an important role in the production of allergy.


This factor can be seen easily in our day to day life. It is generally observed, that often patients with rhinitis have maximum presentation of sign and symptoms in spring and rainy seasons. Same is with other allergic disease too. This is explained in detail in, Ritu Sandhi point.

Anna Already described in Viruddhahara

Divaswapna Day sleep is known as Divaswapna that results to Agnimandya, which is the root cause of all the diseases.

Allergic diseases described in Ayurveda are as follows:

Acharya Charaka

Charaka has mentioned following diseases caused due to

Dushivisha Shonita Dushti Kitibha Kotha

Acharya Sushruta

Sushruta has mentioned following disorders caused due to Dushivisha.

Avipaka Arochaka Kotha Mandal Shotha Vamana Atisara Trishna, etc.

Many of the diseases mentioned above has allergy as one of thecausative factor.

Relation of Dushivisha and Histamine

■Histamine is also present in the body in latent form similar to Dushivisha.
■It remains in an inactive form within the covering of cell wall.
■Cell wall can be called Kapha Dravya.
■Histamine is active only by its chemical reaction with Histaminaze.
Allergy and concept of Asatmyaja Vyadhi

Ritu Sandhi

■It is clearly described in As. H. Su. 30/58, which indicates that a specific "Dincharya" is to be followed in that particular period.
■Duration - Ritu Sandhi is a period of 14 days (approximately) between two consecutive seasons (Ritu) .
■In Ayurveda a specific diet regimen (Ahara & Vihara) is indicated for each & every season under the heading of "Ritucharya" (Ch. Su. 6).
■Indications & contraindications for each seasons are also mentioned. It should be followed strictly in order to remain healthy.
■Our Acharayas have well planned the concept of Ritucharya by considering the proportions of Tridosha, Panchamahabhoota, Rasapanchaka, etc. in various seasons & its adverse effect on a human body.
■Similarly prior adopting Ritucharya of the coming season, there are certain rules regarding the abandonment of the Ritucharya of previous season. These rules are mentioned under "Ritu sandhi".
Adverse effect

If Do's & Don'ts of Ritu Sandhi are not followed properly than it leads to:

■Asatmyaja Roga (As. H. Su. 30/58 & Sha. Pur. 2/30)
■Tridosha Prakopa which is causative factor of almost all the disease. (Sha. Pur. 2/31)
■Vitiation of Dhatus, giving rise to Dhatu Pradoshaja Vikara (Sha. Pur. 2/32,33).
In the same context, Acharya Sushruta has also mentioned that, due to toxic Vayu following disease are caused

Kasa Swasa Pratishyaya ShirorogaNetraroga

All the above diseases are described under allergic disease in modern texts.


■The concept of Asatmjaja Vyadhi is very scientific.
■All factors are favorable in the period of Ritu Sandhi for a disease to manifest itself.
■Following environmental factors described in the Modern pathology for allergic diseases can be compared with Ritu Sandhi period & hence it can be said that these diseases has direct relation with Ritu Sandhi.
■In preventive & social medicine it is mentioned that health status of an individual, a community or a nation is determined by the interplay & integration of two ecological universes.

1. The internal environment of man himself. 2. The external environment which surrounds him.
■In the modern concept, disease is due to a disturbance in the delicate balance between man & his environment.
■Three ecological factors, Agent, Host & Environment are responsible for the disease. But the environment from which the patient comes is largely unknown.
■Yes frequently, the key to the nature, occurrence, prevention & control of disease lies in the environment.
■From this a positive support is obtained to scientific concept of Ritu Sandhi, further more.
■Mites of the genus Dermatophagoides have been shown to the commonest arthropods present in the dusts of foods, mattresses, carpets & upholstered furniture, etc. by several authors all over the world.
Three main factors which influence the population of house dust mites are:

- The temperature - Relative humidity of the air- Food material

They seem to be most abundant in those areas of the world where the climate is damp & temperate as compared to dry & cold climatic regions.

■Relative humidity >65% & <30 data-blogger-escaped-are="are" data-blogger-escaped-br="br" data-blogger-escaped-can="can" data-blogger-escaped-cause="cause" data-blogger-escaped-cough="cough" data-blogger-escaped-drying="drying" data-blogger-escaped-exposure="exposure" data-blogger-escaped-humidity="humidity" data-blogger-escaped-infection="infection" data-blogger-escaped-low="low" data-blogger-escaped-may="may" data-blogger-escaped-mucosa="mucosa" data-blogger-escaped-nasal="nasal" data-blogger-escaped-of="of" data-blogger-escaped-permanent="permanent" data-blogger-escaped-predispose="predispose" data-blogger-escaped-sore="sore" data-blogger-escaped-such="such" data-blogger-escaped-the="the" data-blogger-escaped-throat="throat" data-blogger-escaped-to="to" data-blogger-escaped-unpleasant.="unpleasant." data-blogger-escaped-viz="viz" data-blogger-escaped-which="which">■Research on Seasonal periodicity of House dust mite population published in Aspects of Allergy & Applied Immunology showed following conclusions.

1. Maximum positivity was found in the months of August & September & minimum in the months of March, April & May.

2 Indicating that the mite population in house dusts shows a periodic increase & decrease with the change of season.

3. It appears that more rapid growth of these organisms occurs during a period when the temperature is moderate & the relative humidity is high & a slow growth or no growth when it is relatively dry plus either too hot or too cold.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
80, Chowringhee Road
Calcutta - 700002