Buddha discovered Tea

Any Time It’s Tea Time

Chinese mythology has myriads anecdotes about the discoveries of ’Cha’, or what we call tea. One such story portrays Buddha as the discoverer of this aromatic leaf which he found soothing and mind refreshing. So having Indian roots in its inception, tea has managed to enter the day to day life of our country. And in a way tea is among the very few common things in our varied culture. Therefore the recent consideration to making tea our national beverage is only a token of its importance in our lives today.

If we contemplate tea acts as a fellow accompanying us without any reason. It acts as a medium of uniting hearts (credit to college canteen tea), fixing marriages (our typical Indian to be bride serving tea to her future in laws), stress buster (headache remedy by default), a motivator (”I have to study all night need tea!”) and in many other ways. It is a source of creativity, and also gives thrust to any discussion or talk. A delight for winters and a reason to halt during long road journey at road side Dhabas.

Homemade ginger tea is what we need after long tiring day. And thus we notice that this beverage holds a default status in our lives. We love, we hate, we get inspired, we offload our minds, we welcome and we do many such things with the aid of a cup. Even going through the same process of making, tea manages to hold different color, taste and feel each time. Our college canteen-walla makes tea with the least ratio of milk to water, but we ardently demand cup after another and will recollect it for years after we graduate. The cacophony of train’s movement, high pitch “Chai chai chai” piercing our ears and dull looking tea in paper cups is the delight of any journey.

I don’t understand how it took so long to recognize its presence in our lives. When it’s registering the presence in the sub-continent from centuries and it has amalgamated in our lives like our companion, the recognition will neither add nor degrade its ubiquitous reputation. I am not exaggerating but when we sleep with a belief of better tomorrow, this belief is strengthen by tea as we wake up and start our day with it. Thank you, Chai, for being in our lives.

(courtesy: Youth Ki Awaaz & Awanish Shahi)
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Improve your Digestion with Yoga and Ayurveda

Indigestion is a common problem these days. We hear people often complaining about digestion related problems. The food does not get digested easily and the body becomes weaker and weaker. The person also suffers from various other diseases.

They complain of discomfort frequently especially on eating oily and fried food. They drink a lot of water and it has also been noticed that excessive intake of tea, coffee, alcohol, and tobacco affects the digestion process. Similarly, sour food, pickles affect the digestive system and the person feels angry, jealous, fearful at the time of eating food.

If you have poor appetite, sour belches, and heaviness in head, giddiness, swelling in stomach, fast heartbeats, and excessive saliva formation then it is indication for poor digestive system.

Nature Cure Treatement to Improve Digestion

Take mint chutney or ginger marmalade before meals.

Eat raw coconut kernel, drink coconut water, eat chapatti made with whole-wheat flour, and eat old rice and raw papaya vegetable.

Take sufficient amount of ripe fruits, green vegetables, dry fruits, and milk.

Avoid fear, anxiety, and sorrow, worries, etc. Do not eat anything if you feel heaviness in stomach.

Go for morning and evening walks.

Take hip bath and pour water on the back for three minutes.

Keep fast and take enema in the morning. Take orange, sweet grapes or pomegranate juice (100 gm).

Add juice of half lemon in hot water and drink regularly.

Yogic Cure to Improve Digestion

Yoga is ideal for this problem. Regular practice overcomes digestion related problems and cures it permanently.

Practice kunjal for one week with salted water and without salt for two to three months with hot water.

Practice shankha prakshalana once for benefit. Eat kichdi for two to three days after this practice. Add cumin seeds, black pepper and black salt in diluted curd or thick curd and eat for two weeks. Drink pomegranate or wood apple juice (bilva).

After gaining strength practice yogasanas regularly.

Katichakrasana strengthens the digestive system.
Janushirasana is also beneficial for patients. It increases digestive fire, contracts the stomach muscles and improves the overall health. It also strengthens the muscles of back and hip.
Ardhamatysendrasana overcomes stomach diseases and strengthens the intestines. It is beneficial to control sugar level and overcome backache. It helps in proper blood circulation in the nerves of back and hip.
Vajrasana should be practiced for overcoming playfulness of the mind. It is the only asana that can be practiced after meals. It overcomes gastric trouble, acidity and helps in proper digestion. It increases appetite and food is digested properly.
Bhujangasana overcomes all the stomach diseases. It increases appetite and strengthens the spine. It also gives relief in case of backache.
Makarasana should be practiced to improve the stomach condition. It overcomes asthma and lung disorders, knee pain, improves appetite and makes the spine flexible.

Practice of Pavanmuktasana removes excessive gas from stomach, overcomes acidity and helps in digestion. It reduces extra fat on the stomach, cures gynecological problems in women and is also beneficial in case of heart disease and gout.

Regular practice of the above-mentioned asanas are beneficial and later other asanas can also be added.

Pranayam cures digestion related problems completely. Practice yogasana, but practicing pranayam is compulsory.

Agnisar pranayama should be practiced regularly – it improves digestion and overcomes gastric trouble, constipation, sour belches, and ulcers and other stomach related problems. It improves appetite, reduces sugar level, and cures urinary problems. It relieves burning sensation while passing urine, and stops excessive urination. Kapalbhati pranayam should also be practiced, as it is the best for the stomach. It overcomes all the diseases related to digestive system and strengthens the weak intestines. It is the best pranayam and improves the health of the body.

Uddiyan bandha is also beneficial to overcome stomach related problems, improves appetite and arouses the prana and purifies manipura chakra.

Diet and Regimen to Improve Digestion

Diet control is the best way to overcome this problem. Keep fast for a few days and drink hot water with lemon juice depending on the season and drink apple juice twice or thrice daily.

Take juice of raw vegetable with honey. Raw vegetable juice improves digestion and increases appetite.

Start eating chapatti, salad, vegetable, curd, fruit, milk, vegetable juice, and soup after fasting period. In crease the food intake, as you get relieved from this problem.

Eat slightly less than hunger. Drink hot water if you feel thirsty at the time of eating food. Drink lemon water half an hour before meals to reduce hunger and improve digestion.

Sleep turning to the left hand side after meals. It will be helpful in digesting food.

Eat two and a half hours before going to bed at night and keep a cold bandage on stomach, cover it with a shawl and remove it after two hours or in the morning.

Natural Medicines to Improve Digestion

Grate one to three grams of ginger pieces and add a pinch of rock salt. Take it one hour before meals once daily for eight days. It overcomes digestion problems, clears the stomach and increases appetite.

Take three grams of coriander powder and three grams of dry ginger powder with 100 grams of hot water.

Grind equal quantities of cinnamon, dry ginger and red cardamom. Take two grams of this before meals.

Roast small harad in clarified butter and grind it with black salt. Take little quantities with water twice daily.

Mix a little bit of black salt in two spoons of onion juice and drink in the morning.

Mix half spoon each of radish juice and lemon juice, a pinch of rock salt, four black pepper seeds, two pinches of ajowan churna and take this after meals.

Grind three black pepper seeds, three cloves and 30 neem buds, add a little bit of sugar and take twice daily for a fortnight.

Add a little bit of sugar in papaya juice and drink.

Mix a little bit of lemon juice in a spoonful of ginger juice and drink.

Add a little bit of black salt in half a cup of pineapple juice and drink.

Drink juice of ripe wood apple (bilva) for 20 days for relief.

Herbal and Ayurvedic Home Remedies for Eye Care

The importance of the eyes to the human beings need not be emphasized. Eyes provide us sight, without which life would lose most of its meaning. But at the same time, eyes are constantly exposed to the external environment. Almost everyone in the world overworks their eyes, due to which several eye problems occur. The list of problems that occur with the eyes is almost endless. But even then, are we taking adequate care of our eyes? This article provides some valuable tips on care of the eyes.

Some common eye problems are:-  Cataract,  Conjunctivitis,  Glaucoma,  Myopia,  Stye

Let us see how Ayurveda helps in the prevention and treatment of these eye problems.

Useful Herbs for Eye Care

Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum) Aniseed is especially beneficial in the treatment of cataract. The powder of its seeds is taken in a tablespoon quantity every morning and evening.

Babul (Acacia arabica) Babul can treat conjunctivitis. A paste of the babul leaves must be applied on the eyes before going to sleep at night. It will lessen the itchiness, wateriness and the redness of the sore eyes.

Carrot (Daucus carota) Carrot is so beneficial in eye care that its virtues are taught to school students also. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is the precursor of vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is responsible for strengthening the eyes and protecting them from night blindness.

Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) A decoction prepared from coriander can be used as an eyewash for people with conjunctivitis. There will be immediate reduction in the burning, redness and swelling of the eyes.

Indian Gooseberry (Emblica officinalis) The Indian gooseberry, known as amalaki, is exceptional in treating ocular problems. It can bring relief in both conjunctivitis and glaucoma. Its juice is taken with honey for better effects.

Indian Sorrel (Oxalis corniculata) The Indian Sorrel has exceptional properties in the treatment of several eye problems. A few drops of the juice of its leaves must be put in the eyes everyday to keep them free from strain. They can also be a good prevention for cataract.

Marigold (Calendula officinalis) Marigold is taken as a cold infusion for washing eyes that are stressed. This brings a cooling effect to the eyes. It is also effective in cases of conjunctivitis.

Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) The raw juice of parsley is effective for eye care. It can relieve the eyes of problems such as corneal ulcers, cataracts, weak eyes, conjunctivitis, opthalmia and sluggishness of the pupils.

Dietary Tips for Eye Care

Vitamin A is directly responsible for the strength and power of the eyes. Hence, foods that are rich in vitamin A must be taken. Vitamin A is contained in all orange and yellow colored vegetables such as carrots, oranges and pumpkins and in fruits like mangoes, papayas and oranges. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, coriander and colocasia also contain vitamin A. Among non-vegetarian foods, fish, liver and eggs contain vitamin A. Dairy products also have a fair amount of vitamin A in them.

The risk of cataracts is reduced by including vitamin C in the diet. Foods containing vitamin C such as Indian gooseberry, guava, orange, lemon and tomato, capsicum, cabbage, etc. must be included in the diet.

Ayurvedic Treatments for Eye Problems

The triphala lotion is generally prescribed in case of eye problems. Triphala is a mixture of the two myroblans – belleric and chebula – and the Indian gooseberry. The choorna is soaked in water for half an hour to get the lotion. This lotion is used as an eye-wash three or four times in a day. Triphala lotion has potency to treat eye problems such as cataract and conjunctivitis. Washing the eyes regularly with triphala also keeps them moist and healthy.

Chandrodaya vati is another important Ayurvedic preparation used in eye care. It is made into a paste in water and then applied externally over the eyes. Chandrodaya vati is beneficial in the treatment of allergic conjunctivitis and cataract.

Home Remedies for Common Eye Problems

– Prepare a mixture of equal proportions of aniseed powder and coriander seed powder. Mix it with an equal weight of unrefined sugar. Take it in doses of 12 grams every morning and evening. It is beneficial for people with cataract.

– For people with weak eyesight, taking a mixture of the juices of raw parsley and carrots in a glassful amount everyday will provide great benefits.

 – Mix one part of sugar with three parts of coriander. Grind them into a fine powder and put this mixture in boiling water. Keep it covered for one hour. Then filter it with a clean cloth. Use the filtrate as eye drops. This is an effective treatment for conjunctivitis.

– Immerse almonds in milk and keep them overnight. In the morning, mix this milk with sandalwood. Apply this on the eyelids. This reduces redness of the eyes due to exertion.

– Inhaling the odors of sesame mixed in honey reduces the excessive wateriness of the eyes.

– Take two small pieces of cardamom. Grind them and dissolve the powder in milk. Boil the milk and drink it at night. This makes the eyes healthier.

Fasting: When we are able to let go, we attain salvation

When we are able to let go, we attain salvation. One of the best possible techniques to make this happen is by practising any form of virtual detachment. And here comes the role and implication of fasting.

Many of us take to fasting during auspicious days. Fasting during the period just gone by would, by and large, be attached to religious values. Yet, it is also true that during these days of seasonal transition, you could effortlessly take to holistic healing through fasting! Sounds good?

Our ancient Indian therapeutic sciences of ayurveda and naturopathy have emphasised the virtues of ‘holistic’ fasting. Going by the exact meaning of the word, ‘holistic’ would mean absolute. In other words, fasting is essentially an asset that can put your entity in equilibrium with your physical well being, mental and spiritual tranquillity.

Fasting for holistic healing means that the process makes you balanced on all levels — physical, mental as well as spiritual well being.

But how can you be sure? If you have ever kept a fast, then you would have observed that you find some natural, positive implications in your basic persona. Your body undergoes a comprehensive cleansing and self-healing.

Also, you find that your mind actually obeys you and can be controlled better, and you no longer submit to any superfluous inducements.

And have you tried to meditate when you are fasting? Try this out even for a few minutes and you will be amazed at the spirituality as well as liberation you feel.

Managing our senses and minds

Our slavery to our taste buds means that nowadays we are pushing more foods loaded with fats and sweets into our systems. This probably explains the ascent of many lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, et al.

Not only this, somehow today we are losing our fundamental values and getting more greedy. We are into the wrong habit of eating not to satisfy our appetites, but more often to feed the fallacy of our taste buds. This takes the form of a vicious circle, with actually no escape. We fall prey to it and forget the basics of managing our own senses and minds.

When you fast, you are definitely doing your physical being a favour. Our ancient healing wisdom texts strongly emphasise that the ‘healer’ lies within. When you are depriving your body of unwanted provisions, you are actually arousing the physician within you. While fasting, we give our bodies the opportunity to balance themselves.

Fasting for mental tranquillity

Fasting or upavas literally means ‘living near the divine’. During the process of fasting, our minds are as pure as our bodies. This is because fasting brings a well-deserved break both for the body as well as the mind. You now have the full potential to train your mind along with your senses and hampered emotions.

And in the process, this becomes a therapy which helps you to detach and heal your past. This state of mental tranquillity that can be easily achieved during a fast, enables you to start a new positive phase in your life. Fasting heightens awareness towards your intellectual status, as well as makes you tough enough to proceed with reverence.

Fasting for spiritual growth

When we are able to let go, we attain salvation. One of the best possible techniques to make this happen is by practising any form of virtual detachment. And here comes the role and implication of fasting.

When you are on a fast, you virtually lose your worldly desires, and submerge deeper within your own vacuity. At this stage, you tend to lose the union with yourself and magnificently make a connection with the divine.

In accordance with the ayurvedic science of healing, you need to take to fasting so as to keep your jathar agni, or the gastric fire, invigorated. This is mainly because when agni is not functioning properly, whatever you eat will not be digested and your metabolism will be impaired.

This defective agni produces aama or un-digested food, which causes fermentation in the stomach and consequently results in the formation of diseases.

Naturopathy counsels fasting

Naturopathy deems fasting to be equivalent to consuming a life-saving nectar. The basic belief is that fasting helps you gain the ether element or aakasha tatva, which is a highly subtle and significant element amongst all the five basic natural elements, the other four being water, fire, water and earth.

The merits and beliefs of upvaas therapy are plenty:

* When you refrain from food, it gives your system adequate respite, and the body naturally works upon removing toxins from the body.

* When the various organs of the body take rest by virtue of fasting, they tend to focus on cleansing, energising and rejuvenating.

Naturopathy considers fasting the best possible way of flushing out the unwanted impurities from the body and integrating healing, immunity and a natural awakening for your individual growth and well being.

The oldest Indian wine, Draksharishtha and the intelligence of Ayurveda

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In India, wine was traditionally used to bring back health. Ayurvedic wines as medicine is documented in the ancient Indian healing system of Ayurveda. Arishthas and Asavas are fermented juices, and herbs.

Draksharishtha, the name indicates grape wine. Draksha, the sanskrit word means grape. The Kannada speaking people would recognise the word to mean grape. Drakshi is the Kannada name for grapes .

Draksharishtha is made of grape juice and herbs, but minus the micro-filtration process that modern wineries use, and minus the stringent temperature monitoring in its making and storage. It may have a bit of a vinegary taste. Yet, that’s the oldest Indian wine, guys! Its wood and sweetness stands out on the palate.

Even now Draksharishtha is prescribed by Ayurvedic physicians as medicine, 6 spoons of Draksharishtha mixed in equal amount of water, with meals. Just as the French traditionally have their red wine!

Several other Arishthas and Asavas in Ayurveda too use fermented juices and herbs, and they all have a specific purpose – to heal the body of specific ailments.

Originally, wine was used in India to take care of ill health. Later on, it may have been refined to enjoy the high one gets for it, and socialising.

Ayurveda, the oldest, documented system of medicine does not recommend wine for everyone. Wine is a potent healer for specific health conditions, on the other hand drinking wine without getting a pulse diagnosis done by an Ayurvedic doctor, may work the other way around. For instance, wine is recommended in specified quantity for Kapha body types, as wine has the fire and air element which eases the kapha imbalance. The same wine is capable of creating havoc in the body of a Pitta or Vata body type person. The pitta body type, identifiable with a fiery temper, high rate of metabolism, sharp intelligence is not going to do well with a liberal glass of wine!

In the cool climates, such as in Europe and North America, the Kapha element is predominant. In the tropical countries, it is Pitta that is easy to find. If a Frenchman in France has wine with his meals, it would fire his digestion and work in his favour, whereas an Indian in Rajasthan would be ruining his digestion and consequently body if he drinks the same quantity as the Frenchman!

Ayurvedic Pulse Diagnosis

As you enjoy the elixir called wine, it would be a good idea to use the wisdom of Ayurveda by getting a pulse diagnosis done by an Ayurvedic doctor and know how much wine is good for you, and how much of it could upset the health apple cart.

In an Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis, the Ayurveda physician checks your pulse to tell you about past, present and future ailments and recommends non-intrusive medicine, herbal supplements. If you get a recommendation of wine in specified quantity, well that’s just another reason to enjoy!

Shilajit : Witness a hundred summers on earth, free from disease and decay !!!

Shilajit – A Wonder Of Ayurveda and Powerful Rejuvenator

Introduction:

Shilajit is one of the most widely used medicines in Ayurveda due to its broad spectrum uses. Shilajit literally means ’sweat of rocks’ in Sanskrit, it is a mineral pitch which oozes out from the rocks of Himalayas. Shilajit is one of the very important drugs of the ancient Ayurvedic medicine which is extensively used until today. It is a wonderful medicine which alone cures many diseases. Shilajit is considered one of the wonder medicines of Ayurveda. Neither a plant nor animal substance, it is a mineral pitch that oozes from the rocks of the Himalayas, as they become warm in the summer months.Shilajit carries the healing power of these great mountains. Shilajit is an important drug of the ancient Hindu material medica and is to this day used extensively by the Ayurvedic physicians for a variety of diseases. Early Ayurvedic writings from the Caraka Samhita and Susruta Samhita describe Shilajit as a cure for all disease as well as a Rasayana (rejuvenative) able to increasing longevity from 100 to 1000 years of age.

Shilajit is a blackish-brown exudation, of variable consistency, obtained from steep rocks of different formations found in the Himalayas at altitudes between 1000 to 5000 meter, from Arunachal Pradesh in the  East to Kashmir in the West. It is also found in Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, China, Tibet and U.S.S.R (Tien-Shan, Ural and Caucasus).

FOLKLORE

Some Himalayan tribal villagers, who were observing white monkeys migrating to the higher mountains in summer months, made the discovery of shilajit. The monkeys were observed to lick the semi-solid substance exuding out the rock crevices. Since observing the animal behaviors were an important part of healthcare research in ancient times, those villagers attributed the great strength, longevity and wisdom of those monkeys to this substance. Curious by the thought, they themselves started taking the substance and reported a broad spectrum of improvement in their health and stamina. It gave them more energy, relieve digestive problems, increase sex drive, improve to memory etc., with the passage of the time traditional health practitioners established the methods to purify the substance.

Source:

Until 1991 it was believed that shilajit contains only mineral contents oozed out from rocks of Himalaya. Researches conducted in 1991 showed that it contains humus and organic plant material that has been compressed by layers of rock mixed with microbial metabolites. This research proved the actual potency of shilajit. Ancient Indian medical scholar Sushruta stated that “A gelatinous substance is secreted from the side of the mountains when they are heated by the rays of the sun in the months of Jyaishta and Ashadha (May and June). This substance is what is known as Çilájatu and it cures all distempers of the body.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional Uses:

The Charaka Samhita states that there is no curable disease in the universe, which is not effectively cured by shilajit when it is administered at the appropriate time, in combination with suitable drugs and by adopting the prescribed method. When administered to a healthy person, with similar conditions it produces immense energy. This opinion of Charaka is true and Shilajit is being used for many ailments of different organ systems. Here are few of the disease cured by Shilajit:

1. Adoptogenic: It increases the resistance to stress, anxiety and rejuvenates the body.

2. Dermatological: Leprosy and parasitic infections of skin is effectively treated with Shilajit

3. Worms: It is a very good anthelminthic drug.

4. Diabetes: It is prescribed for diabetes mellitus, renal stones and urinary tract infections.

5. Obesity: scraping effect of Shilajit on fat helps in losing weight.

6. Reproduction: It is extensively used to treat male and female reproductive problems. It is beneficial in cases of premature ejaculation, impotency and spermaturia (loss of sperms in urine). It is effective in treating dysmenorrhea and infertility in females.

7. Anemia: It is beneficial in treating anemia as it increases the production of red blood cells.

8. Neurological: Epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and loss of consciousness can be treated with Shilajit.

9. Immune: It is proved to improve the immune system.

10. Bodybuilding: It helps in muscle building and losing unnecessary fat.

Research Studies:

Many researches has been conducted on rats to confirm the effectiveness of Shilajit, here are few of the proven results:

1. Analgesic activity: Analgesic activity of aqueous suspension of shilajit justified its use in different painful conditions.

2. Anti-ulcerogenic activity: It has shown anti ulcerative properties by creating a mucus barrier on the walls on stomach.

3. Anxiolytic activity: It has significant anxiolytic activity, comparable qualitatively with that induced by diazepam.

4. Anti-Alzheimer: Shilajit has shown positive results in treating Alzheimer’s disease which is apparently untreatable by modern day medicines.

Final Words:

Charaka has stated in his literature that Shilajit enables the user to witness a hundred summers on earth, free from disease and decay. This may sound as a line of exaggeration but the beneficial properties of Shilajit are a very big asset for medical field of all times.

Basic Concepts Of ‘Ayurveda’

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THE IMPORTANCE OF SWASTHA VRITHA

From time immemorial, man has always tried to find out ways to lead a healthy life devoid of ailments, or with minimum of them. Cleaning the mouth after food, washing feet after travel, taking bath etc… are all part of them. Similar searches range from individual practises to selfless and dedicated hard work of saints for human welfare.

Ayurveda stands for the unchangeable scientific know-ledge of lifespan. It is not merely a medical science, but a way of living. Ayurveda is not merely about how to prevent and cure disease but also about how to live a happy and useful life. As per text books, Ayurveda is supposed to have a divine origin which was passed on to the humans through the saints, dating back to thousands of years.

BASIC PRINCIPLES:

Some of them are:

• Panchamahabhootha theory – Theory of five elements.

It says everything in the universe is made up of these five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space (ether).

Uniqueness of any object is based on the predominant element in it.

• Tridosha theory – Theory of three dosha – Vata, Pitha and Kapha.

Harmonious coexistence of these three dosha is health and their imbalance is ill health.

Although the dosha are not practically visible, we understand them based on the actions attributed to each of them.

Vata dosha is related with the nervous system and the move-ments of skeletal system.

Pitha dosha is related with the digestive system and blood, metabolism in general.

Kapha dosha is related with fluid balance, lubrication of joints, nourishment.

At harmony the actions associated with the dosha happen in a normal way.

If the dosha are imbalanced, the actions are abnormal.

Thus when we see abnormal actions associated with the dosha, we assume that the dosha is / are imbalanced.

Also, each dosha has certain property also.

Vata is light, cold etc…

Pitha is hot, fluid etc…

Kapha is heavy, cold etc…

Based on these, the predo-minance of Vata, Pitha and Kapha is also considered in relation with a person, geo-graphical region, body, day, night, year / season etc.

BRANCHES:

Ayurveda has eight branches.

• Kayachikitsa – General medicine

• Kaumarabhritya – Paediatrics

• Salyatantra – Surgery

• Salakyatantra – Expla-nations and conditions dealing with neck and above

• Agadatantra – Forensic medicine and Toxicology

• Bhoothachikitsa – Psychology and Psychiatry

• Rasayanachikitsa – Rejuvenation and geriatrics

• Vajeekaranachikitsa – Aphrodisiacs and infertility treatments.

In addition to or within these branches, topics of Basic principles of Indian philosophy, Anatomy and physiology – in Ayurvedic concepts, Pharmacognosy (study of medicinal herbs), Pharmacology (study of medicine preparation), Social and preventive medicine, Pathology, diagnosis and prognosis of various diseases, Gynaecology and Obstetrics etc. are also explained in detail in Ayurvedic textbooks.

For practical purpose, Ayurveda science can be explained under two major heads – Swastha vritha (study of maintenance of health, thereby preventing untimely ailments) and Athura vritha (Study of disease and treatments)

SWASTHAVRITHA – Social and Preventive Lifestyle

The three major topics under this are:

• Dinacharya – Daily routines

• Rithucharya – Seasonal routines

• Sadvritha – Proper conduct

Rithu (seasons) vary in different places / countries.

So, in this article, we are explaining only about Dinacharya and Sadvritha.

Dinacharya  – Similar to this universe, human body is, as well, supposed to be in tune with the natural clock.

Among these clocks, the day night cycle is the most important.

Based on the three dosha, Ayurveda explains about the Kapha cycle, Pitha cycle and Vata cycle, in that order, during the day as well as during the night.

Based on these, Dinacharya (Daily routines) have been explained.

The approximate time of these cycles where the particular dosha is most prominent, during the day / night (considering Sunrise at around 6 AM ) is as follows:

Kapha – 6 AM – 10 AM and 6 PM – 10 PM

Pitha – 10 AM – 2 PM and 10 PM – 2 AM

Vata – 2 PM – 6 PM and 2 AM – 6 AM

The important points of Dinacharya are:

• Wake up and associated activities • Lunch • Dinner and • Sleep

Wake up: According to Ayurveda, a person should wake up at ‘Brahma muhoortha’.

Considering a physiological interpretation of Brahma muhoortha, it could be different for different persons.

Kapha predominant persons need to sleep less than Pitha predominant person, which is still lesser than Vata predominant person.

So, for Kapha predominant, Pitha predominant and Vata predominant person, the Brahma muhoorta can be considered to be two hours before Sunrise, one hour before Sunrise and Sunrise, in that order.

By getting up during a Vata period, a person gets the advantages of lightness and freshness.

Waiting too long into the Kapha period that follows causes you to feel dull, heavier and less fresh.

After getting up, a person should have an analytic thought about the body, if the digestion has been proper after the dinner previous night etc.

Urination and bowel movements.

Brushing the teeth, massaging the gums and cleaning the tongue.

Clean the eyes properly with cold water.

Do mouthwash using a combination of sesame oil and warm water.

Abhyanga – Body massage, with preferably, sesame oil.

Exercises – especially by those who, otherwise, have less physical activities.

Bath – with warm water for body and luke warm water for head.

Eat breakfast – only after observing that the previous dinner has been properly digested.

Lunch: The digestive fire being at its height, lunch should be taken preferably around 1.00 p.m.

After lunch, walking for a few minutes will be good, aiding in the digestion.

Dinner: It is always better to have an early and light dinner. Preferable time will be around 7.00 p.m. (considering that the Sun sets at around 6.00 p.m. )

Walking for a few minutes will be good.

Avoid late night dinner and also avoid heavy dinner.

Do not go to bed immediately after lunch or dinner.

Heavy dinner is to be avoided so that the digestion will be easier.

The extra energy for digestion can be utilised for repair of damages caused by daily activities.

Do not take bath or engage in heavy physical activity immediately after food.

Bed time: Follow the principle – early to bed and early to rise make a man healthy, wealthy and wise.

Preferable time will be around 9.30 PM , at the end of Kapha cycle.

Do not read, eat or watch TV in bed. It will be good to observe about the constructive activities that the person did on that day, before going to bed.

Sadvritha  – Proper conduct is very important for maintaining health.

Proper manners, respecting teachers and veterans etc. are all part of proper conduct. Improper conduct by word, act and body should be avoided. Helping the needy, respecting veterans, teachers, guests etc. should always be practised.

Organs / Sense organs should not be misused.

Example: Looking at a bright object for a long time OR walking a very long distance at a stretch.

Daily bath, proper grooming, proper dressing etc. should be practised.

Try to be in the company of persons with good thoughts and deeds.

Try to be constructively active with body and mind.

Regarding eating habits, the following points are important:

• Pay attention to the call of nature before eating.

• Wash your hands, face and feet (may be, when you are at home) before you eat.

• Pray and thank Nature for providing you food.

• Concentrate when you eat; avoid watching TV etc.

• Food should preferably be warm.

• Half the stomach should be filled with solid food, one quarter by liquids and the other quarter empty for air.

• Do not over eat or eat untimely.

Some of the points mentioned above may be completely contradictory to what most of us practise.

Getting up early, not watching TV in bed, respecting elders, avoiding late and heavy dinner, sleeping early etc. are just a few among them, which most of us could not do because of various reasons like habit, profession, social situations etc.

But whatever the reasons be, those people who follow at least a majority of these suggestions feel more light and healthy and are more comfortable and happy with life.