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Friday, August 04, 2017

Use kajal daily let your healthy eyes speak...

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                      
                                                             
                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
  • Our eyes are the most important sense organs we have in relating to the world around us.They  are the connection between outer and inner worlds.In fact it isaid that our eyes are the mirror to our soul.
  • We must protect and take loving care of these delicate organs.So to protect it one should apply anjana(Collyrium/kajal) everyday.It's a traditional ayurvedic formulation for healthy eyes.It is highly effective in maintaining the health and shine of the eyes.Kohl or Kajal is one of the first make up product that most girls learn to use.
  • In a world more and more polluted by gas emissions,also by pollen, by dust, by the lack of humidity in some work or living places, and more and more screens to look at, Kajal appears to be a wonderful ally to your eyes.It is very useful in young children as well.For thousands of years women have been using kajals as a natural eye care cosmetics.
  • Eye kohl is one of the oldest fashion accessories found in every woman’s vanity.It is ethnic and followed by every tradition.When you put on a kajal,you bid for a new smoky look, to be in the spotlight.Your dazzling eyes build up a confidence in you to fight against pickles of your life.Beyond shadow of any doubt Kohl serves your eyes with a glamorous look.Apart from dazzling eyelooks,today we will see neumerous health benefits of kajal.

          Synonyms of Kohl/collyrium
  • Kohl is known by various names in South Asian languages, like surma in Punjabi and Urdu, kajal in Hindi, Bengali and Gujrati, anjana in Sanskrit, kajalh in Marathi, kanmashi in Malyalam, kaadige in Kannada, kaatuka in Telugu and kan mai in Tamil.
          
          History and cultural importance of kajal
  • Kohl is an ancient eye cosmetic.It is widely used in South asia, the Middle east, the Mediterranian, Eastern europe, North africa, the Horn of africa, and parts of West africa as eyeliner to contour and darken the eyelids and as mascara for the eyelashes.It is worn mostly by women, but also by some men and children.Kohl has also been used in India as a cosmetic for a long time. In addition, mothers would apply kohl to their infant'seyes soon after birth.Some did this to strengthen the child's eyes,and others believed it could prevent the child from being cursed by the evil eye.
  • Egyptian and africa culture-Kohl was originally used as protection against eye ailments.There was also a belief that darkening around the eyes would protect one from the harsh rays of the sun.Women have long applied kohl  for cosmetic purposes, as well as to cleanse the eyes, lengthen eyelashes, and to protect the eyes from the sun's rays.
  • In India, it is used by women as a type of eyeliner that is put around the edge of the eyes.In many parts of India,women of the household prepare the kajal.Local tradition considers it to be a very good coolant for the eyes and believes that it protects the vision.
  • In Punjabi culture, surma is a traditional ceremonial dye, which predominantly men of the Punjab wear around their eyes on special social or religious occasions.
  • Some women also add a dot of kajal on the left side of the foreheads or on the waterline of the eye of women and children to ward off "buri nazar".Buri nazar literally means 'bad glance' and is comparable to the 'evil eye',although it can be interpreted as ill-wishes of people or even lustful eyes,in the sense of men ogling women.It signifies that the person is not perfect, with them having 'black mark',and hence, people wouldn't be jealous of their beauty.
  • In the centuries-old Indian Bharatnatayam dances,the dancers apply heavy kohl to their eyes so as to draw attention to their eye gestures and movement.The kohl is then applied to eyebrows and eyelids to add further enhancement to the dancers.
  • The Prophet Mohammed used kohl and recommended others to use it because he believed that it was beneficial for the eyes and it is used by Muslim men today during ramadan as a sign of devotion.
         
          Anjana in ayurveda
  • The preparation and benefits of Kajal are written in the ancient Ayurvedic treaties dating back to more than 5000 years ago.It is used as a beauty treatment by indian women since that time.
  • Anjana in simple words means a thick honey like consistency medicinal substance to be applied in the eyes for maintaining their health and prevent diseases.There are two types of it, first is called as "Souviranajana"i.e. it should be put daily.It’s our own lovely kajal or Surma that we apply every day. 
  • Second type of Anjana is the Rasanjana i.e. prepared with honey, berberis aristata and goat’s milk.This is a little strong type and is put in the eyes only during night time.This is available in the ayurvedic pharmacy or one can try putting one drop of pure honey in the eyes at night.This stings the eyes a bit and eyes start watering.Due to this any redness, impurities or foreign bodies are washed away and in just few minutes one realizes the eyes are cleaned up.Also it imparts good sound sleep.This Anjana is told to be used only for 5 to 8 nights continuously every month and not to be exceeded above that.Only that one should not see bright light or watch tv, computers after this is done. So one should put it just before going to sleep.
          
          Types of anjan in ayurveda 
  • According to charaka -Sauviranjana and rasanjana
  • According to susrutha-Prasadana,lekhana,ropana
  • Depending on the form of medicine -Gutikanjana, Rasanjana, Churnanjana
  • Depending on action-Mridu and tikshna
  • (We need not go in detail of every type of anjana as they are to be practiced under guidance of ayurvedic physician,in this post we will only focus on souviranjan which is the kajal/kohl  which we put daily.)
         
          Doshas present in  our eyes
  • Ayurveda explains that Pitta dosha,the element of fire and light governs our eyes.Specifically, the sub-dosha “Alochaka Pitta”lives in the eyes.Alochaka pitta absorbs images and colors, allowing us to take in and digest all of the visual impressions coming to us.When Alochaka pitta is in balance,eyes are healthy, bright, clear, shiny, luminous, and we enjoy sharp vision.
  • Tarpaka Kapha is responsible for keeping the eyes lubricated, moist and cool. 
  • Prana Vata is responsible for the life force that runs throughout the head region, for movement of the eyes, blinking, and sensory perception.
         
          Uses of putting kajal/kohl daily
  • Collyrium helps remove dirt and dust, and relieves watering and burning of eyes due to strain.
  • While applying kajal, the underside of the eyeballs gets a massage, which improves the blood circulation of eyes and hence, improves eye sight.
  • Kajal protects the eyes from sharp rays of sun.
  • It helps to make the little red vessels in the eyes disappear so that they remain     white.               
  • It helps to protect from bad luck/evil eye (particularly little kids)
  • The organic and natural soot we use in form of kajal has refreshing,astringents and disinfectant properties.
  • It moisturises the eyes and evacuate tear fluid faster.
  • Regular use of kajal also helps to avoid cataract to some extent.
          
          Need for making our own homemade kajal
  • Kajal/kohl/surma had been used for centuries in most South Asian and Arab nations, multi-tasking as an eye cosmetic and evil eye-fighter.But its reputation has suffered recently,when investigations had revealed that the products contain dangerously high levels of lead sulphate which can create several problems.
  • The commercial production of kajal today,on a large scale,has bought its own share of problems.Some of the most commonly found impurities in kajal are charcoal which is added for its dark colour, and silver nitrate,which gives the kajal its lustrous glow.If the silver nitrate content in the kajal is more than two per cent, it can cause irritation, burning and redness of the eyes.
  • Where does that leave our homegrown kajal? The process by which it has been traditionally made is painstaking and as delicate as the body part to which it is applied.Kajal has been used for hundreds of years by us is proof enough that it does not have harmful effects on the eyes,so the best decision would be to make kajal at home as grandmother used to make/or depend on reliable organic brands.
         
          Recipe for making kajal
  • Copper panel or plate with up edges
  • Silver box/airtight clean box
  • Pure castor oil
  • Pure cotton filaments 
  • Some ghee
  • 1 spoon
  • A bronze/earthen oil lamp
  • Camphor
  • (Another version of home-made ayurvedic kajal is made using almond oil. Almonds have natural oils that are very beneficial for the eye and is also known to improve eyesight.)
         
          Procedure 
  • Fill the Bronze/Earthen oil lamp with approximately 100 ml of castor oil,put a wick and light the lamp.
  • Place the copper plate on top of the lamp in such a position that the flame touches the plate.Fix the position of the plate with the help of a stand.
  • Place this lamp in a place with no wind blowing, let the lamp burn over night,or as long as the oil burns.This will approximately take 8-10 hours.
  • When the oil is burnt, you will see a thick powdery black residue on the copper plate.This is the base of your kajal.
  • Gather as much soot as possible and put it in the container.Take a small amount ghee and mix it into the collected soot.
  • Add a few small beads of camphor and mix well for minute or two.
  • Make the kohl as consistent as you want it. Ideally, it should have the consistency of eatable butter.Too thin and your kohl will smudge, too thick and it will be in lumps.
  • Kohl is ready to use.Put the kohl in an airtight box/silver box.
  • Apply on your eyes once in a day.
         
          Benefits of ingredients used
  • Rich in Vitamin E-Pure castor oil is the richest form of vitamin E.It helps heal the eyes,makes your eye lashes thick and blacker and known to relieve stress.
  • Anti-Bacterial-Copper is well-known for its healing properties and is considered a purifier.You will get a very minute amount of copper in the kohl because of the heated copper plate where your soot gets collected.Copper helps keep your eyes free from external and makeup infections.It also helps in lens and strengthening eye muscle and relaxing.
  • Relaxes Irritated Eyes-Bronze and silver are known for their regenerating properties. They also help in healing allergies, relaxing irritated and swollen blood vessels because of over rubbing.
  • Provides Coolness To Eyes-Camphor helps for providing coolness and gives stress relief.It helps subside minor eruptions in the eyes.Camphor comes from the resin of the camphor tree, it has refreshing, astringents and disinfectant properties.
  • Keeps Dark Circles Away-Ghee keeps your dark circles at bay by relaxing them if you are an electronic person who uses laptops, computers, and phones constantly.It cleans your eye of salt deposits from tears.Also removes your minute makeup residue trapped under the upper and lower eye lids.
  • Cotton being the most natural fibre available anywhere in the world.
          Storage of  kajal 
  • The container is very often not sterile and can cause eye infections like conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers.So keeping the kajal/surma stick well covered, away from dust and other dirt, is very important.
  • kajal once prepared at home easily lasts  for 8 to 11 months if used only by one person and one time application.It doesn’t expire but it should not be kept near water.Homemade kajals usually have a good shelf life even though no preservatives are used.
         
          Application of kajal
  • Wash your face and hands.Take very little kajal/kohl on your(right hand) finger,widen the eyes with left hand and apply collyrium using the right hand.Always it should be applied from inner canthus to outer canthus. 
  • The other way to apply kajal is by using shalaka(applicator), start off by cleaning the probe(applicator) with the help of a clean dry cloth.Dip the probe into the bottle and twist a little and shake.Take out the probe and tap it gently to remove the excess material so that only a fine film will remain on it.Apply the probe carefully along the lower eyelid, while closing the upper eyelid and softly slide out the probe side ways up till its end.Clean the probe again with dry cloth prior to repeating the same procedure for the other eye.
  • Home made kajal is very dark, so one of the ways to use it is, put heavily on eyes at night before going to sleep, wash your face in the morning/after bath, the remaining kajal leaves a beautiful,natural tint on your eyes,which no makeup artist can replicate.
          
          Indications and Contraindications 
  • One should apply collyrium everyday for protecting the eyes.Eyes are dominant in tejo mahabhutha,so there is fear of it being afflicted with kapha.Hence process which alleviates kapha is good for eyes.
  • One should not apply collyrium in conditions of tiredness, Udavarta, crying, after intake of alcohol, anger, fear, fever, suppression of natural urges and diseases of head.It is also contra indicated in ocular conditions like redness of eyes, pain,blindness,excessive lacrimation,pain and swelling.
       
          Features of proper collyrium application
  • Clear vision, lightness, no excessive lacrimation, proper functioning, purity of eyes are features of proper action of collyrium.
         
          Conclusion 
  • Gold ornaments are cleaned by means of oil, cloth and hair brush,similarly application of collyrium cleans the human eyes which makes them shine like bright moon in clear sky.
         
           Stay healthy !








Monday, February 29, 2016

Healing power of clay pot water...

                                                 

  • Water is the universal elixir of life.It makes up more than 70 percent of our total body mass and covers the same proportion of the Earth’s surface.We can live without food for a month or more; but we will perish in a matter of days without water. We imbibe this vital power or Prâna from water that gives more energy, health and immunity. Water is essential for our existence and we should have access to clean water for our daily activities. 
  • When you talk about drinking water, you need to be extra cautious. Nowadays most of us drink mineral water or the one from the RO purifier and store it in plastic bottles. In olden times everybody used to drink from the clay pot or earthen pot and they were a way lot healthier than us.Can you believe that by just changing the way the water is stored, you can make it healthy!
  • In this virtual world, where everyone is behind technology and advancement, there are people who still rely on the traditional methods of water purification. This makes earthen pot sustainable. It has the values and believes attached to its form and function. Moreover, the material decomposes back to nature without polluting the environment. Functionality causes zero percent exploitation of resources indeed! It is a refrigerator which doesn’t require electricity.
  • It’s widely known that drinking enough water each day is an essential key to health. The quality of the water we drink, however, often gets overlooked. Today, we are blessed with remarkable convenience in obtaining the water we drink. While some people still hike for miles to find fresh water, we simply turn on a faucet or run to the nearest store. Such convenience, however, also breeds less care regarding the quality of water we drink.
  • Have you ever had water from clay pot?  Well, if you haven’t, then you are missing out on countless health benefits. Using a clay pot for water is not just a traditional alternative to the steel, glass and plastic containers, but it’s a healthy alternative as well.

        
        How cooling takes place in the pot?
  • As per the science behind the way of cooling water in a clay pot, the clay pot absorbs some of the water that is poured into it, which makes the clay pot well moist. The outside temperature evaporates the humidity on the pot and this cools the kept water at a comfortable temperature, whose effect lasts until the wall of the pot is moist. 
  • This earthen pot (used for storing water in the olden days), that we have so merrily traded for plastic, stainless steel and other synthetically manufactured materials, has tiny pores all over its body that gives it passive cooling properties. It allows water to evaporate from its surface, similar to the way a human body functions, keeping the stored water cool.

        
        Benefits of drinking clay pot pot water
  • When it comes to storing water, the earthen pots occupy the primary position. Storing water in an earthen pot is the best method. Earthen pot not only makes the water chilled during summer but also provides healing elements of Earth. More importantly the earthen pot transfers the coolness to the water according to the climatic conditions; which is the special quality of earthen pot that no other container has. The chilled water of earthen pots during summer has no other replacement in quenching the thirst and satisfaction of drinking water.
  • Naturally cooled water from clay pots is readily absorbed by the body and is brimming with micro-nutrients that it soaks up from the kiln fired earthen pot.
  • In the scorching summer heat the clay pot water is good as compared to fridge water to avoid sunstroke also the other reason could have been that the sudden temperature change could make us sick. What we did not realize though, is that the water stored in an earthen pot is gentle on the throat. It is an ideal drink for people suffering from cough or cold. It is assumed that people, who drink water from an earthen pot, have less chances of developing throat infection compared to those, who drink chilled water from the fridge.
  • Storing water in plastic containers is not safe as harmful chemicals such as BPA in plastic, pose a health hazard by clinging to the water molecules. The traditional clay pot is the best way of storing water. Drinking water from the clay pot helps in improving the body’s metabolism and is devoid of harmful chemicals like BPA. Clay pot water tastes very natural, is pleasantly chilled and is good for health.
  • Another benefit of clay water pots is the alkaline nature of clay. The alkaline clay interacts with the acidity of water and provides the proper pH balance. This water can help curb acidity and in turn provides relief from gastronomic pains. This nature of clay is quite useful and is one of the few well-documented benefits of drinking water from an earthen pot.
  • Clay pot water drinking can very well improve the level of testosterone in your body when compared water stored in plastic.
  • After breaking the clay pot  it depletes into the ground. Indeed it can be reused and recycled. The design value of earthen pots makes it hundred percent Eco- friendly.
  • Earthen pots can cool water without electricity. In fact, most of the people in Rural India rely on earthen pots as natural refrigerators as it doesn’t require electricity as electricity isn’t available in these places and the temperature is just apt for the throat.
  • Drinking water from natural filtration is better than chemically treated water as human body would need few bacteria to develop immunity within the body.
  • Earthen pots results in no harmful by-products during the production of pottery. Clay scraps and imperfect pieces produced off the jiggering machine or from slip casting may be re-mixed and re-used.
  • There are health risks involved with consumption of demineralized water such as it direct effects on the intestinal mucous membrane, metabolism and mineral homeostasis or other body functions. Little or no intake of calcium can lead to weaker bones and frequent tooth bleeding. Moreover, it may also lead to loss of body immunity to fight against diseases. Earthen pot sustains these minerals in the water and makes it healthy for drinking as compared to distilled water
       
        Ill effects of water stored in plastic,aluminium containers etc
  • If the water is stored in glass vessels there is no harm; and there is no benefit either. Also, Water should neither be stored nor used from an aluminum vessel. The Aluminum mixes with water, goes in to our intestines and the body leading to various diseases. Water stored in plastic containers contain harmful chemical like Bisphenol A which poses a health hazard.
  • The chemicals added to sanitize water have also raised concerns in recent years. These include chlorine, phosphate, lime, soda ash, fluoride and aluminum phosphate. Chlorine, in particular, has attracted considerable attention. Studies have shown that chlorine forms carcinogenic chemicals when interacting with organic matter commonly found in water. Ingesting small amounts of chlorine over time has also been shown to drop vitamin E levels in the body and destroy beneficial intestinal flora.
  • Water is usually stored in plastic bottles in the refrigerator which contains CFCs or chlorofluorocarbons. They are organic compounds that found large scale application in refrigerants few decades ago. However, it was found out that CFCs react with the ozone gas in our atmosphere and leave us vulnerable to harmful effects of ultraviolet radiations of sun.
  • As awareness of water quality has increased in recent years, bottled water sales have boomed. Relying solely on bottled water, however, is more costly and less environmentally friendly than investing in a quality filtration system. Chemicals from plastic bottles can also leach into the water, particularly if bottles become hot.
  • Bottled water can last only for a couple of days and then starts emitting bad odor. Studies show that the plastics used for bottles contain chemicals having estrogenic activity.
  • The new technology based water purifiers are sleek and contemporary. The material used in its construction is unbreakable and assures prolonged storage. The additional filters bring to us more clean and purified water. Since, the water treated can be stored for a couple of days. These purifiers are made from unsustainable materials and are not decomposable. This in turn results in releasing harmful products in nature.

        How to store water in clay pot ?
  • For generations, earthen pots have been used to store water and keep it cool as water stored in matkas or surahis for a few hours gets cooled at about 10⁰C and 14⁰C. The water kept in clay pot is said to have a refreshing flavor and is just at the right temperature not too warm and not too chilled. 
  • You can boil water for about 20 minutes, let it cool down to room temperature and then put it in a clay pot.
  • If you already have a water purifier you can take filtered water and store in clay pot to make it cool instead of keeping it in fridge.
  • Bunch of vetiver roots can be put in the clay pot to enhance the cooling effect of water. For more information you can visit http://vaishali2013.blogspot.in/2014/03/beat-heat-using-vetiver.html 
       
       Some precautions to be used while using clay potwater.
  • Keep your earthen pot germ-free, by scrubbing, cleaning and then drying the clay pot after each use prior to restocking it. You should make sure that you change the water stored in it regularly and clean the earthen pot once in 3 days.
  • Different types of clay pots are available in the market – a small clay pot is easy to handle while the big one is hard to move around. Select the clay pot which best suit your needs and your comfort.
  • The breeze will help keep your water cool, so put the pot on a sturdy table near the window and wrap a clean moist cloth around the clay pot for faster cooling.
  • Keep the clay pot covered at all times to prevent insects, dust and other contaminants from falling into it.
  • Don’t put a glass directly in clay pot to take out water as it could contaminate the water, instead use a clean, long-handled ladle.
  • Check clay pot properly while buying that there is no crack, otherwise water can leak out. A cracked clay pot cannot cool the water effectively.
  • Water storage in earthen pots was easy, but soon people realized it’s difficult to pour out water by tuning the heavy water filled pots. Even as the water level goes much deeper, the water cannot be taken out easily .To avoid this problem the earthen pots with attached tap can be used for  easy water pouring and saving each drop wisely.

        
        Conclusion
  • A grassroots alternative to hi-tech filtration systems is earthen pots. It is important to understand that the innovation and technology have their roots inspired from the ancient practices and equipment. Like the concept of current water purifiers is nothing put an inverted pot with a stopper. The slight innovation in the design has increased its function multi fold. Even though the current water purifiers can serve the purpose perfectly, there are few moments when human realize that their made technology fails in many situations and the need becomes to switch back to the tried and tested old methods.
  • Most of us have grown up on  soothing coolness and earthy flavor  of clay pot water that would quench our thirst on hot summer days, like nothing else could. But with refrigeration taking over, out went this very healthy practice! This article focuses on the unceasing existence and usage of earthen pots despite of the new advancement in technologies. After reading this post you may be tempted to get a clay pot right away! Well, what are you waiting for?
       
       Stay healthy !




Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ashtang Ayurveda ( eight wings of Ayurveda)


                                                     Ayurveda, is very vast hence it’s divided into eight branches, which are collectively called as Ashtang Ayurveda. Like any other modern medicinal therapies, Ayurveda believes in specialized treatment for different body parts. Thus, the medicinal art have been categorized under branches that deal with psychiatry, internal medicine, treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat and head, toxicology and gerentorology separately. Ayurveda is a very elaborate and vast medicinal science. It deals with several kinds of complex ailments and surgeries. The science of Ayurveda is divided into eight different categories in order to clearly demarcate the treatment of one ailment from another. That is why the science of Ayurveda is often referred as Astang Ayurveda i.e. the life science with eight branches.
Ayurveda is an ancient medicinal science. It originated in the Indian subcontinent about 5000 years ago and is considered to be one of the most advance medical therapies existing in the world till  now.Ayurveda is the first ever medicine system to categorize pediatrics, aphrodisiacs and surgery as the branches of any medicinal science.
Intro
"Kaaya baala graha urdhvaanga shalya damshtra jara vrshan Ashtau angaani tasyaahuh chikitsa yeshu samsthitaah."
-Ashtanga hrdayam

Which are 8 branches?
1. Kaaya Chikitsa (Internal Medicine),
2. Baala Chikitsa (Treatment of Children/Pediatrics),
3. Graha Chikitsa (Demonology/Psychology),
4. Urdhvaanga Chikitsa (Treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat and head)
5. Shalya Chikitsa (Surgery),
6. Damstra Chikitsa/Agad tantra (Toxicology)
7. Jara Chikitsa (Geriatrics, Rejuvenation),
8. Vrusha Chikitsa (Aphrodisiac therapy).

         Description about 8 branches

       Kayachikitsa( Internal Medicine)

  • Ayurveda is the holistic approach, which is mainly concerned with the treatment of the body kayachikitsa, is the first branch of Astanga Ayurveda or eight-branched Ayurveda that deals with general medicine. The total treatment procedure is called Kaya Chikitsa (or internal medicine), wherein kaya means 'body' and chikitsa means 'treatment'. Kaya Chikitsa mainly deals with the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of general diseases, such as skin disorders, diabetes, tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis and many other disorders.
  •  Charaka Samhita is the most important scripture on kayachikitsa. It discussed the basic principles of treatment, various types of therapies and purification or detoxification methods. According to this natural treatment, the body of a person is product of the constant psychosomatic interactions and diseases caused are due to the imbalance caused in the trishods of the body. This imbalance caused in the three doshas of vata-pitta-kapha is sometimes, caused by the mind and occasionally by the body's dhatu (tissues) and mala (toxin deposits). It is then that the kayachitikitsa branch of ayurveda comes to assistance.
  • Kayachitikitsa is the branch of herbal and holistic medicine, which delves deep into ascertaining the root cause of the illness. The entire Ayurvedic therapeutics is based on the concept of Agni. The concept of Kaya (Agni) is unique and is responsible for bio- transformation. As it is known that energy can neither be created nor can it be destroyed. In human body, Kaya provides the necessary energy for all bodily activities. The energy provided is derived from the food we eat and the air we breathe. The biological system of the body transforms this energy to one, which is utilized by the cells. The Treatment There are six stages of the development of disease are enumerated as aggravation, accumulation, overflow, relocation, build up in a new site and manifestation into a recognizable disease.
  •  In kayachikitsa, there is always an opportunity to stop the disease at each stage, thereby preventing its full manifestation. One of the significant methods of treatment under kayachikitsa is panchakarma. In this procedure, the body is purified and cleansed from the vitiated dosha to achieve the state of homogenizes and happiness. In short, this method mainly deals with reversing the disease path from its manifestation stage, back into to its site of original development, through special forms of emesis, purgation and enema.
  • Panchakarmas means five treatments—Vamana (Emesis), Virechana(purgation), Basti (Enema), Nasya(Nasal Medications), Raktamoksha (Different forms of bloodletting)
  • In the kaya chikitsa ‘Agni’ – the digestive fire in the body is given utmost importance. It is responsible for the metabolism in the body. The imbalance to this ‘Agni’ is the cause for many diseases. Kaya chikitsa deals with the treatment of general ailments, by regulating the digestive fire. Basically Agni is responsible for conversion of food into the body elements. Diseases emerge due to malfunctioning of the Agni and hence if the Agni is set right again, then the patients get cured. Hence the whole treatment in Ayurveda is based on the concept of Agni.
  • Modern equipment and diagnosis can mostly detect a disease during the fifth and sixth stages of illness.Áyurvedic physicians can recognize an illness in the making before it creates more serious imbalance in the body. Health is seen as a balance of the biological humors, whereas disease is an imbalance of the humors. Áyurveda creates balance by supplying deficient humors and reducing the excess ones. Surgery is seen as a last resort.

       Baala chikitsa /Kaumára bhritya ( Paediatrics)


  • Kaumarabhritya or Bala Chikitsa deals with all diseases of the infants. According to Acharya Susruta it deals with diseases of Kumara or child, qualities of a wet nurse, causes of vitiation of breast milk and its mode of purification, diseases due to intake of this vitiated breast milk, its treatment and the influence of grahas on the child which leads to diseases or can be said as the infections and its treatments and affections of childhood. According to Acharya Harita antenatal care and management of Puerperium also come under this branch.
  • Kaumarabhritya literally it means nurturing a child from pregnancy to adolescence. The modern branches Obstetrics, Gynecology and Pediatrics come under this branch. This branch deals with diseases of children. There are three aspects that must be remembered while treating children-they are Children cannot explain their complaints, the dosage of medicine is different for them, the medicines given to them must be palatable to them. Due to these conditions, treating children is done in a different manner. Hence a separate branch is devoted for them.
  • There is another peculiarity of Ayurveda that it emphasizes on breast milk for feeding the babies and yet another important factor is, if the breast milk is not proper in quality it may also produces diseases in baby and hence needs to be purified by certain herbs for treating the child.


       Graha chikitsa /Bhúta Vidyá (Psychiatry)

  • Bhuta Vidya is defined as a science of spiritual healing.  It deals primarily with the mental diseases, children’s diseases, and diseases that do not follow the theory of Tridosha balance.  This subject does not have a specific text.  Rather it is directly linked with the Atharva Veda and other religious texts.  The theory of spiritual healing, in general, is based upon chanting or sound therapy, called Mantra in Sanskrit.  Mantras are composed using specific vowels and consonants.  Hindu and Buddhist religious practitioners believe that the repetition of mantras links them with deities, and yields supernatural powers that can be used to cure many diseases.
  • It dictates the diagnosis and treatment of mental diseases. This branch of Ayurveda deals with diseases like insanity, epilepsy and diseases caused by affliction of external factors such as evil spirits. In other words it may be known as the branch that deals with the treatment of psychosomatic diseases. It treats the conditions like Insomnia, Depression and stress etc.


       Urdhvangachikitsa/shalakyatantra(ENT andOphthalmology)

  • According to Acharya Susruta it includes all the diseases pertaining to Urdhvanga – Area above the clavicle i.e., eyes, ears, nose, mouth, throat,teeth and head etc and its treatment. It comprehends the faculties of Ophthalmology and Otorhinolaryngology. The branch is also called “Shalakaya Tantra.” Because of the use of special kind of instrument called as “Shalaka” (probe).Following are the sub branches of shalakya tantra Netrachikitsa(ophthalmology),karnachikitsa(otology),Mukharogachikitsa( oral health,dentistry and laryngology),and Shirorogachikitsa( diseases of cranium)
  • Shalakya Tantra deals with the etiology, diagnosis, prognosis, prevention and treatment of diseases that are located above the neck region such as the head, ear, nose, eye and throat. Sushruta reveals approximately 72 eye diseases, surgical procedures for all eye disorders (e.g., cataracts, eyelid diseases), and for diseases of the ears, nose, and throat.Acharya Nimi is considered as father of this branch.


       Shalya chikitsa (Surgery)

  • Salyatantra analogous to Surgery of Modern Medicine. Surgical methods of Ayurveda existed long before they were invented in the west. Ancient texts of Ayurveda describe many details on surgery.Acharya Susruta is considered as the father of Surgery. In the ancient India, surgery was principally pioneered by Ayurveda. Shalya Chikitsa is a significant branch of Ayurvedic science. The name of the sage-physician, Susruta, is synonymous with surgery. From his treatise Susruta Samhita, we have become aware of the thousands of years ago sophisticated methods of surgery that were practiced in India.
  • This branch deals with various surgical and orthopedic procedures. Removing foreign bodies either of exogenous (Sand, wood, stone, arrow,sword,warfare materials etc) or endogenous origin (pus, dead fetus, extravagated blood etc.)From the body. It also deals with the diagnosis and management of inflammatory  swellings and description of various uses of surgical instruments. It also explains the mode of preparation, properties and applications of various cauterizes (alkalis, fire etc.)It is carried out only for diseases, which cannot be cured by medicines. It explains the management of the conditions like trauma and Fracture, Ano-rectal diseases, Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, Joint dislocations etc.The ancient Ayurvedic knowledge of surgery was well developed in the time of the rishis and munis, and was prestigious and well known throughout the ancient world.  The medieval healers, however, did not preserve nor develop this tradition, because they had little time to study and practice surgery with all its complex knowledge and specialized manual skills.
  • The elaborate description about various kinds of instruments such as scissors, scalps, holders, etc., is really amazing. Sushrutacharya also described various operations such as urine stone, piles, fistula; cataract, even perforations of abdomen. Sushruta has been accepted as the father of “plastic surgery”. A different kind of surgery is very effective known as ‘Ksharsutra’ which is used in ‘fistula in ano’.


       Visha chikitsa/Damshtra chikitsa (Toxicology)

  • This particular branch deals with the treatment of poisons. Poisons may be animal oriented, plant oriented or derived from ores. Texts give elaborate description about various snake bites; scorpion bites etc. with their symptoms and treatment. Topics include air and water pollution, toxins in animals, minerals, vegetables, and epidemics, as well as keys for recognizing these anomalies and their antidotes.
  • The traditional practice of toxicology is still practiced by different families of vishavaidyas (poison doctors) who claim to be specialists in toxicology.  In fact, their knowledge is quite limited compared to earlier physicians, but people in the villages still benefit from their ability to deal with poisonous bites.  In ancient times, it was the job of Vishavaidyas to protect members of the royal families from being poisoned, as well to poison enemies of the kings.  One method was to use vishakanyas (poison girls).  These women would begin to take poison in small doses starting in childhood, developing immunity as snake handlers or beekeepers do now.  Later on, when they were grown, their kiss or bite could poison enough to paralyze or kill. Nowadays vyavaharayurved (jurisprudence) is an integral part of this branch.


       Rasayana chikitsa/Jara Chikitsa(Rejuvenation)

  • Deals with the methodology and medications to preserve youth or maintain lifespan even prolong it, promote intelligence and strength and give immunity to resist diseases. This branch deals with the diseases associated with the aging process. It actually provides ways to prohibit the aging process to some extent. Rejuvenation of body tissues is possible according to Ayurveda by using this branch. This branch needs to be emphasized more for increasing longevity of and quality of life.
  • Rasayana Tantra is defined as the science of practices promoting long life and good health.  It deals with the problems of untimely old age and poor immunity. It suggests measures to check aging and to increase lifespan and brain health. It deals in rejuvenation and restoring the youthfulness of an individual and deals with various therapies and herbs that have to be taken to restore the youth & vitality. They are anabolic, adaptogenic, immune modulators, Neuro endocrine modulators and Free radical scavengers.Rasayana is the one used to promote rasa and allied tissues (saptadhatu)
  • Rasayana Chikitsa deals with various aspects of preventive health care. This branch of Ashtang Ayurveda aims at achieving a long and healthy life. It includes longevity, improved memory, health, youthfulness, glow, complexion, generosity, strength of body and senses.


       Vajikara(ReproductiveMedicine/Aphrodisiacs)

  • Vaji actually means horse and karana means to follow. This part deals with remedies for increasing the quantity of Semen when it’s scanty, methods for purification when vitiated, replenishing its losses and methods for improving virility. Vajikarana Tantra is defined as the science of purification of male and female genetic organs. 
  • As per ayurveda  sex is one among the essential component of human life that enhances his health and grants him the endurance and the power to pave way for his future generations. This branch is also known as Vajikarana and it deals with the aphrodisiacs therapy for being paid with good descendants and virility. Vrishya Chtikitsa is a branch of Ayurveda that explains the art of producing healthy progeny for the creation of a better society. It deals with various diseases like infertility and conditions relating to weak shukra dhatu or the vital reproductive fluids of the body. Vrishya Chtikitsa is also known as Vajikarana, which means the medicine or therapy by which a man becomes capable of copulating with a woman  
  • It washes away the problems related to infertility in men and women. In this branch there is a mention of variety of aphrodisiac medicines and even food material. To produce best progeny is also an important aspect of life.This section deals with two aspects: infertility (for those hoping to conceive) and spiritual development (for those eager to transmute sexual energy into spiritual energy).


       Conclusion

  • Globalization in the world has led to attract more n more people around the globe to show interest in the eastern medical system Ayurveda. This ancient system has eight branches called “Ashtanga Ayurveda”. Ayurveda is age-old and time tested. Since times immemorial this system of medicine has been in use and has proved to be result oriented and justified. It would be of good concern to ponder over the fact that the same herbal drugs and formulations that had been used hundreds of years ago are still in use. There have been little or no replacements whatsoever.
  • Although the system has eight branches of treatment, the basic mode of all these eight disciplines is the same. They are used in two ways. They are preventive and curative. Ayurveda gives more importance to the preventive aspect of medicine. It insists more on the the positive side of regular daily  practices (Dinacharya) to prevent diseases than treating the negative side of health, the diseases.
  • Though this life science is  divided into eight branches for simplification of our understanding, yet it is so vast and explanatory that each of these branches takes years and years for mastering.






Monday, November 23, 2015

Head massage is a must for all !

                                                                                 
     
       
  • Shiroabhyangam is the original name for the Indian head massage. Shir means head, and Abhyangam means oil application. Thus oil application on the head is called as Shiroabhyangam in Sanskrit, a language in which the Ayurvedic classics were initially written, almost 5000 years ago.
  • It’s held a special place both in the "kitchen table wisdom" of Indian mothers and in the medical bag of Ayurvedic physicians. Now making its way to the West, this seemingly simple health technique is finding new "disciples" eager to use it in their fight against modern-day problems.
  • An head massage serves not only to relieve pain but especially as preventive medicine increasing circulation, stimulating and strengthening the lymphatic system, and opening the flow of life force in order to cleanse and revitalize the body . It also helps to relieve stress and the generation of positive emotions to make us feel better both physical and mentally.
  • Many people manifest their stress physically as muscular tension, quite often in the neck and head areas. This may be particularly apparent in the occipital region at the back of the head where many of the back and shoulder muscles attach. In addition, those who use computers regularly may find their seated posture is less than optimal, leading to aches and pains in the upper back, shoulders and neck. After a treatment it is common to feel more balanced, centered and recharged, with a reduction in neck stiffness and an increase in mobility in the treated areas. Even without any specific problem areas, each one can experience a greater sense of calm and relaxation making it a very special therapy.
  • The Indian head massage is not exclusive for particular age group, whereas from infant to old person should enjoy this massage and reap their health benefits, too. A piece of trivia that many people are not aware of is that in certain parts of India, it is customary among barbers to give their clients after their haircut a head massage therapy. This practice is also done in the Western world although some tweaks were added to it and is given only for the purpose of stress relief and management, alleviate fatigue and to improve blood circulation in the upper portion of the body.


       Importance of Head or 'Shir' in Ayurveda 

  • According to Ayurveda, there are a total of 108 Marmas or life centers throughout the body. Marmas or life centers can be considered as vital points in the body where the subtle energy of Prana is converted, regulated and stored for use by the gross body and mind. They are also sites of the Tridosha (Vata, Pitta & Kapha). In total there are 108 Marmas throughout the body and 12 from these are classified as Padu Marmas or Vital life centers. Six from the 12 vital life centres are located in the head and neck region alone. This shows that head and neck region is very critical and vital.
  • Out of the three (Heart, Head, and Pelvic region including the excretory and reproductive systems) most important parts of the body, head is the foremost. Head consists of the brain which is the seat of consciousness. It also consists of all the sense organs through which we interact with the outer world.
  • According to Hatha yoga philosophy the human head is compared as the root and the body its branches. The human body is compared to an uprooted tree in the materialistic world, and to see it in the correct form, the roots of the tree should be fixed in the ground. Ayurveda further relates to this and says that as the roots of a tree need water and natural fertilizers to grow and maintain itself , our head also needs the same in the form of different herbal oils that we should massage on the head, and so it prescribes the treatment called as Shiroabhyangam.
  • In Kundalini yoga the sixth and the seventh chakra (A chakra is a psychic centre that controls all of our physical and mental functioning) i.e. the 'Ajnya '(analogous to the pituitary gland and brain) and 'Sahastradhara' (Lotus with thousand petals, analogous to the brain) lie in the head. 

   Choosing a Massage Oil

  • Massaging the scalp and hair with warm oil, preferably infused with hair-nourishing herbs, is the best way to nurture the scalp and hair topically. Ayurvedic oils designed for hair and scalp massage typically include one or more hair-friendly herbs to augment the benefit of the massage. Traditionally, these herbs are slow-cooked with the oil, and the oil is then strained and ready for use.
  • The oil for the massage can be customized by hair and body type.
  • If your hair is thin, dry and frizzy and prone to split-ends, you have Vata hair. You must choose almond oil or sesame oil as the base oil. Both of these oils are very nourishing for the scalp and hair and help reduce stiffness and tightness in the scalp.
  • If you have fine hair prone to premature thinning or graying, you are Pitta predominant cooling coconut oil is the ideal choice as coconut is Pitta-pacifying, coconut oil massage can retard hair problems associated with an aggravated Pitta dosha.
  • If you are predominantly Kapha, your hair will tend to be thick and oily. Sesame oil is a good choice in this case.
  • Different oils are made use of for their various beneficial properties.
  • Almond oil helps promote healthy hair, reduces stiffness, aches, and pains.
  • Coconut oil is considered to be very effective for the moisturizing of the skin and encouraging the growth of hair. It also brings about a balance to the body.
  • Just like almond oil, mustard oil helps in relieving stiffness, aches and pains. It can also be used to bring down swelling and can also help in making the blood pure by opening the pores.
  • One of the most commonly used oils is sesame oil. Apart from reducing stiffness, aches and pains, it can also benefit the growth of hair and reduce the process of hair graying and bring out a natural shine.
  • There are lots of other medicinal oils available in the market which should be selected as per expert advice.

    When to take massage


  • Conduct a scalp massage with hair oil before going off to sleep. This will help relax the mind and achieve sound sleep. It is advisable to receive a head massage just once in a week, but it would be always beneficial if head massage is done more number of times in a week or even daily if possible.


   Duration

  • The duration of this massage is usually from 30 to 40 minutes and brings about total relaxation to the soul, mind and body. Getting a scalp massage before going to sleep helps bring relaxation to the mind and ensures a sound sleep. It is advisable to get an Ayurvedic massage just once a week. 
  • You should avoid any kind of intense activity soon after massage as the massage will bring total relaxation to the muscles, which will make the individual lethargic.                                              
                                                                                                                                                           
                         

    Method of head massage


  • The head is the most significant part of the body. It encompasses eight vital openings—the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and one principal opening, the crown of the head. There are also vital energy points over the entire head that connect to the brain and the mind.
  • Drape a towel over the shoulders to protect clothing. Play soothing music and dim the lights.
  • Turn off or put away your phones and all other electronic devices.
  • Pour 4-5 tbsp of any  oil into a small bowl. You may wish to try almond, coconut or sesame oil.
  • Pour some oil into a bowl; the oil should be warm but comfortable to the touch. It should not be too hot.
  • Dip your fingers into the oil and begin to rub your scalp gently, using circular motions. Alternate to short vertical, then horizontal strokes all over the scalp.
  • Work your way around the entire scalp, wetting your fingers with additional oil as you work. Gently massage the whole head with your thumbs and fingers.
  • Using the pads of your fingers, apply the oil little by little to different parts of your scalp, parting your hair as needed. Also work some oil along the length of your hair.
  • Then, using the pads of your fingers, work the oil into your scalp, using circular motions. Slow, deliberate movements are relaxing while steady but vigorous movement helps enhance energy and circulation.
  • Be sure to massage the entire scalp, being careful not to get any oil in the eyes. If needed, add more oil to the bowl.
  • Spread some oil over the back of the head and massage the oil into your neck and shoulders.
  • Massage all the way down to the ears. Rub a bit of oil into the earlobes; it feels really good.
  • Massage the back of the neck with slow, long strokes. Repeat the entire process if time allows, keeping calm, loving energy as you go.
  • Wrap head in a clean towel and either lie down for 30-40 minutes before showering and washing hair, or leave the oil in overnight for a deep conditioning treatment. Just cover your pillow with another dry, clean towel to safeguard your bedding.
  • In the morning, you can wash the oil out with a gentle natural shampoo.
  • So, if you are tired after a long day at the office and want to recharge your batteries or simply want to induce yourself into a blissful sleep, you know just what to do!!


    Benefits of head massage

  • A good head massage induces a state of calm, peace and tranquility. It also promotes high levels of alertness and concentration. Contrary to popular belief, an Ayurvedic head massage is not only beneficial for a healthy scalp but also positively impacts the entire body.
  • Head massage strengthens the nervous system and supports balance of the brain’s chemistry and hormones. Relieve headaches and tension and makes you feel refreshed and awake. Head feels lighter, mind feels clearer
  • Head massage helps a person to have a sound sleep and can also help in renewing brain cells. Benefits memory, cognition, and alertness.
  • Clears the mind and revitalizes mental capacity, by improving alertness and concentration, general balancing and giving a sense of calm and peace.
  • Brings clarity and strength to the sense organs
  • Head massage helps in conditions like headaches, stress and fatigue, eyestrain, sinusitis, insomnia etc and it has beneficial effects on the blood circulation of the body.
  • The massage helps relax the muscles in the neck area
  • Promotes deep and restful sleep when preformed at bedtime.
  • Antidote to stress, anxiety and mental tension and calms the respiratory system
  • Improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage to the head and neck
  • Improves muscle tone and mobility in the head, neck and shoulder area
  • Physically revitalizing relieves mental and physical strain, so helping to improve concentration and productivity.
  • Head massage provides the hair with the required nutrition and makes it strong and healthy. It can also help in preventing hair loss. It also slows down the hair graying process, it helps to get rid of various hair related problems and conditions such as dandruff, dead skin, scalp psoriasis and many more.
  • There’s no over the counter hair conditioner or masque that will provide the healing benefits of a proper Ayurvedic scalp massage.
  • It is also responsible for strengthening the hair from the roots and providing a noticeable luster. It lubricates and conditions the scalp, helping to prevent flakes and dry scalp.
  • It helps strengthen the roots of the hair and nourishes the hair-shafts, promoting new hair growth and strengthening current hair making it more manageable.
  • It helps protect hair from the damaging effects of the sun and harsh weather by improving resiliency over time.

    Precautions

  • Ayurvedic head massage relies on liberal application of herbal oils to aid the massage process. It is a good idea to find out whether your body has any adverse reaction to the oil by applying a small amount of oil to your forearm.
  • People with acne prone skin may choose to wash hair after around an hour to avoid increase in the condition.
  • Any kind of rigorous activity should be avoided as the massage completely relaxes the muscles in the body due to which the person may feel lethargic; it is also a good idea not to schedule any important business immediately after the massage.

    Conclusion

  • Head massage is an ancient massage practice incorporated in India hundreds of years ago. Till today, people enjoy a scalp massage as it helps relax the body to a great extent. An Ayurvedic scalp massage is an art which needs to be studied and practiced regularly. Ayurvedic head massage is turning out to be quite popular everywhere in the world.
  • For centuries, we Indians have grown up with the knowledge that a good scalp massage can rid you of tensions and aches, all the while providing your scalp and hair strength.
  • You’ve had a long day at work and by the time you get home you’re completely stressed. Your head feels ready to explode with all the tension and you just want to relax at home. So what do you do then? Something as simple as a head massage can go a long way in relieving you of your stress and worries while also catering to your overall well-being! A good Ayurvedic massage is the best way to de-stress. What’s even better, you can do it at your own time and comfort! It comprises of kneading actions on the head and scalp with the generous use of oil. Anyone who has undergone an Ayurvedic head massage will testify that it is one of the most relaxing forms of massage
  • Shiroabhyanga or Ayurvedic massage is an essential part of a healthy daily routine. Regular massage helps detoxification of the body and provides nourishment to the deeper tissues. This daily regimen produces a powerful preventive and rejuvenative effect on the body. It also leaves you feeling young, vital, beautiful, and healthy. Ayurvedic head massage focuses on the shoulders, neck, face and head, the areas most vulnerable to stress and tension. The head massage induces a state of calm, peace and tranquility and promotes high levels of alertness and concentration. Head Massage is part of the Ayurvedic bodywork anti-ageing system.  







          Stay healthy !