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VOL. 6 ISSUE NO 4 October 2011

RNI No. KERENG/2006/20510

India: `50 USA:$5 UK: ÂŁ 3.8 Singapore: S$9 Canada: C$7 UAE: Dirham 17 Korea: Won 7500

Editor & Publisher Benny Thomas Editorial Consultant Independent Media Kochi K J Jacob A P Jayadevan Design & Layout Renu Arun Panel of Experts Mrs. S.Jalaja IAS (Retd) Dr G S Lavekar (Former Director General, CCRAS) Dr K Rajagopalan Prof. (Dr) K Muraleedharan Pillai Dr P K Mohanlal (former Director, Ayurvedic Medical Education , Kerala) Prof. (Dr) KG Paulose (Former Vice-Chancellor, Kerala Kalamandalam Deemed University, Cheruthuruthy, Thrissur Dr M E Sarma (Professor, Ayurveda College, Kottakkal) BUSINESS ASSOCIATES Overseas USA: CHICAGO Vincent Joseph Ph: 847 299 9954 USA: NEW YORK Vincent Sebastian Mobile:1 917 992 9629 USA: CALIFORNIA Wilson Nechikat Ph: 408 903 8997 CANADA Jose Sebastian Ph: 416 - 509 – 6265 UNITED KINGDOM Philip Abraham Ph: 020 85021281 SWITZERLAND Dr George Sebastian Ph: 527204780 IRELAND Thomas Mathew Mobile: 00353 87 123 6584 UAE M/s Malik News Agency Llc Ph: 04 2659165. SINGAPORE Stephen Anathas Ph +65 622 63069 GERMANY Thomas Vallomtharayil Ph- 02305 4455 100 AUSTRIA Monichan Kalapurackal Ph: 0043 6991 9249829 KOREA Dr A Thomas Ph: 0082 10 5822 5820 Australia S. Mathew Ph: +61247026086 BUSINESS ASSOCIATES India NEW DELHI S Unni, Mob. +91 99107 27307 Mob: 09868885599 KOLKATA: Samir Guha Ph: +91 33 2465 6681 MUMBAI: Mohan Iyer Ph: +91 22 6450 5111 AHMEDABAD Madanan MA Ph: 27477629 Mob. +91 98980 02522 HYDERABAD Vinod Menon, Ph: 09246828120 BANGALORE Rohil Kumar, Ph: 0 9844001625 THIRUVANANTHAPURAM Titus C Varghese Mob. +91 9447309904 CHENNAI K C Kumar Ph: + 91 9884833722 Puducherry - K. Ramasubramanian - 9894977161 Corporate Office FM Media Technologies PVT Ltd, 2B, Relcon Retreat, Prasanthi Nagar, Edappally, Kochi -682024, Kerala, India. Tel/Fax: +91 484 2341715 Email: www. www. Printed, published and owned by Benny Thomas, FM Media Technologies PVt Ltd, 2B, Relcon Retreat, Prasanthi Nagar, Edappally, Kochi - 682024, Kerala, India. Editor: Benny Thomas Printed at Sterling Print House Pvt Ltd, Door No. 49/1849, Ponekkara- Cheranellur Road, Aims, Ponekkara PO Cochin-682041, Ph: 0484 2800406

Disclaimer: The statements in this magazine have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administratin of USA or any other country. Information provided in this magazine are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, consult your physician. All information is provided for research and education purpose only.

Back to back


ifestyle diseases, for some curious reasons named so, are a bane of our times. People are forced to change their way of style from what their parents did. It includes the quality and variety of food they eat, the share of physical and mental exercises they performed and the stress levels they endured. Food has become tastier and even exciting. Experimenting with new food has become a fad now. The share of people who make a living by hard physical labour has come down as machines have to some extend replaced them. The only worsening part is about the stress levels which have gone up for most people. The irony of the whole development is that the body, the beneficiary of all the betterment in the physical quality of life, has not taken very kindly to the apparent improvement. The tastier food, that too in large quantities, has not gone down very well down the stomach, literally. The overcooked, less fibrous food in fact makes life easy for the stomach muscles, but they apparently do not want that concession. Instead, they are ever willing to work extra and digest those food particles, lest the whole body starts suffering. The same is the case with physical movement. The body is in fact revolting against the new trend of people making very little physical movement whether it is related to their work or otherwise. It would rather prefer flexing its muscles and shaking its bones to keep itself toned. A relaxation would result in stiffening, not lightening, of the muscles and bones. And should it happen, the body will further refuse to work, and come to a halt. Ayurveda, with its procedures and formulation derived directly from nature in their whole, have a big role to play in bringing the body back to its original. It has concrete suggestions on medicines and lifestyle changes that can help the body regain its properties. Sometimes the methods of modern medicine are helpful in making this possible. The cover story in this issue talks about back pain and the Ayurvedic approach to its treatment. The expert physicians whom we have talked to or have written articles have pointed out one inescapable fact: medicines and treatments can help ease things but the patient must help the body to cure itself by meeting its demands. The less we become hard with our body, the more it will become hard with itself.




The spine carries human body along, but is one of the most neglected body parts. Once it sustains some damage, then all the hell breaks loose, and the body just can’t move. A better understanding of the spine helps one to treat it well not when it is damaged so that it performs its jobs well, helps the body does its, too

34 When the back ached 35 Pacifying Vata 38 Art of standing

Yoga postures help align the body the way it was designed


12 Understanding ageing

Ayurveda unravels the process of ageing and suggests ways to delay it

14 When Ayurveda Beckons Debi Mingus from US recounts her encounter with Ayurveda

20 For a big leap

CARe Keralam project will take Ayurveda a long way

60 Food court Sour but saver Whether it is cheese, yoghurt or curd, dairy products are part of the regular diet of most people. They contain several essential nutrients and offer unique health benefits

43 Changing with times Ayurveda must return to its way of experimentations

50 The academic link

A unique course prepares students for Ayurveda and health tourism

54 The Holy Rice


Ayurvedic properties of Njavara rice make it a unique variety

Not just skin deep

42 Ask the Doctor

Knowing the constitution of the body and aligning the lifestyle accordingly is the sure way to look beautiful

49 Book shelf

16 Physician’s diary Back to Life

The story of the remarkable recovery of Mr Ishaque Kurikkal, chairman of Manjeri municipality, from the debilitating effects of a car accident 7

NABH Accreditation: Quality Revolution in Indian HealthCare Health is life. Healthcare is life-care and it depends upon the quality of all available healthcare services in a society. NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers) began its journey in the year 2005 with a vision of developing a system in India to ensure quality and safety of health care services of global standards. NABH is a constituent of Quality Council of India (QCI), an autonomous, non-profit organisation set up by the Government of India and the Indian industry for running a national accreditation programme in the country. It fulfils the needs for a quality framework to help common man to choose the right hospital/organisation where his/her needs and rights are respected. NABH Hospital Standards are accredited by ISQua (International Society for Quality in HealthCare) making them globally recognized and at par with the accreditations by other international accrediting agencies. NABH is also in the process of ISQua accreditation of NABH as an organisation. NABH International or NABH I, international sister body of NABH, was launched in the Philippines a year back. NABH is also planning to enter the West Asian

NABH offers a wide framework of accreditation programmes for: » » » » » » » » »

AYUSH Hospitals Wellness Centres Allopathic hospitals Allopathic Clinics Medical laboratories Blood banks OST centres Imaging ventres Primary Health Centres (PHCs)/Community Health Centres(CHCs) » Dental centres

and SAARC countries.

Accreditation Accreditation is a public recognition of the achievement of accreditation standards by a healthcare organisation, demonstrated through

Benefits of Accreditation: » » » » »

» » » » »

High quality in consumer care and safety. Patients get services by credential medical staff. Rights of consumers are respected and protected. Patient satisfaction is regularly evaluated. The staffs benefit from continuous learning, adequate training, good working environment, leadership and above all ownership of clinical processes. Accreditation to a health care organisation stimulates continuous improvement. It raises community confidence in the services provided by the health care organisation. It also provides opportunity to healthcare unit to benchmark with the best. Accreditation provides an objective system of empanelment by insurance and other third parties. Accreditation provides access to reliable and certified information on facilities, infrastructure and level of care. 8

Mr.Subodh Kant Sahay, Union Minister for Tourism(3rd from left) releases NABH accreditation standards in a workshop in February 2011 in Delhi. Others from left to right: Dr. Bhawna Gulati,Asst. Director, NABH, Dr. Giridhar.J.Gyani, CEO-NABH,Secretary general, QCI, Mr. Sanjay Kothari, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Tourism.

an independent external peer assessment of that organisation’s level of performance in relation to the standards.

Our Programs: Accreditation for Wellness Centres and AYUSH Hospitals.

Privileges to Accredited Centres:

Wellness Technical Committee meeting in progress

NABH Accreditation Standards for Wellness Centres contains complete set of standards for evaluation of Wellness Centres for grant of accreditation. The NABH accreditation standards are approved by Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Ministry of Tourism. Recently Government of India has approved financial incentives to the NABH accredited wellness centres & Ayurveda hospitals to participate in various national & international events and for their marketing efforts. As the international customers usually use it as a guiding point in choosing their place of treatment, Accreditation would go a long way in enhancing the growth & credibility of the Wellness Industry in India and also in building consumer trust in a wellness brand. (Wellness Centres include Ayurveda Centres, Fitness Centres, Spas, Skin Care Centres, Gyms etc.) Accreditation standards for Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Unani, Siddha and Yoga & Naturopathy Hospitals also were released, which are approved by the department of AYUSH, ministry

» Listing on Incredible India website. » Link to the accredited centres website from the listing. » Display of NABH Mark of Excellence and Ministry of Tourism approved logo at appropriate locations. » Listing on Incredible India stalls in approved National & International wellness & spa conferences. » Participation in Ministry of Tourism publications. » Participation in Ministry of Tourism road shows nationally and internationally. » Financial incentives under MARKET DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE SCHEME. » Financial incentives for MARKETING material development.

The NABH standards for AYUSH hospitals aim at: » Ensuring complete hygiene in all practices and services » Continuous monitoring of quality of services, » Ensuring cleanliness to prevent infection and educating employees in disinfection practices. » Safety measures to fight fire and non-fire emergencies. » Training and development of the employees.

of Health & Family Welfare. NABH is coming up with an Accreditation Programme for AYUSH Clinics, so that we may reach the grass root level which provides neighborhood health care to the general public. With the lack of any guidlines and standards in the field and mushrooming of unorganised players, our efforts stood as a guiding light for the industry in improving the quality of care provided to the general public


For more information you may contact at: Dr. Bhawna Gulati, Assistant Director National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) Quality Council of India 2nd Floor, Institution of Engineers Building Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg New Delhi – 110002 Tel: 23379321, 23378056-57 Fax: 011-23379621 Email: 9

news Norms for Ayurvedic medicines likely soon

In a step towards promoting rational usage of ayurvedic medicines, the Department of Rasa Shastra, Faculty of Ayurveda, Banaras Hindu University, is planning to come up with consumer guidelines. To be developed under a short-term WHO project, sponsored by the Department of AYUSH, New Delhi, the guidelines will advocate the consumer’s right to be informed of the proper use of ayurvedic medicines. It also intends to develop awareness as a generative tool for promoting appropriate use of remedies of Ayurveda, which is one of the officially recognised systems of health care widely used in the country. A consultation meeting with Ayurveda experts including representatives of WHO, AYUSH, NIA, IPGTRA, Ayurvedic colleges is proposed for finalisation of guideline.

Pomegranate fights prostate cancer

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have stated that components in pomegranate juice can help heal and curb the spread of prostate cancer cells to other parts of the body. The study found that pomegranate juice can inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken the attraction to a 10

chemical signal that promotes the migration or metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone. This research was presented at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology and indicates better leads to new therapies to prevent cancer metastasis. On lab-cultured prostate cancer cells, researchers applied pomegranate juice that were resistant to testosterone. Scientists discovered that the pomegranate juice-treated tumor cells that had not died with the treatment showed increased cell adhesion and decreased cell migration.

the project undertakes digitisation manuscripts on Ayurveda first. The process is expected to take up to two years for completion, according to project coordinator Mandar Lawate. Dating back 600 years, the Sanskrit manuscripts pertain to various topics on Ayurveda, Puranas, Vedas, philosophy and art.

Ginger can help chemo patients

AYUSH bars 150 colleges

The government has barred more than 150 colleges which violated regulatory norms from admitting students in alternative and traditional medicine courses from in the next academic session. “Most of the colleges providing these courses did not have the mandatory hospital and adequate faculty, among other basic infrastructure,” said an official with the department of AYUSH. There are about 310 AYUSH colleges in the country, with each admitting 50 students a year. The department's website said as on August 30, it has not permitted new admission to 112 colleges. Most of these educational institutes, private- and governmentowned, offer under graduate and post-graduate courses in Ayurveda and unani.

Ayurveda manuscripts being digitised

The process of digitisation of around 40,000 manuscripts in Sanskrit, including 550 manuscripts on Ayurveda, are being digitised at the Bharat Itihas Sanshodhak Mandal (BISM). Began in August this year,

Experiments at All-India Institute of Medical Sciences have found that the severity of chemotherapy induced nausea vomiting was reduced by the administration of ginger root powder. “After the success of the study, we can say that there is a need to have ginger root powder available as capsules in varied dosages in order to use it as an add-on therapy in patients receiving chemotherapy with high vomiting potential,” said Dr Sameer Bakhshi, additional professor, department of medical oncology, AIIMS. A total of 60 patients, between the age categories of eight to 21 years were randomly selected for the study. He said that dosages were administered according to the weight of the person. “Even though ginger root powder was effective in reducing the severity of acute and delayed CINV, it did not eliminate them completely. The capsules were well tolerated by the children and young adults in our study and

there was no side effect,� he said. The work has been published in the international journal of Pediatric Blood and Cancer.

Brihatrayee Ratna award Vaidya Madom

Ashtavaidyan Vaidya Madom Cheriya Narayanan Namboodiri was awarded the P.V Rama Varrier Memorial Brihatrayee Ratna award instituted by Coimbatore Arya Vaidya Sala, for the year 2011. The award which consists of Rs 1 lakh and a citation was given to Narayanan Namboodiri at a function held at Shornur Vikas Auditorium, Thrissur. The award was instituted in 1994, in the memory of Arya Vaidyan P.V Rama Varrier and is given to one who has given considerable contribution in the field of education, research and treatments related to Ayurveda. Dr. Namburi Hanumantha Rao, Dr. K. Rajagopal, Vaidybhoosanam Raghavan Thirumulpad, Dr. P.N.V Kurup are some of the luminaries who were honored by this award.

Kulapati Munshi Award for Dr PR Krishna kumar

The Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore Kendra conferred the Kulapati Munshi Award 2011 to Dr P R Krishna Kumar, managing director, Arya Vaidya Pharmacy, Coimbatore. The award is conferred on individuals from the region who have done outstanding service in their field which helps to further the cause of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. B K Krishnaraj Vanavarayar, chairman of the Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan, Coimbatore Kendra, gave away the citation and award to Sri Krishna Kumar.

Drive to highlight health benefits of spices

The Spices Board is planning to

come out with a campaign focusing on the health benefits of spices as part of the efforts to promote exports. Spices such as pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric and garlic have proven effect in healthcare and treatments as well as preventive measures. Spices exports from India doubled from $0.52 billion in 2005 to $1.17 billion in 2010. In 2010-11 it had shot up to $1.20 billion. It is set to touch $10 billion in 2025. The Spices Board is launching various initiatives to ensure that Indian spices are free from pesticide residue.

Kerala to host health tourism meet

With health tourism in India growing at 30 per cent a year, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala is organising the third edition of Kerala Health Tourism 2011 (International Conference and Exhibition on Health Tourism) on 20-22 October 2011. The meet would highlight the emerging trends, opportunities and challenges in the Indian health tourism arena and discuss preparedness of Indian hospitals. Major hospitals, health insurance companies, policy-makers, tourism promotion boards, hotels and tourist resorts, health travel and tour operators and international institutions for promotion of health tourism will attend the meet. More than 400 delegates from India and abroad are expected to attend KHT 2011. Dr Philip Augustine, chairman of the organising committee, said Kerala is well-suited to host medical tourists since it is recognized for its healthcare standards by world bodies such as the World Health Organisation and is cur-

rently going through a boom in private medical services. CII had organised the first edition of KHT in 2006, followed by its second edition 2007.

Fifth World Ayurveda Congress in Bhopal

The fifth edition of the World Ayurveda Congress (WAC) is scheduled to be held at Lal Parade Ground, Bhopal from December 27 to 30, 2012. The summit organised jointly by Vijnana Bharati and government of Madhya Pradesh. The WAC seeks to advance, among others, the following goals: To facilitate acceptance and recognition of Ayurveda as a complete healthcare system adoptable in all countries across the globe. To create appropriate platform for scientific basing of Ayurveda along with suitable infrastructure to popularise the outcomes. To create interest groups across 30 countries including those in the European Union, South-East Asian nations, the United Arab Emirates and North America. To formulate international peerview panels in basic and medical sciences for credible guidance and validation of research. To initiate the creation of a network of medicinal institutions, laboratories and universities across the world aiding joint research and creating a database of management efficacy of Ayurveda. 11

Understanding ageing Ayurveda unravels the process of ageing Dr Raakhi Mehra MD (Ay), PhD


geing has been defined as a progressive generalised impairment of functions resulting in a loss of adaptive response to stress. About 60 per cent of the population is suffering from unnatural ageing because of lifestyle they acquire. Ageing is the accumulation of changes in an organism over time; in humans it refers to a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social changes. Some dimensions of ageing grow and expand over time while others decline. Reaction time, for example, may slow with age, while knowledge of world events and wisdom may expand. The ageing process is of course a biological reality which has its own dynamics, largely beyond human control. The age of 60 or 65, roughly equivalent 12

to retirement ages, in most developed countries is said to be the beginning of old age. In many part of the developing world, chronological age has little or no importance in the meaning of old age. The WHO has decided to use of 50 years of age and older as general definition of an older person. This age was finalized as old by taking the following three areas into thorough consideration; ■ Chronological age (from the date of birth). ■ Change in social role (i.e. change in work pattern, adult status of children, and menopause). ■ Change in capabilities (i.e. invalid status, senility and change in physical characteristics). Ageing according to acharyas According to Ayurveda, ageing

(jara) is a natural phenomenon like hunger thirst and sleep. Acharya Charaka considers ageing as a natural destruction and his theory in this regard is known as ‘swabhavoparama vada’. According to him, there is a causative factor for the manifestation of being but no cause is required for their destruction. The process of decay is the natural succession of the process of manifestation. Sushruta mentions a group of naturally occurring diseases named Swabhavabala Pravritta diseases which include hunger (kshudha), thrist (pipasa), sleep (nidra), ageing (jara) and death (mrityu). (Su. Su. 24/7) Here it is described as a natural process as well as a natural disease. Sushruta again divided Swabhavabalapravritta diseases into normal ageing (kalaja) and early

ageing (akalaja). (Su.Su. 1/32-33)

A balance among tridoshas (Vata, Pitha and Kapha) is essential for health. Just like that it is important for longevity that prana, ojas and tejas remain in balance

Normal ageing (Kalaja jara) According to Ayurveda, time factor (kala) plays an important role in the development of ageing. This is normal process which represents years of age while Sushruta demarauto-immune system and mental inthe universal biological changes cates old age above 70 years of age. telligence and is necessary for lonthat occur with age and that is unIt is obvious that ageing is a gevity. Displaced ojas creates Kaaffected by disease and environgradual and continuous process pha-related disorders and decreased mental influences. Not all these age which affects various bodily tisojas creates Vata related reactions. related changes have adverse clinisues at different times. In this way, Tejas governs metabolism through cal impacts. Normal ageing occurs the process of ageing according to the enzyme system. at the proper age (parirakshana Ayurveda definitely begins in the The digestive fire (agni) prokrita)’ and it happens even after fol4th decade of life. The effect of motes digestion, absorption and lowing the daily and seasonal regiageing is more obvious in the fifth assimilation of food. Tejas is necesmen (swasthavritta), recommended decade of life when the properties sary for the nourishing and transby acharyas. There is no formation of each AGE RELATED DETERIORATION OF THE BODY cure for normal ageing, dhatu. Tejas, when agbut its ill-effects may be gravated, burns away Text Loss of varislowed down by adoptojas. This results in ous qualities Ashtanga Sharangadhara ing healthy life style and reduced immunity and during each Sangraha (Ash. (Sha.Pu.7/19) Rasayana to some extent. over stimulating pranic decades of San.Sha.8/25) activity. Aggravated 1 Childhood Childhood Early ageing prana produces degen2 Growth Growth (Akalaja jara) erative disorders in the This is strongly infludhatus. Lack of tejas 3 Complexion Complexion enced by the effects of results in over produc4 Intellect Intellect environmental, lifestyle tion of unhealthy tis5 Skin properties Skin properties and disease that, in turn, sue and obstructs the 6 Shukra Vision related to or change with flow of pranic energy. ageing but are not due to A balance among tri7 Vision Vision ageing itself. This is an doshas (Vata, Pitha and 8 Hearing Valour accelerated ageing due Kapha) is essential for 9 Mind Reasonong-Buddhi health. Just like that it to many reasons. Early 10 All other organs Motor organs ageing is of greater intenis important for lonsity but may be prevented gevity that prana, ojas 11 Mind easily in which Ayurvedic and tejas remain in bal12 Life Rasayana therapy has ance. enormous role. In early The tridoshas play ageing, biological ageing is more of skin elude or it wrinkles. a very important role in the mainteintense irrespective of chronologiWhile describing ageing, nance of cellular health and longevcal age. And can be well managed Ayurveda considers Prana (univerity. Kapha maintains longevity on by simple adoption of Ayurveda in sal life force). It governs two other the cellular level. Pitha governs diour life. subtle essences ojas (the essence of gestion and nutrition. Vata, which is the seven bodily tissues) and tejas closely related to pranic life energy, Onset of ageing (the essence of a very subtle fire or governs all life functions. Proper Charaka considers old age above 60 energy). Ojas is responsible for the diet, exercise and lifestyle can create a balance among these three According to Acharya Charaka, there is a subtle essences, ensuring long life.

causative factor for the manifestation of being but no cause is required for their destruction. The process of decay is the natural succession of the process of manifestation

The author is Assistant Director, ACRI central Council for Research in Ayurveda 13

Visitor’s Diary

When Ayurveda beckoned me


Ms Debi Mingus lights the traditional lamp at a medical camp organised by Pattarumadom Clinic and Ayurveda Nursing Home at Kariyad, Ernakulam

Ms Debi Mingus Ireland is from Tucson, Arizona. After graduating from the University of Texas at El Paso in business Administration, she started her career as a retail manager in a business centre. But, after years, she has ended up in a different destination, where she could find peace and happiness that never felt before. Ms Mingus joined Ayurveda Wellness Councilor Programme of Kerala Ayurveda Academy in US. For the practical lessons in Panchakarma and other Ayurveda therapies, she visited Kerala in 2009. And that changed her life. She fell in deep love with Ayurveda and Kerala. She had a longing to come back again to Kerala and she did so and met Dr Shaji Varghese, chief physician of Pattarumadom Ayurvedic Nursing Home for further studies on Ayurveda. She has also learned Yoga and Rei Ki. 14

y journey into Ayurveda started purely as a spiritual quest. After quitting my job I studied and did many things. But what I found was my life flowed smoothly when I had started experiencing the divine and listening to it without question. So what was it I wanted to do? Many told me I have a lot to do in the field of healing and teaching. I need a subject to teach that others do not in US. For 12 years I searched and studied subjects of a spiritual nature and anything that related to healing. I joined a company that allowed volunteers to do healing work on dying patients. I found I could read the “signs” of death simply by feeling the pranic energy of the patient. Not giving it much thought I went on to do other programmes. But I felt that I have to learn and teach Eastern philosophy. I happened to mention it to a neighbour who for the last 14 years had been living the Vedic practices. He gave me Bhaghavad Gita to read. Shortly thereafter my life moved very quickly. I was introduced to a product formulated by some Ayurvedic doctors. One of whom was a director of an Ayurvedic Institute in California. When I started reading about Ayurveda and how it incorporated the healing of the body, mind and spirit I had to learn more. There was now a fire within me and I knew I was on the right path. I believe spirit was guiding me in the right direction. During the programme a classmate informed me of a trip occurring in a couple of month to India and asked whether I would be interested in joining. I could not wait to go. On my first trip to India some of the time was spent in the school in Aluva where I met a nice person,

Debi Mingus

one of my best friends in Kerala, who extended his hand and helped me in my search for making connections with a doctor who would agree to teach me more on Ayurveda on my subsequent returns. On returning to US, I realised that my education and spiritual experience had only just begun in India. During my studies of Ayurveda in the US, I was introduced to diagnosing using the pulse, tongue, eyes and marma points, plus many others not mentioned. That combined with my understanding of reading ‘pranic’ energy I now feel I have a field of understanding that I may teach others in an area most do not desire to delve into but is greatly needed. So what is Ayurveda teaching me now? As the seasons change so do I… I must embrace the temple that is my mind and body and know that if I take the time to listen nature will guide me and if I ask I will receive. That health and happiness is not in a bottle or pill form but in the spirit to which I am. I am now in the process of partaking in the treatment programme panchakarma, a 21-day process in Ayurveda to release the toxins in my body (that I hold on to so dearly) so that I may become fuller and can embrace that, for what I came to India to do. “As the seasons change so do I… I must embrace the temple that is my mind and body and know that if I take the time to listen, Nature will guide me; and if I ask I will receive. That health and happiness is not in a bottle or pill form but in the spirit to which I am”.


Physician’s Diary

Back to Life

The story of the remarkable recovery of Mr Ishaque Kurikkal, Manjeri Municipal Chairman, from an accident

M Dr Sasikumar Nechiyil is the chief physician of Nechiyil Ayurveda Vaidyasala and Nursing Home and the CEO of Siddheswara drugs at Karalmanna, Palakkadu district. He was born in a traditional vaidya family, which was the health-keepers to the royal family of Kollankodu. The family for five generations practiced all the eight major shoots of Ayurveda along with Rasasastra, a rare feat. Dr Sasikumar graduated in Ayurveda from Kottakkal Ayurveda College, and took MD in Rasa Sastra from Jamnagar Ayurveda University and has been practicing in Karalmanna for the last 18 years. Currently he holds the chair of head of the department of Rasa satra in Vishnu Ayurveda College, Shornur. He also works with Cheruthuruthy Ayurveda Research Centre. Dr Sasikumar, like his ancestors, follows a special stream where the main sources of knowledge are Bhelasamhita (ancient Ayurvedic scripture written by Bhela) and the Siddha tradition (of South India, mainly Tamil Nadu). 16

r Ishaque kurikkal, one of the most popular leaders of Muslim League, was on his way to inaugurate a hospital in Manjeri when he met with an accident in 2000. Among his co-passengers, a doctor died on the spot while the District Collector and the District medical Officer along with Mr Kurikkal were injured. Mr Kurikkal had a severe head injury, and was in comma for about two months. After years of treatments in various hospitals including psychiatric treatments, he began started walking, but had serious problems remained unsolved. He had memory problems, and could not stand even minor physical strain. It was unbearable for a person who had been in active politics for decades. He decided to seek the help of Ayurveda and came to meet me in 2005, five years after that accident. His first visit was on December 4, 2005. He had problems such as pain and numbness in both palms and feet; pain in the finger joints while folding them; swelling on right hand; irritation, red colour

Dr Sasikumar Nechiyil and swelling in right eye. And most importantly, he had trouble with his memory. It took time to recall recent topics or experiences but he could clearly remember old topics. He was diagnosed a diabetic in 1980. He had weird dreams in the night, and when awaken, could not remember where he slept the past night. I diagnosed that his problems were diabetes (madhumeha) and severe head injury on a vital point (shiro-marma-abhikhatha). I had to manage his memory problem, diabetes and physical inabilities together. He was here for 18 days during his first visit. In order to manage diabetes, Nisakathakadi kashayam and Sootha vangam bhasmam (a special Siddha preparation) were given as internal medicines. To heal the after-effects of head injury, he was given Dasamoolarasnadi Kashayaam, Dhanwantharam kashayam and Brihadvatha Chinthamani rasam(a very special siddha preparation). Main treatments were thalam, sirodhara, kaati dhara (dhanyamla-dhara) abhyangam, nasyam and virechanam. A lepam

“Most of my patients are common people, mostly working class. They don’t have much time to wait for a cure, because they have to work every day for a living. So they need faster and effective cure. If properly used, Ayurvedic medicines can provide fast healing like modern medicine.”

“That car accident marked a change not only in Mr (Ishaque) Kurikkal’s personal life but also in the political life. Mr Kurikkal, one of the most popular leaders of Muslim League in that time, would surely be one of the topmost leaders of that party now, unless the misfortune caught him in the form of a car accident in 2000.” “I have full confidence in the efficacy of Ayurveda and I recommend it to all”- Mr Ishaque Kurikkal, Municipal Chairman, Manjeri. with marmavttu also applied. Thalam with Sanandadi thailam (a very special oil of northern kalari tradition of Kerala) was the first treatment, followed by dhanyamladhara over the whole body for two days. Then sirodhara started with moordhamritam oil (of vadakkan kalari tradition) oil, which we specially prepare. Sirodhara continued for 14 days. He was also given abhyangam (oil massage) using Kottamchukkadi and Dhanwantharam thailam. The next procedure was nasyas with sthanyam and Karpasasthyadi oil. Virechanam was the final procedure. After 18 days of treatment, he went back to home with instructions on daily routine. He had cooperated very well to the treatment procedures. He came back next year and his conditions were better. He was happy that most of his problems were reduced. He got a relief from the pain and numbness in palms and feet. Memory, though not completely clear, showed remarkable

improvement especially on getting up in the morning. The pain he had while folding fingers was completely cured. Diabetes was under control. This time, on his second visit on July 28, he reported swelling in right knee (started just two days back before coming to the hospital), numbness in both lower limbs and stiffness in right hand fingers. He was mainly given kaati dhara and 14 days of sirodhara. Nisakathakadi kashayam, Rasna Erandadi kashayam (to reduce the swelling on right knee) and Soothavangam bhasmam were given as internal medicines. In addition to that, Manasamithram gulika also

was given. The final treatment was virechanam. After this session, the numbness in both lower limbs and stiffness in right hand fingers found considerably subsided. His sugar levels were found to be normal. In 2007, in his next visit, he reported pain in fingers and right knee, slight memory problem and diabetes. The main treatment was pizhichil with Kottam chukkadi and Balaswagandhadi oils. The duration of pizhichil was 14 days. For his knee pain, a special treatment pichu was done for 12 days. Internal medicines were the same for diabetes. He was really fit at the time of discharge and the knee pain

“One important thing to be noted here is by his luck, the surgeries done to him were so precise and that helped much in his recovery. The internal medicines and external treatments of Ayurveda worked wonderfully as well and the main achievement is the complete cure of his memory problem.” 17

subsided remarkably. He took treatment every year without fail and showed remarkable improvement. And the main treatments were sirodhara and pizhichil. During his last visit, he was given Soothavangam bhasmam and Kaisoragulgulu mixed in Dhanwantharam kashayam along with Nisakathakadi choornam. Ksheerabala oil was used for sirodhara. Pizhichil was done with Balaswagandhadi and Kottamchukkadi oils. Now, Mr Kurikkal is full of confidence about himself and is all praise for Ayurveda. He is physically fit and his memory is so clear and he is as active in his social work as he was before his accident. His diabetes is also under control. Mr Kurikkal went back to active politics. He successfully contested the municipal elections last year and went on to become the Chairman of Manjeri municipality. The accident cost him some precious years when he was on his way to make it big in Kerala politics. With his confidence in himself, and with the backing of Ayurveda, I am confident that he will reach where he is destined. I would like to stress one point as a major contributory factor to his remarkable recovery: the surgeries done to him were very precise. The internal medicines and external treatments of Ayurveda worked wonderfully as well and the main achievement is the complete cure of his memory problem. The doctor can be contacted at: s_nechiyil@ 18

Ayurvedic dental care


ating raw foods has a natural cleansing action on the teeth. However, eating cooked food reduces the need to chew; on the other hand, they stuck to dental crevice, creating a good medium for bacterial growth. Most common dental diseases such as dental caries and periodontal diseases are caused by microbial dental plaque over the tooth surface. It contains millions of different kinds of bacteria. Toxins and enzymes of these bacteria cause cavities over the hard surface of the tooth. Plaque left over the tooth surface near the gum causes gum infection known as gingivitis. Uncured gingivitis leads to periodontitis (pyorrhea). Brushing Brushing is the best method to remove plaque from tooth surfaces. There are natural tools to brush the teeth. Neem datum, one among them, is very effective as a brush. Fresh stems of banyan and Karanja Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) are also good in removing plaque. Mastication of stems acts as a good exercise for teeth and gums. • The stems should be healthy, soft,

and straight without leaves and knots. They should have been picked from a tree growing in a clean place. • The stem is normally said to have either bitter, pungent or astringent taste. • A person with Pitha constitution should use a bitter stem (eg) ‘Kadunimba’ or ‘Arjuna’. • A person with Vata or Vata-Pitha constitution should use the stem of banyan, which is slightly astringent. • A person with Kapha constitution should use ‘Karanja’ or ‘Arka’. • Children and adults with Vata-Pitha constitution should use stems of glycerrhiza which has anti-Kapha action. Tooth powders – Homemade ■ Charcoal of acacia – 50 gms Roasted alum – 20 gms Black salt – 10 gms Grind thoroughly and sieve it. Use the preparation twice a day. ■ Sticks of gooseberry – 50 gms Alum – 50 gms Grind them together and sieve. Use this for cleaning of teeth. This will help to keep the teeth strong. It also helps stop bleeding from gums. One can use Triphala (amalaka, haritaki, bibheetaka) or Trijathaka (dalchini, cardamom and tamala patra) with honey and saindhava salts for persons with Kapha and Pitha constitutions. Those with Kapha constitution can use Trikatu (ginger, pepper and pimpali) with honey and saindhava salts. One can also get the teeth and the gum cleaned by brushing softly with lemon juice mixed with little salt. Sources: Dr V B Athavale, Health and Vigour Forever Dr Vanaja Ramprasad, Green Foundation



For a big leap CARe Keralam project to take up standardisation of Ayurveda products


t was quite a paradox that while Chinese herbal medicine made deep inroads in to the global market of alternative medicine, even in India, Ayurveda was held at the gate for lack of standardisation and documentation. That it happened to a science which was the health keeper to a nation for more than 4000 years was reason enough for all the stakeholder to introspect seriously about. However, Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra), in association with a host of manufacturers, has made a small but significant step towards remedying this situation by setting up a unique facility for standardisation, documentation and quality control. CARe-Keralam Ltd, a special purpose vehicle formed by Kinfra and a consortium of Ayurvedic product manufacturers in Kerala, is mandated to create infrastructure facilities for standardisation of ayurvedic medicines and services and help the sector take advantage of its growth potential through a cluster-based approach. The first phase of the project is all set for commissioning now. Facilities for raw material supply, quality control and research and development have already been completed at a cost of Rs. 16 crore, Sponsored by Department of Ayush, Government of India, the facilities 20

are set up on a two-hectare land in Kinfra Park, Koratty in Thrissur district. The project had its genesis in the realisation that despite its status as the cradle of Ayurveda having nurtured one of the most authentic versions, Kerala’s share in the industry is less than 2 per cent in India. Given the fact that Kerala has more than 200 GMP- certified Ayurvedic product manufacturers, Kerala should have been able to exploit the increasing demand for holistic medicine such as Ayurveda the world over. The single most important factor that has come in the way of Ayurveda’s advent across the globe has been the lack of organised efforts in standardisation in all areas of operation such as formulations, treatment protocols, research and development, marketing, cultivation of raw material and documentation. It may be remembered that the Chinese traditional medicine has been well accepted and is recording tremendous growth across markets, even in India! CARe-Keralam seeks to reverse this trend and handhold entrepreneurs in the Ayurveda sector through a targeted and combined effort, according to Dr Joy Varghese, chief executive officer, CARe-Keralam. It has set out certain specific targets for itself which include upgradation of the process technology

of Ayurvedic drugs so as to make them acceptable in the international market, development of a Centre for Excellence for Research, establishing a Kerala brand of Ayurvedic products, training manufactures on safety, quality and efficacy, protection of IPR of Ayurvedic manufacturers and the enrichment of the resource base by encouraging farmers to take up plantations of medicinal plants. The full-fledged analytical lab with all modern facilities for analytical testing, method development and contract research will provide reliable, dependable, economical and timely analytical results for the samples given by the entrepreneurs, according to Dr Joy Varghese. The Toxicology Study Centre will undertake evaluation of the toxicity and adverse drug reaction of the herbal preparations. It will also undertake the long-term toxicity, mutagenicity and genotoxicity of

the formulations. The studies will be on direct toxic effects, allergic reactions and other side-effects, effects from contaminants and/or interactions with drugs and other herbs. The risk-benefit ratio of the herbal drugs will also be examined. An animal house is also part of the Centre. The Process Validation Lab, another key component of the project, will provide laboratory facilities for research and development to small and medium enterprises. Facilities are also available for scaling up of various processes developed through process validation. The mini lab will be used for ascertaining the quality of the materials procured. When the raw materials are brought, the samples of raw material will be drawn and brought to the mini lab for quality testing. Only those raw materials which pass the quality test in the lab will be forwarded to the raw material store. The raw material store and mini

lab will help reduce exploitation of small and medium scale manufacturers by the middlemen engaged in the supply of raw materials, said Dr Varghese. The Common Facility Center for Production and Packaging is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to carry out testing and certification, measurement, quality and safety certification and certain key processes, which small manufacturers cannot afford individually. The Common Facility Centre can be used by the entrepreneurs to produce high quality products to meet international standards with respect to hygiene, product specification and quality. The establishment of the facilities would ensure the standardisation of raw material input, manufacturing process and end products. This would help in upgrading the of quality of products manufactured by these companies, which in turn,

shall be brought under the umbrella of a common label, while retaining the brand name of the individual manufacturers. It is expected that the products that meet the quality standards would gradually gain acceptance in the market as ‘quality products’ in Ayurveda. CARe-Keralam has at present a representation of 83 manufacturers which include large, medium and small scale manufacturers. “We hope that once operational, the facilities will demonstrate its advantages, thereby attracting more entrepreneurs,” said Dr Varghese. “Going forward, we will also set up an information technology and marketing infrastructure.” The plan is to make use of technology for documentation which will help the product reach international markets, he said. (With inputs from Mr Madan Thankavelu) 21

National honour for Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort

Somatheeram Chairman and Managing Director Mr Polly Mathew and Joint Managing Director Mr James Polly receive the award for the Best Wellness centre in India in 2009-2010 from Hon’ble Speaker of the Lok Sabha Ms Meira Kumar and Central Tourism Minister Subodh Kanth Sahai. Former Miss World Priyanka Chopra is also seen

Facts behind our excellence

• German-Indian management • More than 50 different Ayurvedic treatments, 17 doctors and 80 therapists • Intensively knowledgeable and exhaustively trained Ayurveda team • Personal service and consultations throughout the stay • Competent representatives in Europe



Somatheeram is situated in the picturesque Malabar cost in the Southern Indian state of Kerala. Our location is just 30 minutes or 21 kms from Trivandrum International Airport. The resort itself is situated right by the sea – far removed from mass tourism, in the peaceful neighbourhood of the village of Chowara.Somatheeram nestles in a tropical garden of about five hectares. You spend your stay in the heart of Nature, amidst palms, mango trees and other tropical vegetation. Over 200 different Ayurvedic herbs, some of them rare, thrive in the garden A unique ambience, memorable impressions and experiences coupled with superlative Ayurvedic treatment will make your stay in Somatheeram a holiday to savour. The building style is traditional Indian, while the standard of furnishings and hygiene is decidedly European.

Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort National and State Tourism Award Winner

Somatheeram, one of the most widely acclaimed Ayurvedic health resorts in the world was ten times consecutively awarded as the best Ayurvedic Centre by the department of Tourism, Government of Kerala. No wonder, seekers of the ancient Indian healthcare system from all over the world have identified Somatheeram as their destination of choice. As we stand on the pedestal of excellence, we are extremely proud of our contributions to the tourism and hospitality Industry in the state, especially in the context of globalizing the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda. As a grand recognition of its far reaching contributions to the states travel and tourism sector, Somatheeram Ayurvedic Hospital and Yoga centre bagged the national award for the Best Wellness centre in India in 20092010.


The Kerala houses - the traditional homes of southern India’s aristocracy in former times, up to 300 years old and were rebuilt after elaborate restoration. Sidhartha- Villas with a spacious living room and bedroom. As a deluxe suite with its own terrace, it affords an unparalleled panoramic view of the sea. Its special attraction is a bathroom beneath the open sky. Cottages These bungalows built of natural stone or brick in the typical southern Indian style are mainly designed as double rooms. The Special/Seaview bungalows are more spacious, detached and offer a view of the sea from the interior or from the terrace.

We offer Vata-Pitta-Kapha Ayurvedic Menu.


Whether you are a beginner or an advanced practitioner, the extensive experience of our four yoga teachers is sure to deepen your knowledge and skills.

Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort, Chowara P.O., South of Kovalam, Trivandrum-695 501, Kerala, India Ph: +91 - 471 - 22 66 501, Fax: +91 - 471 - 22 66 505 Our overseas Promotional Office: Somatheeram GmbH, Gartzenweg 2, 40789 Monheim am Rhein, Germany Phone: +49 (0)2173 - 957 611 Email:



AVP-US varsities study backs Ayurveda for RA


V G Devadas Namboodiripad, managing director, Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Group (top) and Dr K Anil Kumar, managing director, Kerala Ayurveda Limited, receive the ‘Excellence in Entrepreneurship’ award, instituted by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), from Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on July 31, 2011. TKA Nair, then principal secretary to Prime Minister, and Kerala Industries Minister P K Kunjalikktty are also seen. KSIDC honoured the top businessmen on the occasion of its 50th anniversary at a grand function.

ersonalised Ayurvedic interventions have demonstrated clinically significant improvement in rheumatoid arthritis on a par with allopathy treatment with the added advantage of lesser side-effects, according to a study. The study was conducted by the University of Washington, Seattle, and the University of Los Angeles, California, with funding from the National Institutes of Health in the US and the Arya Vaidya Pharmacy (AVP), Coimbatore. The project evaluated the efficacy of Ayurvedic medicines through randomised double-blinded, placebo (inert tablets)-controlled study, which is the gold standard for clinical research in modern medicine. “We cannot make any tall claims with the results since it was a pilot study and the sample size was small,” said Dr P. Ram Manohar, director, research, AVP and principal investigator (Indian side). “However, the study got a major stimulus when Dr Edzard Ernst, the first professor of complementary medicine, called it a blueprint for research in Ayurveda.” Dr K G Ravindran was the treating physician of the project at the AVP. The nine-month treatment and evaluation period had three groups with about 15 patients each, who were treated with the focus on rheumatoid arthritis. While one group was given only Ayurvedic medicines along with a placebo of allopathic medicine, another group was administered only allopathic medicines with placebos of Ayurvedic medicines and the third group was given a combination of Ayurveda and allopathic medicines. Courtesy: The Hindu


ITB Asia to showcase industry trends


he fourth edition of ITB Asia, the three-day B2B trade show and convention in Singapore, is all set to give international exhibitors of all sectors of the travel-value chain a platform to meet with top international buyers from the MICE, leisure and corporate travel markets. To be held at the Suntec Singapore Exhibition & Convention Centre from October 19, ITB Asia is organised by Messe Berlin (Singapore) Pte Ltd and is supported by the Singapore Exhibition & Convention Bureau. The meet, the Asian edition of the reputed ITB Berlin expo, is a unique combination of travel products, target groups and networking

opportunities. The show also offers a preview of the latest trends and learning opportunities in the tourism industry. Designed to become the primary event for the Asia Pacific travel industry, much like its parent event, the ITB Berlin itself, ITB Asia features the full range of travel products, services and goods. It also functions as a knowledge platform for the industry along with the concurrently held Web in Travel (WIT) Conference as well as a networking platform during evening functions, workshops and seminars. In the third edition of the event held last year, more than 6,605 attendees, 720 exhibitor organisations, 580 hosted buyers with representation from 60 countries attended the event.

to become the catalyst for more travel industry business deals than ever before, according to a poll of Meridian Club members – WTM’s business club for senior travel industry buyers. WTM 2010 led to a massive £1,425 million travel industry deals, with almost 90 per cent of Meridian Club members polled stating they expect to conduct a greater amount of business (in monetary value) at WTM 2011 than they did at WTM 2010. Ambitious growth plans and strong company performance are the key reasons behind the increase in business, according to the poll. Emerging markets were also identified as key reasons for conducting more business during the four days of WTM.

WTM is catalyst for more business: poll


orld Travel Market, the fourday business-to-business event scheduled to begin in London on November 7, is expected

Germans prefer wellness holidays


erman citizens are becoming more and more aware of the importance of staying healthy and energetic. Increasingly, they are taking health vacations to reduce everyday stress or to stay fit for their jobs. Over the past five years holidays at wellness and spa resorts have risen by 30 per cent. By contrast, medical tourism has declined. At 3.3 million vacations, equivalent to 4. 6 per cent of all trips abroad, Germans are more interested in foreign health and medical tourism than their European neighbours. Currently, health and medical travel accounts for a total of 9.4 million trips or 2.4 per cent of all European travel abroad. Across Eu-

rope, over the past five years health vacations have increased by 38 per cent. Medical tourism has also risen by 24 per cent. Health vacations, which help to prevent society-related illnesses, are becoming more and more popular in Europe, Mr Martin Buck, director of the Competence Centre Travel and Logistics at Messe Berlin. “This is a big opportunity for organizers, hotels and destinations to expand and improve their services.” Germans and Russians are much keener to take health vacations than their European neighbours. Whereas the German market for health vacations abroad is approximately

six times the size of Russia’s, with German citizens medical tourism accounts for only 22 per cent more. The French market is the third largest for foreign health trips, while Holland’s is the third largest for medical tourism abroad. Europeans say that when taking health vacations they prefer relaxing (50 per cent), followed by walking/hiking and swimming (43 per cent each). Among Germans, the most popular activities are walking/ hiking (48 per cent), relaxing (47 per cent), followed by swimming (44 per cent). Germans are slightly keener on wellness programmes (30 per cent) than their European neighbours (26 per cent). 25

Welcome to the rich tradition of impeccable care in Ayurveda, harmonizing you to the 5000 year old science of healing and rejuvenation; envisioning a wholeness between you and nature. UDS combines the best of services with Ayurvedic healing bringing in a new world of ethnic magic and inner coherence enabling a relaxed wellbeing and holistic comfort. Embrace the time honored tradition of Ayurveda based on herbal and holistic remedies.

Experience the uniqueness of Ayurvedic care at UDS


Get beyond the limits of age

Have the rhythm to renew – Ayurveda

• 207 Rooms • 4 Restaurants • 3 Fresh water swimming pools G.V. Raja Rd., Samudra beach, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram - 695 527 Kerala, India. Ph: 91-471-2481654, 2483111/222, 2485766/67/68,Fax: 91 - 471 - 2481578 E-mail: Web:,


Cover story

Listen, please The spine carries human body along, but is one of the most neglected body parts. Once it sustains some damage, then all hell breaks loose, and the body just can’t move. A better understanding of the spine helps one to treat it well not when it is damaged so that it performs its jobs well, helps the body does its, too. In an introduction to Ayurvedic approach to spinal disorders, Dr K Krishnan Namboodiri explains the structure, functions and commonly occurring damages to spine. It also mentions about the most important and effective treatment procedures Ayurveda employs to treat back pain. Dr Namboodiri is the director and executive trustee of Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Institute and chief physician Nagarjuna Ayurveda Centre, Kalady, Kochi.



am one of the most important structures in your body. I am supporting much of your body weight and protect your spinal cord, which connects your brain to the rest of your body. I am so strong, but at the same time, so flexible. This quality of mine allows you a wide range of movements. I am afraid that you may not know much about me. That is why you are sitting in front of your computer continuously for hours. Or never bother to give me proper support while sleeping. Did you ever think of your posture, your chair or your bed? I am afraid, you didn’t. That is why sometimes I have to send you warnings. Unfortunately, you would say “oh my back, what a pain,” and that’s all. With a little care and consideration for me, you can avoid all such situations. Let me tell you about me. I am your spine. I remember, in ancient times, I was positioned like a bridge. Mother Nature has been experimenting on me for thousands of years. At last, I became a bent pole, as I am now. And a quite versatile pole that can bend, twist, hold and support most of the body’s weight. (You know, troubles in my department began when your ancestors decided to stand erect.) My responsibilities are more now. Mainly I have to protect your spinal cord, which is around 45 centimeters long. Millions of messages fly back and forth along it to direct all your activities below the neck. If anything serious happened to this whitish one centimeter-thick cable, alas, you have to spend the rest of your life in a wheel chair. There is nothing to worry; I am protecting your spinal cord with three layers of sheathing, a fluid bath to take up shock, plus a long housing. There are thirty-one pairs of nerves branch out from this cord.

Dr K Krishnan Namboodiri

Strong emotions can tighten your muscles. If your muscles are mildly tensed for several days, it reduces blood circulation as the muscles tighten and causes inter cellular fluid accumulation and internal swelling, adversely affects oxygenation of blood. This blocks the proper supply of nutrition. Simply because of these things, your muscles announce a dull back pain to warn you. So stop worrying, I will be free and healthy Almost half of them are sensory which convey information to the brain. The rest are motor, which transmit orders from the brain to muscles. In emergencies, your spinal cord has its own thinking. Suppose you touch a hot stove. Within no time, the finger will be jerked away, due to the cord’s reflex action. The chances of a trouble to you by my cord are very rare. But my 33 vertebrae and their supporting structures are another story. A

wide range of things can cause pain here. Strangely, some may have no apparent direct link to it, such as kidney troubles, prostrate or liver problems, arthritis and various infections. Even emotions can harm them. If you have big worries for days, that may develop as a dull back ache. Probably, you may blame me. Do you want to know what happens here? Listen. Strong emotions will tighten your muscles. If your muscles are 29

You know, millions of messages fly back and forth along the spinal cord to direct all your activities below the neck. If anything serious happened to this whitish one centimeter thick cable, alas, you have to spend the rest of your life in a wheel chair


yurvedic protocol to treat back problems include amapachana (burning up toxins), with various Kashayas and gulikas together with lamkhana chikitsa. After this sodhana (purification therapy) should be carried out. Samana chikitsa is very effective in all types of back ache. Kateevasthi also is an important treatment procedure. Among sodhana therapies vasthi is much significant. Snehavasthi and nirooha vasthi are also important. In Vangasena samgraham and Chakradatham there is a special vasthi described as vaitarana vasthi. It is having specific action on kateegraha and gridhrasi(sciatica). Special ingredients in Vaitarana vasthi in Vangasena samgraham Saindhavam 15gm Amleeka 60gm Gudam 30m Thailam 120 ml Cow’s milk 120 ml According to Chakradatham ingredients are: saindhavam, sathahwa, Gomootra, amleeka gudam thailam. Vaitarana vasti can be given after food in the afternoon like anuvasana. If the patient has adequate strength, it can also be given as nirooha vasthi.


mildly tensed for several days, it reduces blood circulation as the muscles tighten and causes inter cellular fluid accumulation and internal swelling, adversely affects oxygenation of blood. This blocks the proper supply of nutrition. Simply because of these things, your muscles announce a dull back pain to warn you. So stop worrying, I will be free and healthy. Ever studied about my structure? It is a must to understand what causes back pain. My structure is really an engineering marvel. Starting from top, I have 7 cervical vertebrae, which are capable of an extra ordinary range of movements. I support your head, allow you to look up, down, bend and twist. My discs permit 180 degrees of motion. The 12 thoracic or chest vertebrae which come next are not capable of such a wide range of movement (it is not really needed here). Your ribs are hooked to these vertebrae. And trouble in this area is rare. At my lower end are five heavy lumbar vertebrae, which carry most of your weight. Five sacral segments are fused together here to form the coccyx. (This part reminds me of your forefathers.) This lower

area, particularly around the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae, is the biggest trouble spot. When you were born I was more or less straight. When you started holding your head erect, my vertebrae took a slight curve in the neck region. When you began toddling, another curve developed at the lower end. As a result, now I have a specially curved shape. Actually this is a boon, for the arcs are better shock absorbers. There are other shock absorbers as well—there have to be. When you walk (with your body of seventy kg), my vertebrae absorb jolts of 70 kg with each step. Thus, between each pair of vertebrae, I have cushions, called discs. They have a tough envelop of cartilage containing a resilient jelly-like interior substance. My discs are susceptible to several kinds of injury. A really severe jolt, an auto accident, a serious fall, can simply squash a disc, usually one at the bottom of the spine. This often calls for major surgery, involving removal of the remnants of the disc and fusion of the two vertebrae. A less severe injury can rupture the disc’s tough envelope, permitting the enclosed jelly to ooze out. This can cause acute misery. The disc material presses on a nerve, and irritated nerve throws one of my muscles into spasm. This spasm is actually a protective effort. The muscle senses that I am in trouble and tries to splint me to prevent motion that might cause additional damage. Remember, a ruptured disc al-

ways irritates the sciatic nerve, which extends to the legs. Then a pain (sometime severe) radiates through your leg, all the way down to toes. Most of your back troubles stem from weakness or lack of exercise. Do you know that I have four hundred muscles and a thousand ligaments? Without proper exercises and nurturing, how can I be in good shape? Look at a few more burdens you thrust on me. I am in trouble because of your weak abdominal muscles (thanks for your laziness and all that junk food.); my back muscles must carry the additional load of your big belly. Remember your wife had a back pain when she was pregnant. Even after all these years you haven’t learnt to sit properly. Just droops into over- stuffed sofas and chairs! You may be resting but my muscles are not. They are working over time, trying to keep some order within my vertebrae. I have problems mostly in my lumbar region, but I can cause trouble up above as well. You are troubling me by sitting continuously for 10-12 hrs on chatting. Your neck muscles are also became stiff, not flexible. Due to your stress and lack of exercises my discs are not getting enough nutrition. How bad it is! Moreover, when you grow old, my parts grow weaker. The fact is calcium is draining away. As my discs soften and vertebrae become less dense, your back will arch more. You will get a slight hump back on old age. You can avoid a lot of misery in the years to come if you can provide me the care I need. Do one thing: check your posture right now. You should see your physician to learn more about me and to find whether you have any problem on your spine. A few metabolic corrections such as improving the quality of agni , detoxification (ama pachana) by drinking Kashayams etc will do good. Kashayams are able to

help me with a lot of oxygenated blood supply, through which I am getting life. If you could spent 30 minutes a day for doing an abhyanaga- medicated Ayurvedic oil massage- for me, I will be so happy . Oils that I like much are murivenna, sahacharadi, mahanarayana, karpooradi and dhanwantharam. These oils can provide much relaxation to me, especially on my lower back- lumbar region. For my neck, Karpasasthyadi and murivenna are much effective and relaxing. I found that, application of murivenna is much helpful to me. I love that medicine which is so soothing and it gives me extra flexibility. Vitiated Vata is the reason behind any pain on me. To cure my problems, it is important to know the ‘roga marga’ (patho genesis). My issues like trika soola, kateegraha, greevagraha are coming under madhyama roga marga, narrated in Charaka samhitha. The term trika is used by Charaka and Vagbhata is in a wider sense where the vertebral column joints with the

hip bones on each sides. It includes the lumbar sacral and sacroiliac regions and pain originated in any of these areas is termed as trika dosha. Etiological or causative factors are bi-fold. One is dhatukshaya (degeneration of tissues) and the other is margarodha (obstruction to channels or passages) The condition, sciatica (gridhrasi) is caused by lumbar intervertebral disc prolapse, lumbago, sciatica syndrome, spinal canal stenosis and space occupying lesions etc. Low back ache may radiate to other areas of the body especially the legs. Problem on neck region is named as greevagraha. In this also same etiology, pathogenesis, and manifestations can be observed. Author is: Director and Executive Trustee Nagarjuna Ayurvedic Institute and Chief Physician Nagarjuna Ayurveda Center, Kalady, Cochin, Kerala. He can be contacted at Krishnan_ Phone: +91 9961883250 31

The pristine shores A

yurveda, the science of life, has a holistic approach to human beings—a combination of body mind and soul, and an integral part of Mother Nature. Since Vedic age, Ayurveda has been the health-keepers to mankind. It has had ups and downs due to a variety of reasons, but its authenticity has remained unquestioned. The world has witnessed a renewed interest in this Indian system of medicine in the last two decades. Kerala, being the cradle of Ayurveda, has emerged as the most sought-after destination for authentic Ayurveda. And Somatheeram has been one of the pioneers who invited the world’s attention to the powers of authentic Ayurveda through its Ayurvedic resorts set in exotic locales. From its inception, the Somatheeram Ayurveda group has been pursuing a great dream: to create facilities for the world to come and experience authentic Ayurveda and benefit from it. The prime concern of the group has been to provide the ancient healing methods of Ayurveda in its purest form to their guests. A team of more than 20 efficient doctors, more than 140 well-

Mr Baby Mathew, the Chairman and Managing Director of Somatheeram, has been the inspiration behind the success story that Somatheeram is today. He is counted among the pioneers of Ayurveda tourism in India. Despite his towering presence in the industry and the seminal contributions he has made to Ayurveda, he never went after awards or recognitions; instead, they came after him. From India, and abroad. 32

of Ayurveda trained Panchakarma therapists and the friendliest staff ensures that all guests get to live the group’s dream. The accommodation facilities are not just buildings; instead they help you feel nature at its pristine best. You will enjoy the lush greeneries, serene skies, beaches and a bright blue sea. The elegant, beautiful facilities are all based on the traditional, auspicious science of ‘Vastu’ of ancient Kerala architecture. As the leader, Somatheeram leads this sector with six wonderful resorts located near beautiful places like beaches, lakes, backwaters, wildlife and bird sanctuaries. The group resorts wanted to be true to the philosophy of Ayurveda and through Ayurveda we introduced the concept of ‘responsible tourism’ which is the trend today. Somatheeram is the first Ayurveda resort introduced monsoon Ayurveda treatments in resort sector. Besides foreign guests, people from Kerala also enjoy the very special Monsoon rejuvenation treat-

ment and other treatments offered by the group. This multiplied the number of health tourists flows to Kerala during off-season.

For more information & Centralized Reservation: Email:, Web:, Telephone: +914712266111, +914712268101 Address: Somatheeram Ayurveda Group, Chowara P.O, South Kovalam, Trivandram, Kerala, India, PIN 695 501

Our centers of Excellence: Somatheeram Ayurveda Resorts, (Chowara beach, Thiruvananthapuram) Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village (Chowara beach, Thiruvananthapuram) Soma palm shore, (Kovalam beach, Light house road) Soma Kerala Palace Lake Resort (Chembu, Kochi-Kumarakom Road) Birds Lagoon Resort (Near famous bird sanctuary, Thattekkadu, Kochi) Soma Kuttanadu Back Water Resort (Purakkadu, Alappuzha,)


Cover story


When the back ached

ame: Antony Joseph Age: 33 Sex: Male Height: 5 feet 7 cm; Weight: 66 kg; Blood Pressure: 130/70 (O +ve) Profession: Software engineer Conditions: Pain in lower back, especially after continuous sitting. A dull pulling pain extending towards left leg (especially on back of the thigh and lateral aspect of the calf muscle). Numbness on calf region (especially in morning). Pain increases while coughing, sneezing and after continuous speaking. Cannot stand for more than 10 minutes. Getting tired after 15 minutes of walk. Constipation and heaviness.


History The patient had been complaining of the above mentioned discomforts for a year; with severe pain and numbness starting a month ago. No history of trauma. MRI findings: Central and right paracentral herniation of L4-L5 disc Central and left paracentral herniation of L4-S1 disc Central and right paracentral herniation of L3-L4 disc Diagnosis: Case is Kateegraha with Gridhrasi (sciatica) Line of treatment: Snehanam, swedanam, Sodhanam and Samanam Objective of treatment: 1. Ama pachana and ama nirharana (burning out of toxins) by improving the quality of agni, which is the main cause of kateegraha. (A

mild degeneration started in lumbar region due to a metabolic disorder and a local inflammation reduced the free flow of blood.) 2. Srotha suddhi (cleansing of channels) by a sodhana (purification) protocol after doing sneha sweda, in the form of podikizhi and pizhichil. Progress is expected in terms of free mobility and comfort in walking. Treatment Amruthotharam kashayam and chiruvilvadi kashaym are mixed and given for seven days before admission. A lepam with kottamchukkadi was also advised. Rheumat tab was given thrice daily after food for seven days. Hospital treatments started with podikkizhi and lepam with internal medicines. The main internal medicines given were Chiruvilvadi kashayam, Kaisoragulgulu gulika with kashayam, nimbamruthadi kashaya, rheumat tab, vaiswanaram choornam for intake. As head oil, thulasee swarasadi kera is given. For applying on back, Kottam chukkadi and sahacharadi oils are given. Main treatments were pizhichil (7 days), Virechanam one day followed by yoga vasthi, seven days njavara kizhi, abhyangam for 1 day, Kateevasthi (11 days), snehavasthi (5 days) and Kashaya vasthi (3 days). The patient discharged after 21 days with good relief. Pain reduced remarkably and he got a complete relief from numbness and heaviness. He was advised internal medicines for three months (maharasnadi and sahacharadi kashayam, dhanvantharam aavarthi, sahacharadi aavarthi, and rheumat tabs)

Cover story

Pacifying Vata Among the tridoshas, Vata, when vitiated, can cause back pain. To bring it back to normal is the key target of treatment “Difficulty to bend. Back pain.” “Not able to sit for more than 10 minutes. Back pain.” “Severe back pain that goes down to leg while walking.”


hese are very common complaints a general physician encounters almost everyday. Pain on spine and the muscles surrounding it is generally called back pain. Usually back pain is used to indicate pain on lower back. So it is called low back ache or LBA. To understand back pain from an Ayurvedic perspective, one has to understand some basic principles of Ayurveda. Ayurvedic structure: Ayurveda considers human body as a combination of dosha (the subtle part of matter), dhatu (the physical body) and mala (waste not transferred as body) kept in equilibrium. Tridosha theory which says that the balance of the three doshas— Vata, Pitha and Kapha—maintains the health and its imbalance leads to disease is the fundamental principle of Ayurveda. Among the three doshas, Vata is important in back pain. Vayu, or the manifestation of Vata, is divided into five types. Of this, apana is responsible for expelling mala and the movement of the trunk. When Vata is vitiated and concentrated on colon (pakwasaya), it manifests itself as diseases of abdomen, rectum,

kidney, hip and lower part of spine. Therefore, low back pain is generally called vatavyadhi or disease due to Vata. Urusthambha, katigraha, gridhrasi are few vatavyadhis with back pain as a symptom. Ayurveda sees body in a state of dynamic equilibrium which gets degenerated and regenerated continuously. The food, assimilated into the environment of body, is processed and its useful parts get converted as dhatu while the waste parts make mala. An obstruction to this process produces toxins. Panchakarma (five-route cleansing) eliminates these toxins and reinstates the proper programming of tissue-building. Drugs are also helpful in the pro-

Dr P Mohanan Warrier cess. Grounds for back pain Spine is a chain of 33 vertebrae. In between each pairs of vertebra is a disc which is elastic in nature. These discs help the spine move to all sides. Discs also act as a shockabsorber protecting the spine from heavy impact. Of the 33 vertebrae, the seven in the neck (cervical) and five in the back (lumbar) are the most mobile. The lumbar vertebrae move while carrying more weight (e.g. when we stoop to pick up weight). This explains why back pain is experienced most in the area called the lumbar. Around 70 lakh such back

Among the three doshas, Vata is important in back pain. Vayu is divided into five types. Of this, apana is responsible for expelling mala and the movement of the trunk, is responsible for back pain. When vata dosha is vitiated concentrating on pakwasaya(intestine) it is manifested as several diseases of abdomen, rectum, kidney, hip and lower part of spine. Therefore generally low back pain is called vathavyadhi in Ayurveda. Urusthambha, katigraha, Gridhrasi are few vathavyadhis with back pain as a symptom 35

Of the 33 vertebrae, the seven in the neck (cervical) and five in the back (lumbar) are the most mobile. The lumbar vertebrae move while carrying more weight (e.g. when we stoop to pick up weight). This explains why back pain is experienced most in the area called the lumbar. Around 70 lakh such back pain patients are admitted to hospitals every year pain patients are admitted to hospitals every year. Back pain mostly occurs in connection with the nature of one’s job. So it can also be called an occupational disease. Among various types of workers some are more prone to it: ■ Those who do physically strenuous jobs. ■ Those who do sedentary jobs without much exercise to the back (e.g. clerks). ■ Workers continuously bending forward and sideward. ■ Those who work with the same repeated movements continuously. ■ Those who need to do work suffering vibration, eg. (drilling). Among them those with smoking habits and who are malnourished tend to experience back pain more. The majority of back pain patients visit hospital for problems of the disc. Of the remaining, almost 15 per cent may be suffering from problems of the muscles, ligaments, etc. Arthritis, infections, growths, cancer and disease of the bones and of the nerves make up the rest. Overweight of body exerts more pressure on low back. So obesity is another reason for back pain. Ladies experience back pain related to menstrual period, pregnancy, delivery and menopause. Contraction of muscles makes back pain during menstrual periods. Pressure on back bone due to the enlargement of uterus creates back pain during 36

pregnancy. Weakness of abdominal muscles is a reason for back pain after delivery. Pre-natal and post-natal treatments in Ayurveda are very much helpful to prevent back pain during pregnancy and after delivery. Malnutrition during lactation period, especially calcium deficiency can cause back pain. Hormonal changes after menopause leads to degeneration of bones causing back pain. Back pain is a symptom in diseases like prolapsed or herniated disc, lumbar spondylosis, lumbar canal stenosis etc. In these cases, damage of muscles, ligaments, nerves, and vertebral joints create pain. Pain that radiate below knees, aggravation of pain while coughing or sneezing indicate disc prolapse. Severe pinching pain, numbness, loss of sensation, weakness of legs and wastage of muscles are also symptoms of inter-vertebral disc prolapse. Back pain can occur as secondary to constipation, piles, dysentery etc. Back pain is a symptom in several diseases related to abdomen, uterus and kidney. Diagnosis: The success of treatment is definitely based on correct diagnosis. An experienced physician can make out from his initial check-up itself such conditions as muscle pull and protrusion of the disc. But in many cases this may not be easy and hence the help of Xray, CT scan, MRI or myelogram is sought. In suspected TB and cancer, blood test and biopsy will also help.

Together with this, the physician would also consider the cause of vitiation of Vata. The vitiation can have two origins – obstruction and degeneration. Obstruction can be either due to non-passing of faeces, urine or due to a stone or prolapsed disc, oedema from thecal sac, facia muscle or skin. Degeneration can appear primarily in bones as osteoarthritic changes, in nerves as demyelination and in muscles as dystrophy. Each of this has to be interpreted and addressed from an ayurvedic perspective. Usually what we adopt nowadays is a modern approach dovetailed with the basic principles of Ayurveda. The nature of pain, its intensity and radiation will give a picture of dosha vitiation. Then a decision has to be taken whether the cause of pain is obstruction or degeneration. Local symptoms with obstructed SLR (straight leg raise or sakthi ulkshepa nigraham) usually point to an obstruction. Vague symptoms and generalised pain which is non-specific with positive signs of degeneration on examination can lead to a diagnosis of degeneration. Investigations such as X-ray, MRI scan and blood test are of great help in differential diagnosis. Treatment: Deviation of apana and apanavaiga is the main cause of back pain. Getting it back on rail (vathanulomanam) should be the mainstay of management. The abode of Vata is in pakwasaya which is enclosed within the lumbar spine. So, it is very important that the purity and sanity of colon (pakwasaya) is maintained. Back pain has many treatments available now, complete rest being the most important one. With complete rest for 2-3 weeks, most back pains disappear. So it is not advisable to venture into an expensive treatment, surgery or panchakarma therapy in the initial stages. For bed rest, keep a pillow under

the knee and lie on a wooden cot. Apply Dhanwantaram kuzhambu, Sahacharadi kuzhambu and Karpooradi kuzhambu on the area of pain and with the help of someone slowly massage from top to bottom. This will help increase the blood supply to that area and relax the tensed muscles and help pacify Vata. Massage and fomenting will also help. In addition, medicines to cure arthritis and muscle pull and relieve inflammation may also be used. Ayurvbeda physicians use medicines administered through oral and anal routes (vasti), different kinds of massages, yoga and medicated sachets (kizhi) apart from prescribing a belt for back support. Whatever the treatment plan, the main aim is to reduce pain, prevent disability and avoid recurrence of pain. Pichu, Prishtavsthi, Mathravasthi are the other treatments helpful in most of the problems related to spine. Avagahasweda (hip bath) is a commonly used process. This is easy to do at home. Patient should sit in a special tub filled with water boiled with herbal leaves such as castor plant, tamarind and jack fruit tree that have Vata-normalising (vatahara) property. Along with these external treatments, internal medicines are also to be administered. As a last resort, surgery is considered.

Most patients get relief in three to four weeks of such treatment and yoga. Only if the condition does not improve with both these that a patient needs to start panchakarma therapy. For this a solvent in the form of ghee is given in buffer dose for 2-7 days (snehapanam). The ghee is selected weighing the structure (prakriti), weather and nature of disease. Some patients also undergo massage with heat. The selection of the vehicle of heat and the pressure and intensity of massage are decided using ayurvedic principles. Vasti (medicated pressure enema) and virechana (medicine-induced purgation) are the panchakarma processes that are found to be most useful in the treatment of back pain. The selection of drug for performing vasti and virechana depends on several factors. A course of treatment lasts 1440 days, depending on the intensity of the pain. The pain subsides for most patients in 14 days. Simultaneous practice of yoga and traction are advisable. Preventive measures Back pain can be kept at arm’s length by not lifting excess weight, not standing or sitting in one position for a long time, controlling body weight and continuous practice of yoga.

Bed rest is the first treatment for back pain. This helps to lessen the pain. While taking rest, application of medicated oil and fomentation on back also can be done. Panchakarma therapy especially Vasthi is very much effective in all types of back problems. Special massage treatments like Pizhichil, Pachakizhi, Njavarakizhi Podikizhi and Manjalkizhi are very common in kerala. These are all authentic treatment procedures for back pain

The vertebral column of a standing person will have two convex curves and two concave curves into the neck and hip regions. These curvatures help the body distribute its weight equally into the ground. This precision is possible only when you stand and sit erect. That is why it is advised to always adopt a straight posture while standing or sitting. When not kept in a straight posture, the body continuously struggles and uses extra energy to keep itself against earth’s gravitational pull. This causes extra burden on the muscles and ligaments, leading to oedema and pain. Exercises through yoga help the body and the muscles with hasslefree movements. An obese person has to move with weight and needs extra energy to keep posture. So regular exercise, keeping the right posture and a regulated diet are vital to keep back pain away. Food Dietary regimen for back pain is decided on the basis of the body constitution (prakruti) of each persons. Traditional food habit is different in different societies. These habits are evolved through centuries according to the climatic and geographical condition of each area. Changing these habits completely can lead to several diseases. People prone to back pain may avoid dependence on junk food and include sufficient quantity of vegetables and fruits in diet. Milk, ghee, pulses and buttermilk should be part of diet. There is no harm in including non-vegetarian food in the diet. Sufficient intake of fluids must ensured so as to keep easy and satisfactory bowel movements.

Deputy Chief Physician & Deputy Superintendent, Kottakkal Arya Vaidyasala. He can be contacted at: 37


Art of standing

Yoga postures help align the body the way it was designed


Mastering Mountain Pose means mastering the art of correct standing. It also helps breathe more freely, and can give you more energy as well


oga has been used for centuries for therapeutic purposes. It can heal the body, mind and soul. Physically, yoga helps the body become more limber, more balanced. It adds to one’s sense of awareness about oneself through better understanding of the body. Normally, people are not conscious about their postures in daily life activities. For example, most of people do not pay much attention how they stand. In most cases, it is like standing with the body weight thrown only on one leg or one leg turned completely sideways. Some bear all the weight on the heels, or on the inner or outer edges of the feet. Watch the shoe’s sole to find where it wears out first. By faulty standing and uneven distribution of body weight on the heels, what we are doing is nothing but just hampering our spine’s elasticity. This could gradually lead to deformities. Body weight on one heel essentially changes the centre of gravity. Then the hips become loose, abdomen protrudes and as a result, body hangs back and the spine has to suffer much strain. Many times, we have backaches because the core of our body is out of shape. Our faulty postures and lack of exercise are the main reasons. Many people who are overweight experience back pain. As you put on additional pounds, the spine begins to distort and to compress, causing pain. It can also have an effect on the pelvis, tilting it forward and perhaps causing it to pinch the sciatic nerve. That is one of the main reasons why people who are overweight tend to have problems with their lower back, either because of sci-

atica or because of the distortion of the spinal column. Spine is the main supporter of the body. And it protects the central nervous system. According to yogic science, spine is the pathway of subtle, divine life force. A healthy, strong and flexible spine makes one healthy and even ensures longevity! There are a number of different yogic postures which can help the back in amazing ways. Even persons having back injuries can do yoga with the help of an experienced yoga therapist. A little bit of yoga can go a long way in helping one to be more comfortable and even to overcome the back problem. Besides, one will experience a number of other benefits from doing these simple stretching exercises. Some poses are briefly described below. Those with severe back/ spine problems are strictly advised not to practise them without proper guidance. It is of great importance that one should not try therapeutic yoga without the presence of an experienced yoga therapist. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) This is the basic standing pose. In Mountain Pose, the body is aligned the way it was designed. Method: ■ Stand straight, with the feet together, heals and big toes touching each other. If placing feet together is not comfortable, place the feet three or four inches apart, toes pointing straight ahead. (Line up

the ankles so they’re right under the hip bones). ■ Now rock back and forth a bit until you feel the weight evenly distributed in both feet. ■ Next, bend the knees a bit so the backs of your legs aren’t locked out. Try to keep the knees lined up over the ankles. ■ Tighten the knees and pull the knee caps up. Contract the hips, activate the thighs and feel that you are pressing off the ground. ■ Make sure that the hips bones are pointing straight ahead. Avoid letting the pelvis tip up or down. ■ Draw the belly button gently in, lengthen the spine, open the chest (gently squeeze the shoulder blades together) and keep the neck straight. Keep the chin parallel to the ground. ■ Keep the arms parallel to the body, by the side of the thighs, fingers together and pointing downwards. ■ Now breathe normally. Be relaxed; try to release tension, if any, in the body. Close the eyes, focus on the position and allow the alignment to be absorbed and integrated at a cellular level. Let this position feel natural, effortless, yet conscious. Mastering Mountain Pose means mastering the art of correct

standing. This pose frees up the ribcage to open the lungs for better breathing. Not only this pose helps to strengthen and protect the back, but it will give you more energy as well, since you’ll be breathing more freely! Seated forward fold (Paschimottanasana) In Sanskrit, paschima means west. Here, it indicates the back of the body from head to toes. In this pose, the whole back is intensely stretched. This pose is also called Ugra (powerful) asana. This pose stretches the spine and the hamstrings very well. It rejuvenates the whole spine, tones the digestive organs and kidneys. Regular practice of this pose gives good massage to the heart, spinal column and the abdominal organs. The whole pelvic region enjoys more blood circulation and this increases vitality. Method ■ Sit on a mat with the legs together extended in front, heels slightly flexed and bellybutton pulled to the spine for support. ■ Inhale, sit tall and raise the arms in the air. ■ Exhale, lean forward and reach for the toes (If possible hold each big toes with thumb and the index

Regular practice of paschimottanasana gives a good massage to the heart, spinal column and the abdominal organs 39

Cobra pose is a panacea for an injured spine. Its regular practice can even replace the discs slight displaced

and middle fingers). Extend the spine and try to keep the back in a concave position. ■ Now, pull the trunk forward and let the forehead rest on your knees. Allow the arms to rest on the thighs, shins or at the ankles. Allow the upper body to relax. ■ With each inhalation, feel the spine growing longer and with each inhalation, allow the body to sink lower (the chest is getting closer to the floor). Gradually, with regular practice, you will be able to stretch the spine more forward; you can grip the sole and rest the chin on the shins, beyond the knees! ■ Stay in this position from 1 to 5 minutes, breath evenly. Then slowly raise the head up and come back to first position and relax. Tip: Can't reach your toes? Wrap a towel around the feet and grab either end with the hands to improvise a yoga strap. If your 40

hamstrings are tight, you can bend your legs. Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) World renowned Yoga acharya BKS Iyengar wrote about this pose in his famous book The Illustrated Light on Yoga thus: “This posture is a panacea for an injured spine and in cases of slight displacement of spinal discs the practice of this pose replaces the discs in their original position. The spinal region is toned and the chest fully expanded.” ■ Lie down on the floor on the stomach; stretch the legs keeping feet together, keep the toes pointing and the knees tightened. ■ Place the palms near the shoulder, fingers together. (The palm position can be changed from near pelvic region to a position above the shoulders. It is up to the ability and comfort of a beginner.) Keep the elbows closer to the body.

■ With inhalation, lift the front half of the body off the floor until the pubis is in contact with the floor. Tense the legs and buttocks. Now the body weight is on the palms and legs. (Some schools tend to do this pose without assistance from the hands pushing on the floor. This is likely to be more effective at strengthening the back). ■ Hold this position for about 1520 seconds with normal breathing. ■ Exhale, gently flex the elbows, come back to the first position. Repeat this pose two or three times. Rest a while with your head turned to one side and the arms to your side, legs relaxed, before getting up. There are a number of Yoga postures to help one keep healthy. The entire body is toned through controlled and precise breathing, stretching, and endurance building exercises. Regular practice of Yoga assures a healthy mind and body.


Ask the Doctor Dr M Prasad, BAMS, MD (Ay), is the chief physician and director of Sunetri Aurvedashram and Research Centre, Thrissur. Dr Prasad, who specialises in Shalakyatanthra, also edits Bharatiya Vaidya Samvadam, a Malayalam quarterly on principles and practices of Ayurveda.


tarting this issue, Ayurevda and Health Tourism readers may send in their queries relating to health conditions. The letters should contain age, sex and a brief description of your health condition. The letters may either be emailed to us ayurvedamagazine@gmail. com or sent to Editor, Ayurveda & Health Tourism F M Media Technologies Pvt Ltd, 2 - B , Relcon Retreat, Prasanthi Nagar Road - 2, Edapally, Kochi - 24, Kerala, India. Phone : +91 484 2341715

I have been suffering from head ache for last 4 years. It comes repeatedly, but not in regular intervals. Mostly it is a mild pain, lasting for two to three days and rarely, it goes severe. I couldn’t find the reason so far. I am not allergic to anything. Occasionally my bowel movements become upset. I am using coconut oil on my head. I haven’t taken any medicine regularly for this problem yet. I am a vegetarian. Kindly help me in this regard. Subhash, Ramanattukara. Dear Mr.Subhash, Your headache seems to be having its origin in your stomach upset. Try Chiruvilwadi kashayam 2 times a day before food. Avoid spicy and fried foods. Make sure that you do not entertain intermittent eating (snacks or so) and sleep comfortably for 6 hours. My son is now two years old. He is not having problems except a lack of appetite, and his body is so lean. Sometimes he eats well and sometimes not. Is there any Ayurvedic medicine to improve his appetite? Kindly


advice us on the oils which can be used on his head and body before bathing. Sreelatha, Kunnamkulam. Dear Smt. Sreelatha, Good appetite is a sign of proper Agni. These days, most of the kids are overfed. Make sure that the boy is given chance to be hungry. Don’t give milk or milk products of any sort. Avoid refined sugar, sugary foods and Maida. You can give ½ teaspoon of ashtachurnam mixed with little bit of cow’s ghee and honey along with the breakfast. I am writing for my daughter. She is much worried about the pimples on her face. She is having this problem for the last six years and she is now 21years old. The problem increased from last year onwards. When they appear, the pimples are painful. She had consulted some doctors and taken medicines. And she had tried various creams available in the market but the problem still persists. (She had also tried herbs like kasthoori manjal on her face). Hers is a mixed diet including veg and non-veg

foods. And we have minimized the use of oil in food. She is of a lean body type, with medium complexion. Her second problem is hair fall. Which oil will help her in this regard? Kindly help us with your valuable advice. Lissy antony, Mananthavady. Dear Mrs.Lissy Antony, It is good that you are giving due importance to the diet. It will be better if she can avoid meat and sugar completely. A paste made out of vacha (vayambu) lodhram( pachotti) and dhanyaka (kothamalli) in water or rosewater may be used on the face to control pimples. Keep this paste on the face for 45 minutes, and then wash with lukewarm water. Little bit of Jathyadi keram may be applied on the pimples thereafter. Give Manjishtadi Kshayam twice daily. If there is no dandruff on the scalp, oils like Neelibhrungadi, Kanjunnyadi etc can help promoting hair growth. If there is dandruff, that should be treated first. Similarly, if there is any hormonal problem, that needs to be addressed properly.

Current Thoughts

Changing with times

Ayurveda must open to advances in science and renew itself

Dr B Rajeev MD (Ay), PhD


he holistic approach in Ayurveda has indeed internalised all aspects of human health and diseases. This all-encompassing approach towards human body is perhaps the greatest contribution of Ayurveda to the mankind as it focuses on the whole human being, and not merely the disease or its management and treatment. Ayurveda has a history of over 4000 years, and this approach was able to offer adequate healthcare for most of the time. The growth and the continued development of this profound wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine, however, suffered serious setbacks some 1500 years ago due to vari-

ous historical reasons. Orthodoxy, dogmatism and superstitions began creeping in to these intervening years and this glorious tradition began to lose its lustre and credentials. Perhaps after Vaghbata II, Ayurvedic science never showed its dynamic growth. During this long period of inertness and apathy, a lot of filth and garbage had accumulated over such heritage; and Ayurveda lost its stature. Ayurvedic as well as other indigenous systems of medicine are currently confronted with the problems of fixing standards and specifications of identity, purity, strength, etc. It can very well be accomplished if Ayurveda adopts

appropriate scientific methods and practices. But it does not mean that it should adopt the parameters of modern medicines in evaluating its quality and fixing standards. However, attempts to evaluate and standardise Ayurvedic medicine, and for that reason any other such traditional systems of medicine, with the parameters of modern medicine will be suicidal. It is conceptually wrong, unethical and harmful to the very system. Evaluation and standardisation of Ayurvedic and other traditional systems of medicine have to be based on the concept, theory and parameters of traditional medicine. But it may utilise the advancement 43

made in modern scientific knowledge, tools and technology, including information technology. While Ayurveda has its own comprehensive tools and processes to assess human body and its health, it would be beneficial for its advancement if it explored ways to adapt the tools of technology. This calls for closer interaction between scientists and technicians and experts of Indian systems of medicine. The thrust must be on designing new equipment that will help diagnosis and management of diseases using Ayurvedic formulations and treatises. Care must be taken to ensure that they tools should not depend on the instruments developed for modern medicine.


cientific knowledge and its productive technology are highly objective and therefore subject to continuous evaluation, innovation and improvement. It is verifiable and hence excludes all unsubstantiated hypothesis and observations. Experimentations are the methods of science. New findings are added to the existing body of knowledge as science does not approve of ‘finite knowledge’. It recognises only is an ever-growing dynamic system and perhaps it is the characteristic attribute of science. This fact of science was well known to the ancient scientists of India more particularly the Ayurvedic masters like Charaka and Sushruta. The environment of living organisms in general and the human kind in particular is always in a flux of change. The organisms

Ayurveda acharyas carefully collected the knowledge and practices of outsiders such as cowherds/shepherds and medicine men on new medicinal plants or the new use of a plant. They then subjected the information to an in-depth study and evaluation, and if found useful, added to the existing pharmacopoeia need to continuously adjust and adapt to lead a healthy and satisfying life. Food, plants and other organism which humans being are in constant touch may have changes over a period of time, and can have an impact on them. Even medicinal characteristics of plants may have undergone changes. Ayurveda, therefore, advised people to adapt to the changing environment by consuming the appropriate food, nutrition and medicine suited to the particular environment. Ayurveda acharyas carefully collected the knowledge and practices of outsiders such as cowherds/ shepherds and medicine men on new medicinal plants or the new use of a plant. They then subjected the information to an in-depth study and evaluation, and if found useful, added to the existing pharmacopoeia. This amply demonstrates the openness of the great Acharyas who advised to improve or add or modify the healthcare system time and again. This scientific frame of mind of the Indian intellectuals, however, suffered a great setback in between,

Any attempt to evaluate and standardise the Ayurvedic medicine and for that reason any other such traditional systems of medicine with the parameters of modern medicine will be suicidal. It is conceptually wrong, unethical and harmful to the very system 44

mainly due to invasions by many aggressive races from different parts of the world. Such invasions disturbed stability, peace and tranquility of the country. To escape from the onslaught of the invaders and preserve the valuable heritage, the intellectuals of the country began to withdraw themselves and become very secretive. With the passage of time such withdrawal and secrecy led to orthodoxy, obscurantism and superstition preventing not only its natural growth but also the erosion and corrosion of the inherited knowledge. Some of them even began to feel and advocated that the knowledge of therapeutic aids contained in the classical text was final and last word and there was no need to change/modify or add anything to it. This is quite antithetic to the very process of science. Perhaps this orthodoxy and secrecy has taken away the dynamism from this precious heritage of our country. It was precisely this peculiar situation that Swami Vivekananda commented by saying that “India is a sleeping lion” and that time has come to wake up and once again make their presence felt in this world. The Ayurvedic specialists are required to change this mindset and imbibe the spirit of scientific inquiry. The writer is honorary physician (holistic medicine) Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi and can be contacted at


Ashtanga Hridaya Satram from Oct 23


Dr Bhawna Gulati, Assistant Director, NABH, speaks at the workshop on Accreditation for Wellness Centers. Mr D Venkatesan, Assistant Director-General, Ministry of Tourism (left) and, Mr Jesper Hougaard, chairman and managing director of Serena Spa Pvt. Ltd are also seen.


NABH workshop on accreditation

he National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Health Care Providers (NABH) conducted a sensitisation workshop on ‘Accreditation for Wellness Centers’ on July 29, 2001. The workshop, held in association with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, covered accreditation standards entailing various aspects like management of consumables, equipment, infection control, human resource management, environment safety and other quality aspects besides accreditation procedures and incentives.

The event was a follow-up of a workshop on promotion of ‘Wellness’ Tourism conducted on February 2011 in association with Department of AYUSH . Dr Bhawna Gulati, Assistant Director, NABH; Mr D Venkatesan, Assistant Director-General, Ministry of Tourism and NABH, Mr Jesper Hougaard, chairman and managing director of Serena Spa Pvt. Ltd explained the benefits of accreditation for wellness centres. Several service providers form Kerala representing Ayurveda and health tourism sectors attended the workshop.

he fifth edition of Ashtanga Hridaya Satram, an annual event in which practitioners, scholars and students of Ayurveda recite, study, discuss and debate Ashtanga Hridayam, the Ayurveda classic, will be held at “Padmabhushan Vaidyabhooshanam K. Raghavan Thirurmulpad Nagar”, Hosanna Mount, Bharanaganam, Kerala from October 23 to 30, 2011. A number of Ayurvedic practitioners and doctors will attend the workshops while famous Ayurvedic acharyas conduct the classes and technical sessions at the Satram, held to refresh and empower the young practitioners in theory and practice of Ayurveda principles as enshrined in the classic, written by Vagbhata. The event is being organised by Vagbhata Sarani. In a unique ritual, the delegates gather at the Bhrahma Muhoortha and recite the complete Ashtanga Hrudayam in the ancient Gurusishya custom. Discussion with acharyas, Yoga classes, paper presentations, identification and exhibition of rare medicinal plants are also part of the programmes.

5th Ashtanga Hridaya Satram by Vagbhata Sarani he Vagbhatasarani has been functioning for the last 2 decades in Kerala focusing on the holistic development of Ayurvedic studies and practices. This organization has been conducting a series of camps, workshops and programmes at academic and community level on a very regular basis. Vagbhata Sarani has more than 400 ayurvedic practitioners. It has conducted mega conferences like World Ayurveda Congress in 2002 in which more than 3000 delegates from 28 nations participated. Many medical camps were conducted at Ernakulam, Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts during the Chikun Gunia outbreak by the organization. Also medical camps are conducted across Kerala against epidemics.


Dr Polly Mathew, Chairman and Managing Director, and Mr James Polly, Joint Managing Director, Somatheeram, receive the ‘Best Wellness Centre in India’ award, instituted by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, from Lok Sabha Speaker Ms Meira Kumar. Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahai and former Ms World Ms Priyanka Chopra are also seen.


Welcome to Malaysia Welcome to Lotus Desaru L


otus Desaru Beach Resort invites you to design your vacation in a tropical seaside setting. It can be an activity-filled holiday, a relaxing retreat or even a mix of a little business with pleasure on the side. Long known as the most popular and idyllic stretch of beach in Johor, Desaru means ‘Village of the Casuarinas’. Desaru offers the best blend of nature with modern convenience that most others cannot match on the antire stretch of Malaysia’s eastern coast. The Resort offers 700 well-appointed spacious apartments suits ranging from one to three bedrooms with a cosy living and dining area. Local and international cuisine is served up at the Teratai coffee house and guests can also delight at our authentic seafood restaurant. The Fun Pub, overlooking the swaying palm trees, is a dreamy place to relax in the company of a soothing cold beverage while the Rhu Bar at the beach front is the perfect spot to enjoy the sea breeze and tranquil ocean view. The resort has a ballroom that can accommodate up to 800 people and several well- equipped meeting rooms suitable for all your conference needs. Lotus Desaru Resort is the ideal location for a holiday gateway, incentive groups, small meetings, weddings or family reunions. We cater to every event where privacy, variety and service make a difference.

The resort offers a wide array of activities to entertain visitors. There are three swimming pools and a water park that guarantees hours of fun. Sport lovers can enjoy boating, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, jet-skiing, or even a banana boat ride, whilst those who prefer some quiet pursuits can relax at the beach front bar or by the pool or beach where the only thing they need to work on it their tan. Recreational activities like the board and traditional games, toys and a play area are available at the children’s play room beside of indoor and outdoor activities

Facilities: ■ Swimming pools ■ Gymnasium ■ Arcade games ■ Shuttle services ■ Concierge Desk ■ D.I.Y BBQ area ■ Spacious parking bay ■ Food and Beverage outlets ■ Beach & watersports equipment ■ Camping site ■ Ballroom & seminar room ■ Foreign exchange ■ Sandy beach field

Lotus Desaru Beach Resort SDN BHD(813369-H) LOT 1854, Jalan Desaru, Bander Penawar, 81930 Kota Tinggi, Johor Darul Ta’zim, Malaysia Tel + 6078842800 FAX +6078842999 Kl Office Tel + 60379585881 47


Book shelf Ayurveda the Gentle Health System

Hans H. Rhyner (Motilal Banarssidas, 1998).

With its simple language and beautiful illustrations, it is an easyto-read book. It comprehensively, yet in simple language, sets out the details of Ayurveda as a holistic system of healing. Unlike Western medicine, which relies on medication to cure ailments, Ayurveda emphasizes daily nutrition habits and physical routines for maintaining health. The book underscores this unique feature of Ayurveda. The book talks about how to find out one’s body constitution and the practical regimens that are right for you. It also gives a number of home remedies for various illnesses. It gives the theoretical perspective of detoxification of the body, nutrition, lifestyle, stress relief etc. Everyone who is interested in maintaining his health the natural

way will find interesting ideas on every page of this book.

Ayurveda makes the task easier for you.

Healing through Ayurveda Tips for Dosha Understanding and Self Care

Ayurvedic Healing for Women (Herbal Gynecology)

Sonica Krishan (Rupa Publications, 2011) We are all humans, a single species. But each member is unique in characteristics and traits. Even in a single family, members have diverse personalities. People differ not only in looks and mental temperament, but also in attitude, tastes, reactions, and abilities. Ever wondered why? Ayurveda has the answer to it. Ayurveda helps us categorise ourselves based on our body constitution. It is all about the play of Vata, Pitha and Kapha – the three doshas. Knowing which dosha type you are, why it gets aggravated, what illness the aggravation causes and how it can be balanced will make you your own doctor. This simple book on

Atreya (Motilal Banarssidas, 2004)

This book is written for women. It elaborates on feminine problems and their root causes. It rejects the notion that discomfort, pain, and emotional swings are normal to a woman’s life. This self-help guide gives detailed treatment plans for a woman according to her basic body constitution. Moreover, guidance is provided here to heal the psychological impacts of a disease. Also it includes an impressive treatment section that details dozens of Ayurvedic formulas using herbs common to North America and Europe. 49

Ayurveda Secrets of Healing

Maya Tiwari (Motilal Banarssidas , 2007)


robably, it may be the first time that a Sanskrit literature department in a university in India has initiated a post-graduate course connecting Ayurveda and tourism. The four-semester MA programme in Kerala Responsible Ayurvedic Tourism Education Resource (KRATER) of Sanskrit Sahitya department of Sree Sankaracharya University, Kalady, seeks to fill the resource gap that exists in the fields of medical and cultural tourism. It trains students to become resource personnel for tourists and make the visit a worthwhile knowledge exercise. “Tourists come to India to know authentically about our past, including healthcare, tourists spots, pilgrim centres and historical places. One can explain these matters authentically only with sound knowledge of Sanskrit,” said Dr Muralee Madhavan, Head, department of Sahitya. “Through Sanskrit, we can

All the students have been placed in various organisations, said Dr Muralee Madhavan, head, Department of Sahitya. “In fact there is a dearth of trained manpower in the sector, and hence the warm welcome to our students.” “Secrets of Healings is an authoritative compendium on the ancient wisdom and knowledge of healing that will be of immense value to health professionals as well as those who are interested in healing themselves”. -Deepak Chopra In this work, which is deeply rooted in the Vedic textual tradition, Maya Tiwari demonstrates in meticulous detail the power of our own nature-based memories as the primal force of human healing. She introduces the ancient secrets of sadhanas, i.e. spiritual practices, therapies, remedies, diet and natural biorhythms. These practices can awaken the cognitive memories necessary to achieve our deepest personal healing. Secrets of Healing elaborates on rejuvenation therapies and Panchakarma, as first taught and practiced by the ancient Vedic seers. In this seminal work, Maya Tiwari successfully presents these sophisticated and timeless healing processes in a comprehensive, adaptable way to modern world. 50

inculcate the values of our nation easily to a student. The knowledge of Sanskrit, our tradition and Ayurveda makes our students fit for a job in this industry. Sanskrit is the connecting link between Ayurveda and tourism.” The course, fully funded by the University Grants Commission, trains students to work at the front offices, as guest relation officers and with tour operators in the field. “Professionals in the Ayurvedic tourism field should be thoroughly aware about Ayurveda and Indian culture,” said Dr Ajith Kumar, course coordinator. “Indians go by the motto athidhi devo bhavah (guest is god). We need people who can put this adorable slogan into practice. Our students step in to do the job.” Into the third batch this year, the programme has been received very well by students and the industry. All the students have been placed in various organisations, said Dr Madhavan. “In fact there is a dearth of trained manpower in the sector, and hence the warm welcome to our students.”

Ayurveda Education

The academic link Sree Sankaracharya varsity offers course in Sanskrit, Ayurveda and tourism

Target KRATER •

• •

To utilise the unexplored treasure of traditional Ayurvedic wisdom for the benefit of health tourism personnel. To benefit the research and academic work of available Sanskrit scholars/academicians and enthusiasts To add to the knowledge base of existing personnel Create an employable skill amongst prospective job seekers in health tourism sector To promote responsible and authentic health tourism which relies on traditional Ayurvedic texts which are seldom ignored by the emerging industry.


bachelor’s degree in any discipline, recognised by the University, is the eligibility for admission, which will be on the basis of an entrance examination. Admission procedures will be initiated in May and the course will begin by mid- June every year. The course follows the credit system. The syllabus for the first semester contains communicative English, preliminary course in Sanskrit and medical tradition of India. It also has topics on the Kerala’s cultural tradition. In the second semester, Ayurvedic tradition of Kerala, concept of health and treatment in Ayurveda, principles and practices in tourism and Geography of Kerala are taught. Third semester covers topics such as Panchakarma (pre-principles and post-therapeutic measures), hospitality management, and bio-diversity of medicinal plants in Kerala. The final semester focuses on human resource management and study on local health traditions.

The students also take up a project work at various service centres such as Ayurvedic resorts and hospitals. “This gives the students a first-hand experience on the field so that they can confidently interact with the tourists as well as the doctors and therapists,” said Dr Ajith Kumar. “We have framed the curriculum in such a way that it meets the requirements in the field of Ayurveda and tourism,” said Dr Madhavan. The Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit was established in November 1993 by the government of Kerala as an institution of higher learning, with particular focus on Sanskrit language and literature, Indology, Indian Philosophy, Indian languages, social sciences and other related subjects. The university is head-quarted at Kalady, the birth place of the great Indian philosopher Adi Sankara. For Details: Dr KV Ajith Kumar, Co-ordinator, KRATER Mob: 9388617678

“Indians go by the motto athidhi devo bhavah (guest is god),” said Dr Ajith Kumar, course coordinator. “We need people who can put this adorable slogan into practice. Our students step in to do the job.” 51


Type of room Deluxe suite

Facilities • • • • • •


• • • •

DeluxeAyurveda Bhavan

Ayurveda Bhavan

(Four rooms in each bhavan)

• • • •

Ordinary Room

(Four rooms in each bhavan)

• • • •

Living area Double bedded room with attached bathroom Dressing area Balcony Dining area Common kitchen in each floor Double bedded room with attached bathroom Dressing area Balcony Common kitchen in each floor Well furnished Double bedded room with attached bathroom Dressing room Common sit-out, Common dining room, Common kitchen Double bedded room with attached bathroom Dressing room Common sit-out, Common dining room, Common kitchen Single room with attached Bath room Balcony


Our Special Herbs

ice is the basic food of about half the human race and is often the main source of calories and the principal food of many millions of people. References to rice appear in the early Sanskrit texts. Apart from being widely used in a variety of dishes, rice in India forms part of the culture. To cite an example, during weddings, it is customary to throw rice at newlyweds or for the bride to offer rice as the first food to her husband in that rice is associated with prosperity and fertility. Among the numerous varieties of rice, ‘Njavara’ variety, a unique rice cultivar indigenous to Kerala, has a special status, it being predominantly medicinal. It is bestowed with extra short growth duration. According to studies, it has been under cultivation in Kerala for about 2500 years. This special cereal is much valuable as food as well as medicine. The major use of Njavara is in Ayurveda. Some of the synonyms of Njavara in Ayurveda are shashtika, shashti sali, garbhapaki, shashtija, snigdha tandula, kakalakam and shashtivasaraja. There are two recognised varieties of Njavara based on the colour of the glume: black and golden yellow. Within each, there are two different forms – one with awn and the other without awn.

Njavara Kizhi

Courtesy: kalari Kovilakam


The Holy Rice

Black glumed Njavara is hightly resistant to drought conditions and diseases. Mostly seen in northern Kerala, it matures in about 60 days and reaches about more than 1m height. It has a special capacity to absorb manganese and translocate it to the grain. Its seeds are red in colour. The second variety, golden glumed Njavara, is susceptible to drought. Even on maturity, it is susceptible to lodging and diseases. It

Among the numerous varieties of rice, ‘Njavara’, a unique rice cultivar indigenous to Kerala has a special status, it being predominantly medicinal. According to studies, it has been under cultivation in Kerala for about 2500 years. 54

is superior in yield but do not have the manganese preference. Its grains are golden yellow and the seed is red. This variety is found more in southern Kerala. The stem grows about 1 m, and is characterised by good seed bearing. Ayurvedic literature mentions about this variety as white glumed Njavara. Njavara in Ayurveda According to Ayurveda, its rasa (taste) is madhura(sweet) and kashaya (astringent). It is having laghu (light), mridu (soft) and snighdha (oily) properties. Its potency is sheeta (cool) and its vipaka is madhura. It pacifies tridoshas. It helps protecting the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems; sometimes it can rectify basic illnesses affecting them also. Njavara is mainly used for the preparation


of Njavara kizhi, which is an effective remedy for rheumatic complaints, neuro-muscular disorders and body rejuvenation. It is traditionally given as a supplementary diet to underweight persons and also consumed as a replenishing drink called ‘Karkadaka kanji’ during the monsoon season along with certain herbal medicines. Acharyas of Ayurveda like Charaka and Susrutha advise people to take Njavara on a regular basis. It is also advised to be taken along with milk, milk and ghee and with meat soup as food after the administration of some rasayana yogas like Brahma rasayana, Amalaka rasayana and Hareethaki rasayana. Najavara, mixed with barley and milk, is suggested as the proper diet (pathyahara) in the treatment of many diseases such as emaciation, diseases of head and neck especially the Kapha origin, bleeding disorders and rheumatoid arthritis. As a healthy food According to Ayurveda classics, regular consumption of Njavara gruel prepared in cow milk with sugar ensures longevity. The rice is better in its quality when used in raw, but recommended to use boiled rice. It also said to be ideal for anemic patients to increase the blood generation. It used to be a practice for Kerala households to prepare a traditional food during monsoon by cooking Njavara along with spices such as fenugreek and medicinal herbs such as mukkutti (Biophytum sensitivum (Linn.) DC.), kadaladi (Achyranthes aspera), karuka (Cynodon dactylon (Linn.) Pers.), vishnukranti (Evolvulus alsinoides Linn.), valli uzhinja (Cardiospermum halicacabum) and nilappana (Curculigo orchioides). The preparation, known for its medicinal properties, is considered as a good health tonic and is highly effective in removing general fatigue. 56

Njavara Rice Genus - Oryza L. Species - Sativa Botanical Name : Oryza sativa Linn.

A special dish made of Njavara flour mixed with the dried powder of a special variety of banana is considered as a safe and healthy baby food. This is also one of the best weaning food preparations. Njavara rice is suggested for underweight babies also. A decoction made of Njavara roots is found effective in the treatment of urinary complaints of children. A natural energizer, it is also advised for the people of all ages to increase the vitality. Njavara is used as an aphrodisiac and muscle builder. It is being used in skin diseases, in stomach ulcer, in polio and even in snake bites. Njavara kizhi (Shashtika Pinda Sweda) It is a special Kerala treatment based on the preparatory procedure (snehana and swedana) of Panchakarma therapy. Njavara kizhi is a modified form of pindasweda (wheat, black gram, gingelly seeds, horse gram etc are cooked and tied in cloth pieces as bolus bags for application over the body) mentioned

in Ayurvedic texts. The method of Shashtika pinda sweda was developed by renowned Ayurveda physicians of Kerala and it is extensively practiced nowadays. In this treatment Njavara rice is cooked and used as per the special procedure (not only as a purvakarma but also as a therapeutic measure) for various degenerative conditions and rejuvenative (Rasayana therapy) purposes. The advantage of this therapy is that it produces snehana and swedana effect at the same time. The shashtikasali pindasweda is prescribed mainly in neuromuscular disorders like hemiplegia, paraplegia, muscular dystrophy etc. It is to improve the muscle strength and to increase the bulk of muscles where there is wasting due to various reasons. Ayurveda practitioners say Njavara is a very precious grain for society. It is literally like gold for rice farmers because it fetches higher market price due to the increasing demand in Ayurvedic system of medicine.



Beauty Zone

Beauty is all about aligning oneself according to the constitution of the body


eauty has many definitions and approaches and one can achieve it through many ways. Ayurveda has, like all other aspects of human body, has a holistic approach to beauty and holds that one becomes beautiful when can balance one’s life. Beauty in Ayurveda has several facets, including physical aspects like colour, glow, body structure; mental aspects like emotions, thoughts and ego. Nature has ensured that they work in perfect harmony to make everyone look beautiful. All that one needs to do is to know how this harmony works, and do things which do not upset it. Beautiful skin contributes a lot in one’s appearance. Ayurvedic approach to skin care is holistic, and it considers the mind, body, and consciousness together. Skin is the 58

barometer of an individual’s health. Skin has a tremendous power to restore, repair, replenish and heal itself. It breathes, feels and responds to loving care. It also acts as body’s first line defence against external elements. In Ayurveda, skin is assessed primarily depending on the constitution of one’s skin. One can make use of the following method of assessment to classify the skin to different types. Vata Skin: People with Vata skin are born with Vata predominance (air and ether elements) in their body. Vata skin is dry, thin, fine toned, delicate and cool to touch. Vata skin tends to develop wrinkles earlier. Skin care is done by using medicated oils, warm oil massage and gentle moisturisers. People

Not just skin deep

with Vata skin may regularly drink a lot of lukewarm water. Vata skin does not contain much moisture; so preventing it from drying is the major consideration. Eat unctuous diet (ghee and olive oil are the best) and favour sour, salty and sweet tastes (naturally sweet like fruits, not refined sugar) as they balance Vata. Avoid drying foods like crackers. Drink six to eight glasses of warm water a day and eat sweet, juicy fruits. Going to bed early (before 10 PM) is very soothing to Vata skin and has tremendous positive influence on it. People with Vata skin are advised to avoid cleansing products that dry the skin (like alcohol cleansers) and perform an oil massage (abhyanga) in the morning before shower. Soothing, hydrating and pro-

tecting products help calm sensitive Vata skin, aid the healing process and shield skin from environmental stress. Pitha Skin: People with Pitha skin are Pitha (fire) dominant and their skin is fair, soft, warm and has medium thickness. Complexion tends towards fine and straight and often has a copious amount of freckles or moles. Such persons should avoid spicy and deep fried foods. They have to take lot of juicy fruits; they may better stay away from synthetic cosmetics. Avoid excessive sunlight, tanning treatments and highly-heating therapies like facial or whole body steams. Avoid hot, spicy foods and favor astringent, bitter and sweet foods which balance Pitha. Sweet juicy fruits (especially melons and pears), cooked greens and rose petal preserves are especially good. Drinking plenty of water helps wash impurities from sensitive Pitha skin. Reduce external or internal contact with synthetic chemicals, to which your skin is especially prone to react, even in a delayed fashion after years of seemingly uneventful use. Avoid skin products that are abrasive, heating or contain artificial colors or preservatives. Most commercial make-up brands should be avoided in favor of cosmetics with natural ingredients. People with Pitha skin will do well by keeping their emotional stress under control through plenty of outdoor exercise, yoga and meditation. Gentle cleansing, calming and hypo-allergenic products help maintain healthy Pitha skin. Kapha skin: People with Kapha skin are earth predominant and so have a strong water element. The Kapha skin is thick, soft, oily and dark. The Kapha skin tends to develop wrinkles much later in life than Vata or Pitha types. It is ideal to eat bitter, astringent and pungent

tasting foods and avoid sweet and fried foods. They should do detoxification on a regular basis. Kapha skin is more prone to clogging and needs more care. Be careful to avoid greasy, clogging creams. Likewise, avoid heavy, hard-to-digest foods like fried foods, fatty meats, cheeses and rich desserts. Eat lighter, easy to digest, astringent, bitter and pungent (wellspiced) foods as they balance Kapha. Olive oil is the best cooking medium and a little ginger and lime juice can be taken before meals to increase your characteristically sluggish digestive fire. Take warm baths often and use gentle cleansers to open the skin pores. Ensure that you avoid constipation; regular exercise is one way to get bowel movement regular. Oilreducing cleansing products and exfoliation products as well as light moisturisers help maintain healthy Kapha skin. If the skin is not cared properly and neglected, it suffers from premature aging, becomes dull and blemished. Simple use of milk, honey and yoghurt are good nourishment for the skin and prevent its premature ageing. But Ayurveda holds beauty is never skin-deep; it goes much inwards. For a clear and beautiful skin, one should keep one’s inner body totally free of toxins. The skin reflects what is going on inside. Acne, pimples, eruptions, patches and swellings on the skin are often related to inappropriate diet. Accumulation of dietary toxins is called ‘Ama’ in Ayurveda. Following a skin-friendly diet, by making sure the digestion-absorption-elimina-

tion cycle runs efficiently and by supplementing skin friendly herbs, one can keep one’s skin look clear, radiant, healthy and youthful. Some home remedies As the saying goes, “a stitch in time saves nine.” This is true for beauty care also. By taking early measures one can prevent upsetting the dosha balance in the body and thereby, diseases. With following Ayurvedic home remedies, one can avoid taking over-the-counter drugs and medicines for simple problems and avoid their uncomfortable side effects. Body odor Main cause of bad body odour is excess sweating. Pitha is the main dosha associated with this. Remedies • Avoid strong spices such as garlic and ginger. • Eat bitter vegetables. They are more drying and cooling. • Avoid going out in the hot sun. • Shower more than once daily. • Wear cotton clothing. • Always wear clean, recently washed clothing. • Use a natural antiperspirant. See the recipe below. Natural antiperspirant Ingredients: Baking soda ½ cup Sandalwood powder ¼ cup Mix ingredients thoroughly and apply it over your body before vigorous activity or as needed. Excess sweating Excess heat in the body is the main

Ayurvedic approach to skin care is holistic, and it considers the mind, body, and consciousness together. Skin is the barometer of an individual’s health. Skin has a tremendous power to restore, repair, replenish and heal itself. Skin breathes, feels and responds to loving care. It also acts as body’s first defence against external elements 59

cause. The body rids itself of heat through sweat. Offensive sweat can sometimes stain clothing. Pitha is the main dosha associated with it. Remedies • Eat sweet grapes. • Mix equal parts cardamom powder, sandalwood powder and sucanat (optional). Eat ¼ tsp twice daily (especially good during Pitth hours: During lunchtime and before bed). • Soak coriander seeds, gooseberry and raisins in a glass of water and drink in the morning. • Avoid spicy foods. • Use a natural antiperspirant (given above) Chapped lips Main dosha associated with this problem is Vata (chapped lips may be a symptom of more major dryness issues). Remedies • Avoid dry and cold weather or foods. • Apply ghee (clarified butter) or


• •

oil on the lips. Drink plenty of water. Massage the whole face with sesame oil

Dandruff Main cause of dandruff is the dryness of skin on the scalp due to excess heat or cold. Main doshas associated with this problem are Pitha and Vata. Remedies • Massage the head with coconut oil. • Apply lemon juice to the head and leave it for 30 minutes. Wash the hair thoroughly. • If it is because of the infection on the scalp, use neem oil. • Reduce the amount of shampoo. Many doctors advise patients to wash the hair more frequently. This can increase dryness, especially when using strong shampoos. Instead, massage the hair with oil once or twice a week and then shampoo the following morning with a mild or natural shampoo.

Eat warm foods to reduce the amount of dryness in the body.

Red eyes The main causes are hot sun, spicy foods, alcohol and anger. This happens due to Pitha aggravation. The eyes are the seat of fire element, so any increase in body heat affects the eyes. This is why many people with Pitha predominance have red eyes and are more sensitive to light. Remedies • Drink plenty of cool water. • Shower in cool water. • Eat cooling foods and fruits. • Massage the soles of the feet with coconut oil. According to Ayurveda, the eyes and feet are connected well. Thus massaging the soles with coconut oil will soothen the eyes also. • Soak the feet in cold water for 15 minutes. • Place a cotton ball soaked in rose water or cucumber slices on the eyes for 15-20 minutes • Pranayama and yoga can help in this regard.

Food court


Food court

Sour but saver

Whether it is cheese, yoghurt or curd, dairy products are a part of regular diet of most part. All the dairy products have lots of nutritional values and health benefits.


hether it is cheese, yoghurt or curd, dairy products are a part of regular diet of most part. All the dairy products have lots of nutritional values and health benefits. They also add taste to food items. One such dairy product which can provide innumerable health benefits is curd. Curd is prepared by fermentation of milk. It is said that curd provides more nutritional values than milk.

Ashtangahridaya on curd “Amlapakarasam grahi gurooshnam dadhi vathajith Meda sukra bala sleshma pitha rakthagni sophakrit� According to Ashtangahridaya (sutrasthana, chapter V), curd (dadhi) is sour in taste, water absorbent, heavy to digest (takes more time to get digested) and hot in potency. It is sour at the end of diges62

tion (vipaka) also. It increases fat, semen, strength, Kapha, Pitha and blood. Consumption of curd accelerates digestion (agni), stimulates taste buds and acts as an appetiser. It is ideal for use in conditions like loss of taste, dysuria, chronic rhinitis etc. Devoid of its fat, it is ideal in diseases of the duodenum. As it absorbs water from intestines, it is widely used to treat diarrhea and dysentery. It mitigates Vata and increases Kapha and Pitha. It

strengthens the body, reduces irritability of bladder and helps easy emptying of the bladder. Ashtangahridaya warns against the use of curd in the night and its heating. The text says its properties get enhanced when mixed with cooked green gram or gooseberries (Embelica officinalis). Restriction of curd in night According to Ayurveda, curd, due to its sour mixed sweet property, increases Kapha dosha in the body.

According to Ashtangahridaya (Sutrasthana, chapter V), curd (dadhi) is sour in taste, water absorbent, heavy to digest and hot in potency. It is sour at the end of digestion (vipaka) also. It increases fat, semen, strength, Kapha, Pitha and blood. Consumption of curd accelerates digestion (agni), stimulates taste buds and acts as an appetiser

(The mucus generation is attributed to Kapha dosha.) During night, there is natural predominance of Kapha in the body. And curd consumption at night further increases Kapha, which may lead to many complications. Instead of curd, buttermilk can be used in night. Consumption of curd It is better to mix it with other food items than taking pure curd. The best time to take curd is with lunch. It reduces the pungency of spicy food and gives it a new flavour. Many people add sugar to make curd tastier. Sweetened curd (lassy) is a popular food in North India; some even add fruits and make it fruit lassy. Curd can also be used in curries and vegetable salads. (It is a common practice in India to serve curd and buttermilk during lunch) Butter milk preparation Thick curd should be churned to separate butter. Butter milk is the liquid portion which remains after separating butter. Butter milk mixed with water is called sajala takra and that without water is called nirjala takra. Mix half a glass of butter milk with a glass of water. Churn it well. Add a pinch of salt, half a teaspoon ginger juice and mix it with the juice of half a lime. Garnish with coriander leaves. This quenches thirst, reduces nausea and vomiting. It is a healthy drink for persons who suffer from obesity, IBS and piles. Benefits of buttermilk Takram laghu Kashaya amlam deepanam kaphavatajit | Shopha udara arsha grahani dosha mootragraha aruchihi | pleeha gulma ghritavyapat gara paandu aamayaan jayet || – (A H Soo.V) Ashtangahridaya (soo. V) briefs the qualities of buttermilk as follows: “Buttermilk (takra) is easily digestible, astringent and sour

Curd contains good bacteria!


urd is composed of various vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, carbohydrates and nitrogen components. The vitamins present in curd are vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, foliate (HPLC), niacin, riboflavin, thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin B-12 (cobalamin), vitamers pyridoxine (hydrochloride) and carotenoids. Minerals present in curd are sodium, salt, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, iodine and selenium. Curd’s carbohydrate components are organic acids and the sugar lactose. The various fat components of curd are saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, trans fatty acids, fatty acid linoleic acid, fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, fatty acid EPA, fatty acid DHA, cholesterol (GC) and sterols. Curd also contains good bac-

teria. The digestion process is helped by enzymes produced by stomach, liver, intestines, pancreas etc by breaking down complex food molecules into simpler molecules. Vegetarian food often contains indigestible carbohydrates, which remain as complex molecules which are not absorbed in the upper intestinal tract. At the colon, the bacteria in curd aids in digestion by converting the indigestible carbohydrates into smaller molecules like short chained fatty acids. The work of these bacteria protects the lining of the intestine and also immunises it from probable cancer and other forms of irritation. The properties of certain fatty acids also aid in lowering body cholesterol and hence prevention of heart attacks. The presence of good bacteria immunises the intestine against various diseases.

Dos and don’ts: Use only well formed or completely coagulated curd. (According to Ashtanga hridaya, consumption of incompletely coagulated curd may flare up herpes outbreaks, psoriasis, bleeding in hemorrhoids etc. and may cause giddiness) ■ It is better taken with sugar.

■ It should not be taken at night. ■ It should not be boiled or heated. ■ It should not be taken if there is swelling or inflammation in the body. ■ If taken in excess, it causes heaviness and constipation 63

During night, there is natural predominance of Kapha in the body. And curd consumption at night will further increase Kapha, which may lead to many complications. Instead of curd, buttermilk can be used in night in taste. It kindles hunger and during in persons with injury, in mitigates Kapha and Vata. It cures debilitated persons, person sufferdropsy, haemorroids, deuodenal ing from giddiness, and in diseases diseases, dysurea, abdominal turelated to Pitha imbalance. mor, artificial poisons, anaemia and lack of appetite. Types of curd It can cure complications arising According to Ayurveda, semi from excess consumption of ghee. formed curd (thick curd which has It is also useful against enlargement no particular taste) is not good for of spleen. Butconsumption. termilk is highly Health benefits in general It causes imbeneficial during balance in Triwinter, in indigesdoshas. Sweet • Curd helps better absorption of tion and in Vata curd increases the nutrients and minerals. imbalance related body fat and • It relieves dysentery or vaginal disorders. ButterKapha Dosha. infection. milk can soothe It is useful in • It has high calcium content; the burning sencertain blood helps strengthen bones and sations associated and Pitha reteeth. with poor digeslated diseases. • It gives lactose intolerant bodtion and help preIt is a natural ies all the nutritive contents of vent dehydration. aphrodisiac. milk. Buttermilk should Sour curd in• It helps control cholesterol be consumed creases digeslevel along with plenty tive fire, it is of water. hot in nature Butter milk detoxifies body and and increases Pitta and Kapha. Very cleanses the intestines, relieves consour curd also increases digestive stipation and helps replenish intestifire, is hot in nature and increases nal flora. It has less fat compared to Vata and Kapha. Overall, sweet milk and is rich in calcium, potascurd is cold in nature and sour curd sium and vitamin B12. is hot in nature and it improves apButtermilk is contra indicated petite.

Different types of curds and their benefits:


urd made from goat’s milk is an excellent remedy to balance Tridoshas. It is being used in respiratory conditions and in improving digestion. Curds prepared from buffalo milk aggravates Kapha and pacifies Vata and Pitha. It takes more time for digestion and it is a natu64

ral aphrodisiac. Curd made from fat-free milk is a natural coolant. It improves taste and digestive power, and is useful in digestive problems. Curd mixed with sugar or jaggery is an excellent thirst reliever. It is also an aphrodisiac. It promotes obesity.

Recipe of the day

Spicy buttermilk Ingredients 2 cups of buttermilk 1 teaspoon sunflower oil 1 teaspoon cumin seeds 1 tea spoon sea salt ½ tea spoon ground cumin ½ tea spoon freshly ground black pepper 1 tea spoon Sucanat Preparation: Heat sunflower oil in a small frying pan. Add cumin seeds and heat until they are brown. Mix in the buttermilk and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Heat to warm over low heat, but do not let it boil. This serves 3- 4persons. It pacifies vata and moderately increases pitha and kapha. This can be served over food stuffs like ‘vata’s. It makes an excellent sauce over most of the Indian style vegitables turning them into quick main dishes with rice.

Food court


yurveda holds the position that food is medicine. It is not necessary that you eat bland or sour ones; you can also prepare tasty and trendy food, following principles of Ayurveda. The following recipes are taken from ‘The Ayurvedic Cook Book- a Personalized Guide to Good Nutrition and Health’ written by Amadea Morning star with Urmila Desai.

Eggless Cake

Ingredients: 1 cup maida flour ½ can condensed milk ¼ cup butter (unsalted) 1 table spoon vanilla essence 2 table spoon baking powder ½ cup milk Candied cherries (Preparation Time – 45 minutes Servings – 12) Preparation: Sieve flour with baking powder.

Mix thoroughly with condensed milk and butter and roll it. Add milk to make the batter thin. Slowly add water enough to achieve pouring consistency. Mix the cherries and vanilla essence. Heat the pressure cooker for 5 mins. Grease and dust the baking dish. Pour the batter in it and place the baking dish in the cooker. Keep the cooker on low flame. After half an hour, insert a toothpick in the cake to check if it is done. If the toothpick comes out clean, take out the cake. Cool before serving. The cake should be spongy and spring back on pressing.

Eggless corn bread

Ingredients 1 cup cornmeal ½ cup barley flour ½ cup oat flour ½ tea spoon sea salt 1 tea spoon baking powder (3/4 tsp

Good food, healthy food if cooking at high altitude) 1½ cups buttermilk, or ½ cup plain low- fat yoghurt and 1 cup water 1 table spoon apple concentrate Method: Sift the dry ingredients together. Then mix all ingredients in a bowl. Let it be there covered for 1 hour. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake in well-greased bread pan or 8 by 8 inch baking pan for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve immediately. Note: This moist, slightly sour dough flavored bread is an easy one for those looking to avoid eggs. If you like, you can bring the cup of water to a boil and pour it over the corn meal first before adding the rest of the ingredients. This calms the slight bitterness of the corn meal and brings out a bit of sweetness. 65


Abhyangam: An oil massage with medicated oils. The treatment is said to be highly effective in combating obesity, loss of skin luster, sleeplessness and fatigue. Anupana: A fluid accompanied with medicine. Ama: Toxic residue that is left behind as a by-product of poor digestion. Asana: Posture, or position. Agni: Agni is the digestive fire and that is the basis of the digestive system and the process of release of energy. Its functions are transformation, absorption, elimination and discrimination of food. Arishta/Asava: Fermented formulation Avagaham: Immersing your body in a decoction Chooranam: Powdered herb Dhara: One of the preparatory procedures for panchakarma. Specially trained masseurs apply specified medicated oil on the body of the patient Dhatus: Stuctural units of human body Nasyam: Involves the application of juices and medicated oils for 7-14 days to cure headaches, paralysis, mental disorders and certain types of skin diseases Ojas: The purest expression of metabolism; the final end product of correct digestion and assimilation of food Panchakrama: The five cleansing (purification) methods to get rid of excess Doshas. Pizhichil: Lukewarm herbal oils are poured all over the body continuously for 45-90 minutes a day for 7-21 days. This treatment is most effective in rheumatic diseases such as


arthritis, paralysis, hemiplegia and paralysis-agitans. Pitta: the dosha responsible for metabolism (closely identified with agni, the body's vital heat) Poorvakarma: Procedures done prior Shirodhara: Warm oil is poured onto the forehead for 40 minutes a day for 7-21 days to treat insomnia, loss of memory, headaches, mental tension and certain skin diseases. This is generally applied after a 'vasti' head massage. Snehapanam: The oral intake of medicated oils for body purification. Samanam: Pacification therapy Sodhanam: Purification therapy Sirovasthi: A leather cap is fixed in the head of the patient and in that lukewarm medicated oil is poured and kept for a period of 30 to 60 minutes. Swedanam: Use of medicated steam made with leaves root and twig of herbal plants to generate sweat to detoxify the body. Udvarthanam: A powder massage effective for obesity, hemiplegia, paralysis, skin diseases and impaired circulation. Vipaka: metabolised part of drug, the after taste of food in the body Tridosha: The three functional units of body Vamanam: Decoction, honey and other medicines are given in early morning to generate vomiting. After having 5 to 6 times of emesis, the patient is given herbal bath and specially made herbal diet is allowed to take rest for minimum 3 days. Virechanam: Herbal decoction and herbal powders are given in early morning to evacuate stomach


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ayurveda international is an ayurveda magazine published by FM Media in association with Ayush.

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