Sunday, 28 August 2011



ccording to the science of life, the average span of life for human beings is one hundred years(Shataayu), which may decrease if the prescribed good conduct is not adhered to. The ancient medicinal system, Ayurveda suggests that in order to achieve the fourfold objectives of life - dharma (virtuous duty), artha (wealth), kama (enjoyment) and moksha (salvation), we must have good health. To serve the purpose, the Ayurveda practitioners have formulated a Dinacharya.
It is believed that the daily routine (Dinacharya) is formulated to merge the daily cycle with the natural cycle of the Sun, Moon, Earth and other planets in the Solar System. The daily routine includes all aspects of regimen and diet, to stay healthy and happy. The Rishis of Ayurveda have cited dinacharya as the healing force, stronger than any other curative medicines. This is the reason why many Ayurveda texts consist of the dinacharya for an average adult. 
In Sanskrit, Dina means day and Charya means following. Ayurveda recommends that in order to be optimally healthy we should tune our bodies to the nature's master cycle which in turn regulates the various other rhythms.
Everyday two cycles of change pass through us, each bringing a Vata, Pitta, or Kapha predominance. The approximate times of these cycles are as follows:
First Cycle:
6 A.M. to 10 A.M. - Kapha
10 A.M. to 2 P.M. - Pitta
2 P.M. to 6 P.M. - Vata
Second Cycle:
6 P.M. to 10 P.M. - Kapha
10 P.M. to 2 A.M. - Pitta
2 A.M to 6 A.M. - Vata
Considering the above cycles the ideal schedule should be like this :
Time to wake up: 
A healthy person should get up at Brahmi muhurta i.e. 1 Muhurta(48 minutes) before sunrise. This is primarily due to the fact the sattva in the air is at its maximum during the time. In fact, it is the most fresh and pure time of the entire day. During these hours the Vaata element is dominant. Waking up one muhurta before dawn you utilize the Vaata qualities in the nature. Vaata is light, subtle and clear and this helps in tuning the body to the delicate messages the nature sends. Barring a few exceptions like very young or old people, parents with small children and people suffering from fevers or diarrhea, every one should wake up during the designated time.
Right after you wake up to start the day, you should take a moment to see your true nature. To serve the purpose, take a short stroll outside your home and soak up the good vibes. Peep through the window to see what life is beyond the four walls of your home. Start your day thereafter.
Elimination: Drinking a glass or two of warm water helps in the elimination. As soon as possible empty your colon and bladder. Proper elimination ensures your body's proper functioning. If you wait until later in the morning or during the day you are slowly poisoning yourself (due to accumulation of toxins and wastes) and creating an opportunity for chronic conditions to arise.
Cleaning of Senses: Wash the eyes with water. Preferably use rose water and Triphala to purify the sight. Brush the teeth and scrape the tongue with a tongue cleaner to purify your mouth and the taste buds. Ayurveda considers the coating of the tongue as an indicator of 'Aama' or toxins in the colon. Gargle with warm water or herbal tea to purify your voice and strengthen your teeth. Fill your mouth with sesame(Gingely) oil and retain it a few minutes before spitting. This strengthens the teeth, improves the sense of taste, lubricates the palate and is good for eyes. Put a little oil in your nose to purify the sinuses and your sense of smell.This is called as Nasya in Ayurveda. The traditional Dinacharya also recommends that you inhale the smoke of medicinal herbs every morning to purify the mind, head, face, neck and lungs. 
Abhyanga: Dryness in the tissues of the skin is a major part of aging. This is the reason why many people show the signs of aging at a very young age. Therefore, abhyanga or oil massage is highly recommended.  This is typically a self massage. It is one of the main ways that keeps us strong and prevents us from aging, rejuvenates the skin and nurtures your mind and soul. This massage need not be long and cumbersome. Massaging the Scalp, forehead, temples, hand and feet for about 5 minutes is sufficient.Do not miss to apply oil on your head, ears, and feet. Avoid oil on head if you have cold, cough and headache.
Vyayama: Vyayama is the name for physical exercise. It can be anything including a walk, a swim, Surya namaskara or whatever. This early morning exercise removes stagnation in the body and mind, strengthens the digestive fire, reduces fat and gives you an overall feeling of lightness and joy as it fills your body with good, fresh and pure Prana. It is not to be strenuous. In fact, exercising to one half of your capacity is recommended.i.e. stop exercising once you sweat over your forehead and nose tip.
Snana: After exercise bath to remove any excess oil and dirt. Both showers and bathtubs are recommended in the classics. Usually warm water baths are suggested.Do not take hot water bath on the head. Apart from cleaning your body, bathing increases the digestive fire. Put on clean clothing after the bath.
Prayer & Meditation: Praying and worshipping God by offering flowers and food is done to purify one's mind and to surrender ego and the results of all actions to God. Then meditate for a few minutes to an hour and see who you really are, put your attention towards awareness. Meditation refreshes the mind, increases the concentration power and builds the energy needed for the rest of the day. This is the most important aspect of Dinacharya. Simply be quiet, sit in Peace.
Breakfast: Kick-start the day with a healthy breakfast. Be sure not to skip your breakfast, because it is the first meal of your day.This should be warm, nourishing and wholesome.
Study / Work: Do what you do from now until noon.
Lunch: Until noon, you would be studying, doing work at your workplace or traveling. This is the time to have your lunch. Since this is the main meal of the day, you need to eat a nutritious lunch. It should be taken early between 12 and 1 P.M. This coincides with the peak Pitta period, Pitta is responsible for digestion. Ayurveda recommends that the lunch should be the largest meal of the day consisting of wholesome food with all the six tastes. After the meal it is good to take a little walk, a couple hundred steps only, to help the food digest.
Siesta: Anything more than a short nap should be avoided because sleeping in the day is prohibited in Ayurveda due to the fear of accumulation of vitiated kapha.
Study / Work:Do what you do from now until supper.
Sundown is a special time of balance between day and night. In this balance it is easier for your mind to stop long enough so that you can see your Self. This is the time for evening prayers and meditations in many cultures around the world.
It should be taken around 6 - 7 P.M. It should be lighter than the lunch. The dinner should be at least three hours before bedtime as gives the body ample time to digest the food. Sleeping just after the dinner with a heavy stomach is not conducive to a sound sleep.
Walk to aid digestion for about 10 - 15 minutes.
Ease: From dinner to bedtime just take it easy. Spend time with family, interact with friends, read, and relax.
Go to sleep around 9 - 10 P.M. so that you can get 6 to 7 hours of sleep before 4:30 am. A good practice is to massage the soles of your feet with oil before going to bed. This will calm your system and promote well being.
And remember to take your Triphala before sleep. This will nourish your eyes and also will ensure proper digestion and elimination.
One should try to keep the routine as close to the recommended Dincharya as possible. The body might resist the change for a first few days but if you do manage to persist then you are bound to get rewarded with a much healthier and satisfying life.
Any new activity continuously done for 21 days, naturally and automatically becomes part of your routine and that the body and mind get accommodated with it.
Follow dinacharya and practice healthy living.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


With the city becoming increasingly health conscious, the need for nutritious food is on the rise. That being the case, look no further than honey. From ice-cream parlours to spas, honey is popularly used in food as well as face-washes, lotions and shampoos. Besides being an excellent substitute for sugar and a much sought after ingredient in beauty products, it is important to note that it has a number of health benefits too.

Madhu (honey) has the ability to enhance the benefits of the herb it is used with. It also has a number of other benefits. For instance, it is good for the eyes as its unctuous quality helps cleanse the eye. Honey is hygroscopic in nature, it accelerates the healing process and that the regular use of honey strengthens the White Blood Cells (WBC).
Honey also contains vitamins C, B2, B3, B5 and B6 because of which it has the ability to initiate the growth of the granulation tissue(wound healing process). It is also a great anti-oxidant. Its anti-bacterial properties make it effective as a treatment for minor acne on the back and face.
Interestingly, the benefits of honey have been recognized by many religions as well. In fact, many religions consider honey to be a delicacy and so, have made it a part of many ancient rituals. For instance, apple dipped in honey is a traditional treat prepared during Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). 
It is also an important ingredient in Panchamrutham (five nectars) for Abhishekam (ritual bathing of idols) in Indian temples. Besides rituals, the importance of honey is evident in the classical texts of Ayurveda viz., Sushruta Samhita, Ashtanga Hridaya. Ayurveda lists eight different types of honey based on the types of bees that gather the honey – Makshika, Arghya, Pouttika, Bhrahmara, Chatra, Oudalaka, Dala and Kshoudra, and gives detailed accounts of the uses and properties of each.
While honey does have many advantages, there are certain disadvantages too. Many people believe that since honey is nutritious and healthy, it can be consumed in large quantities. It is important to be aware that it can greatly increase your calories intake. Therefore, it is important to moderate the amount of honey that one takes regularly.
For many centuries, honey has been used in vital medicine of Ayurveda. It is mixed with a variety of herbs and spices and made into compound for curing various ailments. The daily consumption of honey is also advocated in Ayurvedic teaching to promote good health.
Judging the Quality of Honey
When we purchase honey, we are not sure whether it is pure or impure. There are few simple tricks, with which we can clearly judge its quality.
  • Pure honey pours down in the shape of a serpent whereas the impure honey falls flat on the plate. Apply a little honey on a stick and light it on fire, if it starts burning consider it to be pure.
  • Pure honey is transparent. A dog will not lick it. Pure honey has a good smell. It melts in heat and frosts in cold season.
Honey found in Kashmir and Himachal is of the best quality and is very beneficial. It gives instant relief in the case of eye problems. The quality of honey found in these regions is extremely good because it is obtained from the lotus flowers grown in the lakes of Kashmir. This type of honey containing a lot of medicinal values is not found in any other place.
Medicinal Effects of Pure Honey
  • For severe cold, take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder daily for 3 days. This will help clear the sinuses. (Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder also strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacteria and viral attacks.)
  • For a persistent cough with mucous, mix a pinch of black pepper with a teaspoonful of honey and lick the mixture from a spoon after meals.
  • Mix 2 teaspoons of honey with carrot juice and consume one hour before breakfast. Do this regularly to improve eyesight.
  • Regular dose of one teaspoon of garlic juice mixed with two teaspoons of honey twice a day in the mornings and evenings help to control blood pressure.
  • New honey removes phlegm and is a purgative. One or two year old honey reduces fat and is good for digestion.
  • Honey gives strength and power to the intestines. Regular consumption of honey stops the accumulation of toxic elements in the intestines and also kills worms. It is equally beneficial for chronic diseases, chronic constipation, dysentery and diarrhea.
  • Honey removes phlegm accumulated in the lungs. It gives relief to the patients of asthma and cough. Honey is also beneficial in cases of tuberculosis. It keeps the mind fresh and healthy. It is especially beneficial for those who do more mental work. 
  • Consumption of honey is good for strengthening the sperm, physical strength and gives good shape to the body. Soak one almond twice a day, rub it nicely on a grinding stone in the night and keep it in a bowl. Add one spoon of honey and drink it with cold milk without adding any sugar, half an hour before going to bed. This is beneficial for mental strength, masculinity and physical fitness. This medicine should be taken regularly for two months during the winter season. It is extremely beneficial.
  • Honey cures kapha disorders. Take half a spoon of honey and half a spoon of ginger juice to get rid of cough. Add onion juice and honey in equal quantity and take this medicine to get rid of accumulated phlegm. Simply licking honey is also good for curing mild cough. Honey also cures skin problems. Honey cures skin diseases and makes the skin healthy. It also kills worms and stops decay.
  • Honey improves the eyesight. If lotus honey of Kashmir is available, it should be applied in the eyes like kajal (eye liner). This cures all problems related to the eyes and increases the eyesight.
  • Drink one glass of cold milk added with a few drops of honey before going to bed. Do not add sugar or sugar candy. This reduces physical weakness. This should be taken regularly for two months. It is necessary to brush the teeth after drinking this milk.
  • Take one glass of clean water with two spoons of honey in the morning before passing bowels.This is called as Madhudaka in Ayurveda. This gradually reduces the fat accumulated in the body. This should be taken regularly for two months. This is beneficial for reducing fat and increases the shine of the body.
  • Honey has medicinal values; it takes the qualities of the substance which is added to it. This is the special quality of honey. This is the main reason for calling it 'Yogvahi' 
What should be the quantity when consuming honey?
  • In the beginning honey should be consumed only in small quantities. Give four to five drops to an infant, half a spoon to young children and one spoon to old people. Increase this quantity gradually and then it can be taken four times a day. Honey can be taken with chapattis, fruits, fruit juice, or almonds. Consume it for two months regularly and discontinue for a month. One can start taking honey after a gap of one month. One or two spoons of honey should be taken everyday.
    • Useful Tips
  • Do not take honey with hot food or in the summer season because it is not suitable in hot weather and hot conditions.
  • Honey creates negative effects when taken in hot conditions.
  • Honey causes adverse effects when consumed with hot fluids.
  • Honey turns into poison when it is heated. Honey is equal to poison when it is taken with hot conditions, hot weather or hot food. According to Ayurveda one should not take honey with hot milk, hot water and in hot weather.
  • There is no benefit if honey and ghee are mixed with equal quantities and taken (they counter each other). In case of need, mix one part of ghee with three or four parts of honey.
  • Consuming honey in excess quantity is not good for health. It is also advised not to take honey with sugar candy, jaggery, jackfruit, fish, egg, meat, etc. Do not consume honey continuously for several months (pause for one month in between). This can cause a disease called 'Ama Ajeerna'.
Enjoy the goodness and of Honey and lead a healthy life

Saturday, 13 August 2011


The gift of Ayurveda

Triphala has a myriad benefits primarily because of its composition of 3 powerful healing herbs as discussed in the earlier issues. In Ayurveda, Triphala is considered a 'tridosha rasayana', having balancing and rejuvenating effects on the three constitutional elements that govern human life: Vata which regulates the nervous system, Pitta which maintains metabolic processes, and Kapha which supports structural integrity.
Amalaki, Emblica Officinalis, one of Ayurveda's greatest rejuvenators and a strong natural anti-oxidant, also helps to boost the immune system and balances Pitta. Haritaki, Terminalia Chebula, the "king of medicine", a classic heart-brain-longevity tonic, is often depicted in the extended palm of the Buddha and balances Vata. Vibhitaki, Terminalia Belerica, a powerful rejuvenative that reduces liver and heart disease, also improves the voice, vision and promotes the growth of hair and balances Kapha.
Benefits of Triphala
  • Triphala for Colon Cleansing - In a survey conducted worldwide, Triphala was considered the best colon cleanser in the world. All three herbs in Triphala are laxative in nature and very beneficial in removing toxins. Colon cleansing is an ancient and proven practice for rejuvenating the body. Colon cleansing helps detoxify and clean decayed food residues and other toxic substances accumulated in the intestines walls. This not only gets rid of constipation, hemorrhoids, parasites, flatulence, acne, bad breath and foul body but also prevents colon cancer. Colon cleansing also helps to relieve headaches, irritability, and depression.
  • Triphala, formulated by Ayurvedic physicians thousands of years ago and used by literally billions of people since, is considered the most effective and safest laxative and colon tonic. Where other colon formulas are depleting, Triphala is mild, non-habit forming, and a rejuvenative. It improves the absorption of food in intestines especially in the duodenum where most chemical digestion takes place. 
  • Triphala also helps to stimulate various gastric enzymes that help to convert complex food into more easily digestible form. More over Triphala stimulates the peristaltic action of the intestinal lining (due to its anthroquinones and other bitters) that also aids in proper movement of food at various levels of the digestive tract. it is also helpful in making the stool loose there by facilitation the easy evacuation of the bowel. The balance of tannins naturally present in it has a toning effect. In vitro have also shown that triphala is lethal to a variety of gastrointestinal pathogens, including bacteria such as Salmonella typhii, Shigella, Klebsiella and Pseudomonas, and fungi like Candida albicans.

    Triphala's benefits for the digestive system make it a very useful herbal medicine for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Ulcerative Colitis.
Triphala for Weight Loss 
  • Severe obesity is usually accompanied by congestion of the internal organs of elimination, including the liver and bowels. One recent molecular finding supports Triphala's traditional use in treating obesity. Researchers at the BRA Centre for Biomedical Research found that active molecules in triphala bind to the cellular receptor for CCK. CCK, or cholecystokinin, is a satiety hormone, released to indicate that you are full, and is especially responsive to fat. Synthetic analogs of CCK are under development by pharmaceutical companies to help people realize that they’re full, thereby controlling appetite and supporting healthy weight. Since both overeating and obesity disrupt digestion and overburden the gastrointestinal tract, including the liver and bowel. As a result, digestion is compromised, leading to poor nutrient assimilation, imbalances and overgrowth in the intestinal microflora, and putrefaction of ill-digested food. For such conditions, triphala can be highly effective in removing stagnation of both the liver and intestines.
Triphala for Blood Purification, Blood Circulation and Blood pressure
  • Triphala's strong affinity for micro-organisms prevents them from causing damage in the body and renders them inactive. This astringent property of Triphala helps in purification of blood and also helps in maintaining the proper density of the blood. Hence it is very helpful in eradicating all blood borne diseases and also skin related problems. 
  • Triphala reduces the serum cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It significantly improves function of the liver as well as blood circulation. It has the ability to exert a remarkable protection against cardiovascular diseases. Triphala reduces the plaque formation in the arteries thereby reducing the risk of heart related problems caused due to arteriosclerosis
Triphala for Immunity
  • Triphala has powerful anti oxidant agents that help in regularizing the metabolism of cells and ease their proper functioning. This reduces the risk of production of free radicals that are the main cause of aging. It also stimulates the functioning of cell organelles like mitochondria, golgi bodies and nucleus that play a vital role in proper functioning of the cell. Recent studies have shown Triphala to be an anti-cancer agent. It has the ability to kill tumor cells while sparing normal ones
Triphala for Controlling Diabetes
  • Triphala is very effective in treating diabetes mellitus and is being practiced by Ayurveda  practitioners since long. It helps in stimulating the pancreas. Pancreas contains islet of langerhans that secretes insulin. Insulin is responsible for maintaining the proper glucose level in the body. More over due to its bitter taste it is also advisable to be taken in hyperglycemia. In a study conducted by the American Botanical Council, it was shown that Triphala greatly reduced blood glucose levels in diabetic rats. The study concluded that the mechanism of action of these extracts for lowering blood glucose is not known, but they may decrease the effect of inflammatory cytokine release in diabetics, which in turn might reduce insulin resistance. Interestingly, the authors note that traditional medications used to treat diabetes also have significant antioxidant effects.
Triphala in correcting eye disorders Triphala is also widely taken for all eye diseases including the treatment of conjunctivitis, progressive myopia, the early stages of glaucoma and cataracts.
Triphala іn cancer treatment
Studies hаνе proved thе benefit іn treating cancer patients wіth triphala. In thе study “Potential οf traditional Ayurvedic formulation, Triphala, аѕ a novel anticancer drug”, researchers аt thе Bhabha Atomic Research Centre found thаt triphala “possessed thе ability tο induce cytotoxicity іn tumor cells bυt spared thе normal cells.” Thеу concluded thе triphala hаѕ a “potential υѕе аѕ аn anti drug fοr clinical treatment”.
A recent study frοm thе Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Amarillo, Texas concludes thаt “Triphala іѕ effective іn inhibiting thе growth οf human pancreatic cancer cells іn both cellular аnd іn vivo model. 
Anti-inflammatory аnd anti-Stress benefits οf triphala
Triphala‘s anti-inflammatory properties саn prevent painful joint conditions such аѕ arthritis аnd gout. It аlѕο boosts immunity. Helps relieve mental stress аnd improves mental function.
  • Triphala enters into various formulation of Ayurvedic medicines because of its immense healing properties. 
    Rejuvenate with the goodness of Triphala and celebrate health

    Saturday, 6 August 2011


    Vibhitaki- The Fearless Drug
    In Sanskrit Vibhitaki means 'that which makes one fearless of  disease'. (Bhiti means fear and vibhitaka -meaning devoid of fear.) It is one of the ingredients of widely used preparation 'Triphala churna'- useful in treating bronchitis, sore throat, diseases of heart, eyes and bladder.
    It is commonly found in Indian forests. Bibhitaki is a rejuvenative, beneficial for hair, throat, eyes and a laxative herb. The fruit is one among the triphala of ayurveda. It is useful in asthma, biliousness, bronchitis, inflammations, sore throat, and treating the diseases of eyes, nose, heart and bladder.
    Anthelmintic, antiseptic, astringent, expectorant, laxative, lithotriptic(dissolves Renal caliculi), rejuvenative, tonic.
    Rasayana- rejuvenative to lungs, Chakushya- benefits the eyes, Keshyam- good for the hair, Kanthya- improves the quality of the throat, 
    Swasakasaghna- benefits breathing problems, Virechanopagna- aids purgation
     Uses in Ayurveda:
    • Rasa: Kashaya
    • Vipaka: Madhura
    • Veerya: Ushna
    • Dosha haratwa: pitta kapha hara
    Good for vision, hair.
    Internally:  for cough, krimi (intestinal worms), hoarseness of voice.
    Externally: can be used as antiseptic, lotion swellings, eye diseases.

    LUNGS: Asthma, bronchitis, cough, laryngitis- with high kapha. Where there is copious, white or clear phlegm Vibhitaki can help to clear and dry this congestion. Also used in sore throat- mixed with honey and used as a gargle.
    HEAD: It has a particular affinity for the upper body and head clearing congestion from the eyes, ears, nose and throat. Also indicated for helping to maintain hair growth. A paste prepared with Vibhitaki powder and curds applied to the scalp promotes hair growth
    GIT: Diarrhoea, colitis, crohn's, intestinal inflammation, parasites- pitta/kapha problems. It has a dual action of being both astringent and laxative.

    URINE: Bladder stones, cloudy urine- kaphamedha urinary aggravation. It has the ability to clear all kapha accumulations.

    Combinations with Vibhitaki
    · Haritaki and Amalaki to make Triphala- rejuvenative to whole of the digestive system
    · Pippali, Black Pepper for accumulated phlegm
    · Haritaki, Ginger, for asthma and cough.
    · Gokshura, Coriander, Manjishta for urinary stones and infections
    · Brahmi for insomnia

    · It is a specific rasayana for kapha and kapha sites: throat, lungs, eyes and hair.
    · It astringes the mucus membranes while stimulating movement. It clears kapha and ama from urinary, digestive and respiratory systems.
    · It is heating but does not aggravate pitta. The astringency can aggravate vata.
    · Alcoholic extract is also a cholagogue.
    · Ripe fruit is astringent and unripe is more laxative- this is its prabhava or unique action; even though it is astringent it is also a laxative.
    · Use with honey to clear kapha. Very good for sore throats.

    This herb may raise the "vaata" as defined in ayurveda. Do not use without supervision of a qualified Ayurveda practitioner.