Category Archives: Ayurveda

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

Latin Name Medicago sativa
Sanskrit Name Alfalfa, Vilaayatigawuth, Lasunghaas
English Name Alfalfa, Lucerne
Common Name Barsem, Lusan
 

 

Phytochemistry:

The herb contains carotinoids (including lutein), triterpene saponins, isoflavonoids coumarins, triterpenes (including sitgmasterol, spinasterol); also cyanogenic glycosides (corresponding to less than 80 mg HCN/ 100 g); pro-vitamins A, B6, B12, D, K, E and P; calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, choline, sodium, silicon and essential enzymes. The seeds contain 33.2%protein and 4.4% mineral matter; saponins with the aglycones, soyasapogenol B and E and polymines, diaminopropane and norspermine. Two storage globulins, alfin and medicagin are found in the seeds. The flowers contain flavonoids, kaempferol, quercetin, myricetin and laricytrin. The fruits contain betaamyrin, alpha- and beta-spinasterol, beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, myrsellinol, scopoletin and esculetin. The saponin, medicagenic acid, is found in leaves and roots (leaves 1.49%, roots 2.43% of dry matter) .
Alfalfa is a natural rejuvenator & known As a Father of All Foods. It is one of the best sources for protein Fibre vitamin A, C, D, E, K, P & B complex, Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin and Minerals calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, magnesium, choline, sodium, silicon and essential digestive enzymes and Amino acids.

Alfalfa contains vitamin A, E, K, B and D. It also contains phosphorus, iron, potassium, chlorine, sodium, magnesium and many additional trace elements. Alfalfa has eight known enzymes that promote chemical reactions that enable food to be assimilated properly within the body. It has also been reported to raise the basic nitrogen exchange. This, plus its stimulating properties, makes alfalfa a unique tonic.
Pharmacological Actions:

It is anticholesterolemic.
Medicinal Use:

It is rich in essential enzymes, minerals and vitamins, a preventive of high blood pressure, diabetes, peptic ulcer, to strengthen the digestive system. Alfalfa seed extracts prevented hypercholesterolemia, triglyceridaemia and atherogenesis in cholesterol-fed rabbits and cynomologus monkeys.
The saponins in the extract reduce intestinal absorption of cholesterol in rabbits. Human trials have indicated the use of the herb in menopause.

It contains 4-Amino-Butyric-Acid, Trimethylamine, Tryptophan, Amylase, Adenine, Adenosine, Guanine, Guanosine, Ribose, Saponin and Tannin. Because of its deep root system, alfalfa is a rich source of the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron, potassium, Manganese and trace minerals. Specifically, it is one of the best sources for protein and is very high in chlorophyll, carotene, Niacin, Choline, Octacosanol, Peroxidase, Protein, Pyridoxine, Riboflavin, Thiamin, Alpha-Tocopherol, Vitamin-E, Vitamin-K, Xanthophylls, Hypoxanthine, Xylose, Zeaxanthin A, vitamin D and several digestive enzymes. This may be why it is said to help reconstitute bone and is beneficial for rickets. Research suggests that it may inactivate dietary chemical carcinogens in the liver and small intestine before they have a chance to do the body any harm. It is used for bladder infections, fatigue or muscle tenderness. It is also used to reduce the pain and inflammation of rheumatism and arthritis. Alfalfa is used as an appetite stimulant, a vitality augmenter (tonic), a digestive stimulant, for insomnia, and to relax the nervous system.

Because of a long root system which absorbs abundant minerals, alfalfa is very high in minerals and vitamins, particularly iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, trace minerals and vitamin K. It helps to remove toxins and neutralizes acids. It is good for anemia, menopause, arthritis, gout, stabilizing blood sugar levels, balancing the pituitary gland, and detoxifying the blood and kidneys. Alfalfa helps soothe ulcers, the liver and acts as a heart tonic. It helps with estrogen production and morning sickness. It has in it a natural fluoride and is a mild diuretic. Alfalfa may be used for reducing fevers and rheumatism and has a mild laxative effect. It is good for cystitis or an inflamed bladder and relief from bloating and water retention.

The leaves are rich in vitamin K which is used medicinally to encourage the clotting of blood. This is valuable in the treatment of jaundice.

Alfalfa leaves, either fresh or dried, have traditionally been used as a nutritive tonic to stimulate the appetite and promote weight gain.
Clinical / experimental study:

Alfalfa appears to lower total cholesterol, triglycerides, low density lipoproteins, (LDL) and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) while not significantly lowering desirable HDL. This leads to a significant reduction of the total cholesterol/HDL ratios, one of the major predictors of cardiovascular risk. This action appears to be due to the reduced intestinal absorption of both endogenous and exogenous cholesterol.

Alfalfa leaves contain approximately 2–3% saponins. Animal studies suggest that these constituents block absorption of cholesterol and prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.

One small human trial found that 120 grams per day of heat-treated alfalfa seeds for eight weeks led to a modest reduction in cholesterol.

Cholesterol reduction

Alfalfa plant saponins and fiber bind significant quantities of cholesterol in vitro; sprout saponins interact to a lesser degree. In vitro bile acid adsorption is greatest for the whole alfalfa plant, and this activity is not reduced by the removal of saponins from the plant material.

Several studies indicate that the ingestion of alfalfa reduces cholesterol absorption and atherosclerotic plaque formation in animals1. In 1 study, the ability of alfalfa to reduce liver cholesterol accumulation in cholesterol-fed rats was enhanced by the removal of saponins. Therefore, alfalfa plant saponins appear to play an important role in neutral steroid excretion, but are not essential for increasing bile acid excretion. In a study with prairie dogs, the lowest incidence of cholesterol gallstones was obtained with the diet of the higher fiber content (85% alfalfa).

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Amla (Phyllanthus emblica)

Amalaki (Phyllanthus emblica)

Latin Name Emblica officinalis, Phyllanthus emblica
Sanskrit Name Amrtaphala, Amalaka, Dhatriphala
English Name Emblic Myrobalan, Indian Gooseberry
Common Name Amla, Dhatri, Ambala, Aonla, Nellikayi, Bela nelli, pottadenollikayi, Amli, Avalkathi, Ainla, Aula, Amlaj

 

Ayurvedic Properties and Action:1
Rasa Madhura, Amla, Katu, Tikta, Kasaya
Guna Laghu, Ruksa
Virya Sita
Vipaka Madhura
Karma Caksusya, Rasayana, Tridosajit, Vrsya

Phytochemistry:

It contains protein, fat carbohydrates fibre, minerals, and vitamin, Phyllemblin, Gallic acid, Tannins, Pectin, essential oil with linolenic, linoleic, oleic, stearic, palmitic, myristic acids, and proteolytic and lipolytic enzymes etc. The fruit gave cytokinine-like substances identified as zeatin, zeatin riboside and zeatin nucleotide; suspension culture gave phyllembin.

The major amino acids present are; alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, lysine, and proline.

Vitamin: Vitamin-C, Vitamin-K, Vitamin-A, Riboflavin (Vitamin-B2), Niacin, Nicotinic acid (Vitamin-B2), Vitamin-B12.

Mineral: calcium, magnesium, potassium, silica, sodium, sulfur, zinc, phosphorus, iron, chromium and copper.

The edible fruit tissue contains protein concentration threefold and vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) concentration 160-fold than those of apple. The fruit also contains considerably higher concentration of most minerals and amino acids than apple.

Pharmacological Actions:

It is potent antioxidant, Astringent, cooling, astringent, aperient, anodyne, antianaemic, anabolic, antiemetic, carminative, digestive, stomachic, laxative, alterant, alexeteric, aphrodisiac, diuretic, antipyretic, tonic, antihaemorrhagic, antidiarrhoeal, diuretic, antidiabetic, carminative, and andtrichogenous.

Medicinal Use:

It is used in jaundice, dyspepsia, bacillary dysentery and as a gastrointestinal tonic.

It is antifungal and antimicrobial and useful in greyness of hair2. It strengthens and promotes the growth of hair.

It is useful in ulcerative Stomatitis, gastric ulcer, dyspepsia, hyperacidity, peptic ulcer and as immunostimulant.

Phylanthus Emblica has beneficial effects such as memory improving property, cholesterol lowering property and anticholinesterase activity.
Clinical / experimental study:
Antioxidant:

Phylanthus emblica has pronounced adaptogenic properties, and has been shown to be active in vivo against free radical damage induced during stress.

Phylanthus emblica is stated as one of the highest naturally occurring sources of vitamin C, its antioxidant properties have also been attributed to the tannoid complexes (emblicanin A [37%], emblicanin B [33%], punigluconin [12%] and pedunculagin [14%].

Overall, the antioxidant effect of Amalaki is significantly greater than that of vitamin C alone.
Anti-inflammatory:

Overall, the antioxidant effect of Amalaki is significantly greater than that of vitamin C alone10.
Antimicrobial:

Aqueous and ethanol extracts of Phylanthus emblica have been found to be both antifungal and antimicrobial, without any indication of cellular toxicity.

Emblica officinalis exhibited potent antibacterial activity against E. Coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, K. ozaenae, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella typhi, S. paratyphi A, S. paratyphi B, and Serratia marcescens

Antiviral:

Methanol extract of the fruit of Phylanthus emblica (putranjivain A) has potent inhibitory action against human immunodeficiency virus-1 reverse transcriptase.

Anticancer:

Supplementation of Phylanthus emblica to mice in vivo significantly reduced the cytotoxic effects of a known carcinogen, 3,4-benzo(a)pyrene, in much smaller doses than the carcingogen.

When an aqueous extract of Phylanthus emblica is administered prior to radiation treatment, it has been found to have a protective effect upon radiation induced chromosomal damage.

Cardiovascular:

Phylanthus emblica has lipid lowering and antiatherosclerotic effects.

Phylanthus emblica was found to reduce serum cholesterol, aortic cholesterol and hepatic cholesterol in rabbits, but did not influence euglobulin clot lyses time, platelet adhesiveness or serum triglyceride levels.

Amalaki demonstrated significantly lower mean serum cholesterol levels.

It has lipid lowering and antiatherosclerotic effects and can reduce high serum cholesterol levels.

GI Track:

Phylanthus emblica significantly inhibited hepatocarcinogenesis induced by N-nitrosodiethylamine (NDEA) in experimental animals.

In addition to its hepatoprotective activities, Phylanthus emblica also appears to be functional in acute necrotizing pancreatitis, reducing inflammation and the damage to acinar cells.
The study showed that Emblica officinalis has significant ulcer protective and healing effects and this might be due to effects both on offensive and defensive mucosal factors.

Immune:

Phylanthus emblica has been found to enhance natural killer cell activity and antibody dependent cytotoxicity in tumor bearing mice, enhancing lifespan to 35% beyond the control animals.

Phylanthus emblica has been shown to significantly reduce the cytotoxic effects of sodium arsenite when administered orally in experimental animals.

Amla resulted in an enhanced cell survival, decreased free radical production and higher antioxidant levels similar to that of control cells. 

Phylanthus Emblica enhance cell survival, increases phagocytosis and gamma-interferon (Γ-IFN) production. 

Phylanthus Emblica has beneficial effects such as memory improving property, cholesterol lowering property and anticholinesterase activity.

Skin

A standard extract of Phyllanthus emblica was found to have a long lasting and broad spectrum antioxidant activity. Emblica helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals, non-radical and transition metal-induced oxidative stress. Emblica is suitable for use in anti-aging, sunscreen and general purpose skin care products.
A standardized extract of Phyllanthus Emblica was found to have a long/lasting and broad/spectrum antioxidant activity. The product has no pro/oxidation activity induced by iron and/or copper because of its iron and copper chelating ability. Emblica helps protect the skin from the damaging effects of free radicals, non/radicals and transition metal/induced oxidative stress. Emblica is suitable for use in anti/aging, sunscreen and general purpose skin care products.
Treatment of Dyspepsia

The therapeutic efficacy of Amalaki in cases of dyspepsia was evaluated and the results clearly indicate the efficacy of Emblica officinalis, in relieving the dyspeptic symptoms as well as in promoting ulcer healing.

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Neem – Azadirachta indica

Latin Name Azadirachta Indica
Sanskrit Name Nimba, Tiktaka, Arista, Picumarda
English Name Margosa tree
Common Name Limba, Limbado, Kohumba, Nimba, Bevu, Oilevevu, Kahibevu, Bevinama, Aryaveppu, Balantanimba, Bakayan, Kadunimb

 

https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/ff/Neem_leaves_Neem_Leaves.jpg
Ayurvedic Properties and Action:

Rasa Tikta
Guna Ruksa
Virya Sita
Vipaka Katu
Karma Grahi, Vatala, Pittanasaka

Phytochemistry :

It contains volatile oil . The bark exudes a clean bright amber colored gum which is collected in small trees or fragments. It contains a bitter alkaloid named margosine in long white needles. Leaves contain a small bitter substance of same chemical character but much more soluble in water. Seeds contain 10-30% of a yellow bitter fixed oil which is extracted by boiling. The oil is deep yellow in color and contains free and volatile fatty acids. The volatile fatty acids contain stearic and oleic acid with a small amount of lauric acid. The sap contains glucose, sucrose, gums and coloring matter, proteids and ashes, containing potassium, iron, aluminium, caslcium and carbon dioxide.
Pharmacological Actions:

It has antimicrobial, antifungal, antiviral, and hypoglycaemic (nimbidin) actions.
Medicinal Use:

It has antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral actions and useful in sores, measles, smallpox, head scald and cutaneous affections.
It has astringent, antiseptic and emollient properties, useful in skin affections.
Hypoglycaemic (nimbidin) actions of Neem used to reduce blood sugar.
Clinical / experimental study:

The water-soluble portion of alcoholic extract of leaves reduces blood sugar in glucose-fed and adrenalineinduced hyperglycaemic rats (but not in normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats).

A. indica the next important ingredient shows its anti-diabetic action by stimulation the insulin secretion by β cells of islet of Langerhans of the pancreas in a manner similar to the sulfonylurea like chlorpropamide.

It has sedative1 and CNS depressant activities. It has nerve regeneration action.It has tranquilizing effect.

Neem oil obtained from the seed kernel of A. indica is employed for the preparation of various herbal formulations in the treatment of acne vulgaris. Neem oil shows significant antimicrobial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, which has been attributed to mahmoodin, a new limnoid, in Neem oil.

Nimbedine, another component of Neem oil, shows antiinflammatory activity and also possesses moderate antibacterial acclivity. The extract of Neem shows antibacterial activity against P. acnes and S. epidermidis, MIC and MBC values (5 mg/ml) are the same for P. acnes while, for S. epidermidis, the MIC value is 5 mg/ml and MBC value is more than 5 mg/ml.

Neem bark also contains proton pump inhibition activity, which is more potent than ranitidine and similar to omeprazole in acid secretion inhibition activity.

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Treatments in Ayurveda

Types of Treatment in Ayurveda



 There are two aspects of treatment in Ayurveda:

1. Shamana Chikitsa (Curing of diseases – Alleviating Therapy)
2. Shodhana Chikitsa (Prevention of diseases – Purification Therapy) 

Shodhana Chikitsa (Prevention of diseases)


The main aim of Shodhana treatment is to eliminate the internal causative factors of the disease. It is one the most important techniques in Ayurveda and is an internal purification process. Purification can be used to cure diseases and at the same time to promote the healthy state of the body. It is possible to successfully cure a number of difficult diseases like Arthritis, Paralysis etc with the help of Shodhana Chikitsa.

Large quantities of toxic byproducts are formed in the body as a result of continuous metabolic process. Most of these toxins are eliminated naturally by the body’s excretory system, some may get deposited in the various tissues of the body, which causes the vitiation of Dosha, Dhatu etc. and then the normal functioning of the system is harmed. Similarly disease causing toxins accumulate in the body as a result of various factors like wrong body habits, wrong food habits, incompatible recipe of food items, suppression of the body urges, emotional imbalance etc.
Shodhana Chikitsa removes toxins from the body and restores the equilibrium of the Dosha. Shodhana Chikitsa consists of a three-stage purification process as follows:

Purva Karma – preparatory purification prior to the main purification
Pradhana Karma – the main five purification methods (known as Panchakarma treatment)
Paschath Karma – post rejuvenation therapy.
‘Shodhana’ treatment is also called as Panchakarma or five- folds line of treatment.

Panchakarma therapeutic procedures are used to facilitate the elimination of harmful factors through following processes: 

Vaman
Emesis
for Kapha dosha
Virechan
Purgation
for Pitta dosha
Basti
Enema
for Vatta dosha
Nasya
Administrating medicines especially through nose
for Kapha dosha from head
Raktamokshan
Blood letting
for Rakta and Pitta dosha
Vaman
Elimination of vitiated Kapha dosha mainly through mouth is known as Vaman karm. It is indicated in Kaphaj disorders such as coughing, Asthma, Chronic Rhinitis, acidity etc.
Virechan
Elimination of vitiated Pitta through anus is known as Virechan Karma. It is indicated in paittik and kapha disorders such as hyperacidity, primary stage of peptic & duodenal ulcer skin disorders and digestive problem.
Basti
It is a per rectal medication in form of enema for the treatment of neurological disorders (Vat disorders). Their are mainly two types of Basti, Niruha Basti (Medicated decoction enema) and Anuvasan Basti (Medicated Oil enema). They are indicated in Vat disorders. Such as paralysis, sciatica, myopathies, multiple sclerosis, polio etc.
Nasya
The administration of medicated Oil or Swaras etc. through the nostrils is known as Nasyakarm. It is indicating for the elimination of adherent situated above the neck. The disease which is treated by the Nasya are sinusitis, migraine, headache, eye and ear disorders.
Raktamokshan
It means vitiated blood letting or removal of vitiated blood. Blood letting is very useful in treating skin diseases erysipelas, boils and carbuncles etc. External use of snehan (Oileation) and swedan (fomentation) is also very important. From these methods following diseases can be treated such as spondylitis, paralysis, sciatica, dryness of body, alcoholism, corrhyza, constipation, monoplegia, indigestion, anorexia, obesity, debility, feeling of heaviness, acute pain, scabies, stiffness, fatigue anaemia, acidity, sleeplessness, loss of memory, insomnia, arthritis, myopathies, polio and other neurological problems. So, Panchakarma is a very fruitful and result oriented therapy. It is a science of cleansing and purifying the body both internally and externally. This method naturally removes the disease from its roots causes and this plays an important role to treating the incurable diseases.

Shamana Chikitsa (Curing of diseases)


Shamana is specially done after the Shodhana therapy and in less vitiation. Ayurvedic medicines are used internally and externally to manage the symptoms and cause of the disease through the balancing the equilibrium of Dosha, Dhatu, Mala and Agni and also to increase the Immunity. The restoration of normality is brought about without any elimination. In Ayurveda there are thousands of medicines consisting of herbs, minerals and biological products, which are used alone or in compound form to suppress and cure diseases, particularly when the disease is at an early stage.

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Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta)

Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta) 


 
Five Fundamentals Elements of Ayurveda (Panchmahabhuta) According to Ayurveda everything in life is composed of the Panchmahabhuta – Akash (Space), Vayu (Air), Jal (Water), Agni (Fire) and Prithvi (Earth) that combines in different ratios to form material world. Every organism living or non-living is said to be composed of Panchmahabhuta. Each element possesses different amounts of Guna (quality). Hence, each of them has unique qualitative nature.
The relationship of Panchmahabhuta with Sense organs, its Properties and Actions are as follows: 
Panchmahabhuta
Sensory Organs/work
Properties and actions in the body
Space (Aakash)
Ears/Hearing Sound
Akash forms vacuumed organs of the body. All body channels, working for the movement of the nutrients and all other fluids. It produces softness, lightness and porosity
Air (Vayu or Pavan)
Skin/Touch
Governs inhalation, exhalation, opening and closing of eyelids, locomotion and other motor functions. Air creates dryness, lightness and emaciation.
Fire (Agni or Teja)
Eyes/Visual (Sight)
Fire controls temperature and luster of body colour. It helps in digestion and assimilation of food, maturation and improves eye sight.
Water (Aap or Jala)
Tongue/Taste
Jal is the connecting force and fluid part of the body and slimy, fat and sweat by nature. It makes things supple and smooth, Imparts glossiness and Enhances fluid content. It acts as nutrient, emollient and purgative.
Earth (Prithvi or Bhoomi)
Nose/Smell
Prithvi controls organs as teeth, nails, flesh, skin, tendons and muscles. It is heavy, immobile, compact and rough and increases firmness & strength of the body. It acts as nutrient, emollient and purgative.
Theory of Panchmahabhuta

Within a simple, single living cell for example the earth (Prithvi) element prevailed by giving structure to the cell. The water (Jala) element is present in the cytoplasm (liquid portion) within the cell membrane. The fire (Agni) element regulates the metabolic processes regulating the cell. The air (Vayu) element is the gases part therein. The space (Akash) occupied by the cell denotes the presence of the element Akash.
In the case of a complex, multi-cellular organism as a human being for instance, Akash corresponds to spaces within the body (mouth, nostrils, abdomen etc.); Vayu denotes the movement (essentially muscular but nervous system also); Agni controls the functioning of enzymes (intelligence, digestive system, metabolism); Jal is in all body fluids (as plasma, saliva, digestive juices); and Prithvi manifests itself in the solid structure of the body (bones, teeth, flesh, hair et al).
The Panchmahabhuta therefore serve as the basis of all diagnosis & treatment modalities in Ayurveda and has served as a most valuable theory for physicians to detect and treat diseases of the body and mind successfully.
Tridosha Theory as an Adaptation of Panchmahabhuta theory
Space + Air = Vatta
Fire = Pitta
Water + Earth = Kapha

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Dosha, Dhatu and Mala

Dosha, Dhatu and Mala

 

The concept of ‘Dosha Dhatu Mala’ theory is the basic philosophy of Ayurveda, which deals about ‘Tridoshas’. 
DOSHA
The basic concept of diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and drug development of every disease in Ayurveda is based on Tridosha theory which includes Vatta (wind), Pitta (fire) & Kapha (water). Ayurvedic principles of treatment are based on natural laws. 
Doshas
Functions
Vatta (wind)
Mobility
Pitta (fire)
Transformation
Kapha (water)
Consistency/Stability
Functions of Dosha in Detail

Vatta:
The Vatta dosha is believed to be a combination of the elements space and air. One of them is the working force and another provides the space for that force to be functional. But when there is less working force and space is greater, the change will hard to notice. While greater force in less space will result in destruction. So Vatta is that force which maintains the balance between elements space and air. It is considered the most powerful dosha because it controls very basic body processes such as cell division, the heart, breathing and the mind. It explains the entire biological phenomenon, which are controlled by the functions of central and autonomous nervous system. The malfunction of Vatta is a major factor in developing diseases either by itself or coupled with other functional disorders due to Pitta and Kapha. Vatta can be thrown out of balance by, for example, staying up late at night, eating dry fruit, or eating before the previous meal is digested. People with Vatta as their main dosha are thought to be especially susceptible to skin, neurological and mental diseases.
Pitta:
Pitta is considered to be composed of water and fire elements which manifest the energy in the living organisms that helps digestion & assimilation of food, tissue building, heat production, blood pigmentation, activities of the endocrine glands, etc. Many of these processes are thermogenic and metabolic. Pitta is said to control hormones and the digestive system. When Pitta is out of balance, a person may experience negative emotions (such as hostility and jealousy) and have physical symptoms (such as heartburn within 2 or 3 hours of eating). Pitta is upset by, for example, eating spicy or sour food; being angry, tired, or fearful; or spending too much time in the sun. People with a predominantly Pitta constitution are thought to be susceptible to heart disease and arthritis. 
Kapha:
Kapha consists of element water and earth which implies the function of heat regulation and also the formation of various preservative fluids e.g. mucus, sinovial fluid etc. the main function of Kapha is to provide nutrition to body tissues to bring about coordination of body system and regularization of all the biological processes. Kapha is thought to help keep up strength and immunity and to control growth. An imbalance in the Kapha dosha may cause nausea immediately after eating. Kapha is aggravated by, for example, sleeping during the daytime, eating too many sweet foods, eating after one is full, and eating and drinking foods and beverages with too much salt and water (especially in the springtime). Those with a predominant Kapha dosha are thought to be vulnerable to diabetes, gallbladder problems, stomach ulcers, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma. 
Characteristics of Doshas 
Vata
Pitta
Kapha
Dry
Oily
Oily
Cold
Hot
Cold
Light
Light
Heavy
Irregular
Intense
Stable
Mobile
Fluid
Viscous
Rarified
Mal odorous
Dense
Rough
Liquid
Smoth
Above table depicts that these Doshas share some characteristics with one another and differ in some. It is also clear that dryness is the characteristic feature of Vata heat that of Pitta and heaviness, that of Kapha. 
Doshas effecting body 
Vata
Pitta
Kapha
Body stature
Not normal, either giant or small
Moderate
Heavy with well built
Weight
Fluctuates, easy to reduce and gain weight
Moderate weight
High weight and can’t reduce weight if gains once
Appetite
Fluctuates, not a regular pattern
“Always hungry”
Low appetite
Digestion
Slow and irregular
Good and regular
Weak and slow
Metabolism
Catabolic when aggravated but anabolic when it is less in percentage
Catabolic, produces energy by consuming foods
Anabolic, tendency to store the food
Stool and urine
Constipated, hard stools with less urine
Normal but burning sensation in urine and stool
Normal flow
Skin
Dry, rough and reddish-black skin
Smooth, reddish and glowing
Smooth, whitish and cold
Hair
Curly-dry, easy to break and scanty of hairs
Shining good hairs but prone to early graying and baldness
Curly-smooth, shining and strong hairs
Memory
Grasps quickly and forgets easily
Quick memory
Grasps slowly but never forgets
Intelligence
Forgetfulness hampers it, when it is for quick response it is good!!
Sharp
Good
Concentration
Can’t stay at one place for long
Sharp and specific
Excellent
Sleep
Irregular and disturbed sleep
Sleeps for few hours is enough
Heavy sleepers, none can disturb
Dreams
Cloud, air and sky are common, excessive dreams
Fiery dreams
Rare dreams
Joints
Knotty joints with sounds from early age
Smooth and hot joints
Good shaped, rounded joints
Sweating
Sweats hardly and rarely
Can sweat anywhere in any season
Sweats rarely but when it occurs it is more always
Socio-economic behavior
Impulsive and irregular
Good, known as social animals,
Cool, calm but hardly allows anyone to peep into their life
Anger
Fluctuating
Shoots up suddenly
Rarest
Effective age
Effects in old age
Adolescence and young age is ruled by Pitta
Early age …childhood
System governed by-
Nervous and musculoskeletal system
Digestive system and skin
Immune system and respiratory system
These are few traits governed by Doshas. Every one of us has these traits, in different ratios, few of Vata, few of Pitta and Kapha. These three Doshas interplays with each other and make our bodies lively and working. In a body these all three will be there. One Dosha alone can’t do all. So it is important to know about the percentage of each Dosha inside body and how to control these. For this you should know your Prakruti!! 
Bio-Rhythm of Doshas

Vata – Old age, last 1/3 rd of day and night and last period of digestion of our foods
Pitta – Middle age, mid of the day and night and just in the middle of our food
Kapha – Starting age, first 1/3 rd of the day and night and just in the start of the digestion of food
Name of the Dosha
Accumulation
Vitiation
Pacification
Vata
Summer
Rains
Autumn
Pitta
Rains
Autumn
Early winter
Kapha
Late Winter
Spring
Summer
Keep your Doshas in harmony for positive health & happiness.

Faulty food and lifestyle can disturb the balance of Doshas thereby upset the whole internal system of the body. That doesn’t mean these are not bad only but important for the better health is to balance Tridoshas. Need is to select the best for your body without disturbing these Doshas. Food and lifestyle are two things, to which we all are exposed at maximum. So these should be take care properly. Doshas are of dual nature, on one side, these are Heroes, deciding all good for the body o the same of these are hurt repetitively, these Heroes change into villains. So maintain your Doshas by following ways-

• Eating and living style & Quality should be accordance to your Doshas depending upon the Prakruti
(nature of your body) without upsetting these. This can better understand your Ayurvedic physician
• By selecting best herbs to nourish the body.
• Through regular detoxification of body.
• Performing right kind of Yoga, Pranayam.
• Selection of best Rasyanas for you.

DHATU

Dhatu is a Sanskrit (which binds together) word for tissues. The human body consists of seven basic tissues known as “Sapta Dhatu”. Generally Dhatu gives support to the body or maintains it. According to Ashtanga Ayurved, the seven Dhatu constitute the anatomy and physiology of the human body. They play a major role in the chain of bodily activities, ultimately ensuring a healthy body and a healthy mind. There are seven Dhatu in all which forms the different organs and different body systems. These are Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja and Shukra. One unique feature of Ayurvedic physiology is that each human tissue is derived from the previous tissue in ascending order of complexity. These Dhatu are composed of the five Mahabhoota (supreme powers) Earth (Prithvi), Water (Aap), Divine Fire (Tej), Air (Vayu) and Universal Space (Akash). These Dhatu remain within the human body in the right proportion so that the body can function properly but any disturbance in their equilibrium causes disease. Disorders in the Dhatu should be immediately taken care of to prevent further degeneration of the body.
Rasa
Lymph, Serum
Rakta
Blood
Mansa
Flesh, Muscles
Meda
adipose tissue (fatty tissue)
Asthi
Bone & Cartilages
Majja
Bone marrow
Shukra
Dhatu responsible for reproduction (Sperm and ovum)
1. Rasa:
The food that we eat is assimilated in our body in the form of Ahar Rasa which helps in survival, growth and fortification. From this Ahar Rasa originates the life sap or Jeevan Rasa which is the preliminary source of the Dhatu. Rasa provides nourishment to every part of the body by circulating nutrients. Increased Rasa leads to loss of appetite and other related complaints while its deficiency causes fatigue, loss of weight, dry skin and retarded perceptibility of the senses.
2. Rakta
From Rasa (life sap) the body builds up Rakta (blood). Rakta or Blood is a fluid connective tissue that serves many vital functions of the body, thus keeping us alive. The Rakta considered to be the basis of life, provides vigour and glow to the body by nourishing the muscles and intellect. It circulates through blood vessels and protects and nourishes all the cells and tissues of the body. Blood helps in gaseous exchange (oxygen and carbohydrate) and consists of many types of cells (e.g. red blood cells, white blood cells). Disorders in the Rakta Dhatu may cause a wide range of disorders like boils, tumors, high blood pressure, tiredness, anaemia. If the disease is chronic in blood, then it results as “Mehaprakopa” (disease due to the impurities in blood). 
3. Mansa:
From Rakta the body develops Mansa (muscles) whose major function is to support and strengthen the Meda Dhatu or fat. Mansa (derived from blood) is concerned with providing physical strength and stamina to the body, muscular system of the body. There are several types of muscle tissue in the body: Hridya kandara (Cardiac muscle), Vartul kandara (Smooth muscle), Asti kandara (Skeletal muscle) etc. Abnormalities in Mansa are manifested in the form of tumors around the face, neck, abdomen, thigh or genitalia. 
4. Meda:
From Mansa originates Meda (fat). According to Ayurveda it constitutes brain, spinal cord, nervous tissue and adipose tissue. Thoughts and body functions are based on stimuli which come from brain and spinal cord. The adipose tissue collects the energies and stores it to strengthen and insulates the body. In a diseased person, med is responsible for conditions like dyspnoea. 
5. Asthi:
From Meda the body developed Asthi (bones). Asthi or bony tissues and cartilages (hardest of all connective tissues) comprise the Asthi Dhatu. Asthi acts as a backbone to the muscular tissue which gives shape and support to the body. Abnormalities include weaker & bigger bones and brittle nails. According to Charaka it is difficult to cure any disease which is related to Asthi Dhatu.
6. Majja:
From Asthi the body generates Majja (Bon Marrow). Majja is the yellow and red bone marrow that fills the bone cavity. Majja (bone marrow tissue) serves the vital function of producing blood cells, nourishing the semen and providing viscidity to the body thus increasing survival and giving a shining appearance. When Majja Dhatu is affected by disease, it can’t produce healthy blood. Increase of Majja leads to swollen eyes or fingers, heaviness, oliguria and non-healing ulcers while a deficiency may cause osteoporosis and sunken eye.
7. Shukra:
The Shukra Dhatu (semen) originates from the core of Majja. According to Ashtanga Ayurveda, Shukra is the most significant of the seven Dhatu because it has the potential to produce new life (offspring) by nourishing the reproductive systems of male and female. In male it is known as Sukra (sperm) and in female it is known as Sronita (ovum). Other associated functions include enabling intimate satisfaction and strengthening the body. 

MALA
Mala are the third in the trinity of the body; the other two are Dosha and Dhatu. Mala are the substances or waste matter to be thrown out of the body. Mala are excretory by-products formed as a result of various physiological activities going on in the living body. Ayurveda lists two main types of Mala (waste products) Ahar Mala (waste products derived from food) and Dhatu Mala (waste products expelled from cells and tissues). Ahara Mala includes purisha (feces), mutra (urine), and sveda (sweat). Dhatu mala are secretions from nose, eyes, ears, and elements like carbon dioxide, lactic acid, hair, skin and nails. These are known as Mala due to its principle property of Malinikaran i.e. Toxification.

According to Ayurveda only a balanced condition of Dosha, Dhatu and Mala is Aarogya (good health or disease free condition) and their imbalance causes ill health or disease.

The Mala too are composed of Panchabhoota, the five principle elements of nature. Purisha or feces is composed mainly of the element Bhoomi (Earth). Its increase can cause abdominal unrest, heaviness, etc. Its decrease can lead to abdominal pain, back pain, asthma, hypocalcaemia, bloating and other conditions. Mutra or urine is composed mainly of Jal (water) and Agni (fire). Its increase can cause infections to urinary tract and bladder dysfunction. Reduced urine production can lead to kidnPanchmahabhuta.

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Eight Wings of Ayurveda : Ashtanga Ayurveda

Ayurveda Hitopadesha, Upaveda of Atharvaveda was in form of rhymes and contained one million Shlokas (rhymes) in one thousand chapters. Due to the decline in intellectual level and life span of human being, in the later period the Ayurveda was re-written in eight sections popularly known as Ashtanga Ayurveda: Internal Medicine, Treatment of Head and Neck, Opthalmology and Otorinolaryngology, Surgery, Toxicology, Psychiatry, Paediatrics, Gerontology or Science of Rejuvenation and the Science of Fertility. Herbs, food, aroma, gems, colours and the practice of yoga, mantras and surgery were classified for the treatment and evaluation based on their therapeutic action from the ancient time itself. Thus, Ayurveda from its prime itself is scientifically organised discipline.
Ashtanga Ayurveda (8 Branches)

1. Kaya Chikitsa – Internal medicine & therapeutics (Healing and detoxifying     measures)
2. Shalya Chikitsa – Surgery (Extraction of foreign bodies/ things that cause discomfort to the body and the mind)
3. Shalakya (Urdhvanga) Chikitsa – ENT, Opthalmology (Treatment of eyes, ears, nose, throat and head)
4. Bala (Kaumar-Bhritya) Chikitsa – Paediatrics, Gynaecology-Obsterics (pregnant ladies & babies)
5. Rasayana (Jara) Chikitsa – Gerontology (Care of the elderly and Rejuvenation therapy)
6. Vajikarana (Vrishya Chikitsa) – Sexology (acquiring virile strength) (Aphrodisiacs)
7. Bhoot Vidya (Graha Chikitsa) – Spiritual therapy, Psychiatry (Psychiatry Medicine)
8. Visha Chikitsa (Agad tantra) – Toxicology (antidotes to poisons)
KAYACHIKITSA (Internal Medicine & Therapeutics)

Kaya means the living human body, which includes body and mind both. In Kayachikitsa that is medicinal branch includes all the diseases situated in the body like fever, etc. Kayachikitsa means the branch of Ayurveda, which deals with internal medicine and treatment, where Kaya means Agni and Chikitsa means treatment. Entire Ayurvedic therapeutics is based on this concept of Agni (unique to Ayurveda) responsible for biotransformation. This Kaya provides the energy necessary for all bodily activities. We derive energy from the food we eat and air we breathe. Biological Kaya transforms this energy to the energy, which can be utilized by our cells. The vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, etc. we eat, are biotransformed by this Kaya to the bodily substances. As long as this Kaya is proper all the activities in body are carried out smoothly. Any disturbance in this Kaya causes imbalance in the homeostasis (balance) and disturbs physiology, which is nothing but the disease. Ayurvedic therapeutics devotes to correction and maintenance of biological Kaya through the way of Mantra, Mani & Aushadhi. Only the therapy which considers the above mentioned concepts of Ayurved qualifies to be called as Ayurvedic medicine.
SHALAKYA (SHLOKA) (The Science of Special Organ Diseases Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat etc.)

It deals with the disease of Urdhvanga region i.e. diseases in the organs situated above the neck and their treatment. In other words it deals with the diseases related to Nose, Ear, Throat and Eyes. 
SHALYA TANTRA (Surgery)

It deals with a way such as Yantra (Tools), Shastra (Instruments), Kshara (Alkalies) and Agni (Fire) to remove the Shalya (things that cause discomfort to the body and the mind) in the body by different methods. Shalya is of two types, namely: shaarir (within the body – Unhealthy teeth, Hair, Nails, imbalanced doshas, dhatus and mala, abscess, tumor, fetus etc) and agantuj (outside the body – thorns, stone pieces, iron pieces, dust particles, worry etc). Shalya Chikitsa is the branch of ancient Indian surgery that describes in detail about the pre-operative procedures, general procedures, post-operative procedures, marma’s (vital points) and also about anesthesia. The description of the types of bandages, Shastra (sharp instruments), Yantras (blunt instruments), and Sutures (stitches) has been described in this surgery 
VISHA CHIKITSA (AGAD TANTRA) (Toxicology)

Visha Chikitsa, toxicology or Agad tantra is the branch including the science of poisons material to body.
BHOOT VIDYA (GRAHA CHIKITSA) (Psychiatry)

This branch of Ayurveda deals with diseases obtains or inherited from apparently unknown reasons. It mainly deals to manage psychological disorders of human beings. In modern terminology it can be considered as idiopathic disease in which the exact cause of disease is unknown. 
BALA (KAUMAR-BHRITYA) (Pediatrics, Gynaecology & Obstetrics)

This branch of Ayurveda deals with diagnosis and treatment of diseases associated with Preconception (Obstetrics), Childbearing (Pregnancy), Child-birth (Delivery) and diseases related to children (Pediatrics).
RASAYANA (JARA) CHIKITSA (Gerontology)

Jara Chikitsa, Rasayana or the rejuvenating therapy is the therapy, which, promotes rejuvenation in a healthy person and cures the disease of a diseased person.

Jara (wrinkles on skin) Chikitsa is also called Rasayana Chikitsa or rejuvenation therapy, because it aims at revitalizing the body tissues for a youthful being. Rasayana Chikitsa, however is not only for people of old age, but also used as a preventive method against diseases and unhealthy body changes. Rasayana Chikitsa enhances immune system, arrests aging, maintain good mental condition including sound memory and physical strength, gives luster, glow and complexion to the skin, gives youthful energy, nourish blood and body tissues and brings in several benefits.

VAJIKARAN (Sexology)

This branch deals with sexual aspect which includes medications for diseases related with reproduction/fertility namely spermatogenesis, aphrodisiacs, etc. They serve as good aphrodisiacs and induce an immediate sense of pleasant excitement, along with increased fertile seminal secretions even in an ageing person. These drugs also increase the strength and stamina of the person.

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