Ayurvedic Teaching On Healthy Lifestyle And Disease Prevention
Being healthy could mean different to different people. Some may consider health as physical well-being, others a disease-less state, or simply a well-lived life.
What Ayurveda considers about Health
Ayurveda is a holistic science that deals with health comprehensively. Ancient texts of Ayurveda define health as a complete equilibrium of all tissues, digestion, metabolism, mind, and Soul. Ayurveda considers health at the levels of body, mind, and spirit.
Healthy practices explained in classical Ayurveda texts
Apart from disease management, Ayurveda describes the regimen for a healthy person too. There are examples of daily and seasonal routines for a healthy lifestyle. Dietary practices are also explained in classical Ayurvedic texts.
The daily routine includes things to be followed in one day, i.e.from, waking up to sleep. The daily routine includes small health tips, which are easy to practice and is highly beneficial.
Ayurveda explains a specific regimen for each season. Ayurveda explains a particular diet, purification process, and regimen for each season. Following these seasonal regimens keeps the body healthy.
Diet plays a vital role in maintaining our health. Ayurveda gives much importance to diet, and a lot of do’s and don’ts are explained. It includes food to be taken daily, postprandial drinks that to be followed after specific food consumption, food that to avoid daily, and different food incompatibilities.
Ayurveda addresses the physical and mental well-being of a person. There are some natural urges to suppress and some others which must not stop. Suppressive desires include emotions, and non-suppressive are bodily urges. Suppression of urges is common nowadays, and it causes health problems later.
These are discussed in detail below.
Daily regimen described
- Waking up at Brahma Muhoortha (two hours before sunrise)
- Proper personal hygiene
- Use collyrium for eyes.
- Two drops of sesame oil or two drops of Anutailam can be used as nasal drops daily. It can prevent diseases of the eye, nose, ear, and mouth.
- Gargling using lukewarm water helps to improve oral hygiene.
- Oil bath.
- The application of oil over the head improves hair strength, prevents premature greying of hair, and improves sleep. Neelibhringadi coconut oil, Kanjunnyadi Kera Tailam, Sitaram hair tone, Narasimham hair oil are some of the choices depending on your condition.
- Application of oil over foot improves vision and cures cracking.
- The application of oil over the body keeps the skin healthy. Dhanwantharam Tailam, Koottamchukkadi Tailam, Ksheerabala Tailam, Karpooradi Tailam and Chinchadi Tailam are preffered.
- Use lukewarm water for the body and cold water for the head bath.
- Proper exercise according to our body strength
- Keeping mind calm and happy.
- Proper sleep
- Specific purification processes described for each( six) seasons
- Medicated enema in the rainy season, medicine induced vomiting in the spring season, and medicated purgation in autumn.
- Avoiding day sleep in all seasons except in summer(where a mild nap at noon is advised)
- Specific diet regimen described for each season
- Diet plays as much importance as medicine in Ayurveda. The cure for a disease will be incomplete without proper diet(Pathya)
- One can take Navara rice, green gram, rock salt, barley, milk, pure water, ghee, and honey on all days.
- Avoid daily intake of long pepper, highly alkaline foods, and highly salty foods.
Things to be remembered while taking food
- Take food at the proper time.
- Take food according to the need of the body.
- Have food in a clean and calm place, concentrating on what you are taking
- Try to include all the six tastes( shad rasa) in your daily food
- Try to have hot, fresh food
Concept of Anupana (postprandial drink) in diet
- Anupana is that which is taken along with or after food. It helps to increase the digestion of food consumed.
- Postprandial drinks of some foods are-
- For wheat, barley, curd, honey products, cold water is the postprandial drink.
- For rice products, hot water is the suitable drink
- For green gram and cereals products, water or curd is the ideal drink.
- Ayurveda explains some food incompatibilities. These food combinations can cause diseases when used in the long term. So there has to be avoided. Some of these are
- milk and fish
- sour fruits and milk
- heated honey
- honey and ghee mixed in equal quantities
Suppression of Natural Urges
Ayurveda explains natural urges. They are of two types:
b) non-suppressing urges.
The former includes greed, anger, envy, fear, and ego. The latter includes bodily urges like hunger, thirst, sleep, bladder-bowel reflexes, etc. Suppression of these urges can cause serious health problems. Some of them are listed below.
- Non-voidance of urine can cause calculi, urinary infections.
- Suppression of bowel reflex can lead to lower abdominal pain, headache, muscle cramps.
- Suppression of vomiting can cause skin and respiratory problems.
- Improper sneezing can cause neck pain and headache.
- Suppression of hiccough and yawn can cause upper respiratory problems.
- Suppression of hunger and thirst can cause weakness and anorexia.
- Suppression of tears can cause eye diseases and sinus problems.
- Suppression of sleep can cause weakness, body pain, eye diseases.
How Ayurvedic drugs help to maintain a healthy life
Ayurveda describes rejuvenating medicines that help to keep a healthy life. These drugs can increase the quality and well-being of life. Some examples.
Chyavanaprasam is one of the best rejuvenating medicine. Chyavanaprasam contains antioxidants that improve health and vitality. It is rich in Amla (gooseberry). Every age group from childhood to old age can take Chyavanaprasam.
Ashwagandha powder has proven immune booster properties. It has been proved beneficial in many diseases, including Covid 19. It also improves mental health.
Triphala means three fruits, namely Amalaki, Vibheetaki, and Hareethaki. It is effective in gastric disorders, eye diseases, and metabolic disorders like diabetes mellitus. Triphala is a rejuvenating drug and can take daily.
Disease and treatment
Treatment is of two types, conservative and purification (Panchakarma). Conservative management includes treating diseases with decoctions (Kashayam), powders(Choornam), medicated ghee, tablets, medicated oil preparations. Panchakarma includes five detoxification procedures (medicated enema, medicine-induced vomiting, drug-induced purgation, and bloodletting).
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