Dinacharya; Healthy Ayurvedic Daily Routine

A Good Dinacharya to Follow
Ayurveda suggests two types of charyas or routines, Dinacharya and Ritu Charya. Ritu charya is the change in daily routines according to climatic changes.

Dinacharya or daily routine forms the basis of health or unhealthy state of a man (or woman or child). Here is a healthy dinacharya routine that everyone can follow.

Waking up
There is a time to wake up. It is called Brahma Muhurtha, which starts three hours before sunrise. Healthy persons, if they mind their health should rise up before sunrise – Ayurveda Acharyas say.

Don’t jump up from the bed immediately after waking up. Spend some time lying on the bed, assessing the state of the body. Are there any different feelings of pain or unnatural sensations on the body?

A good exercise to enhance memory and brainpower without medicines – bring to mind the things happened in the previous day from the moment you woke up to the moment you fell asleep. Teach children to follow this exercise, the results will be sharper memory and better alertness.

Then answer to nature’s call. After that brush the teeth with fresh twig of vep, ungu, neer maruthu, or karingali plant. Prepare the toothbrush by softening one end. Chukku, pepper powder, thippaly, induppu, etc with honey can also be used for brushing. Take extra care not to damage gums.

Cleaning the tongue is also necessary to remove hindrances to breathing, and for fresh breathe.

One should bath everyday. Before bathing, one should apply oil (coconut oil, gingelly oil, etc) over body, under feet, and all parts of body. There are different benefits for applying oil all over body. The first among them is their effectiveness in increasing blood circulation. It shoves away tiredness and keeps the body fresh and healthy. It also helps in preventing wrinkles of skin. applying oil on head before bath strengthens senses, nervous system and circulatory system. Persons suffering from fever, stomach upset, etc shall not apply oil on head. Bathing without applying oil can cause vatha related diseases in the future.

Use hot and cold water for bathing – use hot water for below neck and cold water for head. Don’t take a bath immediately after meals.

A carefully followed exercise regimen gives different advantages to your body - general health, enthusiasm, better digestion of food, etc. are some of them. Persons with defective digestive system shall not attempt exercises. Physical exertion can be maximum in cold months and in spring. Only light exercise is needed in other seasons.

Massaging the body after exercise is also good for body.

Don’t overdo anything – exercise, sleeplessness, going to woman, etc can cause deterioration to body.

All the above things are primarily aimed at keeping body in good condition. One must also keep his mind in good condition.

Willingness to help other living things in need is required to attain satisfaction. Associate only with people that think and do good deeds only. Associating with people with wrong intention can harm your peace of mind.

Don’t believe everyone, don’t view everyone with skeptic eyes either. Don’t talk about bad things happened to you to others. Don’t strain eye, ear, tongue, etc. Avoid travel at night.

Stop all activities – both physical and mental – before you feel tired. Don’t gather, sell or drink wine.

Don’t think about or engage in sex during dusk. It is also not good time to eat, sleep, serious thoughts, etc. Don’t take any food from enemies, prostitutes, and people you don’t know. View the matters of others as your own and do all possible help to them. Keeping this ensures health, longevity, good fame, etc.

This is the general outline of dinacharya. This will give swastya or state of rest and health to body and mind while keeping tridoshas balanced.

Kerala Ayurvedics.com

Ashtangahridaya; the Heart of Eight Branches of Ayurveda

The Heart of Ayurveda

The term Ashtanga Hridaya literally means the heart of eight organs (of Ayurveda). Asthangahridaya tells what you can find in this great Ayurvedic classic by Vagbhata, written in the fifth century AD.

schikitsayeshu samsritha”

The above slogan tells that kaya chikitsa (treating physique or body), bala (baala) chikitsa (pediatrics), griha chikitsa (psychiatry), urdhvanga chikitsa or shalakya tantra (eye, ear, nose and parts above neck), salya tantra (surgery), damsthra chikitsa (toxicology) and jara chikitsa or rasayana chikitsa (rejuvenation therapy), vrishya chikitsa or vajeekarana chikitsa (aphrodisiac therapy) are the eight branches or organs (angas) of Ayurveda.

Ashtanga hridaya is the book that tells in detail about all the eight angas of Ayurveda. It is the sum total of all knowledge spread across millions of slogas from thousands of books written by eminent Ayurveda practitioners and teachers from the past. All topics regarding Ayurveda are concentrated to some 7000 slogas in Ashtangahridaya.

Ashtanga vaidyas of Kerala learned and practiced all of the eight branches of Ayurveda. There are different vaidya families that concentrated on specific angas only. Pampinmeykkattu family is still known for damsthra chikitsa, mainly treating snake venom related conditions.

Astagahridaya tells in detail about dinacharyas (daily routine), ritucharyas (seasonal routines) etc. Ritucharya is the method of adjusting our daily activities like taking bath, food and drinks, work and travel, entertainment, rest and sleep etc. It also details the methods of controlling our thoughts, words, action, and even what we look at and see.

There is a sloga in Ashtangahridaya, which we can regard as the corner stone of health;
Nityam hithahara vihara sevii
Sameekshyakaree vishayeshuasakthaha
Datha samassthya paraha kshamava
Napthopaseveecha, bhavatya rogaha

The meaning of the sloga goes like this –
Take good food, do moderate physical exercise, think well before starting risky ventures, live a life of self respect, give alms according to your capacity, love all alike, tell only truth, maintain composure under pressure, be forgiving, mingle with good people –

The brief sloga tells about the ingredients of good physical and mental health. Deviating from this lifestyle can cause diseases.

The Reliability of Ashtangahridaya
Vagbhata Acharya, in the concluding part of Ashtangahridaya inscribes a sloga as follows.

Manthraval Samprayokthavyam
Na Meemamsyam Kadhanjana

The translation goes like this – this much (the scripts of ashtangahridaya till this point) is an accumulation of memories from past experiences. Practicing them will give scalable results. Continuously recite this as a mantra. Thus, you will get the powers and you can utilize this knowledge with confidence.

Ashtangahridayam indeed is the concentrated form of all knowledge of practitioners of Ayurveda till the time of Vagbhata. All the knowledge in Ashtangahridaya is in highly processed (samskrita) form. One can be said to be a vaidya if he has this knowledge.

No one can prove even a word in Ashtangahridaya untrue. It not only have the treatment methods, medicines, etc listed, but also the lifestyle requirements, the root-cause of diseases, etc are all true according to the uncountable Ayurvedic practitioners that bear witness to the effectiveness of Ayurveda.

Sreedhareeyam – The Best Place for Ayurvedic Eye Treatment

Save your loved ones from total blindness, before it is too late...

Sreedhareeyam is the place to catch, if the eye is becoming dimmer... Read on...

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a genetic bind eye condition, which starts with night blindness and gradual loss of sight towards complete blindness or very near to that condition in his or her 40s or 50s. In some cases the persons can go complete blind in their childhood itself. Approved medical science writes off this condition as un-treatable or un-curable.

There is however treatment for retinitis pigmentosa. The place where you find Ayurvedic treatment of RP may surprise you to total unconsciousness. The place is a laid back Ayurvedic Eye Hospital and Research Center named Sreedhareeyam, located at Koothattukulam, some 48 km away from Ernakulam, Kerala in India. It is not only RP, but several eye disease cases that are written off by modern medicine are cured at this place.

Eye care or treatments for diseases affecting eyes comes in Shalakya Tantra, one among the eight branches of Ayurveda that deals with diseases that affects parts above neck.

Dr. Nelliakkattu Parameswaran Parameswaran Namboodiri (or Dr. NPP Namboodiri) founded Sreedhareeyam Ayurveda Eye Hospital and Research Center, in the year 2000 as a proof to the world that there is enormous potential for Ayurveda in eye care and treating diseases that affect eyes. Dr. NPP Namboodiri served as an Ayurvedic physician in Ayurveda Hospitals run by Kerala state government.

Sreedhareeyam was started as a small hospital, with capacity of just 8 beds. Now it is an ISO recognized institute with about 260 beds, where people from far North India and abroad. There is an in-house research center, pharmacy with manufacturing facilities within the hospital premises that spread over 40 acres.

In the year 2005 alone, there were 27,999 persons benefited from the eye-care treatment of Sreedhareeyam. About 10% of the patients are from abroad, 35% are from Kerala itself and the rest from all parts of India.

Most eye-patients reach this treatment center after trying all other treatment options available to them, including surgery.

There are treatments for short sight, glaucoma (caused by increased fluid pressure inside eyeballs), diabetic retinopathy (caused due to damage to blood vessels in the eye), macular degeneration, etc have treatments here.

There are thousands of testimonials to testify the value of this hospital. The most prominent among them are the treatments given to Saritha Agarwal, the wife of Brijmohan Agarwal, the chief minister of Chathisgarh (a north Indian state) and Dr. PS Warrier, the preeminent Ayurveda doctor of India, whom the Government of India honored with Padmasree Award.

Aphrodisiacs – From Ayurveda and Others

Humankind of all ages used some kind of aphrodisiacs, most of them, naturally herbs. It will be curious to have a look at the aphrodisiacs used in India and other parts of the world.

Milk, in normal cases is not regarded as an aphrodisiac. Yet again, the newly wed bride and groom share a glass of milk in the evening of their wedding day. The milk usually will be added with ground pepper, almond, honey or sugar. Vatsyayana in his world renowned text of Kamasutra suggests the use of fennel juice in milk. Milk provides the nutrients to the body and help the couple sustain their passion.

Egg yolk, is considered to be an aphrodisiac by Arabs. It is a natural symbol of fertility throughout the world. Egg yolk coupled with honey can sustain the power for longer times. There are Arab stories that tell about men that stayed on for about 41 days by taking just egg yolk and honey.

Hey, Honey. The reference here is real natural honey that bees collect from thousands of flowers. Honey is universal symbol of love. There will not be a place on earth’s face where the couples don’t address each other honey when they feel it.

“My Love is a Red Red Rose” who can forget this line by Robert Burns? Rose is real stimulant and enhancer of sex life. Aromatherapy uses the smell of rose flowers to create that soothing effect and calmness.

Shilajit is traditionally an important aphrodisiac in India that enhances passion and gives ‘power of a bull’ to men of any age.

Mucuna Pruriens (Naikkurana, Indian Ginseng, Goat Weed)
Viagra can be called artificial Naikkurana. This plant in the bean family is used by Indians for many centuries and now the world appraise the effectiveness of this herb. Though it is primarily a male sex stimulant women too use it. The results are visible in less than three weeks in the form of increased sexual desires, fuller and better erections, stamina, good general health, etc are the benefits of taking the seeds of this herb.

Chinese alternative for Naikkurana, this herb has a history of over 5000 years as an effective aphrodisiac. Roots are the main usable part.

Oh, Yeah! Pineapples have aphrodisiac properties. Take a glass of vitalizing pineapple juice everyday. To get the aphrodisiac effect, make a cocktail with some honey and a bit of rum.

Strawberry is sexy to feed and be fed. Choose dark red berries, that take you to high mountains of desire. It is rich in vitamin C, the visible effect is most prominent.

Betel Nut
Chewing of ripe betel nut collected from betel palm, along with betel leaves has a long history in India. It is a favorite pastime for both men and women. Both of them are offered to god and as dakshina to gurus at the start of education. Ayurveda considers betel nut as an aphrodisiac.

By Kerala Ayurvedics.com

Unhealthy Food Habits -Taking Incompatible Food

The directions of Ayurveda acharyas on food habits appear to be too tough to follow in present conditions.

Appetite, according to Ayurvedic principles is the mechanism of body to tell the brain that the body needs food. Eating food at the right time will automatically create appetite or hunger at the right times – this is the basis. Man needs to take food only two times a day – in the morning and in the evening. The body requires food only after the taken food is digested.

One will not feel appetite when his mind is disturbed – sadness, anger, fear, etc are negative emotions. Food taking with a disturbed mind doesn’t get absorbed by the body. Eating food should be in a pleasant environment, possibly in the presence of family or friends.

Eating the food should be a slow process. Completely chew the food before swallowing. This is needed for good digestion of food. Another thing is not to take cold water with food. A little walk a few minutes after taking food can help in better digestion of the taken food. Don’t exert body immediately after taking food. Another thing is to avoid eating for time pass.

Any food that can affect the balance of any of the three doshas of tridosha can be termed a virudhaharam (virudha aharam, virutha aharam, viruthaaharam) or incompatible food. Certain food items when combined together can create reactions. These reactions can sometimes be harmful to health. Food items that cause such reactions are known as incompatible food.

Curd and milk, chicken and ghee, etc are examples of incompatible food combination.

This may not be a serious problem to healthy persons pursuing a continued exercise regimen. However, pregnant women, weak persons, elderly persons and children can be affected by such incompatible combinations. It is necessary to check the nature of food and food combination one takes.

There are also chances for food poisoning. The general symptoms of food poisoning are described in different Ayurvedic texts. Infected meat has blue lines, milk has dark red lines, alcoholic drinks have black and white lines, etc provide quick diagnostic measures of food poisoning.

Excess intake of alcohol can cause serious damages to liver. Too much of sweets and fatty food can affect teeth and can upset stomach. They also affect the health of bones and can cause beauty problems like pimples. Its effect on diabetes is well known to everyone.

The preservatives added to food are also chemicals that can act as poison. Modern researches hint that accumulation of chemicals from such preservatives and additives can even stunt the mental growth of children.

People at the time of origin of Ayurveda, the science of life didn’t have to worry much about baked or fried food items. Modern man eats a lot of bakery products like cake, pastries, drink artificial drinks like colas – all these can cause different problems to digestive system, blood, and bones.

Family Traditions in Ayurveda, Ashtavaidyas of Kerala

Ashtavaidya is an Ayurvedic practitioner who is proficient in all the eight different branches of Ayurvedic treatment. Kerala’s rise as a prominent center for Ayurveda is in a great way indebted to the selfless service of ashtavaidyans. Their service can’t be fully appreciated without mentioning the social situations that prevailed in India and Kerala till less than a century ago.

Racial discrimination was prevalent in this land and the veda or science knowledge was restricted to upper class Brahmins. They were the only vaidyas. A vaidya is a practitioner of Ayurveda or an Ayurvedic physician. It was impurity for the Brahmins to touch or even see people of lower castes. The ashtavaidyans denied this tradition and practiced salya tantra (surgery technique) on people from all castes. Thus ashtavaidyans got their place in their community lowered. Other Brahmins that did poojas at temples didn’t recognize practitioners of vaidya (vaidyans). Thus, marital alliances between Brahmins practicing vaidya and Brahmins that remained pure from touching people of lower castes ceased.

Learning and practicing Ayurveda to practice vaidya caused the vaidyans not pursuing education of Vedas and pooja rituals. However, later this condition changed and now marital alliance is possible between all Namboodiri or Brahmin families.

Vaidyamadam family, a family that traditionally practiced asthavaidya was a bit different and they practiced Vedas and participated in Yagnas and poojas. History suggests that this family was not known for salya thantra (surgery). They give and take women to and from almost all Namboodiri families.

These ashtavaidyas or ashtavaidyans have recorded their treatment methods. Tracing down descendents of Ashtavaidyas is a difficult task today because of the relative indifference of such families with other Brahmin families.

Thaikkattu vaidyar, Kuttancheri, Vaidyamadam, etc are some of the families usually associated with ashtavaidyans.