Posts

An Introduction to Ayurveda

Ayurveda is considered one of the world’s oldest healing sciences, originating in India at least 5,000 years ago. Its name is a Sanskrit word that literally translates as “the wisdom of life” or “the knowledge of longevity” (it is a compound of ãyus, meaning life or longevity, and Veda, meaning deep knowledge or wisdom). In accordance with this definition, Ayurveda views health as much more than the absence of disease.

Health, from an Ayurvedic perspective, is defined as a gracious, tranquil, content, joyous, bright, and clear state of the body, senses, mind, and spirit, including the balanced state of one’s natural constitution, all bodily tissues, the digestive capacities, and waste excretion. What a mouthful! Simply put, health is achieved when you are aligned with your own natural and unique state of balance.

How is Your Health Unique?

The key to Ayurvedic wellness and healing is the knowledge that health is not a “one size fits all” proposition. One must understand the unique nature of each person and situation, taking into account the individual, the season, the geography, and so on.

Each person has a constitution that is specific to him or her, and movement away from that constitution creates health imbalances; if such imbalances are not addressed, the disease may develop. So, the early signs of imbalance serve as a wakeup call to make gentle and natural shifts in behavior to return to balance—such as adjusting diet, modifying daily activities, and taking herbal remedies for a time.

To understand how imbalances occur, and what to do about them, we can look to the following fundamental concepts of Ayurveda.

The Five Elements That Transform Our Understanding of Health

Ayurveda arises from a tradition that describes the entire physical world—including man—in terms of five elements: space, air, fire, water, and earth. These five elements can most accurately be thought of as energetic patterns rather than as purely physical substances, and each has particular qualities. To help make sense of this, consider how these elements manifest in the natural world:

Earth is cold, heavy, solid, stable, and dry. This element is exemplified by dirt.
Water is cold, mobile, heavy, soft, and liquid. Think of the ocean.
Fire is hot, subtle, mobile, dry, and sharp. Its clearest manifestation in nature is the sun, which provides warmth to the earth and sky.
Space, as in the sky, is vast, cold, light, and clear. It enables all other things to have a place to take form and exist.
Air is dry, cold, rough, and full of motion. To understand these qualities, think of what it’s like to be whipped by an aggressive wind.

These five elements clearly manifest individually in the natural world. But even more profoundly, they all exist at all times in all things—including in the body—and each has its particular role to play.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Dandruff

Ayurveda, being a holistic medicine, is a useful natural remedy for dandruff treatment, the grey of hair, baldness and hair fall. Lots of ayurvedic herbs are available that can be used as ayurvedic medicines for dandruff treatments and remedies.

  • Scalp massage with sesame oil helps in removing dandruff. It is a good herbal remedy for dandruff.
  • Fenugreek seeds help in improving the condition thus a natural cure agent for dandruff.
  • Use of ash gourds seeds regularly is effective for dandruff management.
  • Apply a paste of neem leaves and wash it after 30 minutes to cure of dandruff. It is an effective natural remedy for dandruff.
  • Rosemary rejuvenates the scalp thereby stop dandruff.
  • Green gram powder is also useful for dandruff.
  • Ayurvedic medicines like Dudurpatradi Tailam, Gandhaka Rasayana, Brihat Haridra, Khand, etc. may be used after consultation from the doctor to cure dandruff.
  • Massage your head with Aloe Vera and leave for 10 minutes to have a good result for Dandruff.
  • For good hair and dandruff treatment, Alfalfa shows good result.
  • Alfalfa + Carrots + Lettuce control dandruff.
  • Apply a paste of methi seeds for a good result.
  • Application of Indian hemp reduces dandruff problems.
  • A mixture of Coconut oil + Camphor helps to check dandruff.
  • A mix of lemon juice + coconut oil to check the problem.
  • Mix a spoon of Caster oil, Mustard oil, and Coconut oil and apply it on your scalp
  • Rub the scalp with the mix of lime juice + pure vinegar followed by egg wash.
  • Massage the scalp with the pest of Tulsi leaves + Amla powder + Water. Left for 30 minutes and wash it slowly to ward off dandruff.
  • Egg Shampoo of 2-3 eggs is also quite effective to put off dandruff.
  • For a good result, apply the oil of Neelibringadhi or triphaladhi or kayyunyathi after the bath.

 

Home Remedies for Acne

Acne is a skin disease caused by changes in the pilosebaceous units(the unit consists of the hair shaft, the hair follicle, the sebaceous gland which makes sebum, and the erector pili muscle which causes hair to stand up when it contracts) of a person. It usually strikes during adolescence but rarely continues till adulthood. Commonly referred to as pimples, blemishes, spots, and zits, acne lesions generally occur on the face, neck, chest, back, shoulders and upper arms. It may range from being mild and moderate to a severe form. While an increase in sex hormones, during puberty, is the leading cause of acne, there are other factors as well that add to its occurrence.

Causes:-

  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Over-activity of sebaceous glands
  • Follicle fallout
  • Bacterial infection
  • Inflammation
  • Sluggish Liver
  • Alcohol
  • Hereditary factors
  • Taking too much stress
  • Misuse of drugs
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Smoking
  • Essential fatty acid deficiency
  • Foods like pizza, chocolate, and fried items
  • Cosmetics that are pore-clogging
  • Pressure from helmets, chinstraps, collars, suspenders, etc
  • Exposure to industrial products, like cutting oils
  • Environmental irritants, such as polluted air and high humidity
  • Squeezing or picking at blemishes
  • Hard scrubbing of the skin
  • Change of hormonal levels in women, mainly before, during and after menses
  • Congested colon and constipation
  • Food allergies and food sensitivities, especially to milk
  • Medications that contain bromides, iodides or steroids
  • The contraceptive pill can improve acne for some, but worse for others, depending on the balance of estrogen and progesterone in the brand of the pill.

Symptoms:-

  • Greasy skin
  • Blackheads
  • Cysts
  • Scars
  • Nodules
  • Papules
  • Whiteheads
  • Red or yellow spots (pustules)
  • Deep, inflamed lesions
  • Pimples on the face and upper torso

Foods to Avoid:-

  • Alcohol
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Chips
  • Coffee
  • Cookies
  • Cream
  • Deep-fried food
  • Pasta
  • Pork
  • Processed grains
  • Red meat
  • Salami
  • Sausage
  • Soya sauce
  • Sugary and carbonated
  • Ham
  • Ice cream
  • Liver
  • Tea
  • Vinegar
  • White bread

Foods to Eat:-

  • Apricots fresh or dried
  • Avocado
  • Cantaloupe melon
  • Carrots
  • Cherries
  • Chicken
  • Egg
  • Flaxseed
  • Grapefruit
  • Green tea
  • Guava
  • Lean red meat
  • Mango
  • Multi-Grain Bread
  • Oatmeal
  • Oranges
  • Plantain
  • Pomegranate
  • Salmon
  • Skim or 1% milk
  • Walnut
  • Watermelon

Remedies:-

  • Mix equal quantities of glycerin rose water and lime juice and store it in a bottle. Massage with this liquid daily on all the exposed parts of the skin to get a glow in a very short time.
  • To get a glow on the skin, mix a little curd with radish juice and massage with this mixture daily.
  • To get soft and glowing skin, squeeze the juice of a whole lime in a bucketful of warm or cold water and then bathe with it.
  • To cure any kind of old skin diseases apply bitter gourd juice on the skin, let it dry for a few minutes and then take a bath.
  • To bring a glow, apply sesame seed oil daily.
  • To get a wrinkle-free skin, apply cucumber juice, let it dry and then wash it off.
  • To get a blemishes free skin, dry a few orange peels, make a powder and make a paste by mixing little rose water, apply this on the face, let it dry, and then wash it off with cold water.
  • In cases where there are cracks in legs and hands or even prickly heat, mix 1 portion of lemon juice with 3 parts of sesame oil or coconut oil and apply it to the affected parts.
  • To get a fairer and glowing skin, mix little water and ghee with gram flour and apply during the bath, instead of soap.
  • In cases of scars left over after burns, apply coconut oil regularly over the scars.
  • To cure many skin diseases like irritation, boils and scars mix 20-22 gms honey with cold water and drink it daily in empty stomach.
  • To get beautiful and glowing skin, mix water with which rice has been washed; with turmeric powder, apply just before bathing.
  • Apply malai (fresh cream) on the face half an hour before bathing, scrub it off with hands-on drying and then wash it off to get a beautiful and glowing skin.
  • To make skin soft, scrub raw potato peel over the skin.
  • To unclog the pores and to get glowing skin, scrub used the lime peel for a few minutes on the skin.
  • To get a fair and beautiful skin mix amla (Indian gooseberry) powder with turmeric powder and milk and apply it and wash it after drying. Repeat this process daily for a few months.
  • Boil 1 liter of water till it reduces to half, and then mix equal quantities of glycerin and lime juice, mix thoroughly and store it in a bottle. Wash your face with this liquid 2-3 times in a day. It keeps your skin cool in the summer and prevents it from drying in winter.

Defining Physical Health

Physical health is critical for overall well-being and is the most visible of the various dimensions of health, which also include social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and environmental health. Some of the most obvious and serious signs that we are unhealthy to appear physically. Addressing this dimension is crucial for anyone attempting to sustain overall health and wellness.

Defining Physical Health

Traditional definitions of physical health prior to the onset of modern medicine would have considered someone physically healthy if he or she was not stricken with a serious illness. With modern medical innovations came longer life spans, which changed the way we define physical health. Today’s definition can consider everything ranging from the absence of disease to fitness level.

While physical health consists of many components, here is a brief list of the key areas that should be addressed:

Physical activity

Includes strength, flexibility, and endurance

Nutrition and diet

Includes nutrient intake, fluid intake, and healthy digestion

Alcohol and drugs

Includes the abstinence from or reduced consumption of these substances

Medical self-care

Includes addressing minor ailments or injuries and seeking emergency care as necessary

Rest and sleep

Includes periodic rest and relaxation, along with high-quality sleep

Components of Physical Health

Below are ways that each key area of physical health can be addressed through lifestyle choices:

Physical activity

Most healthy children and adults should be active on a daily basis. This should be a mix of both leisurely physical activity and structured exercise. Leisurely physical activity includes hiking, biking, and walking. Structured exercise includes strength training, running, and sports.

Nutrition and diet

A well-balanced diet should contain carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Restricting specific nutrients should only be done under the supervision of a health professional. Fluid, ideally in the form of clean water, should be regularly consumed. Meals and snacks should be consumed throughout the day, and portion sizes should be sensible.

Alcohol and drugs

Substances that alter mood or other bodily processes should be limited or avoided. Those with addictive tendencies or other health risks should consider complete abstinence from these substances.

Medical self-care

Basic items, such as bandages, lozenges, and over-the-counter pain-relieving medications, should be easily accessible from home. Long-term coughing, fevers, or other ailments should be addressed through primary care. Emergency treatment should be sought when signs and symptoms are significant or life-threatening.

Rest and sleep

While regular activity is essential for physical health, allowing the body to rest is just as important. Spending time relaxing or taking short naps can help rejuvenate the body. Sleep should take place in a quiet, dark environment and should last approximately 7-9 hours.

Physical Health and Mental Health

Mental and physical health both are dependent on each other. Poor physical health can lead to an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, poor mental health can negatively impact on physical health, leading to an increased risk of some conditions.

How mental health affects physical health

There are various ways in which poor mental health has been shown to be detrimental to physical health.

  • double the risk of death from heart disease
  • three times the risk of death from respiratory disease.

This is because people with mental health conditions are less likely to receive the physical healthcare they’re entitled to. Mental health service users are statistically less likely to receive the routine checks (like blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol) that might detect symptoms of these physical health conditions earlier. They are also not as likely to be offered help to give up smoking, reduce alcohol consumption and make positive adjustments to their diet.

Physical health is the state of being free from illness or injury. It can cover a wide range of areas including a healthy diet, healthy weight, dental health, personal hygiene, and sleep.

Physical health is vital for overall well-being

Chronic physical illness is a long-term health problem that will not go away – for example, diabetes, asthma, arthritis or cancer. Chronic physical illnesses can be managed, but they cannot be cured.

What can I do to be healthy?

There are many things that you can do to be healthy. These include eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, bathing or showering regularly. You should also attend the optician and dentist as well as brushing your teeth twice per day. Always attend any hospital appointments or see the doctor if you feel unwell.

Exercise

Physical activity in any form is a great way to keep you physically healthy as well as improving your mental well-being. Research shows that doing exercise influences the release and uptake of feel-good chemicals called endorphins in the brain. Even a short burst of 10 minutes brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. Physical activity means any movement of your body that uses your muscles and expends energy. From tending your garden to running a marathon, even gentle forms of exercise can significantly improve your quality of life.

Eat Well

As a teenager, your body is going through many physical changes – changes that need to be supported by a healthy, balanced diet.
The range of nutrients and balanced food groups you receive will provide many benefits in terms of your growth and development, some important nutrients/vitamins the body requires to include:

  • Iron
  • Vitamin D
  • Calcium

Eating healthily doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods. It simply means eating a variety of foods and cutting down on food and drinks high in fat and sugar, such as sugary fizzy drinks, crisps, cakes, and chocolate. These foods should be eaten less often and in smaller amounts.

Here are some tips to help you eat more healthily:

Don’t skip breakfast

Skipping meals, especially breakfast means you miss out important vitamins and minerals needed for energy and burning fats/calories during the day. Having breakfast will help you to remain alert and focused for the day ahead, and some breakfast recipes are simple to follow and take little time.

Drink plenty of fluids

Drink at least 2 liters of fluid a day (ideally water) which is equivalent to around six to eight glasses. Water and skimmed milk are the most desirable choices as unsweetened fruit juice or “sugar-free” juice can still contain artificial sweeteners. Your combined total of drinks from fruit juice, vegetable juice, and smoothies should not be more than a small glass each day, this is around 150 ml.

“Quick fix” diets

Diets that promise quick weight loss are often not nutritionally balanced, means you could miss out on important food that is beneficial for growth and organ function, such as diets that recommend a non-dairy diet or a no-carbohydrate diet.