Ayurveda

Ayurveda

Common Precious Herbs: Ignorance Induced Devaluation

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plant_shankhpushpi

Organic food is a new growing obsession in super rich ( Side note: It is an indication that, humans last resort is Nature, at mother’s lap.) .Since it is rich man’s obsession, there are many businessmen tapping this opportunity 🙂 and selling anything with ‘Organic Label’ (Beware! 😉 ). You will see more events like Organic Food Festival, fair and alike at your urban centers.

I recently attended one such Organic Mela. Organizer invited many farmers to sell their food items and charged money for stall at mela. Everyone happily paid the rent for stall but not one genuine farmer. He shared his pain with me.

In his words:

“साब..शहरके लोग सचमें मेरे गंवार है…”
“क्यूँ? भाई…मुझे तो यह सब पढ़े लिखे दिख रहे है”
“क्या पढ़े और क्या लिखे? यह लोगोने हम आदिवासी किसानोसे जगहका किराया लिया है| तिन दिन के १५०००| हम किराया वसूल करनेके लिए आपको महंगा बेचते है| हर कोई खरीद नहीं सकता |”
“पर भाई…जगह मुफ्तमें कौन देगा? किराया तो लेना ही पड़ेगा न..१५ लाख किराया कहाँसे लायेंगे?”
“सच बात है…पढ़े लिखे होते तो नहीं लेना पड़ता”
“वो कैसे?”
“यह मैदान जब मेलेके लिए साफ़ हो रहा था तब में यहाँही था| पूरा मैदान शंखपुष्पिसे भरा पड़ा था…उसे कचरेमें केंक दिया…उसे बेचा होता तो कमसे कम १० लाख का माल था…अब बोलो गंवार, है के न? जो लोग ओर्गेनिक ओर्गेनिक करते है…सब दिखावा है…हमसे भी पैसे लिए…आपसे भी..एंट्री फी…”

Urabn fools? What is common sense in villages…it is easily missing in urban centers. Schools, parents and teachers – they are busy generating fools. Sad.

I wished that great farmer best luck and asked him to sell at high price to urban rich morons. They deserve it.

Doctor Grandmother

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grandmother-your-doctor

Vrudhvaidya Parmpara (Traditional health knowledge) is not an treatise or books but information passed down through traditions about Ayurveda formulations, diagnosis and treatments. Various healers as per their clinical experiences have modified classical formulations to treat disorders of various etiologies. Certain formulations have been so good that many healers in India prefer these altered formulations as compared to its original counterparts. Our grandparents were equipped with these traditional knowledge. Let us continue with this tradition.

With this tradition’s revival in Society, we can reduce healthcare cost significantly. It can act as strong weapon against negatively virile pharma industries.

Ayurveda and Heavy Metal Blame – Part 1 (Mercury)

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bhasma_custom-7c6c5e6a6611ba05403a51b107d7115e03affaf4-s900-c85

In December 2004, Dr Robert B. Saper and his team analyzed US and India made Ayurvedic medicines for heavy metal content. His paper [1] concludes that :

“Lead, mercury, and arsenic have been detected in a substantial proportion of Indian-manufactured traditional Ayurvedic medicines. Metals may be present due to the practice of rasa shastra (combining herbs with metals, minerals, and gems).”

As soon as this hit the news stand, there was negative Ayurveda marketing started.

Now doubt, many modern pharma companies producing Ayurvedic drugs are not following standard procedures. And medicines produced by such manufacturers may come with toxic state of heavy metals but that does not mean heavy metal usage is to blamed.

In this series of articles, we will understand heavy metal usage in Ayurveda, both by modern science perspective and Ayurvedic perspective.

Let us explore most famous metal and most effective drug. Rasasindura made by Mercury.

What is Rasasindura?

Warning

  • This medicine should only be taken under strict medical supervision.
  • Self medication with this medicine may prove to be dangerous.
  • It is to be avoided in children and pregnant and lactating mothers.
  • Over-dosage may cause many poisonous side effects.
  • Take this medicine in precise dose and for limited period of time, as advised by doctor.
  • Keep out of reach and sight of children. Store in a dry cool place.

Ras Sindoor is an Ayurvedic medicine, with herbal and mineral ingredients, in powder / tablet form.  It is used in Ayurvedic treatment to improve immunity, strength etc. This medicine should only be taken strictly under medical supervision.

Rasasindura (RS) sublimated mercurial preparation often used in diseases like Madhumeha (Diabetus mellitus), Rajayaksma (Tuberculosis), Pandu (Anaemia), Sthoulya (Obesity),Mandagni (Impaired digestive fire) etc.
So, is it Toxic?
Let us explore couple of papers.
Study 1
In Pharmacological study test drugs were subjected for the chronic toxicity study in 40 days duration, in Charles Foster albino rats, administering the dose of 22.5 mg/kg body weight. Also the 4 test drug samples Samaguna RS, Shadguna RS, Vasa Bhavita Samaguna RS  and Vasa Bhavita Shadguna RS  were assessed for their bronchodilating effect in the isolated guinea pig tracheal spirals.  The study concludes that both Samaguna and Sadaguna Balijarita RShave little or no toxic effects.  The tissue responses to drug and its modifying effect on the histamine induced contractile response in guinea pig were  studied.  Shadguna RS  and Samaguna RS  samples without Vasa Bhavana did not affect histamine induced contraction whereas Vasa Bhavita Samaguna RS and Vasa Bhavita Shadguna RS  showed mild and moderate anti-spasmodic effect.  Study concluded that, Shadaguna Balijarita RSdifficult to prepare pharmaceutically and as its qualities are nearly similar to Samaguna Balijarita RS  in terms of efficacy and safety. [2]
Study 2

Researchers have employed state-of-the-art analytical tools and elegant computational methods in a truly multidisciplinary project to prove that Rasasindura, the mercury-containing Ayurvedic drug, is not toxic. Mercury is one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern. (WHO Worksheet No 363, Sept 2013). Metallic mercury is highly mobile, soluble in water depending on its chemical form and oxidises relatively easily. Bacteria convert environmental mercury in to methyl mercury. Mercury interacts with human body and turns it into methyl mercury. Methyl mercury is more toxic. As per conventional wisdom, Rasasindura will be toxic. Ayurvedic physicians claim that they have been using this drug for ages without any harm. The study carried out in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology tries to solve the riddle.“…Our work not only helps to understand the non-toxicity of Rasasindura but also establishes the Ayurvedic synthesis method for a well controlled end-product,” Dr. Debdutta Lahiri and her colleagues wrote in the latest issue of Journal of Synchrotron Radiation.

In this study, researchers used virgin samples of Rasasindura prepared as per Ayurvedic protocols. “Bhasmikaran” (making into powder), is simple in theory; it involves repeated, controlled and prolonged heating of metals with suitable ingredients to make metal powders and to remove residual metals and toxic organic molecules. The results obtained by the scientists apply only to the sample they used and not to any commercially available sample of Rasasindura. Regrettably, Ayurvedic formulations do not have any applicable standards.

capture
http://journals.iucr.org/s/issues/2015/05/00/hf5289/hf5289sup1.pdf

Scientists used five analytical tools and procedures with Rasasindura and nanoparticles of lab-based red á-HgS to prove that the structure of Rasasindura is indeed the very stable, á-HgS. Surface organic groups or organic groups were absent in both .The drug has thus the following attributes: because of the special affinity of Hg to Sulphur, Hg-S bonds are very strong. Other workers have shown that accumulation of á-HgS in the human body is very low. Absorption of á-HgS by the gastro-intestinal tract is only 0.2 per cent; the fraction reaching the kidney is much lower at only 0.02 per cent. HgS is 10,000 times less toxic than methyl mercury.

The researchers showed that complete oxidation occurred in Rasasindura and free mercury or organic mercury was absent in it. They used synchrotron-based X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (XAFS) method to prove 100 per cent HgS formation in Rasasindura.

They found that that Rasasindura contains nanocrystals of about 20 nm size. Particle distribution is better controlled in Rasasindura than in á-HgS, made in laboratories. The paper proves that toxicity cannot be decided by elemental analysis alone. [3][4]

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References
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[1] Lead, Mercury, and Arsenic in US- and Indian-Manufactured Ayurvedic Medicines Sold via the Internet

[2] A Comparative Pharmaceutico-Chemical Study on Samaguna and Shadguna Balijarita Rasasindura With Special Reference to its Toxicity and Bronchodilating effect.

(MD Dissertation) I.P.G.T. & R.A., Gujarat Ayurved University; 2002

[3] Why Rasasindura is not toxic?

http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/why-rasasindura-is-not-toxic/article7619239.ece

[4] Investigating structural aspects to understand the putative/claimed non-toxicity of the Hg-based Ayurvedic drug Rasasindura using XAFS

Ayurveda vs Modern Medicine

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modernvsayurveda

Which branch of Health science is Nature friendly and Human friendly?

1) Ayurveda :

Foundation principles of this branch prescribes prevention by in-depth elaboration of life style for place, terrain, age and season.

In case if you still get the sickness after following preventive steps, you don’t suppress the symptoms but boost body for self-healing. There is no intervention in hiding symptoms.

And for self-healing, take help from Mother Nature. Plants, Animals and minerals. Only when needed. There is not consumerism. There is no supplement-mania.

Absolutely ZERO pollution and environmental hazard.

2) Modern Medicine

Prevention is hardly communicated. And when communicated, hardly there is changes suggested by terrain, age and season.

Individual’s Prakriti is not considered. Random trials on all – that is the base of the proof. With plenty of side-effects.

Suppressing symptoms is a major selling point. Patients are treated as consumers and selling medicine is a profit so business interests have higher priority in research.

Medicine production = Environmental hazards

Medicine waste = Environmental hazards

Yes, there are some merits in emergency care. But I don’t consider them as sole reasons for saving lives. And they can be integrated with Ayurveda if needed.

Death is trans-technique event. So if someone claims that modern technology-led medical science saves life, it is delusion.

east_vs_west_chart

Surgery and Bharatiya Superiority

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“Now we are beginning to find out that the Hindu Shastras also contain a Sanitary Code no less correct in principal, and that the great law-giver, Manu, was one of the greatest sanitary reformers the world has ever seen.”

-Lord Ampthill, 1905
==========================

“The Ancient Hindus attained as thorough a proficiency in medicine and surgery as any people whose acquisitions are recorded. This might be expected, because their patient attention and natural shrewdness would render them excellent observers, whilst the extent and fertility of their native country would furnish them with many valuable drugs and medicaments. Their diagnosis is said, in consequence, to define and distinguish symptoms with great accuracy, and their Materia Medica is most voluminous.”

– Professor Wilson
==========================

“In surgery, too, the Indians seem to have attained a special proficiency, and in this department, European surgeons might, perhaps, even at the present day still learn something from them, as indeed they have already borrowed from them the operation of rhinoplasty.”

– Mr. Weber
==========================
The surgery of the ancient Indian physicians was bold and skilful. They conducted amputations, arresting the bleeding by pressure, a cup-shaped bandage and boiling oil; practiced lithotomy ; performed operations in the abdomen and uterus ; cured hernia, fistula, piles ; set broken bones and dislocations ; and were dexterous in the ex-traction of foreign substances from the body. A special branch of surgery was devoted to rhinoplasty, or operation for improving deformed ears and noses and forming new ones, a useful operation which European surgeons have now borrowed. The ancient Indian surgeons also mention a cure for neuralgia, analogous to the modern cutting of the fifth nerve above the eyebrow. They devoted great care to the making of surgical instruments, and to the training of students by means of operations performed on wax spread on a board or on the tissues and cells of the vegetable kingdom, and upon dead animals. They were expert in midwifery, not shrinking from the most critical operations, and in the diseases of women and children. Their practice of physic embraced the classifications, causes, symptoms and treatment of diseases, diagnosis and prognosis. Considerable advances were also made in veterinary science, and monographs exist on the diseases of horses, elephants, etc.”

-William Hunter

Squatting position : Ancient Wisdom, Modern Necessity

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Laborers/Villagers/Generation before Toilet seat don’t get fat stomach. Officer-goers, armchair-intellectual do get. One strikingly different habit? Squatting.

====================
Seven Advantages of Squatting
====================

[1] Makes elimination faster, easier and more complete. This helps prevent “fecal stagnation,” a prime factor in colon cancer, appendicitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
[2] Protects the nerves that control the prostate, bladder and uterus from becoming stretched and damaged.
[3] Securely seals the ileocecal valve, between the colon and the small intestine. In the conventional sitting position, this valve is unsupported and often leaks during evacuation, contaminating the small intestine.
[4] Relaxes the puborectalis muscle which normally chokes the rectum in order to maintain continence.
[5] Uses the thighs to support the colon and prevent straining. Chronic straining on the toilet can cause hernias, diverticulosis, and pelvic organ prolapse.
[6] A highly effective, non-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids, as shown by published clinical research.
[7] For pregnant women, squatting avoids pressure on the uterus when using the toilet. Daily squatting helps prepare one for a more natural delivery.

Health Benefits of the Natural Squatting Position

by  JONATHAN ISBIT

Guduchi Benefits, Idea of Green Tourism

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Disconnect with essentials (food,water, herbs) is painful for क्षेत्र (body). Present FMCG sector is faulty economy because it widens this disconnect and hence less healthy society. Even if you purchase something (other than life essential items which are not grown locally) from local vendor, it is good habit (on both seller and buyer part) to inquire and keep source in mind (and keep check on it. Be connected with source.). It has its own psychological benefit. Think about it. Will discuss sometime in future when idea is ripe again.

Tinospora spreads new wings in monsoon. This (post monsoon, post sharad) is good season to revere and seek help of this divine herb.

guduchi

“Columbin, tinosporaside, 4-hydroxy-3-methoxy benzyl, tetrahydrofuran, jatrorhizine, palmatine, berberine, tembeterine, tinocordifolioside, phenylpropene disaccharides, choline, tinosporic acid, tinosporal and tinosporon”

When these chemicals are bundled together, they have miracle effects on your क्षेत्र (Body). like a good and sensible farmer constantly think and act for replenishing क्षेत्र with nutrients, we should also take care of क्षेत्र in our possession i.e. our पञ्चकोषिय शरीर.

When this bundle of chemicals is packed by nature, it is different in constitution at different place. We identify is as Amrta in Sanskrit. Tinospora (English), Giloy (Hindi), Amruthaballi (Kannada), Cittamrtu (Malayalam), Amrutha valli, Seendhil kodi (Tamil), Thippatiga (Telugu), galo (Gujarati).

Tinospora is divine herb. Mixer of Pungent (Katu), bitter (Tikta) and astringent (Kashaya) tastes. Post-digestion, it gives Sweet (Madhura) taste. It alleviates three Doshas (Tridoshahara), mainly relieves Pitta. Promotes strength (Balya), appetizer (Agni dipani). It cures fever (Jvara), eliminates metabolic wastes & toxins (Ama), morbid thirst (Trt), burning sensation (Daha), diabetes (Meha), anaemia (Pandu), jaundice (Kamala), skin disorders (Kustha), gout (Vata asra).[1][2][3][4]

Some modern researches extend its boon-periphery to benefits like Radioprotective and anti-oxidant. [5][6][7][8]

So? Find our sources, find our Authentic Ayurvedic doctor and prepare medicine for entire family.

Here is an idea: Why can’t we develop real form of green-tourism? Design a treasure-hunt trips in vacations. Family trips. (Best if possible on cycle or foot) One at the end of each season. Explore areas where this medicine (and many such herbs) grow in abundance. Connect with the source as a selfless friend. And remain healthy!

Mind you, if modern pharma companies try to invade idea and sell you Amrta in packed bottle, it carried no value! Essential part is missing! Real essense is in urge to heal self (Read here : https://www.facebook.com/marut.mitra.5/posts/278289388962643 ) and that cannot be develop by purchasing medicines from mall or medical shops.

[1] Tinospora cordifolia is proved to be Immunostimulant in HIV patients (Kallikar et al., Indian J Pharmacol. 2008)
[2] Caraka Samhitha, Chikitsa Sthana, 3/299
[3] Ethanolic extract of stem and leaves of Tinospora exhibited significant antipyretic activity in experimental rats (Vedavathy and Rao, 1991)
[4] Aqueous and alcoholic extract of Tinospora showed that it is good anti- hyperglycemic agent in experimental animals with induced diabetes by different diabetogenic agents (Puranik K N et al., Biomedical Research 2008)
[5] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=20932729
[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=21350610
[7] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=21042467
[8] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=12587720

Xenobiotic Toxins, Ginger and Virechana

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xenobiotics

A xenobiotic is a foreign chemical substance found within an organism that is not normally naturally produced by or expected to be present within that organism. It can also cover substances which are present in much higher concentrations than are usual.

In Ayurveda, we have concept of आम/Ama. It is manifested due to several reasons (Read this note for detail: https://www.facebook.com/marut.mitra.5/posts/452328781558702)

Now, on top of Ama generated due to operational inefficiency of body or environment, we imbibe tons of toxins in form of modern drugs, pesticides and chemicals in air and water. All Xenobitocs.

Ama or Xenobitocs are toxin of both endogenous and exogenous origin. In this way Ama and Xenobiotics share similar qualities. Both Ama and Xenobiotics are tough for spontaneous elimination. They need a special pathway and intervention that facilitates the elimination.

If they are not eliminated timely, they obstruct Prana flow and hence bodily intelligence. Results in sickness of greatest intensity of pain i.e. Cancer.

The method of elimination of ama and Xenoblotlcs can be assessed only with the aid of Ayurveda concepts. Modern biochemistry explains the elimination of polar Xenobiotics (water soluble) through urine. But the method of elimination of nonpolar or lipophilic Xenobiotics can be possible only by Ayurveda. That IS as fat cannot be eliminated from urine, but can be brought to intestine and then eliminate by virechana and so on.

Two wonder boons of mother nature helps best here: Ginger and Garlic.

Many communities ( Jains, Swaminarayana for example) in Bharat traditionally don’t eat garlic and ginger as they think that they are of Tamasik nature. If you want to do survey, do it. They suffer from cancer, joint pain most. Amount of Ama and Xenobiotics have increased manifold but there is absolute absence of GArlic and Ginger in their. This results in cancer, arthritis and many Vata disorders.

Take care. Eat Ginger and Garlic moderately as per your Prakriti, age and season. Ask your grandmother, she will have all ideas about ginger and garlic usage.

In Praise of Herbs

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herbs
herbs

Challenge to all half baked scientists to design herb in lab. Accept the challenge, to fail.

“When I look at the poor little herbs that arise out of the earth, the lowest of vegetables, and consider the secret spark of life that is in them, that attracts, increases, grows, and geminates itself and its kinds, the various virtues that are in them for the food, medicine, and delight of more perfect creatures, my mind is carried up to the admiration and adoration and praise of that God whose wisdom and power and influence and government is seen in these small footsteps of his goodness : so that, take all the wisest, ablest, and most powerful and knowing men under heaven, they cannot equal that power and wisdom of his that is seen in a blade of grass. “

SIR M. HALE.

Medical Science: Reductionism vs System

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Our current popular science is based on reductionism governed by meritocracy proven by limited lab trials. And so the term ‘Nutrient’ and ‘Nutrition’ rules the global mindset.

Vitamin C helps so consume it! Vitamin A helps so consume it! B12 is essential to get it injected!

But now, we are seeing early phase of paradigm shift. As we analyze more about our food, we find that medicinal value of food is not limited to popular nutrients but also due to phytochemicals (A chemical substance obtained from plants that is biologically active but not nutritive).

System vs Reductionist
System vs Reductionist

So not biologically active but not nutritive part of food is getting attention! 😀 Some of them are very crucial in avoiding Cancer. For example – haldi has curcumin and red chilli peper has capsaicin – both are phytochemicals but plays critical role in cancer prevention.

My point here is: Do not rely on reductionism of popular science as far as food selection matters. From proven chemicals of plants to phytochemicals , they will dissect and find new things from inner Universe of plant and animal world. To me, this is futile exercise to reduce organisms into parts. Isolated curcumin cannot work as good as wholesome haldi. Extract of caffeic acid from Honey is dumb and ineffective because it is not part of wholesome honey.

Idea of Ayurveda is being wholesome, being compatible for specific digestive nature. What is good for me as medicine/food, may not work with you. We should not generalize food and medicines. Instead, it should be personalized.

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