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Agnikarma : Ayurveda Treatment And It's Benefits...!

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Vedas like Atharvaveda, Rigveda, Yajurveda etc. identified and worshipped Agni as a god and made disinfectant and curative properties of Agni clear by indicating its application in context of obstetric & gynaecological disorders. Acharya Sushruta who is considered as the father of surgery has described Agnikarma under parasurgical procedures. In the present day of practice there are set of disorders, which do not respond to Bhaishaja, Shashtra and Kshara treatment modalities, if at all they respond, palliative relief is found & after sometime chance of recurrence do exist. Agnikarma is one such promising procedure which is given utmost importance over all of above treatment modalities due to its permanent curative effect. Agnikarma means the application of heat directly or indirectly to the affected part with the help of different materials like Pippali, Ajashakrita, Godanta, Shara, Shalaka, Jambavoushtha, Kshaudra, Sneha, Panchalauha shalaka etc.

Benefits:

It cure disease, which do not respond to any other treatment modality like Ksharkarma and other surgical interventions.

It is choice of treatment modality for Kapha and Vatajanya Vyadhi.

Least chance of infection in treated wound.

Least chance of recurrence of pathological
phenomenon.


Procedure:

Patient is advised to take Picchila Anna prior performing Agnikarma therapy.
Thereafter, the site of morbidity & local affected area is cleansed with Triphala Kashaya.
After assessing symptoms of the disease, vital spots and the strength of patient Agnikarma is performed by red hot Shalaka (Panchadhatu) at the affected body part.
The number of Samyaka Dagdha Vrana can be 5-30 depending upon the extent of diseased area.
Cooling agent like Kumari patra along with Madhu & Ghrita is applied to relieve the burning pain post operation.
After Samaka Vranashodhana the treated area is covered with Plota(Gauze piece) & proper bandaging is done.


Indications :

Kushtha (Skin disease)

Visarpa (Erysipelas)

Pidika (Boils & Carbuncles)

Vidradhi (Abscess)

Dadru (Ringworm)

Pama (Scabies)

Arbuda (Tumours)

Vicharchika (Eczema)

Indralupta (Alopecia)

Shwitra (Vitiligo)

Kadara (Foot Corn)

Nasarsha (Nasal haemorrhoids)

Vyanga (Hyperpigmentation)

Yakrit-plihavriddhi (Enlargement of liver & spleen)

Gridhrasi (Sciatica)

Galaganda (Hypothyroidism)

Unmada (Pscychosis)

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Foot Massage : Ayurveda Treatment And It's Benefits...!

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Ayurvedic Foot Care
More than 70% of all people in the United States will have painful foot problems at some time during their lifetime. Do you take care of your feet as much as you use them? An ayurvedic foot care routine can reduce your chances of belonging to the unfortunate 70%.

Basic Foot Care
The best measure you can take is to wear comfortable shoes that fit properly, with extra room in the toe area. Equally important is to wash your feet daily with soap. Rinse off the soap with lukewarm water and dry your feet thoroughly, including between the toes. Always keep your nails short, but don't cut into the skin on the sides of your nails. Don't apply harsh techniques to remove corns and calluses, such as trimming or shaving, because they can damage your feet. Change your socks every day and when you exercise. Whenever possible, air your feet by walking barefoot outside, or in the house. These simple rules not only increase your comfort level but can prevent infections, calluses and many other ailments of the foot.

Ayurvedic Foot Care
"Caring for your feet in Maharishi Ayurveda goes beyond the cosmetic purposes: it benefits the whole body and nervous system," says Vaidya Nitin Agrawal of Maharishi Ayurveda Products International. An ayurvedic foot bath and foot massage relaxes the whole physiology and provides a feeling of revitalization, increased energy, and improved circulation.

Herbal Foot Bath
For tired feet and hard skin, a foot soak can do wonders. Warm water stimulates your feet and your whole body, and softens your skin. The aromas of herbs and bath salts provide relaxation through the sense of smell.

Boil one quart of water. Make a small pouch of any of the following herbs: lavender, sage, rosemary. Place the pouch in a large wash bowl or bucket and pour the boiling water over it. Let it sit for twenty minutes.
Add cold water, if necessary, to reach a comfortable temperature between 100 and 110 °F.
Soak your feet in the water for about twenty minutes. Gently rub the herbs on your feet but do not scrub.
Dry feet thoroughly with a clean towel. Bathing salts also soften your skin.
Foot Massage
By rubbing your feet, you "massage" your whole body. "Massaging your feet helps detoxification, balances emotions, and improves blood and lymph circulation," says Vaidya Agrawal.

First wash your feet thoroughly with soap and warm water. Neem soap is especially beneficial due to its antibacterial properties. Wipe your feet dry and sit in a comfortable position so you can easily reach your feet.
Apply oil to one of your feet for lubrication.
Start by gently rubbing the base of your little (fifth) toe.
Continue at the base of the next (fourth) toe.
Next, apply slight pressure between the fifth and fourth toes.
Then, rub between the third and fourth toes.
Next, massage, stretch and pull the big toe gently and rub each side of the nail.
Then massage the ball of your foot in a circular motion. Apply gentle pressure on both sides of your heel below the ankle joint, followed by circling around your ankle joint with both hands in a clockwise motion. This improves circulation and the energy level of the body.
Finally massage your calf muscle to release tension. Repeat the same steps on your other foot.
Treatment for Corns
Corns, like calluses, develop from an accumulation of dead skin cells, forming thick and hard areas on the tops, sides and tips of the toes. Constant pressure and friction from footwear can press these areas and cause pain. Instead of chemical corn-removing solutions, which can increase irritation, try the following simple remedy from Vaidya Agrawal.

Roast one garlic clove (dry or in a little ghee) until golden but not burnt.
While still warm, apply the garlic clove on the corn and place a Band-Aid over it. Use one clove of garlic for each corn. Leave it on for a day.
Apply daily until corn falls off.
Massage feet with Youthful Skin Massage Oil to soften skin and prevent the recurrence of corns.
Preventing Foot Odor
Smelly feet can result from perspiration, dead skin cells and bacteria. Synthetic shoes and socks increase the problem by not letting your feet breathe. The following recipe naturally deodorizes your feet.

Perform the herbal foot bath according to the instructions above, but add one half to one teaspoon of salt to the water.
Mix one part corn starch, three parts bentonite clay, and three to four drops of peppermint essential oil.
Make a paste by adding cold water to a small amount of the above mix. Apply paste on your feet for 20-30 minutes.
Wash paste off with lukewarm water and dry thoroughly.
Do this procedure every day for a month or until the problem disappears, then twice a week. You can also sprinkle the powder mix in your shoes or socks during the day.

As in every area of Maharishi Ayurveda, the emphasis is on prevention in foot care as well. If you give your feet a break, they will serve you better and help you stay free from discomfort.

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What is Swedana and What Are Its Health Benefits?

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Swedana is a steam treatment explained in Ayurvedic medical science. The word Sweda is derived from Sanskrit swid, meaning ‘to sweat or to perspire’. So swedana is the process of inducing sweat with the help of steam, generated from medicated herbal decoctions. It is the pre-operative procedure in various Ayurvedic detox therapies where the objective is to dilate the channels of the body to detach the toxins from the tissues. Ayurvedic fomentation is usually given after an oil massage.

Types:

There are many different varities of Swedana. Some of them are as follows:

Bashpa Sweda:
The fomentation is done by making the person to sit in the chamber where steam emanates from boiling herbal decoction.

Naadi Sweda:
Naadi sweda is penetrating heat. It is a more penetrating type of wet heat than Bashpa Sweda. This is given to whole body, using a tube; importance is given to thick and complex structures of joints.

Procedure:
Oil should be applied gently on the body. Herbs are selected depending on the condition and doshic predominance. Eyes are covered by tying a cloth around the eyes; the head is covered using a wet cotton pad as Ayurveda strongly believes the eyes and head should be protected from over heat. Treatment is continued till the forehead and abdomen sweat very well. After the completion of procedure person has to take shower with hot water. Food which is warm, unctuous and light is given after one hour of sudation.

Benefits:

Balances Vata and Kapha humors in the body

Detaches toxins; expels them through the tiny pores of the skin along with sweat

Increases circulation; reduces inflammation

Revitalizes and rejuvenates the skin

Improves digestion

Removes stupor

Acts on fat tissues

Relieves stress

Eases sore muscles

Reduces numbness, stiffness, rigidity, heaviness; improves mobility

Swedana is indicated in:

Hemiplegia

Arthritis

Parkinsonism

Motor Neuron Disorders

Osteoarthritis

Low back ache

Sciatica

Asthma and cough

Sinusitis

Chronic constipation

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Snehana : Ayurveda Treatment And It's Benefits...!

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An Ayurvedic massage is not just about blissful relaxation - it is actually part of a therapeutic process called snehana (oleation).

According to Ayurveda, an imbalance in bodily humors causes all diseases. In fact, the process of disease is thought to begin with the accumulation of imbalanced humors or toxins in the body.

There are five processes (panchakarma) to remove toxins and purify the body: therapeutic vomiting, purgation, enema, nasal administration of medicines, and bloodletting.

Toxins are typically located in the part of the body that is affected by the disease, but they need to be brought into the gastrointestinal tract before they can be removed through a panchakarma therapy.

This is where snehana comes in. Snehana therapy includes procedures that lubricate the body internally or externally.

This therapy softens the toxins so that they are detached and channeled to the gastrointestinal tract, where they can be easily eliminated during the main detoxifying process of panchakarma.

Svedana (sweating therapy) is another therapy used in this preparatory process. But unlike svedana, snehana can also be an independent treatment. Here's a deeper look at this interesting therapy.

How Is Snehana Carried Out?

Snehana can either be done externally or internally. Fats are used for lubrication of the body and include ghee, animal fat, bone marrow, or plant sources like vegetable oil.

This fat can be administered internally through the nose or given as an enema. But it is usually drunk or consumed after mixing it with food. The kind and dosage of fat are carefully calibrated by the Ayurvedic practitioner after considering the constitution and condition of the patient.

The night before snehana therapy, the patient prepares by restricting their diet to only warm and liquid foods that do not block the body channels. Then, medicated fat is usually administered for 3-7 days.

If it is taken beyond 7 days, the patient may become too accustomed to it and want to make it a part of their everyday diet.

After having the medicated fat, you are supposed to sip warm water frequently and, even after it is completely digested, your Ayurvedic doctor may advise you to continue consuming only light food for a while.

External oleation therapy may include massage, filling your mouth with the medicated fat for a few minutes (ganḍūṣa), or filling the ear with fat (karṇapūrana).

Ayurveda uses many forms of massage: Abhyanga anoints the entire body with oils or ghee, while padabhyanga focuses specifically on the feet and shirobhyanga on the head. Another form, udvartana, applies firm pressure in upward strokes to treat nervous disorders.

Some forms of external oleation can be practiced at home, too. You can try pichu by soaking a piece of cloth in warm oil and then placing it on the forehead for about 30 minutes.

This can help balance the body humors and calm the mind. It's best done in the morning and early evening. When done with padmaka (sour cherry) oil, it can relieve stiff eye muscles, dry scalp, inflammation of the face or head, and vaginal bleeding.

Kaseesadi oil (a medicated Ayurvedic oil) can be used to help with hemorrhoids. Meditate for about 10 minutes before you begin the treatment and rest for half an hour after the treatment to get the full benefits.

Ayurveda also recommends that you stay peaceful for the rest of the day. Of course, this can be a tough task, but perhaps starting your day with a pichu treatment will set you on the right track!

What Can Snehana Therapy Do For You?

In addition to preparing the body for panchakarma therapies, snehana can:

be used as an independent rejuvenating therapy
revitalize you after strenuous activities and long journeys
treat conjunctivitis (pink eye)
treat vata disorders (which are governed by the elements of air and space), including nervousness, insomnia, loss of memory, and stress
help treat dry skin

Who Should Avoid It?

Though snehana therapy has many benefits, it is not advisable for people who suffer from fever, indigestion, vomiting, diarrhea, or anorexia. It is also not suitable for people who are either very weak or obese.

Since an individual's constitution is an important part of determining the course of treatment in Ayurvedic medicine, it is always a good idea to check with a credible practitioner before starting any treatment.

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Six Ayurvedic Herbs to Induce Sound Sleep: From Brahmi to Ashwagandha and More!

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Have you been sleeping at wee hours of the night or have you been an insomniac since quite some time? Considering such fast paced lives that we lead nowadays, stress and anxiety are common problems, which lead to insomnia and other sleeping disorders. You may have tried various ways to try to relief your hyperactive mind, but in vain. Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine that is based on the tenet of balance in our bodily systems, suggests some herbs that should be consumed in order to attain sound sleep.

According to Ayurveda, when we have excess Vata and our minds are active with too many thoughts, it becomes impossible for us to relax. So, it is imperative to relieve the stress from our brains, which eventually will help in inducing sleep.

Here are some sleep inducing Ayurvedic herbs that will not only help you get sound sleep, but will also relieve excessive stress and anxiety that causes various sleep disorders.

1. Brahmi

Brahmi or Bacopa is one such herb that supports a restful sleep, calms emotional turbulence and also helps improve concentration and alertness. Brahmi, in Ayurveda, is called brain tonic, and is known for curing digestion problems. It also improves blood circulation, further supporting the body's natural healing process.

2. Shankhpushpi

Shankhpushpi is a herb that contains flavonoids, glycosides and alkaloids that help soothe your nervous system by bringing relief to mental fatigue. It acts as a natural tranquilliser for anxiety neurosis that further helps in sleeping better.

3. Vacha

Vacha has calmative effects on your brain, helping you to cure tension and insomnia. It acts as a coolant that relaxes the nerves thereby inducing sleep. Scientifically known as Acorus Calamus, this herb is a nervous system tonic that will ward off stress and various other issues.

4. Sarpgandha

Also known as Rauwolfia Serpentina or Indian Snakeroot, Sarpgandha contains more than 50 alkaloids in it. These alkaloids help in reducing high blood pressure or hypertension that can cause sleeping issues.

5. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is known to promote sound sleep. Researchers have found an active compound known as triethylene glycol, which works wonders to induce sleep. Ashwagandha treats people from their daily woes such as anxiety, stress and exhaustion.

6. Jatamasi

Jatamasi is a natural brain tonic and a memory enhancer; also facilitates calmness and relaxation to a hyperactive mind. It helps in inducing sound sleep while rejuvenating and nourishing the nervous system.

Switch to these herbs only after referring to a physician or a doctor in case of severe disorders.

Dr. Sandeep Awate
Dr. Sandeep Awate
BAMS, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 15 yrs, Pune
Dr. Arati Bayas-Pawar
Dr. Arati Bayas-Pawar
BPTh, Physiotherapist Homecare Physiotherapist, 12 yrs, Pune
Dr. Devendra Khairnar
Dr. Devendra Khairnar
MD - Allopathy, Pediatrician, 8 yrs, Pune
Dr. Nikhil N  Asawa
Dr. Nikhil N Asawa
MDS, Implantologist Prosthodontist, 6 yrs, Pune
Dr. Annasaheb Labade
Dr. Annasaheb Labade
BAMS, Ayurveda Family Physician, 19 yrs, Pune
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