In India, especially the urban centers, obesity or even being overweight is becoming a new epidemic. The increases in consumption of fast foods, sedentary lifestyles and stress have increased the incidence of this problem. This has in turn, led to an exponential increase in the cases of diabetes, heart diseases and blood pressure among a host of other problems.
The Ayurvedic approach
Ayurveda is a discipline, which has been practiced over many millennia and contains the collective wisdom to effectively treat problems of obesity or being overweight without side effects. According to Ayurveda, the body is made up of 7 elements or Dhatus:
6.Majja (Nervous system)
7.Shukra (Reproductive System)
However, if you are overweight then it means that due to an imbalance of the ‘Kapha’ dosha, you are accumulating more ‘meda’ or fat. Ayurveda has some very effective actions to prescribe through which you can lose weight very effectively. Some of these tips are mentioned below.
1. Drink a mixture of lemon, honey and water first thing in the morning: Drinking a mix of lemon, honey and water helps to jump start your metabolism and boost your digestive system. Drinking this regularly over a period of a few months and would help reduce your weight very quickly.
2. Meditate for at least 10 minutes a day: This is a very important step as meditation helps relax your mind, muscles and nerves and reduces stress. This enables you to take better decisions throughout the day. It also controls your appetite thus stopping you form binge eating. Meditation and relaxation have also been shown to contribute to weight loss by keeping the metabolism regulated.
3. Do at least 30 minutes of exercise: It is important that you do at least 30 minutes of exercise daily as it would regulate your metabolism and help you to keep burning fat throughout the day. Incorporating light yoga along with a brisk walk is possibly the best way to safely and easily lose weight. Some of the easiest poses to lose weight would be
-Dhanurasana or Bow pose
-Setubandhasana or Bridge pose
-Bhujangasana or Cobra pose
-Vakrasana or Half spinal Twist pose among many others
4. Consider your diet according to season: According to Ayurveda, you should be careful about what you eat during the various seasons as this will ensure maximum nutrient absorption without the deposition of fat.
5. Eat three meals a day, not more: According to Ayurveda, you should have three meals a day without any snacks in between. Have a heavy breakfast as that tends to set the tone for the day, followed by a comparatively light lunch and an even lighter dinner. This is because your digestive system functions most effectively in the morning, fairly fast at noon, but it is the most sluggish at night.
6. Go to bed early and rise early: This is often propagated as disturbances in the Circadian rhythm or the natural sleep and waking cycles are a big contributor to weight gain. Once this is properly regulated, it could result in weight loss because of your body metabolism being properly regulated.
Sexual dysfunction is a disorder that is characterized by problems in your sexual life. It can cause you to lose interest and hence, not engage in any sexual activity. This disorder can affect people of all ages, however, the risk of sexual dysfunction increases with age. The usual symptoms of sexual dysfunction are low libido levels and erectile dysfunction.
Sexual Dysfunction in Women:
a. Low Libido- Low levels of estrogen hormone in your body can lead to low libido. Other causes of low libido are anxiety, fatigue and depression.
b. Dryness of the Vagina- Vaginal dryness occurs due to hormonal changes that occur in the body once menopause sets in. This leads to pain during sexual intercourse and impaired sexual arousal. Certain psychological issues such as anticipation or fear of painful sex and anxiety can also cause vaginal dryness.
c. Pain During Sex- Women may experience pain during sexual intercourse which may be caused by dryness in the vagina or endometriosis (growth of uterus lining tissues out of the uterus). Pain during sex can also be accompanied by a burning sensation in the genitals.
d. Orgasm Concerns- Certain antidepressant medications can lead to an inability to orgasm. It can also have psychological causes such as anxiety and depression.
#Sexual Dysfunction in Men:
1.Low Libido- In men, a dip in the levels of testosterone in the body can lead to a dip in libido levels. If you are suffering from higher stress levels, it can lead to lack of sexual desire.
2.Erectile Dysfunction- This is characterized by an inability to get or maintain an erection long enough for unhindered sexual intercourse. This disorder is most likely caused by medical disorders such diabetes and hypertension. It can also be caused by stress and depression.
3.Ejaculation Problems- Ejaculation problems include both inability to ejaculate and premature ejaculation. Sexual trauma, certain medications and sexual anxiety contribute to this disorder.
*Ayurvedic Remedies for ED
ED is treatable at any age. The total treatment in for impotence is called as “ Vajikarana therapy” in ayurveda. As this natural herbal erectile dysfunction remedy, increases the strength of a man to perform sexual act, like a horse, it is called 'Vaajikarana'. ( ' Vaaji'=Horse.)
Vaajikarana therapy or herbal treatment for erectile dysfunction leads to
3.Potency to produce healthy offspring.
4.Increased span of erection.
Eligibility for Vajikarana Therapy:-
1.The vajikarana therapy should be administered to persons who are between 18 to 70 years of age.
2.These therapies should be administered only to a self-controlled person. If this therapy is administered to a person who does not have self-control, he becomes nuisance to society through his illegitimate sex acts.
Numerous herbal preparations are mentioned in Ayurveda to treat ED or impotence. It has been said that people who have strong sexual urge, who want to enjoy sex regularly have to consume these preparations regularly to replenish the energy, vigor, stamina and strength. These preparations also supply the nutrients which are necessary for the production of semen.
#Ayurveda Tips to Overcome ED#
Consuming herbal preparations to rejuvenate the reproductive organs.
Massaging the body with herbal oil which gives a relief from physical exertion and also acts as aphrodisiac.
Practicing Yoga and Meditation to overcome mental exertion and to cope up with stress.
Sleep at least for 8 hours a day.
Avoiding the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, heroin etc.
Avoid hot, spicy and bitter foods.
Favor sweets, milk products, nuts and urad dal.
Add little ghee in your diet.
Give a gap of four days between two consecutive intercourses
Ayurveda is a treasure trove of numerous herbal treatments. The ancient medical science is said to possess herbal therapies and medicines that help manage and treat various health conditions. Nowadays, the modern and globalised science integrates a lot of Ayurvedic practises in general wellness applications and, in some cases, in medical uses. One of the most common health conditions is diabetes, and Ayurveda has a number of herbal medicines that helps manage blood sugar. According to the book, 'The Complete Book Of Ayurvedic Remedies', by Dr. Vasant Lad, diabetes (or madhumeh) is a metabolic kapha type of disorder in which diminished functioning of agni (digestive fire) leads to a tendency towards high blood sugar.In order to control the spikes in blood sugar, Ayurveda suggests having sadabahar herb, which is also known as periwinkle and vinca rosea. Here's what you need to know about this herb.
What Is Sadabahar?
Sadabahar, or periwinkle, is a commonly found plant in India and is said to be native to Madagascar. It is an evergreen shrub that works as an ornamental plant and for medicinal purposes. The smooth, glossy and dark green coloured leaves along with flowers are said to act as natural medicine for type-2 diabetes. According to Ayurvedic expert Dr. Ashutosh Gautam, "sadabahar flowers and leaves are used to control blood sugar levels. One can have herbal tea made from flowers and leaves in the morning or you can also chew some three to four leaves to get effective results."
Health Benefits Of Sadabahar For Diabetes
Sadabahar has long been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicines and is said to be a time-tested herbal treatment for managing conditions like diabetes, malaria, sore throats and leukaemia. Vinca rosea contains two active compounds, the alkaloids and the tannins. It is believed that the plant has more than 100 alkaloids, of which vincristine and vinblastine are most notable for their medicinal benefits.
How To Use Sadabahar For Diabetes?
The fresh leaves of sadabahar can be dried, powdered and stored in an air-tight container.
Consume one teaspoon of this dried leaf powder with a cupful of fresh fruit juice or water daily. The powder may taste bitter.
Take not more than three to four leaves of the plant and chew them to manage blood sugar levels through the day.
Take the pink coloured flowers of the sadabahar plant and boil them in a cupful of water. Strain the water and drink it every morning on an empty stomach.
Make sure you consult a certified Ayurvedic expert or a diabetologist. If you are taking any medications for diabetes and this herb simultaneously, chances are that the blood sugar levels may drop significantly.
Popularly known as mulethi in India, Liquorice has enjoyed a dedicated space in the world of Ayurveda and age-old home-remedies to tackle congestion, sore throat and a host of associated ailments. Despite its myriad health benefits, a recent study cautions pregnant women against liquorice consumption. According to a research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, liquorice contains a compound that can adversely affect mother's health and can be detrimental to fetus's health.
A team of experts from the University of Helsinki in Finland studied 378 people ageing 13 years whose mothers consumed liquorice during pregnancy. It was found that fetuses that were exposed to large amount of liquorice in the womb didn't fare well in cognitive reasoning and memory capacity measuring tests as compared to their counterparts. "The difference was equivalent to about seven IQ points," noted PTI.
Such participants also experienced more ADHD-type problems than others along with early puberty in girls. Liquorice contains glycyrrhizin which the study deemed harmful for expecting mothers and their fetus. Large amount of glycyrrhizin was defined at 500 milligrams a week (250 gms of liquorice) or more. "Little or no consumption of liquorice was stated at less than 249 mg of glycyrrhizin per week.
Pregnant women or those trying to conceive should therefore be informed about the ill-effects of food items or products that contain glycyrrhizin. "Glycyrrhizin is one of many factors that affect the development of a fetus but it is impossible to say whether it expressly affects the development of a certain individual," noted the study.
Studies and researches around animal experiments have confirmed effects of liquorice.
"Glycyrrhizin intensifies the effects of stress hormone cortisol by inhibiting the enzyme that inactivates cortisol. While cortisol is essential to the development of a foetus, it is detrimental in large amounts. It has long been known that glycyrrhizin causes higher blood pressure and shorter pregnancies in humans, but such long-lasting effects on the foetus have not been proven before," PTI reported.
Pregnancy and childbirth are matters of great importance in a woman’s life. A woman needs to be taken care of and made the centre of attention during this phase. The set of rules that are prescribed in Ayurveda are very important for pregnant women. They give you detailed information about the Vichara (thought process), Vihara (lifestyle) and Ahara (diet) which are recommended to be followed at various stages during the pregnancy period. The general guidelines that are recommended to be followed during pregnancy are:
Maintain a healthy, mild, easy to digest diet
Keep your food timings regular
Keep your mental health constant and keep yourself happy.
Avoid foods that are spicy or contain too much oil
Do not engage in sexual intercourse, intense work out regimen during pregnancy
Try to avoid negative feelings and general feelings of discontent
Do not cover your abdomen with heavy blankets
While wearing your clothes, do not tie tight knots over your abdomen
Do not change sides during your sleep without getting up
Avoid sleeping on your back and sleep on your sides
In Ayurveda, the guidelines to a healthy pregnancy are given in accordance to months.
First month: A mixture of natural supplements such as khajoor, draksha, vijari and manooka are taken with milk. This mixture is consumed through most of the time. In the first twelve days of pregnancy, drink a mixture of ‘Salaparni’ herb with milk. This mixture should be made in a vessel of precious metal (silver or gold). Also, avoid getting massages during this time and delay that until your fifth month.
Second month: The mixture of the natural supplements with milk is continued.
Thrid month: Drink the above supplements with milk, honey and ghee.
Fourth month: The same mixture is consumed with milk and honey,but the ghee should be replaced with butter.
Fifth month: The supplements are continued and along with it, gentle oil massage is started. Take bath with lukewarm water every day and continue this regimen until delivery.
Sixth month: The fifth month regime is continued.
Seveth month: An itchy and burning sensation on the breast and stomach may be felt during this time as the foetus grows in size. It is recommended to eat in small quantities, have sweet things with ghee or oil to make it easy to digest. Salt intake should be kept at a minimum. Avoid drinking water right after a meal.
Eighth month: Rice is made into a paste and is consumed with milk and ghee.
Ninth month: The eighth month diet should be followed along with oil massages. Massage oil on your belly and genital areas. Hygiene should be maintained to avoid infections. Lubricate your vagina with a cotton ball dipped in oil to provide a smooth passage when the baby is born.