Why Home Remedies Don’t Work, and How to Safely Try Unknown Home Remedies!

Now-a-days there are so many Ayurvedic remedies available online, you see, for example – 5 tips for weight gain, 5 tips for weight loss or 7 tips for headache and so on and so forth.

However, these home remedies fail to produce identical results in all kinds of people. Some people may experience a huge relief; however there might be other who might feel no difference at all. And have you ever wondered- why is that so?

The people who follow Ayurvedic home remedies remind me of a friend who used to mug up all the answers in the text book exactly in the same sequence and she would reproduce these answers exactly in the same sequence in the question paper also. However, in the question paper the sequence will be changed and all her answers will always be wrong. And she would always be so confused “why is this happening?”

You see, home remedies work exactly in the same manner if you don’t know why you are doing them. If you don’t know what fits and what does not and this is what happens with the people who don’t know what their body needs.

You see, applicability is a huge factor here.  One home remedy which might work in a great way for some other person might not be applicable to you, because you might have a different body type or you stay in a different region or you have a different climate or currently there is a different season, or you have a different digestive capacity, there can be so many factors at work. Our body is such a complex dynamic metabolic system and it is so disrespectful of our uniqueness to expect exactly the same result from a same home remedy.

Some of the factors are –

  • PRAKRATI OR BODY TYPE
    • Vata Dominant
      • Hot and Oily Herbs
    • Pitta Dominant
      • Cool and Sweet Herbs
    • Kapha Dominant
      • Hot and Dry Herbs
  • REGIONS
    • Ayurveda describes 3 Major types of REGIONS
      • Anoop (Wet Lands)
      • Jangalya (Dry Lands)
      • Sadharan (Normal Land)
  • CLIMATE 
    • Climatic cycle defines local seasons and weather conditions
    • That’s why, summer in a desert is different from that in a mountain.
    • Herbs grown in the local climate are the best for the natives.
  • SEASON
    • Classical Ayurvedic Remedies change according to Seasonal Variations.
Ritu Haritaki (Seasonal Combination of Chebulic myrobalan)

DIGESTION

Digestion determines the real benefits of herbal Remedies.

Haritaki (Chebulic myrobalan) is a wonder herb! However a person with INDIGESTION must never consume it.

Even your faith in the home remedy can bring about a drastic change in the results. No one today can deny the impact of placebo in the field of medicine. And if you have a huge faith in a home remedy, you might get incredible results from it even if it does not suit you and that’s why the Bhabhuti given by a sage works!

READ THE QUESTION PROPERLY

In my school, before every exam the examiner will announce” please read the question paper carefully” and it will also be written on the question paper because if we don’t read the question carefully, we will not answer the question, but will just vomit out what it there in our own mind.

When we know our health condition, when we know our body and what it needs , we have read the question properly and this is the right time to answer.    

Now you cannot go exploring your body when you are reeling with pain. I quite understand that. And therefore, there is a method to try unknown home remedies, if you must.

UPSHAY

Upshay is an Ayurvedic dosage technique where the patient is given a very small dose, let’s says one fourth or one tenth of the actual required quantity and kept under observation for some time. If he feels relief, the medicine fits otherwise it does not.  Plain and simple, we cannot profess to understand everything about the body!

For a Vaidya (Ayurveda physician), this method is a great tool for differential diagnosis as well.  It helps to determine or verify the exact Dosha situation in the body. Besides, this method of using minimum dosage also protects you from sudden and harsh allergic reactions, as this method gives ample time to the body to adjust its response.

Therefore, as a lay man, if you must use a home remedy in an emergency, try to use it in very small dosage and observe the response for some time, it can be one hour or  a day, depending on your convenience and then decide to use it for a longer duration.    

I hope that this information helps you to choose your best home remedy.

Other interesting articles

How to Choose Herbal Remedies

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Complete Relief from Mucus Accumulation in Sinuses through Dry Fasting – 48 Hours Ekadashi Observations

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Hi all,

Today is Ekadashi (11th day of the lunar phase according to Vedic calendar). By tomorrow 6 am, I will complete 48 hours without food or water. And I want to share my amazing health experiences with you all!

I remember the first time I did dry fasting was on Karva Chauth. And I was so scared of dying out of thirst that i went to sleep for most of the day and woke in the evening to drink water and eat. I am more or less fine with not eating , however no water was a scary concept for me. So, if you also feel the same right now, I would like to welcome you to the amazing world of dry fasting!

I started Ekadeshi fasting 2 years back after my teacher asked me to try it. Initially, I started with a fruit based diet and it worked well. After 2-3 months, I turned to a zero food fasting for 24 hours, sustaining only on water.

After a few more months, I started feeling better and more comfortable with the idea of dry fasting. With Apara Ekadashi of 2018, I started monthly twice dry fasting on Ekadashi. The fasting is normally for 24 hours. However, it extend to 36-48 hours for the people who believe in vedic astrological basis of Ekadashi fasting.

Here are some of my health observations regarding dry fasting –

Initially, when I started with the normal fasting, there was not much change in my health except better digestion. However, with dry fasting I saw a radical change!!!

As a child, I always had some or the other respiration issues, not very sever but I remember never going to sleep without Otrivin in my nose. And the feeling of breathlessness is quite terrible for a child! In fact, many of my family members have had severe respiratory problems.

A few years back (2015) I developed severe chronic cold. I would start sneezing the moment I woke up. My feet felt so cold that I would be wearing socks even in the summer mornings. And at the same time I also developed a severe breathing problem. I would feel breathless most of the time, esp at night.

I am severly allergic to all allpathic medicines. Therefore, Ayurveda is the only relief for me. However, even as an Ayurveda physician, I practiced Ayurveda the allopathic way, that is I always relied on Ayurvedic medicines. I completely forgot or never absorbed the fact that elimination of the root cause is the fundamental step of Ayurvedic treatment. All these diseases that I was blessed with, helped me to recall the basic concepts of Ayurveda.

When I started the dry fasting, I would feel a mild but constant flow of mucus from the head region towards the food pipe. And this would continue throughout the day. Sometimes, I would get some tiny lumps on mucus in my mouth as well. However, this would not happen on any other day. And with this experience, I felt lighter in my head after every Ekadashi. And with this observation, I can safely conclude that there was a huge built up of mucus in my sinuses. I never felt any pain and therefore it was easy to ignore other minor symptoms.

Here, I have an important observation to make. On 29th Oct, 2019 I fasted for Chadra Darsgan (new moon sighting, another traditional fasting day). I was supposed to eat at night after a full day dry fasting. However, there was a constant mucus flow from the head and I did not feel like eating.

However, I wanted to eat something. So, I convinced myself of so many health reasons, and that I might feel hungry at the middle of the night (you don’t feel like getting up then), and had a good meal of sweet potatoes.

The mucus flow instantly stopped and I started feeling itchy in my nose. By the next morning, I had a fully blown cold, with watery nose and heaviness in head. This was a very interesting incident and we can conclude a lot of things from it. However, the bottom-line is that never go against the digestive system. Your body knows what it needs and when! Another inetersting read is – Go Dinnerless !

And with dry fasting , all this mucus gradually dissolved and disappeared from my system. There was so much of mucus that it took a whole year to be completely eliminated. Now when I am fasting today, I feel no mucus discharge from the head region. However, I am sure that now the fasting benefits will be channelized to some other metabolic improvement!

Earlier, I would catch a cold if my feet or head was wet even for a few minutes. Cold shower appeared deadly. Today, it is been almost 2 years since I caught a cold, even a minor one.

Also, now I have a cold shower every morning before sunrise no matter what the season or place may be, and I face perfectly no problems at all. And all this happened without any medicine at all!!! only by neti neti, not eating or drinking anything.

Thus inspired, I started adding more traditional fasting festivals to my monthly list like Chaturthi, Ashtami, Chaturdashi, Poornima, Amavasya (4th, 8th, 14th, 15th day of lunar phase respectively). I do a normal fruit fasting on other days, eating a single fruit meal at night.

In Dec 2019, I discovered the amazing concept of Bigu, Chinese fasting technique and sun gazing techniques. Now I am fully convinced that material food is only a very small part of the total energy that our body can receive from the environment. Will be writing more about my excellent experiences about permanent, zero exercise weight-loss (approx 20 kg) with dry fasting.

May God bless you with great health and a peaceful mind!

My Experience with Ashtami Vrata in Traditional Hindu Intermittent Fasting

Namaste!

I have been practicing traditional intermittent fasting as was practiced by my ancestors, to understand its effects and I have come to observe incredible results.

It is a saying that Hindu people have thirteen festivals in three days (teen din me terah tehvar). Most of these festivals are associated with some of the other deities. However, one noticeable thing is that all these festivals form a deep mesh of intermittent fasting, based on the position and state (waning/waxing) of the moon. And it is now scientifically proven that the lunar phases have an impact not only on the tides, but also human circulatory system, menstrual cycle, nervous system, and hormones.

I started a study of ritucharya as a systematic preventive regimen against seasonal disorders in 2015. However, now I realize that it is not only a preventive system. It is much more rigorous than that. There is a huge possibility that this system can actually stay the entire aging process.

And ritucharya is more outside the ancient Ayurvedic text. It is mentioned in an indicative fashion in the classical text. However, the real practice of ritucharya is deeply ingrained in Hindu religious practices. I now believe is that a person living in a Vedic manner, should ideally not age at all.

Today, it is Ashtami (the eighth day of lunar waning) and I have been observing dry fasting (zero food and water) on each Ashtami, which is twice a month. Today, it was hotter than the rest of the days and therefore, I thought that I would rather continue with fruit and vegetable-based fast rather than a complete dry fast.

I ate fruits in the morning as I was really hungry then. In the afternoon, I was not hungry at all, but still, I had a good amount of cooked vegetables and watermelon. By 3.00 pm in the afternoon, I felt so abnormally drowsy that I was not able to keep my eyes open. This is a rare incidence for me as I also practice sleep fasting or ratri Jagran multiple times a month (zero sleep for 24 hours).

I drank approx 200 ml of coffee in the afternoon to prevent sleeping during the day. milk-based Coffee is anytime a better option than sleeping during the daytime. Normally, even 50 ml of milk-based mild coffee will keep me up for the entire night. But even after drinking this coffee, I fell asleep.

Sleep is a way of the body to counter excessive heat. Even animals like snakes and other reptiles sleep in order to cool off their bodies. This naturally happens as our metabolism is drastically reduced during sleep and therefore this helps to reduce the heat production ion the body as well.

In normal dry fasting, I would not have anything including water throughout the day. During Ashtami, I would drink water and eat one meal after the sunset. In Ekadashi, it is 24-hour fasting. And the incredible thing is that during all these fasts, I never feel weak, or tired, or sleepy. In fact, I feel lighter, cooler, and more energetic.

However, today I missed the fast. There is a reason to conclude that our body does not only have a bio-clock, it might also have a bio-calender. I believe that my body was expecting no food or water today and had other things planned for the day.

But since I had food, in addition to the increased day heat, the body had no option but to shut off the system and go to sleep.

Normally, I would sleep for 5-6 hours a day without any problems at all. But today even after sleeping for one hour extra during the day,  I felt so tired and heavy in my head after waking up.

In Bihar, (a state in India), there is a highly revered festival of chatt (which includes48 hours dry fasting). It is a very tough vrata and the follower is strictly advised to never drop the annual fasting routine. Even if one has to drop the fasting ritual, there is a special procedure for it. Otherwise, the follower may invite the wrath of the presiding deity -the sun. It reinforces my belief in the annual calendar memory of the body.

I assume that body metabolism has as its own inertia of momentum and when this natural rhythm is obstructed in some manner, there is an equal and opposite )and probably not very pleasant) reaction – the wrath of the diety!

It is interesting to note that all human body parts have a presiding deity, for example, the eye is the abode of the sun god, the nose of the abode of vayu (air god), and so on. Similarly, each day of the lunar month has a presiding deity according to Vedic astrology. And today, I can definitely feel the wrath of the presiding deity of Ashtami – shiva 🙂

I will try to document all my personal experiences of Hindu Traditional Fasting and I sincerely hope that it might help to throw new light on the lost science of ritucharya!

Om Shanti Shanti Shanti!

Sunbath Ritucharya and Ayurvedic Remedies for Tanning

Sunbath Ritucharya

Sunbath or sun worship is an essential ritual in Hindu tradition. However, Ayurveda establishes the seasonal balance in the practice of sunbath to ensure all benefit and no harm!

Sharad(Early Winter) Sunbath

According to Ayurveda, one must avoid exposure to direct sun rays during the early winter (Sharad: Sep-Nov). This season is the time for cyclic pitta vitiation in the body.

Pitta dosha has a fiery nature and exposure to sunrays during the time of pitta vitiation can cause or aggravate pitta related disorders like inflammation, fever, psoriasis, hemorrhagic disorders, and many more.

Sharad Ritu is the time when sunrays can cause severe damage to the skin as the body is on the heat mode of aggravated Pitta dosha. You might find it extremely difficult to remove the tanning formed during this season.

Sun rays that can cause cancer might be present during this season. Therefore, Charak Samhita recommends complete avoidance of sunrays during Sharad Ritu.

Grishma (Summer) Sunbath

Sunbath during especially during the summer season is highly detrimental to skin health. Tanning in this season can leave a permanent effect on the skin.

Only early morning sunbath, from 6:00 a.m. to 8 a.m. is recommended in summer season (May-June).

Sunbath in the time-range, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. , is entirely applicable for kapha and vata prakriti people as their body is naturally coldish in nature.

Pitta prakriti people or people with hot body type must avoid sunbath after 9 am. They should make a conscious decision and go according to the comfort of their body. Pitta prakriti people should refrain entirely from the late morning sunbath during this season. Unless required, all individuals should stay indoors during this time.

It is imperative to stay hydrated during a sunbath. This recommendation is especially applicable for Pitta Prakriti people as they are prone to excessive sweating.

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Varsha (Rainy season) Sunbath

Sunbath is completely prohibited during the rainy season. The sunrays passing through the water-filled dark clouds are said to be very harmful and can denature the skin cells.

In fact, according to Ayurveda, one should never sleep outdoor under the cloudy sky as it can cause paralysis. Any rays passing through the rain-filled clouds are not great!

There is no scientific evidence for the above information. However, I am in the process of studying the effects of such sunlight on the human body and hope to discover the truth behind this directive.

Hemant-Shishir (Winter) Sunbath

Best season for sunbath is Hemant Ritu or winter (November -December). At this time, all the dosha in the body are balanced; digestion body strength and stamina is at its best.

Hemant is also the best time for cosmetic tanning.

Shishir Ritu or late winter (January-February) is also a good season for sunbath.
People suffering from winter depression(Seasonal affective disorder) can immensely benefit from regular sunbath during these two seasons.

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Vasant (Spring) Sunbath

Vasant Ritu or spring season (March-April) is the time of cyclic kapha vitiation in the body. Charak Samhita does not explicitly mention the need for sunbath for this season. However, It is good to have a sunbath in this season as well.

The heat from the sun rays helps to soothe the excess kapha Dosha and decongest the channels in the body. Spring is the time for seasonal cough, cold and kapha related disorders.

Severe kapha diseases like sinusitis, migraine, diabetes, etc. might flare up during this season. Sunbath might help to balance the kapha dosha and prevent disease aggravation.

However, if you have Suryavarta type of migraine, please avoid excessive sunlight exposure as it might aggravate the migraine pain.

Ritucharya for Your Region


These directives should apply to all parts of the world as ritucharya works on the basis of solar movement. However, Hindu tradition works on the lunar calendar as the situation on earth might be different from one region to the other.

In some seasons like vasant (spring), summer, do not have a clear recommendation regarding the use of sunbath. In these seasons, you must use your discretion regarding the use of sunbath in your region.

For example, summer is a pleasant season in cold regions of many western countries; therefore, summer sunbath can be very refreshing practiced there. However, you cannot practice sunbath in the summer of the Sahara desert! Here you need to use your discretion and decide when and how to have a sunbath.

However, in some seasons like hemant (winter), varsha (rainy season) and sharad (late winter), Ayurveda has clear directives about sunbath. These ritucharya directives apply to all the parts of the world.

This recommendation implies that whether you are in Siberia or Saudi Arabia, you must never have sunbath during a cloudy sky.

Sunbath Dinacharya

In the case of sunbath, Ritucharya is the preceding sutra over dinacharya. Therefore, if you want to decide regarding your sunbath regimen, you must first consider what season it is.

After the sunbath ritucharya, we can discuss the sunbath dinacharya or how sunbath should be practiced daily.

It is essential to note that Ayurveda highly recommends early morning sunbath. Also, exposure to sunrays during sunrise is considered extremely good for the skin and the eyes.

The best time for sunbath is during the early hours of the morning. 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

The sunlight during this transition period(sunrise) is meager in intensity and typically results in almost nil tanning. Also, the two daily light transition periods – sunrise and sunset were considered to be the ideal time of sun worship (sunbath) for the ancient sages.

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Daily water offering to the sun


Surya Argha or water offering to the sun is another type of sun exposure. It is believed that the sun rays refracted through the water have a very beneficial effect on the mind, skin, and eyes. However, this fact is not yet scientifically proven.

Do’s and Don’ts for Sunbath

  • It is crucial to stay hydrated during a sunbath. You must drink some normal temperature water before going for a sunbath. However, you must never drink cold or even normal water immediately after a sunbath.
  • Therefore it is recommended that you do not leave an air-conditioned room and suddenly go out in afternoon summer Sun because the inevitable temperature fluctuation is very hard for the body to manage.
  • After coming indoors from sunbath, wait for a minimum of 10 minutes before drinking water. Drink normal water and not chilled water.
  • If you drink chilled water while sitting in the sun, the drastic temperature difference between the water and the body might jeopardize and Confused the temperature management system of the body.
  • For example, if you are trying to cool a room during the summer you have kept all your doors and windows open for better air circulation, and suddenly there is a snowstorm which fills the entire room with snow, you will be caught off guard, and the damage will be much more.
  • However, if you have prior information and you have time to close all your goods and Windows before the snowstorm, then there might be no damage. It is crucial that we allow the body to prepare for the external changes to which it is going to be exposed.
  • While having a sunbath, it is essential to be attentive to the signals of your body. Your body knows best.
  • If you are going to drink water during the Sun path, please ensure that you consume normal temperature water.
  • If you start to feel and easy within 5 minutes of sunbath, you must leave and come indoors.
  • There is no standardized recommendation for the duration of the daily sunbath. It completely different depends on personal comfort.

Ayurvedic Remedies for Tan Removal

This Article was first posted on Quora as an answer to the utility of some high-end Ayurveda products for De-tanning. However, it was collapsed because I mentioned that expensive products are not required for tan removal. They are against the underlying philosophy of simplicity in Ayurveda.

Before we talk about tanning removal methods in Ayurveda, let’s us always remember one thing – overly expensive products can never match the true spirit of Ayurveda. I hope that Ayurveda doesn’t become the new market fad for money-minded business people.

Holistic Anti-tanning Approach


If you want to remove tanning through Ayurveda, follow a holistic method. If you rely just on some medicine or topical ointment without any change in diet and lifestyle, the result will be zero.

Diet can increase or decrease the skin receptivity of sunrays. For example, an Ayurvedic herb called Bakuchi (Psoralea corylifolia) can accelerate melanin formation in the skin cells to the extent of causing burns and boils! This herb is an incredible remedy for vitiligo.

The bottom line is that – diet can affect skin complexion. However, most of the traditional cuisines help to keep skin healthy and bright.

Physiology of Tanning According to Ayurveda


Aggravated Ranjaka Pitta (responsible for all kinds of pigmentation in the body) is the basis for excess tanning. Therefore, if you want to prevent tanning with the help of diet, avoid all hot, spicy, and oily food. Avoid excess consumption of hot herbs like ginger, garlic, red chili, mustard, etc.

For pitta balance, you must consume more of cooling foods like coconut water/milk, sandalwood tea, green cardamom, fennel, cumin, mint, lemon, awla (emblica), etc.

However, lifestyle is the most critical factor in the case of tanning prevention and treatment.

The first step in Ayurvedic treatment for tanning is to remove the cause (nidan parivarjanama). It might not always be practically possible to refrain from going out in the sun, especially when you are in a profession that might require working outdoors in the sun.

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But still, there are ways to prevent the harmful effect of sunlight. For example, Arabs wear clothes that fully cover their bodies. Probably this is the reason why they belong to one of the naturally fair races even when they are natives to a desert region.

Sunrays and Body Temperature


Wearing small clothes exposes body directly to the sunlight and doesn’t help in bringing down the overall body temperature. If you wear full outfits, these clothes create an air space between the sun heat and the body and prevent the excess heating effect of the direct sun exposure as well as tanning.

On the other hand, direct exposure to the warm wind might jeopardize the temperature management system of the body. Therefore it makes sense to cover the body while exposed to the sun.

Tanning is most common in swimmers. It is better for professional or frequent swimmers to use full-length swimwear. In this manner, they can effectively reduce the skin surface area exposed to sunlight.

Therefore, try to cover the body while exposed to harsh sunlight.

No chemicals on the skin

You must avoid using sunscreens or any chemical based cosmetics that claim to prevent tanning. All the sunscreens have cancer-causing chemicals present in them. It is far better to use a simple cotton cloth as a cover rather than to use any sunscreen.


Ayurvedic Anti-tanning Approach


With the prevention of wrong sunlight exposure as much as possible, the first step of tanning treatment is achieved.

The second step is to lessen the effects of the unavoidable tanning. If the first step is achieved, this second step can virtually eradicate entire tanning.

Some of the readily available Varnya Mahakasahya (Complexion enhancing herbs) are-

  • Chandan (Sandalwood)
  • Nagkeshar (Mesua ferrea)
  • Kamal (Lotus)
  • Khus (Vetiver)
  • Mulethi (Liquorice)
  • Manjishtha (Indian madder)
  • Anantmool (Indian sarsaparilla)
  • Vidarikand (Indian kudzu)
  • Doorva (Bermuda Grass)

All of these Herbs have excellent complexion enhancing the effect on all types of skin, according to their sequence. Sandalwood or Chandan has the best impact for De tanning then nagkesar.

For a comprehensive anti-tanning process, consume tea made from the above herb and apply I there paste in on the tanned skin. You can make combinations according to availability of these Herbs in your area. However, it is best to take equal quantity of Herbs in any combination.

For example, if you can easily find Sandalwood powder and lotus flower, make an equal quantity of paste from both the homes and mix it to produce de-tanning Skin Pack.

You can brew this paste to make a de-tanning tea.

A combined internal and external effect of de-tanning Herbs can produce a quick result.

However, all of these verbs might not be present or available easily in your region. In that case, you can try the following simple de-tanning techniques-

These herbs can be used as a face pack in different combinations in a base of milk, coconut milk, coconut oil(for dry skin) and also water.

Milk – Raw milk is one of the best tan removal agent as well as a natural skin toner. Dip a cotton swab in raw milk and clean the tanned skin twice or thrice a day. You will see visible effects within a week.

If the skin is inflamed or sore, mix a tsp of turmeric in raw milk to make a smooth paste and apply as a face pack preferably in the daytime. This face pack helps the skin to heal and removes the tanning as well.

If you have dry skin with dark patches, massage the skin with coconut oil. After that, apply the above face pack for Tan removal.

Potato – Raw potato mash is a very readily accessible and cheap way to cure tanning. This mash can also cure skin inflammation and redness. This remedy is a very potent herbal solution that can heal even burns.

Cucumber – Wet cucumber slices when rubbed on skin produce a great anti-tanning effect.

Coconut milk – Coconut milk is also a great option to improve skin complexion.
Dab a cotton swab in coconut milk and apply it on the tanned skin. You can also mix one teaspoon of turmeric are any of the about mentioned complexion enhancing herbs in coconut milk to make a paste and apply the same on the skin surface.

Drinking coconut water also helps to maximize the effect of external de-tanning applications.

A reasonable rate of digestion and metabolism is excellent support for rapid de-tanning.

https://ritucharya.com/2018/01/07/ayurvedic-lifestyle-for-excellent-digestion/

Hope this helps all in need of this information!
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti |

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Varsha Ritucharya

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In this blog, we are going to discuss Varsha Ritu in detail.

The best translation of ritucharya is seasonal conditioning of the body as prevention against diseases and aging.

In India, we have well-defined six seasons. However, in many Western countries, they have four visibly distinct seasons – winter, autumn, summer, and spring. An elaborate rainy season(Varsha) or Shishir(late autumn) might be hard to witness.

However, seasonal changes occur due to the movement of the earth around the Sun and changes in the distance from the Sun. Lunar months keep on changing with respect to the solar calendar. However, solar months are stable. Therefore, we have a leap year to adjust the difference between the lunar and the solar calendar. I find solar months to be more reliable as a base for ritucharya. This concept can help people in the west to accommodate the food and lifestyle according to the changing seasons.

It is essential to note that the seasonal do’s and don’ts differ according to the land, climate, and culture. Below are some of the guidelines that can help everyone to formulate their ritucharya. In case you have any confusion, feel free to contact me anytime.

According to the Solar calendar, this year rainy season starts with Mithun Sankranti – 15th June 2019.

Ideally, the complete practice of Varsha ritucharya should start with Mithun Sankranti. Gradual changes can be induced one week before Mithun Sankranti.

Please find more information about dosha balance in Varsha Ritu here.

Dos and don’t of Varsha Ritu

Sattu dissolved in water
It is important to note that sattu can be used in many ways. However, Charak prohibits the use of Sattu dissolved in water particularly. Sattu made in the form of paratha, mixed with spices like garlic, is warming in nature. It does not cause excess cooling effect during the rainy season in the body.

Sleeping during the daytime siesta
If you sleep during the daytime in the rainy season, it might lead to an excess of kapha Dosha in the body. Since the body metabolism and digestion is retarded during the rainy season, excess kapha dosa can further slow it down and cause multiple disorders and aggravate existing diseases.

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Exposure to morning dew
Many people practice walking on the morning dew early in the morning. This practice is beneficial in the summer season but can be highly harmful in the rainy season. It can trigger cough, cold, and other kapha related disorders in the body.

Sleeping Outdoors
Many people practice sleeping outdoor during the summer season. However, sleeping under the open Sky even when there is no possibility of rain is an unhealthy habit during the rainy season. This practice leads to the high exposure of morning dew.

Besides, it is believed that sleeping under cloudy Sky can severely vitiate the vata dosha and lead to paralytic attacks. This belief is not scientifically proven. However, there are many instances of such paralytic attacks.

All these practices are opposite to health practices recommended in the summer. The transition from summer to the rainy season is the most significant transition of the year as the weather fluctuates drastically from dry and hot to wet and cold.

Swimming in rivers Swimming in rivers is strictly prohibited during the rainy season. This recommendation Works great as a health practice as well as a safety measure as the rivers might get flooded during the rainy season. As the rainwater joins the river, lots of impurities from the land can get dissolved in river water and can cause diseases; especially the skin disorders or digestive problems in case this contaminated water is swallowed during a swim.

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No sunbath
Sunbath is also not recommended during this season. Sunrays passing through the clouds are not considered safe in Ayurveda. Scientific evidence for this practice

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190530141443.htm

This study shows that the organs can independently react to exposure of light without interference or guidance by the central nervous system.
I have a hypothesis that Sunbath diverts body’s preparation for the rainy season when there will be no or minimum Sun exposure. Exposure to Sun activates the sweating mechanism, which is not very useful during the rainy season.

Minimum sexual activity
Excessive sexual activity is also prohibited during the rainy season. In the rainy season, overall body strength is below average. Sexual activity requires A lot of energy and produces an immediate feeling of exhaustion in the body. Therefore it is not supportable in the rainy season. Sexual activity during the rainy season risks severe vitiation of vata Dosha in the body. Zero sexual intercourse is an excellent option during the rainy season, especially for middle-aged and older people.

Use of Honey
The must-use substance in the rainy season is honey.

Honey is one of the elixirs of Ayurveda. Charak Samhita recommends the use of honey every day for good health.

Use of honey is especially recommended in the rainy season according to Charak Samhita
According to Charaka, honey causes vata vitiation. Cyclic water vitiation in the rainy season is a natural apart of natural annual biorhythm of the body.
However, Charak highly recommends the use of honey during the rainy season.

Honey is a natural kapha balancing substance. When kapha dosha blocks the natural Pathways of vata dosha, we experience pain in the body. Lack of Sunlight during the rainy season can aggravate kapha dosha. There is a possibility that the use of honey helps to dissolve the excess mucus and clear the vata channels in the body. This kapha elimination helps to alleviate several disorders like body pain, pain joint pain, headache, depression during the rainy season.

However, honey should be used in a limited quantity. Two to three teaspoon is the right amount for everyday use. Excess use of honey can cause severe indigestion.

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Time for pakora
Sometimes people feel body pain, joint pain, headache, etc. during the cold weather caused by excess rain. During this time you should use sour, salty and slightly oily food, for example, poha, upma, fermented food like Idli Dosa, paratha, fried savories like pakoda, mangoda, chilla et cetera.

Sour, salty, and oily food helps to balance the vata dosha. Sweet food is a little heavy to digest as compared to sour and salty food. Sour and salty food is naturally digestive in nature. Oily food helps to prevent the dryness caused by vata dosha.

However, it is crucial to consider the digestive capacity of the individual. Young people with healthy digestion can have fried food items like Pakoda, samosa, aloo Vada extra whereas older adults with weak digestion can have shallow fried food like paratha,cheela or slightly oily food like dosa et cetera.

Aged grains It is highly recommended to use aged grains of jowar, wheat, and rice, to protect the digestive fire during the rainy season. These aged grains are very easy to digest.

Non-vegetarian soups Acharya Charak recommends Non-vegetarian soups prepared from the meat of jangalya animals and birds (creatures found in the plains with moderate climate). These soups help to prevent vata vitiation in the body due to their heavy and oily nature.

No greens Use of green leafy vegetables is not recommended during the rainy season. All the green vegetables like spinach, methi, lal saag, etc. cause vata vitiation in the body. All the non-seasonal fruits and vegetables should never be used during the rainy season.

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Mangoes in varsha ritu

Mango is a gift of nature. It is a complete detox package for the summer season

However, according to a common folk belief, you should not consume mango after Devshayani Ekadashi.
Devshayani Ekadashi falls typically in June.

According to the traditional belief, mangoes that ripen after Devshayani Ekadashi are particularly acidic and harsh in nature. These mangoes can vitiate pitta and vata dosha in the body. They can also aggravate all kinds of digestive and skin problems.

According to my personal experience, the mangoes that come after Devshayani Ekadashi are peculiarly sour. There is no scientific evidence for this belief. Therefore we should experiment on a personal level.

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Beverages for varsha ritu Use of mahua based alcohol(for vata and kapha Prakriti people) and plain water (for pitta Prakriti people) mixed with honey, helps to accelerate the digestive process during the rainy season.

All kinds of alcohol stimulate the digestive system and produce more heat in the body — this excess heat help to compensate for the lack of Sunlight during the rainy season.

Charak recommends the use of boiled underground water during the rainy season.

Stay dry with herbal skincare You must avoid exposure to moisture in the rainy season as it can Trigger multiple skin disorders like fungal infection etc.

The rainy season has a very high level of humidity in the air which is ideal for incubation of pathogens, especially fungus. Charak Recommends that you should rub your body with a thick towel and apply medicated powders on your skin as prevention against pathogenic infestation highly prevalent during the rainy season. This health practice is especially applicable for people with excessively dry and malnourished skin.

In case of non-availability of Ayurvedic medicated powder, you can use powdered turmeric, sandalwood, aguru, etc.

You can you use medicated Herbs for Ubtan and bath as well.

The sequence of a sutra is important as it indicates the priority or importance of the recommended health practices. All the above health practices are in appropriate sequence as mentioned in Charak Samhita (Sutra Sthana-6/35) except the point mentioning green vegetables.

Hope this information helps all! Please feel free to comment or contact me for any doubts/queries.

4 Effective Ayurvedic OTC medicines for Cough

Cough is an effort of the body to get rid of phlegm or foreign irritants sticking to the internal parts of throat.

Sometimes cough persists for a long time even after the fever or primary infection subsides. Normally it is dry cough that is the most irritating.

If you do not want to use alcohol based cough syrups because of religious preferences or if you don’t want to feel sleepy in office after using them then –

4 OTC Ayurvedic medicines for Cough

Here are 4 Ayurvedic combinations which are more effective than normal home remedies. These medicines are herb based and therefore safe to use. They can also be combined with allopathic medicines for fever or cough for holistic treatment.

All the 4 medicines discussed here are classical Ayurvedic medicine and are available over the counter (OTC) with the same name.

Eladi Vati

This medicine is esp. good for dry cough.

Apart from cough, it is extensively used in treatment of tuberculosis induced cough, hemorrhage, haemoptysis (coughing up blood), fever, vomiting, fainting, hoarseness.

Dosage: 2-3 tabs at one time; 2-3 times in a day, to be sucked or taken with warm milk / water.

Best suited for pitta prakrati people.

Kapuradi Vati

This is mainly used for wet cough.

Best suited for pitta and Kapha Prakrati.

The main ingredient Kapur or camphor is very beneficial for pitta and kapha.

Dosage : same as Eladi vati

Lavangadi Vati

This medicine is effective for both wet and dry cough. Very effective for vata, Kapha.

It is very helpful to stop a cough attack.

It losses the sticky phlegm in case of cough which continues for long time and ejects small pieces of yellow of phlegm.

It relieves cough induced chest pain and head ache.

Dosage: same as Eladi vati

Dadimadi vati

This medicine has very good results in chronic cough. The main ingredient is Dadim/ Anar/ pomegranate.

Other ingredients are

Anardana

Gur

Sauth

Pippali

Marich

Apart from cough, this medicine is also helpful in following disorders.

  • Anorexia
  • Indigestion
  • Hoarseness
  • Chronic cold
  • Asthma
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach ache

Dosage : Same as Eladi Vati

5 Essential Yoga Poses for Rainy Season

Vata Dosha is vitiated in Rainy season. Imagine a heated pan suddenly sprinkled with water! A lot of vapor will be formed. Also, the metal continuously exposed to sudden drastic changes in temperature will erode at a faster rate (faster aging). Same phenomenon happens to our body, only in a more complicated physiological manner. Imagine that you are driving your car on a angular mountain road. If you are driving your car at a speed of 100 km, there is very low possibility that you will be able to suddenly change the direction at a sharp turn, without skidding . The momentum of the car prevents sudden change in direction. Body metabolism also has its momentum. It is in cooling mode during Summer. Suddenly it is ordered to change its functioning because of sudden temperature drop due to rains. The intertia of momentum is the vitiation of Vata Dosha. It causes confusion in the body and thus the diseases.

For details please visit following links :

Vata Dosha

Dosha in Rainy season

Sandhikal

However gradual cooling of the pan instead, will avoid the effervescence as well as the damage. Similarly a gradual food and lifestyle change is required to prevent damage to the body from seasonal changes. The Ayurvedic preventive system for seasonal change is called Ritucharya. In order to prevent skidding into diseases due to seasonal change, one must use the brakes of Ritucharya

Ritucharya

 

Exercise Routine : Important Factor of Lifestyle Change in Varsha Ritucharya.

 

5 Best Asanas for Rainy Season

These are poses which help in pacifying the Vata Dosha which is supposed to be vitiated during the rainy season.

 

Precautions for Varsha Ritucharya Exercise Regime

Avoid rigorous exercises and opt for light and easy exercises.

Do not exercise till you start feeling tired.

Prefer to avoid excessive exercise that might make you sweat profusely.

Keep yourself properly hydrated.

 

Benefits

Yoga is a good option as it is not a sweat inducing exercise.

Lack of sunshine due to clouds might induce SAD related depression ( Seasonal Affective Disorder) in susceptible individuals. Yoga generates a feeling of peace and contentment.

All 5 asanas strengthen abdominal muscles, improve digestion, help to relieve gas and constipation.

With above Ritucharya tips, keep healthy and happy in this rainy season and …

Enjoy the rains!

 

 

 

Healthy recipes you must have this rainy season! : Part 1

During summer, body is in cooling mode. Suddenly, with the start of rains the external environment becomes cooler. But the body systems have their own intertia of momentum. They take their time to change and adjust to the external environment. The time taken to adjust to the new conditions is a ripe time for seasonal disorders. This causes Vata Dosha to becomes vitiated in Rainy season. For more details on effect of seasonal changes on dosha, please follow the below link :

Vata Dosha in rainy season

The physiological shock that body receives cause seasonal joint pain, flu, body ache and a hoard of other diseases. Change in food habits and lifestyle can help prevent seasonal physiological shock to the body. This systematic change in food and lifestyle is called Ritucharya.

Ritucharya

Sandhikal

Brief Ritucharya for 6 seasons

 
The food in rainy season should be vatahar or contrary to vata Dosha. I this post, I have covered two great vata reducing ingredients – Ajwain (Ajowan caraway, bishop’s weed or carom) and Methi dana (fenugreek seeds).

Ajwain

Ajwain balances vata and kapha. It increases pitta. It is an excellent spice to ease digestion, eliminate gastric trouble and bloating . It has anti spam, germicidal, antiseptic and antipyretic properties. It is a good body cleanser and helps detoxification of blood and liver.

Methi dana

Methi dana or fenugreek seed is kapha and vata balancing spice. It is known for its blood purifying effect. It also has excellent effect on heart, lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar. It is a great digestive and prevents acid reflux (heart burn) or gas trouble. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti diabetic and anticancer effects. It helps relieve body pain, muscular cramps and menstrual problems.
 
Find below links of delicious based on these 2 ingredients.

Proscribed

Following vata enhancing food should be avoided during rains.

  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brinjal
  • Green vegetables
  • Green peas
One should use good amount of asafoetida, ginger, garlic, methi, ajwain, mustard oil, ghee, garam masala ingredients ( tejpatta, tejphol, etc.) if using the above vegetables.
 
Following acidic food items should be minimized in diet to avoid joint pain, body pain etc.
  • Tamarind
  • Vinegar
  • Acidic items
  • Chinese food

8 Tips to ease joint pain this rainy season!

Any kind of chronic pain, esp joint pain, increases in degree and frequency during the rainy season as it is the time of vata prakop or vitiation. (Effect of Ritu (seasons) on Dosha)

Please find 8 everyday tips to prevent or alleviate joint pain during this rainy season. These practices should be started in the first week of the rainy season for best results. Sandhikal 

  • Peel a small garlic and swallow it whole with water at night before bed. If the pain does not stop , use 3 times in the day. Start the procedure One week before the start of rains for best results.

Ideal for vata and Kapha Prakrati people. Pitta Prakrati people should use it with caution, otherwise it might cause acidity.

  • Dip your knees in hot water for 10 mins. Later massage them with Maha Narayan oil ( classical Ayurvedic medicine). Tie a cloth on the knee for sometime to ensure that oil is not wiped away immediately. Best time for massage is before bed.
  • Avoid use of cabbage, cauliflower, Brinjal, acidic items like vinegar, pickles, tamarind, dishes like dahi bada etc if you have severe joint pain.
  • Maximize use of moong dal as compared to any other dal.
  • Maximize use of asafoetida, ginger, garlic, methi, sauth( dried ginger powder) in food preparations.
  • Drink warm water. Avoid drinking water immediately after meals.
  • Use combination of Harad powder (Terminelia chebula) and saidha namak (unrefined sail/ normal salt) ( 1 tsp harad powder+ a pinch of salt) early morning with water.

Ritu Haritaki

  • Fast once a week to give time to your digestive system for cleaning and resting. Please ensure only light, non oily food, preferably boiled food like sweet potato etc or raw fruits during the fast.

Ayurvedic Recommendations For Ramadan Fasting

Anyone who wants to detoxify the body should observe Ramadan. In fact, the festival coincides with Nirjala Ekadeshi of Hindus, which is a full day fast without food and water. The festival of Ramazan is ideal way to detoxify the body and coincides with the most crucial sandhikal  of the year, the time of seasonal change between summer and rainy season. This is the most drastic change of the year, besides the strength of body is low during this time because of summer’s effect on the It. Lack of internal cleansing at this time is an invitation to a hound of diseases or their aggravation in the rainy season. Comparatively, the transition from winter to summer is easier because the strength of the body is at its peak.

Ramazan gives body ample time to detoxify body because of full day fasting and the long duration.

But unfortunately, the  important body Cleansing function of Ramazan is rendered ineffective because of heavy food consumption by the fasting crowd at the end of the day. The body gets a physiological shock, of digestion of a heavy meal when the body metabolism is slowing down after the sunset.

Prophet Muhammad has observed that the worst thing a man can fill is his stomach. Ideally, the fasting should start with the day break with a light meal called suhoor. And at the end of the day, the fast should end with water and light food.  The fast can be broken with fruit juice, dates, light food like plain rice with soup or curry. Heavy use of oil and spices in the food only eliminates the detoxification effect of the fast. Also the amount of food should be minimal, just enough to satisfy the hunger. One should not try to consume the amount of 3 meals to compensate for the missed meals.

In totality, Ramadan should be observed with a sense of abstinence and moderation, not only during the day fasting but also during the meal times.

Ascending and descending phase of fasting

Total days of fasting are approx. 30 days.  Ideally every fast should have a ascending and a descending period to prevent any blow to the normal body physiology. If I am eating full meal today, which I stop suddenly tomorrow, my body will have to drastically change its metabolism to adjust to this change. Therefore any dietary change should be gradual to bring expected detoxification benefits to the body.

During Ramadan, breakfast and dinner are the only meals.  Lunch is the one missed meal. The most important meal of the day is the breakfast because the body is fresh, clean and hungry (ready to digest) after the night.

The meals should be changed gradually. The first change is the lunch , therefore there should be no other change on the first day.

Gradually the dinner should be reduced to minimum, approx. 50% of the normal diet by the mid of Ramadan month. Same should be done with breakfast gradually, by reducing some amount each day.

From the 15th day , the amount of food should be increased in both meals gradually to reach the original amount in next 15 days.

This gradual phasing  is like slowing down your vehicle while taking a sharp turn, and then regaining the speed. A car trying to take a sharp turn with full speed is highly vulnerable to accident. Same goes for the body.

Have a Happy and Healthy Ramadan Fasting !