Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Boon for Kidney – Punarnava

Punarnava means "One which renews the body" i.e. which brings back youth again,full of vigor and vitality. Punarnava (Boerhaavia difusa) was named in honor of Hermann Boerhaave, a famous Dutch physician of the 18th century. It is also called as Red spiderling, Spreading hogweed, Tarvine, Hogweed, Pigweed, Tambadivasu, Raktakanda, Shothagni, Varshabhu, Snathikari.Punarnava as the name suggestes.

• Brings back the life
• Known as Kidney health support
• Recommended to use as Rasayana i.e. Punarnava herb improves tissue strength
• Used to rejuvenate Uro-genital tract.
• Roots are employed for many purposes including liver, gallbladder, kidney, renal and urinary disorders.
Further, in Ayurvedic texts along with its use for Kidney & liver several other benefits are mentioned for e.g.

• It has antioxidant property, so it is recommended as natural Immunity booster
• It is believed to be useful in purifying the blood and also the gastric juices
• This herb has good aphrodisiac properties as well as energy tonic.
• Combats joint pain and oedema
• It has anti-toxicological properties
• It is diuretic and therefore considered beneficial in many heart problems.
• Supports body's natural ability to expel fluids and prevent water retention, therefore useful in weight loss.
• Good for treating respiratory problems.
• Aids in digestion process and acts as a mild laxative,

The Ayurvedic description of Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa of Family Nyctaginaceaeare: It is described as Rasa (taste) - sweet, bitter & astringent, Veerya (nature) - Hot,

Vipaka (taste developed through digestion ) - sweet, Guna (qualities) - dry, light,
Doshas (effect on humors) - reduces vitiation of Kapha, Pitta and Vata.
Its principal constituents include alkaloids (punarnavine), rotenoids (boeravinones A-
F), flavonoids, amino acids, lignans (liriodendrons), ß-sitosterols and tetracosanoic, esacosanoic, stearic and ursolic acids.

The medicinal properties of Punarnava as per ayurvedic texts are :
Asmarighna – Litholytic,
Indralupta nasaka – Mitigates Alopecia aeriata,
Sothaghna – Relieves Edema
Mutrakrcichraghna alleviates Dysuria.
Kasahara – alleviates cough,
Vayasthapana – promotes longevity and maintains youth,
Svedopaga – adjunct to sucation (sweating therapy)
Anuvasanopaga – adjunct to oleating enemas.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

How your brain works and how it memorizes

As my mother-in-law was aging she was forgetting things, one fine day she even could not recognize us. On the other hand few days back me and my childhood friend had gone to our old house where we would stay when we were small, there we met one of the Uncle's who could remember the minute details when we were small. This all started creating a curiosity surrounding memory and it functions, I started wondering how our brain memorizes these things?

Memory involves delicate coordination between 3 processes that are:

Encoding (mentally processing information so it can be entered into memory)
Storage (holding that information for a period of time)

Long term & Short term

Retrieval (accessing or recalling stored memories when needed)

There are 2 types of Encoding :

1) Automatic encoding - Some encoding occurs effortlessly, automatically without us having to

think about it e.g. Personal experiences, Information of high interest, some type of basic learing

(motor learning etc)

2) Effortful encoding - Requires special attention, thought and practice. You have to work to

get the infor in

There are 3 types or stages of memory:

1) Sensory memory - brief lasing of sensory experience (visual or auditory)

2) Short term memory (STM) - Here the memory holds information we are actively thinking

about; limited in capacity & duration.

3) Long term memory (LTM) - Items encoded into LTM are held almost permanently. LTM has unlimited capacity.

This memory is not stored in brain as books stored in a library, but it is widely distributed throughout the brain cortex in the scattered form. Therefore there is no complete loss of memory even though one of the areas of brain is damaged.

Queen of Herbs - Shatavari

Shatavari means "who possesses a hundred husbands" or "Acceptable to many" indicated that this herb is highly effective in problems related with female. Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is mentioned in Charak Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Astanga Samgraha & Kashyap Samhita for preventing and treating various health disorders. It is also called as Shatawari, Satmuli, Shatamulli, Asparagus, Satawari, Bahusuta, Atisara, Kurilo and Satawar.

It is called 'Queen of Herbs' because it is important in all stages of female health. 

• In female child, its nutritive property helps in increasing strength. 
 • In adult female, it strengthens and nourishes female reproductive organs.
• In lactating mothers, it improves quality and quantity of milk.
• In old lady, it is one of the best source of protein.
Further, in Ayurvedic texts along with its use as a female tonic, several other benefits are mentioned for e.g.
• It is mentioned as medhya-the plants which increase intelligence and promote learning and memory, by increasing overall nourishment.
• It is one of the best rasayana, the rejuvenator herbs which improves health by increasing immunity, vitality and resistance, imparting longevity as well as protection against stress.
• This herb is also mentioned as balya means a strength promoter, stanya - a galactogogue and jeevaniya - an erythropoetic.
• The tuber of Shatavari is used in indigenous medicine as a tonic, for improving appetite and increasing the secretion of milk in lactating women.
• It also has the properties of aphrodisiac, diuretic and sedative.
• Prescribed for treating cases of nervous breakdown and menstural trouble

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ayurvedic Remedies for improving Eyesight

Prolonged constipation and nervous debility can cause Drishti dosha. Common cold can also lead to eyesight defects. Stress , Diabetes, Excessive smoking, alcohol intake, caffienated drinks are also responsible for defective. If proper care for eye is not taken, it can result into various eye conditions such as age related macular degeneration and cataracts, which is a leading cause of blindness in the world. The Ayurvedic name for defective eyesight is ‘Drishti Dosha’. Alochaka Pitta isresponsible for maintaining eyesight and it weakens with age. Proper caring for the eyes is one preventative measure that helps.
Ayurvedic Herbs for improving Eyesight:

·           1)   Amla - Extract the juice of fresh amla and drink 20 ml twice daily.

·        2) Bhringraj - When Bhringraj herb or amla herb oil or paste is applied over eyes, they help in improving eye vision.
·         3) Black pepper- Black pepper powder should be mixed with honey o improve eyesight.

·         4) Ghee - Rub a small amount of ghee on soles of the feet to improve eye vision.
·         5) Garlic - The juice extracted from fresh garlic is used for regaining lost eyesight.
·        6)  Rose petals - Freshly extracted juice of properly cleaned rose petals, which can be used both internally and externally for improving eye vision.
·       7)   Triphala - Triphala is an important medicine for eye health, especially blurred vision or to prevent the development of cataract.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Skin Care- It’s time to think beyond Cosmetics

In Ayurveda according to Sushrutaachaarya the skin has seven layers. These layers when get affected by imbalanced doshas, give rise to different skin diseases the list of seven layers of skin and diseases which originate from them are as follows.

Avabhasini - The first and outermost, thinnest layer of skin . The root word in an Avabhaasini is Bhasin, which means to show, to reflect, and to enlighten. Thus it is the one which reflects the aura.
Lohita -This is the second in sequence and is slightly thicker than Avabhaasinee. As the name suggests it has a red hue due to the presence of various peripheral blood vessels in it. 

Conditions characterized by various colored lesions on the skin like moles, dark circles, black pigmentations occur when vitiated doshas affect this layer.

Shweta - This is third layer and is thick. Conditions like eczema, allergic rashes, psoriasis raising various flaccid hanging growths originate in this layer. 

Tamra – This is the fourth layer. Different types of skin lesions characterized by a copper colored discoloration and rich capillary network, worsening on exposure to sunlight (Kushtha, Kilaasa) originate in this layer.

Vedini- This is the true skin, which is responsible for perception of sensation. Different conditions involving loss of sensation or burning sensation like Kushtha, Visarpa etc. are related within this layer.
Rohini- it is the sixth layer of skin and actually forms a covering to many organs. The conditions occurring in this layer are much graves e.g. various kinds of tumors (mostly malignant), elephantiasis. Damage to this layer many a time require surgical intervention, some kind of Kshaara karma, Agnikarma etc. This is crucial layer and if injured seriously then it becomes difficult to cure. 

Mamsadhara - The last, thickest and innermost layer. As the name suggests it is responsible for holding / supporting the muscles. So these two meanings imply that it is mostly the covering facial /layer, which is adhering to the muscles. Diseases that originate here are fistulas, abscess, and piles. 

Celebrate Multitasker Woman's & their health

This year India celebrated its 66th republic day on 26th Jan 2015 and the entire program was telecasted on DD. Besides Barack Obama the highlight of the program was the All-women contingent of the Indian armed forces. I felt so proud to see The Army contingent being led by Captain Divya Ajith, the Navy being led by Lieutenant Commander Sandhya Chauhan and the Air Force contingent being led by Squadron Leader Sneha Shekhawat. The theme of the 66TH republic day was Women Empowerment and the courage and bravery shown by our women was on display.

After watching the program several questions flooded my mind. Imagine the amount of rigorous training that these women army officers undergo or their diet or how do they handle themselves when they get their periodic menstrual cycle.

As a woman have we ever kept a track of the number of activities we do every day??  Yes we do a lot of activities. Well, let me give an example: I am 23 years old pursuing MBA. I am an early-riser and my day starts with my daily early morning exercises and then getting ready for college. Travelling in crowded trains to get to college has become a part of my life. After college I attend karate coaching classes. I come back home eat my dinner and sit down to complete my daily assignments. My mom is a 49 year old working woman and her day starts at 5.00 am every day, which begins with exercises and then preparing tiffin for everyone. Her office hours are 9-5 which extends beyond 5 on most of the days. On her way back home she buys groceries, vegetables etc. Once home she sits down with my younger sister to help her with her homework. My granny is 75 year old and she has played a major role in bringing us up. Her days starts early morning with yoga and morning prayers and then she moves on to preparing lunch. She spends her day doing household chores and maintaining cleanliness, Oh Yes she is a cleanliness freak!!!! She recently underwent knee replacement therapy but that did not stop her from going for her daily evening walks.

It is not about me or my mom or my granny but this is generally how a day is spent by all the women out there.In the current age, due to extremely high expectations at social and personal level, a woman has to play several roles in her life.  This has created several health related issues in an  active woman. The common ones are described below. A health supplement for women should take care of most of these aspects.
Menstrual and Sexual Well being: The female body follows a cyclical pattern during active menstrual years. Menstrual well being is closely related with hormonal balance, good general  health, healthy reproductive organs and sexual well being. While reproductive and sexual  health means having more vitality in life and producing offspring which remains mentally and physically healthy.