Ayurveda stresses maintaining the health and vitality of the reproductive system. Many diseases are based upon or involve some wrong use of Ojus, which is the primary energy of the body and mind. Ojus is the essence of all dhathu (structural components of the body) and is derived from the reproductive tissues. Most psychological disorders are based upon an inability to form right relationships and are largely sexual in origin. Hence the right use of sexual energy is the key to health.
Our present day culture is suspicious & worried of any weakening of sexual drive. Human even though well nourished may not be capable of enjoying the sexual life due to the following reasons: - Malfunction of reproductive tissue, non-indulgence in sexual activities, too much of joy, obesity, accumulation of waste in the body tissues, exertion, faults of opposite sex, diseases to sexual organs, anger, worry, fear, grief, lack of confidence, old age, disease, exhaustion by overwork etc.
The traditional texts of Ayurveda describe the aphrodisiac therapy, which bestows sexual strength to the weak and increase the capacity of the strong for greater enjoyment. Ayurveda offers effective treatments for sexual debility, nervousness, palpitation, spermatorrhoea, nocturnal emissions, pre-mature ejaculation, female infertility, habitual abortion etc.
For a person who resorts to aphrodisiac procedures daily, his body does not become emaciated even though he indulges in copulation daily nor does his desire for copulation gets decreased. Both men & women can undertake aphrodisiac therapy.
Ageing and Rejuvenation
" 'Oh' those desirous of a healthy long life! Listen to us explaining the method of rejuvenation treatment which is like another nectar, having incomprehensible miraculous effects, promoting life span, providing health, sustaining youthfulness, relieving sleepiness, drowsiness, exertion, exhaustion, lassitude and debility, restoring equilibrium of the doshas, bringing stability, alleviating laxity of muscles, kindling the internal fire and producing of excellent luster, complexion and voice". ( Ref. :Charaka Samhitha)Objectives of life Dharma: - One's duty unto oneself, to the family, society, nation i.e. one's duty unto humanity. Aretha: - Reaping of the benefits of duty. Kama: - Satisfaction of desires. Moksha: - Attainment of salvation. A healthy long life is essential for the achievement of these four fold objectives. Ayurvedic principles are meant for those who want to live a healthy long life. The qualitative and quantitative balance of the seven basic tissues (dhathus) is essential for maintaining the body in a healthy condition. In our life span we need to consider the following three stages:
1. Up to the 16 year: - The time of maximum nourishment, in which the nourishment of the dhathus takes place.
2. between 16 & 70year: - The generative and degenerative process balances each other in this period.
3. After 70 year: - The period of ageing. The degenerative process overrides the generative process.
Presently the modern life with its faster pace, departure from nature's rhythm and nutritional living initiates the ageing process at a much earlier age itself. The following are
The main causes of ageing / premature ageing.
1. Excessive use of food & drinks which have sour, salty and spicy tastes.
2. Intake of alkalis. (Certain preservatives, baking soda etc.)
3. Consumption of old food (tinned canned foods).
4. Over intake of oil fried foods.
5. Excessive intake of non-vegetarian food.
6. Incompatible / antagonistic food.
7. Untimely eating schedule.
8. Over eating.
9. Intake of food when suffering from indigestion.
10. Sleep during the daytime.
11. Excess consumption of alcohol and over indulgence in vices.
12. Over exertion.
13. Negative emotions like greediness, passion, fear, anger, grief etc.
Knowingly or unknowingly most of us are indulging in some of these activities which result in ageing even in the young or middle ages, with the following symptoms :The person is subdued with malaise, depression, sleep, drowsiness, lassitude, lack of enthusiasm, dyspnoea, incompetence in physical and mental activities, loss of memory, intellect and luster, and gradually becomes resort to illnesses and does not enjoy the normal life span.
The Principles of Rejuvenation Therapy
Briefly it is the treatment for the nourishment of the body tissues. This therapy slows down the ageing process by decreasing the degenerative process. The appropriate time for this therapy is between the age of 16 - 70 yr.
The Merits of the Rejuvenation Therapy
The Rejuvenation Therapy (Rasayana treatment) offers prolonged life span, great memory, intelligence, perfect health, youthfulness; bright complexion and colour, bold voice and magnanimity, physical endurance and strong sense organs, perfection in speech; sexual powers and brilliance all are obtained from the Rejuvenation Therapy. It is the best means of keeping the dhathus (tissues) in peak condition. Many secret recipes are described in the traditional texts of Ayurveda. These medicines can be implemented in 2 ways.
Kuti pravesika vidhi: - This is conducted under strict medical supervision with a strict regimen.
Vathathapika vidhi: - This is more suited for the present day life. Regimens are not so strict in this approach and treatment can be taken by anyone at any time. Be Slim and Beautiful
Overweight? - Slimming Therapy
Along with the modern life style many new diseases come into existence. Among them uncontrolled fat deposition has remained a challenge to medical science. Over weight may not be a disease, but a condition of holding more weight than the cultural standard.
Causes of over weight include overeating, eating sweet, oily and cold food, lack of exercise, excessive sleep. Emotional factors include attachment and sentimentality. Hormonal imbalance and hereditary factors also contribute to weight gain.
Too many heavy foods combined with too little exercise can cause toxins (ama) to accumulate in the system and throw your fat metabolism out of balance. The body starts building too much fat, so weight gain is automatic. If your metabolism is out of order you may also experience a lot of craving for food, thereby resulting in overeating.
Ayurveda describes eight types of human bodies, which are considered bad. Out of the eight, the two, which are widely explained, are very thin body and very fat body. It has been explained in Charaka Samhita, one of the authorised texts on Ayurveda, that out these two, obese people have most diseases and troubles. This is because the extra fat puts a strain on the heart, kidneys, liver and the joints such as the hips, knees and ankles. Over weight persons are susceptible to several diseases like coronary thrombosis, high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, gout, liver and gall bladder disorders.
From the perspective of Ayurveda, losing weight is not about starving you or suppressing the appetite. It is about balancing your fat metabolism. You don't have to starve yourself or exercise until you drop. Balance is the key & with a therapy which is tailor made to suit your constitution.
By improving body's ability to digest and metabolise fats, cholesterol and carbohydrates, your metabolism comes into balance and so does your appetite, thereby reducing cravings and overeating. Then it is much easier for you to loose weight and keep it off.
The traditional texts of Ayurveda explain the natural weight control programs. This includes internal medications, external application and a regimen to be followed. This will deplete or break down your excess stores of fat, reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These treatments will balance the digestive power, which prevent the further fat deposition and nourishes each and every structural component. Weight control also depends upon how you eat & what you eat.
Three important points for loosing weight:
1. Controlling eating habits.
2. Regular exercise.
3. Avoiding the causes of weight gain
Health promotion and preventive care
Ayurvedic preventive medicine is called Swasthavritta 'establishing oneself in good habits', and its main principle is that one must reject excess in everything. Harmony and health are possible only when everything in life is enjoyed at the proper moment in the proper amount.
Ayurveda proposes three stages in the quest for good health:
1. Daily routine and seasonal activities to prevent illness.
Daily and seasonal routines try to ensure that the body's needs are satisfied no matter where the mind may roam, since most people are unable to develop the perception necessary to know what is happening within their bodies. Neither activity nor rest should be excessive, the body requires moderation in all things. A healthy routine establishes moderation and order in both body and mind, helping you to flow in the direction most appropriate for you.
• Awaken before sunrise
• Evacuate bowels and bladder after awakening
• Bathe every day to create a sense of bodily freshness
• Exercise moderately (preferably Yoga).
• Brush teeth after meals
Diet and digestion
• Food should be fresh, warm, tasty and easy to digest.
• Eating should not be too rushed or too slow. Chew your food nicely.
• Eat in peaceful and pleasant surroundings.
• Oil massage promotes circulation and relieves excess vata.
• Do not repress the natural urges of the body , i.e. defecation, urination, coughing,
sneezing, yawning, belching and passing gas
• Avoid physical exertion , such as yoga or running during menstruation.
Purity of mind from emotions like competitions, anger, pride, lusts, greed etc
Purification therapy and medications for diseases
Even after strictly following the above mentioned precautions it is natural that some toxins accumulate in the body as a result of various metabolic activities. It is necessary to eliminate these toxins from the body, which the body is doing to a great extent. But some toxins still remain in the body and are causing many diseases when their quantity increases beyond a certain limit. To maintain proper functioning of different body systems and to stay healthy a regular elimination of these toxins is required. Ayurveda gives an elimination therapy called Panchakarma.
Rejuvenation of the system to enhance health and quality of life.
Another important factor for maintaining good health and staying active even in the old age is called Rejuvenation therapy. So a healthy person should take rejuvenating preparations to maintain good health and stay young. There are many such Ayurvedic preparations available, which can be taken according to season and your personal constitution.
Good social conduct, morality, good manners and good character are some other factors, which are necessary to stay away from diseases. Thus Ayurveda approaches the complete individual while giving instructions about maintaining the health.
Purification Therapy (panchakarma therapy)
'Health is purity and disease is impurity so purification is the treatment.'
(Old Indian saying)
Purification therapy is a unique feature of Ayurveda by which the complete cure and non-recurrence of disease is made possible.The functional components (doshas, namely vatha, pitha & kapha) move all around the body through the channels of circulation to do the normal physiological activities. The disease is the result of imbalance in the quantity and quality of the doshas.
Ayurveda offers two measures in the management of a disease:
1. Pacifying therapy: - in which the unbalanced doshas are pacified with in the body itself. As this therapy don't cleanse the channels of circulation, there is the possibility of reprovocation when exposed to similar causative factors. This therapy is suited in conditions in which there is not much vitiation of the doshas.(SAMANA)
2. Purification therapy: - It is aimed at the complete expulsion of the unbalanced doshas and the purification of the channels of circulation. As the channels are cleansed and strengthened by this process, the chance of recurrence is nil.Purification therapy can be implemented not only for curing diseases but to maintain health. No other systems of medicine can offer such an effective treatment measure. So we can proudly declare our superiority of Ayurveda to any other systems on account of its purification therapy.(SODHANA)
The purification otherwise called 'Pancha karma therapy' is implemented in five ways.
1. Enema therapy: - It is best for vatha imbalance.(VASTI)
2. Purgation therapy: - Best for pitha imbalance. (VIRECHANA)
3. Emesis therapy: - For kapha imbalance. (VAMANA)
4. Nasal drops: - For all diseases above the neck.(NASYA)
5. Blood letting - Best for removing blood impurities.(RAKTAMOKSHA)
Stages of treatment First stage: - This includes the external and internal application oils followed with fomentation or sudation. By this the unbalanced doshas lodged in the weak parts of the channels are liquefied and loosened. Main or second stage: - In this stage the loosened and liquefied doshas are expelled out of the body by the appropriate purifactory procedure.
Traditional treatments of Kerala
Even though Ayurveda has got acceptance worldwide the real and pure Ayurveda only exists in Kerala, the land of Ayurveda. Kerala is renowned worldwide for Ayurveda and Ayurveda is an integral part of life in this God's own country. Kerala's equable climate, natural abundance of forests with a rich wealth of medicinal plants are best suited for curative and restorative is the only state in India which practices this system of medicine with absolute dedication.
The very landscape of Kerala, with its verdant forests and hilly tracts have nurtured an abundance of herbs, creepers, plants and trees that are extremely valuable in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines.
Moreover irrespective of cast or creed, the Malayalee's have what one might call an ayurvedic way of living in their seasonal regimens, periodic purification, oil baths, local cuisine, religious rituals or their caring practise for new-born babies.
The ancient tradition of Ayurveda has been kept alive in Kerala by master Vaidyas (doctors). There were 8 families in Kerala who were the authorities of Ayurveda. They are known as ashtavaidya families. Softouch Ayurvedic Centre is operating in association with one of them, the famous Ashtavaidyan Thaikkattu Mooss's Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala.
The most popular and important contributions of Kerala's Ayurvedic community are:
Merits of Kerala's oil therapies
Just as an axis of wheel is made strong and durable by applying grease around it, the human body becomes strong and lubricated by oil application. Based upon individual body constitution special oils are used which will stimulate the lymphatic system. This assists in the flow of nutrients in body and removes toxins from the cells. It prevents aging and has a rejuvenating effect. The body will be able to endure fatigue and physical exertion. Induces sleep, improves complexion and strength and prolongs life. As a proverb says ' The money that you pay to the physician may as well be paid to the oilman'.
Different traditional treatments of Kerala:
This massage is for proper blood circulation of the body and relaxation of mind. Experts massage Luke warm herbal oil on the head and body in the traditional Kerala style.
One of the most relaxing and refreshing massage that you can enjoy. This is the massage using fresh herbs cooked in Ayurvedic oils and packed into bags and applied over the body by experts. Very good for lubricating the joints and relieves joint pain especially backache. Cleanses the channels of circulation and expels toxins through the sweat.
The massage in which the whole body or specific part is made to perspire by external application of certain medicinal puddings prepared from a special rice called navara rice cooked in herbal decoctions and milk and packed in muslin bags. This massage makes the skin soft, enhances complexion, strengthens body muscles, cures the stiffness of the joints, and improves blood circulation and digestive power. It is also prescribed for all kinds of diseases of nervous system and rheumatism.
Process developed in Kerala in which a steady stream of decoction medicated oil or medicated buttermilk is poured on the head especially on the forehead in a peculiar pattern. It is mainly done for mental relaxation. Very effective for sleep disturbance, insomnia, mental problems and skin diseases.
Massage with special herbal powder. This is especially done for depleting the fat and strengthening the muscles. Very effective for obesity.
This is a process in which the body is made to perspire by continuously pouring luke warm herbal oils followed by gentle massage. This treatment is given for general weakness, arthritis, paralysis etc. Pizhichil is carried out on healthy persons as a rejuvenator process.
A form of Kalari (Martial arts of Kerala) massage in which the masseur hangs on a rope and gives the massage with his feet. The masseur will correct the body alignments as an osteopath or chiropractor does.
A special paste made out of Amla and special roots is applied on the head after giving a gentle head massage. Very effective for cooling, calming and soothing the mind.
A special cap is fitted on the head and warm oil is allowed to stay on the head for approx. 30 minutes. This is done for visual problems, memory ailments, sleep disturbances, headache etc.
This treatment is for eye diseases and for visual improvement.
Other major Ayurvedic treatments include Anjanam, Vasthy, Vamanam, Virechanam, Nasyam etc.
Women & Child Care
Women are considered to be the most important valuable jewel ever created because the four fold objectives of life, progeny, happiness, all can be attained only through them. So they have to be worshipped as the Goddess of prosperity in the family. Each and every individual is obliged to a woman as mother or wife.
The women are classified into four according to age
1. Kanya: up to 12 years
2. Bala: 12 to 16 years
3. Rajaswala: 16 to 50 years
4. Vridha: above 50 years
The distinctive anatomical and physiological features of women in each age group were well studied by the ancient sages of Ayurveda. Just as the river is cleansed by its flow the women are purified by the menstrual flow. That is the reason for the non-susceptibility of women to many diseases. The regimens to be followed during menstrual and post-menstrual periods are well advocated in Ayurveda. Disregard to these regimens is the leading cause for many of the gynaecological and systemic diseases in women.
Even though Ayurveda has given equal importance to both sexes, in many translations it is interpreted in a wrong way. In many of the new texts the 7th dhathu, sukla is wrongly described as the semen instead of reproductive tissues. This makes the Aphrodisiac Therapy (treatments to increase virility) inapplicable for the women which is quite far from the principles of pure ayurveda. According to Ayurveda health of a female starts in the fetal stage itself which describes the measures to yield a good female child. In addition to the systemic diseases, 20 gynecological diseases are described, which includes the menstrual, post menopausal disorders, sterility, impotency, etc.
Women are blessed with the divine duty of maternity. It is a great treasure to have a child who brings fame, pride, and prosperity, beholds righteousness and continuity of human race. The care of a child begins with the health of the parents. So the Bala chikitsa (one among the eight disciplines of Ayurveda, dealing with mother and childcare) has been given much importance from the vedic period itself.
In any community mothers and children constitute a priority group, i.e. approximately 70% of the population. The mother and the child must be considered as one unit because
During antenatal period the fetus is a part of the mother:
• Child health is closely related to maternal health.
• Certain diseases of the mother during pregnancy are likely to have their effect upon the fetus.
• After birth the child is dependent upon the mother.
• The mental and social development of the child is also dependent upon the mother.
• The mother is the first teacher of the child.
The purity and normalcy in structure and function of four factors is very essential for conceiving a healthy child. They are ovulation, uterus, reproductive tissues and nourishing elements. The treatment measures to ensure the purity of these factors is explained in Ayurvedic literature in detail.
Ayurveda also offers the following to yield a healthy child:
• Description of the correct time and way of sexual intercourse.
• Measures to eliminate the male characteristic features of a female child and female characteristic features of a male child.
• Measures for the proper fixation and nourishment of the fetus.
• To get the purity of the race.
• To decide even the sex of the fetus.
• Medications and treatments to be given from the period of conception to the delivery to avoid the complications of the pregnancy and to make the labor easy.
• Ante-natal and Prenatal care.
• Postnatal care to regain the health and beauty of the mother and to ensure the purity and quality of the breast milk.
• Neonatal and pediatric care for the proper physical, mental and intellectual development of the child till sixteen years of age.
“Join hands with Ayurveda to create a new generation who are the pioneers of tomorrow”