CORONAVIRUS

ROLE OF AYURVEDA IN EPIDEMICS.

INTRODUCTION

“Let food be your first medicine and kitchen be your first pharmacy.” “When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” This has proved to be apt since 5000 years and recently as well. Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle may help protect against chronic diseases and promote better health. Are you ready to experience optimum health through the wonders of Ayurveda? Let’s explore the beauty of this ancient Vedic science.

I am revealing what Acharya Sushruta had to say about practicing precautionary measures 3000 years ago and what we are actually doing in current state of global pandemic. AYURVEDA WAS AND WILL PERPETUALLY BE ONE OF THE MOST SCIENTIFIC, TIME TESTED AND EVIDENCE BASED ANCIENT SYSTEMS OF MEDICINE. EVIDENCE? – It is hidden in the ancient scriptures in the form of a puzzle, not many can crack. You have to learn it (Ayurveda’s teachings), to earn it!(Ayurveda’s benefits)

EPIDEMICS WERE MENTIONED IN OUR CLASSICAL AYURVEDIC TEXTS?

Yes you read that question right. Global epidemic was mentioned in our classical text- Charaka Samhita (Vimana sthana).

What is meant by Janapadodhwamsa Vyadhi?!

Let me make this term clear for you ~ Janapada=large population and Udhwamsa=destruction. Clearly, Janapadodhwamsa means destruction of large population. Easy to correlate, with our modern term of “epidemics”. Acharya Charaka has described:

⇒ The root cause of Janapadodhwamasa-

Adharma (social and personal)

Prajnaparadha (rulers and citizens)

Misdeeds

Reflections in the material world

Factors which lead to globally communicable diseases are :- Inevitable disastrous factors, harmful effects of solar bodies, irregular season, natural disasters,man made evitable factors,wars,etc.

vayu/air: jala: desha: kala are the crucial janapadodhwamsakara bhava(factors playing an essential role in the spread of epidemics)

We should pay heed to the fact that charaka has mentioned the role of preventive therapy — to remain immune against the diseases =, almost 5000 years ago! Surely, “corona” wasnt clearly named back then. Our acharya charaka has also felicitated the prevention and control of these type of global diseases through;

  • Panchakarma
  • Rasayana chikitsa
  • Proper medication
  • Management of ailments with previously collected/administered drugs

Hence, such a type of global pandemic was mentioned in Charaka Samhita centuries ago. That itself, shows the expertise of acharyas, the efficacy of their drugs, the pathogenesis of diseases and the most crucial aspect- the treatment of such lethal diseases.

*PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES :(A. Sushruta v/s WHO)

Then – Prasanga

Now – No #Physical Contact with people or things around. #Greet With Namaste

Then – Gatrasamsparsha

Now – #Social Distancing, #Home Quarantine

Then – Nishvasa

Now – #Wear a Mask to avoid Droplet infection/ no coughing, sneezing, spitting in public

Then – Sahabhojana

Now – No community gatherings or celebrations.

Then – Ekshayyasan

Now – Home Isolation with separate sleeping and resting places for prevention

Then – Vastra-Mala-Anulepan

Now – Use sanitized items #personal hygiene

These general precautionary measures WERE/ARE applicable to all the diseases that are CONTAGIOUS/COMMUNICABLE (Samsargajanya) in nature. Like- skin diseases, viral fevers, sexually transmitted diseases, T.B, diseases of the eye, etc.

Immunity is nowadays a hot topic after this virus pandemic (COVID-19). When it comes to ayurvedic way of immunity, it is not as simple as popping vitamin C pills, multivitamin, fish oil, etc. Ayurveda has developed immunity as an internal or external health intelligence. The knowledge of Ayurveda has developed a guiding tool for a healthy body and mind. This covers understanding of one’s physical and mental constitution, dealing with emotions, cultivating a healthy lifestyle, consciously choosing a balanced diet, nurturing sustainable goals for development in life, providing first aid and primary health care as well a psycho-spiritual transformation of the individual.

Immune boosting is not the only way to protect us from a virus. The immune system is not a single entity or force field that needs patching up to work properly. Ayurveda doesn’t work on just boosting your immune response. Rather, to function well, the whole system requires harmony and balance. Ayurveda lifestyle mainly focuses on making immune functions to work in normal state. Thus it focuses mainly on innate immunity which is an individual Agni system and balances by abhyanga and nasya, proper digestion (GUT microbes and immune cells), metabolism (production of normal immune cells), assimilation (functioning of immune cells) and proper excretion.

*AYURVEDA-PREVENTION OF A PANDEMIC ;

Acharya Vagbhata has explained some general rules of prevention:

  1. Avoidance of improper activities by wilful violation of rules (suppression of natural urges like urine, feces)
  2. Control of the senses.
  3. Adherence to rules of good conduct told in text and rituals (daily regimen)
  4. Staying away from bhuta ( virus, microbes, etc )

#TRAYOPSTAMBHA – TRIPODS / 3 PILLARS OF LIFE. In Ayurveda,

the concept of tripod of life is a crucial factor for healthy living. These are –

  1. Ahaara ( Food )
  2. Nidra ( Sleep )
  3. Bramhacharya ( Celibacy )

#AHAARA :

A balances diet, optimum digestion and good elimination is the key mantra to a healthy life and overall well-being. Healthy body is formed by your food intake and diseases are also formed by your food intake. So eat mindfully.

#NIDRA :

When the mind gets exhausted the sensory organs also get exhausted and the detach from their subject that leads to sleep. It is the natural time of the body and mind to rest, reset and rejuvenate.

#BRAHMACHARYA:

It is the balanced management of sexual energy or activity. The essence of intimate energy is shukra, its ability to procreate gives this dhatu a place closer to the soul. Ayurveda believes in the concept of bringing consciousness and purity in any action that we indulge in.

=THE CONCEPT OF AHAR/ EATING : THE AYURVEDIC WAY

  • Eat the food which is warm and freshly cooked.
  • Eat the food which is unctuous.
  • Eat in proper quantities.
  • Eat the food only after the last meal is digested.
  • Eat food which is not contradictory in potency (not virudhahara ).

Eat food in desired and likable places with desired articles.

  • Do not eat food in a hurry / very slowly.
  • Eat food with full concentration and don’t talk or laugh while eating. Eat the food after considering yourself.
  • Eat according to your body constitution (deha, dosha) , digestive fire ( Agni ).

AYURVEDIC SWAPS FOR THE MODERN KITCHEN

SWAP FOR

Overnight – Canned – cold Fresh – warm – Moist

Table Salt Saindhva/ Rock salt

Refined Sugar Mishri/ Rock Sugar

Processed Oils Ghee

Soda/ Iced Drinks Buttermilk/Herbal Teas

LANGHANA / FASTING ( UPWASA )

Fasting can help you to : o Eliminate toxins / ama Boost agni / digestive fire o Make you feel lighter and cleaner o Make you feel mentally aligned and grounded Cleaning our srotas o Metabolism

STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM / THE AYURVEDA WAY :

FACTORS WHICH REDUCE IMMUNITY ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA ARE:

  1. Obesity/Over emaciation
  2. Un-wholesome food
  3. Acute imbalance of doshas
  4. Over exertion
  5. Insomnia
  6. Mental stress, fear and anger

MEASURES TO INCREASE IMMUNITY ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA ARE :

▪ Take chyavanprash 10 gm. in the morning.

▪ Golden milk (haldi doodh) – ½ tea spoon haldi (turmeric powder) in 150 ml hot milk, once or twice a day.

▪ Drink herbal tea / decoction ( Kadha ) made from tulsi ( Basil ), dal chini ( Cinnamon ),

▪ Kali mirch (Black pepper) , Shunthi ( Dry ginger ) and Munakka ( Raisin ) – once or twice a day.

SIMPLE AYURVEDIC PROCEDURES DURING PANDEMIC FOR SELF CARE.

1) Nasal application ( Nasya ) –

Apply sesame oil / coconut oil or ghee in both the nostrils (pratmarsh nasya) in morning and evening.

2) Oil pulling therapy – ( Gandusa – Kavala )

Take 1 tbsp. sesame or coconut oil in mouth. Do not drink, swish in the mouth for 2-3 minutes and spit it off followed by warm water rinse. This can be done once or twice a day.

3) Steam Inhalation 

GENERAL MEASURES TO ENHANCE THE BODY’S NATURAL DEFENSE SYSTEM :

  • Drink warm water throughout the day.
  • Daily practice of yogasana, pranayama and meditation for at least 30 minutes. o Use Haldi (Turmeric), Jeera (Cumin), Dhania (Coriander), Lasun (Garlic) in cooking.

AYURVEDIC IMMUNITY BOOSTER INCLUDES –

Giloy( Tinospora )

Haldi ( Turmeric )

Ashwagandha ( Winter cherry )

Pipal ( ficus )

Dal chini ( Cinnamon )

Neem ( Azadirachta Indica )

Sonth ( Dry ginger )

Kalimirchi (Black Pepper)

Tulsi (Basil)

AYURVEDIC MEDICINES FOR PREVENTING COMMUNICABLE INFECTIONS :

∙ Indukatha Kashay

∙ Sudarshana Choorna

∙ Bilwadi Gulika (agada)

∙ Aparajitha Dhooma for Dhoopana (air fumigation)

*FACTS ABOUT AYURVEDA AND THE RECENT PANDEMIC*:

  •  Ayurvedic drugs cured Covid-19 in 6 days. Covid-19 research: WHO, BRICS, Europe to join India to conduct research on AYUSH modalities heading.
  • The remarkable success of indigenous alternative medicine system Ayush in India gets worldwide attention.
  • The world’s second most populous nation has the lowest number of deaths per 1 lacs people at 7.73, as compared to 64.74% in US.
  • Faculty of Ayurveda of university of Lucknow launched “ LU – RAM 19 “, AN AYURVEDIC IMMUNE BOOSTER TO COMBAT THE MENIS OF COVID 19.
  • Turmeric is one of the very few “Anti – Cancer substance”

THE 6 BEST DOCTORS ARE – SUNLIGHT, WATER, REST,

AIR, EXERCISE, DIET.

Panchamahabhuta, Dosh, Dhatu, Mala, Dincharya, Ritu charya, Pathya – Apathya play an important role in the maintenance of an individual’s health. Your environment plays a crucial role in maintaining an equilibrium of your body.

“The more you let Ayurveda and Yoga becomes the basis for your living, the easier living gets “. Ayurveda and yoga goes hand in hand to nourish and promote better mind/ body connection.

So as to prevent yourself from communicable diseases our body needs a strong Rog – Pratirodhak kshamata – IMMUNITY.

“ STRONG IMMUNITY IS THE PRODUCT OF GOOD DIGESTION” HENCE FOLLOW AN AYURVEDIC LIFESTYLE TO LEAD A DISORDER FREE LIFE.

As we all know, Ayurveda is a consciousness based approach to health. A spiritual medicine recognizing the phenomenal intelligence in every grain, every seed, all life and every living thing.

On a concluding note, I would like to quote, “ THE JEWEL OF AYURVEDA IS ITS RECOGNITION THAT EVERY PERSON IS AN INDIVIDUAL AND HAS THEIR OWN PATH TO OPTIMAL HEALTH.”

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About author
Meet Nathani is completing his graduation in Gujrat Ayurved University. He is a nutrition researcher and passionate about the role of nutrition in health. Meet holds good knowledge over how nutrition , exercise and dietary supplements affects human body.
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