Monday, September 11, 2006

Saapida vaanga - Koncham health science...

நவராத்திரி பற்றி மற்றும் நவராத்தியில் அர்ச்சிக்க வேண்டியதைப் பற்றி ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் இங்க பாருங்க!!

Hello all,

We are supposed to talk about that 'something' that may accumulate in our body. As you might all have guessed, its nothing but toxins. Getting excited to talk about it!!!!!
When I was reading a toxicology book (published at U.S), I could find that the oldest books on toxicology (and infact on medicines ) are from India - Charaka samhita and Susrutha samhita (early part of 1000 B.C). Felt so nice...I wish I learn sanskrit to decode what is said in them !!!! And so, I started reading about them online. Let me share some info that I learned.
Makkale, let me say this. I as like many of us, used to think that ayurveda is another field just like allopathy or homeopathy. Never realised till few days before that its our way of life, the way/ the diet our ancestors followed!!! Let me talk about it before getting on to the diet.
"Life (ayu) is the combination (samyoga) of body, senses, mind and reincarnating soul. Ayurveda is the most sacred science of life, beneficial to humans both in this world and the world beyond."—Charaka Samhita, Sutrasthana, 1.42-43.

Ayurveda is a upaveda (subsection) of arthava veda. Though it had been practiced all along, it was around 3000 B.C that ayurveda in India was codified from the oral tradition to book form as an independent science. It enlists eight branches/divisions of ayurveda: Kayachikitsa (Internal Medicine), Shalakya Tantra (surgery and treatment of head and neck, Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology), Shalya Tantra (Surgery), Agada Tantra (Toxicology), Bhuta Vidya (Psychiatry), Kaumarabhritya (Pediatrics), Rasayana (science of rejuvenation or anti-aging), and Vajikarana (the science of fertility). The most fascinating aspect of ayurveda is, it was using almost all methods of healing like lifestyle regimen, yoga, aroma, meditation, gems, amulets, herbs, diet, jyotishi (astrology), color and surgery etc. in treating patients

Around 1500 BC ayurveda was delineated into to two distinct schools: Atreya—The School of Physicians, and Dhanvantari—The School of Surgeons. This made ayurveda a more systematically classified medical science, hereafter. In fact, these two schools of thought led to the writing of two major books on ayurveda—Charaka Samhita and Susruta Samhita.
The great sage- physician Charaka authored Charaka Samhita revising and supplementing the text written by Atreya, which has remained the most referred ayurvedic text on internal medicine till date. Susruta, following the Dhanvantari School of Thought, wrote Susruta Samhita, comprising the knowledge about prosthetic surgery to replace limbs, cosmetic surgery, caesarian operations and even brain surgery. He is famed for his innovation of cosmetic surgery on nose or rhinoplasty.

Evidences show that ayurveda had nurtured almost all the medical systems of the world. Even, Paracelsus, considered to be the father of the modern western medicine toed the line of ayurveda, as well. does ayurveda work??? It works on the principle that a perfect health condition is achievable through the psychosomatic integration in a person.
According to ayurveda, each individual is a combination of the three doshas of vata (air and ether), pitta (fire) and kapha(water and earth) or one of these doshas. In tamil, we call it as vaadham, pitham, silethumam. The basic constitution represents the individual's psychological and physical nature, distinctly. The tridoshas governs all metabolic activities in an individual. Within each person the doshas are adjusting to countless changes in the doshas of nature, in addition to the changes within one self. So, a person can be called as vadha udambukaaran/ pithaudambukaram..etc or a combination of these..

A discerning diet according to one's dosha type, and well-regulated life (dinacharya) helps strengthen one's natural immune system.Let us talk about how each family had maintained their diet.

Ayurveda emphasizes that the diet we take has a close influence on our mind and body. According to ayurveda, the mind has three possible states (tri-gunas) Sattva, or peaceful equilibrium, rajas, or excessive activity and tamas, or inertia—the three tendencies or gunas of mind influence the imbalances in the three doshas. (say, people who do teaching and other work related to thinking were having satva food. Farmers who had lots of physical work had food that gives raja guna etc. ) Specific dietary adjustments serves to maintain the balance of specific doshas and thus entail perfect health. Appropriate diet can be used to remove or neutralize toxins in the body .

Food Practice:

Some of the things that our ancestors followed in practice are :

  • Our ancestors do not suggest eating food until one's appetite is satisfied. When ill, one should eat only light food, and then normal food in small quantities, until half the appetite is fulfilled.
  • We never combine contradictory foods in terms of their qualities.
  • Keeping high-protein or high-fat food items in separate meals from lighter foods such as starches and vegetables.
  • Not mixing milk with yogurt.
  • Not eating cooked foods and raw foods at the same meal since they require different types of digestion.
  • Avoiding drinking milk while eating radishes, tomatoes, meat, fish, eggs, citrus fruits.
  • Eating fresh fruit separately from other meals (except the cooked fruits).
  • Some specific vegetables and grains are forbidden in some specific days of a month. Diet is to be compatible with changing seasons.
  • Also, our ancestors had specific detoxification methods like panchakarma and other herbal health remedies, when applied wholly or singly, make the body more responsive to medicines and treatment. It hastens the healing process.

Various yogasanas prescribed by ayurveda help prevent the diseases from occuring and accumulating. Yogasanas achieve the twin purpose of strengthening body-parts such as bones, muscle and vital organs like heart, liver, stomach, intestine as well as keeping our blood circulation and psychological conditions strong and resilient.

Romba scienceaa pochu!!! Okay!! Let me stop!!!!

What do you think we can do these days to keep good health w,r.t food?? Please think on those lines and post it as comment in this section. And I will add them to the next post with my own suggestions as well. Also in the next to next post, we can discuss about our likes - all delicious combinations say like (vetha kozhambu potato curry )that we all think that are so yummy and
what all we can cook etc.!!!! Enna Okayaa??

Courtesy :


vayasya said...

What do you think we can do these days to keep good health w,r.t food??

I am actually unclear asto why in certain cases, the ancient traditions are totally opposite to current views. Take ghee for example. The veda praises ghee and encourages its use in daily food (tejo vA Ajyam, vIryo vA Ajyam, shukro vA Ajyam, kAmo vA Ajyam etc.') However the way we look at it today is: ghee is high calorie saturated fat. Although physicians seem to prescribe ghee is very mild quantities, it is obviously nowhere close to the age-old tradition of muzhankai-vazhi-vAra.

So do we stick to the age-old tradition of "puShTi and vIryam" by consuming a cup of ghee a day? or worry about 2000 calorie intakes and compatible workouts? Especially given that most people are even unable to do decent workouts daily?

Priya said...

though i am not very clear about this, i can still tell u what i know..
ghee in the melted liquid form is not bad it seems because u break down the double bonds. and when people have very high amounts of ghee, they also used to take detoxifying/ fat reducing stuff periodically to remove off the accumulated stuff say like through panchakarma (like enema, vomiting, blood letting etc).
Now a days we practice one thing and let go the others leading to illness..May be its all the life style

vayasya said...

exactly. also the various regular fasts (ekadashi etc) helped in cutting the calories i guess. A blog on fasting would be really good.

Muthukumar said...

I am not sure abt calling danvanthri as something related to surgery. As per one of the speeches made by paramacharyal of kanchi, even though ayurveda is very advanced in surgery, practing it is discouraged as we worship human body as temple for atman and it shd not be cut through, that amounts to sacrilage. Instead we have herbal treatment for almost everything. A sanskrit saying says "There sis no herb that coukld not be made as medicine and no sound that could be made as manthra, except it is rare to find such sages who can do that".

Theoritcally such advanced ayurvedic shasthra is lost like every other shasthras to our generation because it wont be taught to ppl who dont meet high moral and ethical standards.
(panathasai iruka koodathu is primary condition).

Priya said...

hehee.. enakkum fastingkkum vegu dhooram.. adha pathi ezhuthina manasaakshi uruthum:)- neenga post podunga

enna pb,
ore serious man aayiteenga.. nice info anyways.

Prabu Karthik said...

ayurveda has always fascinated me!
sema post!

even now i know instances where ayurveda has provided hope and partial relief for arthiritis patients. and i'm talking about instances where allopathy had left them high and dry...

there is an ayurvedic hospital in coimbatore by name danvantiri hospital. Rombo famous.

vethakuzhambu + urulaikilangu kari!!

"amma pasikudhu"

vayasya said...

well, though i have a decent background in physiology, nowhere am i as qualified (or motivated perhaps) as you are to write an essay on fasting (or anything :-)). Still hoping that you will write one.

PS: Wikipedia has highlighted some interesting safety concerns about Ayurveda. As a toxicologist, what are your views?

Priya said...

neenga vera.. enakku yaaravadhu samchu poda maataangalaannu iruku indha oorla..pasikudhunnu solreengale..

yeh.. dhanvathri clinic naanum kelvi patuiruken..

hello.. ipdi ellam topic pesi fasting pathi ezhutha vekkalaamnu paakatheenga.. aprom, romba guilty consciousness vandhudum..

Priya said...

read that link..

as u might know very well, we have lots of metals in our body..

Many enzymes have phosphyrin ring which has heme in the center. There are many zinc binding motifs. so many proteins have copper chelation..

edhuveme alavukku meeri ponna dhaan toxic - the essence of toxicology.
ellam thaandi, we have read that yogis used metals and gems to cure diseases.. may be they are the right amounts to cure the problem..

read this..esp, the section rasayana :

vayasya said...

why guilty conscience?

Priya said...

ofcourse.. fastinga pathi ezhuthitu mooku pudichi moonu velaiyum 24* 7 saapitaa??

R.Prabhu said...

As you said rightly, ayurveda is not just medicine, but a way of life. So is Siddha. But most of the works need to be saved for the generations to come. Anyways nice post!

Anonymous said...


A small article from hindu about susruta..


Priya said...

thanks prabhu!!
and i have to say this for sure - ur kambar articles are awesoms and reminds me of school days..

thanks for the article.. i feel really nice when i see this..

யாத்திரீகன் said...

priya.. dont feel bad.. i'l come back after this series of post haan :-( sorry for that..

Priya said...

enna avlo kodumaaa irukaa ... kadavule... saapda sonna ipdi solrraaanga baaa

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