Ayurveda defines cancer as a chronic imbalance of tridosha (pathophysiological entity), datus (tissue), and triguna (mental nature) and can be treated without side effects. In Ayurvedic concept, according to 'Charaka' and 'Sushruta Samhitas', cancer is described as inflammatory or non-inflammatory swelling and referred to as 'Granthi' (minor neoplasm) or 'Arbuda' (major neoplasm). The nervous system (Vata or air), the venous system (Pitta or fire) and the arterial system (Kapha or water) are three basic elements of Ayurveda and very important for the normal functioning of the body.
How Cancer Spread?
As a cancerous tumor grows, the bloodstream or lymphatic system can carry cancer cells to other parts of the body. In this process, cancer cells can develop into new tumors. This is known as metastasis.
One of the first places where cancer often spreads is the lymph nodes. The lymph nodes are small, bean shaped organs that help fight infection. They are grouped in different parts of the body, such as the neck, groin, and armpits.
Cancer can also spread to remote parts of the body through the bloodstream. These parts may include bone, liver, lungs, or brain. Even if the cancer spreads, it is named after the area where the cancer started. For example, if breast cancer has spread to the lungs, it is called metastatic breast cancer, not lung cancer.
Types of Cancer
Doctors classify cancers based on where they occur. Four main types of cancer are here:
Carcinoma: Cancer begins in the skin or the tissue that covers the surface of internal organs and glands. Carcinomas usually form solid tumors. They all are the most common type of cancer. The examples of carcinoma include breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lung cancer.
Sarcoma: Sarcoma begins with the tissues that support and connect the body. Sarcomas can occur in fat, muscle, nerves, tendons, joints, blood vessels, lymphatic vessels, cartilage, or bone.
Leukemia: Leukemia is a cancer of the blood. Leukemia begins when healthy blood cells change and become uncontrollable. The four main types of leukemia are acute lymphocytic leukemia, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, acute myelogenous leukemia, and chronic myelogenous leukemia.
Lymphoma: Lymphoma is cancer that forms in the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of blood vessels and glands that help fight infection. There are two main types of lymphoma. Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Causes of Cancer
There can be various causes for cancer, some of the common reasons include:
DNA damage or mutations resulting in damage to genes involved in cell division
Carcinogens such as tobacco
Ultraviolet rays and automobiles
Passive smoking and chewing tobacco
Alcohol use and obesity
Lack of physical activity
Sunlight and excessive exposure to ultraviolet light
Exposure to X-ray radiation
Cell phones and cell phone towers
Symptoms of Cancer
Indigestion problems or trouble swallowing
Unexplained weight loss
Cancer Treatment in Ayurveda
Ayurvedic cancer treatment is very profound and holistic in its approach. Ayurveda treats illness according to the specific nature of the patient, the aggravated bodily energies involved, and the bodily tissues that are affected.
The treatment does not only focus on the area of the malignancy but on the entire system, as the entire organism must return to harmony so that the disease is treated permanently and does not recur elsewhere.
The body must be cleansed of toxins that cause cells to attack the body. Treatment includes the administration of herbs to cleanse the blood along with the adoption of a detoxifying diet. Circulatory-stimulating herbs are also prescribed to promote circulation, change blood stagnation, increase efficient elimination of toxins, and help heal tissues. Herbs and minerals that restore immunity are administered to increase the strength of weakened patients.
Important part of the treatment is the relaxation of the mind. Suppression of emotion or emotional stagnation is a significant causal factor and a barrier to effective treatment of this condition. The patient needs to heal himself at the deepest level of his individuality. Meditation, counseling, yoga, pranayama, and the study of spiritual philosophy are recommended to support this aspect of personal healing.
Ayurvedic treatment Ayurvedic holistic methods for cancer treatment include:
Abstinence from foods and lifestyle that cause tridosha (vata, pitta, kapha) imbalance, Elimination of toxins through Panchakarma, Restoration of healthy functions of jatharagni (digestive power), Rejuvenation through rasayanas, Ayurvedic preparations can act as an adjuvant or adjunctive therapy along with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. It is also of great help in postoperative care, Ayurvedic medicines help minimize the side effects of these therapies.
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is one of the effective cancer treatment therapies in which the body's natural defences are stimulated to fight cancer. This therapy works in either of two ways: it stops the growth of cancer-causing cells or slows the growth of cancer cells. Immunotherapy drugs are constantly evolving and are accepted by cancer patients as they have less well-known reactions or side effects compared to chemotherapy and radiation.
Doctors have identified several ways to reduce cancer risk, including:
Give Up Smoking: Quit smoking if you smoke. If you don't smoke, don't start. Smoking is reason of several types of cancer, not just lung cancer. Quitting smoking now can reduce your risk of cancer in the future.
Avoid Exposure to Excessive Sunlight: The sun's harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays can increase the risk of skin cancer. Stay in the shade, wear protective clothing, or apply sunscreen to limit exposure to sunlight.
Eat A Healthy Diet: Choose a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Choose whole grains and lean proteins. Limit your intake of processed meats.
Exercise Most Days of The Week: Regular exercise helps reduce the risk of cancer. Do atleast 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. If you don't exercise regularly, start slowly and exercise for at least 30 minutes.
Keep A Healthy Weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of cancer. Strive to achieve and maintain a healthy weight by combining a healthy diet with regular exercise.
If You Choose to Drink, Drink Moderate Alcohol: If you choose to drink alcohol, drink it in moderation. For healthy adults, this means up to 1 cup a day for women and up to 2 cups a day for men.
Schedule A Cancer Screening Test: Talk to your doctor about what type of cancer screening is best for you based on your risk factors.
Talk to Your Doctor About Immunity: Certain viruses increase the risk of cancer. Immunization can help prevent viruses such as hepatitis B, which increases the risk of liver cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which increases the risk of cervical and other cancers.
Annoyed by pimples? Here’s an ayurvedic guide you need to achieve that flawless skin By Dr. Tabassum Hasan. Do you remember the last time when you were planning to attend a wedding function? From dresses to matching shoes you took care of everything and were ready to dazzle everybody. But guess what? All of a sudden on that very day you got a new pimple on your forehead. Yes, we know how it feels. Those pesky red pimples seem to always appear before any important event in our lives. Almost every one of us suffered this embarrassing situation at some point of our existence, especially in our teenage years. But is there any solution for it? Can we avoid them? What are the causes? Let’s find out answers to all these questions.
Table of contents
• What is Acne?
• Causes and Risk Factor of Acne
• Symptoms of Acne
• When You Need to See Your Doctor
• General Tips For Acne
• What to Eat and Avoid
• Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
What is Acne?
In ayurvedic literature, acne has been described as yuvan pidika or tarunya pitika because it primarily affects adolescents or young people. In some texts, it is also called mukh dushika because it spreads mainly on the face of a person and has inflammation and scarring.
Acne is characterized by saruja (mildly painful), filled with meda (pus or oily secretions), shalmali (Salmalia malabarica) thorn-like eruption on the face. These pilosebaceous follicles are distinguished as comedones, papules, pustules, and scars. It mainly affects the cheek, chin, forehead, nose, and upper trunk of the body.
According to global burden of disease (GBD) study, almost 85% of young adults aged between 12-15 years get affected by this dreadful condition. Although it is not a life-threatening condition, but it impacts the social life and emotional well-being of the affected individual.
Also, Read► PCOS and Its Effects on Skin and Hair
Causes and Risk Factor of Acne
According to classical ayurvedic texts, acne is manifested due to vitiated vata dosha and kapha dosha. These doshas further vitiate rasa-raktadi dhatu, primarily rakta dhatu(blood). As result, there is excessive sweda(sweat) production, which obstructs the skin pores. This leads to local swelling and microcomedones formation. Rupture of these micro comedones leads to scarring. Vata dosha and rakta dosha also causes hyperpigmentation.
The factors which lead to all of this are mainly divided into 4 types:
• Time or age factors- young age or adolescents, summers or spring season.
• Dietary pattern- excessive sweet and spicy, heavy and oily food, milk and its products, meat and alcohol.
• Lifestyle factors- Insomnia, holding natural urges, excessive sleep, excessive sunbath.
• Psychological factors- Anger, stress, depression, and behavioral changes.
Other than the above factors, few other factors are also responsible for acne like genetics, hormonal changes, etc. Furthermore, menstrual cycle, anxiety and tension, oil-based makeup, exposure to pollution, skin allergies due to certain medication, hot and humid climate, greasy hair, and squeezing the pimples will make these conditions worse.
Symptoms of Acne
Acne is described under kshudra rogas (minor ailments) in Ayurveda. Kshudra means minimum that means these diseases happen with minimum causative factors, signs and symptoms, and requires minimum medical intervention. Acne also doesn’t have deadly symptoms but it surely affects your self-confidence. Some of these symptoms are stated below-
• Shalmali kantakakara pitika- acne resembles with the thorn of salmalia malabarica as it’s an eruption in a conical shape
• Saruja- These can be mild to moderate painful lumps.
• Ghana- The eruption is hard, thick, or indurated due to vitiated kapha.
• Medogarbha- Due to obstruction of pores or pilosebaceous glands, it is filled with pus.
• Yuna mukhe- This disease usually affects young people or adolescents.
Apart from these symptoms, some associated symptoms are also there like itching, burning, and secretions. Mental health is also affected as it has a huge impact on someone’s looks.
When You Need to See Your Doctor
Generally for acne, people prefer to have OTC (over-the-counter) products. Mild to moderate acne will calm down after the use of these gels or creams in the course of over 4 to 6 weeks. But what if these products stopped working or you have stubborn nodular or cystic acne? Then you definitely need to see your dermatologist. Also if your physical appearance is taking a toll on your mental health, a doctor will help you to combat this situation.
Also, Read► How Stress Impacts Skin: Side Effects & Prevention
General Tips for Acne
Everyone dream to have smooth, silky, and radiant skin. But having acne is a big hurdle to achieve that flawless skin. In this scenario, you can take the help of ayurvedic tips to get rid of those pimples:
• To flush out toxins (ama) in your body, you should take warm water in the morning. Mixing lemon juice in it will also give you a daily dose of vitamin C.
• To balance your body doshas, you can take Triphala. It will remove toxins and reduce your acne. Take 1 teaspoon Triphala powder with warm water.
• Shatavari is also a good ingredient to balance hormones. It will also help in pacifying pitta dosha and treat hormonal acne. You can take one teaspoon of Shatavari powder and boil it in one glass of water. When this will reduce to half, you can consume it.
• Ashwagandha is a popular herb for skin disorders. Its anti-inflammatory, detoxifying properties make it suitable for acne treatment. Take one teaspoon of ashwagandha powder and take it with water or honey.
• Apart from these, blood purifiers told in classical ayurvedic literature like sariva, manjishtha, draksha, and neem are also beneficial for acne treatment. You can include them in your daily routine to purify the blood and balance your doshas. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
• Drinking amla juice daily can help you as amla helps in balancing your doshas. Amla also contains vitamin C which is a potent anti-oxidant. This will reduce harmful free radicals and will keep acne at bay.
• Fennel seeds and coriander seeds concoction is also a good option as it will cool down your body heat. Take one teaspoon of both and boil it in one glass of water. When it will reduce to half, take it after it cools down.
• As clogged pores are the cause of acne, you should wash your face at least twice a day. Use gel-based mild cleansers according to your skin type.
• Avoid touching your face as your fingers usually have bacteria on them. Touching your face can lead to transfer of those bacteria to your face and this can result in infection.
• You should avoid squeezing the pimple. Yes, we know that you have a strong urge to pop that pimple. But always remember that it will lead to more scars.
• Always use a broad spectrum SPF if you are stepping out of your house. Even inside your home, you should at least wear sunscreen of SPF 30.
What to Eat and Avoid
As the saying goes, what you eat appears on your face. This is definitely true in the case of acne. Our skin health says a lot about the way we eat. So if you are someone whose diet is full of junk food and sweetened beverages, then you need to reconsider your food choices. Follow these dietary rules to get rid of your skin ailments and for a healthier complexion-
• Always eat homemade fresh food. Make it light and less spicy.
• Amaranth, barley, oats, rice are healthy grains for you. Include them in your diet.
• Fresh vegetables like bitter gourd, leafy greens, cauliflower, peas, okra, bell peppers are good for your skin and health.
• Soaked almonds and nuts are also a good option as they contain healthy fats that your body needs.
• Eat fruits like apple, oranges, mango, watermelon, dates, figs, pineapple, cherries, grapes, and lime.
• Turkey, salmon, and freshwater fish are the best options if you are a non-vegetarian.
• Always avoid refined grains and sugars like white bread, pasta, noodles, sodas, and artificial sweeteners.
• Heavy and spicy diets create an imbalance between doshas, so try to avoid them.
• Consuming dairy products is also not advised if you are suffering from acne.
• Fast foods like burgers, chowmein, French fries, nuggets, and soda drinks are a big NO if you want to have good and healthy skin.
• Avoid meat (especially red meat) and alcohol consumption as these create havoc on your skin.
Other than that you should keep track if you are allergic to any particular food, foods that may cause bloating or increase inflammation in your body. Just follow these simple rules and you will start noticing a positive difference in your skin soon.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Q1. How acne scars can be removed?
Ans. In Ayurveda, there are several local applications for acne scars like haldi, sandalwood, multani mitti. However, in modern medical treatments like microdermabrasion, chemical peeling, micro-needling, fillers, punch excision, and laser resurfacing are prescribed for different types of lesions. Topical treatments like antibiotics (clindamycin and erythromycin), benzoyl peroxides, and vitamin A acid derivatives like tretinoin are also helpful for mild to moderate scars.
Q2. Why acne occurs on the face?
Ans. Acne occurs when your pores get clogged by oil, pus, dead skin, or bacteria. It's like a small red protuberance with pus at its head. This can happen on your shoulders, back, and chest too.
Q3. Which acne cream is best for oily skin?
Ans. Creams with active ingredients like neem, tea tree oil, aloe vera, turmeric are best suitable for acne. In Ayurveda, there are different types of face masks for acne. Some of those are vachaadi lepa, dhanyakaadi lepa, lodhraadi lepa, jayaphalaadi lepa, manjishthaadi lepa and kumkumaadi taila etc. Other than these, you can look for ingredients like bakuchiol, Centella asiatica, honey, colloidal oatmeal, willow bark extract, and resveratrol in your acne products.
Q4. Can acne scars be removed permanently?
Ans. Most of the acne scars get faded over time. As our skin gets renewal after almost 5-6 weeks. That means dead skin cells get replaced by new skin cells. So our scars naturally go away. But in the case of severe scarring, one should get treatment by a dermatologist. They can surely help you to reduce the appearance of your scar.
Q5. Can acne scars be removed naturally?
Ans. Several home remedies like lemon juice, potato juice, turmeric powder, aloe vera, and gram flour are used for ages to remove hyperpigmentation and scars.
• Acharya Sushruta, SushrutaSamhita,AyurvedTatva Sandipika Hindi commentarytranslated by Ambika Datta Shastri, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Sansthan Varanasi, Reprint edition. Nidanasthana, 1995;1(13/38):287.
• Acharya Sushruta, SushrutaSamhita, Acharya YadavjiTrikamji, Choukhambha publication, Varanasi. Edition 2005, Nidanasthana 2005;13/ 39:323.
• Acharya Vaghbhata, Astanga Hrdayam, Dr. Brahamanand Tripathi. Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthan, Delhi, Reprint edition, Sutrasthana, 2009;1(25):19.
• Agnivesh, Charak Samhita, revised by Charak and Dridhabala with Ayurveda Deepika commentary, by Chakrapani Datta, edited by Vd. Yadavaji Trikamaji Acharya, Chaukhamba Surbharati Publications, Varanasi, reprint 2002, Sutrasthana 18/24, S S11/49.
• Lad, Vasant. Textbook of Ayurveda: Fundamental Principles. Albuquerque: The Ayurvedic Press, 2002
Read More► How To Reduce Anxiety?
Have you ever seen someone who worries too much about the future constantly and has this constant fear of uncertainty? Like they will think every negative prospect of a situation. Why do they have this fear? Is it normal to feel this way? How can we get rid of these feelings? You will find all these answers in this article.
Table of contents
• What is anxiety?
• Symptoms of anxiety
• Causes and risk factor
• When you need to see your doctor
• General tips for anxiety
• What to eat and avoid?
• Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Also, Read► Combating Stress And Anxiety With Natural Herbs
What is Anxiety?
In Ayurveda, there are three qualities of mind(mano guna) primarily i.e. sattva, raja, and tama.
Sattva guna is associated with positivity, consciousness, spirituality, and lightness. It represents knowledge and intellect and brings calmness to life.
Raja guna is the most active quality among the three. It is associated with excessive movement and stimulation. It is more focused on achievement and passion.
Tama guna is related to heaviness and inertia. It brings a negative attitude on the front leading to letharginess, excessive sleep, etc.
In Ayurveda, Anxiety is correlated with chittoudvega. Chittoudvega can be defined as chitta(mind) + udvega(anxiety) = chittoudvega (anxious state of mind). Chittoudvega is a psychiatric disorder due to vitiation in raja and tama doshas along with vata and pitta. People having alpa sattva is more prone to anxiety.
Anxiety mainly comprises of two factors:
Fear: unpleasurable feeling in response to danger and threat.
Worry: thinking about unpleasant things that makes you feel unhappy and upsets you.
So chittaudvega or anxiety disorder is characterized by uncontrollable, irrational, and excessive worrying about everyday things that are not even going to happen.
Symptoms of Anxiety
As symptoms of anxiety may differ from person to person but some symptoms are common in all of them like persistent unrealistic worry often associated with muscle tension, insomnia, impaired concentration, feeling ‘on edge’, or restlessness. Other symptoms of anxiety are:
7. Anidra( Insomnia)
8.Nidra nash(Disturbed sleep)
9.Shirash shoonyata(Numbness of mind)
10.Unmattachitattavam(Lack of concentration)
Also, Read► Low fitness may increase depression and anxiety: Study
Causes And Risk Factor of Anxiety
In ayurvedic literature, it is believed that weak sattva leads to anxiety. Vitiation in raja and tama along with vata and pitta is responsible for this psychiatric disorder. Factors that cause anxiety are:
1. Genetic Factor: In some families, it runs from one generation to the next.
2. Traumatic Events: stressful events in life like workplace tension, Financial stress, death of a loved one can lead to anxiety.
3. Excessive Use of Alcohol: Alcoholic tendencies leads to vitiation of raja and tama doshas.
4. Health Issues: Some diseases like heart diseases, thyroid disorders can lead the person to depression. Slowly with time, it results in anxiety.
When You Need To See Your Doctor
It is very normal that you feel anxious before taking an exam or a job interview. But when a person starts having problems in making daily life decisions and worries too much that he/she can't concentrate then they need to consult a doctor. Generally, a diagnosis of anxiety is made when a person continuously feels anxious about everyday problems for more than 6 months.
General Tips For Anxiety
In today's world lifestyle is changing so fast and everybody is trying to fulfill all the physical desires. Everybody seems like he is carrying a weight across their shoulder. So psychiatric disorders like anxiety are quite often seen even in the younger generation. But some of the following tips may help you in relaxation and relieve that mental burden:
1. In Ayurveda weak sattva is considered responsible for mano roga(mental disorder). So sattvavajaya chikitsa(bringing the mind under control) is recommended for peace of mind. For this we should follow these tips:
A. Following ritucharya(seasonal regimen) and dinacharya(daily regimen):
* We should include certain things in our daily lifestyle(dinacharya) like praying, having gratitude towards what we have, cleanliness and vyayam(exercise), etc. This will have a positive impact on our life.
* In certain seasons people feel more anxious like in summers. So we should follow a particular regimen to avoid seasonal anxiety.
B. Sattva guna can be improved by following sadvritta(code of virtues). This includes:
• Moral and ethical conduct
• Truth, non-violence
• Personal hygiene etc.
The practice of sadvritta(behavioral approaches mainly) will reduce stress and anxiety.
C. Annapanavidhi(dietary rules):
Here are few tips:
• Avoiding rajasic and tamasic foods like chili and caffeine.
• Eating meals at the same time.
• Including foods like kshira(milk), ghrita(ghee), draksha(grapes) in the diet to balance vata and pitta dosha.
2. Abhyanga(Body massage): Body massage is a great way to relieve tension and anxiety. One can simply have a tila taila(sesame oil) or sarshap taila(mustard oil) massage.
3. Shirodhara(Streaming of medicated oil, milk, decoction on the forehead): Pouring medicated oils like chandanadi taila or even simple oils like sesame oil over the forehead can calm down those stressed nerves.
4. Pranayam(Breathing exercises): Pranayam have some really good effect on anxiety. One should focus on inhalations and exhalations, and try to lengthen them with some pause. Pranayam like Anulom-vilom(alternate nostril breathing), kapalbhati, bhastrika, and bhramari can soothe your nerves.
5. Yoga and meditation: Some asanas in yoga can help to relieve symptoms of anxiety when practiced regularly like dhanurasan(bow pose), setu bandhasana(bridge pose), marjariasana(cat stretch), shirshaasan(headstand), etc.
Also, Read► Ways to deal with coronavirus anxiety
What To Eat And Avoid?
In ayurvedic literature, dietary habits held great importance in determining a person’s health. As in anxiety, we see symptoms like anannaabhilasha(anorexia) and avipaka(indigestion) related to the gastro intestinal system, it seems more important to focus on the diet of the person. So one should follow these rules:
• One should have regular meals at the same time.
• Eat warm food that is cooked in little oil or ghrita(ghee) to balance vata dosha.
• Include more sattvic foods in the diet like seasonal fruits and homemade simple meals.
• Drink milk mixed with kesar(saffron) before bedtime as it will help in sleep.
• Avoid processed foods like bakery items, frozen food and deep-fried food.
• Avoid rajasic and tamasic foods like chili, caffeine, and processed meats.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What is anxiety?
Ans. Anxiety or as we call it chittoudvega in Ayurveda is characterized by constantly worrying or feeling anxious all the time that a person might feel difficulty in his everyday life. One can also develop physical symptoms gradually like angamarda(body aches), anannaabhilasha(anorexia), anidra(insomnia), etc.
Q2. How can we avoid it?
Ans. As Ayurveda believes in nidana parivarjan(removal of the cause) as its first line of treatment, adopting a yogic lifestyle may help in preventing anxiety. The yamas and niyamas(principles) of yoga can help you achieve that sattvic lifestyle. For instance, the shaucha principle is all about the cleanliness of the mind and body. The Santosh principle talks about contentment with whatever you have in your life. Also, the aparigraha principle can help in controlling our desires to possess more.
One should also eat nutritious food and lead a healthy lifestyle with the help of yoga, pranayama, and dhyana(meditation).
Q3. How can I relieve stress and anxiety naturally?
Ans. Most natural ways to combat anxiety are getting good sleep, exercising, reducing caffeine intake, laughter therapy, practicing breathing exercises, and reducing the causes of stress in your life. Mindfulness, physical connection with your partner, and spending time with your family and friends can also do wonders in this scenario. Just take things slowly and follow one day at a time rule.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Stress And Anxiety
Ayurveda not only talks about physical health but also the mental health of a person is equally important which makes it a complete science for a living. For anxiety also, Ayurveda focuses on both prospects.
Acharya Charak has recommended 3 methods of treatment:
• Daivavyapashraya chikitsa (Spiritual or divine treatment)
• Yukti vyapashraya chikitsa (Logical therapy)
• Satwavajaya chikitsa (Psychotherapy)
1. For daivavyapasraya chikitsa, one should pray to god, give charity, chant different mantras, etc. These practices will lift the spirits of the patient and they can feel more contented in themselves.
2. Yukti vyapashraya or as we may call it drug therapy, targets proper diet, medication, and rasayanas also.
Shodhan therapy (Body detoxification) like nasya(nasal instillation), Abhyanga(body massage), virechana(purgation), basti(enema), shirolepa, taildhara can be helpful in effectively treating this condition.
3. Satwavajaya chikitsa also plays an important role in this. In this, we provide counseling for managing different issues, replace negative thoughts, and restrain the mind from unnecessary thinking by analytical thinking, courage, and knowledge. Different mental disorders which can induce anxiety-like anger issues, PTSD and different type of phobias can also be treated under this.
Ayurvedic Medicine For Stress And Anxiety
There are several medicines in Ayurveda to treat anxiety that have shown amazing results. Medicines like Brahmi ghrita, ashwagandha churna, kalyanak ghrita, panchagavya ghrit, saraswatarishta, sarpagandha, jatamansi, etc are being used by ayurvedic practitioners to tackle this situation.
Q4. What herbs are good for stress and anxiety?
Ans. Herbs like Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis), ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), and bhringraj (Eclipta alba) are well-known herbs for anxiety disorder. They help in reducing stress levels, detoxifying the body, and calm your mind. You can simply incorporate them into your lifestyle as tea, oils, or powdered form and get various benefits. Even external application is beneficial in some cases.
Q5. Can anxiety go away naturally?
Ans. Mild cases of anxiety can go away after the issue causing it is resolved. But if you have an anxiety disorder or repetitive attacks, then you might need to see your doctor.
Q6. What is the 333 rule for anxiety?
Ans. As anxiety can flare up at any time of your day, it's really important to take care of your mental health as you do for your body. 333 rule can be really helpful to manage your anxiety attacks. For this, look around you and name 3 things you see. Then focus on your hearing and name 3 sounds that you hear. At last move 3 of your body parts like your fingers, legs, or arms. During this whole process remember to take slow and deep breaths. This is a proven effective method to stop your mind to overthink and calm down your mind.
Q7. What foods to avoid if you have anxiety?
Ans. Different processed foods like bakery goods, frozen food, refined cereals, candy, and fried food are not good for you if you are dealing with anxiety. Also, caffeine, chili, and processed meat should be avoided.
• Agnivesh, “Charak Samhita” revised by Charaka & Dridhbala with “Ayurved Deepika commentary”, by Chkarapanidatta, edited by Vd. Jadavaji Trikamji Acharya, published by Chaukhamba Surbharati Prakashan, Varanasi, Reprint-2008, Ch.Vi 6/5 pp.254.
• Acharya YT. Charaka: Charaka Samhita with Āyurveda Deepika Commentary of Chakrapani: Chaukhambha Orientalia; Varanasi 2002, 383,384
• Acharya Jadavaji Trikamji, editor. Charaka Samhita of Agnivesha, Sutra Sthana, Ch. 1/Ver. 54; 5th ed. Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sanst han; 2001.
Read More► Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms And Ayurvedic Treatment
PCOS is a complex disorder or rather a spectral disorder with no uniform clinic or laboratory diagnostic criteria. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common hormonal disturbances affecting women all over the world.
Dr. Vidushi Jain, Dermatologist Trichologist, Medical head of Dermalinks says: "It has an unknown etiology and is recognized as a heterogeneous disorder that results in overproduction of male hormone primarily from the ovary, and is associated with insulin resistance."
The journey, the struggles and the treatment approach to each patient is different. As contrary to the popular belief, the manifestations are more severe in obese individuals with pcos but there is another phenotype known as lean PCOS.
"PCOS women can be sub grouped based on clinical features suggestive of endocrinological malfunctions and can be investigated accordingly for selection of appropriate treatment modalities," the doctor points out.
"The cornerstone to PCOS pathology is insulin resistance meaning that the body doesn't respond normally to insulin and thereby increasing insulin secretion from pancreas, which triggers inflammation and weight gain. High insulin level is both diagnostic criteria and also the underlying physiological driver. High insulin causes anovulation and also promotes testosterone secretion from ovaries (hyper androgenism)."
Dr Jain adds: "The skin features in PCOS sometimes present earlier as compared to irregular periods or investigations for infertility and a high degree of suspicion can help in early detection and prevention of disease progression."
Also, Read► PCOS and Fertility: What women can do about it?
She further explains:
Acanthosis nigricans is a skin disorder characterised by darkening and thickening of the skin, occurring mainly in the folds of the skin in the armpit (axilla), groin and back of the neck. Often treated as dirt, this condition is synonymous with insulin resistance and obesity. Sometimes it can be drug and malignancy induced too. The treatment approach is weight reduction and decreasing the insulin resistance with low glycemic diet and regular workouts. Skin lightening agents like retinoids, glycolic acid and treatments like TCA peels also play a role in cosmetic improvement.
Hirsutism or unwanted facial hair is a result of hyperandrogenism or excess male hormone secretion. Mostly affects chin, sidelocks, chest, thighs and even the nipple area . Treatment needs weight reduction to control the serum sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) which in turn controls the free testosterone levels, androgen lowering medication like spironolactone, OCPs and laser hair reduction.
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Acne or pimples: Females with persistent acne since teens or with acne presenting for the first time after 25 must be evaluated for PCOS. Acne in PCOS is generally resistant to standard acne treatments, affects mainly the lower one third of face , is associated with extremely tender eruptions suggesting more inflammation and shows premenstrual flare. Treatment results take longer to respond at least 3 months and best approach is to add combined oral contraceptives with anti androgen progesterone like drospirenone and cyproterone acetate as well as spironolactone to control the hyperandrogenic state. The role of supplements like inositol, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin D play an important role in controlling the inflammatory state.
Seborrhoeic dermatitis often presenting as oily scalp and dandruff, when severe can affect the oily areas of the skin like around nose, between eyebrows and behind ears. Associated with more androgens and hence more oil secretion promoting the growth of a fungus named malaseezia needs treatment and daily cleansing of the scalp with a salicylic acid or ketoconazole shampoo.
Female patterned hair loss or hair thinning presenting mainly in the crown and frontal area is often ignored until a major portion of the scalp becomes visible. Frequent changing of hairstyles to cover it up without seeking medical treatments leads to progression and greater damage. Starting minoxidil as a preventive therapy and doing platelet rich plasma sessions may be helpful. PCOS is a disorder which affects the body not only at a hormonal level thereby affecting metabolism and fertility but also it has far reaching effects on a person's confidence when it has negative influence on appearance. (Puja Gupta)
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Pain in the neck happens to be the fourth leading cause of disability globally, lagging behind ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and lower respiratory infection. Neck pain can interfere with daily life, including the ability to feel productive, sleep, and enjoy time with family. It is a common occurrence among the working population usually engaged in tech jobs or desk jobs.
Srikanth H.S, Sr. Naturopath, Jindal Naturecure Institute, points out that there are several factors that can result in neck pain like stress, poor posture, obesity, muscle inflammation, arthritis, and injuries.
"The best way to deal with neck pain is to minimize it in the first place. Naturopathy offers safe and effective alternatives to deal with neck pain without falling prey to the side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs. Blending in the goodness of natural therapies like yoga, massage, herbs, and acupuncture, along with lifestyle modifications, naturopathy can bring huge relief from neck pain," he says.
Risks of Neck Pain
The expert says: "The common causes of neck pain are muscle strain and nerve compression. However, the symptoms alone cannot indicate which one of these is occurring. Muscle strain usually results from poor posture, repeated lifting, sleep, stress, or anxiety. Nerve compression can occur when a disc in the spine slips out of its position and pinches or presses the nerves, or when the tissues in the neck get inflamed or swollen causing the nerves in the area to get squeezed. Whatever the cause, ongoing chronic neck pain shouldn't be neglected as it can lead to a lifetime of disability or even permanent damage."
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He suggests naturopathy ways to treat neck pain:
The ancient art of yoga has been demonstrated to help people with chronic pain including neck pain. Studies have shown that yoga asanas help to reduce pain perception, improves mobility, and decrease inflammation. Even 15 to 20 minutes of yoga exercises a day can relax the body, stretch the muscles, increase blood circulation, and minimize the chances of neck pain. Some of the common yoga asanas which can be practiced for neck pain are Marjariasana (Cat Pose), Bitilasana (Cow Pose), Balasana (Child's Pose), Natarajasana (Reclining Twist Pose), Viparita Karani (Legs up the wall pose), and Savasana (Corpse Pose).
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Several studies have pointed out that massage therapy can offer relief from neck pain and improve range of motion when performed by qualified professionals. Massage therapy usually involves the use of the hands to manipulate soft tissues, like the tendons and muscles, increase blood circulation, and reduce muscle tension. It helps to ease up the sore, numb and stiff muscles in the spinal area and neck region.
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Herbal treatments have been used for ages to treat pains of different sorts. Herbal remedies can be sipped like tea, infused in the bathwater, used as an oil, or inhaled as aromatherapy. Devil's Claw is a popular herb that can substantially reduce neck pain and even improve physical functioning in osteoarthritis patients. Other than that, Lavender, Kudzu, and St. John's Wort are some of the most popular herbs that help relieve neck pain and lower back pain. For maximum effects, these herbs should be taken under the guidance of expert professionals.
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Acupuncture is a thousand of years old technique that involves pricks in the skin with needles at specific points on the body. The frequency and duration of acupuncture sessions may depend on how long the neck pain has already lasted, and also the severity of the symptoms. Some studies have revealed that acupuncture can stimulate biochemical changes both locally (where the needles are placed) and in the central nervous system. These biochemical changes may help to bring pain relief and other beneficial effects in some cases.
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Lifestyle modifications play a significant role in the management of neck aches and stiffness. Practicing good posture while at work or home should be a key priority for those suffering from neck pain. Getting good sleep and maintaining the spine in a comfortable position throughout the night, regular neck exercises, and taking breaks in between work and stretching are some of the ways to reduce strain on the neck and keep it relaxed. (Puja Gupta)
Read More► What Is Neck Pain And Its Symptoms And Cause
It is defined as inflammation of the mucous membrane lining in the nasal passage, presents as nasal congestion/sneezing/nasal and palatal itching/ rhinorrhea, and postnasal drainage and it includes allergic, nonallergic, and infectious.
In Ayurveda, Rhinitis is generally categorized in kaphaja and raktaja pratishyaya which is based on signs and symptoms that occur due to doshas.
Types of Rhinitis
1. Acute Rhinitis
2. Chronic Rhinitis
3. Hypertrophic Rhinitis
4. Allergic Rhinitis
5. Atrophic Rhinitis
6. Vasomotor Rhinitis
Acute Rhinitis can be viral/ bacterial. Commonly Rhinitis is known as Common cold (=coryza). The incubation period generally lasts for 1 - 3 days.
Rhinitis Symptoms & Signs
Burning sensation in the nasopharynx.
Sneezing/ coughing/ runny nose.
Itching in eyes / nose/ mouth/ throat/skin.
Pressure in the nose & cheeks.
Watery/ red/ swollen eyes.
Dark circles under eyes.
Recurrent nasal infection
Allergen such as pollen & spores.
House dust mites.
Climate/ air pollution.
Oversensitive immune system.
Rhinitis Prevention & General Tips
Avoid touching your head/rubbing eyes/ nose
Close windows in-home/ car when pollen counts usually go high.
Enclose pillows/ mattresses in separate dust mite covers.
Keep pets off couches/beds
Wash your hands after touching/playing with pets.
Wear a hat/sunglasses to protect eyes from pollen and dust.
Avoid allergen exposure.
Use HEPA filters(high-efficiency particulate air) to reduce allergens in your home.
Probiotics may help improve symptoms of rhinitis.
Use of honey in dietary supplements
Use of vitamin-c to maintain histamine levels.
Use of some essential oils like peppermint/ eucalyptus, etc.
When to see your Doctor for Rhinitis Disease?
When signs and symptoms like occur and persist for a longer duration and when your allergies are causing symptoms such as chronic sinus infections/ nasal congestions/ difficulty breathing/ experience hay fever/ other allergy symptoms, then you should consult the doctor.
Risk Factors of Rhinitis
Allergic diseases (asthma/ eczema)
Exposure to pets/ parental smoking
High total serum (IgE)
Diagnosis for Rhinitis
Is represented by sneezing/ nasal congestion/nasal pruritus/rhinorrhea.
When an allergic disease is suspected=skin prick test can be performed for confirmation.
When skin testing is difficult to interpret / not feasible (ie, dermatographism), allergen-specific IgE serum testing based on the patient’s history can be useful for diagnosis.
WHAT TO AVOID IN RHINITIS?
Eliminate meat/ dairy products/ white flour foods/ sugar
Stop using nasal drops unnecessarily as they aggravate the condition by stopping the drainage & hardening the mucous.
Decongestants should be avoided as they can increase blood pressure too.
Avoid cold/ damp living/ working/ sleeping quarters.
Avoid gluten food
Avoid chocolate/ cheese/congestion food
WHAT TO EAT IN RHINITIS?
Ginger-treated water for drinking.
Decoction prepared from Dashamula & Trikatu with honey can be taken.
Neti pot use found effective
Drink a lot of fluids to thin your mucus.
Drink lots of water cause Good hydration helps keep the mucus thin and loose.
Vitamin c intake in your daily diet.
Question & Answers
Q.1 What is Hay Fever?
Ans. Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, is an allergy-related inflammation of the nasal passages/ throat/ eye membranes usually caused by sensitivity to airborne pollens/molds/ some other reactions. It can have more adverse effects on a person with a family history of allergies.
Q.2 What are the differences between acute and chronic rhinitis?
Ans. Depending upon the duration with some signs and symptoms differences arise. Acute rhinitis usually lasts only for a few days/ up to 4 weeks with some signs and symptoms. But, in the case of chronic rhinitis, duration lasts for more than 4 consecutive weeks with signs and symptoms.
Q.3 What is a Skin prick test?
Ans. It is the most common skin allergy test. Firstly, you will get a series of tiny drops of allergens on the skin usually on the back surface/ area. After that, you will get a quick needle prick in the skin underneath each drop. If you are allergic to it, you will get a dime-sized hive that’s red and itchy at the needle prick site, if this happens then it is recommended to go for a follow-up to check the results.
Q.4 What is the role of histamine in rhinitis?
Ans. Histamine plays an important role in rhinitis more in allergic rhinitis. In susceptible individuals, allergen induces degranulation of mast cells of the nasal & release of histamine into the nasal mucosa. It has been detected after some controlled challenges with allergen & when administered into the nasal cavity too. Histamine receptors demonstrated in the nasal mucosa.
Q.5 What are the differences between sinusitis and rhinitis?
Ans. Allergic rhinitis (=hay fever) happens when someone breathes to allergic substances/ allergens and it results in inflammation and swelling occur inside the nose. On the other side, sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining of sinuses which can be acute/chronic depending on the causes.
Q.6 What are the impact of allergic rhinitis?
Ans. Impact of allergic rhinitis can influenced productivity, absent in work/school days / reduced activity/ comorbid diseases/ sinusitis/ asthma, etc.
Q.7 How allergens can cause allergic rhinitis?
Ans. Antigen-presenting cells, dendritic cells in the mucosal surface, process allergens & some peptides from allergens on the major histocompatibility complex(MHC) class 2 molecule. The MHC & antigen complex take a role as the ligand of T-cell receptors on naive CD4+ T cells, results in differentiation of naive CD4+ T cells to allergen-specific Th2 cells. Activated Th2 cells secret several cytokines, which induce isotype switching of B cells to produce specific IgE and proliferation of eosinophils, mast cells & neutrophils. Antigen-produced IgE binds to high-affinity IgE receptors on mast cells/ basophils usually.
Q.8 What is a pollen allergy?
Ans. Pollen= is a very fine powder produced by trees/ flowers/ grasses/ weeds to fertilize other plants of the same species. In many people, pollen can cause adverse immune responses. People who get pollen allergies have an immune system that identifies the harmless pollen as a dangerous intruder, and begins to produce chemicals to fight against the pollen causes allergy. It is known as an allergic reaction,& the specific type of pollen that causes is known as an allergen. Reaction leads to numerous irritating symptoms, such as sneezing/ stuffy nose/ watery eyes, etc.
Q.9 What is Rhinitis according to the Ayurveda concept?
Ans. In Ayurveda, Rhinitis is generally categorized in kaphaja and raktaja pratishyaya which is based on signs and symptoms occur due to doshas.
Q.10 How Ayurveda treatment works on Allergic Rhinitis?
Ans. Treatment is basically done on shamana and shodhana chiktsa with some classical formulations of Laxmi Vilas rasa/godanti bhasma etc. by Ayurveda physician after examining the patient carefully. It is recommended that to consult the doctor before taking any kind of medications.
1. Abhinava Shalakya Vigyan 2nd edition (2019) by Dr. Aparna Sharma, Nasa Roga.
2. Sushruta Samhita by Dr. Ambikadatta Shastri
3. Diseases of Ear, Nose and Throat & Head and Neck Surgery 6th edition by PL Dhingra and Shruti Dhingra.
4. Longmore, Wilkinson, Davidson, Foulkes, Mafi, Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine 8th Edition.
5. K Sembulingam, P Sembulingam, Essentials of Medical Physiology 6th Edition.
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