Healthy lungs bring vitality (Prana), that’s why Ayurveda refers respiratory system as Prana vaha strotas. Lungs are constantly working to provide healthy oxygen to the body for its proper functioning.
Just like other systems of the body, even the respiratory system is prone to wear and tear due to the increasing pollutants, toxins, and respiratory infections like COVID 19.
Role of Ayurveda to maintain healthy lungs:
This therapy includes the installation of herbal medication through the nostrils. You can do Nasya therapy on an empty stomach an hour before or after a shower or exercise. One should lie down with the head tilted back and put 5 drops of Nasya oil in each nostril. Nasya prevents nasal respiratory allergies, improves eye health, relieves fatigue, and alleviates Vata Dosha.
Gandusha/ Oil pulling
Humans may breathe through their nose and mouth as well. The nose has a filtering mechanism in preventing pollutants that entering the respiratory system.
But in case of mouth breathing, Gandusha or oil pulling helps to maintain a healthy oral cavity and acts as a barrier to prevent the entry of pollutants and toxins through the mouth.
Gandusha involves holding medicated oil in the mouth for 10-15 minutes and then spitting it out. It cleans the harmful toxins and bacteria and strengthens the mucous lining of the mouth and oral cavity.
Ura Abhyanga/ Massage
Ura abhyanga includes the application of medicated oils or sesame oil on the chest and back followed by hot fomentation or hot water bath. It helps to loosen the toxins and sticky adherent Kapha dosha in the lungs and expel them out thus maintain healthy lungs.
Facial steam with medicinal herbs helps to liquefy and melt adherent doshas and pollutants and expel them out an inefficient manner thus removing pollutants and toxins from the respiratory system. Facial steam can be taken by adding eucalyptus oil, camphor, and tulsi drops to cleanse and strengthen the nasal and oral cavity.
Follow Kapha reducing diet- avoid oily fatty foods, heavy to digest, dense foods, and fried foods. Consume warm water throughout the day. Avoid curd, cold drinks, ice-creams. Do not overeat or drink in excess, have light to digest and freshly prepared food and regular meals in time. Include herbs like cardamon, holy basil, pippali, liquorice, turmeric, etc in the diet to strengthen the respiratory and immune system.
Chyavanprash, Ayush Kwatha, and various other Ayurvedic medicines if taken as per the Ayurveda Physician’s advice can help to strengthen the respiratory and immune system and maintain healthy lungs and avoid respiratory infections and diseases.
These Ayurveda tips will not only help prevent illness but also help nurture and maintain healthy lungs so that they can perform to their utmost capacity each and every day.
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When it comes to skin and hair care, products find it hard to compete with multitasking coconut-based products. While coconut-based hair and skin oil is known to have pre-grooming and conditioning effects on hair, its varied components such as Vitamin E make it an ideal agent for skin-care benefits.
From the earliest of times, plant-based oils have been used in skin care. There is a renewed interest in coconut-based skin oil in recent times, both to restore skin surface and in skin ailments.
Coconut-based skin oil is a very able moisturizer, with studies concluding it's at par and in some cases superior to mineral oil as an emollient. Regular application of coconut-based skin oil has been found to improve skin hydration and strengthen the barrier lipids in the skin.
Its small particle size allows for easy absorption in the skin, penetrating to deeper layers easily, providing thorough moisturizing. By reducing water loss from the skin, coconut-based skin oil also helps moisturize the skin for longer.
Environmental pollution, over-sanitizing in Covid-times and climatic changes, have a drastic downside of drying out the skin surface. Coconut-based skin oil is a simple, easily attainable and cost-effective product to tackle these side effects.
Interestingly, the absorption of coconut-based skin oil into the skin and subsequent breakdown into Monolaurin and Lauric acid -- which are known antimicrobial agents, has been observed to improve skin-barrier function in low birth-weight babies. The skin barrier function improvement leads to improved weight gain by better thermo-regulation. Thus, regular massaging with coconut-based skin oil will help fight infections in premature infants and help keep them safe.
Touted as an anti-bacterial agent, coconut-based skin oil reduces bacterial colonization in people with extremely dry skin, prone to itching and rash. Regular use of coconut-based skin oil, an inexpensive and widely available agent, on skin keeps it healthy, moisturized and supple.
In cellular studies, coconut-based skin oil has also exhibited anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
What adds to the glorious properties of coconut-based skin oil is its remarkable safety, low irritancy, non-toxic and non-sensitizing nature.
With the method of double-cleansing totally in trend, coconut-based skin oil has been successfully used as the first step in the removal of make-up or sunscreen before cleaning the face with a regular cleanser. It is especially gentle to eyes when removing eye makeup, hydrating the delicate area around the eye instead of stripping the natural oils like with make-up removers.
Caution is advised while using coconut-based skin oil on the face for acne-prone skin since it is a comedogenic substance.
The ultra-hydrating properties of coconut-based skin oil make it an easy option as a body moisturizer, lip balm and to hydrate the cuticles around the nails.
In conclusion, it has properties that protect and repair your skin barrier. It is an easily available, economical, safe and effective moisturizer for the body skin. (By Jushya Bhatia Sarin)
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Oiling your hair dates back centuries; hair needs some amount of natural oil to maintain its colour, shine and lustre and to help protect it from the harmful sun.
"When you oil your hair, it helps to improve circulation in the scalp and stimulates the hair follicle. While there is no direct relation to oiling and hair growth, proper oiling can protect your hair and prevent it from getting dry," believes Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics.
Oiling the Hair Helps:
By preventing the hair from becoming dry
By sealing the cuticle and helping the hair strands heal.
Oiling needs to be done in the right manner for it to actually benefit your hair. Make sure that you don't rub the oil in too harshly and don't leave it for more than one hour. If you leave the oil for a long time, it can clog the pores and cut off the oxygen reaching the hair leading to damaged hair, boils on the scalp and eventually hair fall.
Also, oiling is not suitable for people who are suffering from dandruff or have a naturally oily scalp. Leaving the oil on for too long attracts dust and particles to the scalp. Different hair oils have different benefits and you can select one according to your hair concern just don't go overboard with it.
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It is the navel that provides the essence of life and growth. It supplies nutrition, blood, and oxygen to babies in the womb through the navel. Even as an adult, your navel, which is also the core of your body, is one of the key points of sustenance and growth.
So like other parts of our boy which benefit by oiling does the navel as well? Not just the belly button, but the entire body, including our skin, benefits when you oil the navel. It is a primitive tradition described in our Vedas and Ayurveda, in which women and men oil their navels to nourish their entire bodies. Your belly button has been medically proven to be related to various veins throughout your body, and oiling it can help you heal from a variety of ailments.
Preeti Chadha, Founder, IREMIA shares the importance of oiling the belly button:
Why Navel Oiling?
If we talk about the technique of navel oiling in general, it has a lot of benefits, as most mothers have taught their children it can help with correcting, balancing, and repairing neural connections in their bodies.
Benefits of Oiling
People commonly use mustard, cow ghee (desi ghee) or coconut oil on the navel, but it is ineffective due to the lack of ayurvedic qualities with heating elements. Massage should be with an oil that contains extracts such as neem, tea tree, lemon, grapeseed, and almond oil, which helps cleanse your belly button, for the greatest effects.
Oiling the navel helps to detoxify the body and promotes healthy, radiant skin, free from radical damage. Furthermore, the navel absorbs oil more quickly and supplies sustenance from within.
How to Practice it?
This procedure takes only two minutes. Pour oil over your belly button and that's all there is to it. Massage your belly button in a circular motion for 5-10 minutes after applying it to your navel. For the best outcome, do so every day before going to bed or after bath. Also, oiling at night can make you feel more relaxed when you wake up in the morning.
During the menstrual cycle also, you can apply coconut oil on your navel, it helps soothe cramps.
The belly button is more than just a little dot on your navel it's the chamber that has the answer to a slew of cosmetic issues. The belly button is connected to many veins throughout the body, and when it is nourished with oil, it aids in the treatment of a variety of health issues. Whatever carrier or oil you choose coconut, mustard, or rosemary it will be beneficial to you!
Helps to remove dirt: Cleaning the belly button removes bacteria and filth that has accumulated and keeps the stomach and navel regions clear of any potential ailments.
Helps to purify the skin: Massaging and routinely oiling your belly button should be on your to-do list if you desire a radiant face and healthier skin texture. Oiling your belly button might help clean your blood and get rid of pollutants and blemishes. Therapeutic oils such as neem oil, rosehip oil, coconut oil, and lemon essential oil can help.
Lightens lip shade: Coconut oil applied to the belly button every night before bedtime lightens and protects your lips from chapping.
Good for eyes: If you suffer from poor vision then you must try out oiling your belly button with a diluted solution mixed with mustard oil and so it will improve your eye health. Also, for those who constantly strain their eyes on the screens, it is a good way to reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles.
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New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) As health consciousness grows among Indians, a large number of people are now reinventing the time-tested goodness of mustard oil in helping people stay fit.While our "nana-nanis" and "dada-dadis" always seemed to know about the healing properties of "kachchi ghani" mustard oil, new research by scientists has helped shed light on the exact nature of these properties. A landmark study conducted by the Harvard School of Medicine with All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, and St John Hospital, Bengaluru, revealed that consuming mustard oil as one's primary cooking and deep-frying oil could reduce the risks associated with coronary heart disease by more than 70 per cent. Today, many eminent cardiologists like Dr S.C. Manchanda unequivocally recommend cold-pressed (also known as Kachchi Ghani) mustard oil for a healthy heart and vascular system - and nutritionists and dieticians too are unanimous in their belief that mustard oil is among the healthiest cooking oils you can find in the market. Kavita Devgan, a leading nutritionist, dietician and weight management consultant feels that among the plethora of cooking oils available today, it is better to choose natural cold-pressed oils like mustard oil that are rich in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) and Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) but low in Saturated Fatty Acids (SFA). Umesh Verma, General Manager (Marcom) at Puri Oil Mills Limited (the makers of P Mark Mustard Oil) says: "Speaking at a webinar organized by our company, Ms Devgan had pointed out that cold-pressed mustard oil is, in many ways, a perfect cooking medium in its composition. It has all the right fatty acids in the ideal ratio and is packed with natural vitamins and antioxidants. In our manufacturing processes, we try to keep this natural composition of mustard oil totally intact so that our consumers can enjoy all the nutrients and health benefits that cold-pressed mustard oil promises." Mustard oil, especially, has zero trans fatty acids (TFA) and that is a vital parameter for health and fitness-conscious consumers. The major advantage of cold-pressed mustard oil, according to Kavita, is the fact that it has an ideal ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3. Contemporary diets and food habits have created a major imbalance in the Omega 6-Omega 3 ratio and mustard oil could play a key role in rectifying this. According to Kavita, this benefit alone is reason enough for making mustard oil your primary cooking oil. Neha Patodia, nutritionist and diet consultant, agrees wholeheartedly with Kavita Devgan and points out that the WHO has recommended a ratio of 5:4 (Omega-6 to Omega-3). Cold-pressed mustard oil comes closest to this benchmark with a ratio of 1:1. Rujuta Diwekar, a prominent nutritionist and fitness expert strongly recommends cold-pressed traditional oils like mustard oil. She believes if an oil has been used in a particular region across thousands of years for preparing local cuisines, it means that the oil has become "fine-tuned" to the health and dietary needs of that region. One can discern this aspect in oil consumption patterns even today. Across north India and some eastern regions, mustard oil is the dominant oil. In southern states, the dominant oil has traditionally been coconut oil. According to nutritionist and dietician Vijaya Agrawal, oils extracted from vegetable sources are vital for proper nutrition because they contain certain essential fatty acids like Omega-3 which cannot be synthesised by the human body. Plant-based oils like mustard oil contain phytosterols which block bad cholesterol (LDL) from being absorbed in the body. One such phytosterol is Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) which significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, hypertension and atherosclerosis. Dr Manjari Chandra who specialises in Therapeutic Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics views cold-pressed mustard oil as a powerful detoxifying agent, more so when it is combined with the right foods -- especially vegetables loaded with healthy phytochemicals like beta carotene, lycopene, flavonoids, isothiocyanates, etc. Dr Simran Saini is a nutritionist and weight loss consultant who, on a daily basis, comes face to face with lifestyle-related health issues like elevated cholesterol levels, hypertension and heart disease. She recommends a daily intake of mustard oil because it is rich in Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) which helps in maintaining a healthy cholesterol balance. And as pointed out by Vijaya Agrawal earlier, it also contains Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) that keeps the heart and the blood vessels healthy. Nupur Arya is a dietician and also a certified vegan chef -- so she is able to look at mustard oil from both a health perspective as well as a cooking point of view. The healthiest thing about cold-pressed mustard oil, she says, is that it is minimally processed; that is why it retains all its natural nutrients. As a cooking medium, mustard oil with its high smoking point (around 250 degree C) is ideal for Indian cooking which requires high-flame heating over prolonged periods of time. Even at high temperatures, all the nutrients remain stable and intact. The verdict from leading nutritionists is in -- and it is quite decisive. In their collective opinion cold-pressed mustard oil is one of the healthiest cooking oils you can choose. --IANS skp/
Ayurveda teaches that salt is essential for growth, maintaining water electrolyte balance, and proper digestion, absorption and elimination of wastes. It creates flexibility in the joints, stimulates the appetite and helps digest natural toxins, clearing the subtle channels of the body. It has a calming effect on the nerves and emotions, replenishing and energizing the entire body. Salt balances Vata and can imbalance Pitta and Kapha when used excessively, causing premature wrinkles, thirst, skin problems and weakness.
Throughout time, salt (sodium chloride) has played a vital role in human societies. However, excessive salt consumption could result in serious health problems as it directly impacts the energy levels in one body. Salt is typically made up of the fire and water elements and a small amount regulates moisture level in the body which promotes better absorption of nutrients from food, regulates blood pressure and are vital to the functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Eating too much salt can have a range of effects. In the short term, it may cause bloating, severe thirst, and a temporary rise in blood pressure. In severe cases, it may also lead to hypernatremia, which, if left untreated, can be fatal. In ayurveda,it is established that over indulgence or ati of any ingredient can cause various imbalances in the human body. From a holistic perspective anything overused, misused or used in a high amount leads to an imbalance and causes destruction.
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Similarly, ayurveda teaches that the Sweet taste nourishes and invigorates the mind, relieves hunger and thirst, increases tissues and improves the immune system. Importantly, it is associated with the positive emotions of happiness, contentment, calmness, cheerfulness, love and satisfaction when eaten in appropriate amounts. But again, in moderation. From an Ayurvedic perspective, we need to consider long-term moderation combined with well-timed and precise restraint. Brown sugar, jaggery and natural fruits are used as an alternative to refined sugar. Natural sources of sugar are digested slower and help you feel full for longer. It also helps keep your metabolism stable.
'Ati sevanam' as per Ayurveda might lead to high blood pressure or hypertension involves a disruption of balance in the blood (doshas) one of which is due to excessive salt intake. Whereas high amount of fat intake can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries (blood vessels), on the other hand too many spices may give acute gastritis, while if consumed in moderation it helps us in combating heart diseases, fight inflammation and keeping the body warm especially in winters. Hence the key is to keep consuming everything in moderation and to avoid 'Atikriya' (overdoing) of everything. Whether it's a food or any activity.
Hence the key is to keep consuming everything in moderation and avoid Atikriya (overdoing) of everything, be it food, lifestyle, indulgence or any activity. As recommended by professionals at Vana, an individual should also practice some of the disciplined lifestyle for a content and mindful living. Some of them are :
Daily Exercising for at least half an hour
Avoid excessive exercises
Avoid suppression of natural urges like that of urine
Avoid daytime sleeping
Avoid excessive stress and anger
Avoid staying awake during night and others
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