Chyawanprash is a combination of over 50 herbs that improves immunity and helps in anti-ageing, enhancing vitality and general stamina.
Mitchelle D’Souza, Sub-editor/Reporter
The COVID-19 pandemic has driven a number of people to explore alternative medical remedies that strengthen their immunity.
Among them is the 5,000-year-old concept of Ayurveda that originated in India.
This ancient system of medicine hinges on herbal remedies. However, navigating the field of Ayurveda can be confusing if you are not well-acquainted with its workings.
We caught up with doctor Dr Prasanth Kadakamtazhath, Medical Director and Chief Physician at Emirates Ayurvedic Centre, Dubai, who shed light on the subject, and explained how adopting certain Ayurvedic formulas can strengthen immunity and provide therapeutic benefits.
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What is Ayurveda in a nutshell?
Ayurveda is a 5,000 years old ancient system of medicine that originated in India. In Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “The Science of Life.” Today, it is popular in India and across the globe, as an effective alternative system of medicine.
Ayurveda follows a scientific evidence-based practical approach. It manages the health of the individual through herbal remedies with preventive or therapeutic treatment approach.
It adopts a holistic approach combined with individualistic/customised treatment protocol, which differentiates it from other forms of medicine.
Preventive approach comprises of management of day-to-day care involving food, physical activities, personal or family and social relations.
Ayurveda provides proven natural, herbal preparations to improve immunity, ageing, vitality, memory and general well-being.
Therapeutic approach includes treatment for specific diseases with herbal remedies not only to cure but also to reduce doctor visits.
Most of the present-day chronic diseases can be treated with Ayurveda. It can also be combined with conventional treatment to reduce side effects.
Can Ayurvedic remedies be an effective alternative to conventional treatment?
In most treatments of chronic diseases, Ayurvedic remedies can be an effective alternative to conventional treatment.
Chronic diseases need long-term medication and continuous usage of chemicals that sometimes lead to side effects and secondary diseases.
Ayurvedic treatments are effective and rarely have any side effects which provide wholesome care for a better living.
How can people build immunity against viral diseases, especially during this pandemic?
Ability to fight general diseases is present in the body in the form of natural immunity.
However, immune strength may vary from individual to individual.
Immunity can be improved by adopting Ayurvedic practices like consuming herbal combinations of different types or undergoing certain treatment procedures.
Ayurvedic herbal combinations:
1. Combination of natural herbs like ginger, turmeric, black pepper and amla (Indian gooseberry) help improve immunity. These when consumed in hot water can withstand general viral infections to some extent. We tried this combination in a number of patients and witnessed good results.
2. Black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin seeds and tulsi (holy basil) when boiled and prepared as a drink can help avoid or reduce the impact of general viral infections.
3. The concoction of ‘Chyawanprash’ is a wonderful combination of herbs used in Ayurveda. It helps strengthen immunity. Around 50 plus herbs are included in this combination. It contains Amla (Indian gooseberry) which is one of the most important herbs for rejuvenation in Ayurveda. It is the world’s richest natural source of Vitamin C.
This wonderful formula can not only improve immunity but also help in anti-ageing, enhancing vitality and general stamina.
This is a time-tested product of Ayurveda, which is readily available in the stores of most GCC countries. I recommend two teaspoons of Chyawanprash for adults and one teaspoon for children for best results.
4. A lot of vegetables and fruits when included in your daily diet will strengthen your immunity. Carbonated drinks and processed foods should be avoided.
5. Regarding food habits, ‘nutrition’ and ‘time’ of consumption are very important.
6. According to Ayurveda, food should include all types of tastes (‘Shadrasa’ — six tastes i.e. sweet, sour, bitter, astringent, pungent and salty) in a balanced way, at regular time intervals with adequate content and nutrition, which in itself gives immunity and good health.
Skipping breakfast definitely can make a person unhealthy.
Useful tips to improve immunity include:
- Sunlight and adequate sleep play a major role in improving immunity.
Morning sunlight with maximum exposure to the body and good sleep of around 7 hours is very important.
- Practicing Yoga, especially ‘Yogasanas’ (a wide range of yoga postures) and ‘Pranayama’ (practice of breath control in yoga) daily will help improve health physically and mentally, which is important for the body’s immunity.
- Ayurvedic procedures like ‘Abyangam’ (medicated hot oil massage), ‘Nchavara theppu’ (rice-based body massage) and ‘Panchakarma’ (5-step process for body purification) can enhance the health and immunity of an individual, with guidance and recommendation of an Ayurvedic doctor.
For which kind of diseases can Ayurveda offer effective treatments?
A wide spectrum of physical problems in different sectors can be treated by Ayurveda. It includes general, paediatric and gynaecology complaints.
Most of the chronic problems of the digestive system, nervous system and joint disorders can be effectively treated in Ayurveda.
In the Middle East, a lot of people suffer from acidity related problems, excess weight, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, back pain, sleep issues and stress related health issues.
Most of these commonly seen lifestyle disorders can be treated with the Ayurvedic system of medicine.