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Origins and history of Ayurveda

Posted by arizvi on February 3, 2021 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (928)

This blogs gives you an in depth overview of how Ayurveda started. Ayurveda (ancient Sanskrit) translates as “knowledge of life”. It is knowledge and wisdom that gives us guidelines for health and wellbeing. It is one of the oldest forms of medicine known in existence. The origins of Ayurveda stretch deep into antiquity. One of the earliest traces of Ayurveda have been found from 7000 BCE in the Neolithic period of advanced dentistry in Mehgarh, Pakistan (ancient India). By 3300–1800 BCE, in the Bronze Age the Indus Valley Civilization flourished in Pakistan. By around 1500 – 500 BCE, in the Iron Age, the Vedic Civilization arose and flourished in the regions around the Indus river in Pakistan and the Ganges river in India – in the area known as the central Indo-Gangetic Plain. It is during this period that the large body of texts called “the Vedas” which is ancient Sanskrit for ‘knowledge’ were composed. This was a period, also known as ‘first urbanization’, when diverse cultures were interacting in small kingdoms and urban areas, and a spirit of reason, awakening, health and well-being dawned across the region. Sages from the Vedic period, like Atreya, a renowned scholar of Ayurveda, created six schools of early Ayurveda and wrote one of the earliest Ayurveda texts - the Bhela Samhita, which was derived from the parts of the Vedas that concerned medicine and wellbeing. He is also believed to have worked as the personal physician of the Gandhara Kingdom, located in modern day Pakistan and Afghanistan.


The ‘second urbanization’ period arose from 800 to 200 BCE, a formative period of Hinduism as well from the Vedic Religion, and when Jainism and Buddhism emerged also in the central and upper Ganges plain in India and around the Ghaggar-Hakra intermittent river in India-Pakistan. These Jain and Buddhist movements challenged Vedic orthodoxy and rituals while the free spirit of enquiry and experimentation in all fields of knowledge, especially in medicine prevailed and were shared and flourished. Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha, who lived from the 5th to 4th century BCE was seen as a “healing guru” and healing practices became part of the Buddhist monastic tradition. Humanistic values and medical knowledge further disseminated westward to Persia, Central Asia, China, south-east Asia and to the southern part of the Subcontinent to Sri Lanka. It is in the cultural milieu of the Indo-Gangetic regions and lower Himalayan regions of ancient India, which is modern day Pakistan and India, where tribal and wandering healers, learned physicians, ascetics and yogis from Buddhism and Jainism, all contributed to the emergence of a formal scientific culture of healing that became Ayurveda. “Ayur” translates as ‘Life’ and “Veda” as ‘Knowledge’ from ancient Sanskrit. In the centuries that followed, Ayurveda continued to be elaborated and refined. By 100 BCE – 200 CE ,Charaka, who is generally considered to be the first main physician of Ayurveda, and native to Kashmir which is now also divided between India, Pakistan and China, studied as an intern and then taught Ayurveda in the ancient University of Taxila – a renowned ancient institute of higher-learning located in Punjab, Pakistan. Surgical tools from the period are still well preserved in the Taxila museum in Pakistan. Charaka edited and compiled earlier works of Ayurveda by sages like Atreya and his pupil Agnivesa into a medical treatise of Ayurveda, entitled Charaka Samhita. In later years, more compilations of medical treatise of Ayurveda were created, such as the Shushruta and Ashtangahrdayam, by subsequent physicians. Trade and knowledge of medicinal plants propagated the Ayurveda classical texts to be translated into Persian, Arabic, Tibetan and Chinese and gave rise to modern day Unani, Tibetan and Chinese Medicines. Siddha Medicine was also established in South India and in Sri Lanka. These Medical Systems continued to flourish along with tribal and folk medicine also centuries old and further contributed to Ayurvedic books such as the materia medica of Ayurveda were composed in the 8th century.



By the pre-colonial period starting from 1510 AC, early Portuguese and Dutch settlers relied on Ayurveda and other medical systems of the Subcontinent for health care. Early European settlers did not have enough physicians, medicines or the knowledge needed to combat tropical diseases. It was also an official policy of the Portuguese and Dutch governments to actively seek out and document Indian traditional medical knowledge, which then entered European Medical Schools. Works like ‘Indian botanical medical knowledge’, by Garcia da Orta  and Christoval Acosta and ‘the 12 volume Hortus Malabarius’ (1678-1693) compiled by Aadrian Van Rheede, became reference books for tropical botany and medicine for over 100 years. By mid-1800 AC, after incorporating and merging Traditional Medicine of the Subcontinent in to European medicine, the British official colonial policy marginalized traditional medicine to secondary status and European medicine became the official health care system. When India got its independence from the British Empire in 1947, the regions where Ayurveda originated also got separated as Pakistan and India. The Indian government made efforts to recognize Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani as being on par with European or Allopathic Biomedicine and by 1964, it set norms for the manufacture and quality control of traditional medicines. In 1965, the Pakistani government established the Unani, Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic Practitioners Act also to support of Traditional Medicine. In 1970 the Indian government passed the Indian Medical Central Council Act to standardize Ayurvedic teaching institutions. The Indian government later created the Department of AYUSH (Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) to support research and development of Traditional Medicine, and to set standards and regulate the activities related to practice. The Pakistani government also established NCT (the National Council of Tibb) in accordance with the Unani, Ayurvedic and Homoeopathic Practitioners Act of 1965.

              Ashtānga sangraha of Vagbhata


'The 12 volume Hortus Malabarius’ by Aadrian Van Rheede

Within a couple of decades, Western interest and travels to India, particularly from the United States, further spread and launched Ayurveda from India. Additionally, New Age culture emerged as well ascribing new layers to Ayurveda. In time, Ayurveda Tourism or commercialized variants have also come to represent Ayurveda in India and abroad. Research and Science based evidence is on the rise. Meanwhile, though comparatively unharmed from commercialization and comparatively authentic, Unani Medicine became increasingly popular in Pakistan and Ayurveda became almost obsolete possibly owing to its misrepresentation as being either simply religious based, as the Vedas themselves vs the Ayurveda gave birth to Hinduism, or the misinformation that it is from India instead of 'Ancient' India, and that the origins of Ayurveda lay very much in Pakistan. Because of this, while Unani Medicine remains popular in India as well as mainly in Pakistan, while yoga is regaining its popularity and heritage in Pakistan, Ayurveda itself remains in danger of becoming a lost heritage. Nonetheless, the spirit and culture of Ancient India, that gave rise to the Vedas and Ayurveda are embedded in a shared history, nature, tradition, heritage and genealogy of both Pakistan and India. Regardless of the rise and fall of advanced Civilizations through climate change and migration, political and religious movements, conflicts, foreign involvement and influence, commercialization, the very nature of Ayurveda, what it is, and the essence of how it came in to existence is 'timeless' and intact. We can thank the ancient seers and the modern ones for it.

Falculty of Eastern Medicine, Pakistan

Examples of new varients of Ayurveda in the world today:


 


SARS-CoV 2: Immunity boosting herbs

Posted by arizvi on January 31, 2021 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (2)

Contemporary Guidelines: WHO has adapted guidelines for the clinical management of severe acute respiratory infection when SARS-CoV 2 infection is suspected. It is intended for clinicians involved in the care of adult, pregnant, and pediatric patients with or at risk for severe acute 1 respiratory infection (SARI) when infection with the COVID-19 virus is suspected .

 

Immunity Enhancers - Single Drugs: 2 1. Guduchi Consuming 500 to 1000 mg of aqueous extract of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia (Thunb.Miers) 3 2. Amla Consumption of fresh Amla fruit (Indian gooseberry – Embilica officinalis L/ Phyllanthus emblica L) or Amla candy is also advisable. 4 3. Haridra Gargling with warm water added with turmeric powder (Curcuma longa L) and a pinch of salt or Turmeric (Curcuma longa L) 5 4. Tulasi Frequent sipping of water processed with Tulsi (basil leaves – Ocimum tenuiflorum L Merr (synonym Ocimum sanctum L) is advised. 5. Ashwagandha root powder 3-5gm twice a day with warm milk or water/ ashwagandha extract 500mg twice a day with warm water.

 

Ayurveda Today & Frequently Asked Questions

Posted by arizvi on March 28, 2019 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

While Ayurveda, ‘the science of life’ as translated from ancient Sanskrit is used as preventive, curative, alternative as well as complementary medicine, further clarification might be helpful to navigate through the immense availability and variety of Ayurveda these days. Here are some of the forms in which we come across Ayurveda these days: Ayurveda massage, Ayurveda teas, Ayurveda spas, Ayurveda Pancha Karma, Ayurveda practitioners, Ayur-Yoga, Ayurveda herbs, Ayurveda retreats, Ayurveda nutritionists,Ayurveda products like neti pots and more - to elaborate, I have put together some frequently asked questions and replies:


How can I cure my illness with Ayurveda?

The causes of illnesses can have many factors such as hereditary, lifestyle, stress, side-effects of other medicines, old age, etc... Owing to a number of factors, some illnesses can be cured while others not. Since Ayurveda is holistic, and is often misunderstood to be just herbal medicine, the best way to cure an illness in accordance with Ayurveda is only by a holistic approach. This means that lifestyle and nutrition guidelines play an important role. Illness is formed when the body is in imbalance and when there is ‘ama’ or toxins in the body. So to cure the illness, the Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner will use a holistic approach as well as to prescribe ayurvedic medicines or treatments. Depending on the type of illness or imbalance, you can seek the help needed accordingly.



How much will Ayurveda cost me?

This depends on many factors. If you only want a massage then your costs will be limited to that. If you are only looking to get your constitution checked and would like some lifestyle guidance then your costs will be limited to that. However, if you are approaching Ayurveda for medical reasons: preventive and require a detox, curative, alternative or for complementary reasons such as if you are undergoing treatment for cancer and only require Ayurvedic help to combat side effects of chemotherapy, then your costs will be calculated accordingly.

Generally, an Ayurvedic Spa is a place which is peacefully and beautifully located and the emphasis lies on relaxation and rejuvenation but not on medical Ayurveda. An Ayurvedic clinic or hospital might or might not offer the luxury of a Spa but the staff specialise in Medical treatments. One can also stay at a hotel or in one’s home and visit a single Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner at his or her clinic. Costs always vary from place to place, whether in India or outside of India. However, the most reliable and affordable places for Ayurvedic medical treatments are government Ayurveda hospitals within India, or possibly in Sri Lanka.

Ayurvedic medicines and treatments can cost a lot these days. Bills run up to 100s and 1000s of US dollars or Euros and often people want an Ayurvedic detoxification treatment consisting of vasti, virechana, nasya, vamana and at times rakta moksha and unfortunately only receive one of the five panchakarma treatments along with other therapies like shirodhara or massage in the name of the actual pancha karma. They then feel cheated. In some countries, Ayurveda is only partially reimbursed. Hence, it is always good to be clear about what you are looking for, what your budget is and whom you are going to for treatment.


Why does Ayurveda cost a lot?

These days Ayurveda costs a lot because the Ayurvedic medicines cost a lot. Treatments also require a lot of time, care and personnel. Costs can also become unnecessarily high if the institution is not professional or well qualified because then there is a commercial aspect involved. This in turn also means that you are not getting the best treatments.

Even in the best of the hospitals and clinics, you might be overcharged. Only in government Ayurveda Hospitals, such as in Udupi or in Pune but there are many more will you not be overcharged and will always first undergo consultation by an Ayurvedic doctor. So, it is always good to take time to research where you are going for the treatments and you can openly talk about how you can limit overall expenditure with your healer/s.


Can Ayurveda be combined with other forms of Medical Systems like TCM, Tibetan Medicine or Allopathy?

Yes, Ayurveda treatments always need to work in conjunction with any other forms of treatments you are undergoing. If you are not, then it is fine. However, always mention to all healers involved about all treatments that you are undergoing.


Does Ayurveda have side-effects?

Yes, Ayurveda medicines can have side-effects or contra-indications. Treatments can also cause adverse effects if not performed well.

 

I am not sure I can always have the discipline required to heal with Ayurveda. Shall I still try to seek Ayurvedic treatment?

Yes, please do. If you are in good hands, you will find that Ayurveda is not that strict or rigid as often perceived or presented.


777 Oil and Psorolin Ointment for Psoriasis

Posted by arizvi on December 29, 2014 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Psoriasis means "itching condition" or "being itchy" in Greek is also termed psoriasis vulgaris. It is a common, chronic, relapsing/remitting ,immune-mediated systemic disease characterized by skin lesions including red, scaly patches, papules and plaques , which usually itch. The skin lesions seen in psoriasis may vary in severity from minor localized patches to complete body coverage.The disease affects 2–4% of the general population. The causes of psoriasis are not fully understood.

In Ayurveda, ‘777 oil’ is a herbal preparation which is used as the safe and affective treatment for control and management of all types of psoriasis. This oil is a non- steroid simple herbal formulation prepared from a commonly available herb (Wrightia tinctoria & Oleum Cocus nucifera) by lipid extraction and has already caught the attention of some of the leading dermatologists in India and abroad who have seen remarkable improvements in their patients. Oil has been used for generations in India to treat eczema and psoriasis effectively. The best thing about using oil is that they are safe and effective for people who are even mildly allergy prone . 777 Oil along with ‘Psorolin Ointment’ for Psoriasis help in a way that they proficiently postpone the problem of reappearance to near total remission with no side effects for long term use.

NB. For reviews, please refer to google in general, in sights like https//www.inspire.com/groups/talk-psoriasis/discussion/psorolin-and-777-oil-sideeffects/

Dosage/use

External use: Application after taking a bath as a thin coating over the affected surface. Exposure to the (morning) sun for 15 mins after application. Use fingertips on scalp. Use Psorolin bathing bar/soap, or 100% Neem soap or shampoo for washing the body.

Contra indication:

There is no known contra indication. Mild skin rashes have been in some cases over the lesions in the beginning of the treatment, but the lesions disappear within a few days after regular use.

Tip: Consult an Ayurvedic physician if possible for optimal treatment.


 

Chucuhuasi bark - a natural pain killer, aphrodisiac and for vitality

Posted by arizvi on July 13, 2014 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

The Chucuhuasi tree (botanical name: Maytenus krukovii) is native to the Amazon Rainforest. This Quechua language name Chuchuhuasi, in all its permutations means "trembling back", due to the bark's effectiveness in relieving back pain, as well as the discomforts of arthritis and rheumatism. It also restores vigour after a debilitating disease as a general tonic, helps in relieving menstrual pain and enhancing libido. Chuchuhuasi is pretty close to an all-in-one remedy as it contains a variety of naturally-occurring compounds, notably the two tumor-fighting alkaloids mayteine and maytansine. The bark is rich in several alkaloids, tannins, triterpenes and sesquiterpenes and much more. Without doubt, Chuchuhuasi's bark contains a concentration of powerful protective agents. It is consumed by itself or with other herbs, and can be prepared by simply soaking some bark in a glass of water overnight, or by putting bark and cane alcohol (aguardiente) into a vessel and letting the alcohol extract the beneficial compounds from the bark.


Smell & feel good with Frankincense

Posted by arizvi on June 13, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Smell & feel good with Frankincense: Aromatherapy and essential oils have been used for centuries with wonderful results. The aromatic compounds from essential oils can alter a person's mind, mood, cognitive function and health. Frankincense (Ayurveda: Loban, Dhoop) uplifts the mood, is good for the skin, purifies the air and it's smoke refreshes fabrics. The English word is derived from Old French "franc encens" (i.e., high quality incense). It has been traded for over 5000 years along the famous 'Frankincense Trail'. The Frankincense Trail has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Frankincense is extracted from the Boswellia tree.

Book: Shruti Ayurveda for Wellbeing

Posted by arizvi on June 5, 2014 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (0)

This book places Ayurveda at the heart and wisdom of natural healing. It recognises well-being as our intrinsic nature and provides comprehensive recommendations in diet, daily, seasonal and ethical care as presented in Ayurveda. It is a manual to healthy living that recognises Ayurveda as universal wisdom and in harmony with nature. The book is gentle in style and enables the reader to embrace Ayurveda from all walks of life.

An Opinion

"Ayurveda, Science of Life, takes care of our health and gives us know how and instructions like a caring mother does for her baby. Prevention being better than cure, the understanding of Ayurveda is essential for everyone who wants to maintain good health.

This manuscript is successful in projecting the importance of lifestyle, appropriate diet and mind set (Satva).

 

 

Available also as ebook, google on it for worldwide availability.

Spirulina for vegetarians and vegans

Posted by arizvi on April 21, 2014 at 4:35 AM Comments comments (3)

Spirulina was a food source for the Aztecs and other Mesoamericans until the 16th century; the harvest from Lake Texcoco and subsequent sale as cakes were described by one of Cortés' soldiers. The Aztecs called it "tecuitlatl". Spirulina is a cyanobacterium that can be consumed by humans and other animals. Dried spirulina contains about 60% (51–71%) protein. It is a complete protein containing all essential amino acids, though with reduced amounts of methionine, cysteine and lysine when compared to the proteins of meat, eggs and milk. It is, however, superior to typical plant protein, such as that from legumes. Some people experience protein deficiency symptoms due to a lack of protein intake. Common protein deficiency symptoms include weight loss, thinning or brittle hair, oedema, ridges in nails, pale skin, skin rashes, general weakness, headaches, difficulty in sleeping and moodiness. Spirulina is also rich in several other nutrients.



Kudzu for alcoholism

Posted by arizvi on November 30, 2013 at 7:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Kudzu is is a group of plants in the genus Pueraria, in the pea family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. They are climbing, coiling, and trailing vines native to much of eastern Asia, southeast Asia, and some Pacific Islands. The name comes from the Japanese name for the plants, kuzuwhich was written "kudzu" in historical romanizations.  Kudzu climbs over trees or shrubs, and grows so rapidly that it kills them by heavy shading. The plant is edible, but often sprayed with herbicides.

Recent studies have shown evidence that Kudzu can reduce drinking in people. Essentially, kudzu increases blood alcohol concentration so that people need less alcohol to feel its effects, so consequently people feel satisfied on fewer drinks. Kudzu herb extracts from stores and websites atend to contain less than 1 percent of active kudzu, making it ineffective ineffective. Higher concentrations are needed – around 30-40 percent of one of Kudzu’s active ingredients (puerarin) is advised.  It is important to find a good supplier.

NB. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider. At the same time, there are several positive reviews by alcohol users and it is advisable to consume Kudzu in connection with a qualified heathcare provider.


Book: Sacred Remedies

Posted by arizvi on November 18, 2013 at 6:45 AM Comments comments (8)

  

'Sacred Remedies: A combination of Ayurveda, Unani and Phytotherapy cures for common ailments' is a timeless piece of work as it blends ancient remedies with modern findings, presenting the reader with a very wide array of remedies to choose from and with regard to availability of herbs. The book also includes yoga practices and nutritional guidelines offering a holistic dimension to healing with appendices that cover subjects such as pancha karma and immunity. The book is practical, thorough and fun to read.

 

Opinions:"This book wonderfully combines herbal medicine from the East and the West. It gives a rich source of nutrition guidelines and easy to perform yoga asanas that enables optimal healing to common ailments. Vaidya Aasiya Rizvi illustrates personal health care in an extensive way which can undoubtedly be of great interest to many. This is a useful and enjoyable book.

 

 

" Swami Durganand, author of 'Curing Diseases through Yoga'."

 

 

Alternative Medicine is based on cultural and historical traditions, and is used as preventive and complementary medicine. While there is increasing scientific evidence, traditions have time after time shown that they are successful in treating many ailments which conventional medicine can treat or has failed to do so. Additionally, there are fewer and less aggressive side effects, if any, and most ingredients are either locally available or are inexpensive. Aasiya has carried forth this ancient science and made it easy for all to understand and use in this modern era.

 

 

"Dr Javaid Laghari, Chairman, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan

Akkas Publications, 2013

ISBN 9698267409, 9789698267407

 456 pages



A (signed) copy of  'Sacred Remedies' can be ordered via the 'Contact' link - Price 15,00 (EU)  or at Saeed Bookstore & Mr. Books Bookshop  Price 1300 (Rps.)


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