Category Archives: Blog

smoking and asthama

Smoking and Asthma: What You Should Know

Asthma and smoking don’t go very well together. About 20%-35% of adult asthma patients all over the world are smokers. A data by The American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology reveals so.

Whether you actively smoke or are regularly exposed to second-hand smoking, both factors can trigger symptoms of Asthma.

How Smoking Triggers Asthma?
Tobacco smoke contains irritating particles. When you inhale these particles, they stick to the moist lining of your airways. These particles stay there and trigger an Asthma attack.

Moreover, the tobacco smoke also damages the Cilia (little hair-like projections in the airways that sweep mucus out from your nasal cavity). As a result, dust particles and mucus are deposited inside your airways. Also, tobacco smoke makes the lungs produce excessive mucus than usual. This further aggravates mucus build-up inside the airways triggering an Asthma attack.

How Can Passive Smoking Trigger Asthma?
Passive smoking is when you inhale tobacco smoke from another person’s cigarette or cigar. This is considered even more harmful than active smoking. It’s because the smoke that comes out off the burnt end of the cigarette or cigar, contains more harmful particles such as nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide compared to the direct smoke inhaled by the active smoker.

If you already have asthma then passive smoking will cause coughing, sneezing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

Smoking and Children
Parents need to be cautious about their children as they are at a greater risk of getting an Asthma attack. Children and infants take more smoke into their lungs compared to adults. It’s because their immune systems aren’t developed fully.

When exposed to smoke, their lungs produce more mucus and because their airways are still developing and are comparatively small, the harmful particles easily get accumulated and affect them faster. This exposes them to the risk of developing lung infection later in their life.

Children born to smoker parents are more likely to develop lung infections and breathing issues. If you are pregnant, then active or passive smoking can affect the unborn child. When you smoke, Nicotine reaches the unborn baby through your bloodstream.

Third-hand Smoking: How it worsens Asthma?
Third-hand smoke is also dangerous. This is the residue that keeps lingering from the tobacco smoke. When you smoke a cigarette, the chemical contained in the smoke lingers on the surface even months after the smoke is gone.

These chemicals react with the pollutants present in the environment and create more harmful substances which can trigger Asthma symptoms.

Even when you smoke outdoors, in the smoking zone, the risk of third-hand smoke doesn’t get reduced. Even if you open the windows and switch on the fan on top speed, it cannot eliminate the risk of third-hand smoking completely.

The risk of triggering Asthma is more when you smoke in closed spaces. This includes smoking inside the room, cars, and any other closed spaces. It’s because when you are smoking inside closed spaces, you are exposed to a greater amount of pollutants and harmful chemicals. The smoke lingers in closed spaces for a longer period (even if there is ventilation) and is especially harmful to children.

How to control smoke exposure?
Stop smoking. That’s the most obvious and crucial thing you can do (if you smoke). This is good for you and your family. If anyone in your family smokes, encourage them to quit.

This may not be easy but you always have help at hand. Talk to a therapist. Enroll in special programs.

Tips to Quit Smoking
Don’t hesitate in trying out several ways to quit smoking such as:

• Discard all tobacco related items, ashtrays, matchsticks, and lighters
• Avoid any situation that may make you want to smoke. For instance, if you have the habit of lighting a cigarette after a meal, avoid that. Instead, take a walk or do the dishes.
• If you have an urge to smoke, take a deep breath. Hold it for a few seconds and release.

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healthy lifestyle

Tips For Healthy Lifestyle

Leading a healthy lifestyle is all about making healthy choices. Now, implementing all the changes at once might appear like an overwhelming goal to achieve. However, embracing a healthy lifestyle is easy when you take one step at a time. Here are a few changes that you may adapt to stay healthy throughout the year:

1. Watch what you eat
Avoid eating junk food and other food items high in trans fats. These contain high calories and can have adverse effects on your health by causing unnecessary weight gain, high cholesterol levels, and increasing the risk of heart diseases. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. Include lots of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and other essential elements in your diet. Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grain, lean meat, low-fat dairy products, seasonal, and fresh fruits in your diet. A little moderation in your diet plan can go a long way in ensuring a good health.

2. Avoid Skipping Breakfast
Never skip your breakfast. It’s the first important meal that you have every day. Skipping breakfast decreases your metabolic rate causing weight gain and digestion issues. Skipping breakfast also puts you at the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Also, people who never skip breakfast are at a lower risk of developing heart ailments.
Source: https://food.ndtv.com/health/five-reasons-why-you-should-never-skip-breakfast-1663367

3. Wash Your Hands (every time!)
Before eating or touching your eyes, always make sure to wash your hands. In case water is not available, wash your hands using hand sanitizers. In this way, you can at least limit your exposure to harmful viruses and bacteria.

4. Avoid Binge Eating
You may crave for that red velvet cake on the menu card after having a full lunch. You may even feel like munching on a bag of potato chips just because you are bored and have nothing to do. Stop doing that (unless you want to visit the hospital soon). Eat only when you are hungry. Your stomach is not the dumping ground for all your cravings. Never eat just because the food is stacked in your cabinet or fridge. Too much eating is dangerous for your cholesterol levels and can cause several diseases.

6. Avoid Late Night Snacks
Eat meals at a proper time and avoid that craving for a late night snack. It’s because after the sun goes down, your body starts to go into a switch-off mode. Your digestion power is at its weakest after the sun sets. Late night snacks can cause indigestion which may interfere with your sleep pattern. Also, try eating early (at least a few hours before you go to bed). Keep your meals light for improved digestion.

7. Never Sit for Long
Whether you are at your office or at your home – avoid sitting on the couch or the chair for long hours. Sitting for long hours without any kind of movement affects your metabolism, joints, and weaken your bones. Make sure that you take a break every half an hour and move around a bit. Don’t forget to stretch your muscles.

8. Do Not Smoke
Smoking has an adverse effect on your lungs and your health. It causes a number of lung ailments, sooner or later.

9. Keep Yourself Hydrated
Drink water. It’s because your body cells need water for working properly. Even it needs water for digesting food properly and for avoiding constipation. Also drinking water regularly lowers the burden on your kidneys.

10. Get at least 7-8 hours of Sleep
Sleeping for at least 7-8 hours each day helps in relaxing your mind and body. When you sleep, your body system repairs and rejuvenates itself. As a result, you will see that your mind can focus on things in a better way and you feel charged up.

11. Reduce your Salt intake
It’s because too much salt increases your blood pressure and you develop the risk of getting heart ailments. Even if you think that you are not adding salt to your food, you are still taking a lot of salt with the food that you buy from the supermarket such as breakfast cereals, bread, sauces, and soups. Always read the labels before buying any food item. This is not just for checking the salt levels but also for checking other ingredients.

We hope that these tips will help you stay healthy in the long run. Try embracing Ayurveda for a healthy living. At Pankajakasthuri, we strive to offer you all the goodness contained in the herbs and medicinal plants for promoting overall wellness. Our Ayurvedic products are 100% natural and are safe (they have no side effects) and effective. You can check our products here http://www.pankajakasthuri.in/index.php?route=common/producthome

ayurvedic treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes And Ayurvedic Medicine

Rheumatoid Arthritis is one of the major and common health complications in India. It is a chronic inflammatory disease which, apart from affecting the joints, can also affect different organs, including the heart, lungs, blood vessels, eyes, and skin.

The disorder occurs when the immune system malfunctions and attacks the body tissues. It also affects both major and minor joints in the body.

Here’s everything you need to know about Rheumatoid Arthritis:

 

Symptoms
In most cases, Rheumatoid Arthritis, in its early stages, affects the minor joints, including the joints that connect fingers to your hands and the joints in your toes. As the disease progresses , it affects the knees, shoulders, hips, elbows, and ankles. Some of the common symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis involving the joints include:

  • Pain in the joints
  • Joint inflammation
  • Joint redness
  • Joint tenderness
  • Stiffness in the joints (usually worse after inactivity)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Weight loss

Rheumatoid Arthritis affects everyone in a different manner. The symptoms of the disorder may develop quickly for some while gradually for others. For some people, the symptoms may persist only for a short period of time and disappear on its own.

 

Causes
The underlying cause of Rheumatoid Arthritis is still unknown. Certain viruses or bacteria may trigger the immune system to attack the joints or sometimes the body organs.

The cause for the onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis for one person may not necessarily be the same for another person.

If you are suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis, then your immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues surrounding the joints thus resulting in inflammation.

 

Who are at the risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis?
People of all age, gender, race, and ethnicity can get affected by the disorder. However, it is more common in women. Middle-aged people stand at more risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis. Some of the major risk factors for the disorder include:

Family history – people with a family history of Rheumatoid Arthritis stand at double the risk of developing the disorder.

Obesity – people who are obese or overweight are at a higher risk of developing Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Environmental exposures – environmental factors, such as exposure to silica or asbestos may increase the risk of developing the disease.

Smoking – smoking not only increases the risk of developing the disease but also causes the disease to worsen. Smoking is a major risk factor for people having a genetic predisposition to developing Rheumatoid Arthritis.

 

Complications
Rheumatoid Arthritis, if not treated properly, can lead to a number of complications. These include:

Rheumatoid nodules – One of the commonly occurring complications of Rheumatoid Arthritis is rheumatoid nodules which are firm tissue bumps that usually form around the pressure points.

Osteoporosis – Rheumatoid Arthritis, if not treated, can increase the risk of Osteoporosis – a condition that weakens the bones and makes them prone to fracture.

Lymphoma – Rheumatoid Arthritis, upon worsening, can even lead to Lymphoma – a malignant disorder of the lymphatic system.

Lung disease – Rheumatoid Arthritis also increases the risk of scarring and inflammation of the lung tissues. This, in turn, can lead to wheezing and shortness of breath which can cause Interstitial Lung Disease.

Heart problems – Rheumatoid Arthritis can cause inflammation of the inner lining of the arteries of the heart which can lead to plague formation.The disorder also increases the risk of hardened and blocked arteries.

Infections – Rheumatoid Arthritis can also impair the immune system which can lead to a number of infections.

Sjogren’s syndrome – People with Rheumatoid Arthritis often experience dryness in the eyes and mouth – a condition known as Sjogren’s syndrome.

 

Treatment
There are a number of treatment options for Rheumatoid Arthritis. One of the most effective and proven treatment is Ayurvedic medication.

 

Ayurvedic treatment
Ayurvedic medication such as the Orthoherb Tablet from Pankajakasthuri is effective in relieving the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Orthoherb Tablet has been formulated with the goodness of 23 different herbs.

Orthoherb Tablet has an anti-inflammatory action which helps in reducing swelling by correcting the inflammation of the synovial membrane and fluid. It also restores fluid balance and strengthens joints.

 

Healthy and balanced diet
A healthy and balanced diet enhances the medicinal properties of the Orthoherb Tablet. Fresh and green vegetables, lean meat and fish, fresh dairy egg, dried nuts, and colourful fruits make up healthy eating choices.

There are a number of foods that naturally contain anti-inflammatory properties. Cold-water fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel, and herring are a storehouse of high omega-3 fatty acids which help in fighting the disease. Fiber from green vegetables, whole grains, and fruits also help in lowering the inflammation.

With that being said, there are also foods that can spike up inflammation. Examples of such foods include deep fried foods, safflower and soybean oil, packaged meat, ready-to-eat meals, etc. People with Rheumatoid Arthritis should avoid these food items.

 

Exercise
Just like a healthy diet, regular exercise enhances the medicinal properties of Orthoherb Tablet and makes it more effective in relieving the symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Exercising regularly makes the bones, muscles, and joints strong. Regular exercise also improves blood flow throughout the body and improves the immunity system which helps in fighting the disease-causing virus or bacteria.

 

Prevention
Rheumatoid Arthritis cannot be prevented as there are a number of risk factors causing the disease. However, a healthy lifestyle (which includes a healthy diet and regular exercise) can help in lowering the risks drastically.

 

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Knee Pain Don’ts

If your knee joints aren’t healthy, even simple activities such as walking and climbing stairs will be extremely difficult. You can use Ayurvedic medicine to relieve symptoms of knee pain, but there are certain activities that you should avoid to ensure that your condition doesn’t worsen. Here we discuss 9 don’ts when you have knee pain –

1. Do Not Sit For Longer Periods
Sitting for longer periods leads to a build-up of fluid. And it can worsen the pain in your knee joint. To prevent that, follow an exercise programme that’s safe for your knees. And if you are not sure which exercises will be best for you then consult a doctor. She/he can guide you.

2. Do Not Indulge In High-Impact Exercises
Exercises that exert pressure on your knee joints can cause serious damage to the knees. Exercises such as playing tennis and running cause more trouble for you already injured knees.

Stop activities that cause excessive use of the muscles around your knees. If the condition gets aggravated, you may even need joint replacement surgery.

3. Do Not Avoid Exercise At All
Low-impact exercises such as cycling, swimming, gentle walking, and biking are best for your knee joints. However, always consult a doctor before you set your exercise regime.

4. Do Not Jump Directly Into Your Workout Routine
It’s because if you have knee pain or if you are suffering from arthritis then avoiding warm-ups is problematic. Usually, warm-up exercises prepare your joints for movements by lubricating them.

As a result, the joints are less stiff and you can easily move them. This lowers the risk of any injury during the workout. After your workout, do not forget to cool down. This helps the joints reset after exercise. A doctor is the best person to instruct your appropriate warm-up and cool-down techniques before and after the exercise.

5. Do Not Avoid Strength and Flexibility Training
If you suffer from painful knee conditions such as osteoarthritis then it’s important that you include a plan for strength and flexibility training apart from the usual aerobic exercise. Flexibility and strength exercises help in supporting the muscles around the knee joints. Stretching helps in improving and maintaining the flexibility of the muscles around the joints.

6. Don’t Shy Away From Using Devices for Walking Assistance
Supporting devices such as knee braces and canes go a long way in supporting the knees, improving their function, and decreasing any discomfort in the muscles. Sometimes the knee pain gets so severe that your movement gets limited. It turns disabling. You may think of getting under the knife but it may not be the right time for a knee surgery as well. This is when walking assistance can help you move. Consult an occupational therapist for selecting the right device for you.

7. Don’t Ignore Any New Symptoms of Knee Pain
Arthritis affecting the knee joint is a chronic condition. Sometimes the pain may be less and sometimes it may get unbearable. You have to keep checking for changing symptoms.

For instance, if the pain grows severe and starts occurring during periods of rest, or if it wakes you up in the middle of your sleep, then those may be the sign that the condition is progressing. Check for other symptoms such as locked knee, swelling and redness in the affected area. These are also of great concern. The doctor needs to be informed immediately so that your treatment plans can be adjusted or modified accordingly.

8. Do Not Ignore Your Weight
It’s because excessive weight puts your knees under lot of pressure. Losing weight will improve their functionality. The more weight you will lose, the greater the improvements. Please do not go on crash diet or starve yourself. Consult a doctor before making any changes in your diet.

9. Don’t Ignore the Importance of a Good Pair of Shoes
Shoes matter. It helps a lot in reducing stress on your knees. Try buying shoes with cushioned insoles. And if you have osteoarthritis in the knee, doctors may recommend special insoles that you can put inside your shoes. Talk to the doctor or the physical therapist for finding an appropriate insole for your shoes. Buy shoes that are flat and flexible and can mimic the natural mobility of the foot. This decreases the pressure on your knees during daily activities.

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ayurvedic living

10 Pieces Of Ayurvedic Wisdom

New Year is the perfect time to start afresh. It’s the most exciting time of the year for new beginnings, new promises, and commitments. It’s the perfect time to cleanse your mind, body, and spirit; and there is no better way to do that than embracing Ayurveda. So, if you have made a commitment to turn into a healthy version of you, we can offer some help.  Here are some tips to embrace a holistic approach to health this year:

1. Early to bed and early to rise
Well, it does make you healthy and wise! The morning sun awakens your system and balances your Doshas. Also, as the surroundings are quiet, it’s the best time to meditate and contemplate.
Similarly, getting a good night sleep is essential. Adequate sleep helps your body repair and rejuvenate itself.

2. Cleanse yourself
In Ayurveda, tongue scraping is an essential morning activity. It helps in removing all the accumulated toxins from last night that causes illness. Also, when you do this before brushing, your digestive responses are activated.

3. Soothe your body
Before you retire for the day, try a foot massage. There are several pressure points on your foot; massaging them for a few minutes relaxes your body. Use sesame oil and rub the sole of your feet in circular motion. Follow this on the ankles and sides. Do it in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.

4. Practice breathing techniques
A few minutes of NadiShodhana (breathing with alternate nostrils) calms the nervous system. Close one nostril with your thumb and breathe in. Now, use the ring finger to close that nostril and breathe out using the other nostril. Try doing this for at least 5-10 times.

5. Have only seasonal food
Discard junk food from your life and have only seasonal and fresh food. Seasonal fruits and veggies not only taste great but contain maximum nutrients. Eating healthy will help in maintaining a healthy weight.

6. Avoid caffeine
Try to reduce your caffeine intake in the morning as it aggravates your Pitta Dosha and the acidity in your body. Instead, drink herbal tea as it’s pacifying.

7. Avoid Food that aggravates your Pitta Dosha
Spicy and oily food weaken your digestive system. Always try to eat light food that is easy to digest. Try boiled food, oatmeal, fruits and vegetable (seasonal), and salad.

8. Add herbs to your diet
Soak coriander and fennel seeds in water overnight and take them the next morning. Try Amla (Indian Gooseberry); it’s loaded with Vitamin C and it not only detoxifies your body but also gives you a glowing skin.

9. Drink warm water or room temperature water
Chilled water disrupts your digestion process and affects the blood flow to different organs. This might cause constipation. Drinking warm or room temperature water boosts your metabolism and also relieves bloating.

10. Drink only when you are thirsty
Body systems differ from person to person, so the water requirement for all body types is different. Your body cannot absorb too much water. Also, know the indicators when your body is thirsty such as the colour of the urine (yellow colour means your body is dehydrated), dry lips indicate that your body needs water.

Follow these Ayurvedic tips to stay healthy:
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history of ayurveda

History Of Ayurveda: A Brief Overview

Ayurveda, one of the oldest traditional systems of medicine, originated in the Indian subcontinent. With a rich history that dates back to more than 5000 years, Ayurveda was mainly practised by the sages during the Vedic civilisation. It is said that the main source of knowledge for Ayurveda was derived from the Vedas, the holy books of knowledge.

History and Evolution of Ayurveda
The origin of Ayurveda has both historical and mythological references. Ayurveda is being practised by the Indians since 2nd Century BC and its origin can be traced back to Vaisheshika, an ancient school of Hindu philosophical teachings and the Nyaya, the school of logic.  Vaisheshika spoke about perceptions and inferences. This school of thought characterised the attributes of any object into 6 types. These are:

•    Substance or Dravya
•    Quality or Guna
•    Activity or Karma
•    Generality or Samanya
•    Particularity or Vishesha
•   Inherence or Samavaya

Nyaya advocated its teaching on the grounds that one needs to have a thorough knowledge about the condition of the patient and the disease before starting the treatment. The two school of thoughts later worked together to form the Nyaya–Vaisesika school.  This new school of thought is believed to propagate the knowledge of Ayurveda throughout the country.

Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2225411016000250#bib2

Also, there is a mythological aspect of the origin and development of Ayurveda. It is said that Ayurveda owes its origin to Brahma, the God who created the universe as per the Hindu Mythology. It was Brahma who passed this knowledge of Ayurveda to the sages for the well-being of the humans. The sages then passed this knowledge to their disciples and then to the common man. They composed all the information about the herbs and medicines in form of Shlokas or hymns. It is believed that all the compilations related to healing and medicines were contained in the four Vedas – Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, Sama Veda and the Atharva Veda.

It was around 1500 to 1000 BC when Ayurveda in India developed. It followed a same developmental phase as the Chinese and the Western medicine (evolving from religious and mythological discipline and then moving into the medical system). The two schools of medicine that was found during this period were the Atreya (school of the physicians) and Dhanvantari (school of the surgeons). It was Agnivesha who systematised all the knowledge of Ayurveda from the Vedas which was the edited by Charaka and other scholars, it’s currently known as Charaka Samhita and contains all the knowledge pertaining to the different aspects of Ayurvedic medicines.

Another important compilation is Sushruta Samhita, which is all about the science of surgery. Sushruta compiled the teachings of Dhanvantari in Sushruta Samhita. These 2 legendary books are being followed by Ayurvedic practitioners till this date.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3336651/pdf/ASL-1-1.pdf

The Ashtanga Sangraha and the Ashtanga Hrudayam
These works make frequent references to Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita. Ashtanga refers to 8 sections of Ayurveda :

•    Internal Medicine – Kaya Chikitsa
•    Paediatrics – Bala Chikitsa
•    Psychiatry – Graha Chikitsa
•   ENT & Ophthalmology – Salakya Thantra
•    Surgery – Salya Thantra
•    Toxicology – Agada Thantra
•    Geriatrics – Jara Chikitsa
•    Aphrodisiac therapy – Vajeekarana Chikitsa

Ashtanga Sangraha was written by Vridha Vagbhata,  a disciple of Charaka, and the work explores both the medical and the surgical aspects of treating diseases through Ayurveda. Ashtanga Hrudayam is also believed to be written by Vagbhata as both the books are very much similar. The only difference is that in Ashtanga Sangraha, the writer has used more verse than prose while Ashtanga Hrudayam is concise.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3336651/pdf/ASL-1-1.pdf

Sushruta, Charaka, and Vagbhata are considered to be “The Trinity” of Ayurvedic knowledge.

Further Proliferation of Ayurveda
The period between 800 BCE and 1000CE was the Golden Age of Indian medicines. This was the time when all the important books on Ayurveda were produced and circulated throughout the world. Ayurveda not only gained popularity among the Indians but the information on the traditional systems of Indian medicine became popular amongst Greeks, Egyptians, Chinese, Roman, Persians, Arabs, and Tibetans who travelled to India during that time. They studied Ayurveda in India and the carried this valuable knowledge to their respective countries.

Between 1000 CE and 1200 CE, physicians such as Avicenna and Razes translated a great part of the Ayurvedic knowledge into Arabic.

Another important medical book was written around 1100 CE by Madhavacharya. The book was called Madhava Nidana. The book contained all information regarding diseases of women, children, diseases of the ear, nose, and throat, and toxicology. The Madhava Nidana was one of the first and most important books of what is called the “Junior Triad” of Ayurveda. The Junior Triad texts include Madhava Nidana, Sarangdhar Samhita, and the Bhavaprakasham. On the other hand, Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, and Ashtanga Hrudayam constitute the Senior Triad.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11253415

The Sharangdhar Samhita, the second book of the Junior Triad was written by Acharya Sharangdhara in around 1300 CE. This book contained information on new diseases and syndromes along with their treatments, pharmacological and herbal formulas. This book contains details about Pulse examination also.

Bhavaprakasham is the final book of the Junior Triad, written by Bhava Mishra in around 1500 CE. This book discussed different medicinal characteristics of minerals, plants, and food.

Source: https://www.themindfulword.org/2014/history-of-ayurvedic-medicine/

Bhava Mishra was the first author who discussed a disease called Phiranga rog which was probably the name given to Syphilis.  Another new addition to his book was introducing chapters on the enlargement of spleen and liver. He also mentioned about some new medicines such as Chop Cheeni (Madhusnuhi) and the method of preparing Opium (Ahiphena), Camphor, and Parasika Yavani. He was also the first one to write about the use of mercurial elements for treating Phiranga rog.

It was also during this time that the Swiss Renaissance Physician Paracelsus was also influenced by the knowledge of Ayurveda.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3336651/pdf/ASL-1-1.pdf

Bhava Mishra demonstrated through his writings that Ayurveda is not against embracing new ideas and theories.  The only criterion for selecting any drug or a treatment methodology was for the patient’s benefit. With the changes in the environment, new diseases and symptoms will arrive and to treat them, new remedies are also required.

With British rule, Western culture, medicine, and science began to spread its influence. Since these practices were supported by the then Government, it thwarted the further evolution of Indian Sciences. However, Ayurveda was still followed by over 80% of the Indian population. In the latter half of British rule, Ayurveda again drew the attention of scholars throughout the world. With the growth of nationalist spirit during the Indian independence struggle, Ayurveda started growing, though at a slow but steady pace. New institutes were established and now, there are hundreds of Ayurvedic institutes all over the country.

Even today, a major part of the Indian population relies on Ayurvedic medicines for healing. Containing all the goodness of medicinal herbs, these products are 100% natural.

Explore Ayurvedic products online
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Healthy Breakfast Foods: Stewed Apples

In Ayurveda, waking up early in the morning is considered as beneficial for health, as the morning is the purest time of the day, when the air is fresh and the mind is at ease. It also states that eating at least half an hour after waking stimulates digestive fire and keeps metabolism rates up. Skipping breakfast is one of the bad habits that we often succumb to due to busy work schedules and it does not contribute to good health in the long run. Therefore, it is important to at least have a piece of fruit and some milk before leaving for work.

Stewed apples is an Ayurvedic dish that is one of the best ways to enhance digestion and vitality. Apples contain pectin and polyphenols which help the body to cleanse itself of toxins and metabolize fat effectively. It maintains proper balance in the functions of the body also.

You can also drink freshly made fruit or vegetable juice, as in Ayurveda, it is believed that having raw fruits and vegetables in the morning is extremely beneficial for health. In fact, it is best to have fruit the first thing in the morning, even before you have cereal or anything else.

Here is how one can prepare the Ayurvedic recipe for stewed apples:

Ingredients:

1-2 organic apples

5 whole cloves

1 cup water

Cinnamon or cardamom

Handful of raisins

Peel the apples and cut them finely into pieces, and boil them in water. Add in the spices and raisins so that they combine with the apples to give it a flavour. Once they start boiling, cover the vessel with a lid and keep cooking till they turn soft. After they are cooked well, drain the extra water and remove the cloves from the mixture. Allow the fruit to cool.

This is the best breakfast prescribed by Ayurvedic principles, and is especially great to have during the Spring season. Your system will be cleansed of toxins and excess ama. This dish also helps in creating ojas, the by-product of digestion that contributes to strength, well-being, immunity and vitality. In addition, consuming this wholesome Ayurvedic recipe dish overtime will also lead to a reduction in your cholesterol levels over time. Not only this, it also eases digestion and promoted the elimination of body waste to keep your digestive tract healthy and clean.

Ayurveda’s primary focus is on maintaining a healthy life through a balanced, nutritious diet. Fresh fruits like apple when cooked appropriately and tempered with the right spices can truly enhance your overall well-being. The morning time is the purest time of the day and eating something that is fresh and a product of nature will keep your energy levels up and going through the rest of the day.

Promote better health and a stress-free lifestyle with the goodness of Ayurveda. Feel free to explore our range of 100% herbal, Ayurvedic products enriched with nature’s best here.

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Preventing Respiratory Illness & Breathing Problems This Diwali

Diwali, the festival of lights will soon be upon us. It is a time for joyous celebration, bonding with near and dear ones and lovely ideas to deck up the home. However, during Diwali, the level of air pollution in most cities reaches an all-time high, due to fireworks. The paints used when redoing the house also contain chemicals that can irritate the respiratory tract. This can cause a lot of breathing problems especially for those with asthma, allergies or other respiratory disorders. Here are a few natural tips to prevent respiratory illnesses this Diwali:

  1. Stay away from the house when it is being whitewashed as far as possible. Chemicals found in the household paints can bring on coughing, asthma attacks and other breathing problems. In addition, pregnant women should not be exposed to these chemicals as inhaling them can cause harm to both the mother and the child.
  2. Restrict the usage of crackers as far as possible – bombs, flower pots and wheels produce a lot of smoke with chemicals like potassium, sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen oxide which can set off wheezing or coughing, especially in those prone to allergic infections. If you must, light a few sparklers or coloured matches at the most.
  3. A weak immune system is more susceptible to respiratory problems. Take a natural preparation like Pankajakasthuri Breathe Eazy Cough Syrup or granules on a regular basis. This 100% herbal medication soothes your respiratory tract, and its unique formulation helps strengthen your immunity over time. This is a proven effective remedy to all kinds of breathing problems without any side effects. Buy here.
  4. A few natural ways to prevent coughing or respiratory illnesses are to avoid pouring very hot or cold water on your head. Take lots of Vitamin C and D in your diet and inhale hot steam whenever you feel like your nasal passages are blocked. Black pepper with ghee is an excellent remedy for both wet and dry cough, as is onion juice mixed with jiggery.
  5. There are some ways to avoid getting exposed to allergens – keep the house as clean as possible and avoid the accumulation of dust and dust mites. When you get your house cleaned for Diwali, ensure that you stay away during the process to avoid the clouds of dust. Moisture in the atmosphere on your room walls should also be avoided.
  6. It is better to stay indoors during the peak hours of Diwali to avoid fumes from crackers being burst by others in the vicinity. Invite friends and family over, prepare delicious food and enjoy lighting diyas and making a beautiful rangoli. Diwali can be a beautiful celebration even without bursting fireworks, and it is the best way to avoid health hazards.

These are some of the useful tips and natural ways to prevent respiratory illnesses this Diwali. We at Pankajakasthuri wish all our followers a Diwali that is bright, colourful, healthy and prosperous with a wonderful rest of the year to come.

 

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4 Healthy Diwali Sweet Recipes

Diwali is near, and the festive season brings with it a lot of indulgence. The entire month turns into a wonderful occasion for meeting loved ones, fasting and later, feasting. During this time, it’s important not to over-indulge to avoid putting on unnecessary weight and spiking up blood sugar levels. Eating too many nuts and dry fruits can also strain your stomach. Here are a few great ideas for healthy Diwali sweet recipes:

  1. Oats Burfi:

This nutritious Diwali sweet makes for a healthy preparation too as it does not contain sugar or milk.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

40 ml water

¼ tsp green cardamom powder

1 tsp rose essence

1 tsp olive/almond/coconut oil

¾ cup powdered plain oats

Mix a cup of sugar with 40 ml of water and start boiling at a medium flame, while stirring constantly. Add ¼ teaspoon of green cardamom powder and a teaspoon of rose essence or any other essence you may like. Wait till the syrup becomes of a stringy consistency and then add ¾ cup of powdered plain oats to the mixture. Add a teaspoon of olive, almond or coconut oil and continue cooking on a medium flame while stirring constantly. After a while when the mixture becomes thick, dry and leaves the sides of the pan, turn off the stove. Check if it turns into a stiff ball when you take some into your hand and roll it. Finally put the mixture in a greased tray and cut into squares. Top the burfis with pumpkin seeds or dry fruits.

  1. Fruit Sandesh: Sandesh is a popular Diwali sweet and you can turn it into a healthier version by using fruits instead of sugar.

Ingredients:

1 litre low fat cow milk

30 ml vinegar

1 banana or apple, peach or fig

50 ground almonds

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp kewda water

Add vinegar to one litre of boiling low fat cow milk. Once the milk curdles, drain the whey with a muslin cloth and keep the paneer to cool. After it cools ensure that the paneer has no moisture left. Then gently rub it with the edge of your wrist to make it crumble. Take a ripe banana or even peach, fig or apple. Mash it with kewda water and honey. Add the paneer and mix it till it turns doughy and sticky. Now shape it into pieces. Wrap it in ground almonds and garnish finally with almond flakes.

  1. Dates payasam: This is a no sugar, no guilt traditional South Indian Diwali sweet with a twist.

Ingredients:

15 dates
2 ½ cups boiled milk

¼ cup Coconut milk
1 tbsp chopped dates – 1 tbsp
1 tbsp chopped cashew and almond

A pinch of cardamom powder

1 tsp ghee

Soak the dates for 15 minutes in ½ a cup of warm milk. Chop the dates and nuts and heat ghee in a pan, adding them to it till they become crisp. Transfer the milk-soaked dates into a mixer, and grind it to a fine paste after adding a little milk. Boil 2 and a half cups of mil, letting it cook on medium flame and add the dates paste to it. Mix it well and cook for 5-7 minutes on low flame till the mixture thickens. Add ghee, the roasted dates and nuts mixture, cardamom powder and coconut milk. Switch it off. Keep chilled and then serve.

  1. Wheat halwa: This is an easy twist on the Tirunelveli or Kerala halwa recipe by using wheat flour.

Ingredients:

½ cup wheat flour

1 cup sugar

1 and ¼ cups melted ghee

¼ tsp cardamom powder

1 tbsp broken cashews

1 cup warm water for soaking

1 pinch orange food colour (optional)

Add water gradually to the wheat flour to form stiff dough. Soak the dough for at least 5-7 hours in a cup of warm water and then mix it well to remove lumps. Strain the milk well, and fry the cashews in ghee and keep it aside. Now take a nonstick pan. Boil sugar with ¼ cup of water till it gets a stringy consistency. Add the wheat flour milk. Keep stirring till it gets a porridge-like consistency. Add ghee gradually and you will reach a consistency which will make it look like one mass. After it starts looking like halwa in the final stage add the remaining ghee, cashews and cardamom powder. Check if it forms firm balls and remove from the flame. Cool for a bit and serve.

These recipes will add a nutritious touch to your regular sugar-loaded Diwali sweet specials and taken in very limited quantity can be had by those who are monitoring their sugar levels. We hope you try these recipes for a happy, healthy and wonderful celebration with your family!

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Eco-Friendly Festival Celebrations

The Navratri season just concluded recently, and so did Eid – soon the Diwali season will be upon us, bringing forth more cause for celebration and fun with friends and loved ones. It is a time for indulgence, but also for inner reflections. The essence of every one of these festivals is to thank the Creator for His abundance, and to spread joy and festivity to everyone. Our celebrations therefore, need to also be such that we do not promote wastage or harm to nature. Here are some of the best ways to have an eco-friendly celebration:

  1. Light up your home the natural way: While electrical lights do add colour and brightness to your home, one must ensure that they do not consume a huge amount of electricity. In this case, for Diwali, one can light up one’s home with lots of beautiful and ornate earthen lamps or diyas and put up just a few strings of coloured lights instead of many. In addition you could also use glass lanterns and hang them in your garden with a small candle or earthen lamp to brighten it up.
  2. Buy clothes made of organic fabrics: All festivals involve a lot of colourful outfits and dressing up, so one way to have a sustainable, eco-friendly celebration is to wear fabrics that are created by local artisans, or through organically grown natural fibres like silk.
  3. Use natural rangoli colours: Rangoli is a lovely form of art during festivals, created in so many striking colours. Traditionally, they were created using rice flour, and organic colours made from spices like turmeric, or crushed flowers. Today, organic colours are easily available and are a much better option than using chemical colours. You can also create beautiful rangolis using flower petals.
  4. Prepare sweets at home: It is common today to find that sweets bought from shops have a lot of additives in terms of colour, excessive sugar and sometimes harmful silver foil decorations. Preparing sweets at home is a much better option – there are lots of easy and healthy recipes to make festive sweets at home, and it’s a good opportunity to let the kids help and have fun in the process.
  5. Gifts with value: Gifting during festivals can sometimes get extravagant. Add a personal touch to your gifts by making candles, homemade chocolates or sweets, a decoupage gift box with dry fruits, potted plants decorated with paints and coloured paper and so on. In addition, generosity is a wonderful virtue. Donate to a charity that you believe in, or sponsor a Diwali celebration for an orphan child. It is these small deeds that really add great value to your celebrations, and it will be appreciated a whole lot more.

These are some ways in which your festive celebrations can be fun, while at the same time eco-friendly. Ayurveda always promotes respect towards nature and sustainable practices for healthy living. Make a difference to your festive celebrations today!