Ayurveda – 20+ common doubts cleared

Can you bath in hot water every day? Can oats be used to remove scars on face? Can you eat chyavanaprasa while taking allopathy medical treatment? Can Keezhanelli (phyllanthus niruri) used to purify liver? There are countless doubts we come across every day, when it comes to life style and diseases. There are many myths and unscientific treatments which follow over the time. Through this column, I shall try to clear some of the common medical doubts connecting Ayurveda treatment. Please note: This article is purely prepared based on Vanitha Magazine in Malayalam, the queries answered by experts and should be used for reference only.

1. Is it true, you should not pour hot water on head while bathing?

Hot water is good for body bath as it strengthens body as referred in Ashtangahridayam. But it’s not good for hair and eyes, and can adversely affect their health. It’s also told in Ashtangahridayam. Traditionally people used to bath in cold water since long. But during cold season and illness, hot water can be used for body, and water neither cold or hot can be used for hair.

If excess hot water is used for hair bath, if can affect the health of hair. Eye problems like glaucoma where internal eye fluids increase in pressure, or cataract can occur. There are chances eye lashes can curve inside eyes.

2. How can breathing problems be prevented?

Breathing problems come under a broad category, which includes both Asthma and allergic issues. The best solution is to find the particular allergy & situations and keep distance from it. If there are chances of breathing problems, you can completely avoid curd and cold food items. Buttermilk prepared by beating curd should also be avoided. Instead you can use butter milk after removing ghee. Avoid excess chilli and sour tastes and pickles too, which contain excess salt. Completely gave up smoking and drinking habits.

Chyavanaprasham and rasanayanam can improve your breathing system. Instead of using Chyavanaprasham for a long time, take rasanayanam in short intervals. But always seek doctor’s opinion. Use grains with bran in daily diet. You can use rice gruel without removing bran, 2-3 times a week. Mix powdered dry ginger, pepper and pippali (long pepper) with sugar and can serve. Rasam curry adding pepper is also good.

3. Can you suggest a few Ayurvedic treatments to remove black scars of face?

Reasons are many. From black spots caused by pimples to warts scars are of different types and treatment should be chosen based on the type of black scars. Eladi Choornam is a common remedy to different types of black scars. Mix a little amount with hot water, allow to cool and apply on face. Before it fully dries and appear like cracks, wash it off. It’s always advisable to know the real reason, with the help of an expert.

4. Can horse gram help in reducing cholesterol levels?

You can boil horse gram in water and serve. Another method is dry fry it, make a powder and store in a container. Every day, mix 1 big spoon of horse gram powder with half glass water and serve twice a day. You can serve 1 spoon each during mornings and evenings. Some studies have proved that it can reduce LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and Triglyceride, and can improve the levels of  HDL (high-density lipoprotein). Yet horse gram can cause gastric problems in a few people. This point has to be noted.

5. Why there is a burning feel while applying Kasturi turmeric on face?

Chances are many. Turmeric prepared using organic farming is always good for face. If it’s not cultivated in proper way, it can cause problems. Only Kasturi turmeric is used for face. If you use any other variant, it can cause burning feel. Turmeric is not suited for all skins and can give allergy reactions too. It’s advisable to consult a doctor before applying such ayurvedic products and medicines.

6. A few Ayurvedic suggestions for premature hair greying

Yes, there are medicines in Ayurveda for premature hair greying, but to be strictly taken under the supervision of a doctor. First you need to identify the reasons leading to this condition, and choose treatment accordingly. Life style and food habits can also affect hair growth and can cause premature hair greying too. Stress is another reason. Excess use of salt and chillies, insomnia or people who don’t sleep properly for a prolonged time can also lead to this condition. Neelabringadi oil & Kayyunyadi oil are effective.

7. Can aloe vera gel ice cubes or a face pack by mixing gram flour, oats and turmeric reduce pimples? Do they have side effects?

You can find a lot of beauty care videos in social media. Some people do proper research before uploading such videos, while some may not. Pimple is a disease condition, maybe based on skin type and many times simply applying some pack may not serve the purpose. You may need to intake proper medicines too.

Aloe vera gel is good for skin, but may not be suited for everyone. When pimples are reddish & causing pain, you can use aloe vera gel ice cubes to give a soothing feel or as a temporary pain reliever, but it can cause side effects on other occasions.

8. Is there any oil for varicose vein?  

It’s only a false belief that oil can give permanent relief to headache, varicose vein or cataract. Varicose vein should be treated with the help of a doctor. But during initial stage, some massages can give you relief and a healing feel. While massaging, stroke on blood vessels upwards. Sahajaradi oil or Murivenna can be applied. But again, these oils may not give benefits to everyone.

If you are a person who frequently do oil massage before bathing, chances for this disease condition is very low. Twice a week, you can massage your body with sesame oil or coconut oil.

9. How can you prevent contagious fever?

Make habit of food and medicines which can improve your defense mechanism and immunity powers. You can choose anyone of ginger, ajwain, muthanga (java grass) or parpadaka pullu (carpetweed), crush it and use it while boiling drinking water. No need to add excess, just add a little to bring the flavour to drinking water. Rama tulasi (basil leaf) can also be used.

Consume Sudarshanam tablet or vilwadi tablet 2 each, twice a day. But it can’t guarantee to improve immunity during all seasons. As per changing situations, fever can appear even if you are using this tablet. During the time of contagious diseases, drink only hot water.

10. Is it harmful to break the instructed food menu (padhyam) for a day while taking ayurvedic medicines?

If you are undergoing some prolonged treatment, it’s not a big issue to break the instructed food menu for 1 or 2 days as suggested by physician. Yet problems can’t be fully excluded too.

11. Are capsules as effective as kashayam (liquid medicines)?

Capsules are convenient to use. But it’s up to doctor’s decision if kashayam can be substituted with capsules or not.  He should assure the quality of capsules as well.

12. Is it true, to get full benefits of a treatment, the instructed food menu (padhyam) and other instructions should be strictly followed?

Honestly, Padhyam is not for medicine, but a life style and food style to be strictly followed to get full benefits of a treatment within stipulated time. By following food menu and life style as instructed by physician you provide a helpful method for treatment to turn effective. Some food items can increase the intensity of disease condition or prevent the process of curing of disease, and they must be avoided. It’s called Apadhyam.

For instance, curd is not advisable for skin diseases and asthma. If you are a regular user of curd, your disease condition may not be completely cured by medicine. In short accept Padhyam and reject Apadhyam for your medicines to work better on your body.

13. Can you eat chyavanaprash while taking allopathy medicines?

Chyavanaprasam is rasayanam type dietary supplement best served to provide health and boost your immunity. So you can regularly use it, and normally not a problem while you are taking allopathy medicines. But one thing to note – You should not use both together. Instead, after serving allopathy medicines, take a small break before having chyavanaprash. Yet this situation can change according to the disease condition. For instance, if you are a diabetic patient, sugar-rich chyavanaprash should be avoided. They should seek doctor’s opinion.

14. Can Keezanelli (phyllanthus niruri) used on regular basis to purify liver?

This plant is taken as whole for treatment, not only leaves. That’s more effective. If you are consuming healthy food and pure water, there is no need to purify liver. The job of liver is to purify the food we intake. When liver is idle and not doing this job, or doing this process excess, those ‘pending files’ make liver impure. In short, if you take more fat which liver can’t process, it affects its overall performance and leads to condition such as fatty liver. Some disease conditions like cirrhosis can also affect liver.

In such a condition, liver may need a purification process and may need a dosage of medicines. Phyllanthus niruri is not included in this medicine. But for disease conditions like cirrhosis, this herb can be used. Cirrhosis can be mild or intense, and Phyllanthus niruri may not be helpful in severe disease conditions like gall stones.

15. Can chyawanaprash be served by both kids and adults? Is there any difference in dosage?

Chyawanaprash is a popular ayurvedic medicine used for improving health and immunity. But dosage is different for kids and adults. Body weight and digestive power are important factors considered in kids while suggesting the dosage. Adults can serve 15 gm each, twice a day after meals.

16. Should you drink milk soon after eating chyawanaprash?

It’s not strictly advised to drink milk soon after eating chyawanaprash. Yet drinking milk makes chyawanaprash dose more effective. Chyawanaprash consists a lot of ingredients and at least a few of them dissolve in fat. Milk is an emulsion (water + fat) and hence full effect of several ingredients used in its making, it’s advisable to drink milk after having chyawanaprash.

17. What are the medicines for the condition of Spasticity and spasms?

Spasticity of legs, where you feel your legs to be frozen and you are not even able to move them for a while can be a symptom of many diseases. In short, Spasticity of legs is shown as a symptom in more than 50 disease states. Swelling in legs to tumour in any body parts, spasticity could be a symptom. Without knowing the real reason, application of oil doesn’t yield any result.

If Spasticity is due to excess travels, tedious job or excess walk, you can try these medicines. You can apply any one of Chinchadi thailam, Dhanwanthara thailam, Sahacharadi thailam or Narayana thailam which can give temporary relief. If the condition still prevails after 2 weeks, consult a doctor.

18. Can diabetic and cholesterol patients take chyawanaprash? Is it advisable to serve Dasamoolarishtam and Aswagandharishtam daily?

Whatever medicines you take, if you are taking for a prolonged time, conduct tests for liquid protein, LFT, RTF etc and assure yourself. If you are a diabetic patient, it’s advisable not to eat sugar-rich chyavanaprash. If your cholesterol level is high, seek doctor’s opinion before serving chyawanaprash.

Arishtams are not for regular use, and you should discontinue once you come out of illness condition. You should have a clear idea on how long and in what dose you should use medicines. It’s clearly suggested in Ayurveda too. Use arishtams only with the instruction of doctors.

19. Which medicines can be taken on a daily basis to improve immunity?

Except a few cases, if you follow strict diet, do regular exercise and follow good life style, it can improve immunity naturally. Indukanthakhridam, Brahma rasayanam etc are medicines which improves immunity.

20. Can leaves of green Kiriyatha (Chiretta) and Koovalam (vilva) good for diabetic patients, if taken in regular basis?

Not only for diabetics, such medicinal leaves should not be used for any disease condition for prolonged periods.

Image source: Pixabay


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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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