Skin is one of the most obvious parts of our body which ages with an increase in the number of candles on our birthday cakes. As you age, joints tend to become stiffer and less flexible. The body does not recover from bumps and bruises as easily as it did before, and it becomes difficult to stand for extended time intervals. This is caused mostly by a breakdown of cartilage and inflammation of the synovium.
What is cartilage?
Cartilage is a flexible connective tissue. It connects the ends of two bones in a joint. It is softer than bone tissue but less flexible than muscle tissue. Cartilage is responsible for the smooth movement of joints.
With age, cartilage begins to degenerate. As the cartilage gets thinner, movement becomes more and more difficult. If left untreated, the cartilage may completely wear off leaving no buffer between the bones. This is one of the leading causes of knee replacement surgery.
What is synovium?
Synovium is a membrane responsible for keeping the cartilage healthy. It produces a thick fluid that keeps the cartilage and joint lubricated. In cases of osteoarthritis, this membrane can swell up and produce excess fluid. This in turn causes the joint to swell as well.
Along with age, factors like being overweight, genetics, gender and lifestyle also play a role in the condition of your joints. Being obese points towards a sedentary lifestyle and puts extra pressure on joints, leading to the thinning of cartilage. While men have higher chances of becoming osteoarthritis patients before 45, women have higher chances of developing this disease after 50. A healthy lifestyle is the easiest way to ensure that your joints work well even when you're old and grey.
Movement of the joints keeps the fluid in them moving. It also prevents the cartilage from shrinking and stiffening up. Exercise also makes the bones stronger, and slows the rate of bone tissue deterioration. Stretching exercises are also a good way to maintain the flexibility of joints.
Foods that are known as natural anti histamines, antioxidants and foods that fight inflammation promote healthy joints. Some of these are:
- Green tea: It prevents the breakdown of collagen and cartilage
- Nuts and seeds: These are rich in omega 3 fats that are essential for good bone health
- Ginger: It relieves pain and joint swelling
- Yogurt: It helps soothe tender joints and fights inflammation
- Pomegranate: It protects the cartilage against damage
Hot and cold therapy can also help relieve joint pain and reduce inflammation. As you get older, avoid putting too much pressure on your joints and give them adequate rest. Lastly, avoid smoking, as people who smoke have an increased risk of cartilage loss.
Ajwain or carom seeds are the best thing to have ever happened to mankind, especially to those of us who suffer from digestive problems on a regular basis. They have a slew of benefits apart from just curing an upset stomach.
Let’s take you through the benefits of ajwain water or carom seeds boiled in water.
Ginger: Ginger is used widely in alternative medicine for its antioxidant anti-inflammatory properties.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon stimulate the production of sperm and testosterone, to improve sexual functioning.
watermelon seed; watermelon seed extracts have antioxidant properties and can protect sperm.
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera extracts may be useful for treating sexual dysfunctions as it can stimulate cell division.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg used to treat sexual dysfunction in males.
Clove: Clove extracts are another traditional aphrodisiac used in Unani medicine.
Blood pressure readings above 140/90 are classified as hypertension or high blood pressure. Hypertension causes straining of blood vessels and an interruption in the blood flow. There are no specific symptoms, but prolonged hypertension can lead to a heart stroke.
Autism is defined as a neuro biological pervasive development disorder that includes lack of social skills and inability to reciprocate to social interactions. The patient may also have intellectual and cognitive deficits and problems in communication (verbal as well as non-verbal).
Ayurveda, the oldest study of medicine, has proved to be very effective when it comes to managing and treating those affected by autism. The earlier an autistic person resorts to Ayurveda, the more effective it is.
Ayurvedic drink recipe for treating the symptoms of autism: (should be taken daily)
Diluted Fresh Pomegranate Juice.
Ayurveda in Curbing Aggression
Autism includes heightened aggression and aversion from social interaction due to a neurological condition that impairs the functioning of the brain. Not all autistic patients are violent towards others but may express their frustration by self-harm and emotional outbursts. One can curb these emotional outbursts by taking herbal supplements. An Ayurvedic herb called Brahmi (BacopaMonneiri) which is known for its, anti-anxiety, neuroprotective and antioxidant properties can help considerably.
Regular massages using sandalwood, rose, lavender and gotu kola oils is also very calming and relieving, because it stimulates the blood flow and neuron responses. Massage also helps in increasing eye contact and social relatedness, less stereotypic behavior and improved sleep.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Autism
1. Brahmi- Scientifically known as BacopaMonneiri, Brahmi is an important herb that delays the process of forgetting and improves memory. Not only does Brahmi improve memory but also increases the grasping power, intellect and speech and also corrects the abnormality of emotions, personality and mood of an autistic individual. It also helps in performing complex tasks such as comprehension, reasoning and learning.
2. Ashwagandha- Scientifically known as WithaniaSomneifera, Ashwaganda has high affinity for gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors. Low GABA activity is related to cognitive impairment.
3. Shankhapushpi- Scientifically known as ClitoriaTernatia, Shankhapushpi is very effective in improving learning and memory.
4. CentellaAsiatica- This ayurvedic herb is used as a medication for insanity, speech disorders and epilepsy making it a very useful drug for treating autism.
5. Convolvulus pluricaulis- Apart from treating insanity and epilepsy, Convolvulus pluricaulis brightens the mind and improves memory and intellect vastly.
Nausea can result from a variety of reasons. While the most cases arise from a hangover, it can also be a result of cancer treatment, patients fresh out of surgery and such other instances. A great degree of environmental changes is necessary such as keeping a cool temperature in the room or staying away from nausea triggering smell. Food also plays great strokes in curbing nausea. Here is a list of 10 best foods that helps to fight nausea:
The build-up of gases in the stomach can be uncomfortable and very embarrassing when it leads to flatulence. Flatulence can be defined as the release of intestinal gas from the anus. This may or may not be accompanied by sound and odour. Both men and women can be affected by flatulence at any age.
Food that is difficult to digest often triggers the formation of gas such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and sulphur in the digestive system as a result of the microbial breakdown of this food. Sulphur is largely responsible for the odor that accompanies the release of these gases. Beans, chickpeas, cauliflower and cabbage are some such foods that can trigger flatulence.
Flatulence on its own is not a serious condition and usually resolves itself without medication. However if it triggers severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea, persistent constipation, blood in the stools, nausea and pain in the right side of the abdomen, medical care should be immediately sought.
If flatulence is a problem you suffer from often, take a look at your diet and modify your eating habits. Keep a food diary to determine what food triggers this condition and avoid it. If you are lactose intolerant switch your dairy products for soya substitutes and avoid dairy. Anti-gas compounds that are available over the counter can also provide relief. Chew your food slowly, thoroughly and ensure that your mouth is closed while chewing to prevent swallowing air. For this reason, also avoid chewing gums and fizzy drinks. If you must eat beans, soak them overnight before cooking.
Flatulence can be easily treated with home remedies. Following home remedies can be used
1. Ginger: Ginger aids the digestion process, eases bloating and reduces gas. It also helps stool pass smoothly and helps keep the intestines clear. This does not give stomach gases a chance to build up. Ginger can be consumed in the form of capsules or a tea made by steeping ginger in hot water for a few minutes.
2. Papaya: Along with being rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, papaya contains an enzyme known as papain that helps digest proteins and reduce gas. To benefit from papain, you could eat the papaya fruit or drink a tea made with papaya leaves. Papaya enzymes are also available as supplements.
Ginger slices next to bottle of essential oil.
Ginger is popular for treating a wide range of conditions, including male infertility.
The evidence underlying the use of essential oils in treating ED is often anecdotal, but some empirical work has been conducted to suggest certain oils may be helpful:
Ginger: Ginger is used widely in alternative medicine for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A study in 2014 found that daily ginger extract supplementation in mice stimulated the production of sperm after 22 days compared to a control group. Other studies found that ginger extracts reduced male infertility in rats.
Cinnamon: Research in rats has found that cinnamon extracts could promote reproductive health and stimulate the production of sperm and testosterone, to improve sexual functioning.
Watermelon seed: Watermelon seed extracts have antioxidant properties and can protect and promote sperm health in rats. A 2013 study found that the daily administration of watermelon seed extract in male rats for 28 days increased their sperm concentration and motility compared to a control group.
Aloe vera: Aloe vera is widely used in both traditional and modern medicine for several purposes. Research in mice has found that Aloe vera extracts may be useful for treating sexual dysfunctions as it can stimulate cell division and increase testosterone production, which has the effect of increasing sperm cell count.
Nutmeg: Nutmeg extracts have long been used in the traditional medicine of South Asia (Unani medicine) to treat sexual dysfunction in males. One study found nutmeg to be associated with higher levels of sexual activity in rats.
Clove: Clove extracts are another traditional aphrodisiac used in Unani medicine, as suggested by one study that found a sustained increase in the sexual activity of male rats that consumed clove extracts.
Currently, there are no conclusive studies to demonstrate that essential oils can effectively treat ED in human males because much of the empirical research has been conducted in rodents rather than humans.
Essential oils can be toxic and should never be taken by mouth. Anyone considering using essential oils for ED should speak with a certified aromatherapist first. Essential oils should be diffused into the air or applied diluted in a carrier oil before applying to the skin. While essential oils can have adverse side effects, when used correctly, they are considered safe and could still have benefits for ED.
Aside from essential oils, there are other alternative treatments for ED that people can pursue. Talk to a healthcare provider for the best treatment as ED can be a symptom of other problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, or prostate issues.
The Ayurvedic body of knowledge relies on the rhythms and functions of the body to find the root cause of ailments. The digestive tract or system is one of the most important organs of the body. The entry and accumulation of Ama or toxins can lead to an imbalance in the way the small and large intestines functions along with various other participating organs like the liver and more. As per Ayurveda, the digestive fires or Agni also need to be produced in appropriate amounts. So how can you understand and take care of your digestive system, the Ayurvedic way? Here's our take on the matter:
Types of Agni: The digestive system has four kinds of Agni or fire that keeps it in working condition. The Jathar Agni ensures that hydrochloric acid is being produced in the stomach which directly affects the thyroid gland. The Bhuta Agni takes care of the bile acid formation in the liver. The Kloma Agni manages the pancreatic enzymes that help in digesting and absorbing sugar properly. And finally, the Dhatu Agni takes care of the tissue transformation in this entire process and region. A weak state of any of the four Agnis will lead an imbalance and food will not be digested properly.
Doshas and Agni: As per Ayurvedic science, the state of your Agni and its strength depends on the four Doshas and the one that afflicts your being. In Vata and Kapha Dosha patients, the Agni will be weak which will lead to a 'cold' digestive system where the food will not be digested properly. This can lead to constipation in the long run as well as loose motions and gas. In case there is a Pitta Dosha, the raging fire of Agni will be unbearable, which can lead to acid reflux disease and chronic acidity as well as heartburn.
Herbs and Spices: The use of herbs and spices while cooking can greatly cool or revive the Angi, depending on your Dosha. Ingesting a sliver of ginger along with lemon juice can help in warming the cold fire of the Agni, along with other aroma releasing spices like cardamom, pepper and licorice. Further, saliva and enzyme secretion can happen with these spices too. Also, these herbs can ensure that your digestion does not work overtime or create excess heat.
Ama: Using hing to season your meals can also help in better digestion of food and less accumulation of Ama or toxins.
One needs to know the state of the Agni in the body and regulate the diet and routine with proper sleep and food intake patterns, for a well-functioning digestive system.
Ayurveda believes that three ‘doshas’ or forces of energy – vatta, pitta and kapha – circulate in the body and facilitate important bodily functions. In healthy individuals, all three doshas are in perfect harmony. According to Ayurveda, any imbalance in the three forces of energies can lead to diseases.
Ayurvedic texts mention the presence of Shukra dhatu (semen) in both men and women. Shukra dhatu plays a vital role in maintaining the health of the reproductive system. Shukra dhatu can be considered as a combination of androgen (male hormone) and estrogen (female hormone). Any imbalance in Shukra dhatu can cause infertility.
An imbalance in the doshas can affect the efficiency of the Shukra dhatu. When “doshas” affect the efficiency of the Shukra dhatu in women, it leads to excess production of male hormones and other symptoms of PCOS such as the appearance of cysts in the ovaries.
PCOS treatment in ayurveda, just like any other ayurvedic treatment, focuses on correcting the imbalance of the doshas or forces of energy.
Ayurveda: Do’s And Don’ts For PCOS Patients
According to Ayurveda, here are some do’s and don’ts for patients of PCOS:
Ayurveda also recommends specific yoga asanas for PCOS. These include:
21 Powerful Herbs For PCOS Treatment In Ayurveda
PCOS treatment in Ayurveda involves using a combination of powerful herbs that strengthen the reproductive system. These herbs also treat inflammation and hormonal imbalance that are at the root of PCOS. Certain herbs also work against other complications of PCOS such as digestive disorders, weight gain, insulin sensitivity, and improving mood. In essence, these herbs perform the same function as allopathic medications for treating the different symptoms of PCOS.
1. Shilajit (Purified Asphaltum)
Shilajit has anti-inflammatory effects. It also boosts immunity and energy levels and rejuvenates the female reproductive system. Many women with PCOS experience heavy bleeding, which increases the risk of an iron deficiency. Shilajit is known to increase iron levels. It also improves heart health
2. Shatavari (Asparagus Racemosus)
Shatavari is rich in various steroidal saponins, vitamins A, B1, B2, folic acid, C, E and minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and iron. These act as antioxidants and protect the female reproductive system. Shatavari also has anti-diabetic properties that help improve insulin sensitivity. This herb also helps in improving fertility.
3. Karavellaka (Momordica Charantia)
This bitter fruit has potent anti-diabetic properties. It also treats digestive disorders, lowers inflammation, boosts immunity and prevents cancer. It helps women with PCOS by regulating their periods and assisting in weight loss.
4. Haridra (Curcuma Longa)
Turmeric is known as the “friend of women.” Its benefits for women with PCOS are immense. It improves complexion, reduces acne, detoxifies the female reproductive system, helps in weight loss, and improves insulin resistance.
5. Vibhitaki (Terminalia Belerica)
Among the many health benefits of this plant, it has a positive effect on improving sugar metabolism. It also promotes hair growth and stops hair fall. This property makes it an ideal herb for PCOS. Vibhitaki also has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties and also cures digestive ailments.
6. Darusita (Twak) (Cinnamomum Zeylanicum)
Cinnamon helps in regulating blood sugar levels. It also improves insulin sensitivity and boosts fertility.
7. Guduchi (Tinospora Cordifolia)
This herb helps in regulating blood sugar levels. It is an immune booster and also boosts female sex drive. It is a potent liver tonic and is used to treat liver conditions like hepatitis. It also effective against many different types of cancers.
8. Neem (Azadirachta Indica)
Neem is an effective blood purifier and helps keep skin healthy. It is highly effective in treating acne and all kinds of skin disorders. It helps hair growth and regulates blood sugar levels.
9. Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis)
Amalika or the Indian Gooseberry (Amla) is a highly revered fruit in Ayurveda. It has been a part of the Indian subcontinent diet since ages. The fruit is rich in vitamin C, a potent antioxidant. It reduces inflammation and oxidative stress. It is also helpful in reducing weight. It is good for the heart, aids digestion and strengthens the immune system.
10. Ashoka (Saraca Indica)
Saraca indica helps in repairing the endometrium and heals the damage caused to its sensitive lining by inflammation. It also helps in regulating estrogen levels. It is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds. It also It has antimicrobial and antifungal activity and helps in protecting the urinary tract from bacterial and fungal (especially Candida) infections.
11. Lodhra (Symplocos Racemosa)
Lodhra is rich in compounds called flavonol glucosides that are highly beneficial in reducing uterine disorders. It also helps in regulating ovarian hormones and improves fertility.
12. Haritaki (Terminalia Chebula)
Terminalia chebula is rich in vitamin C and minerals like selenium, potassium, manganese and copper. It is a digestive tonic and has been found effective on a variety of disorders like constipation, flatulence, colitis, etc. It has antibacterial, anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps in protecting the heart, improving appetite and regulating mood.
13. Usheera (Vetiveria Zizanioides)
Vetiver oil has muscle-relaxing activity and reduces uterine cramping. It has a cooling effect on the body. It is also effective in curing and healing skin disorders. Usheera also helps in relieving fatigue and aids in digestion. It is also beneficial for diabetics.
14. Nagara (Zingiber Officinale)
Commonly known as ginger, it is the world’s most popular and versatile home remedy. Women with PCOS are at an increased risk of developing endometrial cancer as opposed to normal women.With its potent anti-cancer activity, it protects the uterus from cancer and also from infections. It is a digestive tonic, protects the heart, relieves constipation and helps reduce menstrual pain.
15. Devadaru (Cedrus Deodara)
Known for its anti-inflammatory and muscle-relaxing activities, this herb reduces menstrual cramping and pain and also relieves inflammation. It is also useful against diabetes as well in treating obesity.
16. Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
Ashwagandha is an excellent adaptogen (a substance that helps the body in adapting to internal and external stresses.) It also helps in controlling mood swings and is a natural energizer.
17. Yashad Bhasma (Zinc Calx)
Zinc is an immune booster and a blood sugar regulator. As the second most abundant mineral in the body, it plays an important role in many different biochemical processes.
18. Jambu (Eugenia Jambolana)
Java plum, better known as “jamun” in India (Hindi), helps in regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It also has anti-cancer and liver-protective properties. Jambu can also assist in reducing weight.
19. Meshashringi (Gymnema Sylvestre)
This herb is a potent anti-diabetic. It improves insulin sensitivity and is also vital for uterine health.
20. Vrikshamla (Garcinia Cambogia)
This citrus fruit is rich in a chemical called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which supports fat and carbohydrate metabolism. It helps in managing appetite and protects you from urges of binge eating. It also helps in maintaining optimum body weight.
21. Kirat Tikta (Swertia Chirata)
Chirata is a potent anti-inflammatory. It also has blood sugar regulating activities. It boosts immunity, keeps liver healthy and also fights skin disorders.
PCOS Treatment In Ayurveda: Final Thoughts
Ayurveda is not only about herbal medicines. In fact, the basic philosophy of Ayurveda advises on healthy ways to live life. The word “Ayurveda” itself means the “Science of Life.” I always say medicines are a last resort for treating any condition. In order to be healthy, you need to eat right, exercise regularly and manage your stress levels.
For the herbs to do their job effectively, you need to take care of what you are eating and how you are living your life. If you do so, there’s no stopping you from reversing PCOS or any other lifestyle disease.