Ayurvedic herb Adhatoda beddomei (Vasa)

In short:

Adhatoda beddomei is one of the best herbs. This herb is used to cure a lot of disease.

Family – Acanthaceae

Parts used – Root, leaves and flower

Different names – sanskrit (अडुसा adusa, aruha, अरुष arusha), Adhatoda vasica ,Nees

Uses – The root, leaves and flowers of Vasa is used in the form of juice and decoction to treat fever, intrinsic haemorrhage, cough, asthma, consumption, skin diseases, obesity, oedema, skin diseases, leucorrhoea, difficult labour, vomiting, piles, pox, retention of urine, diseases of mouth and as rejuvinative.

This shrub has a number of tradicinal medicinal uses. It has been used as an antispasmodic, bronchodilator, and mucolytic agent in asthma and other respiratory conditions. It has oxytocic properties and can be abortifacient. Some other uses are given below:

In Fever and cough- Decoction of vasa. Kantakari (solanum xanthocarpum) and guduci (tinospora cordifolia )mixed with honey alleviates fever and cough. (40-60 ml) (S.G 2.2.82)

Decoction of vasa, draksa (Vitis vinifera) and haritaki (Terminalia chebula)mixed with sugar and honey checks cough, asthma and intrinsic haemorrhage (40-60 ml) (VM.9.13; also SG2.2.80)

Dry cough-Powder of haridra (curcuma longa) cooked with vasa juice and taken with fatty layer of milk checks dry cough (10-15 ms) (SB.4.333)

Jaundice (kamala)-Juice of vasa mixed with honey should be taken. It alleviates fever, cough, wasting, jaundice, kapha and pitta (10-20 ml) (SG.2.1.8,34)

Sciatica – One should take decoction of vasa, sunthi (zingiber officinale) and aragvadha (cassia fistula) mixed with castor oil. It is useful in sciatica (40-60 ml) (BS. 587; BP.Ci.24.140)

 

Src:      Primary health management through Ayurveda and wikipedia

Ayurvedic Herb Acorus calamus (Vacha)

In short

Other Names – Bhutanashini, Jatil, Bajai, Gora-bach, Vasa Bach;

Family – Araceae

Part used – Rhizomes

Uses – The rhizomes of Vaca is use in the form of powder, paste

and decoction to treat diarrhoea, epilepsy, oedema, scrotal enlargement, skin diseases, headache, alopecia, wound, eye diseases, colic, piles, indigestion, acid gastritis, heart-diseases, ratpoisoning, diseases of mouth and as rejuvinative.

 

The uses of Acorus calamus (Vacha) in different disease are as follows:

In Diarrhoea; One suffering from diarrhoea should take water boiled with vaca and prativisa (aconitum)(60-120 ml)(CS.Ci.19.22)

In Epilepsy; a) Old ghee processed with brahmi juice (Bacopa monnieri),

vaca, kustha (sassurea lappa)and snakhapuspi (convolvulus

microphyllus) alleviates insanity, and epilepsy (10-20

ml)(CS.Ci 10.25)

b) By using vaca powder (10-15gms) with honey keeping on diet

of milk and rice overcomes epilepsy, VM.21.9)

In Headache; In suryavartta and hemicrania pressed snuff of vaca and pippali (2-5 gms) and honey is useful (SS.U 26.33; also VM 62.38)

In Acid gastritis; One should take vacha (5-10 gms) mixed with honey and jiggery (GN 2.38.25)

 

Please post a comment if any further use are known.

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Ayurvedic herb Achyranthes aspera (Apamarga )

Apamarga is very useful herb in Ayurveda. Common names are Prickly Chaff Flower, Devil’s Horsewhip. This plant belongs to family Amaranthaceae. This plant is especially found in tropical region.

In short:

Parts used – Root, seed and leaf

Uses – The root, seed and leaf of Apamarga is used in the form of juice and powder to treat excessive hunger, piles, , calculi, wound, difficult labor, sinus, wound due to accident, eye diseases, ear diseases, diseases pertaining to head, dog-bite, , abdominal pain, jaundice, insomnia, pain in vagina.

In Piles, Apamarga, nagakesara (Mesua ferrea) , satavari (asparagusracemosus) and vasa (adhatoda vasica) decoction cures bleeding piles (40-60ml) (VD.5.8)

In Dysuria, Apamarga root powder (10-15 gms) taken with milk overcomes dysuria (VD.7.4)

In Accidental wounds, Oil cooked with Apamarga root along with water is applied locally to relieve pain caused by accidental injuries (10-15gms) (RM.26.7)

In Abdominal pain, Ghee cooked with decoction of Apamarga and paste of pippali

(Piper longum) relieves abdominal pain (10 ml) (SY.ghrta.5)

It is also used as Tooth Powder

Make powder of 100 gm Prickly flower seeds and sieve. Add 10 gm salt powder and store in a bottle. If one brushes his teeth with this powder, teeth will strengthen and also whiten. Worms in the teeth will die and decayed teeth get set right.

How are Patient treated through Ayurveda

Ayurveda has its own procedure for dealing with disease and patient. First of all diagnosis is done by inspection (दर्शन), palpation (स्पर्शन), and interrogation (प्रश्‍न). The specific examination includes the standard eight-point examination: (1) pulse, (2) urine, (3) stool, (4) tongue, (5) eye, (6) skin, (7) speech and voice, and (8) general appearance. These eight examination is done to find out the, particular disease is due to vitiation of which Tridosha.

 

Examination

Vata 

Pitta

Kapha

1. Pulse

Thread­like, feeble, 

snake­like motion 

Moderately heavy, 

and jumps like a frog

Heavy, slow, 

flows like swan

2. Urine 

 

Drop of sesame oil 

spreads on the surface  

of urine gives:

Black–brown color

 

 

Wave­like movement

Dark brown color

 

 

Multiple colors, like 

rainbow

Cloudy appearance

 

 

Pearl like droplets

3. Stool

 

Uniform, dark color

Yellowish color

Bulky foul smell

4. Tongue

 

Black to brown, dry, 

coarse, furred, pigmented

Red, yellow, or green,

 soft, sharp, moist

Whitish color, pale 

coated, big, soft.

5. Eye

 

Small, conjunctiva, muddy, 

iris is dark gray or brown

Moderate size, sharp, 

more sensitive to light

Large, moist, oily, 

conjunctiva is white

6. Skin

 

Dry, coarse, wrinkled,

 dusky

Wheat color, copper like color, shiny, moist

Soft, off-white, smooth, moist

7. Speech and voice

Coarse and dry

Sharp

Heavy

Before this I would like to enter into Charak Samhita (One of the 3 great triads). Here, four component of disease management are described. They are; first, the Physician, the drug, the patient and the attendant. A physician must have proper training, knowledge, and experience. A remedy must be abundantly available, effective, and relatively safe. A patient must provide all information to the physician about the disorder and be compliant. An attendant (a nurse) must have the knowledge of patient care, dexterity, loyalty, and cleanliness.

How actually the patients are cured?

First of all if there is the imbalance of Tridosha, it is balanced by using different herbal formulas, dietary and lifestyle interventions to bring dosas back into balance. Next is to eliminate the serious worry (Chinta), and and nurturing the soul to regain spiritual health (Samana). Ayurveda equally focus on physical health, mental health and spiritual health. This is the beauty of Ayurveda. Further more management of illness primarily consists of four procedures: (1) cleansing (samsodhan), (2) palliation (samsaman), (3) rejuvenation (kaya kalp), and (4) mental and spiritual healing (sattvavajaya, or psychotherapy). The management of an illness starts with cleansing and includes five procedures called panchakarma, all of which are not necessarily done at the same time or to all patients.

Dincharya, Daily routine in Ayurveda

In Sanskrit, the word dincharya refers to daily routine. According to Ayurveda one should follow the dincharya in order to live a healthy and disease free life. Everyday two cycles of chains pass through the human body each bringing a vata, Pitta or Kapha predominance. Based on the cycles of Vata, pita and Kapha our daily routine should be divided into morning, noon, evening/twilight, dinner, and bed time. In the Ayurvedic text it is written that a persons should wake up 2 hrs prior to sunrise, if he/she not suffering from any disease such as fever or diarrhea. Very young, very old and sick people are some of the exceptions.

According to dincharya the day should be kick started  by eliminating the colon and the bladder followed by a through cleaning of the senses- ears, eyes, mouth etc. This should be followed by an oil self massage. Exercise in the morning just after the massage helps rejuvenate the body and soul. After bathing, one should head towards the dining table for breakfast. The days followed by activities like studying working or travelling. During the lunch, one should consume nutritious meal. After working for day, twilight is the time to offer evening prayers. Dinner should consist of a light meal. Before going to bed, one should sit back and relax. By following the dincharya of Ayurveda one can insure a healthy life.

Though it is difficult to follow a stringent dincharya in the fast moving life it is highly recommended by Ayurvedic physicians because a number of health benefits are associated with it. The dincharya makes one to lead a healthy and disciplined life. According to the latest studies, in the field of medical science, people who stick to the daily routine are more fit than those, who do not have a particular time to perform their everyday activities. It is said that the dincharya reduces the stress level to a great extent. In addition to this, the person’s body is purified and detoxified. Therefore barring a few exception like sickness, very old and young age, Ayurvedic dincharya is recommended for everyone.

One should try to keep the routine as close to the recommended dincharya as possible. The body might resist the change for a first few days but if you do managed to persist then you are bound to get rewarded with a much healthier and satisfying life.

Laxmi Narayan Bhagat

Piyush granthi, (Pituitary gland) and mann in Ayurveda

Pituitary gland in Ayurveda is called Piyush Granthi. It is the master gland of the body that controls the function of all endocrine gland. Recent research proved that oxytocins helpful for social memory i.e. recognize person. If pituitary gland has hyper or hypo secretion of its hormones, this effects whole body functions including the nervous system. And on the other side in Ayurveda, Mann effects the body function i.e. function of indriya (Karmendriya and Gyanendria(5-sense organs)). Piyush granthi also effects the reproductive organs and other parts of body sirectly or indirectly. Mann is present in entire body but specially inside skull. Similarly piyush granthi also present in skull but its secretion are distributed in entire body. Mann is proof of life similarly the function of piyush granthi is a proof. In this way mann and pituitary gland may be co-related as same.

Byan vayu plays vital role in almost all body function. It is present in whole of the body. Similarly different piyush granthi secretion acts in the entire body.

Prakriti (Personal Nature) in Ayurveda

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Our inborn metabolic pattern is called Prakriti. Prakriti is the first creation of all. According to Ayurveda, one’s prakriti is determined according to prakriti of Shukra (sperm) and shonit (ovum). The events and situation at the period of pregnancy determines the prakriti of inborn child, that is why prakriti may also influenced by adaptation change occur in parents, especially a pregnant mother.

There is certain relation between  parents and inborn child in blood grouping. The heredity gene is directly concern with the inborn child’s metabolic pattern too. The inborn metabolic pattern of an individual is the continuation of metabolic pattern of the parents. So these relation according to modern discovery is due to gene. But around thousands of years ago no word called “gene was used. In fact the pitrij bhav (Father’s character) an matrij bhav (Matrij character) refer to gene xx and xy , it is not so direct but pointing towards these genes. Still re discovery of prakriti is not there in modern techniques. Some questions are still unanswered, Why someone is successful, rich, poor and variation in their life? Is this also inborn character that one get success every time? No answer but Philosophy in Ayurveda is trying to show path for the answers.

Lets explore; First of all the mostly accepted theory of prakriti is based on tridosha i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Among all prakriti vata are lean and thin. Pitta are intelligent and kapha are remarkably less intelligent with large size body. Usually body is not only one type, so Vata-Pitta body have the pure circulation and has a mixed characteristics. Whereas , many people who achieve all round success in life are pitta-kapha prakriti people. Vata-kapha are usually jealous. Sama prakriti (vata pitta kapha all balanced) people are best of all.

So if there would be research on prakriti along with Tridosha, it would bring some new discovery to the world.

Ajna Chakra, Intuition Chakra, sixth chakra in Yoga

Ajna, which is known as center of insight and intuition in Sanskrit, is the highest of the psychic centers in man. Ajna literally means “command” and oversees all of the elements and the chakras. Where the Vishuddha Chakra is the music that brings the elements and chakras together facilitating the making of beautiful music; The sixth energy center is sometimes known as the third
eye. Ajna is the conductor of the orchestra. Ajna is the window of the soul and when open, psychic abilities are said to unfold. It is considered the seat of intuition, where wisdom and knowledge unfold. Reference to the Ajna chakra can be found in many different religious texts (including the Bible) and cultures; even Plato wrote of the “eye of the soul that can be awakened by the correct means.” When the mind is still (Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodah), and the lower Chakras balanced, Ajna Chakra opens to communicate with the higher plane to bring inspiration, creativity, clarity of thought and healing.

Physical location: Center of forehead between eye brows
Element: Space/light
Color: Indigo
Sense: Intuition
Force: Psychic
Areas of the body: Eye, head, sinuses, the senses
Mudra: Hakini Mudra
Bandha: Maha
Mantra: “I see.” “I follow the path of truth.”
When closed/ blocked can manifest in:
Overactive: inability to look within and see ourselves as we are; confusion as to what is real; difficulty concentrating; headaches; hallucinations; nightmares, Lacking: poor memory; lack of clarity about life-where we are going; unable to find our true path; can’t see alternatives; skeptical; inability to focus .
Health issues: sense related (eye or ear problems); sinuses, headaches

When open/not blocked can manifest in: Clear perception, Reliable intuition, Able to feel underlying vibration, Able to follow own truth, Able to see your path, Have gift of insight.

Asana examples that open the ajna chakra:
Balances, Inversions, Chanting/singing, Gate, Shoulder Stand, Eye Movements, Yoga Mudra, Tree Bridge, Hand Stand, Child, Seated Wide Leg Fold, Standing Fold, Plow, Sunbird, Head to Knee, Fish, Downward Dog, Rabbit, Runners Lunge etc.

सप्ताहार,(Saptahar) seven consideration for food intake in Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda the factors that depends upon food are  energy, long life, health, immunity, happiness and prana (life) . The food that we input in this natural engine helps to fire the Jatharagni (digestive fire) as a result output energy is expressed. Here are the thoughts of 7 consideration of food intake according to Vagbhat.

  1. Swabhav (स्वभाव) (Nature)- Food we take varies in nature. For instance, rain water, Oriza sativa  (रक्तचावल and साठी चावल), Phaseolus mungo, meat of Turvix sp. are laghu लघु (light) in nature whereas milk, Saccharum officinale, and Phaseolus radiates are heavy in nature. In this way dravya or any food have varieties of nature like, laghu-guru (light-heavy), snighDha-rukshya (oleaginous-dry), Sheeta-Ushna(Cold-hot) etc, which must be considered while taking a food.
  2. Samyog (संयोग) (Combination)Mixing of two or more food is a combination or samyog. The food may not retain the same properties when combined with the other foods. For example although ghee and honey are benifitial for health, it may take away the life if combined in same proportion by weight. So one should always keep in mind the effect of combination of any two foods. Food poisionig is due to wrong combination.
  3. Sanskar (संस्कार) (Purification)To get the best result of food that we take purification is essential. Purification of food or any medicinal drugs in Ayurveda is done through the materials and process like water, heating in fire, centrifugation, storage for long time, with aromatic matters and storage. Sanskar is not just purification, but it can also be helpful to change the properties of foods and drugs.
  4. Matra (मात्रा) (Quantity/Dose) Quantity or dose (esp. for drugs) is important factor. Good food that we take is beneficial only if we take in proper quantity, else it is going to be toxic.
  5. Desh (देश) (Region) Ayurveda has its unique thought in regional food behavior. The food that grow in one region is most beneficial for the living organism living in the same region or area. If the consumer consumes the food grown in the same region it will be most suitable according to Ayurveda.
  6. Kaal (काल) (Period of Time)The nature of food and the nature of environment should be matching. Like we don’t want ice-cream in cold winter, similarly our body donot accept the ushna(Hot nature food)(*hot nature food may be cold while touching, hot here refers to internal nature) food in hot summer season and cold in winter. Also Period of time refers that one should not take heavy food before the digestion of earlier food. One must understand is it the right time for me to eat right food?
  7. Upayog (उपयोग) (Consumption Procedure)- In simple while taking food one must clean hand and be hygienic. However In Ayurveda whole the procedure is described as follows:
    a. First take bath
    b. Pray the god through Mantra and puja
    c. Dedicate to god, agni, earth, water…
    d. Get the food only from Elder or teacher.
    e. Never have too hot or too cold food.
    f. Never intake food that contains flies, hair, nail etc.
    g. Always have meal with happy and jolly mind facing East.

In this way these are the consideration According to Ayurveda one should keep in mind before having food.