Oversweating ,Hyperhidrosis in Ayurveda

Hyperhidrosis refers to a condition where the sympathetic nervous system is overactive and produces sweat in excess of that needed to keep a constant temperature. This condition may be either primary or secondary. While there is no known cause for the primary condition, the secondary condition is usually caused due to endocrine problems, hormonal treatment, psychiatric disorders, obesity and menopause. Excessive sweating can be socially embarrassing and may interfere in professional activities. It is aggravated by emotional stress and high temperatures.

The Ayurvedic treatment of hyperhidrosis is aimed at controlling the sweating, regulating the sympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and treating the known cause of the condition. Medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Kachnaar-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Vat-Gajankush-Ras and Ekang-Veer-Ras are used to treat the overactive sympathetic nervous system.

Medicines which act on the ‘Ras’ and ‘Meda’ dhatus (tissues) of the body are useful in this condition. These medicines include Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Chirayta (Swertia chirata), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Rakta-Chandan (Pterocarpus santalinus) and Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis). Other medicines which can be used in this condition are: Saarivadi-Churna, Chandanasav, Usheerasav, Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Pittapapda (Fumaria vaillantii), Triphala (Three fruits) and Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis). Fine powders of Triphala, Chandan (Santalum album) and Usheer can also be used locally.

Stress can be treated using Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina). Endocrine disorders like hyperthyroidism can be treated using medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Chandrakala-Ras, Praval-Bhasma and Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus). Obesity can be treated using medicines like Medohar-Guggulu, Triphala-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, Triphala and Trikatu (Three pungent herbs). The hot flushes of menopause can be treated using medicines like Brahmi-Vati, Saraswatarishta, Ashokarishta and Usheerasav.

Once the acute symptoms have been controlled, the recurrence of the condition can be prevented by using medicines like Kutaj-Parpati, Panchamrut-Parpati, Usheerasav, Saarivasav and Parpatadi-Qadha on a long term basis. Medicines need to be tailor-made for each individual in order to get the maximum therapeutic response.

Discovery of Atom in Ayurveda Philosophy

Atom and AyurvedaLike we all know that everything is made up of atoms, similarly, Ayurveda believes that everything in this universe is made up of five great elements or building blocks. These are earth, water, fire, air, and ether. Here I have tried my best to co-rrelate among them.

  • Earth represents the solid state of matter. It manifests stability, permanence, and rigidity. In our body, the parts such as bones, teeth, cells, and tissues are manifestations of the earth. Earth is considered a stable substance.
  • Water characterizes change and represents the liquid state. Water is necessary for the survival of all living things. A large part of the human body is made up of water. Our blood, lymph, and other fluids move between our cells and through our vessels, bringing energy, carrying away wastes, regulating temperature, bringing disease fighters, and carrying hormonal information from one area to another. Water is a substance without stability.
  • Fire is the power to transform solids into liquids, to gas, and back again. In other words, it possess power to transform the state of any substance. Within our bodies, the fire or energy binds the atoms together. It also converts food to fat (stored energy) and muscle. Fire transforms food into energy. It creates the impulses of nervous reactions, our feelings, and even our thought processes. Fire is considered a form without substance.
  • Air is the gaseous form of matter which is mobile and dynamic. Within the body, air (oxygen) is the basis for all energy transfer reactions. It is a key element required for fire to burn. Air is existence without form.
  • Ether is the space in which everything happens. It is the field that is simultaneously the source of all matter and the space in which it exists. Ether is only the distances which separate matter. The chief characteristic of ether is sound. Here sound represents the entire spectrum of vibration.

Vata in Ayurveda

In Ayurveda, the  Vata has the function of all movement in the mind and body. It controls the flow of blood, the elimination of waste products, the act of breathing, nerve signal flow and the movement of thoughts in the mind. It is considered the leader of the three doshas (energies or energetic principles in the body) as Pitta and Kapha cannot move or exist without it. It is therefore imperative that Vata is brought back into balance whenever it is disturbed.

Here are the lists of things that you feel when Vata is vitiated or disturbed

• Your skin or hair is dry, rough and thin.

• You feel cold easily or have poor circulation with cold hands and feet.

• You are chronically underweight and find it difficult to gain weight.

• Your mind is constantly anxious, restless and agitated and you are prone to worry and fear.

• You experience constipation or have frequent flatulence.

• You suffer from insomnia or have unsettled sleep and disturbing dreams.

• You suffer from vaginal dryness or menstrual cramps and PMT.

• You have spells of forgetfulness and absent mindedness.

• You experience discomfort or stiffness in the joints or lower back pain.

• You easily become fatigued and have poor endurance.


How to balance vitiated Vata

• Follow a Vata balancing diet favouring cooked foods rather than raw foods and salads.

• Go to bed early bedtime and have lots of rest.

• Diffuse calming and grounding aromatic oils or incense into your home and office. Orange, geranium, lavender, basil, spruce & fir are excellent in this regard.

• Maintain a regular daily routine by integrating the ‘Daily Routine’ (see later section).

• Give yourself an Abhyanga massage using warm sesame oil each morning.

• Ensure you have regular, daily elimination. Triphala herbal formula helps in this regard.

• Stay warm, especially in cold, windy weather.

• Take gentle walks in the countryside to calm and balance the mind.

• Wear calm, soothing colours such as pastels, green or brown.

• Do not overexert and rest whenever the body becomes tired or over stimulated

• Relax often by practicing meditation, pranayama, Yoga or Tai Chi.

• Chant ‘Ram’ (pronounced ‘rarm’) 108 times each day.

• Read light, humorous, feel-good novels and turn the television off one hour before bed.

• Take up walking, fishing, bird-watching or gardening for general relaxation.

• Take up writing, drawing, painting or acting to balance your creative energies.

• Avoid excessive talking and try to have a day of silence each week.

• Wrap up warm and keep dry in the winter – cover your head on cold, windy days.

• Avoid loud, noisy environments

• Rest for short periods throughout the day

• Avoid excessive use of VDU displays


The Vata balancing diet

• Favour warm, hearty, nourishing foods with added butter/oil – favour salty, sour and sweet tastes.

• Try and reduce light, dry, cold foods and pungent, bitter and astringent tastes

• Hot, milky, creamy cereals (wheat, oatmeal or rice), soups and stews are all very good for pacifying Vata.

• All dairy products are good (ideally organic and unpasturised) – milk should always be boiled first.

• Oils are good but favour ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, Udo’s oil, flax/pumpkin oil and sesame oil.

• Reduce your intake of light, dry, cold foods such as crackers, nuts, seeds and salads.

• Take nuts and seeds in small quantities only – they are best freshly ground with oil added.

• Reduce the intake of all bean products except tofu, mung beans, mung dhal and red lentils.

• The best grains are rice and wheat but you can take barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye and oats in moderation.

• Favour stewed and well ripened, sweet or sour fruits but reduce the intake of dry or light fruits such as apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, and dried fruits (if uncooked). Dried fruits are good if they are cooked after soaking overnight.

• Sweeteners are good (in moderation), especially jaggary, honey, maple syrup and algarve.

• Vegetables should be cooked and not raw. Peas, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, zucchini and potatoes are acceptable in moderate quantities if they are cooked, especially with Ghee or oil and Vata reducing spices but it is best to avoid sprouts and cabbage.

• Hot, nourishing desserts such as apple pie help pacify Vata.

• Eat a substantial breakfast to help improve energy levels throughout the day.

• Herbal teas (camomile, fennel, basil) with a few digestive biscuits are good for Vata energy slumps.

• Avoid stimulants such as coffee and alcohol.

• Sip hot water throughout the day to flush out impurities and balance Vata.

• Warm milk flavoured with ghee, cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg is excellent before bed.