Category: Skin Health

Ayurvedic Medicine-What Can Ayurveda Treat?

ayurvedasAyurvedic medicine is considered to be the world’s oldest healing method. It was created in India roughly 5,000 years ago with origins in the Vedic culture of India and to this day remains India’s primary healthcare system. More than just a system that heals illnesses, Ayurveda is based on the belief that health depends on a holistic balance between the mind, body and spirit. Through this method of healing, Ayurveda is thought to be able to prevent illnesses, treat acute conditions and contribute to overall well being for a healthy life.

Ayurveda is considered to be a science of life, with Ayur meaning life and Veda meaning science. It has grown in popularity around the world, with its roots in Tibetan medicine, early Chinese medicine and even early Greek medicine. In the United States, Ayurveda is considered to be an alternative medicine, which means that it is a medicine that aims to treat and prevent conditions with healing touch, energy as well as herbal medicines.

Ayurvedic beliefs are that everything in the universe is connected. When you are in balance with the universe – mind, body, and spirit wise – then you will find good health. When anything disrupts your physical, spiritual or emotional health then it can cause you to become out of balance with the universe, thus leading to poor health.

The Doshas

Every person is made up of five basic elements found in the universe – space, air, water, fire, and earth. These elements combine in the body to form the life force, dosha.

Each person is born with a mixture of the three doshas. They are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. While one dosha is typically more dominant, all three controls a different body function. An imbalance in one of the doshas is when illness can occur.

Vata Dosha

The vata dosha represents space and air. It is considered to be the most powerful dosha and controls basic bodily functions.

The vata dosha controls:

  • Blood flow
  • Circulation
  • Waste removal through intestines

If there is an imbalance in the vata dosha then you may develop asthma, anxiety, skin disorders, heart disease or arthritis.

Pitta

The pitta dosha represents fire and water.

The pitta dosha controls:

  • Digestion
  • Metabolism

If there is an imbalance in the pitta dosha then you may develop Chron’s disease, heart disease, heartburn, or high blood pressure.

Kapha Dosha

The kapha dosha represents earth and water.

The kapha dosha controls:

  • Weight
  • Muscle growth
  • Immune system

If there is an imbalance in the kapha dosha then you may develop asthma, diabetes, obesity, or cancer.

What Can Ayurveda Treat?

The main goal of Ayurveda is to prevent illnesses, however through Ayurvedic medicine it is thought that you can treat any illness or condition. Some of the most commonly treated illness and symptoms of ayurvedic medicine are:

  • Anxiety
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Cancer
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Liver disease (find out more about where the liver is located as well as how it effects the entire body here!)
  • PMS
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Chron’s Disease
  • IBS
  • Obesity

Are there any Risks?

Most Ayurvedic treatments such as massage, breathing exercises and yoga involve little to no risks. There are some treatments, such as diet changes or Ayurvedic herbs that may interact with current medications that you will want to discuss with your doctor before beginning. Ayurvedic herb supplements can also be contaminated by heavy metals such as mercury and lead, so it is vital to choose quality supplements.

Dietary Recommendations for Porphyria

Porphyria1

Porphyrias are a group of problems that affect the metabolism in a person. It is therefore a metabolic disorder and is a difficult condition to cure. Porhyrias occur due to an increased concentration of Porphyrins in the blood. The porphyrins are an important component that contribute to the formation of the Haemoglobin. There are various enzymes which help in the conversion of porphyrins into hemoglobin.

Due to the defective functioning of the various enzymes, there are four main types of porphyrias namely, ALDA Porphyrias, Acute intermittent porphyrias, variegate porphyrias and hereditary porphyrias. As per the nervous or cutaneous symptoms involved, porphyrias can be classified as acute or cutaneous.

In both the conditions, the acute symptoms need immediate treatment and hence, they should be monitored closely for better results.The diet in any case of porphyria should be formulated so as to reduce the risk of an acute attack which may include severe abdominal upset or any neurological outburst like paralysis or even heart arrhythmias. Here are a few things to remember for all patients of porphyrias in terms of the type of food and lifestyle they are consuming.

IMPORTANCE OF CARBOHYDRATES IN DIET

Patients of porphyrias should be consuming ample amounts of carbohydrates. This does not mean that this consumption should be in excess of the daily requirement of calories by the body. A balanced diet with easily digestible carbohydrates are ideal for consumption.Prolonged fasting and starvation can precipitate an attack. Therefore, it is very important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

Consumption of simple carbohydrates like honey and fruits, helps in reducing the levels of porphyrins in the blood. Complex carbohydrates however, should not be totally neglected. Try incorporating whole wheat breads for your daily dose of complex carbohydrates.

CONTROLLING SYMPTOMS OF NAUSEA AND INDIGESTION

Nausea and indigestion are a common feature in most patients. To control them, it is therefore, very important to eat light and frequent meals. Acidic and nauseating food products should be avoided to as far as possible.

Caffeinated drinks, sodas, soft drinks etc. should also be avoided.

LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE

Alcohol has been reported as a common trigger for an acute attack of porphyrias which may manifest itself in many ways. Alcohol intake should be limited to a minimum. If you do not drink, try and not become an alcoholic. For people who do drink, try and refrain yourself from drinking liquors with a high percentage of alcohol like red wine, whisky etc.

MANAGE CONSTIPATION

Common abdominal symptoms in porphyrias is a frequent constipation or diarrhea. For patients who feel constipated, there are many herbal remedies and dietary modifications that can help a lot in maintaining normal bowel movement.

  1. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Begin your day with a glass or two of warm water on an empty stomach. You can also add a little lime or honey in it.
  2. You can also consume soft fibrous fruits and vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, beans etc.
  3. 1 – 2 tea spoon full of Vara churna at night can help in the smooth evacuation of stools at night.

EXERCISE REGULARLY

Regular exercise is a very common condition that has to be maintained in order to maintain physical health as well as regular bowel movement. Sedentary lifestyle, is another factor that can aggravate your disease so you have to be regular with your workouts and take out time for yourself.

Light exercises like walking, light jogging can be done regularly to maintain fitness levels. You can choose an exercise routine that suits you best as per your Age and fitness levels.

CHOLESTEROL AND SALT INTAKE

Cholesterol levels need to be managed and the amount of fat in diet should be restricted to not more than 300 mg per day accordingly. Salt restriction is not a direct indication. It depends up on the involvement of other disorders like hypertension.

IRON AND CALCIUM LEVELS

Iron levels in blood should be especially managed to maintain optimum Hemoglobin levels in blood. People who deal with the acute on chronic attacks of Porphyrias, need to manage for any anemic conditions that may develop in them.

It is especially necessary to monitor Hb levels in women who suffer from heavy menstrual flow and blood loss due to other reasons. Calcium levels should also be maintained especially in female patients of porphyria.

These are some of the basic guidelines that are applicable to most patients of porphyrias in general. The rest of the specific details of the disease vary from person to person for which individual guidelines need to be formulated.