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Amruthmagazine FEB 2006

Amruthmagazine FEB 2006

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Published by AMRUTHMAGAZINE
AYURVEDA HEALTH MAGAZINE FOR YOU
AYURVEDA HEALTH MAGAZINE FOR YOU

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Published by: AMRUTHMAGAZINE on Jun 25, 2010
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01/26/2013

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Heritage Amruth February 2006
Contents
Cover Story
Do not scoff that cough
RemediesMyriads of MigraineHealthAlluring AllergiesHealth scopeWant to quit smoking?Inhale HerbsCareEvery breath you takeNutritionRice: to polish ornot to polishUnani PageCommon ColdAmruth VaidyaDrive AwayYour Doubts
17
GardeningInvincible Vasa
253439
Respiratory problems are the most encountered illness and there maybe hardly any person who has not suffered from respiratory problemsin his lifetime. Although there is no clear mention of chemicals or gasesinvolved in the act of respiration, Ayurveda has described respirationvery poetically and metaphorically. It reiterates the significance ofrespiration to sustenance of life forms.
WisdomCover your coughConsumer AwarenessDoes your coughsyrup really work?
1511
5
31323
TrendsOrganic Food- is it allhype and no health?ExperiencesHow I learnt tomanage my asthma
282731
Health is the thing that makes youfeel that now is the best time of theyear.”
1
ProductsHaridra Khandam
37
Children PageRaami and Shaami playwith Indian Borage
19
 
Heritage Amruth February 2006
Darshan Shankar
Managing Editor
EDITORIAL
2
It is difficult to correlate Ayurveda’s understanding of theworking of the respiratory system with the modern dayunderstanding of the subject. The lung (Kloman) as an organ iswell known in Ayurveda. With the aid of modern technology,western biomedicine has evidently gained a superior structuralunderstanding of the respiratory system as compared to thetraditional health sciences. However the main differencein the perspectives of the two knowledge systems is not onaccount of the differences in their structural understanding ofthe respiratory system but because of their radically differingunderstanding of the physiology of the respiratory system.In Ayurveda, the physiological activity of the respiratory systemis understood in terms of the functions of, what is technicallycalled, the pranavaha shrotas. In the pranavaha shrotas fivekinds of inter-related physiological forces act viz., pranavayu,vyan vayu, udan vayu, saman vayu and apana vayu. Thediagnosis of respiratory diseases is therefore understood interms of investigating the nature of imbalance that has occurredin the working of these forces. Furthermore the Ayurvedicdiagnosis of respiratory diseases is rooted in a systemic frame.It diagnoses respiratory disorders not in terms of infectionscaused by invasions of different kinds of microorganisms butrather in terms of the nature of the systemic imbalance that isaffected due to the respiratory disease.Let me give you an example: as per Ayurvedic physiology, therespiratory system is known to be influenced by the state ofmind, the quality of metabolism and also by the excretoryfunctions. Thus mental tensions may give rise to certainrespiratory diseases like asthma because the pranvayu, whichis one of the physiological forces acting in the pranavahashrotas, gets disturbed. The pranvayu is situated in the headregion and is responsible for intellect, sense organs functionslike exhalation, sneezing, gulping and spitting. Hence inthis aetiology of asthma, yoga therapy (pranayama) may beeffective in addressing this kind of respiratory disorder. Sincethe disturbance of the pranavayu also affects the metabolism(samana vayu) and the impaired metabolism in turn causesconstipation (apana vayu), along with pranayama, one wouldalso need to take appropriate herbal remedies for improvingthe metabolism (agni) and getting rid of constipation. Tomodern medical science this kind of physiological logic thatguides Ayurvedic therapeutics of respiratory diseases mayappear to be bizarre.In the context of such differences, it is not necessary to judgewhether Ayurvedic or modern physiology is more correct. Abalanced understanding would suggest that in different healthsciences there are different scientific ways of diagnosing thehealth of living beings and that all these ways may constitutevalid strategies of diagnosis. In the modern physical sciences,for instance, there are huge differences in the Newtonian view,from the quantum view and the viewpoint that informs fieldtheories. They are however all seen to be valid within their owndomains.Indeed Ayurveda does competently and successfully managerespiratory diseases within acceptable limitations. Ayurveda haslisted diseases of the respiratory system like kasa (coughs), svasa(asthma), peenasa (rhinitis), rajayakshma (tuberculosis) causedby systemic imbalances and diseases like kshata kshaya (causedby external injury or structural defects). Safe and effectivetreatments are available for these respiratory diseases.It would be shortsightedness to ignore the indigenousunderstanding of the respiratory system merely becauseit is from a different viewpoint. In one sense the differentphysiological and aetological understanding of respiratorydisorders should be viewed as ‘out of the box’ thinking bywestern physicians and likewise by their Ayurvedic counterparts.Their contemporary relevance should be assessed by theirstrengths and limitations in management of various respiratorydiseases that inflict humankind today including their advice onpreventive and promotive health.
What you seedepends on yourstandpoint
 
Amruth Heritage February 2006
InvincibleVasa
 
3
GARDENING
Deepak Kumaraswamy
Let me share with youreaders, something aboutVasa, the plant popularlyknown as the “plantexempted by the goats”.As a drug, used quite oftenin the Ayurveda, Vasa isinvincible! The traditionaland tribal healers treatcough by exclusively usingthis plant. In case if you facean episode of respiratorydistress, Vasa is there tohelp you get out of it.This shrub is used as ahedge plant also and itmakes a good ornamentalplant for your gardenand moreover a usefulemergency medicine.
Properties accordingto Ayurveda
Vasa in Sanskrit denotes the shrubwhich covers the ground with densefoliage. The medicinal value of this herbhas been mentioned in ancient texts.It is a household remedy for variousrespiratory disorders. Charaka Samhitahas classified the drug under mucolyticand expectorant drugs. Its leaves areused in conditions such as burningsensation of feet, cough and respiratorytroubles, fever, hoarse throat andmenstrual disorders.
Active Constituents
Alkaloid Vasicine and Volatile oil 
Part used
Leaves, Flowers and Roots are generallyused. 
Root
- Essential oil has high activityin inhibiting tuberculosis. Its alcoholicextract acts as a broncho-dilator andrespiratory stimulant. The alkaloidsVasicine and Vasicinone combinedhave more bronchodilatory action andprovide protection against inducedbronchial obstruction.
Leaf
- Ether extract stimulatesbronchial glands directly and increasesthe flow of respiratory tract fluid.Vasicine has Bronchodilator andstimulant action.
Essential oil
- Acts as airway smoothmuscle relaxant.Crude extracts are more useful inrespiratory ailments than pure alkaloidsas they cause bronchoconstriction.
How does it look?
An evergreen, densely branched shrubwith unpleasant smell (foetid scent).The older stem is grayish–green, wartyand woody. The leaves are large, brightgreen, and lance like with pointedtip. The leaves are bitter to taste. Theflowers are 2-lipped (appears like snakewith mouth open), creamish-white withpurple streaks on the lower lip of theflowers. They are arranged on a denseleafy spike.
Where is it found?
It occurs in the plains and submontane(lower Himalayan) regions of ourcountry, upto an altitude of 1300 m.The species occurs from the Indiansubcontinent to Malaysia, oftencultivated as a hedge plant.
How to grow itin your garden?
Due to its evergreen dense foliage, itmakes a good house plant that canbe grown as hedge or as an individualplant where a mature plant needsabout 1.5 sq m space or in pots of 25
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