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Thread: Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene

  1. #1

    Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene

    Aea hefeekeerohevoh galeh yuvo (Oh My Gosh!)!

    Ah (catching my wits), namaste.

    I was reading on a web site the following:

    "No doubt Caraka conceived the germ theory of the causation of diseases, but he rejected the idea that germs are the only causative factors for disease. On the other hand, he had advanced the theory that it is the imbalance of dosas and vitiation of dhatus which are primary causes of diseases, and various germs may grow in the body only when they get such a congenial environment. Both for metabolic diseases and infective ones, correction of the imbalance of dosas and dhatus constitutes the basic principle of all therapeutics. This is a unique feature of the Ayurvedic concept of diseases and their management as enunciated by Caraka in his monumental work.

    "Surprisingly, Caraka is very modern in his emphasis on the prevention of diseases than on cure. Similarly, the theories of immunity, digestion and metabolism are quite mundane. Caraka's description of the general nursing home, maternity home, medical ethics, emphasis on experimental scientific methodology, repudiation of dogmatism, heredity and many advanced concepts of pathogenesis and management of diseases bears testimony to its relevance today."

    I CANNOT BELIEVE THIS! I knew about this because I studied Natural Hygiene very thoroughly over 20 years ago. This is where the knowledge of NH came from! I just wonder how it made its way into the NH text books of the now-defunct Life Science Institute, which existed until about late '97. I even worked for them as a shipper, shipping out the course books for over two years. Anyway, this is how I see health, from that model of health rather than the model of disease, which is what western medicine is based on. I had no idea that I was living in a perspective originating from India!

  2. #2

    Re: Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene

    Quote Originally Posted by deafAncient View Post
    Aea hefeekeerohevoh galeh yuvo (Oh My Gosh!)!

    Ah (catching my wits), namaste.

    I was reading on a web site the following:

    "No doubt Caraka conceived the germ theory of the causation of diseases, but he rejected the idea that germs are the only causative factors for disease.
    Well, disease can also have a chemical source, for example various kinds of poisoning, like with lead, iodine, or fluoride in too great an amount.

    But typically diseases are caused by germs, as with malaria.

  3. #3
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    Los Angeles, CA
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    Re: Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene

    Hari Om!

    But as in another view, what would attract a disease state to an individual in the first place? Some exposed to a flu virus do not catch the flu while others do. How do you explain this? Immunity yes, but then again, how did that person attract the immunity to the disease? It is a vicious argument at best.


  4. #4

    Re: Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene

    Thank you for writing. I think you were addressing me when you said:
    Quote Originally Posted by c.smith View Post
    Hari Om!

    But as in another view, what would attract a disease state to an individual in the first place? Some exposed to a flu virus do not catch the flu while others do. How do you explain this? Immunity yes, but then again, how did that person attract the immunity to the disease? It is a vicious argument at best.

    What I think you are trying to get at is the question of purely naturalistic, easy-to-understand- materialistic explanations of disease and health.

    I think that at one level since the world works at a purely material plane it will be impossible to disprove the materialistic theory. And so we can say that every healthy person tries to attract immunity to a disease, because they have an immune system. And you can go study biology and learn how immune systems target "foreign bodies". They aim to identify and fight infections from real germs under the microscope.

    HOWEVER, such an explanation is not a pure full answer of everything. For example, did you know that in some studies, a person who acts generously to help others will, at that moment, have a boost in their immune system?

    And how do you understand placebos to work if there is zero real medicine in a placebo pill?

    This is why there may be a nonmaterial aspect to what happens.
    Last edited by rakovsky; 26 September 2016 at 03:08 PM.

  5. #5
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    September 2006
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    Re: Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene

    hariḥ om̐

    svāgata (hello)

    Quote Originally Posted by c.smith View Post
    Hari Om!
    But as in another view, what would attract a disease state to an individual in the first place?
    The term gives us a hint: dis - ease. The repeated condition or repetition of dis-ease brings ill health. What then is 'ease' ? Balance.

    iti śivaṁ
    यतस्त्वं शिवसमोऽसि
    yatastvaṁ śivasamo'si
    because you are identical with śiva


  6. #6

    Re: Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene

    I stumbled upon the following rather exhaustive article written by one "Prabhath P," and thought it would be helpful to share it here. It gives a good overview of an ancient healing system of India, Ayurveda ("the science of life" in Sanskrit), and how mental health is holistically addressed in that system. It reminds me of the "bio-psycho-social" perspective that Western medicine is struggling to wholly adopt today, to me a welcomed backlash to the over-emphasis of biological/pharmaceutical "cures" that overshadowed Western medical practices during most of the 20th century. Ayurveda survived this trend, and is still widely practiced in India, and in many other countries around the world, including America.

    When is behavior considered "normal" and healthy in a culture, and
    when is it "disordered"? The answers tend to change from time to time.

    Photo source:

    Ayurveda seeks to remove the root causes of mental illness in a holistic way. Its focus is on prevention through correct diet, exercise, meditation and cultivation of the right attitude. It offers a complex array of therapeutic techniques and natural medicines to restore balance and harmony. In an increasingly insecure and chaotic world, many people are finding conventional psychiatry and psychology inadequate for healing the mind marred by constant stress. Conventional psychiatric practices based on symptom suppression and drugs that cause serious side-effects have prompted people plagued by mental ailments to look for alternative and holistic healing.

    Concepts of Mental Health in Ayurveda

    The ancient system of ayurveda (science of life) offers a holistic approach to mental health that integrates the mind, body and soul. Sushruta, the ancient exponent of ayurveda, defines health as svasthya-a state of total biological equilibrium, where the sensory, mental, emotional and spiritual elements are harmoniously balanced....A complete and foolproof definition and interpretation of the mind is impossible to provide…"The concept of health in ayurveda encompasses not only the physical and mental aspects but also the spiritual aspect, which is missing in the modern psychological discourse," says Dr. P. A. Antony of Trichur in Kerala.

    The ideal state of mind is [said to be sattvika], marked by equanimity. An agitated mind is in the [rajas] state, while the lethargic and gloomy mind is in the grips of tamas. The accumulation of toxins in the body is termed ama. Psychologically, ama arises from holding on to negative emotions and undigested experiences. According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, who has popularized ayurveda worldwide, "The guiding principle of ayurveda is that the mind exerts the deepest influence on the body, and freedom from sickness depends upon contacting our own awareness, bringing it into balance and extending that balance to the body."

    Bhutavidya is the special branch of psychiatry in ayurveda dealing with mental diseases. Some scholars interpret bhuta to mean ghosts and spirits who cause abnormal psychological conditions. Others say bhuta represents microscopic organisms like viruses and bacteria. Bhutavidya also examines past life karmic causes, which have no explanation in terms of [bodily symptoms]. Mental disorders are generally divided into [physically-based disorders] and [mentally-based disorders].

    Ayurvedic hospitals in ancient India treated the body, mind and spirit,
    as illness was viewed as an imbalance between the three. Meditation
    was included in the treatment, as well as herbal remedies, a healthy
    diet, sound therapy, and prescribed yoga exercises specifically tailored
    to an individual's needs.

    Photo source:

    Elements of Ayurvedic Psychology

    Signs of mental health as per ayurveda:

    o Good memory
    o Taking the right food at the right time
    o Awareness of one’s responsibilities
    o Awareness of the self and beyond self
    o Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene
    o Doing things with enthusiasm
    o Cleverness and discrimination
    o Being brave
    o Perseverance
    o Maintaining cheerfulness irrespective of the situation
    o Fearlessness in facing situations
    o Sharp intellectual functioning
    o Self-sufficiency
    o Following a good value system
    o Ability to proceed steadfastly against all odds.

    Dr. Marc Halpern, founder and director of California College of Ayurveda, Nevada City, California, explains that according to ayurveda, the greatest factor in a person’s sensitivity to stress is a substance found within all cellular tissues and the mind, called ojas. Ojas is the vital essence of the immune system and provides the mind with both stability and contentment. The body produces ojas through digesting nourishing foods. A nourishing diet combined with excellent digestion is the key to building ojas.

    Ayurveda greatly emphasizes proper digestion. This includes selecting the proper foods for a person’s constitution and eating properly. Long-term problems with digestion and elimination deplete ojas, which is protected by instituting a lifestyle that avoids overindulgence, includes sufficient rest and reinforces self-love. Dr. Chopra aptly calls ojas "the bodily counterpart to pure joy." [Another] essential [factor is] prana...the subtle energy behind all body functions and governs higher states of consciousness.

    Ayurvedic Treatment Methods

    Ayurveda treats individuals according to their unique physical constitution indicated by the combination of [innate features] along with the mental, social and environmental conditions that affect them. The focus is on prevention of illness, promotion of health and longevity [attainable in] a life-style consisting of...[good diet],...[exercise],...[meditation] and virtuous qualities. [Oil massage] removes toxins and stimulates the flow of natural intelligence in the body. Transcendental Meditation that dissolves deep-rooted stress and promotes harmony, creativity and clarity of mind through bliss consciousness, is an essential component of this routine. A proper diet in tune with the ayurvedic body type is also important.

    Though ayurveda is essentially preventive in approach, it has a comprehensive system of curative medicine. [In an] ayurvedic mental hospital... Panchakarma is effectively used in treating all kinds of mental illnesses here. Panchakarma means five types of therapeutic measures [namely], [whole body oil massage], [sweating induced by medicated steam bath], [and] a purification treatment with oral medicines including herbal powders.

    Massage provides a means to deliver herbal medicines into the blood-
    stream and internal organs, and it relaxes the muscles and the mind.
    Photo source:

    Photo source:

    The panchakarma measures used in the mental hospital are:

    o Vamana-induced therapeutic vomiting.
    o Virechana-purgation through therapeutic laxative, providing symptomatic relief of mental illness.
    o Vasti-enema therapy. Nirooha Vasti cleanses toxins from the dhatus and removes naturally accumulated body wastes from the colon.Anuwasana Vasti is to be retained in the body for a longer period for effectiveness.
    o Nasya-Nasal medication acts as a purificatory aid to the head where major sensory faculties are located. The clarity of these faculties(indriya prasada) leads to clarity of mind.
    Special Techniques used Include:
    o Shirodhara-medicated water, herbal oils and medicated milk are poured on the forehead through a special method for 30 to 45 minutes. It reduces anxiety, depression and mental stress and rejuvenates the central nervous system.
    o Shiro Vasti-keeping herbal oil in a cap fitted on head.

    therapy is followed by samana or purification treatment with oral medicines including herbal powders.

    Ayurvedic Medicines for Mental Health

    In the words of Dr. Marc Halpern, "Ayurveda classifies herbs with a stabilizing effect on the mind"...These herbs promote the intellect and deeply nourish the neurological tissues. They are nervine tonics. Ayurveda favors the use of combinations of herbs that meet the specific needs of each patient, as no two patients present exactly the same condition." These medicines act as specific molecular nutrients for the brain, promoting better mental health that leads to the alleviation of behavioral disorders. The [herbs produce]...tranquility of mind, concentration and improved memory.

    "Let your food be your medicine, and your medicine be your food,"
    is an ancient axiom the world over, and with good reason.

    Photo source:

    From Mental Health to Enlightenment

    Ayurveda has its roots in the spiritual philosophies of the Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Yogic traditions and was even considered the fifth Veda in India. Ayurvedic psycho-spirituality is based on the idea that we are all souls growing and evolving towards enlightenment or reunification with the Divine. As Dr. Marc Halpern rightly puts it, "It is a science of using health as the basis of one’s journey towards enlightenment."

    This is a greatly annotated version of the original article. To read the full article, visit:

  7. #7
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    The Holy Land - India
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    Re: Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene


    Welcome to the forum.
    Thanks for all the good information.


  8. Re: Ayurveda and Natural Hygiene

    Natural Healing and the Corona Virus

    Various natural healers have been posting information about things which may be of help regarding Corona Virus.

    this is from Dr. Joseph Mercola. He is an MD. Not an ayurvedic healer, but I thought I would post this response, so that folks get an idea of what the natural medicine community is doing.

    I would assume there are ayurvedic healers posting similar responses...

    Mercola on Corona

    Nutrition and Natural Strategies Offer Hope Against COVID-19

    Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola

    Story at-a-glance

    The only real defense against COVID-19 is your own immune system, which works best when fed right. While changing your diet is a commonsense solution for the long term, a rapid-response strategy would be to use vitamin C

    Vitamin C strengthens your immune system and kills pathogens, including viruses, when taken in high doses

    Other important immune boosting nutrients are vitamin D, magnesium and zinc

    A Korean doctor who’s giving patients and hospital staff 100,000 IUs of vitamin D and 20 to 24 grams of vitamin C by IV reports virus-infected patients are getting well in a matter of days

    If you own a sauna, now’s the time to put it to regular use. By increasing your core body temperature, which is what happens when you have a fever, your body becomes more efficient at killing pathogens

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