Health Horizons: An Ayurvedic Approach to a Healthy Life
  • Clothing

Clean clothes must be worn after bathing. Good, clean and appropriate clothes not only adorn the body, but also bring joy, make one beautiful and attractive and enhance the personality. They also protect the body from the harshness of the season. Hence, it is wise to wear clothes according to the season, such as white or light-colored, thin clothes in summer and dark, heavy and thick clothes (woollens) during winter.

  • Perfumes, aromas and natural scents

The body should be adorned with seasonal flowers and perfumes. Apart from adding fragrance and attractiveness to the body, aromatic oils also raise the spirit and increase strength and the desire to work. They help people fall asleep. All this ultimately improves the quality of life, longevity and develops interest in work.

In Ayurveda each dosa can be balanced with aromas that are matched to it. The odors detected by the nose first dissolve in the moisture of the nasal tissue and are then passed on by specialized olfactory cells straight to the hypothalamus in the brain. Thus to smell anything is to send an immediate message to the brain and from it to the whole body. This way it regulates dozens of bodily functions including temperature, thirst, hunger, blood-sugar levels, growth, sleeping, waking, sexual arousal, memory and emotions such as anger and happiness. Hence, aromas arc used to send specific signals that balance the three dosas.

In general:

Aromas that balance the dosas

Vata is balanced with a mixture or warm, sweet, sour aromas like basil, orange, rose, clove and other spices.

Pitta is balanced by a mixture of sweet, cool aromas like sandalwood, rose, mint, cinnamon and jasmine.

Kapha, similar to Vata is balanced by a mixture of warm aromas, but with spicier overtones like juniper, eucalyptus, camphor, clove and marjoram.

  • Adorning with ornaments and gemstones

Wearing ornaments made of gold or silver not only adds to a person’s beauty and attractiveness but also enhances cheerfulness, the glow on the face, feel of success, auspiciousness and an increased life-span. It also increases the desire and strength for life. Not only ornaments but gems like diamonds, emeralds and hessonite (gomeda) are also excellent. Also wearing charms, medicinal herbs such as ash-colored fleabane (sahadevi) and others herbs is useful. They reduce fear and anxiety and counter the adverse effects of Stars and planetary positions. Pure metals emit an astral light that provides a powerful counteraction to the negative pull of the planets. Wearing different ornaments and gems is a part of touch healing (sparsa cikitsa). All metals contain tremendous healing energy. Ayurveda utilizes the healing properties of metals, gems and stones. Thus, metals, stones and gems are the outer manifestations of certain forms of energy and these metals contain pranika energy reservoirs.

Adverse influences upon the normal functions of the body, mind and consciousness may be counteracted through the use of gems and metals. When they are applied to the skin, they induce an electromagnetic influence which acts on the physical cells and deeper tissues.

  • Chewing fragrant substances

To keep the mouth fresh and fragrant, and for good taste, spices like nutmeg, betel nut, cardamom, cloves, betel leaves and essence of camphor can be chewed. They increase taste and provide protection against diseases of the oral cavity and throat. But one should not use cancer causing narcotic substances, tobacco, pana masalas and so on.

  • Footwear

Footwear protects the body against heat, cold, thorns, insects and germs and provides comfort to the feet. It also protects the skin and keeps it healthy. Footwear should always be comfortable and of an appropriate size. High heeled shoes are uncomfortable and they also cause postural problems. Footwear should be selected according to the season. Appropriate footwear provides strength to the feet and makes movement quick and easy.

  •  Nail and hair care

Trimming of hair, moustache, beard and nails should be a regular habit. Long nails accumulate dirt, germs and toxins. Hence they should be kept as short as possible. This not only ensures hygiene, health, beauty and freshness, but it keeps the body strong and promotes longevity.

  • Kohl application

The eyes should be ‘nourished’ regularly with kohl or eye drops to keep them healthy and to improve the vision. The eye is a sense organ dominated by the element of tire. Kapha dosa being the opposing force against agni, it constantly attacks the eyes. To maintain proper vision and health of the eyes and to prevent diseases, regular application of Kapha opposing collyrium is very beneficial. Therefore, once every 5-8 days such extracts and rasanjana (rasota) should be applied. This promotes watery discharge from the eyes, cleaning them in the process. This paste is very beneficial for the eyes and also relieves eye pain. It should be mixed with honey or diluted with water and a few drops should be applied in the eyes at a time. It stimulates the eyes and causes tearing.

 A few precautions should be taken while using kohl a collyrium. Strong kohls should be used only at night before sleeping as Kapha formation is low at this time. During the daytime, it causes excessive watering and exposes the eyes to the harmful rays of the sun and weakens them. Normally the best time to apply regular kohl or collyrium is in the morning as it keeps the eyes smooth and soft during the entire day. Kohl made from soot of mustard oil burnt in an earthen lamp lends luster to the eyes, makes the eyes attractive, darkens and thickens the eyelashes and protects the eyes from external infections.

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Procedure for Rasanjana Preparation

Boil and thicken goat milk and decoction of Indian berberry in the ratio 4:1, cook until it becomes a paste


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