Archive for January, 2011

Magnificent Madurai- a three day festival

January 26th, 2011

India is a country of varied heritage. Amongst the diversity Madurai is a city known for its richness in its history of art, traditions and so on. To commemorate this, a three day festival has been organized starting 28th of January.

The organizers of this event, christened Madurai Vizha – Magnificent Madurai, which is a first of its kind in the city, are the CII and the Travel Club of Madurai. The major purpose behind this event was to create awareness amongst the locals as well as the other people about the town’s cultural significance and showcase the city’s culture, art, diversity and beauty and also to promote tourism. The festival will include traditional dances, folk music, games, arts, crafts and a look into healthcare through the alternative forms of medicine such as Ayurveda, Siddha and the likes.

A lot of festive attractions including terracotta, wood carving, mat making, basket weaving, culinary experts and artisans, portrait sketching, and other competitions like cooking, kolam drawing, hair dressing, essay writing and quiz etc have been included for the crowd. Display of antique jewellery, photographs, movie screenings, hand printed textiles, ethnic designs, literature and photos depicting Madurai’s history along with the story of Mahatma Gandhi, and the availability of the traditional food in the food court add to the festivities. Shopping is another added attraction.

The event will be inaugurated by Collector C. Kamraj and will follow up with folk performances, report presentation on the tourism potential of the city and also the launch of a tourism website. The programmes include a short presentation and interactive session on traditional arts and creativity by Dr. Srinidhi Chidambaram, Chitrai Thiruvizha presentation by Mahatma School, Heritage talk on Madurai by Manohar Devadoss, screening of the film “Gandhi” and narration of stories by senior citizens.

The festivities begin at 9:30 A.M and will last till 9:30 in the evening. The entrance fee will be Rs. 10 for adults but entry is free for children and students.

Shantigiri Ashram launches Siddha Hospital in Kerala

January 20th, 2011
Shantigiri Ayurved and Siddha hospital has been set up in Mysore by the Shantigiri Ashram established by Navajyothishree Karunakara Guru in Pothencode, and is also planning on establishing an Ayurvedia Medical College in the city. The Asram was set up in the year 1968 and had focused on rejuvenation of mind, body and soul and also discovering new arenas in medicine.
The inauguration of the hospital will be done by the medical education and district minister S.A. Ramdas and will also be attended by forest minister C.H. Vijayshankar.
The ashram basically focuses in promoting the ancient Indian system of medicine and the use of herbs. It was also mentioned that no such institution exists outside Kerala and Tamil Nadu to promote the medicine system of Siddha. The herbs will be cultivated by the farmers and will be made available at the market rates which will help in promoting the medicinal system.
A free health camp has also been organized as part of the promotion and launch of the hospital.

An onion a day keeps the doctor at bay!

January 20th, 2011
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. So do onions. Onions are one of the most widely used medicinal vegetable and it dates back to the Mughal Empire in India and the Puranas. The pungent smell of onions are because of all the medicinal contents that it has.
Onions help in keeping the body tones when used with various spices like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon etc. the oil extracted from onions is very strong and volatile and serves as a medicine for a variety of illnesses. Onions are especially helpful in terrible cold and winters where cold and cough is a common occurrence. Onion oil can help remove the phlegm. The juice extracted from onion can also be rubbed over various body parts or simply the entire body when the temperature gets too cold and the feet and hands get very cold. This juice can also be orally consumed. Ear aches due to extreme cold and exposure to chilly winds can also be healed by putting a couple of drops of onion juice into the ears. On the other hand, in extreme heat during summers where sun strokes are a common occurrence, onions reduces thirst and reduces the harsh effects of the sun on the individual.
The pungent odor of onions also helps in getting an unconscious person back to consciousness when the person is exposed to the fumes. Onion and jaggery with water will help increase the stamina and reduce fatigue due to overworking. It also helps women with painful menstrual cycles by mitigating the pain caused due to the cramps.
Onions thus seem like an all rounder when it comes to treating various ailments.  It is a pity that the prices have drastically shot up these days for the vegetable. But the price you pay for this might just save you the price you may have to pay for your medicines!

Shahnaz Hussain’s thoughts on herbal medicine

January 18th, 2011

Shahnaz Hussain, the Chairman of ASSOCHAM National Council of Ayurveda expressed her views on the present scenario of the state of medicinal and aromatic plants and spices and told that there is a dire necessity to improve the capacity of existing organizations and also to develop business based approaches for input delivery, extension, marketing, processing certification and value added related activities.

During the inaugural ceremony of the 3rd ASSOCHAM Herbal International Summit in Delhi on the 17th of January, she said that though people opt for natural and herbal products for various purposes, the herbal sector is still not able to make optimum usage of the available resources and opportunities.

She also expressed her aspiration to enlighten the mass about herbal medicines and Ayurveda, Unani and other herbal solutions to the westerners who are suffering from devastating side effects of allopathic medicine and wished to see India lead the world in the alternate medicine sector. She added that the westerners would not be favouring India but would be doing themselves a favour by changing their lifestyle and depending on herbal medications rather than allopathic.

Scholarships for Malaysian students for alternate medicine studies

January 18th, 2011

After the teaming up of India and Malaysia in the development of Ayurveda and other alternate medicine studies, the Indian Government has now offered 20 scholarships for students of Malaysia to pursue their studies in the alternate medicine branches including Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy.

Eleven scholarships will be offered to students for the Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) and 5 scholarships for the Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Science (BSMS). For Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS) AND Bachelor of Homeopathy Medicine and Surgery (BHMS), 2 scholarships will be provided each.

The scholarships will include tuition fees, living expenses, contingent grant,  house allowances and medical benefits. This will not include air fares.

Ayurvedic choice of colours

January 17th, 2011

Ever wondered why different people have different favourite colours? While you like bright, attractive colours, your best friend might just stick to sober, lighter colours. It is not just about the physical appearance of the colours but it is the type of vibrations one gets from a particular colour. According to Ayurveda, people seem to prefer one colour over another based on whether they have Vata, Pitta or Kapha body type.

Painting your house can be a task due to the availability of the choice of colours. To add to these choices  and to suit your personality,  AFM Safecoat paints has a system for Healing Paint Colors for Your Ayurveda Type that shows you how to find emotional balance through the use of color. The company does business on a “health first premise”–their paints meet the highest standards of environmental responsibility, and also contain no toxic ingredients such as solvents, heavy metals, chemical residuals, formaldehyde and other harmful preservatives.

The Ayurveda Essence color system takes the health premise a step further by offering interactive tools to help you manipulate subtle aspects of your environment to promote optimum wellness. There are 108 colors in three groups of 36. To keep it simple, they created three micro palettes that correspond to the three major constitutional types of Ayurvedic medicine: vata, pitta, and kapha. Once you know which type you are, you can select colors accordingly: whether the colors are hot or cold, warm or cool, calming or stimulating, uplifting or grounding, moist or dry, etc. Ayurvedic healing has generated many practices that promote harmony, created to relieve stress by helping us understand how to create balance in the day-to-day.


Keep joint pains at bay this winter

January 17th, 2011

Joint pains are very common during the winter season and it can be very frustrating since it gets difficult to carry out daily activities comfortably. Having strong bones would help in the prevention of this and most people rely on calcium tablets for the same since calcium strengthens the bones. But we need to get to the root cause so that a permanent cure can be found.

Ayurveda claims that there are a lot of decoctions and herbo mineral formulations that soothe joint pains and also relieve from chronic arthritis. Dr. Anand Choudhary, associate professor of the Faculty of Ayurveda in the Banaras Hindu University from the Department of Rasa Shastra, says that there are a lot of Ayurvedic drugs that come in the form of powders called churnas and decoctions and herbal formulations that are used to treat joint pains. The Yograj Guggul (prepared from extracts of guggul plant) along with Ajmodadi churna (special powdered drug) and Vat Vidhwanshak Rasa (a decoction) are some of the formulations that have been found to beneficial in joint pain, including arthritis. He also added that Mahanarayana Taila (oil) and Panchaguna oil also serve the purpose. Rasa Saptak Kwat and Dashmool Kwat have also reported to show beneficial effects in joint pain other ailments affecting joints like arthritis and gout.

Prevention is always better than cure. Keeping our bones healthy and strong is something that we can do on a regular basis. Consuming protein and calcium rich food will help strengthen bones. Vegetarians should include egg in their diet. Appropriate clothing, especially during the winter season and keeping oneself warm is very important. Exposure to sunlight which is a natural source of Vitamin D is known to strengthen bones. If joint pains persist it is very important to consult a physician.

Guggul to battle Prostate Cancer

January 14th, 2011

Prostate cancer has been  increasing in occurence in men that has devastating effects on the individual. The regular cancer treatments have a lot of side effects that again are difficult to deal with. Ayurveda seems to have a probable treatment for this. Guggul, a yellowish product produced by the Mukul tree, has been credited to show promising results against prostate cancer, according to a recent research.  The study has shown that Guggul helps in inhibiting the growth of the cancerous cells by killing the cells and preventing them from spreading into the surrounding areas called apoptosis.

The study has moved away from the traditional use of Guggul for curbing cholesterol levels in the body. In some earlier studies of natural remedies against prostate cancer vitamin D, lycopene, omega- 3 fatty acids and Green Tea has shown to provide effective results.