Armpit Odor Causes, Remedies, and Ways to Get Rid of Bad Armpit Smell


Sweaty underarm and bad armpit smell may make people embarrassed and unconfident. People with their unbearable smelly underarm often spend a lot of money on strong deodorants finding how to get rid of the foul smell. However, many deodorants purchased in the market give you only the temporary result. The problem of armpit does not go away completely.
What are the Causes of Armpit Odor?
To get rid of armpit odor and gain your confidence, you should know particular causes of armpit odor.
Armpit odor may be one of side effects of medicine intake. Fever-reducing or morphine drugs make your body sweat that is a culprit of bad armpit smell. Besides body odor, medications like decongestants, antihistamines, and muscle relaxers cause bad breath and dry mouth.
Another cause of armpit odor is eating spicy foods. Consuming curry, garlic, and other spices may stimulate the release of sulfur-containing gases through your pores. These smelly gases lead to bad armpit smell that makes you unconfident and embarrassed. If spicy foods cause your armpit odor, you just need to limit eating them in your diet.
There is a close link between bad armpit smell and stress levels. When you are stressed, you may start sweat from apocrine glands. When the odorless sweat mixes with harmful bacteria of your skin, it becomes the bad armpit smell. When your armpit odor comes from stress and anxiety, the best advice is getting rid of stress from your life. If you experience stress sweat, a prescription antiperspirant is recommended.
Excessive alcohol intake may result in smelly sweat and bad breath. When you drink alcohol, the liver plays the important role in metabolizing alcohol and removing the toxins from your body in urine. However, excessive alcohol consumption affects the liver’s capacity and leads to liver damage. As a result, your body especially your armpits has the foul odor. Alcohol also has adverse effects on your health. It is recommended reducing alcohol intake.
Other causes of armpit odor are anintake of caffeinated beverages, dehydration, wearing tight clothes, poor diet, puberty, hormonal changes, and strenuous exercise. Whatever causes of bad armpit smell, there are many home remedies that can give you a great improvement within a few weeks.
What are Natural Remedies and Ways to Get Rid of Bad Armpit Smell?
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is considered as a great alternative for deodorant. Containing antibacterial properties, apple cider vinegar can help prevent the bacterial growth. Applying apple cider vinegar to your underarm can balance the pH of the skin, thereby eliminate the armpit odor.
2. Baking Soda
It is impossible to talk about amazing remedies for armpit odor without mentioning baking soda. Baking soda has the ability to fight against bacteria that cause bad armpit smell. The combination of baking soda and cornstarch can absorb excess sweat that is a culprit of armpit odor. You should reapply the mixture of baking soda and cornstarch to your armpits if you want to have a satisfactory result.
3. Lemon
Containing acidic properties, lemon can kill off the bacteria that create body odor. Moreover, lemon is effective in balancing the pH levels of your skin. To get rid of darkness and bad smell, you just need to apply 1 or 2 drops of lemon juice to your armpits and rub it gently for a few minutes. Alternatively, you can mix some lemon juice with a cup of water and then use it as a natural deodorant for your arms.
4. Sandalwood Powder
Sandalwood powder possesses the soothing aroma; therefore, it is effective in treating armpit odor. The regular use of sandalwood powder can help you to get rid of thefoul underarm smell. Mix some sandalwood powder with anadequate amount of water to create a fine paste. Apply this paste to your armpits and then leave it for a few minutes before rinsing it off with water.
5. Parsley
Parsley is one of effective home remedies for bad armpit smell because it contains anti-odor and antibacterial properties. Firstly, you chop some parsley leaves until you get one teaspoon of chopped parsley leaves. Let the chopped parsley leaves steep in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drinking the liquid of parsley leaves can neutralize the odor.
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has the ability to kill off the harmful bacteria causing bad armpit smell. The anti-bacterial properties are responsible for that benefit of tea tree oil. Add a few drops to a cup of water and use it as a natural deodorant to prevent and reduce armpit odor. Tea tree oil can be applied directly to your armpits.
7. Witch Hazel
Acting as a natural sterilizer, witch hazel can help get rid of bad armpit smell that makes you embarrassed. All you need to do is to wipe your underarms with witch hazel.
Conclusion
Now that you know remedies and ways how to get rid of bad armpit smell, I would like to give you some notes in conclusion. Besides applying these above remedies, you need to drink 8 glasses of water per day, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you do exactly what I told you, there is no need to worry about bad armpit smell.
Posted by Huyen My, a health and beauty expert at VKool.com and AllRemedies.com

Asana According To Ritucharya


Exercise Routine According to Seasonal Ritucharya

Important recommendations on exercise routine are:

  • Keep shorter period of exercise with less exerting exercises during summer and rains, longer during autumn, winter and fall.
  • Focus more on yoga and breathing exercises during the summer and rains, as they are easy to do and do not put extra load on temperature maintenance system of the body.
  • For mental health, meditation should be essential part of daily routine.
  • Try to have food sitting on the ground, in sukhasana or vajrasana.
  • After eating food, sit for some time (5-10 min) in Vajrasana.
  • Sharad is the ideal time to start body building, which can be continued throughout the year in a regulated way.
  • Shavasana should be done at the end of any exercise, to bring back body to the normal metabolism rate.
  • Yoga Nindra is very effective for all Dosha and should be practiced daily, before sleep preferably.

There are multiple good websites to find the relevant yoga poses. Some suggested websites (indicative) are–

List of asana – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

List of Yoga Poses | Step-by-Step Instructions for Asanas – Yoga Journal

Complete List of All Yoga Poses And Asanas | Workout Trends

Morning Drink According to Season and Prakruti


Best time to wake up is before sunrise. It is like to be prepared for the show before the spotlight falls on you J

This is true for all Prakruti and seasons. Before sunrise the Dosha or body metabolism is in an ideal balanced state. Our body is almost like the body of a new born, after the night long internal cleansing and detoxification of the body organs.

Kapha Dosha is easily vitiated in people who sleep late in the morning.

After waking up in the morning, people of all prakruti should drink 2-5 glasses of water according to individual capacity and comfort. Vata and Kapha prakruti people should take normal or lukewarm water according to the season. It is like washing your intestine in the morning before food enters it.

Unless you are hungry in the morning, you should have a drink as the first food intake and not solids, just like a new born. An appropriate drink will rinse away all unwanted elements from your intestines and balance any vitiated dosha. If you are hungry, definitely you should have something to eat as well. Otherwise eating should begin with proper breakfast, after sunrise. Sun influences our bio rhythm and affects digestion.

Below are multiple options for morning drink. One should experiment and choose the one which suits her/him the best

Morning Drinks According to Ritucharya

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Seasonal Food


Good Food and Bad Food

Keeping in mind that food cannot be cooked separately for all persons in a house, Charak describes the food quality that should be taken regularly for all seasons and all prakruti, along with food that should be used very rarely by all prakruti individuals.

Food that should not be eaten regularly

  • Dried Meat
  • Dried Vegetables

 

Charak uses the word “abhyas” which means practice. It is very convenient and sometimes cheap to store dried meat or vegetables for easy use. But such products should not be used every day.

Food that is naturally juicy, when consumed in dried form tends to absorb extra water from the intestines for getting into its original digestible form.

It is said that such food takes a long time to get digested and after digestion does not fuel the digestive fire, instead leaves it weaker.

Let us take the example of putting sand on the fire, sand does not burn but brings down the intensity of fire.

Instead, meat or vegetables stored in pickled form are oiled, tender and better option for easy cooking than the dried ones.

Food that should be used rarely (example maximum once in a week for a healthy young person) –

 

  • Food cooked in mixture of milk and curd/yogurt etc.
  • Pork (Red meat)
  • Beef (Red meat)
  • Fish
  • Buffalo meat
  • Urad Dal ( Black gram)

Ayurvedic hypothesis is that the food items listed above diminish digestive fire and release more toxins than nutrients during their digestion. Only person with extremely good digestion power is able to absorb proper nutrition from them. Let us assume that it is like putting damp wood in the fire, which takes a long time to get burnt, produces a lot of smoke while burning and still does not get burnt properly.

According to Ayurveda, milk and curd are different in constitution and so is their digestion process. If we cook raw rice with already cooked rice then the cooked rice will be over cooked and lose its nutrition, or in another way the raw rice will not get cooked properly and will not be absorbed. When something is not properly absorbed in the body, it starts to putrefy and produce contaminants. Digestion of milk and curd together produces incompatible substances, which might not be easily absorbed, producing more toxins.

Beef and Urad Dal (Black gram) are described to be very dry and liable to cause diseases related to Vata Dosha. Beef is more hazardous than Urad Dal (Black gram) since its digestion is more difficult as compared to Urad Dal.

 

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, red meat might have carcinogenic effect on humans, with possible risks for colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancerGastric cancer, and prostate cancer

Urad Dal (Black gram) is an important constituent in idli/dosa batter and also as flavouring in south Indian cuisine. Since it is used in fermented form, it changes its dry constitution, becomes slimy and more easily digestible. Use of Urad Dal as flavouring is a very miniscule part of the entire meal, so its effect is balanced by other constituents such as asafoetida, mustard seeds, Methi seeds (fenugreek seeds). Plain boiled Urad Dal also should be flavoured by Vata reducing herbs like asafoetida, mustard seeds etc. even when you are eating it once in a while.

It is important to note that the food passes through the digestive tract (stomach, intestines) and is kept there for a specific period or till reaching a specific condition, whichever parameter is reached first.

For example the food is kept in stomach till the ph. reaches a certain point or ideally for 1-2 hours. Similarly there is a time range of digestion in intestines also.

 

Sometimes because of wrong food choices, the body is not able to digest the food in stipulated time. It can be because of incompatible food combinations, heavy food or large amount of food or everything combined. So the food is held in the body for longer duration. The flip side is that food purification starts if the food is held in the body for a longer time or the amount or quality of digestive juices is not enough to cover the digestion and preservation requirements. The sugar in undigested or under digested food gets fermented and creates toxins, gas, bloating etc. Also the body energy is distracted and wasted in fighting any infection or discomfort arising out of this condition.

If this happens regularly, the person becomes more prone to diseases and faster aging.

So it is very important to see that the right food in right amount goes inside your body.

Food that should be taken in minimum quantity

3 things are covered under this heading in Charak Samhita

Pippali (Long pepper)

Acids

Salt

Pippali or long pepper is used in many ayurvedic medicines. According to Charak, it should not be used independently everyday as a practice, because it has a tendency of causing phlegm, is said to vitiate Kapha and pitta and does not pacify vata also. It is beneficial to use Pippali only for a short duration, when prescribed by a physician.

Acidic food products such as aerated drinks, canned food, Tamarind, Vinegar, soya sauce, citric acid etc. should not be used in large quantity every day. They can be used as flavouring or seasoning agent in minimum required quantity. Also elderly people should refrain from using such sour tasting edibles, because they vitiate vata and cause joint pain.

Excessive use of acids cause early hair fall, damage to eye sight and impotence. It is interesting that Charak Samhita specifically mentions that people of eastern countries (China, Thailand etc.) use too much of acid in the food and that causes the specific facial features found in them.(Charak Samhita : Viman Sthana – 17)

Salt should be used in minimum possible quantities. According to Charak, excessive use of salt causes weakness and low stamina in the body, baldness, early hair whitening and wrinkled skin.

Food that should be used every day

  • Rice
  • Moong Dal (Green gram)
  • crystalized sea salt(Saudha Salt)
  • Gooseberry (Amla)
  • Jowar (Sorghum or white millet)
  • Evaporated and condensed water(pure water)
  • Milk
  • Ghee
  • Meat of land animals found in plains or forests
  • Honey

 

Amla can be taken in the form of a pickle, chutney or any other preparation. During the cold seasons, from Oct to April, amla can be taken in raw form or in juice form by Pitta prakruti people with excellent digestion. Amla cooked preparations are better for vata and kapha prakruti people.

Evaporated and condensed water is not only pure. It is believed that such water is easy to absorb as compared to non-boiled water. Probably it is because of elimination of the microorganisms in the water, so the liver as to work less in its detoxification process.

 

All these food items are easily digested with minimum production of toxins and contribute in fuelling of the digestive fire. Let us treat this food as the oiled, dry wood that catches fire instantaneously and burns without smoke, giving the vital heat and light to the surrounding.

Dosha


Dosha is something which has tendency to malaise or spoil. It can be understood as a factor of catabolism (breaking down process in the body)

Also Dosha is a concept in itself.

According to Ayurveda, there are 3 kinds of Dosha or body temperaments – Vata, Pitta and Khapha.

It is said that as life resides in heart but no one can see it, similarly these temperaments guide the body physiology but no one can see them. In short, they are the 3 basic and distinguishable behaviour or metabolism patterns of the body.

Nature of Dosha

Let us understand this concept through an example of a wooden stick, which can endure pressure, force or weight up to a certain level. It has a yielding point after it will not be able to support the kinetic energy and will break. Similarly it will have a point of heat after which it will start burning. Same is with inertia. It will have a certain amount of inertia according to its weight, size etc. that gives the stability and opposes changes in its state of existence.

Same is with our body, in a more dynamic sense. Our body can hold certain amount of total kinetic energy, with specific channels of flow or function. This amount or holding capacity differs from person to person, just as volume differs from container to container. It also has different but definite capacities for heat and inertia.

The basis of Prakruti or natural body constitution lies in the different capacities of the individuals. Let us assume that the total energy (of all types) is 6X.One body will have capacity to hold 3X of kinetic energy, 2X of heat energy and X of inertia. This body will be of vata dominant prakruti, or VPK prakruti. Similarly if a body has capacity to hold more of heat energy – 3X, it will be Pitta dominant body.

VATA – It is the concept of kinetic energy in the body. All motion inside body or by the body is because of Vata. Vata is said to be made of Vayu (motion element) and Akash (space element).

PITTA – It is the concept of transformation energy, any chemical reactions, heat generation is considered to be under Pitta. It is made of fire (Heat element)

KAPHA – It is closer to the concept of inertia, mass, stability in the body. It is made of Jal (water element) and Prithvi (mass)

There is no single dosha at work at any point in time. One dosha might dominate or direct one process, but all 3 dosha contribute to it. There is natural tendency of Dosha or physiological patterns to spoil the body by either excess or deficiency of motion, transformation or inertia. When out of control, these become the negative forces in the body. They are balanced by Dhatu and Ooja (life force). Any imbalance tilting towards Dosha causes diseases.

Each of these behaviour pattern or syndrome has 3 aspects – Normal physiology, Excess and Deficiency.

 

Role of Dosha

Dosha are like different maintenance programs for different situations. They support a specific type of metabolism, have a set time and place of function and aim to produce specific results.

During any activity, entire body comes together and every part of the body contributes to produce a single result. Some parts contribute more, some contribute less. But there is no single isolated activity happening in the body at any point in time. Everything is connected. The organs of the body synchronize their activities under single command. It must be difficult for brain to communicate to each cell. The body parts communicate through their secretions or electric signals. But Dosha is like a pre-programmed code, triggering chain reaction in the entire body. Under a particular dosha and given a specific environment, each body cell will behave in a particular fashion, contributing towards a single result. Dosha are comprehensive platforms that define what each part will do to perform a particular activity. They align the body activities to produce a single desired effect.

We can compare it to the sympathetic and non-sympathetic nervous systems.

Let us take the example of digestion. Pitta dosha is the parent dosha for digestion. Complete digestion can be divided in 3 parts.

 

Kapha stage:  Beginning of digestion

When the digestion of food begins, the blood supply to other parts of the body, like the limbs, brain etc. is reduced and diverted to the intestines for absorption (that is why we feel sleepy and lethargic immediately after a meal). It is advised that one should walk 100 steps to keep the kapha balanced during this time. So the hands, legs, brain etc are synchronized to the digestion in stomach because of Kapha dosha. This is a very simple example

Pitta stage: Complete breakdown

Various organs (gall bladder, pancreas) secrete their juices in the alimentary canal to aid digestion. Simultaneously, liver detoxifies the digested juices in the blood and produces the heat through digestion. This is time of chemical transformation and heat production. Blood gets fresh supply of nutrients. Body cells start assimilating the nutrition transported by the blood. Body becomes active. This is good time to sleep in summer, to keep the heat through activities, low and balance the heat of digestion.

Vata stage: Absorption and excretion

After complete digestion, the food gets absorbed though the small intestine (nutrients) and large intestine (water). Large intestine is the site of vata. This stage of digestion involves constant motion and absorption of water.

The important point is that with the beginning of digestion, other parts of the body, even the eyelids perform their function by getting drowsy or the legs by forfeiting extra blood supply, or the brain. And all this is orchestrated by the dosha. So we can appropriately evaluate what will be the condition of eyeballs or liver or legs when a particular dosha is active, vitiated or balanced.

Taking the same example forward, if the food is too heavy to digest; the Kapha dosha will get vitiated. This means that the Kapha program will not shut down at the correct time and will keep running in wrong condition and for wrong (longer) duration. The digestion of food will not reach the next stage properly and the errors in digestions will be carried forward in the form of toxins.

Best example is the process of sexual stimulation. Parent dosha for sex is vata, which is a kind of lord of all physical activity.

During sexual intercourse, the entire body activity is synchronized to achieve a single result. Eyes close to enhance the effect of skin receptors. Conscious brain activity is more imagination based (Pitta is associated with logic, Kapha with the memory and vata with imagination or creativity). Movements of hands, legs, penis / vagina are co-ordinated to achieve the desired outcome. Sperm friendly secretions lubricate the vagina to ensure safe and easy passage. This is a most elucidating example of perfect organ coordination on vata platform.

The key of health is in the balance of these Dosha.


Importance of Vata

Have you ever wondered why it is always Vata, Pitta and Kapha and not Kapha , Pitta , Vata or Pitta, Kapha and Vata.

It is because Vata is the most important and defining force among all three. After Vata comes Pitta and finally Kapha, most innocuous one.

This is because Kinetic energy is considered to be the most important here, which can affect other factors. Kinetic energy produces heat and can destroy inertia. Also Kinetic energy of the body is in direct control of the being. An Individual can use his kinetic energy at will and change or balance energy equation of the body. We can heat up the body by exercise and reduce inertia. Vata, because of its influence on other dosha, can cause maximum diseases. Hence Ayurveda chooses to establish Vata (Kinetic energy) as a greater force than the rest.

Sequence of Dosha

If we consider a lifespan or any natural phenomenon, Ayurveda has a rule that everything starts with stability (Kapha state), goes to the stage of transformation or maturity (Pitta state) and deterioration (Vata state).Same rule applies to human body as well. Child is in Kaphaj state, youth is in Pittaj state and elderly in Vataj state and interestingly all these are more prone to disease attributed to respective Dosha. For example, children are more prone to cold and coughs (Kaphaj disorders), youths are prone to acme, pimple according to their Prakruti (Pittaj disorders), and old people are prone to joint pain (Vataj disorders)

Similarly first 1/3rd of day is Kaphaj, second 1/3rd is Pittaj and third 1/3rd is Vataj. Again the symptoms of respective diseases exaggerate during the respective times, for example cold, sneezing etc. increases in the morning (Kaphaj), acidity is aggravates in daytime (Pittaj) and joint pain increases during the evening time.

The seasons come and go in a cycle but the cycle is considered from Hemant according to Ayurveda, which is the coldest season (Kaphaj state), then move towards summer (Pittaj state) and rains (Vataj state). In Sharad the effect of Vata subsides completely, to regain the Kaphaj state.

General functions of balanced Dosha:

सर्वशरीरचरास्तु वातपित्तश्लेष्माणः सर्वस्मिञ्छरीरे कुपिताकुपिताः शुभाशुभानि कुर्वन्ति- प्रकृतिभूताः शुभान्युपचयबलवर्णप्रसादादीनि, अशुभानि पुनर्विकृतिमापन्ना विकारसञ्ज्ञकानि||९||
uraḥ śiro grīvā parvāṇyāmāśayo medaśca śleṣmasthānāni, tatrāpyuro viśeṣesarvaśarīracarāstu vātaPittaśleṣmāṇaḥ sarvasmiñcharīre kupitākupitāḥ śubhāśubhāni kurvanti- prakṛtibhūtāḥ śubhānyupacayabalavarṇaprasādādīni, aśubhāni punarvikṛtimāpannā vikārasañjñakāni||9||

The normal (physiology) Dosha, in balanced condition, result in good health, Upachaya (body nourishment)
Bal – improvement of strength and immunity
Varna Prasad – improvement of skin health and complexion and in imbalanced state, cause illness.

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Swasthvritta


The sphere of Health

Ayurveda has a concept of Swasthvritta “Sphere of Health “

Let us imagine a sphere of light around us and outside it, is all darkness. This sphere constitutes all the healthy habits and strength of our mind and body. Conceptually, as this sphere diminishes, we become more and more vulnerable to darkness of diseases. We can also assume that it is a part of aura that one has around him.

Assuming that the light in the sphere is because of the life factor or the soul, let us imagine that the size of the sphere detonates the strength of the body whereas the brightness detonates the strength of the mind.

So for a healthy life, one should grow and maintain this sphere of health. The better and more compatible health practices we have, this sphere will be bigger and brighter, which reflects our ability to foresee more, to do more and to accomplish more. It reflects immunity and stamina that your body has against diseases.

For the people who have bad health habits, this sphere will be smaller and duller; such person will fall sick and succumb easily to diseases and other external factors.

There are 2 types of patients defined based on their mental strength

Strong minded – these are the people who are mentally very strong, capable of enduring heavy discomfort for a long time, without much visible agony. In such people, even a big disease may appear to be trivial, due to concealed symptoms.

Feeble minded – Completely opposite, small problem may look big because of their inability to endure. They shout and jump at every little pain in their body. Normally, these kind of people have some kind of emotional pain that reflects through their attention seeking behaviour.

With the concept of Swasthyavritta, it becomes easier to understand that a person with a relatively weak body (smaller circle) but a strong mind or will power(brighter circle) will be able to defeat the darkness of diseases more certainly.

When a person is angry with destructive thoughts, his thoughts first attack his body. We all know about auto immune diseases. You must have experienced many times that when you are angry for some time, afterwards you feel very tired and drained. Unfortunately, this becomes a routine for some people and they get habituated to such dark thinking, which is inviting for diseases.

This sphere has different components according to the type of mind or thought process.

Mind is said to be of 3 types

Satvic – Intellectual, wise

Rajsic – Imperial, Imposing

Tamsic – Dull, lethargic

If we assume that each sphere has its own colour according to its mind energy, then Satvic will be white, orange, and yellow

Rajsic – Red

Tamsic – Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green

Now we have 3 dimensions of thought – size, brightness and colour of the sphere.

If you see red object in blue light then it will appear black!

The point is to make clear that all people have different minds so their Swasthvritta are also different. One set of health practices might not fit the other. One man’s food is another man’s poison. Our Swasthvritta originates in our mind, so if our health practices are borrowed and we don’t feel happy about them, then they are not in sync with our mind and so they will never be effective in keeping us healthy, ever if they have proved to be very beneficial to many other people.

There are many people who conceptually do not agree with non-vegetarian food. Such food, if consumed, will never bring them any nutrition, instead it might create toxins from undigested food.

Similarly, many people who eat vegetarian diet but are very ambitious, regal and daring, might profit from a non-vegetarian or a high protein diet and absorb it quite readily as it is the food subconsciously sought by their mind. Because the mind develops the body according to its aim and it suits an ambitious person to be ready for physical hard work and have good stamina. A soldier with a fighter mind will appreciate the benefits of a non-vegetarian diet, but a intellectual will go for a simpler and easy to digest diet, that helps supply more blood to the brain instead of the muscles.

We all have coloured thinking, so you should eat and live according to the colour of your mindJ, to keep your mind and body in sync.

Another way to maintain the sync between external inputs and the mind is to change the mind, change the colour, the thought process. So whatever comes from outside is easily assimilated without disturbances.

Therefore Swasthvritta also includes meditation and other such activities for mental        flexibility. There is no surety of peace in religious rituals, but spiritual practices are great for mental health. Methods for maintaining mental health also differs according to the minds of the people.

So to conclude, you have your own Swasthvritta which is as unique as you are and your innocent pleasure is the guiding light for you to discover it.

This series will help you with the tools to develop your unique health routine!

Constituents of Swasthvritta

There are 2 fields of health, which are also the fields of diseases – Mind and body

So we should regulate our mental and physical inputs. Like our body cells, we should become selectively permeable to external inputs: embrace the compatible ones and be impervious to incompatible ones

2 major parts of Swasthvritta are appropriate Aahar (Material Input) and appropriate Vihar (adjustment to surrounding)

Aahar

Aahar – It is interesting to note that all material inputs absorbed by the body can be termed as Aahar, so the body ointment or the unwashed soap on the skin is also is an Aahar that might affect the skin!

8 ways of Aahar in body (Intake)

Oral – solids, liquids

Nasal – Smell, air

Eyes – Kohl, Eye make-up

Ears – Liquids, air (There is ayurvedic treatment of putting medicated smoke in the ear for ear ache and many other disease.)

Skin – Air (vapour, smoke), Liquids, ointment, powder

Anal Route – Enema, smoke

Rectal Route – Enema, smoke

According to Ayurveda, Aahar is more important as it helps to strengthen the body from inside, so even effects of wrong Vihar or lifestyle can be overcome. Effects of Aahar are also more prominent on the mind. It is rightly said that you are what you eat!

Vihar

Vihar or lifestyle covers the following factors –

Daily Routine

Exercise

Bathing

Tooth care

Skincare

Haircare

Clothing

Sleep pattern

Sexual behaviour

Accommodation

Swasth Mana

Sattva is the mind; also it is synonymous with the mental strength. As earlier discussed our body is a physical manifestation of our mind. In fact not only our body, our relations, house, work; everything evolves and gets life from our mind. Everything appears the way we see it.

Compatibility is the key. Nothing is good or bad categorically; everything should be defined in context to the person concerned. It is interesting to note that the prescribed amount of the food and medicines for a person in Ayurveda, depends on the measurements of his body, for example amount of grain one should eat in a single meal is equal to the amount of grains he can hold, putting his hands together. Earlier, labourers were given grains in the units of the amount they can hold putting their hands together, as wages. Also the size of heart is defined as equal to the size of the fist of the person, which is again different from person to person. Salt or medicinal powders(churna) should be taken in a pinch, which again will be different according to the size of the fingers of each person.

In context of mental compatibility, everything depends on the kind of mind energy you have (Satvic, Rajsic, and Tamsic); classical singing might a wonderful stress buster for someone, but not necessarily for you. You might like rock or pop, or might like rock climbing even better.

Compatible Aahar for mind includes – cheerful conversations, blessings, praise, Satsang (company of likeminded people / well-wishers / wise men/cheerful and positive people)

Compatible Vihar for mind includes – be in state of happiness, satisfaction, lack of jealousy, anger, hatred, be close to nature.

Anger management is a very important factor for mental health. We get angry because we are able to do nothing about the incompatibility between what we want and what we have. We cannot get everything in life. Tolerant nature is the base of mental health. It is said that the person who never gets angry and never have other negative emotions, will never fall sick and have long healthy life.

Also if you have to prioritize between health habits, take the one that feels good first, because its cheerful effect on mind is more important than the effect on the body.

Swasth Sharir

Compatible Aahar for body – differs according to the

  • Likes and dislikes
  • Prakruti (body constitution)
  • Digestive Agni (Fire)
  • Seasons
  • Physical activity

Compatible Vihar for body – differs according to the

  • Likes and dislikes
  • Prakruti (body constitution)
  • Seasons

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Definition of Health


Sam-Doshaha Sam Agni Shcha Sam Dhatu Malakriyah! Prasann Atma Indriya Manah Swasthya Ityabhidhiyate!!

Balanced state of Dosha, Agni (digestive fires), Dhatu (Metabolic essence) and Mal (Metabolic waste)

Happy soul, senses and mind constitute the (complete) health

Kshetra of Ayurveda and Importance of mind

Kshetra means field of Ayurveda, on which it acts. There are 2 fields – mind and body respectively.

Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge, Ayurveda signifies the knowledge of life. It is not only about the physical wellbeing but also mental and spiritual health.

Treating the body alone is like treating the shadow of the sick and expecting the results.

Like the way everything starts with the roots in a plant, everything starts with the mind in an individual. Soul is pure energy. Divergent tendencies start with the mind and therefore everything; peace or agony, health or diseases start with the mind. Ayurvedic approach is towards treating the human being, who is a sum total of soul, mind and body, with the focus on mind.

Ayurveda believes that diseases have 2 basic origins – Manas (psychological) and Sharir (Body based). Disease from mind can spread to body and vice versa.

Let us take an example:

  • You get a cold and you start thinking about work that you are not able to do because of it. You lower your immunity because of stress or might add headache to this cold. So the cold is body based but the headache is mind based.
  • If your cold gets worse than you might get a headache too, then both the problems are body based.
  • If you are under too much of stress, you reduce your immunity and thus get frequent cold and cough. This is mind generated.

In order to effectively cure or prevent this cold, treatment should start with finding the base or roots of the disease. It can be in mind or in the body.

According to scientific researches, 99% diseases can be traced to psychological problems! Also the role of placebo is unquestionable in getting cured. If a patient takes a sugar pill with sincere belief that it will cure her/his disease, then it might actually have equivalent or better results than the real medicine. The disease and the cure, both have their origin in the mind.

People with good diet and comfortable life develop diseases due to stress. On the other side, if one is calm or even better….happy, there are more chances of her/his getting cured soon or not falling sick at all.

BE HAPPY!

This is a little too simple to believe!

No one is happy at all the times but you are happy when you are doing something that you like to do. What is more important is that your attention is towards something that you like doing. It is not possible to be able to do what you like all the time, but no one can stop you from keeping a focus on the things that you like. Happiness is more of a frame of mind and you can keep happy if you want to be happy, you will dig out things that will keep you happy.

Being happy is the very basic, most important and probably the only thing that we require for being healthy.

Be Happy with the book – Ageless Body with Ayurvedic Ritucharya 

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There will be a lot of dos and don’ts in the coming chapters, which are meant to improve your health and longevity. But if you are not able to follow any of them because of unavoidable circumstances, do not get worried. If you are happy trying to follow them, you will stay healthy even if you are not strictly in the line.

There are many people who had routines and lifestyles which promised worst of heart attacks, diabetes, cancer etc… but they lived long and healthy, probably because they were too happy to worry about their bad lifestyle. Also there are people, who have very strict routine and healthy lifestyle, still they develop diseases and some die young, probably because they continuously worry about their health. Worrying is the most unhealthy habit. So lose it first, before you do anything else for your health.

So, the first rule is – be happy and don’t do anything that makes you unhappy….Best wishes !

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Aim (priority) of Ayurveda


Swasthasya swathya rakshnam, aturashya vikara prashman ch

Protect the health of the healthy and also treat disease of the sick

The subject or aim of Ayurveda is defined as “KEEPING THE BODY HEALTHY” and treating the ones who fall sick. Let us realize that treatment of diseases is defensive approach as compared to keeping the body strong and healthy, thereby eliminating the possibility of disease. Even after that, if any one falls sick, he should be treated.

There are so many disease causing factors among all of us but some succumb to them and fall sick, some recover and some do not. There are many people who will not fall sick at all in the similar circumstances. Diseases occur when there is suitable environment for them to occur, same is with various microorganisms. They can break the defence barrier of the body only if the body is too weak to prevent the attack or retaliate swiftly.

In order to understand the approach of Ayurveda towards health and disease prevention-

Let us imagine leaves falling from a tree of disease and our task is to keep the place clean. There are 3 ways to do it. 1) Either we can keep collecting the leaves 2) we can cut the weed down or 3) we can make the soil (environment) unsuitable for its growth. In this illustration collecting the leaves is maintenance of the disease, cutting the weed is killing the microbes or cancer cells etc., making soil infertile is turning the body environment hostile for the incubation of disease causing factors.

So Ayurveda works on mind and body, instead of killing external disease causing factors.

Following this logic, we should aim to have more preventive health centres than hospitals!

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Way to Natural Development of Concentration


Only a mind stable enough to resist the vacillation by emotions or thoughts, can concentrate.

Developing concentration is a big issue, esp. among students and moreover among their parents.

However to effectively develop concentration, it is important to understand that concentration is the natural result of a stable mind. It is the product of undivided attention, free of strong currents of fear, prejudices or emotions. We lose concentration because the focus of our mind is frequently changed by some or the other idea that enters our mind. Our untrained mind is like a wind cock that gets deflected in whichever direction the wind flows.

The energy of mind and time is limited. These random thoughts feed on our mental energy like the weeds consume the nutrition of the soil and leave it exhausted and infertile.  They hinder the thinking so strongly that sometimes, we feel that we are incapable of concentration.

We cannot use something which is not under our control; we cannot use even our mind if it is not under our control. The problem appears to be that how to control the thoughts and the mind.

Imagine our mind to be like a sea of thoughts. Then, trying to concentrate, with uncontrolled thoughts, is like swimming in a turbulent sea. If the thoughts entering our mind are negative then it is like swimming against the flow. If the mind is angry , then it is like swimming under a storm. There is a severe danger of drowning or getting diverted from your path.

How will it be if you are able to control the waters ? What if the waters are always serene or still ? There will be hardly any special effort required to swim , with the facility to swim anywhere, without any resistance, any danger. You will be floating effortlessly from one point to the other. The best way to keep the water still is to stop throwing more pebbles in it, in response to the disturbed currents.

The most primitive and natural tendency to defeat anyone is to attack. Now when we feel that we have to control thoughts, control mind, we become aggressive. We start thinking about how to control thought. We might brood over getting rid of them, but still we are very much thinking about THEM. These emotions or thoughts become stronger as we brood more and more over them. We become more acutely aware of them. We reinforce them by acknowledging and accepting their influence over us. In the world of thoughts, what you think is real!  if you think that some thoughts are your problem, they will become your problem.

Mind is like a piece of iron with conflicting thoughts, but becomes a magnet when the thoughts align!

Forceful control of thoughts is even more dangerous. It might make you like a pressure cooker with no pressure valve, ready to burst. Thoughts are the method of mind to analyse, understand and conclude. Thoughts don’t come from space; they are children of your mind, generated as a result of intercourse with external stimuli. Forceful control might provoke them towards a dark distorted growth.

Overall, any kind of resistance against thoughts is like fighting the darkness with a steel sword. The darkness will be never go but gradually you will accept defeat. What you need is a lamp!

Some people focus exclusively on a single idea, a mantra or a thought, in order to develop concentration. But it is like watering a single weed instead of many. The mantra or idea will become very strong and will direct the mind. Again, we have willingly lost the control.  It is like the case of a master of a house, who trains well a servant and becomes too dependent on him for running the household, eventually losing the power to control. When the single idea becomes too powerful, it becomes the guiding force of our lives. Such people have mental power akin to the visual power of the horses with eye patches. The idea becomes the center of their lives, whereas they stand on the periphery. Sometimes, they are willing to lay their lives for such ideas. Concentration thus developed serves its own self; you cannot use it for anything else.

Concentration for a specific aim is like building up a rope bridge to help to swim in the waters. But it can help only from one specific point to the other, where the two ends of the rope are and only in fairly favorable water conditions. People who develop concentration with a certain specific aim, might find it difficult to focus on other areas with same efficiency. Many great students lose their academic efficiency after a certain achievement because they initially focused to reach only up to that point. Unconsciously, their need of concentration ends after that achievement. Similarly, many science or math wizards may find it difficult to focus on day to day mundane jobs. This is lopsided effect of concentration.

We cannot fight thoughts, we cannot focus on them, then what should we do ? it takes some effort to realize that we don’t need to do anything with thoughts. Working on thoughts is like trying to move the wheels of a bicycle while keeping the paddles still. Thoughts are like water dripping from a leakage point. The effort to collect water is waste of energy. One should try to plug the hole!

“How can one get butter by churning water “ – Ram Charit Manas

The work that yields concentration starts at a higher level. The aim should be reach a state where the fog of thoughts diminishes, the dust of emotions settles and the vision becomes clear. Here, concentration becomes an effortless natural instinct. You are focused all the time with uninhibited receptivity. Not only you are able to concentrate, you become free of colored vision. Such is the meditative state of mind.

So, fundamentally, concentration is a quality of meditative state of mind. It is but the natural outcome of meditation, just as health is the natural result of nutritious food. We cannot skip nourishing food and try to achieve health some other way. This is the radical difference between concentration and meditation. The base cannot be replaced.

Therefore meditation is indispensable for development of concentration. Not only concentration but right way of thinking is the added advantage of meditation. Without the right discretion, concentration will be just another tool, like a computer which can be used either to waste one’s time or increase knowledge. Overall, life becomes more meaningful with meditation.

Is meditation right for children ? Will they be able to understand it ?

Actually, it is easier for children because of their uncomplicated receptivity.  Young children are in a natural state of meditation. Their mind is at peace, which is gradually lost as they enter our world. What we need to do is to just preserve that meditative state by external reinforcement.

However anything forced develops resistance than receptivity. If you want to introduce your kids to pick up meditation, you need to do it yourself, no matter whether you are busy or tired. What you tell might not work but what you show will be absorbed inevitably. Therefore personal practice is the best and unfailing way to promote your kids towards a happy and peaceful life.

May God Bless You With Peace, The Greatest Wealth In The World!

Meditation App

Learn Meditation

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6 Healthy Ways to Get Better Sleep Each Night


We all know the importance of regular exercise and healthy eating for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But, did you know there is one more parameter that can have a great impact on our physical as well as mental health? It’s the adequate sleep! Sleeping can be the most relaxing and favourite activity to many. Most people especially those who work hard during the week love to spend their weekends sleeping till late morning. But, sleeping too much or too little at one time can be injurious to health. The World Health Organisation suggests that every adult needs an average 8 hours of sleep each day for the brain and body to feel well-rested. In fact research suggests that sleeping for less than 5 hours or more than 8 hours can take a toll on your health in terms of high blood pressure, memory problems and fatigue. So, while half of the world finds it difficult to wake up with morning alarm, there is a large section of people who struggle to get satisfactory sleep even for few hours each night. Sleep problems have become very common especially among the urban population due to hectic lifestyle and increased mental stress. According to a survey conducted among Indian working population nearly one third of people report having sleep problems. Nearly 18 percent of healthy Indian adults have difficulty in initiating and maintaining sleep, and 8 percent report early morning awakening leading to disturbed sleep. People who have poor or inadequate sleep tend to be irritable, lethargic, lack concentration at work and may also have episodes of micro sleep during the day. Many people reach for sleeping pills to get over their sleep problems. However, regular consumption of sleeping pills is associated with several hazardous effects on health. If you are suffering from regular sleep issues you can consider following natural therapies to get peaceful and satisfactory sleep at night.

 

  1. Take a warm bath before going to bed

When we sleep our body temperature drops by a few degrees. This slows down all the physiological functions and relaxes the body. Taking a shower with warm water before bed time reduces the body temperature and signals the body that it is time to sleep. For better effects consider using bathing soaps or oils containing aromatic oils.

  1. Consume Herbal tea

Some herbs such as valerian or chamomile have the ability to promote sound sleep and reduce sleep awakenings. Some studies report that valerian can reduce the time taken to fall asleep and also improve the quality of sleep. Experts suggest avoiding consumption of tea or coffee before bed time as it stimulates the brain. Instead you can choose green tea which is healthier, is safe and promotes good sleep.

  1. Avoid using electronic gadgets before sleeping

Electronic gadgets such as television, computers, mobile phones, etc. emit blue light. According to the experts, the blue light coming from electronic gadgets supresses the hormone melatonin. Our sleep-wake cycle is managed by hormones such as cortisol and melatonin. These hormones work in synchronisation to keep us awake during the day time and induce sleep in the dark hours. Suppression of melatonin disturbs the sleep cycle and leads to sleep problems. Apart from blue lights the loud noises and bright light coming from television stimulates the brain and makes it difficult to initiate sleep. Experts therefore suggest avoiding use of any electronic gadgets at least two hours before going to bed.

  1. Try Shirodhara

Shirodhara is a traditional Ayurvedic treatment that is known to create mental calmness and effectively induce sound sleep. Shirodhara includes pouring of warm herbal oils on the forehead in a continuous stream. The oil is contained in a special container that hangs above the forehead of a person who is lying flat on back. A therapist gives a gentle head massage from time to time. The warm herbal oil is allowed to fall on forehead for about 45 minutes. Some Ayurvedic spas offer full body massage before to starting shirodhara. This helps to reduce the body pain and relax the body, which is essential to get a peaceful sleep. The warm oils that fall on the forehead during shirodhara procedure help to sooth the hypothalamus and create mental calmness. This promotes mental relaxation and induces sleep. When the procedure uses warm herbal oils it is called as shirodhara. A variant of this procedure may also use herbal extracts and it is called Kashyadhara, with milk it is ksheerdhara, and with buttermilk it is takradhara. All the procedures work by same principles of soothing the hypothalamus and normalises stress inducing hormones to promote feel good hormones leading to mental relaxation.

 

  1. Use lavender oil

Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oil that shows several benefits on mental as well as physical health. It is known to reduce mental agitation and symptoms of depression and anxiety. Lavender oil is thought to exert its therapeutic effects based on principles of Aromatherapy. Lavender oil possesses a sweet aroma that is soothing to mind and body. On inhaling, medicinal principles present aromatic oil reaches the brain and act on the brain regions that regulate our emotions as well as sleep. You can use lavender bath oil for a warm bath before sleeping or sprinkle few drops of oil on your pillow.