Herb of the Season: Chandraprabha

Chandraprabha (also called Chandraprabha Gulika and Chandraprabha Vati) is an Ayurvedic classical medicine used for the treatment of a very wide variety of diseases of kidneys, bladder, urinary tract, pancreas, bones, joints, and thyroid gland. It is also recommended in the management of diabetes, male and female reproductive issues and mental disorders.

Chandraprabha is beneficial in difficulty in urination, kidney stones, frequent urination, urinary incontinence, benign prostatic hyperplasia, male infertility, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, dysmenorrhea, oligomenorrhea, amenorrhea, polycystic ovarian disease, anxiety, the effects of mental stress, and depression.

Chandraprabha is used as total health tonic and supplement for reducing general debility and increasing physical strength. The effects are due to the presence of shilajit and loha bhasma. It reduces fatigue and revitalizes the body. Its effects usually appear most expeditiously when it is taken with cow’s milk. Chandraprabha increases the excretion of harmful toxins like creatinine, urea and uric acid from the body. It corrects the natural functions of kidney and helps to eliminate the excess uric acid. However, it may not have effect on uric acid production, but it can reduce uric acid level by stimulating excretion of uric acid through kidneys. Chandraprabha is also useful in low backache, spinal arthritis and knee osteoarthritis. It has potent anti-inflammatory and mild analgesic characteristics. It reduces pain and inflammation in joint disorders. The name Chandraprabha (moon-glow) is given due to the effects of Chandra - the moon – as this medicine is said to be as calming and effective as the aura of moon.
Read More

Ayurveda & the Treatment of Candida

Candida albicans yeast is a naturally-occurring intestinal inhabitant. Ordinarily held in check in a properly balanced intestinal biosphere, Candida infestation (Candidiasis) becomes a concern only when the intestinal population of beneficial bacteria are eclipsed by an overgrowth of this tenacious yeast. When present in a flourishing overabundance, Candida can enter the bloodstream via the enteric cycle and give rise to systemic yeast infection symptoms: poor appetite, persistent coughing, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, difficulty in focusing and concentrating, tinnitus, decreased immunity, an assortment of body aches and digestive anomalies.

The most common manifestation of Candida overgrowth is vulvovaginitis, a vaginal yeast infection. Roughly 80 percent of women will experience a vaginal yeast infection at some point over their lifetimes, with at least half of these individuals suffering persistent and recurrent infections. They are most common in women aged 18 to 35.
Read More

Ayurveda: Benefits of Drinking from a Copper Vessel

In Ayurveda, drinking water that has been cleansed and ionized in a copper vessel is a common practice. In India, this transformed, therapeutic water taken from a copper cup is called Tamra jal. Copperized water is a natural antioxidant that helps balance the three doshas of the body (kapha, vata and pitta). The trace amount of copper in a Tamra jal is safe and healthful, even when added to other normal dietary sources of copper.

To illustrate this point, have you ever wondered why after drinking multiple glasses of water a day, you still feel thirsty and not energized?

In order to make drinking water safe, water treatment plants use basic filtration systems to remove most contaminants. These systems make water safe for drinking but they also destroy water’s vital life energy and drastically shift its natural pH. By the time your drinking water has been treated, traveled great distances through water pipes and gets into your glass, it has lost much of its vitality, tasting “dead”. As a result, the water we drink is not easily absorbed by our cells, leaving us wanting more. The Tamra™ recharges the vitality of your drinking water. It ionizes, energizes, and balances the pH, making the water “alive” again. This energized water is better absorbed by your cells and therefore enhances hydration.
Read More

Ayurveda in Treating Cancer: 6 Herbs That Can Help Reduce Risks

With the recent report of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) planning to come together with the All India Institute of Ayurveda and the Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences to delve deeper into the probability of treating cancer with Ayurvedic drugs, it brings a sense of hope to many who have been turning to Ayurveda for an alternative treatment. Ayurveda, as we all know, consists of many remedies that have been successfully treating various health problems of people for centuries. While many claim that it has the power to treat cancer as well, medical experts disagree over the lack of scientific research. However, various health institutions are including Ayurveda in their treatment, along with radiotherapy and chemotherapy to reduce the side effects. A pilot study done by AIIMS also found that Ayurvedic drugs significantly reduced side effects in breast cancer patents.

Ayurveda originated in India more than 5000 years ago but modern science and allopathy now believe in its principle and more and more research is being directed towards ancient herbs and natural therapies. A lot of health centers and universities are integrating Ayurveda into their programs to combat the ever-increasing load of non-communicable diseases. All medical practitioners believe that prevention is better than cure and Ayurveda provides the path to a healthy lifestyle. Ayurveda sees health as a perfect balance between mind, body and consciousness. To achieve this it promotes a daily regimen of exercise, emotional balance and a healthy diet. This in itself is a great way to prevent the onset of many life style related diseases.
Read More

Book Review: Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations or Personal Power, Creativity & Healing

Healing Mantras: Using Sound Affirmations or Personal Power, Creativity & Healing
by Thomas Ashley-Farrand
Wellspring/Ballantine (1999)

Thomas Ashley-Farrand, Namadeva Acharya, (1940-2010) was one of the Western world's foremost authorities on the application of Sanskrit Mantra to life's problems. In December 2008 and June 2009, he and his wife received empowerments from Satguru Rama Mata, their lineage holder, to be gurus. In 1968, Ashley-Farrand began having experiences of a mystical nature, which over the next few years became more intense and profound. He began to read the spiritual literature of the East, where he found eloquent explanations of his specific experiences in the Upanishads. In 1972, he received Kriya initiation from the Self Realization Fellowship. Mr. Ashley-Farrand began practicing extensive mantra-based spiritual disciplines in 1973, when he became a student of Sadguru Sant Keshavadas and Satguru Rama Mata. He has published several books on mantram yoga and has lectured widely.
Read More

ATRIAL FIBRILLATION: Cautions on a Common Part of Aging

Every year around 75,000 Americans learn that they have atrial fibrillation (popularly known as AFib), the most common type of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm. While the abnormal heart rhythm itself isn't generally serious, the abnormal blood flow and strain to the heart it may cause can result in serious medical consequences. And having AFib doubles a person's risk of death. Over the past decade, both the incidence and prevalence of atrial fibrillation has markedly increased and, with it, the total number of patients potentially requiring long-term care. In 2009, the estimated number of atrial fibrillation diagnoses in the United States was 2.6 million with an equal distribution between men and women and well over three quarters over age 65. AFib can be either sporadic, in which case it is called paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, or chronic.

Causes of A-fib

What causes A-fib? When the heart beats, the atria (the two upper chambers of the heart) and the ventricles (the two lower chambers) alternately contract and relax in a rhythm to pump blood to your lungs and the rest of the body. These contractions initiate in a bundle of cells in the right atrium called the sinoatrial (SA) node, which then spreads electrical impulses through the atrial walls.
Read More

KUNDALINI SYNDROME: The Dangers of Unpreparedness

Kundalini in yogic theory is a primal energy, or shakti, located at the base of the spine.

Different spiritual traditions teach methods of "awakening" kundalini for the purpose of reaching spiritual enlightenment. Kundalini is described as lying "coiled" at the base of the spine, represented as either a goddess or sleeping serpent waiting to be awakened.

Many individuals whose Kundalini has been unexpectedly unleashed do not know what is happening, and the prevailing social ignorance about this multidimensional transformative process makes it hard to find medical or alternative health practitioners or spiritual advisors who recognize the symptoms, particularly when they are strongly physical.
Read More

Ayurvedic Herb-Drug Interactions

It is always a concern for Ayurvedic and other holistic health care practitioners to be fully informed by their clients as to what pharmaceutical substances, either prescription or over-the-counter medications, they may currently be taking. Nutraceuticals and herbal medicines are also of concern if one is to safeguard against the possibility of adverse events in the form of drug-herb interactions. I routinely ask clients to either produce a list of such substances that they are taking (or have taken within the preceding 6 months) or, better, bring in the actual containers with the substances to their initial consultations so as to eliminate any error on their part in transcribing the names and potencies of their medications.

While such interactions are relatively rare and usually of a mild level of intensity, this is not universally the case. I was taken aback not too long ago when I leaned that one instructor in an Ayurvedic training program had informed her students that Ayurvedic herbs in general, and the herbs that she had taught in her first year course in herbology in particular, had no side-effects, cautions or potential drug interactions. Those herbs included the following, amongst others.
Read More

Herb of the Season: VAMSALOCHANA (Bambusa arundinaceae)

Ayurvedic energetics:
Rasa (taste) – Madhura (sweet); Kshaya (astringent)
Vipaka – Madhura (sweet)
Veerya – Shita (cooling)
Doshic signature – KPV- / K+ in excess
Gunas – Laghu (light, easy to digest), Rooksha (dryness)
Dhatus affected: Plasma, Blood, Nerve
Srota entered: Respiratory, Nervous
Other Names: (Hindi), Vans Karpoor, Vans Sakkar, Tavaksiri (English) Bamboo Manna (Mandarin) Tian Zhu Huang

Bamboo grows all over India, especially Assam. Although all parts of the plant are now used, actual Vamsalochana itself, the most medicinally active part of the plant is silica-like paste secreted into and collected from inside the hollow internodes of bamboo. Vamsalochana means bamboo eyes which is eye-like crack in the bamboo plant. Vamsalochana plants are deep rooted and tall so it is difficult to harvest but it is very common grown although, owing to difficulties in harvesting, it is commonly adulterated and produced synthetically. The genuine natural substance is a white, crumbly product.
Read More

Dealing with Respiratory Infections Ayurvedically

It’s now nearly half-way into the school year. The holidays are behind us, homework is keeping everyone up too late, the weather is getting cooler and the season for upper respiratory infections, bronchitis, coughs, colds and even influenza is indisputably here. It’s been an unseasonably warm fall overall, but still pediatricians are warning parents to be especially vigilant.

Upper respiratory infections (URIs) are the most common acute complaint seen in the ambulatory health-care settings and are also the syndrome most consistently mismanaged by primary care providers. Variably described as homely, prosaic and plebian in the medical literature, the topic is rarely perceived as exciting or controversial. Nonetheless, it is clear that physicians continue to overuse antibiotics in the treatment of URI and that this "prescriptive promiscuity" has directly contributed to the widespread emergence of antibiotic resistance.
Read More