Prevention of Aging with Ayurveda by Dr. V. V. Lakshmiprasuna SignUp
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Prevention of Aging with Ayurveda
by Dr. V. V. Lakshmiprasuna Bookmark and Share
 

Aging is an inevitable change for all living organisms. Most people go panic about getting old. It's not the aging, but the consequences of aging which troubles them. By following the principles of ayurveda it is possible to slow down the process of aging, restore physical and mental strength and prevent the consequences of aging up to certain extent. In ayurveda old age is called jara. It is of two types.

1.  Akala jara- premature aging
2.  Kalaja jara- timely aging

Akala Jara- Premature Aging

Akalajara or premature aging or early onset of aging comes to those who don't follow the proper diet and behavior regimen. The main reasons for this are1(cha.chi.1/2/3)

Diet:

Amla, Lavana, Katu rasa ati sevana (More intake of Sour, salt, pungent, foods), Laghu, Sushka saka and mamsa (Dry meat, vegetables and very light food), More intake of gingely, rice varieties, More intake of sprouts, Incompatible diet, Unsuitable diet, Excessive dry and alkali food, Heavy foods, Untimely eating, Irregular food habits

Behavioral:

Sleeping in the day time, Excessive indulgence in sex, Excessive indulgence in alcohol, Excessive exercise, Extreme Fear, anxiety, anger, depression, lust, physical exertion

With these improper diet and behavior makes people prone to early aging. Excessive intake of katurasa (hot and spicy) food induces excessive influx of calcium ions in neurons which damage them. Laghu ruksha ahara means the food deficient in micro nutrients like magnesium, zinc etc.

Excessive exercise induces damage to mitochondria and DNA of muscle cells. Timely sleeping in the night time bestows health, longevity, happiness, strength, etc. night time is awaking in the night time cause the vata to get vitiated and induces dryness to the body. Untimely sleeping causes lot of ill-effects on the body; it may even take away the longevity and health (caraka sutrasthana21/38-40).

We all know how mental faculties like fear, anxiety, and depression affect the body and cause many psychosomatic disorders. These are all the precipitating factors for early aging.  

Rasayana2

The word rasayana contains two words rasa and ayana. Rasa means the body fluid which is responsible for the nourishment of the entire body. Ayana means to channelize in a proper way/ to bestow/. This rasa circulates in the entire body, penetrates into minute channels and nourishes the body. This rasa should be of good quality should be in adequate quantity, it should be properly circulated to provide the nourishment the cells need and it enables healthy long life.  This rasa circulates in the body and transforms into dhatus. If it is deficient qualitatively and quantitatively it hampers all the dhatus leading to various diseases.

Rasayana is defined as

 Caraka defined rasayana as a way to attain excellent rasadi dhatu and it imparts healthy long life, good memory and other benefits2.

Chakrapani defined that if rasayana taken by healthy persons it bestows strength to the ojus and dhatus of the body.3

Gangadhararay in his commentary jalpakalpataru defined that the therapy which prevents jara (old age itself is disease) as rasayana4

Sushruta defined rasayana as a measure that prolongs longevity, improves mental faculties, develops positive health, and provides resistance and immunity against diseases5. Dalhana defined that rasayana is a measure to yield excellent pharmacokinetics and it restores the youthful healthy long life6.

Sarangadhara defined that the therapy which prevents from aging and disease is rasayana7.

The benefits of rasayana (rejuvenation) therapy are:

the promotion of memory and intelligence; immunity against disease and decay; the preservation of youth, luster, complexion and voice; the maintenance of optimum strength of the body and sense; it confers the capacity or the achievement of what is said; and the command of the respect and regard of people and the promotion of bodily glow2.

So to prevent the old age and to attain healthy long life, rasayana therapy is the best choice. To prevent the akala jara achara rasayana is the best rasayana therapy.

Achara Rasayana8

Achara rasayana is a mode of living behavior and conduct. It envisages a code of conduct to lead stress free life which in turn fetches longevity. The persons who wish to live longer and stay away from diseases should follow these principles. (Ca.Chi.1/1/7)

Speaking pleasant and truthful words always, Maintaining mental peace, Should have control over the mind and mental faculties, Should be Courageous, Reciting the mahamantras and should be interested in purification therapies, Tapahsampannata, Should always associate with donations and righteous things, Kindness towards all includes animals like cow etc., Respectful and friendly attitude towards the elders, teachers, parents, learned ones and god, Knowledge of yukti (rational thinking), Awareness of time and place, Belief in god., Healthy habits and thoughts, Philanthropy, Regular use of ghee and milk.

Things to be avoided

Anger, violence and jealousy, Indulgence in liquor and sex, Fatigue due to excessive strain, Roughness in words, Cruel and sinful acts.  

Kalaja Jara- Timely Aging

Timely aging means which comes naturally to every one. Human body is called shareeera, has been defined as "jiryate anena iti shareera" means which gets decayed and decomposed every moment.

So the change is inevitable. But the process of aging can be slowed down by following rasayana therapy. The onset and manifestation of each decade can be postponed by using the rasayana therapy.

Selection of Rasayana according to age

Sarangadhara mentioned a very beautiful quotation about aging. With each passing decade childhood, growth, luster/beauty, intellect, luster of skin, Vision, sexual ability, physical ability, thinking ability, and locomotion starts to loss from the body (Saragadhara samhita purva khanda). A monograph prepared by K.N.Udupa and R.H.Singh shows the guidelines for selecting drug for specific decade.

Decades of life

Specific loss from the body

Suitable Rasayana Drugs

0-10

Balya (childhood)

Vacha (Acorus calamus)
Kasmari (Gmelina arborea)

11-20

Vruddhi (growth)

Bala (Sida cordifoila)
Aswagandha (Withania somnifera)

21-30

Chavi (luster)

Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)

31-40

Medha (intellect)

Shankhapushpi (convalvulus pluricalis)
Jyotishmati (Celestrus paniculata)

41-50

Twak (luster of skin)

Bhringaraja (Eclipta alba)
Somaraji (Centratherum anthelminthicum)

51-60

Drusti (Vision)

Saptamruta loha

61-70

Sukra (sexual ability)

Atmagupta (Mucuna prurita)
Munjataka (Orchis longifolia)

71-80

Vikrama (physical ability)

 

81-90

Buddhi (thinking ability)

 

91-100

Karmendriya  (locomotion)

 

In the last decades drugs are not effective.

Rasayana drugs as per the constitution9 (su.chi.27/6 Dalhana)

Every individual is bestowed with specific prakruti (constitution) from his birth time itself. According to their prakruti, Vata persons are prone to suffer from dry rough skin, etc; pitta persons are prone to suffer from premature graying of hair, wrinkles, etc; kapha persons are prone to suffer from weight gain, inability to loss weight etc; so regular intake of this ghee, milk, honey makes them less prone to those disorders. Regular intake of these rasayanas a/c to their constitution prevents the diseases which are more prone to them.

Prakruti

Diseases prone to suffer from

Specific measure to prevent

Vata

Dryness, hardness and roughness

of the skin, Cracking of the hair,

nails etc.

Stiffness and pain in the joints

Constipation

Insomnia

Regular intake of ghee

Pitta

Burning sensation in the body, excessive temperature

Excessive sweating,
  excessive thirst,

Acid eructation,

Premature graying of the hair

Wrinkles

Regular intake milk

Kapha

Heaviness of the body,

  easy weight gain, unable to lose 
  weight, drowsiness

Excessive sleep

Laziness

Obesity

Regular intake honey

Other rasayana regimens

Brahmacharya10

- by following brahmacharya sukra dhatu which is the essence of all dhatus gets restored in the body, and that is greatest strength to the body. (ca.su.25/44.)

Regular oleation- (ca.su.14) with regular oleation aging can be delayed/ slowed. (manda jara)

Regular use of ghee, milk, amalaki, prevents all complications of old age.

Some important rasayanas:  

1. Medhya rasaynas:  these promote intellect. (ca.ci.1/3/33,34)
 
i.    Mandukaparni swarasa
ii.   Yastimadhu churna
iii.   Guduchi samula swarasa
iv.   Sankhapushpi kalka
 
2. Amalaka (Emblica officinalis) - Free radical theory is one of the most important theories of aging. Free radicals damage the body in many ways. To remove the free radicals anti oxidants are the drug of choice. Amalaki contains plenty of anti-oxidants. So Charaka mentioned that amalaki is best vayasthapaka drug (which restores age) (ca.su.25/43).
 
The rasayana's which contain amalaki are- Chyavana prasha, Amalaka rasayana, Amalakayasa rasayana, Amalaka ghrutam, Amalaka lehyam, Amalaka churnam, Triphala rasayanam, dhatri rasayana, dhatriloha.
 
3. Hareetaki (Terminalia chebula)- it should be taken along with pippali, saindhava lavana, sunthi, honey and guda, restores 100 healthy years. (A.HRU.UT.39/147)

4. Bhallataka (Semicarpus anacardium) (A.HR.U.39/75)-it is well known drug for immuno modulation and is very useful as adjuvant in carcinoma. It is indicated in all kapha disorders, constipation, it promotes intellect and ignites the digestive fire. The drugs which contain bhallataka are Bhallataka ghruta, Bhalaltaka lehya, Amruta bhallataka lehya etc.

5. Swarna- best rasayana potentiates other drugs.

6.  Loha (A.HR.U.39/151)chakradatta mentioned ?loham sarvam rasayanam? is very good rasayana, useful in anemic conditions.

7.  Shilajit (ca.ci.1/3/65-68)- shilajit is sarvarogahara, (cures all diseases), sreshta rasayana (best rasayana). Some precautions are necessary and should be taken under proper supervision.

8.  Pippali- (A.HR.U.39/98)- it should be taken along with milk, ghee or honey. It prevents all disorders. Promotes intellect, restores youth, indicated in respiratory disorders, edema, increases digestive fire.

 

References
1. Charaka chikitsa 1/2/3
2. Charaka chikitsa 1/1/8
3. Svasthasyorjaskaram yattad rasayanam ucyate -Charaka chikitsa 1/1/8 Ayurveda deepika
4. Yajjaravyadhi vidhwamsi bheshajam tad rasayanam
(jaraiva vyadhiriti jara vyadhi tad vyadhiharana shabde ravyapte) -Charaka chikitsa 1/1/8 jalpakalpataru
5. Sushruta chikitsa 27/1, su.su.1/7
6. Rasadi dhatunamidamapyayanam athava bheshajasritanam rasaviryavipaka
prabhavaparamayurbalaviryanam vayasthairyakaranamayanam labhopayo rasayanam?
Sushruta chikitsa 27/1, nibandha sangraha
7. Yajjaravyadhi vidhwamsi bheshajam tad rasayanam - sarangadhara samhita
8. Charaka chikitsa 1/4/31-36
9. Su.chi.27/6 Dalhana
10. Ca.su.25/44.

Disclaimer: 
Information provided in this article is for the sole purpose of imparting education on Ayurveda and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have a medical condition, please consult your physician.

26-Oct-2008
More by :  Dr. V. V. Lakshmiprasuna
 
Views: 4189
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