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Ayurved - A different perspective

thebigthinkg

Active member
Background
I am not an ayurved 'doctor' or 'specialist'. I am describing the foundational principles of Ayurved as I understand it.

Ayur-ved simply means knowledge of life. Ayurved is based on the principle of 'design pattern' as seen in the evolution of matter and biological beings in the Universe.

Simply put, Ayurved sees a human body as a matrix of information processing systems and their responses, metabolic systems and their responses and modifiers of informational and metabolic pathways. I see it as a 'frame-work' for analyzing human body rather than as a separate system of medicine. With sufficient research, it could be used as a frame-work in modern medicine too. The framework of Ayurveda stems from a design pattern seen in evolution of Universe.

Let me be clear, that this understanding of Ayurveda, the definitions of Pitta, vAta and Kapha are what I gleam from the design pattern in the evolution of the Universe.
Observer drives evolution
Universe seems to have a design pattern, which I explained in my book titled 'Inspiring Palita Perspectives ' (1).

The core component of the design pattern is the presence of an 'observer' that is not part of evolution, but drives the evolution. If Universe is visualized as a Yajna, an evolutionary sacrifice, then the pancha prana are
  1. Dark energy that expands the Universe without contributing to the energy in the Universe,
  2. Dark matter that fills the space not interacting with matter
  3. Catalysts that drive the evolution of Chemical reactions
  4. Enzymes that drive the evolution of biological beings
  5. Witnessing/observing thought or manas-sAksi' that drives the evolution of human beings
Out of this pancha maha yajna in which five evolutionary sacrifices at different stages propel the evolution, pancha-bhutas evolve. The pancha-bhutas are the five different states of matter. They are the solid, liquid, gas, plasma and bose-einstein condensate states of matter which lay the foundation for earth, water, air, fire and inter-stellar space. The pancha-pranas of biological beings follow the pancha-bhutas design pattern of matter.
The tri-gunas in Universe
Yet another component of the design pattern is the manifestation of Sattva, Rajas and Tamo guna in every evolution. Sattva is micro-states of matter, entropy, processing information content or knowledge. Any system can be described in terms of its 'entropy' or information content. Rajas is energy, enthalpy or chemical or metabolic reactions. Any system can also be described in terms of its 'enthalpy'. These are two different but equivalent perspectives of the same system. Lack or reduction of entropy/sattva or energy/enthalpy is Tamas. Tamas counteracts sattva and rajas.

Any (thermodynamic) system can be described in terms of its 'enthalpy'/sattva or energy/rajas content. Universe is a thermodynamic system. Biological beings including human beings are thermodynamic systems. Our thoughts are also, in a way, manifestation of thermodynamic systems.

When energy is added to thermodynamic system, it can become a system with more energy or more entropy or a mix of the two. In particular when energy with similar micro-states as that of a system is added to it, the resultant system is more energetic. When energy with different micro-states as that of a system is added to it, the resultant system has more entropy.

The same happens with our thoughts also. When we surround ourselves with same information content or same set of people, when we fail to challenge our own thoughts and ideas, when we reinforce the same ideas, we become passionate or energetic. This is rajasic. When we surround ourselves with different sets of people, when we challenge our own thoughts and ideas, when we receive and process different set of ideas, we become knowledgeable and logical. This is sattvic.
The tri-gunas of human body
Our human body, being a thermodynamic system, follows a similar design pattern. Human body is said to have pancha-prAna or five metabolic organ systems (1). They are

  1. Signaling and Hormonal system (udAna)
  2. Circulatory system (vyAna)
  3. Digestive system (samAna)
  4. Excretory system (Apana)
  5. Respiratory system (prAna)
The pancha-prAnas (five organ systems) have the manifestation of the tri-gunas in all of them. In every organ system, there is sattva, the information processing that co-ordinates activities. In every organ ssytem there is rajas, the metabolism that drives energy. In every organ system, there is tamas, the modifier or controller of sattva and rajas.

These tri-gunas in human body are called Pitta (sattva/information processing), Kapha (Rajas/Metabolism) and vAta (modification of information processing and metabolism).

In human beings, Pitta is information processing (both electrical signaling and chemical messaging) in every organ system. Kapha is the metabolic processing associated with every organ system. vAta is the controller of information processing and metabolic systems by immune systems, informational and metabolic pathways.


In a disease-less human body, the information processing, metabolism and the control mechanisms of these are in a 'balance' in every organ system. A 'diseased' state occurs when either information processing or metabolism or control of these gets affected in any organ system.
pitta
Our information processing systems are electrical signaling system of nervous system and chemical messaging harmonal systems. The health of these systems and their responses is denoted by 'Pitta'.

These systems are connected to all organ systems of our body. That is every organ system of our body is doing information processing or connected to information processing systems (electrical signaling and chemical messaging) or has 'pitta'.

'Pitta' disorders are actually informational pathway disorders (at times marked by increase in bile) and could lead to schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Hence Pitta is associated with 'madness' also.

'Gut' is often called the second brain with a neuronal system of its own that is connected to brain.

Gut controls memory, mood-swings etc due to its interaction with nervous system. Gut health itself is regulated by the bile production done by liver. Hence pitta is associated with bile production is often used to denote the health of information processing systems.
kapha
Our body's metabolising systems primarily use oxygen carried in the blood for their chemical reactions. The health of the metabolizing systems and their responses is denoted by 'Kapha'.

Every organ system of our body does some metabolic activities. Hence every organ system can be said to have 'kapha'.

When metabolic activities of excretory systems or circulatory systems do not function well, 'phelgm' gets built up in lungs. When respiratory system does not function well, then also lungs get affected with phlegm. Hence Kapha is associated with phlegm and used to indicate the health of metabolic systems.
vAta
The informational processing and metabolic systems of our body are controlled by our immune system responses and the health of informational or metabolic pathways. The health of the immune system and the informational and metabolic pathways is denoted by vAta.

Every organ system is connected to immune system. They are also connected to metabolism and information processing in some way. Hence every organ system is said to have 'vAta.

vAta is generally associated with 'gas' because immune system response can trigger bacterial infections or imbalances which result in 'gas' in stomach. vAta is also associated with joint pains (rheumatoid athritis) or even skin issues because auto-immune disorders lead to these kind of troubles. vAta is also associated with paralysis because paralysis occurs due to blockages in the informational or metabolic pathways.
The 'wholistic' Ayurveda
Every organ system of our body has information processing, metabolism and control of these two. Hence every organ has Pitta, Kapha and vAta. When they co-ordinate well and are 'controlled' well they are said to be in 'balance'.

In the 'wholistic' Ayurveda, it is recognized that every organ system has information processing, metabolism and pathways/immune systems that control the information processing and metabolism. Hence the effort has to be understand what's going wrong in the organ system in these three dimensions and address them.
External manifestations of pitta, vAta and kapha
Either we are not there in the state of 'wholistic' Ayurveda or we lost a whole lot of knowledge in it. What is practised currently is by understanding the external manifestations of pitta, vAta and kapha.

For eg., when a virus or any foreign body attack happens on our organ systems, the immune system responds or the vAta is put to imbalance. But then the immune system often over-responds depending on the multiplication of foreign body. The response of immune system can drown the lungs and kidney cannot excrete out at the same rate as which the lungs are getting drowned with fluids. Thus the metabolic pathways go into imbalance and 'kapha' is also trigged.

Similarly when circulatory system is not functioning well (heart not functioning well), then the metabolic pathway is blocked or vAta is put to imbalance. This results in kidney not functioning well and the result is phlegm gets accumulated in lungs, thus triggering kapha.

Overeating foods such as meat, cheese, milk, saturated fats could lead to more bile production and harm the gut lining. This lead to vAta, the blockages in information pathways as gut neurons are affected. In turn this could cause mood-swings, memory loss and cognitive disabilities. Thus vAta leads to Pitta. Reversely food rich in unsaturated fatty acids or those that promote gut-health (probiotic like curd) can improve memory, emotional responses and behaviors. Thus a reduced vAta leads to a better Pitta.

Sleeplessness, Mental exhaustion modify the information processing (nervous and hormonal) systems (pitta) and trigger more bile production to digest foods to compensate for the lack of rest to gut. Such hormonal or signaling disorders can also lead to decrease in production of bile and hence not breaking down of lipids in the gut. This in turn can blocks the informational pathways from the gut causing mood-swings and loss of memory capabilities. Thus pitta can lead to vAta.

For eg., rheumatoid arthritis or many skin problems like psoriasis are due to auto-immune disorders. Immune system being the modifier of informational processing and metabolic systems get diseased or over respond on their own in these cases resulting in inflammation of the joints or dry-skin. Thus vAta is put to imbalance. Thus vAta can lead to joint pains or psoriasis kind of disorders.
Monitoring the pitta, vAta and kapha
The monitoring of pitta, vata and kapha are currently done based on the external manifestations as described above.

Pitta is monitored by estimating/understanding the bile production or gut health, sleep patterns and mental performance. Kapha is monitored by the health of lungs, performance of the excretory systems. vAta is monitored by the identifying metabolic and informational pathway blockages as indicated by performance of muscles and joints and immune disorders as indicated by disorders of skin or gas in stomach.

Plant or animal products that are rich in vitamins, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory manage 'vAta' by promoting better immunity and clearing up blocks in metabolic pathways.

Plant or animal products that help manage better gut health, sleep or mental health manage 'pitta' by promoting better information processing capabilities.

Plant or animal products that help manage better excretion or circulation manage 'kapha' by promoting better metabolism.
Challenges in Ayurvedic framework
These are the challenges for ayurvedic framework as I see it.
  1. I see Ayurveda as an integral part of the overall vedic literature. Since the vedic literature itself is poorly understood, Ayurveda is also poorly understood.
  2. There is also no central body that promotes standardization of Ayurvedic principles. Hence no standard definitions of Pitta, vAta and Kapha exists across ayurvedic physicians, as far as I know.
  3. While what we know of 'ayurveda' is only through the external manifestations of pitta, vata and kapha, in-depth of understanding, alignment and standardization of these principles through research studies in the light of modern medicine, can lead to usage of this framework in modern medicine also.
  4. Knowledge of what plant and animal products work, how and why they work for different diseases, is not well understood. Knowledge of these products have been carried over for generations and we have not invested in modern research enough to understand them better.
  5. Understanding the symptoms of a patient requires a lot of intelligence and in-depth understanding of how organ systems work, which may be lacking in several self-taught ayurvedic physicians today.
References
1. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082LMSJSL
 
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tbs

Well-known member
hi

ayurveda based on vaata/pita/kapha basics....but less side affects...its ok ....
 

prasad1

Well-known member
The ancient practice of Ayurvedic medicine has clearly helped millions of people create healthier lives. However, like any other medical system, Ayurvedic therapies have contraindications and the potential for adverse effects or side effects. This is of particular concern when therapies are used incorrectly, are abused or administered improperly, or are prescribed by unqualified practitioners.


Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional system of medicine practiced in the Indian subcontinent is considered to be devoid of adverse events. We report three cases which highlight the possibility of adverse events related with the use of ayurvedic products. A 35 year old woman with hepatitis took ayurvedic powder medicine and swarnabhasma (gold salt) and had her liver injury worsened, possibly due to alkaloids, and developed nephrotic syndrome, possibly due to gold salt. A 57 year old hypertensive man was taking ayurvedic medicine containing reserpine which had long been withdrawn from the allopathic system of medicine due to wide range of side effects. A 47 year old woman with rheumatoid arthritis was taking an unknown tablet containing steroid as an adulterant for 2 years and developed side effects typical of steroid excess. We would like to highlight the fact that ayurvedic medicines do have propensity to cause adverse events due to adulteration or inherent constituents like alkaloids, and hence may not always be completely safe.



TBSgaruji,

Conclusion
Ayurvedic medicines may be beneficial to health, but are not devoid of adverse events which may be due to adulteration or some inherent constituents like alkaloids. Each chemical compound in any ayurvedic preparation should be listed in the manufacturer’s label along with the amount which may lead to proper dosing, and may reduce adverse events. Proper counselling by health professionals, especially regarding adverse events, will play an important role in minimizing harm.

The common misconception about Ayurveda doesn't have side effects comes because of 2 reasons

  1. In modern medicine, a medicine is released in the market only after years of research and testing. Which means, thorough study has been done about its side effects and it is well documented. But in case of Ayurveda no such study or documentation is done. So people believe that Ayurvedic medicines don't have any side effects. But still I remember there are some medicines which are not suitable for kids, pregnant ladies etc.
  2. Ayurvedic medicines are herbal and comes from nature. You may disagree with me, but for me, everything is chemical. Common salt which we get from sea has the same effect and side-effects as the sodium chloride we prepare from the lab. And basically every 'chemicals' are ultimately natural.
There are poisons in Nature too:
Datura is a genus of nine species of poisonous Vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae.

All species of Datura are poisonous, especially their seeds and flowers which can cause respiratory depression, arrhythmias, hallucinations, psychosis, as well as death if taken internally.
In the Ayurvedic text Sushruta Samhita different species of Datura are also referred to as kanaka and unmatta.
 
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prasad1

Well-known member
Yes.Ayurveda drugs has side effects.

Though ayurvedic drugs are mainly of herbal orgin,herbs of known toxicity are also used after necessary purification. Castor,Datura,Strychnos etc are a few to mention.Many of such herbs contains potent alkaloids and glycosides which has neurological and cardiac toxicity.Un-monitored use/long term self medication of Arishtas and asavas (eg.Dasamoolarishta/Abhayarishta) has toxic effects on liver causing alcohol induced liver diseases.While these were some of the side effects of purified drugs further,non- standardised and poorly manufactured drugs may also contain toxic levels of Arsenic and Lead that can cause damage to kidneys.

Drugs of mineral origin has to be used with extreme caution.Even highly toxic mercurial preperations are used.Unless it is highly purified,which is rather difficult,it can cause irreversible damage to kidneys.A good physician will prescribe those medicines only when the disease is in a terminal stage and there are no better options available. Remember that Mineral drugs are classified ayurvedic drugs and must be used only by the prescription of a qualified ayurvedic professional.

So it is highly advisable to consult a qualified ayurvedic physician before taking any of those herbal medicines or organic supplements.

 

prasad1

Well-known member
Vera Fayyaq, MD at University of California, Berkeley


Ayurvedic medicine, especially in liquid form (kadhas, kasahayas) will contain large amounts of alcohol. The alcohol content in Ayurvedic medicine can be 4 times that of a beer or wine. Some Ayurvedic medicine has upto 20% alcohol, while as most beer only contain 3.5 to 5% alcohol. This large concentartion of acohol is completely unsafe for pregnant women, and can cause birth defects in children.
 

prasad1

Well-known member
I personally use ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of non-urgent ailment like a cold or upset stomach.
As long as it is for a short time.
For long time care of chronic ailment, I go to an MD doctor.
 

thebigthinkg

Active member
My endeavor in this series is to translate from Caraka Samhita. I started it with a top-level view, without referring Caraka Samhita.

Ayurveda today is a non-standardized framework with varying and conflicting views, translations and understanding. In fact I don't see it as an alternate system of medicine at all. It is an ancient framework of medicine, whose principles and practices applies to modern medicine too. But that's later part.

But it is absolutely true that due to non-standardization and conflicting views, it's easier to indulge in quackery, adulteration etc in Ayurveda, compared to other domains. In fact falsities and quackery surrounds many of even famous ayurvedic physicians because of lack of standardization and peer reviews.

With AYUSH ministry, I hope we try to standardize our knowledge to some extent, by researching the scriptures and combining it with experience of various people.
 

tbs

Well-known member
My endeavor in this series is to translate from Caraka Samhita. I started it with a top-level view, without referring Caraka Samhita.

Ayurveda today is a non-standardized framework with varying and conflicting views, translations and understanding. In fact I don't see it as an alternate system of medicine at all. It is an ancient framework of medicine, whose principles and practices applies to modern medicine too. But that's later part.

But it is absolutely true that due to non-standardization and conflicting views, it's easier to indulge in quackery, adulteration etc in Ayurveda, compared to other domains. In fact falsities and quackery surrounds many of even famous ayurvedic physicians because of lack of standardization and peer reviews.

With AYUSH ministry, I hope we try to standardize our knowledge to some extent, by researching the scriptures and combining it with experience of various people.
hi

i read charak samhita...Kerala is land of ayurveda....when i was young...i used to go to ayurveda

clinics/pharmacy.....i used to take CHAVANA PRASH for more than ten years...
 

renuka

Well-known member
Whatever said and done Ayurvedic practitioners should also have have an Indemnity Insurance and be ready to face law suits if treatment goes wrong...only then it would be more evidence based and also have a CPD(Continuing Professional Development) requirements to have their practicing certificates renewed.

Cos otherwise anyone can get away with negligence.
 

Jaykay767

Well-known member
Ayurvedic medicines should be put through the rigor of modern clinical study and trails.

All the medicines should be clinically analysed for any toxic substances and put to controlled studies before it can be put to larger use.

Instead of doing this and proving the effectiveness of our ayurveda medicines, there is endless propaganda as usual by the right
 

a-TB

Well-known member
do we have to bring left and right into this topic. Ayurveda as a science will benefit by doing clinical trials, publish papers in good journals and leave politics out of the area
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
Coronavirus | Chennai-based ayurvedic pharmacist dies after drinking concoction of his own preparation

A 47-year-old pharmacist-cum-production manager of a Chennai-based Ayurvedic product company in T.Nagar died after drinking a chemical preparation he reportedly formulated for tackling the Coronavirus. The managing director of the company, who is an ophthamologist by qualification, was hospitalised after he fainted soon after he ingested the chemical component.




 

prasad1

Well-known member
Coronavirus | Chennai-based ayurvedic pharmacist dies after drinking concoction of his own preparation

A 47-year-old pharmacist-cum-production manager of a Chennai-based Ayurvedic product company in T.Nagar died after drinking a chemical preparation he reportedly formulated for tackling the Coronavirus. The managing director of the company, who is an ophthamologist by qualification, was hospitalised after he fainted soon after he ingested the chemical component.




You can keep talking about any superstition. The proof is in the pudding. A placebo can not save you.
 

sravna

Well-known member
The beauty about the Indian systems is that knowledge through conception of mind was given more importance than knowledge due to experimentation. I believe people then had greater conviction about their theories as good intuition gives that conviction.
 

renuka

Well-known member
The beauty about the Indian systems is that knowledge through conception of mind was given more importance than knowledge due to experimentation. I believe people then had greater conviction about their theories as good intuition gives that conviction.
Dear Sravna,

The Art of Knowing is what we call the Shristhi Dristhi.
That is we do not form preconceived notions but rather only form our views(Dristhi) in a holistic manner of seeing creation(Shristhi) as it is.

Acquired knowledge eg science etc is fine as long we do not allow acquired knowledge to tint our views.


When we lose all the tinted lens views, we start to perceive our acquired knowledge in dimensions we never knew existed.
Hence every type of knowledge is important including experimentation...its just 2 sides of the same coin.

Mentally being a non biased receiver of information and carrying out an experiment to determine the mode of action and effects.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Dear Renuka,

Hope you are doing well.

I did not say that knowledge through experiments is not important or that it is inferior. But the knowledge through a deep intuition gives by itself a very strong conviction about its correctness.
 

renuka

Well-known member
Dear Renuka,

Hope you are doing well.

I did not say that knowledge through experiments is not important or that it is inferior. But the knowledge through a deep intuition gives by itself a very strong conviction about its correctness.

Hi Sravna,good to see you in forum again.


Actually there is no issue with knowledge , whether its a revelation or intuition or experiment.
Its just how we do not taint it with our fixed views.

Right now for a cure for COVID-19 we have to rely on various aspects of knowledge:

1)The observation kind
2)The experimental kind
3)The deep intuition kind.

For the long term basis there has to be changes in life style of people.
A vaccine though it can eradicate a disease yet in the real sense its a "short term" plan cos we humans would still not want to mend our ways... thinking there is a back up cure.

Long term changes would rewire the human behavior something which remains a distant dream.
 

sravna

Well-known member
Hi Sravna,good to see you in forum again.


Actually there is no issue with knowledge , whether its a revelation or intuition or experiment.
Its just how we do not taint it with our fixed views.

Right now for a cure for COVID-19 we have to rely on various aspects of knowledge:

1)The observation kind
2)The experimental kind
3)The deep intuition kind.

For the long term basis there has to be changes in life style of people.
A vaccine though it can eradicate a disease yet in the real sense its a "short term" plan cos we humans would still not want to mend our ways... thinking there is a back up cure.

Long term changes would rewire the human behavior something which remains a distant dream.
Well said Renuka
 

Janaki Jambunathan

Well-known member
Patanjali on Tuesday launched 'Coronil and Swasari', what it claims is the Ayurvedic cure for treating COVID-19, which they said has been shown 100 per cent favourable results during clinical trials on affected patients, at Patanjali Yogpeeth in Haridwar.

Is this 100 % Favorable response intuition?

Proof of pudding is in eating it. Ramdev can try that like the pharmacist and MD of Chenna based Ayurvedic drug company!


 
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