Specialist for physical and rehabilitative medicine, medical psychotherapist
Dr. med. Kalyani Nagersheth has been working as an Ayurveda doctor since 2000 and was head of the Ayurveda department at the Habichtswald-Klinik, Kassel. Today she runs her own practice for Ayurveda medicine in Frankfurt. She also takes over the medical supervision of Panchakarma cures at the Rosenberg Ayurveda Health and Spa Centre. One of her specialties is Western and Ayurvedic Phythotherapy. She is a book author and has many years of experience as a lecturer in Ayurvedic medicine.
Categorize native plants ayurvedically
Kalyani Nagersheth M.D.
The idea for this work arose because for allopathically trained doctors in Germany who practice āyurvedische medicine, overlaps, but also differences are noticeable. For example, in āyurvedischen Medicine dill seeds are recommended especially for dysmenorrhea, but in western practice they have proven to be completely ineffective for this indication. A publication (Schmidt S, Melzig MF. Anethum graveolens L. - The Dill. Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie 2013; 34: 249 -254), clarifies this disproportion: Indian dill is Anethum graveolens sowa, European dill is Anethum graveolens graveolens. The two subspecies differ in the composition of the essential oil in the fruits, which is responsible for the spasmolytic effect. This leads to the conclusion that not all plants have the āyurvedischen indications in Europe.
Other examples are found for plants that belong to the same species but have completely different indications in India and Europe. For example Vitex agnus castus (relevant in Europe in gynaecology) and Vitex negundo (used in Āyurveda for pain therapy).
Āyurvedische Classification of plants
In Āyurveda all substances are categorized according to rasa (taste), guņa (property), vīrya (thermal potency) and vipāka (effect after digestion - systemic effect). Now the native plants are not categorized according to this system. Therefore, one has to find a different solution. The taste (rasa) is usually well perceptible. However, plants are mixtures of many substances and therefore often have several flavours next to each other. Here we divide into dominant and secondary tastes. The properties (guņa) are also sometimes clearly perceptible, e.g. a comfrey root is very slimy. When determining the properties, however, the ingredients of the plants are also helpful, e.g. tannins are always drying, mucilages are always slimy, etc. The thermal potency (vīrya) is felt after taking the plant, the human being feels hot or cold. In order to feel this clearly, however, a high dose is required. According to the āyurvedischen doctrine, there are connections between rasa and vīrya which facilitate this classification: the sour, salty and pungent taste causes heat; the sweet, bitter and astringent taste causes cold. Of course there are exceptions, which are based on experience. Similarly, the effect after digestion (vipāka) can be classified: the sweet and salty tastes form a "sweet" vipāka; the sour taste remains "sour"; the pungent, bitter and astringent tastes act "pungent" after digestion.
The concept of metabolism in the West and modern medicine is divided into the functions of various organs and systems as well as its dysfunctions. Diabetes, hypothyroidism, obesity are just a few examples. In Ayurveda, all this is defined by the function of Agni in its different modes of action and states of balance or imbalance. The vision of Ayurveda is therefore functionally transversal regardless of organs and systems and therefore allows to intervene at different levels simultaneously rather than in separate compartments. Therefore, interventions such as ayurvedic physical treatments or action through Marma points can offer interesting ideas for simple therapeutic strategies with generalised and simultaneous effect in areas of the body related to each other. Ayurvedic intervention can, therefore, be of help both for a better understanding of direct and indirect problems related to metabolism and for simplification of therapeutic intervention. Physical treatments in Ayurveda are essential and can offer real and concrete help. On this occasion, we will learn some useful marma points to keep Agni in an optimal state, and we will experience together with a simple sequence of treatment.
Alzheimer's disease (AD), more than any other, is the most terrible disease that people can suffer. At a time when we know more about the brain than ever before, brain diseases, including AD, are the number one causes of death. How is this possible?
Where does it go wrong in people's development that right now, the solutions to brain diseases are one of the most significant challenges to solve for scientists worldwide?
In April 2003, the International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium for Human Genome Research announced that the project was ready, even two years before the deadline. This enormous milestone in human history has not produced a pill to combat Alzheimer's disease. If it's not in our DNA, where is it?
More money is being spent on research and drugs to restore the function of our brains than ever before. So far, no medicine has been found to cure Alzheimer's disease. How is that possible?
In addition to these unanswered questions, there are also shocking figures.The number of people with dementia is estimated at 50 million worldwide. Currently, this is greater than the total population of Spain and is projected to almost triple by 2050.
The number of people with dementia is expected to rise more rapidly in Asia compared to the rest of the world.
Dementia can be utterly overwhelming for the families of affected people, their friends, and colleagues. Physical, emotional, and financial pressures can cause high stress to families and carers, and support is required from the health, social, economic, and legal systems. According to WHO the calculation in 2015 is that the total global societal cost of dementia was estimated to be US$ 818 billion. Now the figures are even much higher.
However, there may be an answer. Not in modern conventional health care, not in the high-tech laboratories of the pharmaceutical industries, but we can find answers in the ancient Ayurveda, the science of life.
We can reverse Alzheimer disease with the insights of Ayurveda by restoring the metabolic dysfunction that lay underneath.
In our center in Witharen, we cultivate Atma Choorna consisting of a group of Ayurveda herbs that boost the metabolic system and promote oxygen in the body, including the mind.
In my lecture, I will explain the restoration of this metabolic dysfunction, using two case studies from my practice.