Assistant professor Panchakarma at the AIIA
Dr. Prasanth Dharmarajan PhD comes from a family of Ayurvedic doctors in Kerala and was one of the first employees of the All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA), the top institute of the AYUSH Ministry of the Indian government. In 2015, he was appointed advisor and assistant professor for Panchakarma. He built up and developed the Panchakarma Department, which now treats hundreds of patients per day. He created the first national standards for training panchakarma therapists in India and trained the Institute's postgraduate students and therapists. Zuvor he worked in the Department of Panchakarma and Integrative Medical Studies at the Mata Amritanandamayi Math and its Ayurvedic School of Kerala. There he led and taught educational programs for international students, including Western doctors and medical personnel.
Human body has been designed to resist an infinite number of changes and attacks brought about by natural environment. The secret of good health lies in successful adaptations to changing realms around the body. But somewhere on the go, we have forgot that we still remain to be one among the creations of nature. Slowly we started drifting away from nature and tried to get identified as a supreme creature who can do anything and everything within nature. From real world we started loving and living more in virtual world. From true nature we moved away, so far away, so that nature itself has to remind us how and where we belong to. We have ample examples to understand same, I guess the present situation can even be related to same.
Ayurveda, the true science of life guided us being healthy happy and content. Being a part of nature makes it obvious for any creature on its surface to get influenced by every change that happens across. Ancient Indian sages very clearly observed these subtle changes that happened in human body. They translated and recorded it in the principle of Dosha and its imbalances. As the seasons vary there can be accumulation of these Doshas by nature and spilling out when exceeded beyond limits. These can be observed as minor or major symptoms of Doshic expressions or even as disorders. One who is aware about these can prevent the accumulation or spilling out even before it happens by seasonal adaptation of specific Shodhana (Purification) indicated. Shodhana or purification has been beautifully elaborated in the context of Panchakarma by the ancient seers.
Scientific Studies have evidenced that the complex intervention of Panchakarma may be effective in assisting one’s expected and reported adherence to new and healthier behaviour patterns.1 Studies even reported PCBs and Beta-HCH levels were reduced by 46 percent and 58 percent respectively in Panchakarma group. Without this intervention, the expected drop in PCBs and Beta-HCH over two months would be only a fraction of one percent. Previously, no method had been scientifically verified to reduce levels of these lipid-soluble toxicants in the human body without causing negative side effects.2 In yet another study, pathway analysis suggests that the Panchakarma intervention results in change of metabolites across many pathways such as phospholipid biosynthesis, choline metabolism, and lipoprotein metabolism. The observed plasma metabolomic alterations may reflect a Panchakarma-induced modulation of metabotypes. Panchakarma promoted statistically significant changes in plasma levels of phosphatidylcholines, sphingomyelins and others.3
It is very clearly evident through scientific literature too that, Panchakarma therapies can not only remove systemic accumulated Doshas from body, but at the same time prevent the forth coming diseases and also significantly improve the health status of an Individual’s perusal of harmony to body mind and spirit – “Swasthya”. In this paper, will try to detail the intricacies and reality behind the relevance of Shodhana in improving health with special reference to “Swastha”.
1 Conboy L, Edshteyn I, Garivaltis H. Ayurveda and Panchakarma: measuring the effects of a holistic health intervention. ScientificWorldJournal. 2009;9:272-280. published 2009 Apr 27. doi:10.1100/tsw.2009.35
2 Alternative therapies in health and medicine (2002) vol 8 (5) 93-95
3 Peterson, C., Lucas, J., John-Williams, L. et al. Identification of Altered Metabolomic Profiles Following a Panchakarma-based Ayurvedic Intervention in Healthy Subjects: The Self-Directed Biological Transformation Initiative (SBTI). Sci Rep 6, 32609 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/srep32609
Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. A healthy hair plays an important role in making the body externally beautiful Which eventually elevates the enthusiasm and boots the morale of an individual. Alopecia is characterized by few patches of a hair loss, though in some case it can be more extreme. Hair loss (Alopecia) is a common and very challenging and capricious disease that affects approximately 1.7% of the world population and can have a profound effect on physical and emotional state. Nowadays the most common interest in hair is related to hair growth, hairstyles and hair care. In contemporary science the management of hair loss (alopecia) is challenging and treatment is focused mainly on containing disease activity. Corticosteroids are the most widely used drugs for the management of the same which are troublesome.
In Ayurvedic classics Khalitya is a disease in which Pitta Dosha combines with Vata Dosha and lodges into the pores of hairs (hair follicles) causing hair fall, later Kapha along with Rakta obstructs the pores of those hairs and makes it impossible for its regrowth. As it does not destroy the hair follicles, the potential for the regrowth is maintained for many years. Ayurvedic drugs and therapy possessing Keshya, Balya, and Rasayana properties (preserving and promoting body tissues) are very much useful. Hence management based on these principles has a strong potential to breakdown the pathogenesis of this disease and become a ray of light in the darkness. Here we discuss the elixir action of Ayurvedic treatment along with Panchakarma procedures in the management of hair loss (khalitya) with case studies.
Stroke means weakness or focal neurological deficit lasting longer than 24 hours. It occurs as a result of obstruction to the blood vessels supplying the brain (ischemic stroke) or due to intracranial haemorrhage (hemorrhagic stroke). Clinical features depend on the site of lesion. Most common clinical features are a weakness on one side of the body (Hemiparesis), Dysarthria (Speech problem), Hemiplegic gait. Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. The estimated prevalence rate of stroke range, 50 cases per 100 000 persons per year in Germany. Multiple sclerosis (MS), a progressive autoimmune disease, which is characterized by episodes of inflammation and degradation of the fatty myelin sheath surrounding the axons of the brain and spinal cord. The weakness of lower limb, sensory symptoms, blurring vision, Ataxia is commonly seen in cases of MS. Neuro epidemiological studies demonstrate that the prevalence of MS has more than doubled in the past thirty years. In Stroke and MS limited improvement can be obtained through contemporary methods and long treatment have its own side effects through modern medicine.
Ayurveda treatment can help a lot in managing and improving the quality of life in the patients of Stroke and MS. This paper reveals clinical management of stroke and MS on the lines of Ayurveda considering various common stages at which these cases are presented in front of an Ayurveda physician. Results were recorded on the basis of improvement in scales like NIHSS scale, Barthel index for Stroke and Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) for MS. The results of various case studies were found to be really encouraging which will be presented during the full paper.