Why is the safety of ‘Guduchi’ being questioned ?

“Guduchi” is a popularly used Ayurvedic herb, known to boost the immune system against viral and bacterial infections. Guduchi is commonly known as ‘Giloy’.

Concoctions and extracts of its roots and stems have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and are deemed as safe to use.

The medicinal properties of Guduchi extracts are abundant, contributing to its popularity.

Guduchi extracts contain antioxidants that help fight free radicals and improve the white blood cells (WBCs) action against pathogens in our body.

Its chemical constituents include Glucosides, flavonoids, tannins, steroids etc. which contribute to its anti-diabetic and lipid lowering properties. It is in fact beneficial for individuals suffering from liver diseases.

It has anti-pyretic properties due to which it is administered during disease conditions as well. Guduchi helps in detoxifying and purifying the blood. All of these benefits and characteristics promote its overall immunity boosting properties. Guduchi as well as several other herbs and drugs had regained their popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone was giving their immunity the most priority, plummeting the consumption of these products.

A recent study conducted on Guduchi claimed that it is harmful to the liver and is capable of causing serious damage to the liver cells. This study was conducted on a set of patients out of which a few were already suffering from auto-immune diseases such as Thalassemia and diabetes. Their liver cells showed damage that may be linked to Guduchi consumption. Since, these patients were already immuno-compromised and had co-morbidities, the results of the study cannot be confirmed and generalised for all individuals.

Consuming Guduchi along with prescribed medications during infections or disease conditions has proven to be safe and efficacious in improving patients health.

Safe amounts of Guduchi can also be consumed on a daily basis by individuals to promote overall health and immunity. Two tablets daily is safe for consumption by adults and one tablet daily is safe for consumption by children above the age of 10 years.

If an individual is already suffering from certain ailments they should consult their physician before administering any type of medication. The safety of patients is of paramount importance.

Any food item or medicinal product we consume can be safe or harmful to our health depending on the quantities in which they are consumed. Excessive or too little of either can show unwanted effects and be hazardous to our health.

It is upon us to read thoroughly the notions about safety and efficacy of drugs. Informed decisions about the advantages and disadvantages of herbs and drugs should be taken in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle and avoid any unwanted conditions. Headlines can be misleading or a squabble about different ideologies.

Why is there a sudden shift of focus to ‘Food, Diet and Nutrition’ ?

In recent years, the world has seen a drastic shift of importance to the ‘healthy life’. Everyone wants to live a healthy and balanced life. Maintaining a certain lifestyle starts with we consume for our mental and physical growth. It is important to understand about Food, Diet and Nutrition and its effects, if we desire certain outcomes. For that, we need to understand what each of these terms means. 

Food is any substance that humans, animals or plants consume in order to sustain life and maintain growth. Food provides nutrition to an individual. The sources of food for humans are generally from plants and animals. The main components of food that we consume are, Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats, Vitamins, Micronutrient and Minerals. 

Food is cooked to make it both palatable and easy to absorb. Obviously, culinary arts are very important and contribute to the taste of the food as well as in making the food interesting and picturesque. 

There are five tastes recognised by modern medicine, namely,

-Sweet, 

-Sour, 

-Salty, 

-Bitter and 

-Umami (Japanese). 

Ayurveda describes six tastes. They are: 

-Madhur (sweet), 

-Amla (sour), 

-Lavana (salt), 

-Tikta (bitter), 

-Katu (pungent) and 

-Kashaya (astringent). 

“Diet” is defined as the food and drinks that is provided and consumed by one. It is meant to provide habitual nourishment. This term ‘diet’ has different meanings and sentiments for each individual. There are various factors which influence ones chosen diet. The various types of diets popularly heard of are, Vegetarian diet, Non-vegetarian diet, Paleo diet, Keto diet, Low-crab Diet etc. The diet culture evolves and changes with time, with new reigning trends taking over the older ones.

Nutrition is not just providing or obtaining food for the purpose of health and growth but, it is also the process involving ingestion or taking in food, digestion and absorption of food. Absorption and assimilation of useful elements is followed by metabolism. Assimilation of the absorbed elements leads to the nourishment and growth of the body. Based on their nutritional value of consumed foods, diets are either termed as ‘balanced’ or ‘deficient’. Severely deficient diets, for a longer duration of time causes malnutrition. Whereas, a well balanced diet bestows health.

Food is not only health promotive but is also described as medicine or containing medicinal properties. For example, The bitter taste of coffee can prevent an asthmatic attack and the sweet taste gives energy and satiety. According to Ayurveda, humans are broadly divided in to three classes based on their constitutional mental makeup,

-Satwic, 

-Rajasic and 

-Tamasic. 

All of these three have different choices regarding diets and tastes. Satwics tend to prefer sweet and nourishing foods. Rajasics prefer hot, salty and sour foods which may cause ill health. Tamasic diet includes unpalatable, stale items or foods that lowers energy levels. There are certain rules related to the method of preparation and consumption of food in these 3 diets. 

Up until recent times, the role of large intestine in the process of digestion was not well understood. Digestion of food in the large intestine is mainly dependent on its micro flora or gut micro biome. Modern scientific research on micro flora has revolutionized the understanding of the structure and function of gut microbiome with reference to digestive, neuro immune and biological processes in the gut, creating a paradigm shift in the understanding of host micro biome symbiosis.

The relation of Diet and gut microbiome: Different types of diets are believed to be associated with colonies of different types of genera of microbes in gut flora. Thus, food borne microbes colonize the gut. These include bacteria, fungi and even viruses. Long term dietary habits influence the structure or composition of colonies, as well as the activity of trillions of gut microflora. 

For example, A non-vegetarian diet promotes bile tolerant microbes, viz., Alistipes, Bacteroides etc. It enhances the expression of genes that biosynthesise vitamins, carcinogenic compounds & beta lactamase genes. An animal origin diet and western diets with high protein, fat and sugar content show a predominant presence of Bilophila wadworthins. They also alter the genetic composition and metabolic profile of gut microbiome leading to genesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBS)  and metabolic syndromes such as, obesity, cardio vascular diseases as well cancer.

Gut microbial metabolic products are known to cause many pathological conditions including several heart diseases. For example, The gut bacterial metabolic by product Trimethyline N-Oxide (TMAO) is now considered as a marker for myocardial infarction (heart attack). Recent research on autism has shown its association with Sutterella wadworthens present in the gut. 

Fermicutes are more prevalent in the gut of those consuming a vegetarian diet. Examples include, Roseburia, Eubacterium, Ruminococcus bromi, etc. These microbes metabolize indigestible plant poly saccharides. 

Dysbiosis is the state of imbalance that disturbs the homeostasis of normal gut microbiota composition leading to a large number of diseases. Malnutrition also promotes disease producing rogue bacteria

The current pandemic has brought back the olden traditions of washing hands and feet before consuming foods. One must sit at ease, preferably in a pleasant environment with peace in his mind. Food must be consumed in moderate and measured quantities. 

Today’s diets are bringing out older practices with new names without paying homage to them. The new age dieting culture has essentially brought back to light some of the practices that were originally prescribed by Acharya Charaka. They are: 

  1. Hitashee syat I – Consume foods that are wholesome. This diet should be balanced in calories and nutrients. Green or coloured vegetables and fruits should form a part of daily diet.
  2. Matrashee syat I – Eat in a measured quantity. 
  3. Jeerne ashneeyat l – Eat only after the previously consumed food is fully digested.  

This brings to our knowledge that, excessive calorie intake with less expenditure of energy, due to sedentary life styles leads to metabolic syndromes such as, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. Whenever the food intake is deficient both in quality and quantity it causes malnutrition leading to wasting disorders. 

Acharya Vagbhata advises for good health promotion and disease free life the following.

Lastly, it is important to have a regular daily intake of wholesome foods and follow a balanced life style. Contemplation on objects, disinterest in enjoying the objects of the senses, generous, judicious, truthful, forgiving and ever ready to serve the learned and elderly makes a human disease free and healthy, physically and mentally. 

 

Credits : Dr. H.S Palep & Bhairavi Palep 

VASA - relieves cough and improves platelet count.

Vasa capsules for cough – Ayurvedic Remedy

Vasa capsules for cough and cold benefits the body by relieving cough and cold symptoms. The Ayurvedic services of this medicine include:

  • Relieving cough of pain.
  • Treating fever.
  • Treating severe headaches.
  • Improving night vision.
  • Treating asthma.
  • Treating coughing spells.
  • Increasing the energy of children and increased the strength of women.

A study in India concluded that vasa capsules for cough and cold were effective in treating coughs in children compared to placebo and other medicines. Also, this medicine is helpful in improving lung function, increasing the number of breath-hold times, and decreasing lung efficiency, especially concerning shortness of breath.

Vasa medicine has been found effective in relieving cough in adults. Adults are also prone to developing infections of the lungs due to their age and smoking or breathing problems. In such cases, Vasa capsules act as an adequate remedy. The medicine has also been found helpful in treating sputum secretions and preventing the occurrence of tuberculosis. The herbs present in this medicine also help strengthen the spleen, reduce liver function, and increase bile flow.

It is believed that Vasa capsules for cough and cold benefits the patients by balancing their phlegm. This medicine is also helpful for treating tonsils, adenoids, and Calcarea Carbonica, significantly when these are affected by cold.

This medicine is beneficial in treating acute and chronic bronchitis. vasa capsules used to relieve the symptoms of influenza and pneumonia. It is believed that the medication works by strengthening the muscles in the chest wall, thus protecting them from inflammation and thus reducing the spasm of the lung muscles, thus preventing the occurrence of chest discomfort, wheezing and difficulty breathing.

When Vasa capsules are taken as recommended, it helps the patients relieve spasms of the chest muscles and prevent wheezing and coughing. Patients also experience an increase in bile flow through Vasa capsules. The mucus secretions and the pangs of the lungs and other organs are thus calmed down. Vasa capsules have been found effective in relieving chronic bronchitis, pharyngitis, flu and pneumonia.

This medicine also helps treat chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and chronic obstruction of the pulmonary tract due to any reason. This medicine has also proven helpful in treating post-sarcomatous sinusitis. Vasa capsules are used in combination with other drugs, especially those in cough and cold remedies. This medicine also provides relief from post-nasal drip, spasms, pleurisy, and rhino Virchochroi.

Benefits of Turmeric in modern days

Benefits of turmeric herb that derives from the ginger plant. It’s commonly used in Asian cuisine. You likely know turmeric as the primary spice in curry.

Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medical system, uses turmeric for medicine. The spice is considered beneficial for many disorders, including diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and inflammation. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties are believed to be the reason for its popularity. Turmeric also has a mild burning taste.

The most beneficial turmeric effect on medicine is curcumin; the pigment derived from curcumin is believed to have antioxidant activity and can prevent cells from suffering damage caused by free radicals.

A recent study found that curcumin can reverse the effects of alcoholic hepatitis. In addition to treating alcohol-induced hepatitis, it can help prevent liver damage caused by other types of ailments, too. Curcumin seems to have unique benefits when it comes to liver health. Additional studies are looking at how it may benefit Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.

Turmeric can be purchased online, as well as in stores that specialize in herbal medicine. You can make your drinks using milk and turmeric powder, or you can buy a hot drink mix made with milk, turmeric powder, and chamomile tea. When drinking tea, choose a convenient time to take it. If you’re not used to hot beverages, a hot cup of herbal tea can provide some of the health benefits of turmeric without all the caffeine.

There is more to curcumin than just its potential benefits for cancer prevention and treatment. In clinical trials, curcumin was shown to improve cholesterol levels, reduce blood clots, and even prevent diabetes. It appears to have antioxidant activity, which could help prevent cancer cells from forming. Since the bloodstream readily absorbs it, scientists believe that taking a supplement of curcumin provides a continual source of healthy nutrients.

To buy a good quality dietary supplement containing turmeric, you should check with the company to see what kind of manufacturing standards they follow. An accessory that contains piperine is recommended since it increases the bioavailability of the supplement. More bioavailability means that the supplement will be distributed into the body more quickly and effectively. If you decide to buy a supplement that contains pipeline, make sure that you check with your pharmacist or dietician first to make sure you don’t have an allergy to piperine.

Tulsi for face pimples- Ancient Alternative Medicine That Can Be Used Today

Tulsi for face pimples is an ancient alternative medicine that can be used today in the household. What is Tulsi? Tulsi is also known as Ocimum sanctum or Holy Basil and is an aromatic herbal plant that belongs to the mint genus and is found naturally in 150 different kinds worldwide. It emits a sort of spicy smell when sprayed on a wound, and that is the main reason it has been called the healing herb. In India, it has been used since ancient times for several medicinal purposes.

There are several benefits of Tulsi that are being discovered by modern medicine. One of its most important benefits is that it is an excellent treatment for asthma, and it can also be used for other respiratory problems. The aroma of this holy herb is powerful, and it can cure respiratory problems and infections. Breathing exercises done with Tulsi can help you strengthen your lungs and also cleanse your air passage. This helps in removing the toxins that enter your lungs from the environment.

Besides all the above benefits, Tulsi effectively reduces fever and other viral respiratory diseases like cold, flu, and other viral respiratory problems. Its effectiveness in lowering a fever is that it contains multi extract, which fights against bacteria and viruses that cause common cold and flu. Since pulse increases our body’s immunity, it becomes effective in preventing cold and flu that may cause serious health problems like pneumonia and kidney stones.

Another advantage of using Tulsi for curing fever is that it eases the lungs’ functioning and also prevents inflammation. Since tulsi works well in the lungs and reduces inflammation, it can reduce fever and other viral respiratory diseases. A lot of physicians recommend the use of tulsi or Pruriens to treat a fever. It is very effective and can treat mild to moderate fever. It can treat up to very high temperature (taken in case of preexisting diabetes mellitus) and also in the cases of diabetes where uric acid level gets increased due to inflammation in the body.

Studies have shown Tulsi to be very useful in respiratory infections like bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, nasal congestion and postnasal drip. In the case of bronchitis, multi helps in decongesting the mucus and thus treating the infection. Tulsi cleanses the lungs and spleen and treats postnasal drip, which is also caused due to viral infections. However, if you suffer from severe bronchitis, you should consult a physician and take a prescription of medicine like anti-tuberculosis and antibiotics.

Tulsi leaves have some fundamental medicinal properties that help treat common colds, flu, tulsi for face pimples and other viral respiratory and parasitic infections. It helps in decongesting congested airways, increases immunity and also fights against cancer. Moreover, the pulse has specific healing properties that help relieve the pain caused by joint aches, rheumatism and osteoarthritis. On top of all, Tulsi is an excellent antioxidant that fights free radicals and scavenges free radical damage and thereby prevents the ageing process.