Ayurveda remedies for winter illnesses
With the onset of winter, you are prone to a number of infections. Allergies and viral infections make the rounds, and cold, cough, flu and sinusitis are rampant.
A number of these afflictions can be treated naturally using herbs and spices.
Starting this week, we publish a series of articles by our Ayurveda expert, Dr Gowthaman, who discusses the diseases in detail and suggests ayurvedic remedies to manage them.
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Readers from CHENNAI who would like to get an opinion for sinusitis and related issues can write in to email@example.com providing the following details:
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Ayurveda Therapies for Sinusitis
Sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinuses that occurs with a viral, bacterial, or fungal infection. It is an inflammatory condition of the mucous membrane lining in the sinuses glands. It usually follows a common cold, flu or other infections.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Sinus glands are air-filled spaces in the skull with mucus membranes acting as passages through which the mucus is able to drain and facilitates the air circulation.
a. Colds and allergies
b. Deviated nasal septum, nasal bone spur, or nasal polyps may block the opening of the sinuses.
Sinusitis medically understood as three levels
1. Acute — symptoms last up to 4 weeks – caused by upper respiratory infection (bacterial/viral)
2. Sub-acute — symptoms last 4 – 12 weeks
3. Chronic — symptoms last 3 months or longer – mostly due to long term swelling and inflammation of the sinus glands (bacterial/fungal)
a. Bad breath or loss of smell
b. Cough usually bad at night/cold conditions, drinks
c. Continuous sneezing
f. Head ache – Pain behind the eyes, tooth ache, pain in the cheeks,
g. Sore throat and dripping
Ayurveda Therapies for Sinusitis
Depending upon the condition a treatment regimen is planned which includes internal medicine and a unique therapy called ‘nasyam’
Nasya Karma or Nasyam – One of the five purification therapies practiced in Ayurveda Medicine. A medicated oil/ powder/ fresh herbal juice is administered through the nostrils (nasal drops).
This therapy is very effective for sinusitis, cold, cough, asthma, eye disorders, hair fall and premature hair graying especially beard graying. Ayurveda recommends this for spondilitis, migraine headache, facial paralysis, paralysis, frozen shoulders, mental disorders, Parkinson’s disorders and skin problems.
Prior to this therapy, Oleation and sudation therapies are recommended which will help to loosen the adhesive toxins, thereby facilitating the subsequent elimination.
The Nasya karma
a. Patient is asked to lie down in a bed with his hand and legs kept straight. His head is maintained at a lower position by keeping the pillow below the neck.
b. Placing the medicine above hot water gently warms it and then it is made to flow in to one nostril, while the other is kept closed the same process is carried out in the other nostril also.
c. The sole, shoulder, neck, ear and palm are gently massaged after the administration of the drug.
d. The impurities must be spit out and medicine that reach his mouth. The spitting is repeatedly carried out turning to both sides while the patient is lying.
e. This process should be repeated for 7 – 21 days.
Mechanism of Nasya karma
The medicine acts by reaching ‘Sringataka marma’, a main vital point situated on the surface of the brain, from where it spreads into various vessels and nerves and brings out vitiated toxins from the head.
Sringataka marma – this vital point is a composite structure consisting of four arteries in connection with four sense organs nose, ear, eye and tongue. The composite structure formed by the union of these four arteries is called Sringataka.
As per the Ayurveda, the evolution of a disease the vitiated toxins should be brought to the site from its original seat. This movement will be made through the channels and if there is any disturbance in the integrity of the channels it will result in the development of disease.
a. Garlic is one of the best medicines for sinusitis. 3-4 garlic clove paste mixed with honey twice daily 5 minutes before food is good for sinusitis, improves immunity and reduces the tenderness
b. Fresh juice of onion mixed with honey improves the stuffiness, nasal block in no time.
c. Black pepper, long pepper and dry ginger with honey is very good for chronic sinusitis
d. Turmeric with diluted milk removes the sickness swiftly.
e. Plain steam bath is one of the most effective ways to get rid and prevent sinusitis.
f. Fenu Greek tea/ Cumin seed boiled water is considered the effective one in China – 100 ml of water + 5 gm of Fenu Greek seeds boiled for 5 minutes and taken as tea twice or thrice daily protects from cold, cough and immunes the body from sinusitis
g. Carrot juice, Cucumber juice helps improve the immunity which in turn reduces the reoccurrence of the sinus attacks.
h. Turmeric 2 parts, Cumin 4 parts, coriander seeds 4 parts, Fenu Greek seeds 4 parts, Ginger 1 part as a soup helps.
i. Thulasi juice 5 ml + honey 2 ml as a regular diet removes the sinusitis and improves the immunity
j. Eat plenty of organic fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid skipping or delaying meals as this will upset digestive balance and cause formation of toxins.
Diet for sinusitis
a. Drinking fresh fruit juices, vegetable soups, plenty of warm water helps
b. A well-balanced diet including seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, fruits helps
c. Avoid fried, starchy foods and drinks, white sugar, rice, pasta, pies, cakes and candies
d. Avoid banana, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato, as these clog the channels.
Ayurveda says the doorway to the brain and consciousness is nose. Nasal administration of the suitable medicines removes not only sinusitis but also improves the functions of sense organs, protects the eyes and, most importantly your youthfulness