May 11, 2008

Herbs and Health

Aum Shri Gurave NanaH!

Many people have been asking me and my wife for names of Indian Herbs which help Memory development. :-)

I personally never used any herb or any medicine to enhance memory, I think it has to do with my genes or may be the collective genome of Indian subcontinent is enriched in this aspect and the credit of course goes to the food that is eaten in this sub continent.

So what I am doing here is I am listing few herbs which Dr Deepak Chopra listed in his book, The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook and forty Natural Prescriptions for Perfect Health, casting around 10$ on Amazon .com.

Before I start, let me give few examples, which I myself have experienced with these herbs being very efficient in treating various diseases or ailments, and my profession has been to develop allopathic medicines :-))) and I did suffer from lots of occupational allergies from active pharmaceutical ingredients like Ranitidine, Diltiazam etc.

And what did we all use to get rid of these allergies, Homeopathy to Ayurvedic medicine, :-)) I myself used Homeopathy for two years, one of my relative suffered from severe acne all over his face and everyday when he would wipe his face with a soft towel, his face would bleed from various acne sprouts, and his facial expression would be like he had consumed the most bitter pill of his life, then one day on some one's suggestion, we went to a Kerala based Ayurvedic medicine outlet in Secunderabad, India, Amazing, with in few weeks all his acne vanished from his face as if he never had any, the medicine was ghee based and I remember he was advised to take it during winter only, worked wonders and I never saw acne again on his face and his food habits remained same high fat and protein, meat, chicken etc.

As I was studying, Medicinal chemistry as a specialization, I continued to pursue my career in Organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry. The beautiful science of Ayurveda remained in the background somewhere in the back of my head, it is now that I am looking at this beautiful science which is a gift to the human race by the Nature and unfortunately even in India it stays in the background, once during 1995, in IICT Hyderabad, where, then Prime Minister of India, Shri P.V.Narashima Rao, rebuked the IICT for running after allopathy based medicines and also insisted that medicine based on Nature be researched, well I am not sure how many people who heard him took his comments seriously, but clearly he was very upset with the kind of work IICT was doing, as far as I know, IICT Hyderabad is a organization where the Chemist and Chemical engineers are busy puling each others legs and the ultimate result is the projects fall on their faces all the time. I was a delegate representing my company in the conference, and as a delegate I could sit in the front two rows, while the Prime minister spoke.

Another example is my own mother, she suffered from some disease, which the allopathic doctors could not diagnose and for months she suffered from unspoken agony in hospitals, later he took her to a local Unani doctor in Agra, I think one or two weeks of Unani medicine, and pop, she was back on her feet.

Purification of the allopathy and isolation of Racemic mixtures and isomers, too much purity and as Mahatma Gandhi said, allopathy medicine is too effective, yes in an emergency nothing beats allopathic medicine but it never cures anything, even in the case of Cancer, allopathy medicine has failed and now most of the researchers are looking towards nutrient based or food based medicines.

Ayurveda, Ayur means life in Sanskrit and Veda means "Knowledge", so Ayurveda is the "knowledge of life", it is an oral tradition like Vedic knowledge it was also passed down from generation to generation, the two schools of Ayurvedic medicines are Charaka School and Sushruta School, both are thousands of years old, Charaka school mostly deals with internal medicine and Sushruta school mainly dealt with surgeries and acute diseases.

As people struggle with genomes and genes to identify and isolate and to engineer medicines unique to each and every person, Ayurvedic science has always emphasized on three types of patients, Vata, Pita and Kapha.

And Deepak Chopra says, according to the Ayurvedic framework, three issues need to be considered when approaching a health concern: the first is the nature of illness, the second is the nature of the intervention, and the third is the nature of the person who has the health problem.

" According to Ayurveda, the three primary levels that must be under-stood to maximize the value of an herbal medicine are,

1) The proportion of elements as carried in the taste of the herb,
2) The heating or cooling potency of the herb,
3) The special medicinal qualities that the Herb possesses".

Few examples of herbs.

Memory and cognitive functions.

Gotu Kola- Centella asiatica,
Brahmi-Centella asiatica and
Ginkgo - Ginkgo biloba

Other items which are used on a regular basis in Indian meals are.

Turmeric- Curcurma longa
Ginger - Zingiber officinale
Garlic - Allium Sativum
Cardamom- Eletteria cardamomum
Methi- Fenugreek- Trigonella foenum-graecum
Tea- Camellia Sinensis ( Originally from China)
and many more which were not listed in this book.

Others wich are not part of Indian food but are very much used by many.

Neem- Azadirachta Indica
Guggulu - Commiphora mukul, gum.
Amalaki- Emblica officinalis
Lavender- Lavandula angustifolia
Tulsi- Holy basil- Ocimum sanctum
And there are many more which are not listed in this book.
I would suggest everyone to keep a copy of this book and try to incorporate in their daily medicinal intakes.
A simple question, why did the creator create such a large variety of herbs, trees, shrubs, plants, and vegetables, if human was supposed to eat meat based products.
May be the earth looks beautiful with so many green plants..:-))
Why few animals eat grass to induce vomiting when they suffer from indigestion.

Aum NamaH Shivaya!

Sianala, Montreal, May 2008

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