Common Ayurveda Questions and Summer tips by Dr K.K. Harikrishnan

How are diagnoses made in Ayurveda?

Very briefly, you know there are physiologically functionally three doshas/elements in our body: Vata, Pitta, Kapha. So, Ayurveda says that harmony or the balanced state of these 3 is a healthy condition. Any of these gets imbalanced with less or more, and then we end up in a health issue. So basically, we see which of the elements or dosha is increased or gone less. Not many know or understand the meaning of these three elements in everyday language s we communicate it with the patient in modern language the way they learn. But in the end, the diagnoses are wholly based on these three elements or doshas in the body.


Does WHO recognize Ayurveda?

Yes, now definitely. At some point, which was not entirely in support of it. Earlier, we believed viruses, bacteria, and all this are causing diseases, but even after treating that, we can’t say that the body is in a healthy state. It had an opinion that western medicine is not complete. So that is how WHO was looking towards another alternative system of drugs. Among the alternative treatment methods, Ayurveda is one of the best, Scientifically, and very well practiced with all the scientific backup. That is how Ayurveda was started to consider a medical system by the whole world, and WHO recognized it.


Does the ayurvedic system of medicine have plus points over the conventional or modern medical system?

Every system has its minus and points. That is why all the medical system is functioning and practiced here; otherwise, if western medicine or conventional medicine was utterly satisfying all the health and medical needs of the world, why should there be another system of medicine. So, every system has its strengths. Ayurveda also has a lot of plus points when compared with conventional medication. Ayurveda is more popular these days than ten years back is because of the limitations of other medical systems.


Can we get any side effects from Ayurvedic medicines?

Yes, there are side effects that might occur with Ayurvedic medicines if not appropriately consulted. But the complications are very minimal compared to those that can happen with other medical systems because we are all-natural and herbal, and no chemicals are involved. Sometimes one cannot see the side effects immediately, but it will show in the long run, but it is only if not correctly diagnosed and consulted. As I had said earlier, everybody is different, so each requires further consultation and diagnosis by a Doctor or expert as per the patient’s condition.


Are there any common Ayurveda medicines that can be used without consulting the doctor? 

It should not be done. No medicine can be taken without consultation. For example, Chyawanprash. It’s a common household item you get in every departmental store. If a person is allergic to any of its components or doesn’t suit them, it can give them some reaction. I would recommend all medicines should be taken under doctors’ advice. For example, if a person has any back problem, a cold oil that we may use for hair can cause back pain. So, I won’t advise any medicine without consultation.

How to prevent heatstroke and any remedies from curing heat strokes?

We all know that if a body has more heat, the three elements affected are pitta. We have a lot of practices and medicines to minimize the heat and the body. For example, there are certain liquids that you can have, like if coriander seeds or pita reducing herbs when boiled in water and drank can reduce the heat in your body. Then you can reduce the intake of white sugar, coffee, and tea. Even the masalas can increase the pitta in your body. So, avoid all these items to prevent heatstroke. Drink plenty of water, buttermilk, and coconut water. According to Ayurveda, cow’s ghee is considered best to reduce the heat in the body. Wear very light cotton clothes along with all these.

Are there any topical creams in Ayurveda for sunburn?

There are certain topical creams, but one has to consult the doctor to know how intense the burn is. “Agnivrana Tailam” which you get in any Ayurvedic outlet, I advise you to consult a doctor for sunburns.

Ayurvedic tips to keep cool on a hot summer day. 

See. Naturally, the heat will take away the water from the whole earth, and it dries up our body as well. Drink lots of water and eat very light food like khichdi with cow’s ghee dry grape raisins. Buttermilk and coconut water are delicious. Eat digestible food minimize spices, and white sugar has to be avoided because it increases the heat in the body. Non-vegetarian food and pickles can increase the heat in the body, so try to avoid them.

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