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Come monsoon and the landscape around you turns into a verdant green. Sleeping at nights suddenly becomes a pleasant experience. While it is the time to enjoy the cool downpour it is also the time to welcome a host of diseases.
The queues in front of hospitals and clinics become longer as the rainy season progresses. Arthritis, gastric disturbances, asthma, sinusitis, diarrhoea, indigestion and skin diseases are just some of diseases that plague most of us during this season.
While allopathic medicines may cure a host of these ailments, Ayurvedic medicines too play an effective and vital role in controlling as well as treating monsoon disorders.
In Ayurveda, mid-June to mid-August is referred to as the Varsha Rithu or the Monsoon period. And this is the right time, it is said, to take a treatment in Ayurveda. Let us take a look at some of the treatments and diets to keep diseases at bay.
Dr Vijayalakshmi B, Ayurveda Physician, Santhigiri Ayurveda Heritage, Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram, says, "Ayurveda bases its principal on preventing diseases."
According to Shreekumar.V, Manager, Santhigiri Ayurveda Heritage, Kovalam, Kerala [Images], the monsoon is the best time to take treatments in Ayurveda.
"The ailments or injuries in your body show up during this season," he adds. "For all the doshas (problems) and for the overall functioning of the body, Panchakarma (panch meaning 'five' and karma meaning 'action') treatment is recommended."
How does Panchakarma benefit you?
Says Dr Vijayalakshmi B, "It helps increase your immunity power and circulation, it removing wrinkles and helps you get better sleep." However, if you are going for an Ayurvedic rejuvenation package or treatment for any other ailments, take the advice of an experienced physician.
Here are some of the Panchakarma treatments you can opt for during monsoon (strictly to be done as per your physician's advice):
Abhyanga: Abhyanga, or massage as we commonly known it, is a whole body massage with herbal oils. This helps in nourishing and revitalising your body. Abhyanga helps in improving blood circulation, relaxing body, and reducing stress.
Dhara: In this treatment medicated oils are poured on the forehead. This treatment helps in reducing stress, headaches, improves memory, relieves sleep disturbances and tension. It allows calmness to creep in slowly while the stress and tension slip away with the Shirodhara oil (a stream of oil on your forehead). When buttermilk is used in place of oil, it is referred to as Takra Dhara.
Swedanam: The patient is made to sweat by using steam of herbs, depending on the ailments.
Pizhichil: Pizhichil involves pouring oil all over the body accompanied with a massage. It is helpful in reducing fatigue, dryness and neurological disorders.
Virechana: Therapeutic Purgation or Virechana as it is known is a medical purgation therapy. It helps in removing toxins (Pitta dosha -- disorders related to secretion fo bile) from your body. This treatment is effective in treating skin disorders, diabetes, asthma, digestive disorders etc.
The cost of treatment varies depending on the treatment.
For instance, Abhyanga could cost you Rs 400 or more (depending on herbs, oils used) for a single sitting to around Rs 60,000 or more for a three-week therapy involving various treatment procedures.
Apart from treatment, a diet suiting your body constitution also helps. Here are some general tips for you to follow during the monsoon:
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