Earlier this month I attended the 1st International Exhibition and
Conference on AYUSH and Wellness in New Delhi. Organised by the Ministry of
AYUSH, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the Federation of Indian
Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the four-day event showcased India’s
traditional systems of medicines to the world.
Attended by 250 local manufacturers and international delegates from
over 70 countries, the objective of the event was to promote the Indian systems
of medicine at a global level and create opportunities for strategic
partnerships between India and other countries.
The main features of the event were an exhibition of ayurvedic manufacturers
from across India, a plenary conference where policy makers, regulators and key
international stakeholders met to discuss the opportunities and challenges in
the complementary health sector and one on one meeting between local
manufacturers and international buyers.
The conference was opened by the Honourable Minister for AYUSH, Mr.
Shripad Yesso Naik, who welcomed delegates and acknowledged the number of participants
as testament to the growing interest in alternative medicine.
He noted that allopathic medicine has failed to effectively address
all the health issues of humanity which is why Ayurveda, with its holistic
approach to health, has proven so popular.
He urged more cooperation between all countries to continue this
growth, with careful attention being given to sustainable development,
multi-dimensional policies, and an evidence based approach to research into the
benefits of Ayurveda.
The keynote address at the Conference was delivered by Secretary of
the Ministry of AYUSH, Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha. He also acknowledged the large number
of participants and stressed the Indian Government’s commitment to the
continued growth of complementary health He said that herbs and herbal
formulations are a major export from India but that a large number of Ayurvedic
products are yet to be promoted, which is a huge opportunity for the industry. In
pursuit of this goal, he announced that AYUSH have signed research agreements
with 28 countries, including the U.S and Germany. He also encouraged and
welcomed international students to enrol in the AYUSH courses in India.
The inaugural session was wrapped up by Mr. G. Geetha Krishnan,
AYUSH expert at the World Health Organisation. He pointed out that 20% of the
world population depend on traditional systems of medicine for their primary
health care, while in India this increases to almost 80%. This places a great
responsibility on AYUSH, both in caring for its own people and providing an
effective health care model to the rest of the world.
He said around $207 trillion is spent on healthcare by the U.S. alone
and he suggested more of this money should be channelled to traditional
medicine, which is proving to be more effective against a number of
non-communicable and lifestyle diseases.
I was invited to the event as a panellist at one of the plenary
sessions, “International Regulators Meets”, organised to create a constructive
dialogue between international regulators and key stakeholders from across the
world. Here I had the opportunity to speak about the changes to the regulation
of complementary health products in Australia and New Zealand.
I was honoured to
have the opportunity to address this conference and meet with Government
officials, growers and manufacturers to discuss my concerns. My belief is that
the Indian Government is very keen to encourage this local industry into the
international marketplace, not just for its economic benefits but for the
benefits the world can experience from this ancient healing science.
It is a well known fact that Ghee is a saturated fat and that a high percentage of saturated fat in a person’s diet is a contributory factor in cardiovascular disease. However, more recent research has shown that not all saturated fats are bad and has identified other fats such as trans-fats as more damaging to our health.
However, before I describe the benefits of Ghee, I would like to briefly mention why we need fat in our diet. Fat is not only an energy source, it is a way the body stores energy. It is used to provide insulation and well as providing support and protection to organs. It provides insulation to nervous tissue and assists in the transmission of nervous impulses. We need fat so our bodies can absorb fat-soluble vitamins like A and E and produce hormones like estrogen. It is critical in the permeability of cellular membranes, allowing cells to access nutrients. Finally, it provides flavor and texture to food and gives us a greater sense of satisfaction from eating by allowing food to stay in the stomach longer.
While there is universal agreement on the need for some fat intake, debate has raged over what is healthy and unhealthy fat. Early research revealed a high intake of saturated fats as a contributory factor in heart disease and recommended the use of polyunsaturated fats. However, there is now increasing evidence linking polyunsaturated fats with cardiovascular disease and obesity due to their high levels of free radicals. Free radicals create oxidized fats or lipid peroxide, which damage cells and trigger atherosclerosis. Now it is generally agreed that monounsaturated fats found in olive and mustard oils are the healthiest forms of fat, when consumed in moderation. However, research has again turned to saturated fats, particularly short chain fatty acids like those found in ghee and their apparent health benefits.
While Ghee is a saturated fat, it is principally composed of short chain fatty acids, compared with longer chains in other animal fats, such as beef fat. It is the longer chain fatty acids that are associated with blood clotting and thrombosis. Short chain fatty acids are not only easier to digest, they help hormone production and strengthen cell membranes. Studies in both rats and humans have shown that short chain fatty acids can lower serum cholesterol levels by increasing the secretion of biliary lipids, one way the body can remove excess cholesterol. As well as saturated fat, Ghee consists of 25% monounsaturated fat (the healthy fat according to modern nutrition) and a relatively low 5% polyunsaturated fat.
Ghee is also an excellent source of anti-oxidants, which prevent free radical damage. When heated, other fats, particularly polyunsaturated fat, oxidize and release free radicals at low temperatures. However, Ghee’s smoke point (the temperature at which oil burns, generating oxidation and free radicals) is 190C, making it one of the safest fats in which to fry. Finally, Ghee is a source of Vitamins A and E, both of which are only bio-available in fat. The only other edible fat containing Vitamin A is fish oil so Ghee is an important source of this vitamin, especially for lacto-vegetarians.
Ayurvedic wisdom is unequivocal that ghee is an important part of a healthy diet. It nourishes all the body’s tissues and creates Ojas, our essence that strengthens the immune system. Thanks to its superb penetrating qualities, it can travel deep into the body, nourishing us at a cellular level. Interestingly, ghee’s rate of absorption (digestibility coefficient) is calculated at 96%, the highest of all oils and fats.
One or two teaspoonfuls of ghee daily are considered enough to nourish and support our bodies. However, Ayurveda being a science of that acknowledges that each of us is unique, recognizes that even something as wholesome as ghee is not always considered healthy. It is contraindicated for people with a Kapha aggravation and should be used sparingly by the overweight.
Winter seems to have arrived early this year and with it the qualities of cold, damp, heaviness and sluggishness. These qualities invariably impact on our lymphatic system, causing fluid to accumulate in the body and our joints becoming stiff, painful and heavy. Those who are already suffering from arthritis and other bone related health issues can feel worse during this season, requiring more medication to manage the pain.
According to Ayurveda, this is known as the impact of the season on the body. One of the great strengths of Ayurveda is the recognition that it is important to live our lives in harmony with the season by making changes to our diet and lifestyle to keep the body in balance. Ayurveda believes that it is this balance that is the key to health and happiness.
Ayurveda recognises that each season has unique characteristics and qualities. In winter, the environment is dominated by the qualities of coldness, dampness, heaviness, dullness, slowness and sluggishness. Because we are exposed to these qualities every day, it is natural that they will have an impact so our bodies start feeling cold, damp, sluggish, dull and heavy.
All Ayurvedic treatments are based on the simple principle of introducing lifestyle and diet changes with opposing qualities to bring the body back into balance while avoiding things that can cause further aggravation. Therefore in winter, Ayurveda recommends avoiding the following foods:
Any kind of breads – White, brown, organic or non-organic. Breads are sticky, heavy, damp, moist and cold. When we eat bread in a sandwich or just a piece with a bit of cheese, it will increase the above qualities and cause problems.
Cheese, butter, white sugar, bananas, cold meat, cold drinks & cold foods all have heavy, cold, damp and sticky qualities
Tinned/frozen foods – these are very cold and lack prana (life force). This causes more darkness & heaviness to spread in our nervous system that makes us more gloomy, sad and lacking in motivation.
Deep fried, oily foods like fish & chips & carbonated drinks – These are heavy and when we drink cold carbonated drinks on top of them it makes the oil sticky, causing it to adhere to mucous linings in the throat & lungs, causing sore throat, bronchitis, sinus & hay fever.
We might feel panicked by reading this and think there is nothing left to eat. This is not true! We just need to come out of our comfort zone and see that, with a little effort, we can find many things to nourish us during Winter:
One should simply try to eat warm cooked foods.
Breakfast – porridge & pancakes are options. We should add cinnamon & cardamom as these spices are known for their warming & flushing actions. They are very good for the lungs and lymphatic system, the main areas affected in Winter.
If eating fruit, make sure it is cooked and not eaten raw. If you must eat raw fruit, make sure it is eaten mid-morning on a warm & sunny day to minimise its adverse impact.
Lunch & dinner should be simply warm & delicious!
Snack on nuts & raisins. Roasted peanuts are very good in winter.
Also roasted almonds, cashews, walnuts & pine nuts coated with jaggery are delicious.
Ayurveda also recommends a number of routines that we should incorporate into our lives during winter to keep the body in balance:
Brush your teeth & scrape your tongue every morning (This removes waste products that accumulate on the tongue overnight and prevent them from being re-absorbed).
Every morning drink a glass of warm water with ½ tsp of fresh ginger, ½ tsp of fenugreek powder, ½ tbs of honey & ½ tbs of lemon juice. (This is very effective to counter sluggishness in lymphatic system).
Apply warm medicated sesame oil drops to the nose each morning. (Will prevent sinus congestion, heavy fever, runny nose and migraine)
A regular self massage with warm Sesame Oil or Kapha oil (available at Planet Ayurveda) helps remove lymphatic stagnation and makes you feel more energetic, light & vibrant at all levels: physical, mental & emotional.
Deep breathing at least 3-4 times a day will help break up lung congestion.
Ayurveda teaches that by incorporating these changes in to our lives we can keep these winter illnesses from occurring. The profound promise of Ayurveda is that through changes to diet & lifestyle, not only can we prevent disease but live a long, healthy life in balance and harmony. In my 35 years of clinical practice, both here and in India, I have seen the profound benefits of this health science help thousands of people achieve balance in their lives.
Start your path to perfect health with a consultation with Dr. Ajit, Australasia's most experienced Ayurvedic physician.
During a consultation Dr. Ajit will assess your constitution, identify any imbalances in your body and the causative factors'responsible for them (such as lifestyle, diet & environmental factors at work & home). He is known for his diagnostic skill through the ancient techniques of pulse, tongue examination and'iridology (developed by Dr. Ajit, based on Ayurvedic texts). After this diagnosis, he will structure a six stage program based on changes to lifestyle, diet and environmental factors, therapeutic herbal preparations and Ayurvedic bodywork treatments. The focus of this programme is to enhance awareness, rather than rigidly follow a particular programme. The programme is designed for one month, after which time a follow up consultation is recommended to fine tune its results. Dr. Ajit says that to achieve perfect balance and health, all that is required is a sincere effort to make simple changes in our lives. read more..
You need an Ayurvedic therapeutic massage if you suffer from fatigue, stiffness and tightness or heaviness and sluggishness in your body or mind.
Using massage oil infused with medicinal herbs, Ayurvedic massage helps to flush out toxins that accumulate in our bodies from our hectic lifestyle, which can drain us both physically and mentally. This massage also helps to improve the flow of energy around the body and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory system, thus supporting the body's immune system. read more..
An ideal treatment for suffers of back and neck pain, sciatica and frozen shoulder.
Dough is shaped into a small ring, placed over the affected area and then filled with heated, medicated oil. The warm oil penetrates the stiff muscle tissue, softening and relaxing and allowing the natural movement of the muscle to remove the build up of waste. The warmth also promotes blood flow to the affected area which supports the healing process and prevents atrophy and tightening of the surrounding muscles resulting from inactivity. Once the oil is removed the therapist will massage the whole back, paying particular attention to the affected area, which further softens and relaxes these tight muscles. Finally, the treatment concludes with a jet of herbalised steam over the entire back, which enhances the effect of the treatment and helps to take the oil deeper into the muscle tissue. read more..
A Shirodhara treatment is Ayurveda's unique drug free solution to such problems as stress, panic attacks, insomnia and depression.
A continuous, rhythmic flow of medicated oil is poured at a specific temperature from a specific height onto the third eye area of the forehead, inducing an experience of deep relaxation, helping to relax both mind and body. The warm oil also helps to calm the nervous system, restoring it to balance and overcoming feelings of anxiety, helplessness or that mental dullness we sometimes experience. A feeling of deep calm and mental clarity is experienced from this treatment. The technique, when done correctly and skilfully, is known to accomplish miraculous healing. read more..
Enhance the benefits of your massage with a herbalised steam
This specialised treatment helps to expel toxins released during a massage by opening the channels through a warm steam bath. The treatment begins with an Ayurvedic Therapeutic Massage which helps flush out toxins that accumulate in our bodies. After the massage you will sit or lie in steam chamber where your body will be bathed with herbalised stream for approximately 10 minutes. This helps to open the deep channels of the body, helping to flush out the toxins and leaving you feeling fresh, lighter and energetic. read more..
A traditional Ayurvedic treatment for ailments such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Joint pain and fatigue and tiredness
The therapist prepares a bolus of Ayurvedic herbs which is then soaked in hot medicated oil and used to massage the body. The warm oil carries the herbs deep into the body, allowing deep seated toxins to be dislodged. After this treatment, a herbalised steam massage is given at a specific temperature for a'specific time that helps to open the channels and flush the toxins from the body.
Ayurveda's unique de-toxification and rejuvenation programme
Panchkarma, meaning five (panch) actions (karma), is a unique treatment to Ayurvedic Medicine and is known as one of the most systematic purification and rejuvenation programmes available. In acute stages of disease, the Panchkarma procedure helps to break down the amalgamation of toxins and removes the aggravated Doshas, which are responsible for all disease. In chronic cases, when toxins have reached the deeper body tissues, Panchkarma is the only health programme available that can systematically & safely remove these deep seated toxins & rejuvenate the body, setting it on the path to health & wellbeing. read more..
Double your massage experience with two therapists
Using massage oil infused with medicinal herbs, two therapists will synchronise their massage strokes to help flush out toxins from the body. This massage also helps to improve the flow of energy around the body and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory system, thus supporting the body's immune system. read more..
Our most sought'after treatment for weight loss, cellulite & water retention
In this unique' Ayurvedic Massage the body is coated with warm medicated oil and then a herbal powder mix is massaged into the body to break up stagnation & stimulate lymphatic flow. After this treatment, a herbalised steam massage is given at a specific temperature for a' specific time that helps to open the channels and flush the toxins from the body. read more..
A profound treatment that opens the seven chakras in our body.
The therapists and client together create energy by sound, touch & colour. The therapist prepares a special mixture of ground gem stones, precious metal, ashes and herbs mixed with warm ghee. This is massaged into points on the client's hands, feet & body, creating vibrations which help to remove stagnant and blocked energy. Sound is created by the chanting of specific Mantras, a word that has significant meaning and when pronounced correctly creates various vibrations in the universe.' Vibrations created by the chanting mix in the universe and impact on the client, creating balance in the body. At the same time, the client and therapists will visualise specific colours that relate to particular charkas. The visualisation of these colours helps to focus the attention of client on that particular chakra and this helps to regulate energy flow to those particular areas. read more..
A personally structured treatment programme for suffers of stress, anxiety, panic attacks and depression.
Our present hectic lifestyle places a great deal of stress on our bodies and mind, leading to such problems as anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue and depression. Dr. Ajit, Australasia's most experienced Ayurvedic physician, will help you understand the causative factors of this stress and structure a personalised programe to support and nourish the body, to allow you to cope with the stress of daily living. Wellness Packages consist of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements that will bring the body back into balance
A personally structured treatment programme for suffers of insomnia and disturbed sleep patterns from stress and anxiety
Our present hectic lifestyle & stressful environment can contribute to disturbed sleep which, if not treated quickly, can lead to insomnia & the reliance on sleeping pills. Let Dr. Ajit, Australasia's most experienced Ayurvedic physician structure a Sleep Management package that can give you a drug free solution to your sleeping problem. It is such an effective programme that Dr. Ajit can confidently state that you will not be charged if you don't sleep during the treatment.' He makes this offer because, out of the hundreds of client who have received the treatment, not one has left without paying! read more..
A personally structured treatment programme for suffers of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and other auto immune disorders.
The Immune Booster package will flush deep seated toxins from the body, restoring the bodily intelligence and bring the body back into balance at the physical, mental & emotional levels. This will lead to a build up of Ojas in the body which, according to Ayurveda, governs the strength of the body's immune system. A Wellness Package is'a programme of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements'personally prepared'by Dr. Ajit to bring the body back into balance. read more..
A traditional Ayurvedic treatment for ailments like sinus congestion, chronic headache and migraine.
During this treatment, special medicated oil is inserted in the nostrils which enhances mental and sensory clarity, clears the nose and sinuses of mucous build up and soothes dryness in the nose. The treatment is followed by a herbalised steam compress & massage. read more..
A personally structured treatment programme for suffers of back and neck pain, sciatica and frozen shoulder.
Because of our busy lifestyle we can experience stress on our bodies that can easily affect our lower back, shoulders and neck and cause debilitating pain. Dr. Ajit has designed a Wellness Package for those who suffer from these conditions to give them some relief but also to identify the cause of the problem and to work out a programme for them to achieve a pain free lifestyle. Wellness Packages consist of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements that will bring the body back into balance read more..
A traditional Ayurvedic eye treatment to enhance eye sight, counter fatigue and heaviness in the eyes & slow retinal deterioration.
The Therapist prepares dough from special grains which is shaped into a small ring and placed over the eyes. This is then filled with warm ghee, either a plain or medicated variety. The ghee is retained within the ring at a specific temperature for a specific time. Once the ghee is removed the therapist will massage specific marma points around the affected area. read more..
A personally structured treatment programme to assist infertile couples
Dr. Ajit, Australasia's most experienced Ayurvedic physician has designed a programme for couples to help them understand what factors are responsible for their infertility and what lifestyle, diet changes and Ayurvedic herbal preparations & treatments can help a couple to successfully conceive. This is very popular program at planet Ayurveda. Many couples have taken advantages of this program and have seen great result. The package can complement those couple's on an IVF programme and can assist in a successful conception. Wellness Packages consist of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements that will bring the body back into balance. read more..
A personally structured treatment programme for those who are overweight, have cellulite and have tried other weight loss programmes without success
Our Weight Management Package has several unique features. Instead of putting you on a high protein diet or making you run 10kms every day, a programme is specifically designed by Dr. Ajit that focuses on the causative factors of your weight gain, particularly on sluggish metabolism & blocked channels in the body. Wellness Packages consist of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements that will bring the body back into balance. read more..
The physical & mental stress of our hectic lifestyle can disturb the function of our hormonal glands.
Hormones play a major role in keeping our body's intelligence in balance but due to the physical & mental stress of our hectic lifestyle, their function can be disturbed, causing a myriad of health problems. Dr. Ajit, Australasia's most experienced Ayurvedic physician can identify the factors that are responsible for these imbalances and has designed a programme that can restore the balance to the body's endocrine system. Wellness Packages consist of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements that will bring the body back into balance. read more..
Treatment: Ayurvedic Pre Natal & Post Natal Massage
A nurturing treatment for women to prepare the body for childbirth or to return easily to normal shape & strength after delivery.
These massages are structured personally by Dr. Ajit and are given with specific medicated oil and special massage strokes to achieve the desired result. Special care is given to positioning the body during massage to avoid any discomfort and ensure an uninterrupted flow of energy read more..
A gentle, yet effective de-toxification programme based on the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda
Our busy lifestyle places a great deal of stress on our bodies, disturbing the ability of each bodily system to work in harmony. When its occurs, metabolic waste can accumulate in the tissues, further impeding the body's ability to both deliver nourishment and remove waste. In such cases, a simple de-toxification treatment can help return the body to balance. Dr. Ajit, Australasia's most experienced Ayurvedic physician has designed a programme based on Ayurveda's ancient wisdom that gently de-toxify the body and restore it to balance. Wellness Packages consist of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements that will bring the body back into balance. read more..
A personally structured treatment programme for a smooth transition through menopause.
Most women approach Menopause with some anxiety, aware their body is undergoing profound changes. Suddenly they start to feel insecure, leading to a loss of confidence & purpose which can develop into health problems at the physical & mental levels. Every generation of women has experienced the cycle of menopause but it is only recently that it has become a major health concern with women experiencing such problems as hot flushes, mood swings, fatigue, depression and panic attacks. Dr. Ajit has structured a menopause packages that allow this transition to happen with minimal impact to the body, returning the body's intelligence to balance. Wellness Packages consist of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements that will bring the body back into balance. read more..
A nurturing treatment programme for women to prepare the body for childbirth or to return easily to normal shape & strength after delivery.
According to Ayurveda, women play an important role in the health & wellbeing of society. This is because women are responsible for bringing new life into the world. For the health of the baby to be balanced at the time of birth, it is essential that the health of the mother is also balanced at the physical, mental & emotional levels. To help mother's achieve this state, Dr. Ajit has structured a special wellness package to prepare the body for childbirth or to return it easily to normal shape & strength after delivery. Wellness Packages consist of daily regimes, body work treatments, dietary guidelines and herbal supplements that will bring the body back into balance. read more..