Ayurveda and healthy
After getting a doctorate
degree in reproduction biology in India, Dr Vinod Verma studied
neurobiology in Paris University. She later started exploring
the ayurvedic system, and is now working hard to make its
usefulness known to people. Excerpts from an interview with Kuldip
The pace of life
has changed drastically, creating all sorts of health problems.
What cure does ayurveda have for lifestyle ailments such as
Dr Vinod Verma feels that ayurveda is the mother of all other medical systems
problems are there because we have forgotten the age-old
tradition of ayurveda, which is not merely a medical system but
this enormous wisdom is for leading a healthy and happy life
with total well-being of the body and the mind. Emphasis on
achara-vyavahara (lifestyle) is the primary wisdom of
ayurveda. One should live with desha and kala
(space and time).
I have made a
mantra in my book, Ayurvedic Food Culture and Recipes,
for teaching the fundamentals of ayurvedic nutrition—eating
what, when, how and how much. All these factors have to be
learnt individually and should be co-related. The whole
ayurvedic food culture or other aspects cannot be learnt in a
day. Otherwise, there was no need for me to write so many books.
Bad food with
chemical fertilisers, artificial colours and flavour, bad
quality fats, too much salt and sugar are some of the causes of
over-weight and obesity.
Each individual should learn about the fundamentals of ayurvedic lifestyle and make an effort to remain healthy
Weight can vary
due to constitution and structure of the body. One should take
care of the shape and form of the body. There should be no extra
hanging flesh. Let me give some suggestions for the benefit of
your readers for balancing weight. Do surya pranam 12
times (it takes 10 minutes) after drinking a glass of hot water
in the morning, or go for a half-an-hour walk. One should eat
strictly three times a day, and absolutely nothing in between.
Fill the stomach two-thirds, as ayurveda suggests. One-third of
the stomach should be left for digestive juices. Never sit down
after main meals. It is advised to walk at least 100 steps after
the meal, or get involved in other activities that need body
Eat your dinner at
least two hours before going to bed, and lastly, drink a glass
of hot water after getting up in the morning and before going to
bed at night. Following these nutrition principles of ayurveda,
not only will you be able to control your weight, but you will
also get rid of minor stomach problems.
Does ayurveda have
cure for psychological ailments like depression, stress,
Ayurveda has cure
for psychological and mental ailments. But the way your question
is formulated, you have a mindset of modern medicine, which has
a capsule-and-injection culture. In ayurveda, the
treatment means a lot of other things besides aushadhi
(medicine) — nutrition, external application of heat and other
ointments, yogasanas and pranayama, japa for
spiritual therapy, etc. If we compare the modern methods of
therapy and ayurvedic treatment with food, the former is fast
food, which gives rise ultimately to bad health, and the latter
is a gourmet meal prepared with great effort and love, and has a
rejuvenating effect on your body.
We live in a
highly competitive world. As a result, there is a tremendous
pressure on children to do well academically. Have you got any
tips for sharpening the brain cells?
The stress and
pressure are not only managed by sharpening the brain cells. One
equally needs a good training in sattvic (pure) thoughts,
which today’s parents are not providing. For promoting memory,
one should powder the following products and take a tablespoon
of these with hot milk everyday: cashew nuts—5 parts; pepper—1
part; pippali—1 part; coriander—1 part; mullethi—1
part; saunf—1 part. There are many other products also
in ayurveda but this is a simple home remedy people can make
You are involved
in research. Tell us about it, and how it will help people in
involves gathering practical wisdom of ayurveda from all sources
in the country and making it available to the common people for
the benefit of health, promoting strength and preventing
ailments. There exist so many simple solutions to complicated
problems. To give you a simple example, I have cured many people
of their nagging stomach problems by making them follow the
eight principles of ayurvedic food culture.
All this is only
possible with the personal efforts of each individual. Vaidyas
and doctors are meant for emergencies and to treat ailments, and
not for your headaches, cough and cold.
should learn about the fundamentals of ayurvedic lifestyle, make
a conscious effort to remain healthy, enhance strength by taking
rasayanas, make all efforts to prevent ailments, eat
organic, well-prepared wholesome food with variety of herbs and
spices, detoxify the body from time to time with some special
products, do the inner and outer cleansing of the body, and make
sure that the mala is excreted properly.
It is very specific about pharmacology of products, their effect
on the body, balancing of a drug, dose and frequency. In fact,
it is the mother system of all the other medical systems of the
world. It is a pity that some sadhus and religious cults
are trying to use it to their own advantage and present its
distorted version to the world. They ask people to be
vegetarian, not eat onions and garlic, and so many other things
like that. Ayurveda describes thousands of properties of garlic.
Charaka has described 64 kinds of wine, and has given
description of every possible meat.