Während meines Indienaufenthaltes im Shanti Mandir Ashram in Magod, Indien durfte ich die Ärztin Dr. Rakhee der ayurvedischen Klinik Punarnava kennenlernen. Alles was man mit einer Klinik verbindet, findet man dort nicht vor. Inmitten von Mangobäumen haben die Ashrambewohner dort eine wunderschöne kleine Oase geschaffen, in der Jeder, der sich für eine ayurvedische Kur oder Anwendungen interessiert, willkommen ist. In diesem Interview verrät Dr. Rakhee warum die Kuren mehr als ein ganzheitliches Intensivprogramm zur nachhaltigen Reinigung und Entgiftung verstanden werden können, warum eine ganzheitliche Arbeitsweise von großer Bedeutung ist und verrät ihre 10 goldenen Regeln der Ayurveda-Ernährung.
Interview // Dr. Rakhee über 10 goldenen Regeln der Ayurveda-Ernährung
After a medical degree and experience as Pediatrician in leading hospitals of Delhi, Dr. Rakhee Thakar (MD Pediatrics) now runs the clinic at Shanti Arogya Mandir that serves the rural population in Valsad and coordinates Punarnava, which is an integrated center for wellbeing combining Panchakarma, Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Psychotherapy and Allopathy. One of a kind, it is the first in India to offer this comprehensive approach.
Dear Dr. Rakhee, you have been practicing Allopathy at tertiary level care in the capital of the country but then decided to become an ayurvedic doctor. Why? What is the special thing about this ancient science?
After practicing Allopathy for many years, I found myself unable to offer holistic long lasting relief to patients with chronic diseases without undesirable side effects. Though it has its role in managing medical emergencies and acute conditions, Allopathy has limitations in the prevention and management of chronic diseases.
Ayurveda is a science of appropriate living that focuses on establishing and maintaining a balance of life energies and aims to cure the person rather than the disease. It recognizes constitutional differences between individuals leading to distinctive presentations of disease and therefore requirement of individualized treatment.
A unique science and art of healing, Ayurveda offers specific recommendations to each individual on lifestyle, diet, exercise and yoga, herbal therapy, and even spiritual practices to restore and maintain balance in body and mind. Ayurveda sees a strong connection between the mind and the body, which is why Psychotherapy is an integral part of our center.
Thus it is not only preventive and curative but can actively promote health.
Whom would you recommend a stay at Punarnava?
Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic detoxification and rejuvenation therapy with excellent results in chronic diseases including but not limited to digestive disorders like irritable bowel disease, constipation, musculoskeletal disorders like backache, arthritis, sleep disorders, depression, allergies, skin diseases like eczema, psoriasis, diabetes, blood pressure, headache, menstrual disorders, PCOD, infertility, respiratory disorders.
In addition, Ayurveda recommends annual Panchakarma to promote the health of the healthy individual by improving digestion, and metabolism while delivering supplements to nourish tissues.
Punarnava offers holistic health promotion covering all aspects of health- physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Patient empowerment is key, with interactive educational sessions on diet management, lifestyle modification, Yoga and stress management through Psychotherapy.
Health seekers find the personalized care and picturesque natural surroundings at Punarnava make the therapeutic stay pleasant and harmonious.
In short, anyone who cares about his health is welcome at Punarnava.
You offer Panchakarma, which is a very popular detoxification therapy of Ayurveda. The next months with the beginning of spring many people would like to do a cleanse. In Germany there are many kinds of fasting cures e.g. juice fasting or using detox herbs which always belong to the bitter category. But according to Ayurveda there is not one universal fasting method (or food or medicine) for everybody and your therapy is highly individualized. What are the benefits of this holistic Ayurvedic detox?
Treatment in Ayurveda is highly individualized. Fasting benefits Kapha Dosha rather than Pitta and Vata. Bitter herbs benefit Pitta and Kapha and can aggravate Vata. Some people may not have the strength for rigorous fasting. Therefore there is not one universal fasting method for everybody.
The word Panchakarma is made of two words- Panch (five) and Karma (Procedures). These 5 procedures help to correct different imbalances.
- Vaman – the therapeutic induction of vomiting removes vitiated Kapha (phlegm) and is used to treat diseases like obesity, allergic sinusitis, hay fever etc.
- Virechana – therapeutic controlled purgation removes excess Pitta (bile).it is effective in liver disorders, gout, psoriasis, asthma etc.
- Basti – the administration of medicated enema, is considered to be the mother of all treatments. Though it is the treatment of choice for Vata (wind), it cleanses toxins from all three doshas. Basti is classified as follows.
- Niruha basti uses herbal decoction as medicated enema for cleansing. Anuvasan basti is the administration of herbal oils for Vata pacification and rejuvenation.
- Nasya – the instillation of medicated oil, ghee or other herbs into the nostrils treats diseases of the head region and keeps the sense organs healthy. It is used effectively for hairfall, premature graying, headache, depression, insomnia etc.
10 Golden Rules of Food Intake
You serve delicious, balanced meals at Punarnava. Ayurveda places a lot of emphasis on food and on the care of the digestive system. What are your 10 golden rules for food intake?
1) Eat according to your agni (digestive fire). This means eating only when hungry. Also the amount and type of food should be according to the digestive capacity and Prakriti. Fill only 3 quarters of your stomach. Leave the fourth quarter empty for movement of gases. Do not eat if you are not hungry. Not eating when hungry is equally harmful.
2) Dinner should be early, light and easily digestible dinner and as close to sunset as possible. There should be at least 3 hours between the last meal and going to bed.
3) Do not eat until the previous meal has been digested which is indicated by hunger and a feeling of lightness in the body.
4) Do not drink water half an hour before and one hour after eating. Water that is had immediately after a meal is considered to be poison. It is advisable to have some lukewarm water in the middle of the meal if the meal is dry without liquids.
5) Cold water after a meal severely hampers digestion and contributes to rapid weight gain, cholesterol and cancer. Similarly, all food at cold temperature is detrimental. Instead a small cup of buttermilk after a meal aids in digestion.
6) Chewing aids digestion. Take small bites and chew each bite around 32 times to ensure that the food is swallowed in a liquid form.
7) Food combination is important. Do not eat many different food items in one meal. Do not eat fruits with cooked food.
8) Eat with one-pointed focus. Do not read a newspaper, talk on the phone or watch TV while eating. Do not eat when you are worried or depressed.
Bathing before a meal stimulates digestion. Similarly, bathing immediately after a meal dampens the digestive fire leading to indigestion.
9) Sleeping during the day time especially immediately after meal dampens digestion. Similarly, staying up late at night also weakens digestion. Early to bed and early to rise keeps the digestion healthy.
10) Slow short walk (100 steps) followed by 10 minutes each of Vajrasan and lying on the left side with pleasant thoughts and listening to pleasing music after a meal help digestion. Heavy exercise should be avoided for 3 hours after a meal.
Last question: What is your favorite, easy ayurvedic dish that you recommend everyone should try?
Khicri is a wholesome, easily digestible, tasty and nutritious dish recommended by Ayurveda. It is made of rice and mung beans. It can be enjoyed in different flavors by the addition of different vegetables and variations in the spices. It is the perfect detox diet.
Thank you Dr. Rakhee!
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